Federal Register Vol. 81, No.205,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 205 (October 24, 2016)

Page Range73015-73332
FR Document

81_FR_205
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 73107 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 73143 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 73107 - Sunshine Act Meeting; Notice of Board Member MeetingPDF
81 FR 73147 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 73089 - National Board for Education SciencesPDF
81 FR 73034 - Special Local Regulation; Back River, Poquoson, VAPDF
81 FR 73156 - Agency Forms Submitted for OMB Review, Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 73089 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 73110 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 73192 - Eighth RTCA SC-233 Addressing Human Factors/Pilot Interface Issues for Avionics PlenaryPDF
81 FR 73127 - New Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: TSA infoBoardsPDF
81 FR 73126 - Intent To Request Revision From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC®) ProgramPDF
81 FR 73139 - Central Valley Project Improvement Act Water Management PlansPDF
81 FR 73107 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 73144 - In the Matter of Tetra Tech EC, Inc.PDF
81 FR 73113 - Program for Parallel Review of Medical DevicesPDF
81 FR 73138 - Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/WashingtonPDF
81 FR 73154 - Performance Review Boards for Senior Executive ServicePDF
81 FR 73059 - Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
81 FR 73059 - Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 73061 - Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 73118 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 73135 - Privacy Act of 1974; as Amended; Notice To Amend an Existing System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 73091 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 73153 - United States Department of the Interior; United States Geological Survey TRIGA Research ReactorPDF
81 FR 73192 - Proposed Collection of Information: Annual Financial Statement of Surety Companies-Schedule FPDF
81 FR 73088 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 73061 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); MeetingPDF
81 FR 73096 - Thirtieth Update of the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance DocketPDF
81 FR 73133 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Request for Withdrawals From Replacements Reserves/Residual Receipts FundsPDF
81 FR 73129 - Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Extension of Deadline for Submission of Assessment of Fair Housing for Consolidated Plan Participants That Receive a Community Development Block Grant of $500,000 or LessPDF
81 FR 73191 - Request for Public Comments Regarding the Interim Environmental Review of the WTO Environmental Goods AgreementPDF
81 FR 73130 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: 24 CFR Part 55, Floodplain Management and Protection of WetlandsPDF
81 FR 73132 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Environmental Review Procedures for Entities Assuming HUD Environmental ResponsibilitiesPDF
81 FR 73131 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) ProgramPDF
81 FR 73134 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 73094 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Plywood and Composite Products (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 73104 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for the Manufacture of Amino/Phenolic Resins (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 73094 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Petroleum Refineries: Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units, and Sulfur Recovery Units (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 73095 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 73105 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives-Requirements for Manufacturers (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 73189 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 73090 - Notice of Staff Attendance at the Southwest Power Pool Regional Entity Trustee, Regional State Committee, Members' Committee and Board of Directors' MeetingsPDF
81 FR 73092 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-604 & FERC-923); Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 73133 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 73087 - Army Education Advisory Subcommittee Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 73088 - Update to the 30 July 2013 Military Freight Traffic Unified Rules Publication (MFTURP) No. 1PDF
81 FR 73117 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Evaluation of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Autism CARES Act InitiativePDF
81 FR 73056 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 73157 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Nasdaq Rule 7046PDF
81 FR 73186 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change Related to the Payment of a Credit by Execution Access, LLC Based on Volume Thresholds Met on the NASDAQ Options MarketPDF
81 FR 73143 - NASA Advisory Council; Human Exploration and Operations Committee; MeetingPDF
81 FR 73057 - Designation of Hastings Grain Inspection, Inc. To Provide Class X or Class Y Weighing ServicesPDF
81 FR 73057 - Amendment to the Designation of Lincoln Grain Inspection Service, Inc.PDF
81 FR 73142 - Bureau of Labor Statistics Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting and AgendaPDF
81 FR 73141 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Hazardous Conditions ComplaintsPDF
81 FR 73148 - Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission; Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center ReactorPDF
81 FR 73115 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting Requirements for Human Drug and Biological Products and Safety Reporting Requirements for Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Studies in HumansPDF
81 FR 73167 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Relating to the Reporting of Transactions in U.S. Treasury Securities to TRACEPDF
81 FR 73116 - Generic Drug User Fees; Notice of Public Meeting; Request for Comments; Extension of Comment Period; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 73028 - Medical Devices; Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices; Classification of the Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation SystemPDF
81 FR 73112 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 73034 - Special Local Regulations; Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks, Savannah RiverPDF
81 FR 73123 - South Carolina; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73128 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, Form I-407; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 73107 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10197-Old Southern Bank, Orlando, FloridaPDF
81 FR 73106 - Notice to all Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10484-First Community Bank of Southwest Florida, Also Doing Business as Community Bank of Cape Coral, Fort Meyers, FloridaPDF
81 FR 73106 - Information Collection Approved by the Office of the Management and Budget (OMB)PDF
81 FR 73058 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Montana Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 73125 - Georgia; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73125 - Florida; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73121 - Georgia; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73119 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 73118 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 73119 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 73140 - Agency Information Collection Activities; OMB Approvals; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act-Related Information Collection RequestsPDF
81 FR 73124 - South Carolina; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73120 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 73124 - Florida; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73108 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 73191 - Ninth RTCA SC-229 406 MHz ELT Plenary Joint With EUROCAE WG-98 10th PlenaryPDF
81 FR 73187 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Article IV, Section 4.05 of the Tenth Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of the ExchangePDF
81 FR 73177 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Article IV, Section 4.05 of the Ninth Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of the ExchangePDF
81 FR 73179 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Amend NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.700 and To List and Trade Shares of the Managed Emerging Markets Trust Under Proposed Amended NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.700PDF
81 FR 73182 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Withdrawal of Proposed Rule Change Relating to SPX Combo OrdersPDF
81 FR 73182 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE MKT Rule 6A-Equities and NYSE MKT Rule 6-EquitiesPDF
81 FR 73159 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE Arca Equities Rules 7.35 (Auctions), 7.10 (Clearly Erroneous Executions), 7.31 (Orders and Modifiers), and 7.11 (Limit Up-Limit Down Plan and Trading Pauses in Individual Securities Due to Extraordinary Market Volatility)PDF
81 FR 73062 - Final Order Regarding Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Application To Exempt Specified Transactions; Amendment to the Final Order Exempting Specified Transactions of Certain Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission OrganizationsPDF
81 FR 73035 - National Television Multiple Ownership RulePDF
81 FR 73140 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Notice of Firearms Manufactured or Imported (ATF Form 2 (5320.2)PDF
81 FR 73027 - Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73122 - North Carolina; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73143 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad Hoc Task Force on STEM Education; MeetingPDF
81 FR 73155 - New Postal ProductsPDF
81 FR 73123 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 73120 - Iowa; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73121 - Hawaii; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 73058 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 73105 - Clean Air Act Advisory Committee; Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
81 FR 73142 - Proposed Extension of the Approval of Information Collection RequirementsPDF
81 FR 73024 - Technology Innovation-Personnel ExchangesPDF
81 FR 73042 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 73044 - Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Seek Comment on Post-Incentive Auction Transition Scheduling PlanPDF
81 FR 73292 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee SchedulePDF
81 FR 73020 - Airworthiness Directives; Honeywell International Inc. Turboprop EnginesPDF
81 FR 73030 - Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Initial GuidancePDF
81 FR 73196 - Asset Management Plans and Periodic Evaluations of Facilities Repeatedly Requiring Repair and Reconstruction Due to Emergency EventsPDF
81 FR 73270 - Specifications for Medical Examinations of Coal MinersPDF
81 FR 73015 - Revision of Regulations Governing Freedom of Information Act Requests and Appeals, and Revision of Touhy Regulations Governing Release of Information in Response to Legal ProceedingsPDF

Issue

81 205 Monday, October 24, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73056-73057 2016-25556 2016-25617
Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Firearms Manufactured or Imported, 73140 2016-25566 Army Army Department NOTICES Meetings: Army Education Advisory Subcommittee, 73087-73088 2016-25620 Military Freight Traffic Unified Rules Publication No. 1, 73088 2016-25619 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73108-73113 2016-25579 2016-25601 2016-25671 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Program for Parallel Review of Medical Devices, 73113-73115 2016-25659 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Montana Advisory Committee, 73058 2016-25592 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Special Local Regulations: Back River, Poquoson, VA, 73034 2016-25679 Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks, Savannah River, 73034 2016-25600 Commerce Commerce Department See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Orders: Exempt Specified Transactions Authorized by a Tariff Approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act, 73062-73087 2016-25571 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73088-73089 2016-25643 2016-25672
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Meetings: National Board for Education Sciences, 73089-73090 2016-25680 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, 73140-73141 2016-25585 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: NESHAP for the Manufacture of Amino/Phenolic Resins, 73104-73105 2016-25629 NESHAP for Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations, 73095-73096 2016-25627 NESHAP for Petroleum Refineries: Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units, and Sulfur Recovery Units, 73094-73095 2016-25628 NESHAP for Plywood and Composite Products, 73094 2016-25630 Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives—Requirements for Manufacturers, 73105-73106 2016-25626 Charter Renewals: Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, 73105 2016-25518 Thirtieth Update of the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket, 73096-73104 2016-25640 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Honeywell International Inc. Turboprop Engines, 73020-73023 2016-25268 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 73042-73044 2016-25351 NOTICES Meetings: Eighth Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics SC-233 Addressing Human Factors/Pilot Interface Issues for Avionics Plenary, 73192 2016-25670 Ninth Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics SC-229 406 MHz ELT Plenary Joint with EUROCAE WG-98 10th Plenary, 73191-73192 2016-25578 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES National Television Multiple Ownership Rule, 73035-73041 2016-25569 PROPOSED RULES Post-Incentive Auction Transition Scheduling Plan, 73044-73055 2016-25333 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73106 2016-25593 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: First Community Bank of Southwest Florida, also Doing Business as Community Bank of Cape Coral, Fort Meyers, FL, 73106-73107 2016-25594 Old Southern Bank, Orlando, FL, 73107 2016-25595 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 73107 2016-25797 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Emergency and Related Determinations: Florida, 73124-73125 2016-25580 Georgia, 73125 2016-25591 North Carolina, 73122-73123 2016-25564 South Carolina, 73124 2016-25584 Major Disaster Declarations: North Carolina; Amendment No. 2, 73123 2016-25561 North Carolina; Amendment No.1, 73120 2016-25581 Major Disasters and Related Determinations: Florida, 73125-73126 2016-25590 Georgia, 73121-73122 2016-25589 Hawaii, 73121 2016-25557 Iowa, 73120-73121 2016-25559 South Carolina, 73123 2016-25597 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73092-73094 2016-25622 Combined Filings, 73091-73092 2016-25647 2016-25648 Meetings: Southwest Power Pool Regional Entity Trustee, Regional State Committee, Members Committee and Board of Directors, 73090-73091 2016-25623 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration RULES Asset Management Plans and Periodic Evaluations of Facilities Repeatedly Requiring Repair and Reconstruction Due to Emergency Events, 73196-73268 2016-25117 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 73107 2016-25665 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 73107-73108 2016-25761 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Financial Statement of Surety Companies—Schedule F, 73192-73193 2016-25644 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Medical Devices: Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices; Classification of the Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System, 73028-73030 2016-25602 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting Requirements for Human Drug and Biological Products and Safety Reporting Requirements for Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Studies in Humans, 73115-73116 2016-25606 Meetings: Generic Drug User Fees; Extension of Comment Period, Correction, 73116 2016-25603 Program for Parallel Review of Medical Devices, 73113-73115 2016-25659 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73133-73135 2016-25621 2016-25631 Grain Inspection Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration NOTICES Approvals to Provide Class X or Class Y Weighing Services: Hastings Grain Inspection, Inc., 73057 2016-25613 Designations: Lincoln Grain Inspection Service, Inc., 73057-73058 2016-25610 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

RULES Specifications for Medical Examinations of Coal Miners, 73270-73290 2016-24405 NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, 73118 2016-25650
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Autism CARES Act Initiative, 73117-73118 2016-25618 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

RULES U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule, 73292-73332 2016-25328
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department RULES Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016, 73030-73034 2016-25147 NOTICES Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Assessment of Fair Housing for Consolidated Plan Participants That Receive a Community Development Block Grant of $500,000 or Less;, 73129-73130 2016-25637 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Environmental Review Procedures for Entities Assuming Housing and Urban Development Environmental Responsibilities, 73132-73133 2016-25633 Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands, 73130-73131 2016-25634 Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program, 73131-73132 2016-25632 Request for Withdrawals from Replacements Reserves, etc., 73133 2016-25639 Interior Interior Department See

Geological Survey

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Reclamation Bureau

NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 73135-73138 2016-25649
Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Labor Statistics Bureau

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Hazardous Conditions Complaints, 73141-73142 2016-25608
Labor Statistics Labor Statistics Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Technical Advisory Committee, 73142 2016-25609 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Surveys: Oregon/Washington, 73138-73139 2016-25658 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: Human Exploration and Operations Committee, 73143 2016-25614 NASA Advisory Council; Ad Hoc Task Force on STEM Education, 73143 2016-25563 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 73143-73144 2016-25778 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology RULES Technology Innovation-Personnel Exchanges, 73024-73026 2016-25355 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 73118-73120 2016-25586 2016-25587 National Cancer Institute, 73119 2016-25588 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73058-73059 2016-25551 Meetings: Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 73059-73061 2016-25653 2016-25654 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 73061-73062 2016-25651 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 73061 2016-25642 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Confirmatory Orders: Tetra Tech EC, Inc., 73144-73147 2016-25661 License Renewals: Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission, Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center Reactor, 73148-73153 2016-25607 United States Geological Survey TRIGA Research Reactor, 73153-73154 2016-25646 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 73147-73148 2016-25749 Performance Review Boards for Senior Executive Service, 73154-73155 2016-25656 Office Special Office of the Special Counsel RULES Freedom of Information Act Requests and Appeals; Release of Information in Response to Legal Proceedings, 73015-73020 2016-23215 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 73155-73156 2016-25562 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73156-73157 2016-25673 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Central Valley Project Improvement Act Water Management Plans, 73139 2016-25666 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc.; Withdrawal, 73182 2016-25574 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 73167-73177 2016-25604 Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, 73186-73187 2016-25615 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 73187-73189 2016-25577 NYSE Arca, Inc., 73159-73166, 73179-73182 2016-25572 2016-25575 NYSE MKT, LLC, 73177-73179, 73182-73186 2016-25573 2016-25576 The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 73157-73158 2016-25616 Social Social Security Administration RULES Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority to Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance Determinations, 73027-73028 2016-25565 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73189-73191 2016-25625 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Environmental Reviews: WTO Environmental Goods Agreement, 73191 2016-25636 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Transportation Worker Identification Credential Program, 73126-73127 2016-25667 TSA infoBoards, 73127-73128 2016-25669 Treasury Treasury Department See

Fiscal Service

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, 73128-73129 2016-25596 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 73142-73143 2016-25396 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Transportation Department, Federal Highway Administration, 73196-73268 2016-25117 Part III Health and Human Services Department, 73270-73290 2016-24405 Part IV Homeland Security Department, 73292-73332 2016-25328 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.

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81 205 Monday, October 24, 2016 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL 5 CFR Part 1820 Revision of Regulations Governing Freedom of Information Act Requests and Appeals, and Revision of Touhy Regulations Governing Release of Information in Response to Legal Proceedings AGENCY:

U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

Final rule.

This final rule updates and clarifies the procedures for submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and appeals to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The rule describes additional methods for submitting FOIA requests and appeals. It also promotes efficiency in FOIA administration by enhancing OSC's ability to respond to certain requests on an expedited basis. The final rule makes minor technical revisions to the name of an OSC unit and to OSC's Internet, fax, and physical address information. The rule also establishes procedures that requesters must follow when making demands on or requests to an OSC employee to produce official records or provide testimony relating to official information in connection with a legal proceeding in which the OSC is not a party.

DATES:

This final rule is effective October 24, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Amy Beckett, Senior Litigation Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, 202-254-3657

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OSC published a proposed rule on May 5, 2015, FR Doc No: 2016-09799 and solicited public comment on that rule. OSC has considered the comments and is issuing this final rule in due course.

I. Background

FOIA Regulations. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) revises its FOIA regulations to account for the additional electronic methods by which requesters may submit FOIA requests and appeals, and modifies the manner by which requests qualify for expedited processing. OSC also makes minor technical revisions to the name of an OSC unit and to OSC's Internet, fax, and physical address information.

The existing language of 5 CFR 1820.2 and 1820.6 describes regular mail and fax as the methods by which to submit FOIA requests and appeals. The final rule adds email or other electronic submission methods.

The existing language of 5 CFR 1820.1 refers to the main OSC Internet and FOIA page addresses. The final rule describes Internet access to OSC FOIA resources through the main OSC Internet address. The first commenter suggested that subsection (a)(1) identify OSC's fax number and email address. At the risk of the contact information later being changed, OSC considered and adopted the suggested change to subsection (a)(1). The commenter also suggested a minor grammatical change to subsection (c), which OSC also considered and adopted. The first commenter also proposed changes to Section 1820.3 regarding whether OSC may consult with entities the commenter argues are not “agencies” for FOIA purposes. OSC is postponing consideration of this suggested change pending its mandated update to the regulation required by the recently enacted FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Public Law 114-185.

The existing language of 5 CFR 1820.2 and 1820.6 regarding OSC's physical address would be modified in a minor, technical manner. The first commenter also suggested that subsection (a)(3) allow requesters to submit appeals by email in addition to “other electronic means.” OSC has accepted email requests and appeals for several years, so OSC adopts the suggested change both to conform the rule to OSC's current practice and to specify that OSC accepts email submissions. The commenter also urged OSC to notify requesters of the mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services and to add that OSC will respond to administrative appeals within the statutory deadline. OSC has already adopted this practice pursuant to the recently enacted FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Public Law 114-185. OSC has also begun to notify new requesters as of June 30, 2016 that they have 90 days to appeal an adverse determination and will revise the regulation to reflect this, and other updated practices, when it issues its mandated update to the regulation required by the recently enacted FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Public Law 114-185. The existing language of 5 CFR 1820.6 refers to an OSC unit as the “Legal Counsel and Policy Division.” The name of that unit is updated in the final rule to the “Office of General Counsel.”

The existing language of 5 CFR 1820.4(c)(1)(iii) discusses one of the three criteria under which a FOIA request can be processed out of order of receipt and addressed on an expedited basis. That language provides, in part, expedited treatment of a FOIA request when the requested records relate to “an appeal that is pending before, or that the requester faces an imminent deadline for filing with” another administrative or judicial tribunal, “seeking personal relief pursuant to a complaint filed by the requester with OSC, or referred to OSC pursuant to title 38 of the U.S. Code.”

The final rule clarifies that the criteria discussed at 5 CFR 1820.4(c)(1)(iii) applies only when the requested records relate to an appeal for which the requester faces an imminent deadline for filing with another administrative or judicial tribunal. In addition, the final rule specifies that a grant of expedited treatment applies only to the following requested records: Letters sent to a complainant by OSC, and the official complaint form submitted to OSC by the complainant or the original referred complaint if referred to OSC pursuant to title 38 of the U.S. Code. All other requested records would be processed according to the order in which OSC received the request.

By narrowing the focus of expedited status to certain records that are of interest to complainant-requesters, and are typically readily available for disclosure to the complainant-requesters, OSC is able to process and respond to expedited requests more efficiently. Any other requested records will generally be processed in the order OSC received the request.

Touhy Regulations. OSC also revises its regulations relating to the release of information in response to requests made in connection with legal proceedings, such as summonses, complaints, subpoenas, and other litigation-related requests or demands for OSC's records or official information. These regulations are often referred to as Touhy regulations.

Federal agencies often receive demands consisting of informal requests for production of records, information, or testimony in judicial, legislative, or administrative proceedings in which the agency is not a named party. OSC revises its regulation to improve its evaluation and processing of such requests.

The United States Supreme Court upheld this type of regulation in United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951), holding that provisions in the federal “housekeeping” statute authorize agencies to promulgate rules governing record production and employee testimony. See 5 U.S.C. 301.

The prior language of 5 CFR1820.10 referred to the “[p]roduction of official records or testimony in legal proceedings.” This revision provides the agency with more clearly delineated standards for releasing information or witness testimony. Generally, this revision re-establishes that no OSC employee or former employee shall release official information or records without the prior approval of the Special Counsel or the Special Counsel's duly authorized designee.

Under this final rule, OSC establishes procedural requirements for the form and content of requests for official OSC information made through a litigation request or demand, as well as establishing procedures for responding to the requests. This final rule also states the factors that OSC will consider in determining whether to authorize a release of official information in response to a request.

II. Overview of Comments Received

In response to the proposed rule, OSC received two comment letters regarding the proposed changes to the FOIA regulation, including suggestions for changing additional sections of the regulation. The first commenter suggested that OSC include additional contact details within the text of the FOIA regulation, that OSC amend the section governing consultations and referrals, and that OSC make additional changes as to the appeals process. The second commenter suggested changes regarding the definition of “representative of the news media,” fees, records preservation, and records management. OSC will postpone consideration of several of the proposed changes pending its mandated update to the regulation required by the recently enacted FOIA Improvement Act of 2016l, Public Law 114-185.

OSC did not receive any comments concerning its Touhy regulation. Accordingly, OSC will issue the final rule without modification to the Touhy provisions.

In section IV below, OSC set forth its final rule, a section by section summary of the two comments it received to the proposed final rule, and OSC's responses to these comments.

Subpart A, Sections 1820.10, 11, and 12 III. Procedural Determinations

Administrative Procedure Act (APA): This action is taken under the Special Counsel's authority at 5 U.S.C. 1212(e) to publish regulations in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review): OSC does not anticipate that this final rule will have significant economic impact, raise novel issues, and/or have any other significant impacts. Thus this final rule is not a significant regulatory action under 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under 6(a)(3) of the Order.

Congressional Review Act (CRA): OSC has determined that this final rule is not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act, as it is unlikely to result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; is unlikely to result in a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies or geographic regions; and is unlikely to have a significant adverse effect on competition, employment, investment, productivity, or innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete in domestic and export markets.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA): The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply, even though this final rule was offered for notice and comment procedures under the APA. This final rule will not directly regulate small entities. OSC therefore need not perform a regulatory flexibility analysis of small entity impacts.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA): This revision does not impose any federal mandates on state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector within the meaning of the UMRA.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): This final rule will have no physical impact upon the environment and therefore will not require any further review under NEPA.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA): This final rule does not impose any new recordkeeping, reporting, or other information collection requirements on the public. The final rule sets forth procedures by which litigants may serve summonses, complaints, subpoenas, and other legal process, demands, and requests upon the OSC. The final rule imposes special procedural requirements for those who seek to serve third-party subpoenas upon the OSC in accordance with United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951). These requirements may increase the time and burden associated with obtaining records of the OSC in response to such third-party subpoenas.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): This final revision does not have new federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform): This final rule meets applicable standards of 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 1820

Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of Information, Government employees, Touhy regulations.

IV. Authority and Issuance

For the reasons stated in the preamble, OSC revises 5 CFR part 1820 as follows:

PART 1820—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUESTS; PRODUCTION OF RECORDS OR TESTIMONY 1. The authority citation for 5 CFR part 1820 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 552 and 1212(e); Executive Order No. 12600, 52 FR 23781.

2. Revise § 1820.1 to read as follows:
§ 1820.1 General provisions.

This part contains rules and procedures followed by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as amended, at 5 U.S.C. 552. These rules and procedures should be read together with the FOIA, which provides additional information about access to agency records. Further information about the FOIA and access to OSC records is available on the FOIA page of OSC's Web site (https://www.osc.gov). Information routinely provided to the public as part of a regular OSC activity—for example, forms, press releases issued by the public affairs officer, records published on the agency's Web site, or public lists maintained at OSC headquarter offices pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 1219—may be requested and provided to the public without following this part. This part also addresses responses to demands by a court or other authority to an employee for production of official records or testimony in legal proceedings.

3. Revise § 1820.2 to read as follows:
§ 1820.2 Requirements for making FOIA requests.

(a) Submission of requests. (1) A request for OSC records under the FOIA must be made in writing. The request must be sent by:

(i) Regular mail addressed to: FOIA Officer, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, 1730 M Street NW., Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505; or

(ii) By fax sent to the FOIA Officer at 202-254-3711, the number provided on the FOIA page of OSC's Web site (https://osc.gov/Pages/FOIA-Resources.aspx) (https://www.osc.gov); or

(iii) By email to [email protected] or other electronic means as described on the FOIA page of OSC's Web site, https://osc.gov/Pages/FOIA-Resources.aspx.

(2) For the quickest handling, both the request letter and envelope or any fax cover sheet or email subject line should be clearly marked “FOIA Request.” Whether sent by mail, fax, email, or other prescribed electronic method, a FOIA request will not be considered to have been received by OSC until it reaches the FOIA office.

(b) Description of records sought. Requesters must describe the records sought in enough detail for them to be located with a reasonable amount of effort. When requesting records about an OSC case file, the case file number, name, and type (for example, prohibited personnel practice, Hatch Act, USERRA or other complaint; Hatch Act advisory opinion; or whistleblower disclosure) should be provided, if known. Whenever possible, requests should describe any particular record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter.

(c) Agreement to pay fees. Making a FOIA request shall be considered an agreement by the requester to pay all applicable fees chargeable under § 1820.7, up to and including the amount of $25.00, unless the requester asks for a waiver of fees or specifies a willingness to pay a greater or lesser amount.

4. Revise § 1820.4 to read as follows:
§ 1820.4 Timing of responses to requests.

(a) In general. OSC ordinarily will respond to FOIA requests according to their order of receipt. In determining which records are responsive to a request, OSC ordinarily will include only records in its possession as of the date on which it begins its search for them. If any other date is used, OSC will inform the requester of that date.

(b) Multitrack processing. (1) OSC may use two or more processing tracks by distinguishing between simple and more complex requests based on the amount of work and/or time needed to process the request.

(2) When using multitrack processing, OSC may provide requesters in its slower track(s) with an opportunity to limit the scope of their requests in order to qualify for faster processing within the specified limits of the faster track(s).

(c) Expedited processing. (1) Requests and appeals will be taken out of order and given expedited treatment whenever OSC has established to its satisfaction that:

(i) Failure to obtain requested records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

(ii) With respect to a request made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, an urgency exists to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity; or

(iii) The requested records relate to an appeal for which the requester faces an imminent deadline for filing with the Merit Systems Protection Board or other administrative tribunal or a court of law, seeking personal relief pursuant to a complaint filed by the requester with OSC, or referred to OSC pursuant to title 38 of the U.S. Code. Expedited status granted under this provision will apply only to the following requested records: Letters sent to the complainant by OSC; and the official complaint form submitted to OSC by the complainant or the original referred complaint if referred to OSC pursuant to title 38 of the U.S. Code. All other requested records will be processed according to the order in which OSC received the request.

(2) A request for expedited processing must be made in writing and sent to OSC's FOIA Officer. Such a request will not be considered to have been received until it reaches the FOIA Officer.

(3) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing. For example, a requester within the category described in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, if not a full-time member of the news media, must establish that he or she is a person whose main professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be his or her sole occupation. The formality of certification may be waived as a matter of OSC's administrative discretion.

(4) OSC shall decide whether to grant a request for expedited processing and notify the requester of its decision within 10 calendar days of the FOIA Officer's receipt of the request. If the request for expedited processing is granted, the request for records shall be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any administrative appeal of that decision shall be acted on expeditiously.

(d) Aggregated requests. OSC may aggregate multiple requests by the same requester, or by a group of requesters acting in concert, if it reasonably believes that such requests constitute a single request involving unusual circumstances, as defined by the FOIA, supporting an extension of time to respond, and the requests involve clearly related matters.

5. Revise § 1820.6 to read as follows:
§ 1820.6 Appeals.

(a) Appeals of adverse determinations. A requester may appeal an adverse determination denying a FOIA request in any respect to the Office of General Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, 1730 M Street NW., Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505. The appeal must be in writing, and must be submitted either by:

(1) Regular mail sent to the address listed in this subsection, above; or

(2) By fax sent to the FOIA Officer at, (202) 254-3711, the number provided on the FOIA page of OSC's Web site https://osc.gov/Pages/FOIA-Resources.aspx; or

(3) By email to [email protected], or other electronic means as described on the FOIA page of OSC's Web site, https://osc.gov/Pages/FOIA-Resources.aspx.

(b) Submission and content. The appeal must be received by the Office of General Counsel within 45 days of the date of the letter denying the request. For the quickest possible handling, the appeal letter and envelope or any fax cover sheet should be clearly marked “FOIA Appeal.” The appeal letter must clearly identify the OSC determination (including the assigned FOIA request number, if known) being appealed. An appeal ordinarily will not be acted on if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.

(c) Responses to appeals. The agency decision on an appeal will be made in writing. A decision affirming an adverse determination in whole or in part shall inform the requester of the provisions for judicial review of that decision. If the adverse determination is reversed or modified on appeal, in whole or in part, the requester will be notified in a written decision and the request will be reprocessed in accordance with that appeal decision.

6. Add a new heading for subpart A before § 1820.10 as set forth below. 7. Revise § 1820.10 and add §§ 1820.11 and 1820.12 to subpart A to read as follows: Subpart A—Touhy Regulations General Provisions Sec. 1820.10 Scope and purpose. 1820.11 Applicability. 1820.12 Definitions.
§ 1820.10 Scope and purpose.

(a) This part establishes policy, assigns responsibilities and prescribes procedures with respect to:

(1) The production or disclosure of official information or records by current and former OSC employees, and contractors; and

(2) The testimony of current and former OSC employees, advisors, and consultants relating to official information, official duties, or the OSC's records, in connection with federal or state litigation or administrative proceedings in which the OSC is not a party.

(b) The OSC intends this part to:

(1) Conserve the time of OSC employees for conducting official business;

(2) Minimize the involvement of OSC employees in issues unrelated to OSC's mission;

(3) Maintain the impartiality of OSC employees in disputes between private litigants; and

(4) Protect sensitive, confidential information and the deliberative processes of the OSC.

(c) In providing for these requirements, the OSC does not waive the sovereign immunity of the United States.

(d) This part provides guidance for the internal operations of OSC. It does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, that a party may rely upon in any legal proceeding against the United States.

§ 1820.11 Applicability.

This part applies to demands and requests to current and former employees, and contractors, for factual or expert testimony relating to official information or official duties or for production of official records or information, in legal proceedings in which the OSC is not a named party. This part does not apply to:

(a) Demands upon or requests for current or former OSC employees or contractors to testify as to facts or events that are unrelated to his or her official duties or that are unrelated to the functions of the OSC;

(b) Requests for the release of records under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, or the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a; or

(c) Congressional demands and requests for testimony, records or information.

§ 1820.12 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this part.

Demand means an order, subpoena, or other command of a court or other competent authority for the production, disclosure, or release of records or for the appearance and testimony of an OSC employee in a legal proceeding.

General Counsel means the General Counsel of the OSC or a person to whom the General Counsel has delegated authority under this part.

Legal proceeding means any matter before a court of law, administrative board or tribunal, commission, administrative law judge, hearing officer or other body that conducts a legal or administrative proceeding. Legal proceeding includes all phases of litigation.

OSC means the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

OSC employee or employee means:

(1)(i) Any current or former employee of the OSC; and

(ii) Any other individual hired through contractual agreement by or on behalf of the OSC or who has performed or is performing services under such an agreement for the OSC.

(2) This definition does not include persons who are no longer employed by the OSC and who agree to testify about matters available to the public.

Records or official records and information means all information in the custody and control of the OSC, relating to information in the custody and control of the OSC, or acquired by an OSC employee in the performance of his or her official duties or because of his or her official status, while the individual was employee by or on behalf of the OSC.

Request means any informal request, by whatever method, for the production of records and information or for testimony which has not been ordered by a court of other competent authority.

Testimony means any written or oral statements, including depositions, answers to interrogatories, affidavits, declarations, interviews, and statements made by an individual in connection with a legal proceeding.

8. Add subpart B to read as follows: Subpart B—Demands or Requests for Testimony and Production of Documents Sec. 1820.13 General prohibition. 1820.14 Factors the OSC will consider. 1820.15 Filing requirements for litigants. 1820.16 Service of requests or demands. 1820.17 Processing requests or demands. 1820.18 Final determinations. 1820.19 Restrictions that apply to testimony. 1820.20 Restrictions that apply to released records. 1820.21 Procedure when a decision is not made prior to the time a response is required. 1820.22 Procedure in the event of an adverse ruling.
§ 1820.13 General prohibition.

No employee of OSC may produce official records and information or provide any testimony relating to official information in response to a demand or request without the prior written approval of the General Counsel.

§ 1820.14 Factors the OSC will consider.

The General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, may grant an employee permission to testify on matters relating to official information, or produce official records and information, in response to a demand or request. Among the relevant factors that the General Counsel may consider in making this decision are whether:

(a) The purposes of this part are met;

(b) Allowing such testimony or production of records would be necessary to prevent a miscarriage of justice;

(c) Allowing such testimony or production of records would assist or hinder the OSC in performing its statutory duties;

(d) Allowing such testimony or production of records would be in the best interest of the OSC or the United States;

(e) The records or testimony can be obtained from other sources;

(f) The demand or request is unduly burdensome or otherwise inappropriate under the applicable rules of discovery or the rule of procedure governing the case or matter in which the demand or request arose;

(g) Disclosure would violate a statute, Executive Order or regulation;

(h) Disclosure would reveal confidential, sensitive, or privileged information, trade secrets or similar, confidential or financial information, otherwise protected information, or information which would otherwise be inappropriate for release;

(i) Disclosure would impede or interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or proceeding, or compromise constitutional rights or national security interests;

(j) Disclosure would result in the OSC appearing to favor one litigant over another;

(k) A substantial government interest is implicated;

(l) The demand or request is within the authority of the party making it; and

(m) The demand or request is sufficiently specific to be answered.

§ 1820.15 Filing requirements for litigants seeking documents or testimony.

A litigant must comply with the following requirements when filing a request for official records and information or testimony under this part. A request should be filed before a demand is issued.

(a) The request must be in writing and must be submitted to the General Counsel.

(b) The written request must contain the following information:

(1) The caption of the legal or administrative proceeding, docket number, and name and address of the court or other administrative or regulatory authority involved;

(2) A copy of the complaint or equivalent document setting forth the assertions in the case and any other pleading or document necessary to show relevance;

(3) A list of categories of records sought, a detailed description of how the information sought is relevant to the issues in the legal or administrative proceeding, and a specific description of the substance of the testimony or records sought;

(4) A statement as to how the need for the information outweighs any need to maintain the confidentiality of the information and outweighs the burden on the OSC to produce the records or provide testimony;

(5) A statement indicating that the information sought is not available from another source, from other persons or entities, or from the testimony of someone other than an OSC employee, such as a retained expert;

(6) If testimony is requested, the intended use of the testimony, and a showing that no document could be provided and used in lieu of testimony;

(7) A description of all prior decisions, orders, or pending motions in the case that bear upon the relevance of the requested records or testimony;

(8) The name, address, and telephone number of counsel to each party in the case; and

(9) An estimate of the amount of time that the requester and other parties will require of each OSC employee for time spent by the employee to prepare for testimony, in travel, and for attendance in the legal proceeding.

(c) The OSC reserves the right to require additional information to complete the request where appropriate.

(d) The request should be submitted at least 30 days before the date that records or testimony is required. Requests submitted in less than 30 days before records or testimony is required must be accompanied by a written explanation stating the reasons for the late request and the reasons for expedited processing.

(e) Failure to cooperate in good faith to enable the General Counsel to make an informed decision may serve as the basis for a determination not to comply with the request.

(f) The request should state that the requester will provide a copy of the OSC employee's statement free of charge and that the requester will permit the OSC to have a representative present during the employee's testimony.

§ 1820.16 Service of requests or demands.

Requests or demands for official records or information or testimony under this subpart must be served by mail or hand delivery to the Office of General Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, 1730 M St. NW., Suite 213, Washington, DC 20036; or sent by fax to 202-254-3711.

§ 1820.17 Processing requests or demands.

(a) After receiving service of a request or demand for testimony, the General Counsel will review the request and, in accordance with the provisions of this subpart, determine whether, or under what conditions, to authorize the employee to testify on matters relating to official information and/or produce official records and information.

(b) Absent exigent circumstances, the OSC will issue a determination within 30 days from the date the request is received.

(c) The General Counsel may grant a waiver of any procedure described by this subpart where a waiver is considered necessary to promote a significant interest of the OSC or the United States, or for other good cause.

(d) Certification (authentication) of copies of records. The OSC may certify that records are true copies in order to facilitate their use as evidence. If a requester seeks certification, the requester must request certified copies from the OSC at least 30 days before the date they will be needed.

§ 1820.18 Final determination.

The General Counsel makes the final determination regarding requests to employees for production of official records and information or testimony in litigation in which the OSC is not a party. All final determinations are within the sole discretion of the General Counsel. The General Counsel will notify the requester and, when appropriate, the court or other competent authority of the final determination, the reasons for the grant or denial of the request, and any conditions that the General Counsel may impose on the release of records or information, or on the testimony of an OSC employee. The General Counsel's decision exhausts administrative remedies for purposes of disclosure of the information.

§ 1820.19 Restrictions that apply to testimony.

(a) The General Counsel may impose conditions or restrictions on the testimony of OSC employees including, for example:

(1) Limiting the areas of testimony;

(2) Requiring the requester and other parties to the legal proceeding to agree that the transcript of the testimony will be kept under seal;

(3) Requiring that the transcript will be used or made available only in the particular legal proceeding for which testimony was requested. The General Counsel may also require a copy of the transcript of testimony at the requester's expense.

(b) The OSC may offer the employee's written declaration in lieu of testimony.

(c) If authorized to testify pursuant to this part, an employee may testify as to facts within his or her personal knowledge, but, unless specifically authorized to do so by the General Counsel, the employee shall not;

(1) Disclose confidential or privileged information; or

(2) For a current OSC employee, testify as an expert or opinion witness with regard to any matter arising out of the employee's official duties or the functions of the OSC unless testimony is being given on behalf of the United States (see also 5 CFR 2635.805).

(d) The scheduling of an employee's testimony, including the amount of time that the employee will be made available for testimony, will be subject to the OSC's approval.

§ 1820.20 Restrictions that apply to released records.

(a) The General Counsel may impose conditions or restrictions on the release of official records and information, including the requirement that parties to the proceeding obtain a protective order or execute a confidentiality agreement to limit access and any further disclosure. The terms of the protective order or of a confidentiality agreement must be acceptable to the General Counsel. In cases where protective orders or confidentiality agreements have already been executed, the OSC may condition the release of official records and information on an amendment to the existing protective order (subject to court approval) or confidentiality agreement.

(b) If the General Counsel so determines, original OSC records may be presented for examination in response to a request, but they may not be presented as evidence or otherwise used in a manner by which they could lose their identity as official OSC records, nor may they be marked or altered. In lieu of the original records, certified copies may be presented for evidentiary purposes.

§ 1820.21 Procedure when a decision is not made prior to the time a response is required.

If a response to a demand or request is required before the General Counsel can make the determination referred to in § 1820.28, the General Counsel, when necessary, will provide the court or other competent authority with a copy of this part, inform the court or other competent authority that the request is being reviewed, provide an estimate as to when a decision will be made, and seek a stay of the demand or request pending a final determination.

§ 1820.22 Procedure in the event of an adverse ruling.

If the court or other competent authority fails to stay a demand or request, the employee upon whom the demand or request is made, unless otherwise advised by the General Counsel, will appear, if necessary, at the stated time and place, produce a copy of this part, state that the employee has been advised by counsel not to provide the requested testimony or produce documents, and respectfully decline to comply with the demand or request, citing United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951).

9. Add subpart C, consisting of § 1820.23, to read as follows: Subpart C—Schedule of Fees
§ 1820.23 Fees.

(a) Generally. The General Counsel may condition the production of records or appearance for testimony upon advance payment of a reasonable estimate of the costs to the OSC.

(b) Fees for records. Fees for producing records will include fees for searching, reviewing, and duplicating records, costs of attorney time spent in reviewing the request, and expenses generated by materials and equipment used to search for, produce, and copy the responsive information. Costs for employee time will be calculated on the basis of the hourly pay of the employee (including all pay, allowances, and benefits). Fees for duplication will be the same as those charged by the OSC in its Freedom of Information Act regulations at § 1820.7.

(c) Witness fees. Fees for attendance by a witness will include fees, expenses, and allowances prescribed by the court's rules. If no such fees are prescribed, witness fees will be determined based upon the rule of the federal district closest to the location where the witness will appear and on 28 U.S.C. 1821, as applicable. Such fees will include cost of time spent by the witness to prepare for testimony, in travel and for attendance in the legal proceeding, plus travel costs.

(d) Payment of fees. A requester must pay witness fees for current OSC employees and any record certification fees by submitting to the General Counsel a check or money order for the appropriate amount made payable to the United States Department of Treasury. In the case of testimony of former OSC employees, the requester must pay applicable fees directly to the former OSC employee in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1821 or other applicable statutes.

(e) Waiver or reduction of fees. The General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, may, upon a showing of reasonable cause, waive or reduce any fees in connection with the testimony, production, or certification of records.

(f) De minimis fees. Fees will not be assessed if the total charge would be $10.00 or less.

10. Add subpart D, consisting of § 1820.24, to read as follows: Subpart D—Penalties
§ 1820.24 Penalties.

(a) An employee who discloses official records or information or gives testimony relating to official information, except as expressly authorized by the OSC, or as ordered by a federal court after the OSC has had the opportunity to be heard, may face the penalties provided in 18 U.S.C. 641 and other applicable laws. Additionally, former OSC employees are subject to the restrictions and penalties of 18 U.S.C. 207 and 216.

(b) A current OSC employee who testifies or produces official records and information in violation of this part shall be subject to disciplinary action.

11. Add subpart E, consisting of § 1820.25, to read as follows: Subpart E—Conformity With Other Laws
§ 1820.25 Conformity with other laws.

This regulation is not intended to conflict with 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(13).

Dated: September 21, 2016. Lisa V. Terry, General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2016-23215 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7405-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2006-23706; Directorate Identifier 2006-NE-03-AD; Amendment 39-18688; AD 2016-21-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Honeywell International Inc. Turboprop Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding airworthiness directive (AD) 2015-12-04 for all Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell) TPE331-1, -2, -2UA, -3U, -3UW, -5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -6, -6A, -10, -10AV, -10GP, -10GT, -10P, -10R, -10T, -10U, -10UA, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, -10UR, -11U, -12JR, -12UA, -12UAR, and -12UHR turboprop engines with certain Woodward fuel control unit (FCU) assemblies, installed. AD 2015-12-04 required initial and repetitive dimensional inspections of the affected fuel control drives and insertion of certain airplane operating procedures into the applicable flight manuals. This AD corrects the compliance requirements and relaxes the inspection interval. This AD was prompted by a request to change compliance time from 50 hours to 100 hours for affected fuel controls. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the fuel control drive, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective November 28, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Honeywell International Inc., 111 S. 34th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-2802; phone: 800-601-3099; Internet: https://myaerospace.honeywell.com/wps/portal. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2006-23706.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.govby searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2006-23706; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joseph Costa, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5246; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2015-12-04, Amendment 39-18177, (80 FR 34534, June 17, 2015), (“AD 2015-12-04”). AD 2015-12-04 applied to all Honeywell TPE331-1, -2, -2UA, -3U, -3UW, -5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -6, -6A, -10, -10AV, -10GP, -10GT, -10P, -10R, -10T, -10U, -10UA, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, -10UR, -11U, -12JR, -12UA, -12UAR, and -12UHR turboprop engines with certain Woodward FCU assemblies, installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 29, 2016 (81 FR 17412). This AD requires correcting the compliance requirements and relaxing the inspection interval. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the fuel control drive, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed.

Related Service Information

We reviewed Honeywell Operating Information Letter (OIL) OI331-12R6, dated May 26, 2009, for multi-engine airplanes; and OIL OI331-18R4, dated May 26, 2009, for single-engine airplanes, and Honeywell TPE331 maintenance manuals. That service information describes procedures for conducting fuel control drive inspections and engine shutdown.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 2,250 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 8 hours per engine to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. We estimate that 10% of affected engines will require FCU assembly stub shaft replacement and fuel pump or fuel control repair. We also estimate that repairs will cost about $10,000 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $525,587 per year.

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 have 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, and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2015-12-04, Amendment 39-18177, (80 FR 34534, June 17, 2015), and adding the following new AD: 2016-21-07 Honeywell International Inc.: Amendment 39-18688; Docket No. FAA-2006-23706; Directorate Identifier 2006-NE-03-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective November 28, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2015-12-04, Amendment 39-18177, (80 FR 34534, June 17, 2015).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell) TPE331-1, -2, -2UA, -3U, -3UW, -5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -6, -6A, -10, -10AV, -10GP, -10GT, -10P, -10R, -10T, -10U, -10UA, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, -10UR, -11U, -12JR, -12UA, -12UAR, and -12UHR turboprop engines with Woodward fuel control unit (FCU) assemblies with Honeywell part numbers (P/Ns) as listed in Table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD, installed.

Table 1 to Paragraph (c)—Affected FCU Assembly P/Ns Group # Engine FCU Assembly P/Ns 1 TPE331-1, -2, and -2UA P/N 869199-13, -20, -21, -22, -23, -24, -25, -26, -27, -28, -29, -31, -32, -33, -34, and -35. 2 TPE331-1, -2, and -2UA P/N 869199-9, -10, -11, -12, -14, -16, -17, and -18. 3 TPE331-3U, -3UW, -5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -6, -6A, -10AV, -10GP, -10GT, -10P, and -10T P/N 893561-7, -8, -9, -10, -11, -14, -15, -16, -20, -26, -27, -29; and
  • P/N 897770-1, -3, -7, -9, -10, -11, -12, -14, -15, -16, -25, -26, and -28.
  • 4 TPE331-3U, -3UW, -5, -5B, -6, -6A, and -10T P/N 893561-4, -5, -12, -13; and
  • P/N 897770-5, -8, and -13.
  • 5 TPE331-10, -10R, -10U, -10UA, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, -10UR, -11U, -12JR, -12UA, -12UAR, and -12UHR P/N 897375-2, -3, -4, -5, -8, -9, -10, -11, -12, -13, -14, -15, -16, -17, -19, -21, -24, -25, -26, -27; and
  • P/N 897780-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -9, -10, -11, -14, -15, -16, -17, -18, -19, -20, -21, -22, -23, -24, -25, -26, -27, -30, -32, -34, -36, -37, -38; and
  • P/N 893561-17, -18, and -19.
  • (d) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of loss of the fuel control drive, leading to engine overspeed and engine failure. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the fuel control drive, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    (e) Compliance

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

    (1) Inspection of Engines With FCU Assembly P/Ns in Groups 2 or 4

    For FCU assembly P/Ns in Groups 2 or 4 listed in Table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD:

    (i) At the next scheduled inspection of the fuel control drive, or within 500 hours-in-service (HIS) after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, inspect the fuel control drive for wear.

    (ii) Thereafter, reinspect the fuel control drive within every 1,000 HIS since-last-inspection (SLI).

    (2) Inspection of Engines With FCU Assembly P/Ns in Groups 1, 3, or 5

    For FCU assembly P/Ns in Groups 1, 3, or 5 listed in Table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD:

    (i) If, on the effective date of this AD, the FCU assembly has 900 or more HIS SLI, inspect the fuel control drive for wear within 100 HIS after the effective date of this AD.

    (ii) If, on the effective date of this AD, the FCU assembly has fewer than 900 HIS SLI, inspect the fuel control drive for wear within 1,000 HIS.

    (iii) Thereafter, reinspect the fuel control drive for wear within every 1,000 HIS SLI.

    (3) Airplane Operating Procedures

    Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD, insert the information in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD, into the Emergency Procedures Section of the applicable Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), or the Manufacturer's Operating Manual (MOM).

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P ER24OC16.000 BILLING CODE 4910-13-C (f) Optional Terminating Action

    Replacing the affected FCU assembly with an FAA-approved FCU assembly not listed in this AD by P/N is terminating action for the initial and repetitive inspections required by this AD, and for inserting the information in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD into the AFM, POH, and MOM.

    (g) Definitions

    For the purposes of this AD:

    (1) The “fuel control drive” is a series of mating splines located between the fuel pump and fuel control governor.

    (2) The fuel control drive consists of four drive splines: The fuel pump internal spline, the fuel control external “quill shaft” spline, and the stub shaft internal and external splines.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request.

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Joseph Costa, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5246; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (2) Information pertaining to operating recommendations for affected engines after a fuel control drive failure is contained in Honeywell Operating Information Letter (OIL) OI331-12R6, dated May 26, 2009, for multi-engine airplanes; and OIL OI331-18R4, dated May 26, 2009, for single-engine airplanes. Information on fuel control drive inspection can be found in Section 72-00-00 of the applicable TPE331 maintenance manuals. These Honeywell OILs and the TPE331 maintenance manuals can be obtained from Honeywell using the contact information in paragraph (i)(3) of this AD.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Honeywell International Inc., 111 S. 34th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-2802; phone: 800-601-3099; Internet: https://myaerospace.honeywell.com/wps/portal.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on October 14, 2016. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25268 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institutes of Standards and Technology 15 CFR Part 17 [Docket No.: 160311228-6788-02] RIN 0693-AB62 Technology Innovation—Personnel Exchanges AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United States Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule clarifies the appropriate use of Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) authority by a Federal laboratory for personnel exchanges where the Federal laboratory has an existing relationship with the potential partner through another legal mechanism, as well as in the context of joint research projects or the development of existing laboratory technology, and through use of the General Services Administration's Presidential Innovation Fellows program for Federal laboratory Entrepreneur-In-Residence programs. Another objective of this rulemaking is to remove outdated regulations addressing the licensing of inventions owned by the Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective November 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Courtney Silverthorn, via email: [email protected], or by telephone: 301-975-4189.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, Public Law 96-480, as amended (codified at title 15 of the United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 3701 et seq.) (the Stevenson-Wydler Act), sets forth a national policy to promote cooperation among academia, Federal laboratories, labor, and industry in order to facilitate the transfer of innovative federal technologies to United States and world markets. In furtherance of that policy, the Administration's Lab to Market initiative seeks to “significantly accelerate and improve technology transfer by streamlining administrative processes, facilitating partnerships with industry, evaluating impact, and opening federal research and development (R&D) assets as a platform for innovation and economic growth.” (Lab to Market: Cross Agency Priority Goal Quarterly Progress Update, Fiscal Year 2015 Quarter 4). One proven method to ensure that federal innovations are made available to industry and the public is to encourage frequent interactions among Federal laboratories, academic institutions, and industry, including small businesses.

    The final rule clarifies the appropriate use of CRADA authority under 15 U.S.C. 3710a for personnel exchanges where a Federal laboratory has an existing relationship with the potential partner through another legal mechanism, such as a grant or cooperative agreement. The final rule also promotes the use of existing authorities to implement personnel exchange programs at Federal Laboratories: (1) By utilizing the existing CRADA authority to transfer personnel to and from a Federal laboratory for joint research projects or the development of existing laboratory technology; and (2) by utilizing the General Services Administration (GSA)'s Presidential Innovation Fellows program to offer Federal laboratories additional options for implementing Entrepreneur-In-Residence programs.

    The final rule also provides for the deletion of all existing provisions in part 17 of title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “Licensing of Government-Owned Inventions in the Custody of the Department of Commerce,” which are outdated. Outdated subpart A implemented for the Department of Commerce licensing rules found at 41 CFR part 101-4, which were themselves removed at 50 FR 28402, July 12, 1985. Outdated subpart B was reserved. Outdated subpart C set forth appeal procedures addressed to the outdated licensing rules of subpart A. All subparts are obsolete, and the rules governing the licensing of government-owned inventions are today found in 37 CFR part 404. The heading of part 17 will be revised to read “Personnel Exchanges Between Federal Laboratories and Non-Federal Entities,” and five new sections are added.

    Section 17.1, Scope, sets forth the scope of revised part 17, which is to implement 15 U.S.C. 3712 and clarifies the appropriate use of personnel exchanges in relation to Federal laboratory CRADAs under the authority of 15 U.S.C. 3710a(a)(1), including CRADAs involving as parties recipients of Federal funding under grants (including cooperative agreements) and contracts, which could include National Network for Manufacturing Innovation awardees.

    Section 17.2, Definitions, provides definitions for certain terms used in this part.

    Section 17.3, Exchange of Federal Laboratory Personnel with Recipients of Federal Funding, provides in paragraph (a) that the existence of a funding agreement (as defined in 35 U.S.C. 201(b)) between a Federal laboratory and a contractor shall not preclude a CRADA with that contractor, where the Federal laboratory director makes a determination that the technical subject matter of the funding agreement is sufficiently distinct from that of the CRADA. Paragraph (a) also provides that a contractor which is a collaborating party shall in no event transfer funds to a Federal laboratory under a CRADA using funds awarded to the contractor by that laboratory.

    Paragraph (b) of § 17.3 provides that a Federal laboratory may exchange personnel with a contractor under a CRADA where the determination required under paragraph (a) cannot be made, provided that the CRADA includes at least one collaborating party in addition to the Federal laboratory and that contractor. In that circumstance, the Federal laboratory shall not provide services, property, or other resources to that contractor under the CRADA, and if any individual terms of that contractor's funding agreement conflict with the terms of the multi-party CRADA, then the funding agreement terms will control as applied to that contractor and the Federal laboratory only.

    Paragraph (c) of § 17.3 sets forth a number of factors which may be taken into account in making the “sufficiently distinct” determination required under paragraph (a), including whether the conduct of specified research or development efforts under the CRADA would require the contractor to perform tasks identical to those required under the funding agreement; whether existing intellectual property to be provided by the Federal laboratory or the contractor under the CRADA is the same as that provided under, or referenced in, the funding agreement; whether the contractor's employees performing the specified research or development efforts under the CRADA are the same employees performing the tasks required under the funding agreement; and whether services, property or other resources contemplated by the Federal Laboratory to be provided to the contractor for the specified research or development efforts under the CRADA would materially benefit the contractor in the performance of tasks required under the funding agreement.

    Section 17.4, Personnel Exchanges from a Federal Laboratory, provides in paragraph (a)(1) that a Federal laboratory may exchange its personnel with a collaborating party under a CRADA where no invention currently exists. Under paragraph (a)(2), a Federal laboratory may exchange personnel with a non-Federal collaborating party for the purposes of developing or commercializing an invention in which the Federal government has an ownership interest, including an invention made by an employee or former employee while in the employment or service of the Federal government, and such personnel exchanged may include such employee who is an inventor. Paragraph (a)(2) also provides that funding may be provided by the non-federal collaborating party to the Federal laboratory for the participation of the Federal employee in developing or commercializing an invention, including costs for salary and other expenses, such as benefits and travel. Consistent with guidance in the Office of Legal Counsel's Memorandum for Gary Davis, Acting Director, Office of Government Ethics, September 7, 2000, “Application of 18 U.S.C. 209 to Employee-Inventors Who Receive Outside Royalty Payments,” 1 paragraph (a)(2) also sets forth that royalties from inventions received through a license agreement negotiated with the Federal laboratory and paid by the laboratory to an inventor who is a Federal employee are considered Federal compensation. Paragraph (a)(3) provides that where an employee leaves Federal service in order to receive salary or other compensation from a non-Federal organization, a Federal laboratory may use reinstatement authority in accordance with 5 CFR 315.401, or other applicable authorities, to rehire the former Federal employee at the conclusion of the exchange.

    1https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/Legal%20Interpretation/604EE82C4CA3404A85257EF200502488/$FILE/op-olc-v024-p0170_0.pdf?open.

    In exchanging personnel with a collaborating party under a CRADA, as in any other exercise of the CRADA authority, a Federal Laboratory should take into account the provisions of 15 U.S.C. 3710a(c)(3) regarding standards of conduct for its employees for resolving potential conflicts of interest.

    Section 17.5, Personnel Exchanges to a Federal laboratory, provides that a Federal laboratory may provide funds for non-federal personnel exchanged in order to bring into a Federal laboratory outside personnel with expertise in scientific commercialization through the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, and that a laboratory will engage with the General Services Administration (GSA) to transfer funding for exchanged personnel and to select and place Entrepreneurs-In-Residence at the laboratory for the purposes of evaluating the laboratory's technologies, and providing technical consulting to facilitate readying a technology for commercialization by an outside entity.

    Response to Comments

    During the proposed rule comment period, NIST received one written comment that noted that the changes likely posed no additional burden to universities, but requested additional time to provide comments due to the academic schedule of university staff.

    Discussion: NIST appreciates the interest of the academic community in the rule. It is anticipated that these clarifications will strengthen the ability of Federal laboratories and partners through other agreements to work together with a third party, often a university, to support economic development and commercialization in the United States. NIST conducted extensive outreach to multiple groups that support universities to note the availability of the proposed rulemaking, and provided a link to the proposed rulemaking to the National Academies of Science Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, which was distributed to their mailing list. We believe, as noted within the comment, that these changes are clarifications and that the lack of substantive comments from academia, as well as industry, is indicative of a lack of specific concerns rather than a lack of time and therefore do not believe an extended comment period is warranted.

    Changes From the Proposed Rule

    The final rule contains no substantive changes from the proposed rule.

    Classification

    NIST has determined that the final rule is consistent with the Stevenson-Wydler Act of 1980 and its amendments and other applicable law.

    Executive Order 12866

    This final rule was determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 13132

    This final rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as defined in Executive Order 13132.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no new collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Therefore, an environmental assessment or Environmental Impact Statement is not required to be prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

    List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 17

    Federal employees, Inventions and patents, Laboratories, Research and development, Science and technology, Technology transfer.

    Kent Rochford, Associate Director for Laboratory Programs, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the National Institute of Standards and Technology revises 15 CFR part 17 as follows:

    PART 17—PERSONNEL EXCHANGES BETWEEN FEDERAL LABORATORIES AND NON-FEDERAL ENTITIES Sec. 17.1 Scope. 17.2 Definitions. 17.3 Exchange of Federal laboratory personnel with recipients of Federal funding. 17.4 Personnel exchanges from a Federal laboratory. 17.5 Personnel exchanges to a Federal laboratory. Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3712.

    § 17.1 Scope.

    (a) The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, Public Law 96-480, as amended (codified at title 15 of the United States Code (U.S.C.), section 3701 et seq.) (the Stevenson-Wydler Act), sets forth a national policy to renew, expand, and strengthen cooperation among academia, Federal laboratories, labor, and industry, in forms including personnel exchanges (15 U.S.C. 3701(3)). One proven method to ensure that Federal innovations are passed to industry and the public is to encourage frequent interactions among Federal laboratories, academic institutions, and industry, including both large and small businesses. In accordance with applicable ethics regulations and Agency policies, exchanges of personnel between Federal laboratories and outside collaborators should be encouraged (15 U.S.C. 3702(5)). Models that include Federal funding, as well as those that are executed without Federal funding, are encouraged.

    (b) This part implements 15 U.S.C. 3712 and provides clarification regarding the appropriate use of personnel exchanges in relation to Federal laboratory Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) under the authority of 15 U.S.C. 3710a.

    (c) This part is applicable to exchanges of personnel between Federal laboratories and parties to a CRADA under 15 U.S.C. 3710a(a)(1).

    § 17.2 Definitions.

    (a) The term funding agreement shall have the meaning according to it under 35 U.S.C. 201(b).

    (b) The term contractor shall have the meaning according to it under 35 U.S.C. 201(c).

    (c) The term Federal laboratory shall have the meaning according to it under 15 U.S.C. 3703(4).

    § 17.3 Exchange of Federal laboratory personnel with recipients of Federal funding.

    (a) In accordance with 15 U.S.C. 3710a(b)(3)(A) and 3710a(d)(1), a Federal laboratory may provide personnel, services, property, and other resources to a collaborating party, with or without reimbursement (but not funds to non-Federal parties) for the conduct of specified research or development efforts under a CRADA which are consistent with the missions of the Federal laboratory. The existence of a funding agreement between a Federal laboratory and a contractor shall not preclude the Federal laboratory from using its authority under 15 U.S.C. 3710a to enter into a CRADA with the contractor as a collaborating party for the conduct of specified research or development efforts, where the director of the Federal laboratory determines that the technical subject matter of the funding agreement is sufficiently distinct from that of the CRADA. In no event shall a contractor which is a collaborating party transfer funds to a Federal laboratory under a CRADA using funds awarded to the contractor by that laboratory.

    (b) (1) A Federal laboratory may enter into a CRADA with a contractor as a collaborating party for the purpose of exchange of personnel for the conduct of specified research or development efforts where the determination required under paragraph (a) of this section could not be made, provided that:

    (i) The CRADA includes at least one collaborating party in addition to the Federal laboratory and that contractor; and

    (ii) The Federal laboratory shall not provide services, property or other resources to that contractor under the CRADA.

    (2) Where a Federal laboratory enters into a CRADA with a contractor under this paragraph (b), the terms of that contractor's funding agreement shall normally supersede the terms of the CRADA, to the extent that any individual terms conflict, as applied to that contractor and the Federal laboratory only.

    (c) In making the determination required under paragraph (a) of this section, the director of a Federal laboratory may consider factors including the following:

    (1) Whether the conduct of specified research or development efforts under the CRADA would require the contractor to perform tasks identical to those required under the funding agreement;

    (2) Whether existing intellectual property to be provided by the Federal laboratory or the contractor under the CRADA is the same as that provided under, or referenced in, the funding agreement;

    (3) Whether the contractor's employees performing the specified research or development efforts under the CRADA are the same employees performing the tasks required under the funding agreement; and

    (4) Whether services, property or other resources contemplated by the Federal laboratory to be provided to the contractor for the specified research or development efforts under the CRADA would materially benefit the contractor in the performance of tasks required under the funding agreement.

    § 17.4 Personnel exchanges from a Federal laboratory.

    (a) For personnel exchanges in which a Federal laboratory maintains funding for Federal personnel provided to a collaborating party—

    (1) in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 3710a(b)(3)(A), a Federal laboratory may exchange personnel with a collaborating party for the purposes of specified scientific or technical research towards a mutual goal consistent with the mission of the Agency, where no invention currently exists, or

    (2) in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 3710a(b)(3)(C), a Federal laboratory may exchange personnel with a non-Federal collaborating party for the purposes of developing or commercializing an invention in which the Federal government has an ownership interest, including an invention made by an employee or former employee while in the employment or service of the Federal government, and such personnel exchanged may include such employee who is an inventor.

    (i) Funding may be provided under a CRADA by the non-Federal collaborating party to the Federal laboratory for the participation of the Federal employee in developing or commercializing an invention, including costs for salary and other expenses, such as benefits and travel.

    (ii) Royalties from inventions received through a license agreement negotiated with the Federal laboratory and paid by the Federal laboratory to an inventor who is a Federal employee are considered Federal compensation.

    (3) Where an employee leaves Federal service in order to receive salary or other compensation from a non-Federal organization, a Federal laboratory may use reinstatement authority in accordance with 5 CFR 315.401, or other applicable authorities, to rehire the former Federal employee at the conclusion of the exchange.

    § 17.5 Personnel exchanges to a Federal laboratory.

    For exchanges in which a Federal laboratory provides funds for the non-federal personnel—

    (a) Outside personnel with expertise in scientific commercialization may be brought in to a Federal laboratory through the Presidential Innovation Fellows program or related programs (see 5 CFR 213.3102(r)) for Entrepreneur-In-Residence programs or similar, related programs run by the General Services Administration (GSA) or other Federal Agencies.

    (b) A laboratory may engage with the GSA or other relevant Agency to transfer funding for exchanged personnel, and may work with such agency to select and place Entrepreneurs-In-Residence at the laboratory for the purposes of evaluating the laboratory's technologies, and providing technical consulting to facilitate readying a technology for commercialization by an outside entity.

    Phillip Singerman, Associate Director for Innovations and Industry Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25355 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 20 CFR Parts 404 and 416 [Docket No. SSA-2016-0014] RIN 0960-AH94 Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance Determinations AGENCY:

    Social Security Administration.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are extending, until December 28, 2018, the expiration date of our disability examiner authority (DEA) rule, which authorizes State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our quick disability determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. This is our last extension of this rule because we will phase out the use of DEA during the extension period under section 832 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA). This extension provides us the time necessary to take all of the administrative actions we need to take in order to reinstate uniform use of medical and psychological consultants. The current rule will expire on November 11, 2016. In this final rule, we are changing the November 11, 2016 expiration or “sunset” date to December 28, 2018, extending the authority for 2 years and 1 month. This is the final extension of our DEA rule. On December 28, 2018, at the conclusion of this extension, the authority for this test will terminate. We are making no other changes.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective October 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenneth Williams, Office of Disability Policy, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 965-0608, for information about this notice. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background of the QDD and CAL Disability Examiner Authority

    On October 13, 2010, we published a final rule that temporarily authorized State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our QDD and CAL processes. 75 FR 62676.

    We included in 20 CFR 404.1615(c)(3) and 416.1015(c)(3) a sunset date, under which the DEA would expire on November 12, 2013, unless we decided to terminate it earlier or extend it by publication of a final rule in the Federal Register. Since that time, we have extended the DEA rule three times for one year each. 78 FR 66638; 79 FR 51241; 80 FR 63092. The last extension we published continues the DEA until November 11, 2016. 80 FR 63092.

    Explanation of Provision

    This final rule extends the expiration date of the DEA rule until December 28, 2018. Extending the DEA rule provides us with the time necessary for an orderly phase out of the DEA rule, and will allow us to discontinue the use of the DEA under section 832 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA).1 At the conclusion of this extension, by December 28, 2018, the authority for this test will terminate.

    1 Pub. L. 114-74, section 832, 129 Stat. 584, 613. Section 832 of the BBA amends section 221(h) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 421(h).

    Regulatory Procedures Justification for Issuing a Final Rule Without Notice and Comment

    We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 when developing regulations. Section 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5). Generally, the APA requires that an agency provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing a final rule. However, the APA provides exceptions to its notice and public comment procedures when an agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such procedures because they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.

    We have determined that good cause exists for dispensing with the notice and public comment procedures for this final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Good cause exists because this final rule only extends the expiration date of the existing provisions. It makes no substantive changes to the current rule. The current regulations expressly provide that we may extend or terminate the current rule. Therefore, we have determined that opportunity for prior comment is unnecessary, and we are issuing this rule as a final rule.

    In addition, for the reasons cited above, we find good cause for dispensing with the 30-day delay in the effective date of this final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). We are not making any substantive changes in our current rule, but are only extending the expiration date of the rule. For these reasons, we find it unnecessary to delay the effective date of our rule.

    Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and determined that this final rule does not meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, OMB did not review it.

    We also determined that this final rule meets the plain language requirement of Executive Order 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it affects individuals only. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The final rule does not create any new or affect any existing collections and, therefore, does not require Office of Management and Budget approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social Security—Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security—Retirement Insurance; 96.004, Social Security—Survivors Insurance; 96.006, Supplemental Security Income.) List of Subjects 20 CFR Part 404

    Administrative practice and procedure; Blind, Disability benefits; Old-age, Survivors and Disability Insurance; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Social security.

    20 CFR Part 416

    Administrative practice and procedure; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, we are amending subpart Q of part 404 and subpart J of part 416 of title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

    PART 404—FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950—) Subpart Q—[Amended] 1. The authority citation for subpart Q of part 404 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 205(a), 221, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(a), 421, and 902(a)(5)).

    2. Amend § 404.1615 by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:
    § 404.1615 Making disability determinations.

    (c) * * *

    (3) A State agency disability examiner alone if the claim is adjudicated under the quick disability determination process (see § 404.1619) or the compassionate allowance process (see § 404.1602), and the initial or reconsidered determination is fully favorable to you. This paragraph (c)(3) will no longer be effective on December 28, 2018 unless we terminate it earlier by publication of a final rule in the Federal Register; or

    PART 416—SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED Subpart J—[Amended] 3. The authority citation for subpart J of part 416 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 702(a)(5), 1614, 1631, and 1633 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1382c, 1383, and 1383b).

    4. Amend § 416.1015 by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:
    § 416.1015 Making disability determinations.

    (c) * * *

    (3) A State agency disability examiner alone if you are not a child (a person who has not attained age 18), and the claim is adjudicated under the quick disability determination process (see § 416.1019) or the compassionate allowance process (see § 416.1002), and the initial or reconsidered determination is fully favorable to you. This paragraph (c)(3) will no longer be effective on December 28, 2018 unless we terminate it earlier by publication of a final rule in the Federal Register; or

    [FR Doc. 2016-25565 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 874 [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-3287] Medical Devices; Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices; Classification of the Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is classifying the Eustachian tube balloon dilation system into class II (special controls). The special controls that will apply to the device are identified in this order and will be part of the codified language for the Eustachian tube balloon dilation system's classification. The Agency is classifying the device into class II (special controls) in order to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of the device.

    DATES:

    This order is effective October 24, 2016. The classification was applicable on September 16, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joyce Lin, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 2462, Silver Spring, MD, 20993-0002, 301-796-5544, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In accordance with section 513(f)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360c(f)(1)), devices that were not in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976 (the date of enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976), generally referred to as postamendments devices, are classified automatically by statute into class III without any FDA rulemaking process. These devices remain in class III and require premarket approval, unless and until the device is classified or reclassified into class I or II, or FDA issues an order finding the device to be substantially equivalent, in accordance with section 513(i) of the FD&C Act, to a predicate device that does not require premarket approval. The Agency determines whether new devices are substantially equivalent to predicate devices by means of premarket notification procedures in section 510(k) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k)) and part 807 (21 CFR part 807) of the regulations.

    Section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, as amended by section 607 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (Pub. L. 112-144), provides two procedures by which a person may request FDA to classify a device under the criteria set forth in section 513(a)(1). Under the first procedure, the person submits a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act for a device that has not previously been classified and, within 30 days of receiving an order classifying the device into class III under section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act, the person requests a classification under section 513(f)(2). Under the second procedure, rather than first submitting a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act and then a request for classification under the first procedure, the person determines that there is no legally marketed device upon which to base a determination of substantial equivalence and requests a classification under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act. If the person submits a request to classify the device under this second procedure, FDA may decline to undertake the classification request if FDA identifies a legally marketed device that could provide a reasonable basis for review of substantial equivalence with the device or if FDA determines that the device submitted is not of “low-moderate risk” or that general controls would be inadequate to control the risks and special controls to mitigate the risks cannot be developed.

    In response to a request to classify a device under either procedure provided by section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA shall classify the device by written order within 120 days. This classification will be the initial classification of the device.

    On December 17, 2015, Acclarent, Inc. submitted a request for classification of the ACCLARENT AERATM Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act.

    In accordance with section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA reviewed the request in order to classify the device under the criteria for classification set forth in section 513(a)(1). FDA classifies devices into class II if general controls by themselves are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness, but there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use. After review of the information submitted in the request, FDA determined that the device can be classified into class II with the establishment of special controls. FDA believes these special controls, in addition to general controls, will provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device.

    Therefore, on September 16, 2016, FDA issued an order to the requestor classifying the device into class II. FDA is codifying the classification of the device by adding 21 CFR 874.4180.

    Following the effective date of this final classification order, any firm submitting a premarket notification (510(k)) for a Eustachian tube balloon dilation system will need to comply with the special controls named in this final administrative order.

    The device is assigned the generic name Eustachian tube balloon dilation system, and it is identified as a prescription device that includes a flexible catheter attached to an inflatable balloon. The system is intended for use in dilating the cartilaginous portion of the Eustachian tube for treating persistent Eustachian tube dysfunction.

    FDA has identified the following risks to health associated specifically with this type of device and the measures required to mitigate these risks in table 1:

    Table 1—Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System Risks and Mitigation Measures Identified risk Mitigation measure Introduction of false passages and rupture or damage to carotid artery Non-clinical performance testing. Simulated use testing. Training. Labeling. Injury to mucosal tissue: Non-clinical performance testing. • due to misuse of device on patulous Eustachian tube or following skull base surgery Simulated use testing. • due to catheter mechanical failure Shelf life validation. • due to balloon rupture Training. • due to mishandling of device with respect to excessive force and/or incorrect positioning Labeling. Adverse tissue reaction Biocompatibility evaluation. Infection Sterilization validation.
  • Shelf life validation.
  • Labeling.
  • FDA believes that the special controls, in combination with the general controls, address these risks to health and provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.

    Eustachian tube balloon dilation system devices are not safe for use except under the supervision of a practitioner licensed by law to direct the use of the device. As such, the device is a prescription device and must satisfy prescription labeling requirements (see 21 CFR 801.109, Prescription devices).

    Section 510(m) of the FD&C Act provides that FDA may exempt a class II device from the premarket notification requirements under section 510(k), if FDA determines that premarket notification is not necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. For this type of device, FDA has determined that premarket notification is necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. Therefore, this device type is not exempt from premarket notification requirements. Persons who intend to market this type of device must submit to FDA a premarket notification, prior to marketing the device, which contains information about the Eustachian tube balloon dilation system they intend to market.

    II. Analysis of Environmental Impact

    The Agency has determined under 21 CFR 25.34(b) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    III. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This final administrative order establishes special controls that refer to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in part 807, subpart E, regarding premarket notification submissions, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120, and the collections of information in 21 CFR part 801, regarding labeling, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 874

    Medical devices.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 874 is amended as follows:

    PART 874—EAR, NOSE, AND THROAT DEVICES 1. The authority citation for part 874 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 351, 360, 360c, 360e, 360j, 371.

    2. Add § 874.4180 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 874.4180 Eustachian tube balloon dilation system.

    (a) Identification. A Eustachian tube balloon dilation system is a prescription device that includes a flexible catheter attached to an inflatable balloon. The system is intended for use in dilating the cartilaginous portion of the Eustachian tube for treating persistent Eustachian tube dysfunction.

    (b) Classification. Class II (special controls). The special controls for this device are:

    (1) Non-clinical performance testing must demonstrate that the device performs as intended under anticipated conditions of use. The following performance characteristics must be evaluated:

    (i) Mechanical testing, including tensile and flexural testing of catheter joints and materials.

    (ii) Durability testing, including fatigue and burst pressure testing of the balloon materials and components.

    (iii) Inflation and deflation characterization testing, including time and pressure measurements, and leak testing of the balloon.

    (iv) Verification testing of safety features built into the device must be performed, including the characterization of catheter geometries and distal tip insertion limitation mechanisms.

    (2) Simulated use testing in a clinically relevant model must demonstrate the reliability of the device to remain mechanically functional throughout the anticipated conditions of use, and validate that the design features limit access to only the cartilaginous portion of the Eustachian tube.

    (3) The patient-contacting components of the device must be demonstrated to be biocompatible.

    (4) Performance data must demonstrate the sterility of the device.

    (5) Performance data must support shelf life by demonstrating continued sterility of the device, package integrity, and device functionality over the identified shelf life.

    (6) Training must include simulated use on cadavers to ensure users can follow the instructions for use to allow safe use of the device.

    (7) Labeling must include:

    (i) Detailed instructions for use.

    (ii) A detailed summary of the device technical parameters, including maximum allowed inflation pressure, allowable catheter geometries, and available balloon sizes.

    (iii) A shelf life.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25602 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Subtitle A and Chapters II, IV, V, VIII, IX, and XX [Docket No. FR-5976-N-01] Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Initial Guidance AGENCY:

    Office of General Counsel, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Initial implementation guidance.

    SUMMARY:

    On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). This new statute provides updates and improvements to statutes that authorize and prescribe requirements for multiple HUD programs and the Department of Agriculture's single-family housing guaranteed loan program. The purpose of this document is to advise HUD program participants and interested members of the public of those statutory provisions that are effective immediately and those provisions that will require further action by HUD to become effective or to be used by HUD program participants.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This document is effective October 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have any questions, please contact the following people (none of the phone numbers are toll-free):

    Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher (including project-based vouchers), and moderate rehabilitation programs: email [email protected]

    Multifamily Housing programs: Danielle Garcia, Branch Chief, Assistant Housing Oversight Division, Office of Housing, 202-402-2768.

    HOME Investment Partnerships program: Virginia Sardone, Director, Office of Affordable Housing Programs, Office of Community Planning and Development, 202-708-2684.

    Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) program: Jackie Williams, Director, Office of Rural Housing and Economic Development, Office of Community Planning and Development, (202) 708-2290.

    Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program: Rita Flegel, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS Housing, Office of Community Planning and Development, 202-402-5374.

    Homeless programs: Norm Suchar, Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance, Office of Community Planning and Development, 202-708-4300.

    The address for all offices is the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access these numbers through TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service, toll-free, at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Introduction

    On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed HOTMA into law (Pub. L. 114-201, 130 Stat. 782). HOTMA amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act) and other housing laws to modify multiple HUD programs, along with the Department of Agriculture's Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. Significant amendments include setting a maximum income level for continued occupancy in public housing, expanding the availability of Family Unification Program vouchers for children aging out of foster care, changes to the housing quality standards for Section 8 Voucher units, multiple changes to the Project-Based Voucher program, modifying requirements for mortgage insurance for condominiums under the Federal Housing Administration, creating a Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs in HUD, and changing the allocation formula for the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program.

    II. Implementation, Generally

    HOTMA makes several of its provisions effective upon enactment (July 29, 2016). Other statutory changes made by HOTMA become effective only after the issuance of a notice or regulations by HUD, or at the start of the calendar year following the publication of a notice or regulation. Some provisions require rulemaking to implement, while some are strictly changes in terminology or conforming changes.

    This document is intended to:

    (1) Advise the public of statutory provisions that are effective immediately and advise of actions that may or should be taken now to comply with the changes (Section III of the document).

    (2) Identify those provisions of HOTMA that are not effective until HUD subsequently issues a notice or regulation (Section IV of the document).

    This document does not provide a section-by-section analysis of HOTMA, nor does it provide guidance on all sections. However, the guidance in this document, read together with the statutory language,1 is intended to aid HUD program participants and the public generally in understanding (1) the prompt action HUD recommends be taken now or in the very near future, and (2) the reasons for any deferred action with respect to certain statutory provisions. HUD is committed to working closely with its program participants to see that the changes made by HOTMA are successfully implemented and that these programs are significantly improved to provide assistance to the families HUD serves.

    1 The text of HOTMA, along with a summary prepared by the Congressional Research Service, can be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3700.

    III. Provisions of HOTMA Effective Upon Enactment or Otherwise Already in Effect—No HUD Action Required To Implement

    This section outlines provisions of HOTMA that are effective upon enactment of HOTMA (July 29, 2016) and can be implemented immediately. HUD notes that in many cases the statutory provisions listed in this section may require conforming rulemaking at a later date to update HUD's regulations to reflect these statutory changes. HUD may also issue other types of guidance to further explain these provisions. Below is the list of HOTMA sections that are effective immediately.

    Section 102(d). Reasonable Accommodation Payment Standards

    Section 102(d) of HOTMA amends section 8(o) of the 1937 Act to allow PHAs to establish a payment standard of up to 120 percent of the FMR as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability, without HUD approval.

    Implementation action: The final rule on “Streamlining Administrative Regulations for Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Multifamily Housing, and Community Planning and Development Programs,” published on March 8, 2016, at 81 FR 12354, previously provided PHAs with the flexibility establish a payment standard up to 120 percent of the FMR as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability, effective April 7, 2016. As a result, no further action is needed to implement this section.

    It is noted the PHA may also establish an exception payment standard of more than 120 percent of the published FMR if required as a reasonable accommodation in accordance with 24 CFR part 8 for a family that includes a person with a disability, but in such cases must request approval from HUD.

    Section 107. Establishment of Fair Market Rent

    This section changes how HUD publishes Fair Market Rents (FMRs), and the procedure to allow PHAs and other interested parties to comment on the FMRs and request HUD to reevaluate the FMRs in a jurisdiction before those rents become effective. Section 107 also amends section 8(o)(1)(B) of the 1937 Act to provide that in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program no PHA is required, as a result of a reduction in the FMR, to reduce the payment standard applied to a family continuing to reside in a unit under a HAP contract at the time the FMR was reduced. Currently, if a reduction in the FMR causes the PHA's payment standard to exceed the basic range (110 percent of the FMR), the PHA is required to reduce the payment standard so that the payment standard would be within the basic range of the new FMR. The program regulations at 24 CFR 982.505(c)(3) further provide that for families under a housing assistance payment (HAP) contract at the time of the decrease in the payment standard, the new decreased payment standard would be applied to the family's subsidy calculation at the family's second regular re-examination following the decrease in the payment standard amount. As a result of the change in the law, the PHA may choose to continue to use the higher payment standard for the family's subsidy calculation for as long as the family continues to receive voucher assistance in that unit. If a PHA chooses to continue to use the higher payment standard for the subsidy calculation for the family, then the PHA must adopt policies in its administrative plan that further explain this provision.

    Implementation action: This provision was effective upon enactment of HOTMA. HUD's FMRs for Fiscal Year 2017, published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2016, reflect the new procedures for calculation of FMRs. Effective July 29, 2016, PHAs may choose, but are no longer required, to reduce the payment standard for a family who remains under HAP contract at the family's second annual reexamination. HUD will issue additional guidance on this change in the future. PHAs with questions in the interim may contact the local HUD Field Office.

    Section 110. Family Unification Program for Children Aging Out of Foster Care

    This section of HOTMA makes changes to the Family Unification Program (FUP) for children aging out of foster care. The law revises the length of the term that a FUP-eligible youth may receive FUP assistance from 18 months to 36 months. Please note that this change applies to youth currently receiving FUP assistance as well as any new participants. In addition, the law revises the eligibility requirements for FUP-eligible youth. Previously, FUP-eligible youth must be at least 18 years old and not more than 21 and have left foster care at age 16 or older. Under the new law, FUP-eligible youth must: Be at least 18 years old and not more than 24; have left foster care at age 16 or older or will leave foster care within 90 days, in accordance with a transition plan described in section 475(5)(H) of the Social Security Act; and be homeless or at risk of being homeless. PHAs should refer to the definition of “at risk of homelessness” at 24 CFR 576.2. HOTMA also requires HUD to issue guidance, after consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies, on how to improve coordination between PHAs and public child welfare agencies to carry out the FUP program.

    Implementation action: The changes to the FUP program were effective upon enactment of HOTMA. PIH issued a letter on August 29, 2016, to FUP PHA Executive Directors to ensure that such PHAs are aware that this provision was effective upon enactment. In addition, HUD plans to issue the guidance on improving coordination between PHAs and public child welfare agencies by the statutory deadline of January 25, 2017.

    Section 113. Preference for United States Citizens or Nationals

    This section only applies to Guam and establishes a preference or priority in receiving financial assistance (e.g., admission to public housing, the HCV program, etc.) for any citizen or national of the United States over aliens covered by section 141 of the Compacts of Free Association between the United States and the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.

    Implementation action: This provision was effective upon enactment of HOTMA. No regulatory action is needed for this section of HOTMA to be implemented.

    Section 114. Exception to Public Housing Agency Resident Board Member Requirement

    This section provides for an exception for certain jurisdictions (Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles or any PHA in the States of Alaska, Iowa, and Mississippi) from the resident board member requirements under section 2(b) of the 1937 Act.

    Implementation action: This provision was effective upon enactment of HOTMA, and the exception has been in effect for a number of years through the appropriations acts. As a result, no further action is needed to implement this section. This statutory provision does not alter the regulatory provision at 24 CFR 964.405(b).

    Section 402. Inclusion of Public Housing Agencies and Local Development Authorities in Emergency Solutions Grants

    Section 402 of HOTMA amended section 414(c) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11373(c)) to authorize local governments that receive Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funds to subaward all or a portion of those funds to public housing agencies, as defined under section 3(b)(6) of the 1937 Act (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)(6)), and local redevelopment authorities, as defined under State law. Implementation action: This provision was effective upon enactment of HOTMA. No regulatory action is needed to authorize local governments to subaward ESG funds to public housing agencies and local redevelopment authorities. However, HUD intends to issue guidance explaining the conditions and requirements that apply to subawarding ESG funds to PHAs and local redevelopment authorities.

    Section 501. Inclusion of Disaster Housing Assistance Program in Certain Fraud and Abuse Prevention Measures

    This section provides that the Disaster Housing Assistance Program shall be considered a program of HUD under section 904 of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1988 for the purpose of income verifications.

    Implementation action: This provision was effective upon enactment of HOTMA, and it has previously been in effect through HUD appropriations acts for a number of years, and therefore no additional action is needed for implementation.

    Section 502. Energy Efficiency Requirements Under Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program

    This provision prohibits HUD from requiring units developed under the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) to meet energy efficiency standards other than those in section 109 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 12709).

    Implementation action: This provision was effective upon enactment of HOTMA. The changes will be reflected in the future SHOP Notice of Funding Availability, and HUD will provide current grantees with additional information on how this provision affects their prior year funding.

    Section 701. Formula and Terms for Allocations To Prevent Homelessness for Individuals Living With HIV or AIDS

    This provision makes several changes to the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. These changes include: Alterations to the allocation formula; continued eligibility of Fiscal Year 2016 grantees; authorization to award funds to alternative grantees as requested by the original grantee in accordance with specified criteria; and amended definitions.

    Implementation action: These changes apply to the formula for Fiscal Year 2017 funds. HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) is preparing more detailed guidance to explain how these changes will affect Fiscal Year 2017 funding. This section requires HUD to issue regulations in order to exercise discretion regarding reallocations of funds distributed by formula, and HUD is developing those regulations.

    IV. Provisions That Require Rulemaking or Guidance by HUD

    There are several provisions in HOTMA that amend HUD statutes but, under their own terms, are not effective until HUD issues a notice or regulation. Other provisions make changes to HUD statutes that, while effective upon enactment of HOTMA, require HUD rulemaking or the issuance of detailed guidance for implementation. This section addresses both types of HOTMA provisions requiring further HUD action. For these provisions, PHAs, multifamily owners, or grantees may not use the provisions of HOTMA until HUD issues a rule or notice.

    Section 101(a)(1). Initial Inspections in Section 8 Voucher Units

    Section 101(a)(1) amends section 8(o) of the 1937 Act to authorize assistance payments for up to 30 days if an initial inspection reveals non-life-threatening defects and to authorize occupancy of units before an inspection by the PHA if the property has met the requirements of an alternative inspection in the previous 24 months.

    Implementation action: HUD has the ability to implement these changes by notice or by regulation, and the statutory amendments are not effective until the notice or regulation is issued. HUD is considering the appropriate method for implementation.

    Sections 101(a)(2) and (3). Enforcement of Housing Quality Standards for Section 8 Voucher Units

    Section 101(a)(3) amends section 8(o) of the 1937 Act to require timeframes for correcting deficiencies discovered by inspections. The statute requires life-threatening deficiencies to be corrected within 24 hours and sets the time for correcting other deficiencies at 30 days unless the PHA determines otherwise. The section also provides families with 90 days to relocate to a new unit if an owner fails to correct the defaults and allows PHAs to use up to two months of any assistance amounts withheld or abated for costs directly associated with relocation of these families. Section 101(a)(2) is a technical amendment to make room for the new subparagraph (G) added by section 101(a)(3).

    Implementation action: For section 101(a)(3), HUD is in the process of developing regulations, and section 101(a)(2) requires only a conforming rule by HUD. The statutory amendments made by sections 101(a)(2) and (3) will only go into effect when the regulations are issued to implement the new subparagraph added by section 101(a)(3).

    Sections 102(a), (c), and (e). Income Reviews

    Section 102(a) of HOTMA amends section 3(a) of the 1937 Act to revise the frequency of family income reviews and the calculation of income. Specifically, this section requires that reviews of family income must be conducted upon admission and annually thereafter, depending on certain decreases or increases in annual adjusted income. This section also requires HUD, in consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies, to develop electronic procedures enabling PHAs to access income determinations for other Federal means-tested programs.

    Section 102(c) of HOTMA amends section 3(b) of the 1937 Act to change the definitions for the public housing and Section 8 programs of income and adjusted income for each member of the household who is 18 years or older and unearned income for each dependent who is less than 18. The changes in definitions require rulemaking to implement, and the statutory amendments are not effective until the rulemaking is complete.

    Section 102(e) changes the definition of “income” to “annual adjusted income” for the Enhanced Voucher Program.

    Implementation action: HUD has the ability to implement these changes by notice or by regulation, and the statutory amendments are not effective until the beginning of the calendar year after the notice or regulation is issued. HUD is considering the appropriate method for implementation.

    Section 102(f). Income Review for Project-Based Housing

    This section amends strikes the last sentence of paragraph (3) of section 8(c) of the 1937 Act (42 U.S.C. 1437f(c)(3). This eliminates the requirement that reviews of family income shall be made no less frequently than annually.

    Implementation action: HUD has the ability to implement these changes by notice or by regulation, and the statutory amendments are not effective until the beginning of the calendar year after the notice or regulation is issued. HUD is considering the appropriate method for implementation.

    Section 103. Limitation on Public Housing Tenancy for Over-Income Families

    The statute sets the maximum amount of annual adjusted income for continued occupancy in public housing at 120 percent area median income (AMI), which the Secretary may adjust based on certain statutory factors. The statute also requires that a family is only subject to this limitation if their annual adjusted income meets or exceeds the maximum amount for two consecutive years. In addition, for a family meeting this threshold for two consecutive years, the PHA has the option to terminate the family's tenancy or to allow them to remain in the unit at a higher rent amount.

    Implementation action: The statutory language recognizes that it is necessary in some areas to deviate from the income cap of 120 percent AMI. In order to allow HUD to exercise its discretion in a fair and effective manner, HUD will issue additional information in the future. In addition, the new section 16(a)(5)(A)(i)(II) of the 1937 Act requires regulations to determine the amount of subsidy allocated to a specific unit in order to determine family rent in the event a family chooses to remain in the unit.

    Section 104. Limitation on Eligibility for Assistance Based on Assets

    Section 104 sets limits on the assets that families residing in assisted housing may have. Section 104 also directs HUD, beginning October 1, 2017, to direct PHAs to require all applicants and recipients under the 1937 Act to authorize the PHA to obtain financial information needed in connection with a determination with respect to eligibility.

    Implementation action: This requirement must be put in place by rulemaking.

    Section 105. Units Owned by Public Housing Agencies

    This section provides that the term `owned by a public housing agency' means, with respect to a dwelling unit, that the dwelling unit is in a project that is owned by a PHA, by an entity wholly controlled by a PHA, or by a limited liability company or limited partnership in which a PHA (or an entity wholly controlled by a PHA) holds a controlling interest in the managing member or general partner. This section also provides that a dwelling unit is not deemed to be owned by a PHA where the PHA holds a fee interest as ground lessor in the property on which the unit is situated, holds a security interest under a mortgage or deed of trust on the unit, or holds a non-controlling interest in an entity which owns the unit or in the managing member or general partner of an entity which owns the unit.

    Implementation action: PHAs should continue their current practices until HUD can issue additional information on how affected PHAs can comply with any new requirements.

    Section 106. PHA Project-Based Assistance

    This section makes several statutory changes to the Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Program in section 8(o)(13) of the 1937 Act. The amendments include (1) changing the portfolio limitation on PBV vouchers from a funding to a unit calculation and allowing for additional project-basing of vouchers for homeless families, families with veterans, supportive housing for persons with disabilities or elderly persons, or in areas where vouchers are difficult to use; (2) changing the cap on the number of PBV units in a project to be the greater of 25 units in a project or 25 percent of the units in a project; (3) allowing PHAs to provide for an initial PBV contract of up to 20 years; (4) providing owners and PHAs the ability to adjust rents based on an operating cost adjustment factor; (5) permitting owners to use site-based waiting lists; (6) allowing PHAs to attach assistance to structures in which the PHA has an ownership interest or control without following a competitive process; and (7) allowing PHAs to use project-based HUD-VASH and FUP vouchers under the same policies and procedures applicable to general purpose vouchers.

    Implementation action: HUD has the ability to implement these changes by notice or regulation, and the statutory amendments are not effective until the notice or regulation is issued. Some sections require regulations to add onto baselines set by the statute. HUD is considering the appropriate method for implementation.

    Section 109. Public Housing Capital and Operating Funds

    Section 109 revises section 9 of the 1937 Act regarding (1) PHAs establishing a Capital Fund Replacement Reserve, for which HUD may allow a PHA to transfer more than 20 percent of its operating fund to establish the reserve; (2) a 20 percent operating funds cap for capital improvements; and (3) PHA accounting and reporting on replacement reserves funds.

    Implementation action: These statutory changes are effective upon the enactment of HOTMA. However, in order for PHAs to implement the changes, additional guidance or rulemaking is required.

    Section 112. Use of Vouchers for Manufactured Housing

    Section 112(b) of HOTMA extends the definition of “rent” for vouchers to include monthly payments for purchasing a manufactured home, tenant-paid utilities, and monthly rent for real property.

    Implementation action: These statutory changes are only effective upon issuance by HUD of an implementing notice. The statutory amendments are not effective until HUD issues that implementation notice.

    Section 301. Modification of FHA Requirements for Mortgage Insurance for Condominiums

    Section 301 mandates several changes to FHA's mortgage insurance for condominiums, including changes to requirements on project recertification, exceptions to the percentage of floor space that may be used for nonresidential or commercial purposes, private transfer fee covenants, and the minimum required percentage of units that must be owner occupied.

    Implementation action: Some of these changes must be done by regulations, while the revision to the owner occupancy percentage may be done by rulemaking or an administrative document. HUD issued a proposed rule to implement provisions on all these subjects other than transfer fees, and including general parameters on owner occupancy, on September 28, 2016, at 81 FR 66565. In the near future, HUD will be issuing a Mortgagee Letter to establish the specific owner occupancy percentage. For other provisions of section 301, HUD is considering the appropriate implementation action.

    Section 401. Definition of Geographic Area for Continuum of Care Program

    Section 401 requires HUD to issue a notice by October 27, 2016 defining “geographic area” for the Continuum of Care (CoC) program.

    Implementation action: HUD is currently developing the notice.

    Section 701. HOPWA Allocations

    Section 701 of HOTMA adds four paragraphs to section 854(c) of the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act (42 U.S.C. 12903(c)). The new paragraph (1)(C) allows the Secretary to change the allocation formula set in paragraph (1)(A) to account for differences in housing costs and poverty rates. The new paragraph (4) allows the Secretary to set criteria by which the Secretary determines a grantee is unable to properly administer its allocation.

    Implementation action: Both of these provisions require HUD to issue regulations to exercise the Secretary's discretion, and HUD is developing those regulations.

    Dated: October 12, 2016. Ariel Pereira, Associate General Counsel for Legislation and Regulations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25147 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0859] Special Local Regulations; Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks, Savannah River AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks Special Local Regulation from 5 p.m. through 10 p.m. on November 26, 2016. This action is necessary to ensure safety of life on navigable waters of the United States during the Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks displays. During the enforcement period, and in accordance with previously issued special local regulations, no person or vessel may enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the designated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Savannah or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulation in 33 CFR 100.701, Table to § 100.71, Item (f)4 will be enforced from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on November 26, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email MST1 Cliffton Hendry, Marine Safety Unit Savannah Office of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone 912-652-4353, extension 243, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulation for the Savannah Habor Parade of Lights and Fireworks in 33 CFR 100.701, Table to § 100.71, Item (f)4 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on November 26, 2016.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 100.701, all persons and vessels are prohibited from entering the regulated area unless they receive permission to do so from the Captain of the Port Savannah, or designated representatives. This action is to provide enforcement action of regulated area that will encompass the entire Savannah River in Savannah, GA beginning at the Talmadge Bridge near River Street, coordinates 32°05′20″ N., 081°05′56.3″ W., and proceeding down river to a line drawn at 146 degrees true from day board 62, approximate coordinates are: 32°04′48.7″ N., 081° 04′47.9″ W.

    Spectator vessels may safely transit outside the regulated area, but may not anchor, block, loiter in, impede the transit of festival participants or official patrol vessels or enter the regulated area without approval from the Captain of the Port Savannah or a designated representative. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 100.701 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and on-scene designated representatives.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. A.M. Beach, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Savannah.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25600 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0745] Special Local Regulation; Back River, Poquoson, VA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation to keep vessels from entering the Poquoson Seafood Festival Workboat Races route near the vicinity of Messick Point, in Back River, Poquoson, VA on October 23, 2016. This action is necessary to ensure safety of life on navigable waters during this event. Our regulation for Recurring Marine Events within the Fifth Coast Guard District identifies the regulated area for this event. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area without approval from the Captain of the Port or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 100.501 will be enforced for the location listed in item (c.)8 of the Table to § 100.501, from 1 p.m. through 4 p.m. on October 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email ENS Chandra Saunders, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads (WWM); telephone 757-668-5582, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulation in the table to 33 CFR 100.501, item (c.)8, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on October 23, 2016, for the 2016 Poquoson Seafood Festival Workboat Races on Back River. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event. Our regulation for Recurring Marine Events within the Fifth Coast Guard District, § 100.501, specifies the location of the special regulated area bounded on the north by a line drawn along latitude 37°06′30″ N., bounded on the south by a line drawn along latitude 37°06′15″ N., bounded on the east by a line drawn along longitude 076°18′52″ W. and bounded on the west by a line drawn along longitude 076°19′30″ W. located in the vicinity of Messick Point, in Back River, Poquoson, VA. As specified in § 100.501(c), during the enforcement period, no vessel may not enter, remain in, or transit through the special local regulation without approval from the Captain of the Hampton Roads (COTP) or a COTP designated representative. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, state or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 100.501 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts.

    Dated: October 14, 2016. Richard J. Wester, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Hampton Roads, VA.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25679 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 73 [MB Docket No. 13-236; FCC 16-116] National Television Multiple Ownership Rule AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document eliminates the UHF discount from the calculation of the national television audience reach cap because it is no longer justified due to the transition to digital television. The discount attributes television stations broadcasting in the UHF spectrum with only 50 percent of the television households in their Designated Market Areas (DMAs). To avoid imposing undue harm on existing broadcast television station groups that exceed the national audience reach cap without the benefit of the UHF discount, this Report and Order grandfathers combinations: In existence on September 26, 2013 (Grandfather Date), the release date of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in this proceeding; created by a transaction that had received Commission approval on or before the Grandfather Date; and proposed in applications pending before the Commission on the Grandfather Date.

    DATES:

    Effective November 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brendan Holland, Industry Analysis Division, Media Bureau, [email protected], (202) 418-2757.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Report and Order in MB Docket No. 13-236 was adopted August 24, 2016, and released September 7, 2016. The full text of this document is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, or online at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/0907563506002/document/090756350600263ba. To request this document in accessible formats for people with disabilities (e.g. braille, large print, electronic files, audio format, etc.) or to request reasonable accommodations (e.g. accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.), send an email to [email protected] or call the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Synopsis of the Report and Order

    1. Background. Three decades ago in 1985, to protect localism, diversity, and competition, the Commission amended its national television multiple ownership rule to include a national audience reach cap that prohibited a single entity from owning television stations that collectively reached more than 25 percent of the total television households in the nation. At that time, the Commission recognized the inherent physical limitations of the UHF television band, finding that the strength of UHF television signals decreased more rapidly with distance in comparison to the signals of stations broadcasting in the VHF band, resulting in significantly smaller coverage areas and audience reach. This finding was significant because, at the time, the vast majority of viewers received programming from broadcast television stations via over-the-air signals. Thus, a smaller over-the-air signal made it harder for UHF stations to compete with incumbent VHF stations, which maintained greater coverage areas. To account for this coverage disparity, the Commission determined that licensees of UHF stations should be attributed with only 50 percent of the television households in their DMAs for purposes of calculating the national audience reach cap. This rule is termed the UHF discount.

    2. As early as 1992, the Commission anticipated the possibility that the transition to digital television would obviate the need for the UHF discount, and sought comment on whether any distinction between UHF and VHF stations would be appropriate in light of the transition. A few years later, in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (1996 Act), Congress directed the Commission to modify its ownership rules to increase the national audience reach cap from 25 percent to 35 percent of the total nationwide audience. In the 1996 Act Implementation Order (11 FCC Rcd 12374), the Commission noted that it was reviewing the UHF discount in the context of its television broadcast ownership rules, and explicitly cautioned that any entity that acquired stations during this interim period and complied with the 35 percent audience reach cap only by virtue of the UHF discount would be subject to the outcome of the pending rule making proceeding. In the 1998 Biennial Review Order (15 FCC Rcd 11058), the Commission retained the UHF discount, but stated that it would likely be unnecessary after the digital television transition and that the Commission would initiate a proceeding in the future to phase out the discount. In the 2002 Biennial Review Order (18 FCC Rcd 13620), the Commission raised the national audience reach cap to 45 percent and again concluded that, “the digital [television] transition [would] largely eliminate the technical basis for the UHF discount because UHF and VHF signals [would] be substantially equalized.” Therefore, the 2002 Biennial Review Order adopted rules to phase out the UHF discount for broadcast stations owned by the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox) on a market-by-market basis at the time the markets transitioned to DTV. The Commission indicated further that, for networks and station groups other than those stations owned and operated by the Big Four networks, it would decide in a subsequent biennial ownership review whether to extend the sunset to all other networks and station group owners. The rules at that time contemplated a gradual, market-by-market transition to DTV, but this approach was later replaced by a hard deadline—June 12, 2009.

    3. Following adoption of the 2002 Biennial Review Order, Congress subsequently rolled back the 45 percent national audience reach cap by including a provision in the 2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) directing the Commission to set the cap at 39 percent of national television households. The CAA further amended section 202(h) of the 1996 Act to require a quadrennial review of the Commission's broadcast ownership rules rather than the previously mandated biennial review. In doing so, Congress removed the requirement to review any rules relating to the 39 percent national audience reach cap from the quadrennial review requirement. The CAA did not mention the UHF discount, nor did it address the potential impact of the DTV transition on the calculation of the national audience reach cap.

    4. Prior to the enactment of the CAA, several parties had appealed the Commission's 2002 Biennial Review Order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Third Circuit). In June 2004, the Third Circuit found, among other things, that the CAA rendered moot the challenges to the Commission's decision to retain the UHF discount (373 F.3d 372). The court further found that the CAA insulated the national audience reach cap, including the UHF discount, from the Commission's quadrennial review of its media ownership rules. At the same time, however, the court stated that its decision did not foreclose the Commission's consideration of the UHF discount in a rulemaking separate from the required quadrennial review of its ownership rules. The court concluded that, barring congressional intervention, the Commission could decide the scope of its authority to modify or eliminate the UHF discount outside the context of section 202(h). Prior to the court's decision, in February 2004, the Media Bureau issued a Public Notice specifically seeking comment on the Commission's authority to modify or eliminate the UHF discount in light of the CAA. In particular, the Media Bureau sought comment on whether the passage of the 39 percent cap signified congressional approval, adoption, or ratification of the 50 percent UHF discount. The comments and replies were filed in the docket for the 2002 Biennial Review Order.

    5. In July 2006, the Commission issued a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) as part of its 2006 quadrennial review of the media ownership rules (21 FCC Rcd 8834). Among other things, the FNPRM sought comment on the UHF discount rule in light of the Third Circuit's holding and queried whether the Commission should retain, modify, or eliminate the UHF discount. Comments filed in response to the FNPRM also refreshed the Commission's record on its authority to alter the UHF discount. In February 2008, the Commission concluded in the 2006 Quadrennial Review Order (23 FCC Rcd 2010) that the UHF discount was insulated from review under section 202(h) as a result of the CAA, and thus beyond the parameters of the quadrennial review. But the Commission noted that the Third Circuit's 2004 decision had left it to the Commission to decide the scope of its authority to modify or eliminate the UHF discount outside the context of section 202(h). Accordingly, the Commission indicated that it would address the petitions, comments, and replies filed with respect to the alteration, retention, or elimination of the UHF discount in a separate proceeding, which would be commenced at a future date.

    6. Since June 13, 2009, all full-power television stations have broadcast their over-the-air signals exclusively in digital form. The DTV transition has enabled broadcasters to provide multiple programming choices, higher quality video, and enhanced capabilities to consumers. Yet the transition has posed more challenges for VHF channels than UHF channels because VHF spectrum has proven to have characteristics that make it less desirable for providing digital television service. For instance, nearby electrical devices tend to emit noise that can cause interference to DTV signals within the VHF band, creating reception difficulties in urban areas even a short distance from the TV transmitter. The reception of VHF signals also requires physically larger antennas compared to UHF signals. For these reasons, among others, television broadcasters generally have faced greater challenges providing consistent reception on VHF signals than UHF signals in the digital environment, and some station owners have therefore opted to migrate their signals from VHF to UHF. Therefore, on September 26, 2013, the Commission issued the NPRM in this proceeding proposing to eliminate the UHF discount and grandfather certain existing television station combinations that would exceed the 39 percent national audience reach cap in the absence of the discount, and seeking comment on whether a VHF discount should be adopted (28 FCC Rcd 14324).

    7. Authority to Modify the UHF Discount. We conclude that the Commission has the authority to modify the national audience reach cap, including the authority to revise or eliminate the UHF discount. We find that no statute bars the Commission from revisiting the cap or the UHF discount in a rulemaking proceeding so long as such a review is conducted separately from a quadrennial review of the broadcast ownership rules pursuant to section 202(h) of the 1996 Act. The CAA removed the requirement to review the national ownership cap from the Commission's quadrennial review requirement, but did not impose a statutory national audience reach cap or prohibit the Commission from evaluating the elements of this rule. While the CAA also provides that the Commission may not apply its forbearance authority under Section 10 of the Communications Act to any person or entity exceeding the 39 percent national audience reach cap, there is nothing in the CAA that suggests Congress intended to prevent the Commission from tightening the cap, repealing the UHF discount, or otherwise changing its rules at a later date. Thus, the Commission retains authority under the Communications Act to review any aspect of the national audience reach cap; it simply is not required to do so as part of the quadrennial review.

    8. Specifically, the Communications Act gives the Commission the statutory authority to revisit its own rules and revise or eliminate them when it concludes such action is appropriate. The Act authorizes the agency to “perform any and all acts, make such rules and regulations, and issue such orders, not inconsistent with this Act, as may be necessary in the execution of its functions.” Similarly, section 303(r) provides that the Commission may “[m]ake such rules and regulations . . . not inconsistent with this law, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act . . . .” Indeed, courts have held that the Commission has an affirmative obligation to reexamine its rules over time. In Bechtel v. FCC (957 F.2d 873), the court observed that “changes in factual and legal circumstances may impose upon the agency an obligation to reconsider a settled policy or explain its failure to do so. In the rulemaking context, an agency also may be obligated to reexamine its approach if a significant factual predicate of a prior decision has been removed.” As we explain further below, this is precisely the case in this instance.

    9. With respect to the UHF discount, even those advocating retention of the discount based on the CAA acknowledge that the CAA does not even mention the UHF discount. We disagree with commenters' suggestion that the CAA's legislative history somehow supports a conclusion that Congress fully considered either the UHF discount or the effect of the—then future—DTV transition. The history of this immense, omnibus bill does not reflect any consideration of the UHF discount or its potential elimination. There is no basis for the assumption that Congress, in overruling the Commission's decision to raise the national audience reach cap to 45 percent and mandating it be moved back down to 39 percent, did so with the expectation that the Commission would indefinitely maintain the UHF discount, especially given that post-DTV transition there is no technological basis for the discount. We note further that, when Congress chose to supersede the Commission's action and revise the national audience reach cap down to 39 percent, it was on notice of the Commission's intent to phase out the discount, which the Commission had expressed in 1998 and again in 2002. Congress was also aware, of course, of the Commission's broad authority—indeed, its obligation—to reevaluate its rules periodically and revise any that no longer serve the public interest. It could have foreclosed the Commission from ever revising the national audience reach cap or the UHF discount by making the national cap and the UHF discount a statutory restriction or by otherwise withdrawing Commission authority to modify the cap or the UHF discount. It did not do so, opting instead for the limited measure that reduced the cap from 45 percent to 39 percent and relieved the Commission of the obligation to reevaluate the national audience reach cap in the mandated quadrennial ownership review.

    10. We agree with commenters who assert that these actions suggest Congress's intent was to prevent excessive consolidation in the broadcast market. In fact, as discussed below, operation of the analog-era discount after the DTV transition effectively allows some broadcasters with UHF stations to reach far more than the 45 percent of the national audience that Congress thought too high.

    11. Our interpretation of the CAA is consistent with the conclusion of the Third Circuit. As the court explained, although Congress excluded the national audience reach cap from the quadrennial review requirement under section 202(h), it did not foreclose Commission action to review or modify the UHF discount in a separate context.

    12. Elimination of the UHF Discount. As in the NPRM, we conclude that television broadcasting in the UHF band is no longer technically inferior to operations in the VHF band. UHF stations no longer suffer from weaker signals and smaller audience reach, are less dependent today on over-the-air coverage, are more desirable than VHF stations for digital broadcasting, and therefore UHF station owners no longer need the UHF discount to remain viable and competitive. Commenters in this proceeding have not presented evidence of any existing technical limitations that render digital UHF stations inferior to digital VHF stations.

    13. Therefore, we find that the DTV transition has rendered the UHF discount technically obsolete, and we eliminate it from the calculation of the national audience reach cap. As a result of the DTV transition, the national cap is effectively 78 percent for a station group that includes only UHF stations, and for any station group that includes a UHF station, the effective national cap now exceeds the 39 percent level that Congress directed the Commission to establish. Rather than offsetting an actual service limitation or reflecting a disparity in signal coverage, the UHF discount serves only to confer a factually unwarranted benefit on owners of UHF television stations that undermines the purpose of the national audience reach cap. Furthermore, the Commission's ongoing experience reviewing media transactions after the DTV transition date indicates that failure to correct the distortion that the UHF discount causes in the calculation of national audience reach as a result of the DTV transition creates an ongoing potential that additional transactions could undermine the national audience reach cap.

    14. At the time the UHF discount was established, analog UHF television stations were demonstrably inferior to VHF stations, with weaker signals and a smaller audience reach. Thirty years after its adoption, however, it is clear that the UHF discount cannot be justified in the digital world. While the discount was needed in the mid-1980s, the Commission soon found that the disparity between analog UHF and VHF stations was unlikely to exist in perpetuity. Further, three decades ago roughly 60 percent of U.S. television households received programming exclusively over-the air, while according to the most recent Nielsen data, approximately 11.5 percent, or about 13.3 million television households, are broadcast-only.

    15. As early as 1988, the Commission noted that the disparities between UHF and VHF services had begun to decrease. Further, as the disparity between the two services eroded during the 1980s and 1990s, the Commission repealed a number of rules and policies that had previously treated UHF stations differently, and occasionally more favorably, than their VHF counterparts. In 1988 the Commission eliminated the UHF Impact Policy, which limited approval of new or modifications to existing VHF stations if the approval would harm existing or potential UHF stations (3 FCC Rcd 638). In 1995, the Commission repealed both the Prime Time Access Rule, which prohibited network-affiliated television stations in the top 50 markets from broadcasting more than three hours of network programs during prime time (11 FCC Rcd 546), and the Secondary Affiliation Rule, which required a third network seeking an affiliate in a market to offer its programming first to the independent station, often a UHF station (10 FCC Rcd 4538). By the mid-1990s, the Commission went so far as to note that the disparities between UHF and VHF stations had been largely ameliorated and the ability of UHF stations to compete against VHF stations had greatly improved (11 FCC Rcd 19949).

    16. The most important change, however, occurred with the DTV transition, which the Commission had long recognized would likely eliminate the inferiority of UHF channels. In the 1998 Biennial Review Order, even though the Commission ultimately decided to retain the discount because the digital television transition was not yet complete, it indicated that the discount's days were numbered. The Commission discussed at length its expectation that the transition to digital broadcasting would potentially “rectify the UHF/VHF disparity” and that “the eventual modification or elimination of the discount for DTV [would] be appropriate.” In the subsequent 2002 Biennial Review Order, the Commission determined that the issue was ripe and that the forthcoming DTV transition would substantially equalize UHF and VHF signals. The DTV transition has borne out the Commission's expectation.

    17. UHF spectrum is now highly desirable in light of its superior propagation characteristics for digital television. Since the 2009 DTV transition, 74 percent of the nation's television stations are now operating on UHF channels, and 80 percent of the aggregate television viewing population is served by UHF stations. As a result of the DTV transition, the number of UHF stations increased by 221 stations and the number of VHF stations decreased by 204 stations, indicating that over 200 stations, or approximately 15 percent of the total number of commercial television stations, switched spectrum bands in favor of UHF. In April 2010, Broadcasting & Cable noted that following the June 2009 DTV transition, the majority of U.S. TV stations had moved to UHF channels, which are better suited to broadcasting digital television at lower power level. Notably, the DTV transition preserved station coverage, and in many cases, allowed stations to improve coverage by upgrading their facilities, maximizing power, and capitalizing on improved propagation of digital television signals. Therefore, stations have enhanced their coverage and audience reach as a result of the DTV transition, both because of the technical superiority of digital broadcasts on UHF channels and as a result of the chance to maximize their signal coverage during the transition. The evidence clearly establishes that digital UHF operations do not suffer from the same technical limitations as analog UHF operations. This finding is consistent with past Commission decisions scrutinizing the necessity of the UHF discount and recognizing the increased economic viability and success of the UHF band.

    18. Simply put, the UHF discount does not appropriately reflect the technical and economic reality of UHF facilities today. In fact, the discount impedes the objectives of the national audience reach cap by effectively expanding the 39 percent cap beyond even the level that Congress determined was too high when it enacted the CCA. Continued application of the UHF discount seven years after the DTV transition has the absurd result of stretching the national audience reach cap to allow a station group broadcasting exclusively on UHF channels to actually reach up to 78 percent of television households, dramatically raising the number of viewers that a station group can reach and thwarting the intent of the cap.

    19. While the discount was intended to make the calculation of an owner's audience reach better reflect the reality of the audience the stations actually reached, in current circumstances, applying the discount creates a loophole that allows owners to fail to count audience that the stations actually do reach. Continued application of the antiquated UHF discount now has the unintended consequence of significantly discounting a station's actual audience reach for purposes of the rule when in reality the station's audience reach is not diminished at all by the use of UHF technology, but rather improved.

    20. Additionally, during the DTV transition, many stations that were broadcasting on VHF channels at the time the 39 percent cap was instituted shifted to UHF channels. Even after the transition, a number of stations that initially elected to operate on a VHF channel sought to relocate to a UHF channel to resolve technical difficulties encountered in broadcasting digitally on a VHF channel. Despite having signal coverage that was equal to, or even better than, its previous VHF channel, the former VHF station now received—for the first time—the benefit of the UHF discount, i.e., a 50 percent reduction in the audience reach attributed to the station, all based on a discount intended to offset the inferiority of analog UHF signals. For instance, a licensee that traded an analog VHF station for a digital UHF station would now appear to have room to acquire additional stations under the 39 percent cap simply by virtue of having changed spectrum, even though the number of stations owned by the licensee and the audience reached by those stations remained the same. Such a result serves as an unwarranted windfall for stations that migrated from VHF to UHF in the DTV transition, in light of the general technical superiority of the digital UHF channels.

    21. For example, in 2009, just prior to the DTV transition, Fox owned 27 stations with a total national audience reach of 37.22 percent before application of the UHF discount and 31.20 percent after application of the UHF discount. In 2010, immediately after the DTV transition, Fox continued to own 27 stations with a total national audience reach of 37.10 percent before application of the UHF discount. However, because five of Fox's stations switched from analog VHF channels to digital UHF channels in the transition, Fox's national audience reach calculation suddenly decreased with the benefit of the UHF discount, which allowed the station group to calculate its audience reach as only 24.75 percent—despite the fact that Fox still owned the same number of stations in the same markets reaching the same audiences. Although only five of Fox's stations switched from analog VHF to digital UHF channels in the DTV transition, these stations were all located in the top 10 DMAs, which account for a significant percentage of the television households in the nation. As a result, reducing the national audience reach by 50 percent for just a handful of stations in these larger markets had the effect of greatly reducing Fox's national audience reach calculation and potentially allowing significant additional consolidation, although it had no effect on its actual national audience reach. This example demonstrates the absurd results created by the continued existence of the discount.

    22. We do not agree with commenters arguing that, apart from technical considerations, the discount remains necessary to promote competition, localism, and diversity, help non-network broadcast groups compete with stations owned and operated by the major broadcast networks, and foster the creation of new networks. Further, contrary to claims of some commenters, the Commission's decision in the 2002 Biennial Review Order to continue the UHF discount for stations not owned and operated by the Big Four networks was not based on a finding that such stations continued suffering from economic handicaps. The Commission clearly articulated that the UHF discount was predicated on the competitive disparity arising from the technical differences between the two types of channels, and merely deferred a decision on eliminating the discount. Any competitive disparity between UHF and VHF flowed from the technological disparity.

    23. As we have detailed above, following the transition to DTV, stations broadcasting on UHF spectrum are no longer competitively disadvantaged as compared to stations broadcasting on VHF spectrum. The record does not reflect evidence of any existing competitive disparity resulting from the continued deficiency of UHF signals. For example, no party has proffered evidence that advertisers routinely discount the prices paid for advertising on UHF stations versus VHF stations, as commenters alleged in the 2002 biennial review proceeding. Thus, we find no evidence that UHF stations today face a competitive disparity vis-à-vis VHF stations. In fact, as we note above, a number of former analog VHF stations chose to switch to UHF channels, further belying the suggestion that a competitive disparity persists between the two types of channels. We note further that the Commission has eliminated previously the historic steep discount in annual regulatory fees assessed for UHF stations, combining UHF and VHF stations into a single fee category beginning in Fiscal Year 2014, thereby eliminating a distinction based on the historical disadvantages of UHF.

    24. Of course, this is not to say that all stations are now competitive equals. Disparities continue to exist between stations in terms of viewership, advertising revenue, retransmission consent fees, and programming, to name a few. But these competitive disparities are not the result of any current technical differences between UHF and VHF stations. Because UHF stations are no longer technologically disadvantaged, they can now compete effectively in a market with VHF stations. Disparities between stations today are the result of market competition, programming choices, network affiliation, and capitalization. We do not believe that retention of the UHF discount would resolve any of these competitive differences. Finally, we disagree with any claim that removing the discount would frustrate the original purpose of the national cap; instead, removing the discount will prevent networks from expanding their reach, and our grandfathering regime, discussed below, will ensure that broadcasters that otherwise would exceed the cap after the discount is eliminated—none of which are the Big Four networks—will be grandfathered.

    25. Further, when the Commission stated in the 2002 Biennial Review Order that the UHF discount continues to be necessary to promote entry and competition among broadcast networks, the DTV transition was still a number of years in the future. Contrary to the Commission's observations nearly a decade and a half ago, we do not see that the UHF discount is leading to the creation of new broadcast networks today. The record contains no evidence that new broadcast networks are being built today by assembling a national station group of UHF broadcast stations. Similarly, our most recent annual report on the state of competition among video providers does not reflect a trend of emerging UHF broadcast networks. Instead, it appears that new programming networks are emerging as cable networks, online video programmers, and multi-cast digital networks—methods that do not rely on the UHF discount. Therefore, the record in this proceeding does not support a conclusion that perpetuation of the UHF discount would foster the creation of new broadcast networks.

    26. We do not agree with commenters claiming that eliminating the UHF discount also requires an examination of the national audience reach cap. Reexamining the cap is not within the scope of the NPRM, and we decline to initiate a further rulemaking proceeding at this time for that purpose. No party has presented persuasive reasons for revisiting the national cap at this time, and doing so would be far more complex than the decision to eliminate the UHF discount, which we conclude clearly lacks any remaining justification. Initiating a new rulemaking proceeding to undertake a complex review of the public interest basis for the national cap, which is the media ownership limit that Congress examined most recently, would only delay the correction of audience reach calculations necessitated by the DTV transition. Delay would unnecessarily complicate efforts to bring the cap back into alignment with its stated level as broadcasters continue to increase their reach. Continued application of the discount absent its technical justification simply distorts the operation of the national audience reach cap by exempting the portions of the audience that are receiving a signal from being counted and allowing licensees that operate on UHF channels to reach more than 39 percent of viewers nationwide. Removal of the analog-era discount thus maintains the efficacy of the national cap. Although we do not foreclose the possibility of examining the national audience reach cap in the future, we find that action now to address the effects of the DTV transition by eliminating the UHF discount is appropriate.

    27. In this regard, our elimination of the UHF discount is unlike our adoption of the attribution rule for television joint sales agreements (TV JSAs), which the Third Circuit, in its recent ruling in connection with our quadrennial review of the multiple ownership rules, held was contrary to our periodic review obligation under section 202(h) (824 F.3d 33). (“[T]he Commission cannot expand its attribution policies for an ownership rule to which § 202(h) applies unless it has, within the previous four years, fulfilled its obligation to review that rule and determine whether it is in the public interest.”) The Local TV ownership rule clearly is subject to periodic review under section 202(h), whereas the national television ownership cap is not subject to that obligation. In addition, unlike our initial action on TV JSAs, we are grandfathering station groups that will exceed the national cap after we eliminate the UHF discount, so elimination of the UHF discount will not require divestitures by station owners. Finally, as discussed above, retention of the UHF discount is indefensible, regardless of the level of the cap, because it is irrational in light of the digital transition. Therefore, we reject the recent contentions of the National Association of Broadcasters and Fox that the Third Circuit's recent decision supports a conclusion that we cannot eliminate the UHF discount separately from a review of the national audience reach cap.

    28. Grandfathering Existing Broadcast Station Combinations. We adopt the proposal for grandfathering reflected in the NPRM. Specifically, we grandfather broadcast station ownership groups that would exceed the 39 percent national audience reach cap as a result of the elimination of the UHF discount as of September 26, 2013, the date of the NPRM. As further proposed, we also grandfather proposed station combinations for which an assignment or transfer application was pending with the Commission or that were part of a transaction that had received Commission approval as of that date if such station groups would otherwise exceed the cap. We require any grandfathered ownership combination subsequently assigned or transferred to comply with the national audience reach cap in existence at the time of the transfer of control or assignment of license. We find that these provisions provide an appropriate balance between the valid expectations of broadcast station ownership groups who exceed the cap solely as a result of the elimination of the UHF discount and the goals and purposes of the 39 percent national audience reach cap. For this reason, we refuse to adopt a more limited grandfathering regimen or no grandfathering provision whatsoever, as urged by some commenters.

    29. No broadcasters will exceed the national cap following the elimination of the UHF discount with a combination that will not be fully grandfathered by this decision. No broadcast transactions since the release of the NPRM have resulted in an entity exceeding the national ownership cap. Thus, as a practical matter, there is no actual difference in grandfathering as of the date of the NPRM or the date of this Report and Order. Despite one commenter's claims, the Commission has continued to evaluate and approve broadcast transaction applications during the pendency of this proceeding. The grandfathering proposal adopted today protects the existing ownership structure as of the release of this Report and Order for all broadcast television station groups that will exceed the national audience reach cap upon the elimination of the UHF discount. Given the long history of notice that the UHF discount would be eliminated following the DTV transition and the potential for significant distortion of the national audience reach cap—indeed, the potential to double the national cap—the decision to use the date of the NPRM as the grandfathering date is fully supported and best serves the public interest.

    30. Grandfathering as of the date of the NPRM is consistent with previous Commission decisions. For example, the grandfathering of interests in connection with the Commission's equity/debt plus rule and the attribution of Local Marketing Agreements (LMAs) each used the date of the notice in those proceedings as the cut-off date (14 FCC Rcd 12559 and 14 FCC Rcd 12903). Therefore, the Commission is not persuaded to designate the adoption date of this Report and Order as the grandfathering date for the UHF discount as some commenters request. Proposing such a grandfathering date would have provided an incentive to broadcasters to rush to engage in new transactions that could have diluted the effectiveness of the Commission's action to preserve the national audience reach cap by eliminating the outdated and technically unsupported UHF discount, perpetuating the distortive effect of this anachronistic regulation.

    31. Further, this grandfathering date does not disrupt expectations because the industry has been on notice for at least 20 years that the UHF discount would likely be eliminated following the transition to DTV. The Commission further stated in the 1998 Biennial Review Order that it expected to eliminate the UHF discount after completion of the DTV transition. The Commission, in fact, had previously decided to phase out the UHF discount, although that phase-out was rendered moot by congressional action. The grandfathering proposal adopted today ensures that, going forward, the national audience reach of broadcast station groups is reflected accurately in the broadcast television market while not penalizing those station groups which exceed the national audience reach cap solely as a result of eliminating the UHF discount.

    32. The grandfathering mechanism adopted here does not make the decision to eliminate the UHF discount retroactive. This action does not alter the past lawfulness of station combinations, does not impose any liability for having assembled station groups that would be prohibited going forward, and does not introduce any retrospective obligations for past conduct. As noted above, by grandfathering existing station groups that would exceed the national audience reach cap without the continued benefit of the UHF discount as of the date of the NPRM, we protect all existing broadcast television station ownership combinations that would otherwise exceed the cap from the future effect of this change, even though application of the revised rule to them would not be considered retroactive.

    33. While some commenters urge adoption of permanent grandfathering of station groups that resulted in the creation of a new broadcast network, the Commission concludes that its decision not to allow the transferability of grandfathering is fully consistent with prior Commission practice regarding grandfathering; for example, the 1999 Local TV Ownership Order (14 FCC Rcd 12903) and the 2014 Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions Order (29 FCC Rcd 6567). This approach strikes the appropriate balance between avoiding imposition of the hardship of divestiture on owners of existing station combinations who have long owned the combination in reliance on the rules, and moving the industry toward compliance with current rules when owners voluntarily decide to sell their stations. The grandfathering rule adopted preserves several existing combinations that resulted in new broadcast networks. Networks continue to exist with owned and operated station groups that comply with the national audience reach cap, or which are far below the nearly 65 percent nationwide coverage reached by one grandfathered station group. In addition, even if the Commission permitted a grandfathered station group to be transferred intact, there would be no obligation for the new buyer to maintain the stations' current network affiliation or the programming aired by the current licensee. Thus, we conclude that the public interest would not be served by allowing grandfathered combinations to be freely transferable in perpetuity where a combination does not comply with the national audience reach cap at the time of transfer or assignment simply because the combination once resulted in a new network.

    34. Finally, we find that the record does not support one commenters' request that the Commission fashion a specific waiver standard for violations of the national audience reach cap that result from elimination of the UHF discount. Parties may always petition the Commission for a waiver under our existing rules if they believe unique circumstances warrant a waiver in a particular case. However, we expect such circumstances to be rare and isolated given that only a few existing broadcast television station ownership groups will exceed the cap after elimination of the discount. Ultimately, there are many different ways to structure an assignment or transfer of control that may present varying levels of concern regarding the potential impact of a proposed transaction. Given the fact-specific nature of our review of such transactions, a specific waiver standard is not appropriate. Instead, we conclude that a case-by-case approach will best serve the public interest by allowing the Commission to consider the unique circumstances of any proposed transaction involving grandfathered combinations and its potential impact on competition.

    35. VHF Discount. We disagree with commenters claiming that eliminating the UHF discount also requires the concurrent adoption of a VHF discount. As noted above, the DTV transition has made UHF spectrum generally more desirable than VHF spectrum for purposes of digital television broadcasting. Yet, despite the challenges to the digital VHF band, the current record does not demonstrate that digital television operations in the VHF band are universally technically inferior to operations in the UHF band in a manner or to a degree that would warrant a discount. The record does not provide clear evidence that digital VHF stations consistently suffer from significant technical disadvantages in audience coverage sufficient to justify adoption of a discount. Further, the record lacks evidence that the economic viability of VHF stations would be threatened without a discount. Moreover, the Commission has already taken steps to assist individual VHF stations in addressing technical concerns. Accordingly, we decline to adopt a VHF discount at this time.

    36. Procedural Matters. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), the Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) relating to this Report and Order in MB Docket No. 13-236, which is summarized below.

    37. This Report and Order does not contain proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002.

    38. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (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 rules adopted in the Report and Order. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.

    39. Television Broadcasting. The SBA designates television broadcasting stations with $38.5 million or less in annual receipts as small businesses. Television broadcasting includes 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. These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The Commission estimates that there are 1,387 licensed commercial television stations in the United States. In addition, according to Commission staff review of the BIA/Kelsey Media Access Pro Television Database as of March 25, 2016, 1,264 (or about 91 percent) of the estimated 1,387 commercial television stations have revenues of $38.5 million or less and, thus, qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. We therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities. The Commission has also estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations to be 390. These stations are non-profit, and therefore considered to be small entities.

    40. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. 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.

    41. The Report and Order modifies the calculations underlying the national television multiple ownership rule as set forth above, which would affect reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements. The conclusion modifies several FCC forms and their instructions: (1) FCC Form 301, Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station; (2) FCC Form 314, Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License; and (3) FCC Form 315, Application for Consent to Transfer Control of Corporation Holding Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License. The Commission may have to modify other forms that include in their instructions the media ownership rules or citations to media ownership proceedings, including Form 303-S and Form 323. The impact of these changes will be the same on all entities, and we do not anticipate that compliance will require the expenditure of any additional resources as the proposed modification to the calculations underlying the national television multiple ownership rule will not place any additional obligations on small businesses.

    42. 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 and reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities. The NPRM invited comment on issues that had the potential to have significant impact on some small entities.

    43. The rule change adopted in this Report and Order, as set forth above, is intended to achieve our public interest goal of competition. By recognizing the technical advancements of the UHF band after the DTV transition, this Report and Order seeks to create a regulatory landscape that reflects the current value of UHF spectrum in order to better assess national television ownership figures. Further, this Report and Order complies with the President's directive for independent agencies to review their existing regulations to determine whether such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to make the agency's regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives. By eliminating an outdated rule, we seek to reduce the costs and burdens of compliance on firms generally, including small business entities. And we find that the benefits of our decision to eliminate the UHF discount outweigh any costs or other burdens that may result from our action. In addition, the grandfathering proposal the Commission adopts in the Report and Order aims to create a more effective regulatory landscape by addressing current market realities. Overall, this Report and Order seeks to expand broadcast ownership opportunities for station owners, which includes small entities, by accurately reflecting broadcast television ownership in the digital age. Given that the technical justification for the UHF discount no longer exists, continued application of the discount stifles competition by encouraging consolidation instead of promoting new entrants in local broadcast television markets. Therefore, the Commission believes the rule change adopted in this Report and Order will benefit small entities, not burden them.

    44. Ordering Clauses. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to the authority contained in Sections 1, 2(a), 4(i), 303(r), 307, 309, and 310 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, this Report and Order is adopted. The rule modification below shall be effective November 23, 2016.

    It is further ordered that the commission shall send a copy of this Report and Order to Congress and to the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer. Office of the Secretary. List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 73

    Television, Radio.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, The Federal Communication Commission amends 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. Amend § 73.3555 by revising paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 73.3555 Multiple ownership.

    (e) * * *

    (1) No license for a commercial television broadcast station shall be granted, transferred or assigned to any party (including all parties under common control) if the grant, transfer or assignment of such license would result in such party or any of its stockholders, partners, members, officers or directors having a cognizable interest in television stations which have an aggregate national audience reach exceeding thirty-nine (39) percent.

    (2) * * *

    (i) National audience reach means the total number of television households in the Nielsen Designated Market Areas (DMAs) in which the relevant stations are located divided by the total national television households as measured by DMA data at the time of a grant, transfer, or assignment of a license.

    [FR Doc. 2016-25569 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    81 205 Monday, October 24, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9190; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-087-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-23-06, for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. AD 2014-23-06 currently requires modifying the main landing gear (MLG) by installing a new bracket on the left and right lower aft-wing planks. Since we issued AD 2014-23-06, we have determined that it is necessary to require a different modification of the MLG. This proposed AD would require modification of the MLG with an improved design. We are proposing this AD to prevent incorrect installation of the brake hydraulic lines, which could cause the brakes and the anti-skid system to operate incorrectly, and result in catastrophic failure of the airplane during a high-speed rejected takeoff.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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 Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America toll-free telephone 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.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-2016-9190; 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:

    Fabio Buttitta, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7303; fax 516-794-5531.

    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-2016-9190; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-087-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 5, 2014, we issued AD 2014-23-06, Amendment 39-18022 (79 FR 69037, November 20, 2014) (“AD 2014-23-06”). AD 2014-23-06 requires actions intended to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes.

    Since we issued AD 2014-23-06, we have determined that the modification required by AD 2014-23-06 is inadequate, and that it is necessary to require an improved modification of the MLG.

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-10R1, dated May 4, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Cases of inboard and outboard hydraulic brake lines connected to the incorrect port of the swivel assembly on the main landing gear were found in service. Cross-connected brake hydraulic lines can cause the brakes and/or the anti-skid system to operate incorrectly. During a high speed rejected take-off, inability for the brakes to operate correctly could be catastrophic. The original issue of this [Canadian] AD mandated the modification to prevent inadvertent cross-connection of the inboard and outboard hydraulic brake lines.

    Following the initial release of this [Canadian] AD, operators reported that the modifications required by Bombardier Service Bulletin (SB) 601R-32-110 Rev. NC., dated 19 December 2013, still have a potential for incorrect connection. Subsequently, the SB has been revised to introduce a modified design and this [Canadian] AD revision is issued to mandate the incorporation of the modified design.

    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-2016-9190.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier, Inc. has issued Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-32-110, Revision C, dated May 4, 2016. The service information describes modifying the MLG by installing a block on the left and right lower aft-wing planks. 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.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 526 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 9 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 about $190 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $502,330, or $955 per product.

    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) 2014-23-06, Amendment 39-18022 (79 FR 69037, November 20, 2014), and adding the following new AD: Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2016-9190; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-087-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 8, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2014-23-06, Amendment 39-18022 (79 FR 69037, November 20, 2014) (“AD 2014-23-06”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 7003 and subsequent.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that inboard and outboard hydraulic lines of the brakes were found connected to the incorrect ports on the swivel assembly of the main landing gear (MLG). We are issuing this AD to prevent incorrect installation of the brake hydraulic lines, which could cause the brakes and the anti-skid system to operate incorrectly, and result in catastrophic failure of the airplane during a high-speed rejected takeoff.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification of the MLG

    (1) For airplanes on which Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-32-110, dated December 19, 2013, has been incorporated: Within 6,600 flight hours or 37 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, modify the MLG, in accordance with Part B of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-32-110, Revision C, dated May 4, 2016.

    (2) For airplanes on which Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-32-110, dated December 19, 2013, has not been incorporated: Within 4,400 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, modify the MLG, in accordance with Part A of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-32-110, Revision C, dated May 4, 2016.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Part B of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-32-110, Revision A, dated October 29, 2015; or Revision B, dated January 26, 2016.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Part A of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-32-110, Revision A, dated October 29, 2015; or Revision B, dated January 26, 2016.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, 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 New York ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. 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.

    (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, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-10R1, dated May 4, 2016, 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-2016-9190.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America toll-free telephone 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.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 October 12, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25351 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1, 27, 73, and 76 [GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 16-306; DA 16-1095] Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Seek Comment on Post-Incentive Auction Transition Scheduling Plan AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule, request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document seeks comment on the proposal set forth by the Media Bureau, in consultation with the Incentive Auction Task Force, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology, for developing a post-incentive auction transition scheduling plan. In preparing their submissions commenters should be mindful of the Commission's prohibited communications rule, which prohibits broadcasters and forward auction applicants from communicating any incentive auction applicant's bids or bidding strategies to other parties covered by the relevant rules.

    DATES:

    Comments due on or before October 31, 2016 and reply comments due on or before November 15, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evan Morris, Video Division, Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, (202) 418-1656 or Erin Griffith, Incentive Auction Task Force, Federal Communications Commission, (202) 418-2957.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by GN Docket No. 12-268 and MB Docket No. 16-306, 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: https://www.fcc.gov/. Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    Paper Filers: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission. All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building. Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.

    People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's document, DA 16-1095, in GN Docket No. 12-268 and MB Docket No. 16-306; released on September 30, 2016. The full text of this document, as well as all omitted Illustrations, Figures and Tables are available on the Internet at the Commission's Web site at: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db1003/DA-16-1095A1.pdf; https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/auction-1001 and selecting the “Documents” tab; or by using the search function for GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 16-306 on the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) Web page at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. The full text is also available for public inspection and copying from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) Monday through Thursday or from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET on Fridays in the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554 (telephone: 202-418-0270, TTY: 202-418-2555).

    Synopsis

    In the Incentive Auction Report and Order (IA R&O), 79 FR 48441, August 15, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC) delegated authority to the Media Bureau (the Bureau) to establish construction deadlines within the 39-month post-auction transition period for television stations that are assigned to new channels in the incentive auction repacking process. In delegating authority to the Bureau to establish construction deadlines within the transition period, the FCC directed the Bureau to tailor the deadlines to stations' individual circumstances. The Commission also determined that a phased construction schedule would facilitate efficient use of the resources necessary to complete the transition. In the IA R&O the FCC also directed the Bureau to account for “the needs of forward auction winners and their construction plans.”

    Based on the record to date and on staff analysis and computer modeling, the Bureau is developing a plan to create a phased transition schedule for broadcasters that are reassigned to a new channel in the repacking. Under this phased approach, stations will be assigned to one of 10 “transition phases” with sequential testing periods and deadlines, or “phase completion dates.” The phase completion date will be the date listed in each station's construction permit as its construction deadline and will be the last day that a station may operate on its pre-auction channel. A station “must cease operating on [its] pre-auction channel once [that] station begins operating on its post-auction channel or by the deadline specified in its construction permit for its post-auction channel, whichever occurs earlier.” 47 CFR 73.3700(b)(4)(iii). We interpret “begin operating” to mean when the station begins providing a broadcast television service to the public on its post-auction channel, not simply testing equipment on that channel. We believe a phased approach will smooth the way for station coordination, promote efficient allocation of limited resources, limit the impact of the transition on consumers, and facilitate FCC monitoring to determine whether schedule adjustments are necessary during the course of the transition process. The proposed approach is also designed to provide information to stations, vendors, and other industry participants in a way that will allow them to plan for and respect the obligations and resource requirements of stations that are assigned to earlier phases. This approach will take into account our international obligations and the agreement to undertake in a joint repacking with Canada.

    We seek comment on the proposed approach and the methodology described in Appendix A of the Public Notice for establishing a transition schedule, as well as the alternative constraints we present therein. Based on the development of the record and staff analysis, the Bureau will adopt a post-auction transition scheduling plan that will be used to create a phased transition and assign stations individual construction permit deadlines.

    Post-Auction Transition Scheduling Process. The initial steps of the post-auction transition scheduling process will occur before the incentive auction closes. Once the final stage rule has been satisfied, no additional stages of the auction will be required. Therefore, as soon as the final stage rule is satisfied, the final television channel assignment plan will be determined. The Bureau will use the final channel assignments to establish a phased transition schedule for relocated stations and stations that voluntarily moved to a different band as part of the auction. We propose that the schedule be established using the methodology described in this Public Notice and Appendix A. We anticipate that the Bureau will be able to determine the final channel assignment plan and the phase assignments prior to the conclusion of the forward auction. Therefore, because we recognize the importance of providing broadcasters with as much time as possible to prepare for the transition, we intend to send each eligible station that will remain on the air after the auction a confidential letter identifying the station's post-auction channel assignment, technical parameters, and assigned transition phase. If a station is not reassigned to a new post-auction channel, its confidential letter will list the station's pre-auction channel and technical parameters.

    Once the forward auction concludes, we will release the Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment PN (Closing and Reassignment PN), which will announce that the reverse and forward auctions have ended and specify the effective date of the post-auction repacking. The information provided in the confidential letter will be subject to change in the Closing and Reassignment PN, we do not anticipate significant changes. Among other things, the Closing and Reassignment PN will announce the post-auction channel assignment and technical parameters of every station eligible for protection in the repacking process that will remain on the air after the incentive auction. The Closing and Reassignment PN will also announce the transition phase, phase completion date, and testing period for each reassigned station. Stations reassigned to new channels will have three months from the Closing and Reassignment PN release date to file construction permit applications proposing modified facilities to operate on their post-auction channel facility specified in the Closing and Reassignment PN. See 47 CFR 73.3700(b)(1)(i)-(iii), (vi), (iv)(A). The Bureau will then issue each station a construction permit. The construction permit deadline will be the phase completion date for that station. Stations will be required to abide by the deadlines and requirements of the transition scheduling plan. A station that does not comply with the requirements of the plan may be subject to sanction or other action, as permitted under the Commission's rules. See, e.g., 47 CFR 1.80; 47 CFR 73.3598(e).

    As illustrated below, the transition phases will all begin at the same time but will have sequential phase completion dates. Each phase will have a defined “testing period” that ends on the phase completion date. While stations may engage in planning and construction activities at any time prior to their phase completion date, equipment testing on post-auction channels will be confined to the specified testing periods in order to minimize interference and facilitate coordination. Other than for the first phase, the testing period will begin on the day after the phase completion date for the prior phase. The proposed plan is premised on the likelihood that winning go off-air bidders have ceased operations on their pre-auction channels prior to the first transition phase testing period, either because they have relinquished their license and gone off air, or because they have implemented a channel sharing arrangement and are now operating on the shared channel.

    Whether a station needs to coordinate with other stations during the testing period will depend on whether it is part of a “linked-station set,” that is, a set of two or more stations assigned to the same phase with interference relationships or “dependencies.” Section II of Appendix A describes dependencies in detail. Stations that are not part of a linked-station set may operate on their pre-auction channels and test on their post-auction channels during the testing period without the need for coordination. Conversely, stations that are part of a linked-station set must coordinate testing with other stations in the set so as to avoid undue interference and must transition to their post-auction channels simultaneously. In order to facilitate coordination, linked-station sets will be identified in the Closing and Reassignment PN. The graph below illustrates a hypothetical phased transition schedule under the Bureau's proposed approach. The relatively longer test period for stations in phase 2 is a result of the fact that this is the first phase in which “complicated” stations can be assigned. Thus, it is likely that there will always be a longer test period for stations. [Illustration Omitted]

    Phase Assignment and Scheduling Tools. The Bureau proposes to use two computer-based tools to establish a phased transition schedule. Consistent with the Commission's direction, we believe that these two tools will allow the Bureau to establish a transition schedule that takes into account the complexity of stations' individual circumstances, allocates resources fairly, and balances forward auction winners' needs with those of transitioning broadcasters. The first tool is the Phase Assignment Tool, which will assign television stations to transition phases. The Phase Assignment Tool is intended to group stations together in a way that will support an orderly, managed transition process based on a set of enumerated constraints and objectives. The second tool is the Phase Scheduling Tool, which will estimate the time required for stations in each phase to complete the tasks required to transition in light of resource availability. The Bureau will use the Phase Scheduling Tool to guide it in establishing phase completion dates for each phase. [Illustration Omitted].

    We propose to use mathematical optimization techniques in the Phase Assignment Tool to assign stations to transition phases based on a defined set of constraints and objectives. We propose specific constraints and objectives, including the priority of the objectives, in Appendix A. We believe that the constraints and objectives proposed will result in a solution that minimizes dependencies created by interference issues, ensures that the 600 MHz Band is cleared as expeditiously as possible, clusters groups of stations into the same phase to help manage scarce transition resources, and minimizes the impact of the transition on consumers.

    After stations are assigned to phases, the Bureau proposes to use the Phase Scheduling Tool to help determine the phase completion date for each phase. By modeling the tasks required to complete the transition, and accounting for limited resources, this Tool estimates the total time necessary for stations within a phase to complete the transition process.

    The Phase Scheduling Tool accounts for limited resources by constraining the amount of such resources available to stations within a phase at any given time. If a required resource is unavailable, the stations will obtain access to the required resource according to their “simulation order,” and the Tool will estimate the time required for all stations to complete the transition phase based on that order. The Bureau proposes to run the Phase Scheduling Tool with different simulation orders to produce a range of estimated times for each transition phase. By generating results for multiple simulation orders, the Tool produces a range of estimated completion times for each phase. The Bureau will use the resulting range of estimated times to guide its determination of a phase completion date for each transition phase.

    Appendix A details the specific tasks or processes that we propose to model in the Phase Scheduling Tool for each stage of the transition process, as well as the estimated time and resource availability for each task. The proposed estimates are based on information from the Widelity Report, submissions from stakeholders, and informational discussions with tower crew companies, antenna and transmitter manufacturers, and broadcasters. We believe that the proposed estimates are conservative and reasonable.

    Other Issues. Before transitioning to their post-auction channels, stations ideally should be able to test equipment on their new channels. During the transition, however, many stations would likely cause undue interference to one another if they test or operate on their post-auction channels without first coordinating with large numbers of other stations to avoid causing such interference. Appendix A sets forth in detail the results of the staff's analysis and modeling of transition-related interference relationships between stations.

    The Commission has in the past allowed temporary increases in interference to broadcasters in order to facilitate transitions to new services. For example, the Commission permitted new wireless licensees in the 700 MHz Band to cause temporary increases of up to 1.5 percent interference to broadcasters. Qualcomm Order 21 FCC Rcd 11683 (2006). In doing so, the Commission balanced “the public interest benefits of an accelerated deployment in the 700 MHz Band against the importance of sustaining a minimally disruptive transition to DTV for consumers” and emphasized that it has a “forward-looking preference toward those services that are the end-points” of the transition. Qualcomm Order 21 FCC Rcd at 11697, para. 31. In addition, the Commission permitted three-way band clearing agreements that could result in up to two percent temporary interference to the population served of stations that were not parties to the agreement. See Upper 700 MHz Band 3rd R&O, 66 FR 10204, February 14, 2001; Upper 700 MHz Band Recon Order, 66 FR 51594, October 10, 2001. The Commission rejected broadcasters' arguments that the two percent standard was inappropriate because the interference permitted would be for the benefit of new wireless licensees and not broadcasters' efforts to transition to DTV, explaining that clearing the 700 MHz band was an integral part of the DTV transition.

    The staff's analysis indicates that allowing temporary pairwise interference increases above the 0.5 percent authorized by the rules governing permanent interference, 47 CFR 73.616(e), is likely to significantly reduce inter-dependencies between stations, thereby reducing the amount of coordination needed to allow testing of a station's post-auction facility. During the post-auction transition the percentage of increased pairwise interference is relative to a station's pre-auction baseline interference-free population. We propose during the transition to allow temporary pairwise interference increases of up to two percent, which we believe will produce substantial benefits without undue disruption to television service during this limited period. Pairwise interference increases beyond the 0.5 percent permitted by the Commission's rules will not be permitted past conclusion of the post-auction transition period. Temporary pairwise interference increases of up to 2 percent could occur at any time during the transition on either a station's pre-auction and post-auction channels. It could affect both reassigned stations and those that will remain on their pre-auction channels.

    Another means of reducing the size or number of linked-station sets, and facilitating a station's ability to operate on its pre-auction channel while testing on its post-auction channel, would be to assign some stations to temporary channels during the transition. A station assigned to a temporary channel would have to transition twice: Once to its temporary channel and then to its post-auction channel during a later transition phase. We do not propose to assign temporary channels as part of the phased transition scheduling plan. We tentatively conclude that the benefits of using temporary channels are not great enough to warrant their use in light of the potential burdens. For example, using temporary channels would require stations to move twice, which may confuse viewers. Stations would also need to acquire additional equipment, which would place additional demands on resources and increase overall transition costs. Nevertheless, we invite comment on using temporary channel assignments and on issues that would be raised if we were to do so. Whether we ultimately decide to use temporary channels as part of the phased transition scheduling plan depends on how the record develops and whether we adopt other, effective means of reducing the number and size of linked-station sets.

    Should we decide to use temporary channel assignments, we tentatively conclude that temporary channels may be assigned to full power or Class A stations and may be located anywhere in the post-auction VHF or UHF television bands, as well as in the new 600 MHz wireless band. Temporary channel assignments would replicate pre-auction coverage area and population served and would be listed in the Closing and Reassignment PN along with ultimate post-auction channel assignments. A station would only be assigned a temporary channel within its post-auction band. We propose to limit such assignments to stations in complex “cycles” of inter-dependency, which are discussed in detail in Appendix A. We also propose to limit such assignments to channels that are close to a stations' ultimate channel assignments, and to relatively low power stations (e.g., Class A stations or other stations similar in power), in order to limit the associated burdens and costs. Because we anticipate that stations would need to commence operations on temporary facilities early in the transition, we propose to require that stations assigned to temporary channels apply for special temporary authority (STA) within 90-days of the release of the Closing and Reassignment PN. A licensee that is assigned a temporary channel must comply with all filing and notification requirements, construction schedules, and all other post-auction deadlines that would apply to construction of the station's ultimate post-auction facility. We do not believe that requiring broadcasters to license their temporary channel facilities is appropriate in light of the temporary nature of the operations.

    If we decide to use temporary channel assignments, we tentatively conclude that stations will have must-carry rights on their temporary channels. We believe the statute may reasonably be interpreted to extend such rights. Section 614 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, defines an eligible full-power television station entitled to must-carry as one that is “licensed and operating on a channel regularly assigned to its community by the Commission that, with respect to a particular cable system, is within the same television market as the cable system.” Consistent with the broad definition of “license” in section 153 of the Act, we believe the term “licensed” in this context may be interpreted to include an STA. We also believe that the term “channel regularly assigned to [the station's] community by the Commission” in this context may be interpreted to encompass a temporary channel assignment. While this language could be read to refer to a channel allotted to a particular community in the DTV Table of Allotments (DTV Table), the FCC has explained that it “will not use a codified Table of Allotments or rulemaking procedures to implement post-auction channel changes.” IA R&O 79 FR at 48491. During the post-auction transition period, therefore, temporary or permanent channels will be “regularly assigned” to communities on a case-by-case basis in response to applications rather than by amending the DTV Table. Further, as a practical matter, channels assigned on a temporary basis would enable stations to serve the same coverage area and population as they did on their pre-auction channels, meaning that the stations will continue to serve the same communities of license set forth in the Table as they did before the auction.

    We do not believe that MVPDs would be unduly burdened by extending must-carry rights to stations on temporary channels. MVPDs are eligible for reimbursement when they “reasonably incur costs in order to continue to carry broadcast stations that are reassigned as a result of the auction.” IA R&O 79 FR at 48497. Such costs include the reasonable costs to set up delivery of a signal that the MVPD is required to carry under the Commission's must-carry rules or under retransmission consent contracts. Under this standard, MVPDs likewise would be eligible for reimbursement of all eligible costs in order to continue to carry a reassigned station operating on a temporary channel. Finally, we believe that extending must-carry rights to a station's temporary facility will further the important interests Congress sought to advance through the must-carry provisions, specifically “preserving the benefits of free, over-the-air local broadcast television and promoting the widespread dissemination of information from a multiplicity of sources.” Carriage of Digital Television Broadcast Signals: Amendments to Part 76 of the Commission's Rules, 70 FR 14412, 14418, para. 35, March 22, 2005.

    If we decide to use temporary channel assignments, we propose that any temporary channel assignments in the 600 MHz Band would be subject to the inter-service interference (ISIX) protections adopted in the ISIX Third Report and Order, 80 FR 71731, 71736-37, November 17, 2015, as well as the other interference protections provided for in our rules and any temporary pairwise interference adopted for the post-auction transition. Although STA operations are not protected against interference under our normal rules, we believe that the public interest would be served by extending the same protections to temporary channels that would apply to any licensed facility during the post-auction transition. In addition, a full power or Class A station operating on a temporary channel could displace a low power television (LPTV) station. Consistent with the Commission's previous interpretation, section 336(f)(7)(B) of the Act would not apply to temporary channel assignments for Class A stations for purposes of the post-auction transition because these temporary channels will be assigned by the Commission, not proposed by Class A licensees. See IA R&O 79 FR at 48463; 47 U.S.C. 336(f)(7)(B). We propose that an operating LPTV station displaced by a temporary channel assignment could file for a new channel during the post-auction LPTV displacement window. Alternatively, displaced LPTV stations could go silent or seek temporary authorization to operate its facility at variance from its authorized parameters in order to prevent interference. Depending on the station's proximity to Mexico or Canada, coordination approval may be required from that particular country.

    The Commission anticipated the possibility of using temporary channels to facilitate the transition and stated that the reasonably incurred costs of equipment needed to move to temporary channels are eligible for reimbursement. IA R&O 79 FR at 48501. Thus, such costs would be eligible for reimbursement in the same manner as costs related to construction of permanent post-auction channel facilities. As discussed above, MVPDs likewise should be eligible for reimbursement of all eligible costs in order to continue to carry a reassigned station operating on a temporary channel.

    As explained above, the Closing and Reassignment PN will announce the transition phase, phase completion date, and testing period for each reassigned station. We recognize that individual stations may wish to raise concerns regarding their particular phase assignments, phase completion dates, and/or testing periods once the Closing and Reassignment PN is released. In considering any such concerns, we must be mindful of the potential impact of requests for changes or adjustments on other stations and on the overall phased transition schedule. While we tentatively conclude that we will rely on existing rules and procedures to address any such concerns, we also seek comment on whether to establish an alternative process. If we take the former approach and allow stations to challenge the PN as it impacts them, should we waive any rules or procedures in order to facilitate the transition?

    We recognize that some stations may seek to construct an expanded facility or alternate channel that differs from the technical parameters assigned in the Closing and Reassignment PN. Further, during the transition period some stations may request extensions of their construction deadlines and may seek authority to continue operating on their pre-auction channel after their phase completion date. While a station may request an extension of its construction permit deadline as set forth in 47 CFR 73.3700(b)(5), grant of such a request only permits the station additional time to complete its construction on its final channel and does not permit a station to continue operating on its pre-auction channel. In order to do so a licensee must request special temporary authority (STA). In evaluating any such requests, we propose to examine the impact that grant of the request would have on the phased transition schedule; for example, by evaluating whether such modification may create new or affect existing dependencies (i.e., daisy chains or cycles). Any requests for expanded facilities or alternate channels by stations in the border regions with Mexico or Canada will require coordination approval from the country in question. The Bureau will view favorably requests that are otherwise compliant with our rules and have little or no impact on the phase assignments or transition schedule. If an application for an alternate channel or expanded facilities is granted, the initial deadline listed in the construction permit for the alternate channel or expanded facilities will be the same as the deadline in the station's initial construction permit. Thus, any station requesting an expanded facility or alternate channel will be required to abide by the construction deadline and other transition schedule requirements applicable to the phase to which the station is assigned unless otherwise modified by the Bureau. Any request that the staff determines would be likely to delay or disrupt the transition, such as by causing pairwise interference above two percent to another station, creating additional linked-station sets, necessitating another station move to a different transition phase, or that is likely to cause a drain on limited transition resources required by other stations, will be viewed unfavorably. The Bureau will view requests that have such adverse effects on the transition schedule more favorably if the requesting station demonstrates that it has the approval of all the stations that would be affected if the request were granted, or it agrees to take steps during the transition period to mitigate the impact of the proposed request—such as by accepting additional levels of temporarily increased interference or operating at variance from its pre-auction licensed parameters (i.e., operating with reduced facilities). After evaluation, the Bureau may choose to modify transition phase assignments and construction deadlines to enable grant of a request. If the Bureau determines that granting a particular request would not cause adverse effects on the transition schedule, or that granting a request would be beneficial to the transition plan, the Bureau may adjust the phase assignment of the requesting station, or if necessary, other stations as well. However, we propose that no station will be assigned to an earlier transition phase than it was originally assigned to without its consent. To the extent that the Bureau denies a request for a station to continue operating on its pre-auction channel past its phase completion date, the Bureau will work with the impacted licensee to remain on-air while construction of its post-auction facility is completed. Each circumstance will be evaluated on a case-by case basis.

    Commenters should be mindful that Commission rules prohibit broadcasters and forward auction applicants from communicating any incentive auction applicant's bids or bidding strategies to other parties covered by the relevant rules. See 47 CFR 1.2205(b)(1), (c)(1), (c)(6)(ii). The relevant prohibitions will apply prior to, during, and after the period for comment. The prohibition covers related parties, as well as covered broadcast licensees and forward auction applicants. 47 CFR 1.2205(a)(1) and 1.2105(c)(5)(i).

    We previously have cautioned that statements to the public may create a risk of prohibited communications when the public statement should be expected to result in a communication that violates the rule. Accordingly, comments submitted to the Commission may violate one of the prohibitions even though not made directly to another party covered by the rule. Moreover, a communication that does not explicitly state a bid or bidding strategy but conveys information that leaves little doubt about an incentive auction applicant's bids and bidding strategies may violate the rule regardless of the communicating party's intent.

    A covered party may also violate the prohibition any time it conveys information that might communicate known past or future bids or bidding strategies of any other covered party. Information regarding past, as well as future, bids and bidding strategies is covered by the prohibitions. Furthermore, the prohibitions apply to more than a party's desired auction outcome and steps the party has taken or will take to achieve it. The fact that a party is not communicating its own bids or bidding strategies, or is communicating only the irrevocable results of another's bids or bidding strategies, will not preclude the statements from violating the prohibition. For example, a broadcaster that is not participating in the auction may not communicate that a prospective channel sharing partner no longer will need to share with it because it has exited the auction. Similarly, a forward auction applicant whose initial eligibility has decreased may not communicate that it has foregone prior plans to pursue particular markets due to reduced eligibility.

    These prohibitions should not, however, preclude any party from addressing relevant issues regarding the post-auction transition. Until the final stage rule is met, all broadcasters reasonably might be expected to plan for a potential relocation to a new channel in their pre-auction band, regardless of participation in the reverse auction or current bidding status. Statements of general applicability, not related to a particular broadcaster's circumstances or a forward auction applicant's plans, generally should not disclose any incentive auction applicant's bids or bidding strategies. Furthermore, given that public statements regarding whether or not a broadcaster applied to participate in the incentive auction are not deemed to violate the rule, a broadcaster that has disclosed that it did not apply to participate will not disclose bids or bidding strategies by discussing the details of its own transition. For reasons already discussed, such a broadcaster that may share its post-auction channel with an auction participant must, however, exercise caution to avoid disclosing the bids or bidding strategies of its prospective channel partner. This is true with respect to statements regarding the technical interdependencies to be considered by the Phase Assignment Tool or the resource constraints relevant to the Phase Scheduling Tool, even if the statements might be applicable to the station's individual transition as well. A party's statements of general applicability will not violate the prohibition solely because they are consistent with its bids or bidding strategy. Rather, to be prohibited, statements must communicate bids or bidding strategies, either directly or by leaving little doubt regarding what they are, regardless of the lack of a direct statement.

    Administrative Matters. The proceeding shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. See 47 CFR 1.1200 et seq. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with section 1.1206(b) of the rules. In proceedings governed by section 1.49(f) of the rules or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable.pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    This document does not contain proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), requires that a regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared for notice and comment rule making proceedings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601 through 612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996). The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A “small business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Written public comments are requested on the IFRA, and must be filed in accordance with the same filing deadlines as comments on the Public Notice, with a distinct heading designating them as responses to the IRFA. With respect to the Public Notice, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) under the Regulatory Flexibility Act is contained in Appendix B of the document.

    Appendix A—Phase Assignment and Scheduling Tools

    Appendix A sets forth a proposed methodology for assigning construction deadlines to stations based on the staff's analysis and the record developed to date. Potential “dependencies,” or interference relationships, between certain television stations on pre-auction and post-auction channels will impact the transition process. As the Commission recognized, stations with dependencies must coordinate in order to test equipment or begin operating on their new channels without causing interference. Coordination may involve stations agreeing to operate at lower power or accept increased interference for short periods of time while the stations involved are performing tests. Dependencies can involve numerous and/or distant stations, however, making successful coordination extremely challenging. The FCC staff has analyzed these dependencies to develop a means of breaking them in order to reduce the need for coordination and to make remaining coordination more manageable. These possible solutions that were considered include assigning stations to separate “transition phases,” allowing temporary interference increases, and assigning stations to temporary channels.

    Under this proposal, stations would be assigned to a limited number of transition phases. The phases will begin at the same time, but have sequential end dates. Equipment testing on post-auction channels will be confined to set “testing periods.” With the exception of the first phase, the testing period for subsequent phases will begin on the day after the end of the preceding phase. Every station must cease operating on its pre-auction channel at the end of its assigned phase, also known as the “phase completion date.”

    The proposed methodology would utilize two computer-based tools to assign stations to phases and establish phase completion dates for each phase. First, stations would be assigned to phases using the Phase Assignment Tool, which applies optimization techniques to identify, among solutions that satisfy a set of defined rules or constraints, a solution that best meets a separate set of defined objectives. After stations are assigned to phases, the Phase Scheduling Tool would be used to help determine the phase completion date for each phase.

    With the information provided in this Appendix, interested parties will have sufficient information to replicate the methodology proposed for determining the overall transition schedule. The Phase Assignment Tool implements the objectives and constraints described in this Appendix using commercially-available optimization software. The Phase Scheduling Tool leverages an open source discrete event simulation software package using inputs described in detail in this Appendix. The data presented in this Appendix is the output of applying this methodology to representative final television channel assignment plans for 114 MHz and 84 MHz spectrum clearing scenario and also making certain assumptions regarding Canada and Mexico based on ongoing coordination with those countries. As used herein, “representative” means consistent with the plans generated by the Commission's Final Television Channel Assignment Plan determination procedure based on numerous auction simulations conducted by the staff. The clearing target for Stage 2 of the auction has now been set at 114 MHz. We therefore are using 84 MHz and 114 MHz as representative examples. We note that we do not anticipate publicly releasing these plans or the underlying simulations, consistent with our practice in this proceeding of releasing such information as appropriate in the interest of transparency and in consideration of the ongoing, internal deliberations regarding it, as well as broadcasters' confidentiality interests in reverse auction participation. Interested parties can create their own television channel assignment plans for any spectrum clearing scenario by applying the Assignment Plan determination procedure to auction simulations based on their own assumptions of likely outcomes.

    Section II: Dependencies and Means of Breaking Them. Before transitioning to their post-auction channels, stations ideally should be able to test equipment on their new channels. During the transition, however, there is a potential for undue interference between stations that are still operating on their pre-auction channels and stations testing or operating on their post-auction channels. The Commission's rules governing interference between stations before and after the post-auction transition will prevent undue interference between stations operating on their pre-auction channels and between stations operating on their post-auction channels, respectively. In developing a proposed transition plan, the staff has sought to avoid undue interference while providing as much flexibility as possible for stations to test equipment prior to commencing operations on their new channels. The staff's “Precedence Daisy-Chain Graph” explicitly captures any interference that may occur between stations operating on their pre-auction and post-auction channels.

    The Graph is constructed as follows: Nodes are stations and a directed arc connects two nodes (say s and s') when station s cannot transition until station s' has transitioned to its post-auction channel because the current channel of station s' interferes with the future channel of station s. This relationship is called a dependency.

    Example 1:

    Dependency. [Illustration Omitted]. Suppose Station A and Station B have co- and adjacent-channel interference restrictions on all channels. Station A is reassigned from channel 25 to channel 18. Station B is reassigned from channel 45 to channel 26. Station A must vacate channel 25 before Station B can move to channel 26 so that neither station will experience undue interference. Therefore, the graph includes a directed arc from Station A to Station B since Station A must transition before Station B (Station B is dependent on Station A in order to transition).

    Example 2:

    Daisy-Chain. [Illustration Omitted]. Multiple dependencies can be connected, forming a daisy-chain. Example 2 illustrates a daisy chain of 4 stations. Station A must transition before Station B. Station B must transition before Station C. And Station C must transition before Station D. Thus, Stations A, B, and C all must transition before Station D can transition.

    Daisy-chains can involve numerous stations and multiple transition dependencies. Figure 1 below illustrates a single daisy-chain involving 29 stations in the Northeast in a simulated outcome where the Commission repurposes 84 MHz of broadcast spectrum through the incentive auction. [Figure 1 Omitted]

    Successful coordination to avoid undue interference among the stations illustrated in Figure 1 is likely to be extremely challenging, given the number of stations involved and their distance from one another. In order to reduce or eliminate the need for coordination, the chain could be broken by assigning stations to transition during different time periods or phases. At least 29 separate transition phases would be needed to break the chain completely so that every station in the chain could transition without the need for coordination. A large number of transition phases may undercut other potential transition goals, however, such as transitioning stations within the same region at the same time and avoiding the need for multiple channel rescans by viewers. In order to balance these goals, a certain number of stations within a daisy chain may be assigned to the same transition phase, thereby “collapsing” the daisy chain into a more manageable size. For example, the first five or ten stations in the 29-station daisy chain illustrated above could be assigned to the first transition phase. Each station in this collapsed daisy chain would have to coordinate with one or more of the other stations in the chain in order to test their equipment without undue interference. Moreover, as illustrated by Example 3 below, the staff's analysis indicates that certain dependencies, known as “cycles,” cannot be broken by assigning stations to different transition phases.

    Example 3:

    Cycle. [Illustration Omitted]. Example 3 shows a cycle consisting of three stations. Station A needs to transition from channel 20 to channel 17; while Station B needs to transition from channel 28 to channel 20; while Station C needs to transition from channel 17 to channel 28. Because all three stations cannot operate on either channel 17, channel 20, or channel 28 simultaneously, they must transition from their pre-auction to their post-auction channels simultaneously in order to commence operation on their post-auction channel. They must also coordinate in order to test equipment on their post-auction channels without causing increased interference to one another. In such circumstances, the dependencies between stations cannot be broken by assigning stations to different transition phases. On the other hand, assigning the stations to the same transition phase may facilitate their ability to coordinate with one another.

    Cycles of much greater complexity than Example 3 are likely to occur during the post-auction transition process. Figure 2 below shows another simulated outcome in which the auction repurposes 84 MHz of broadcast spectrum. The cycle consists of 196 stations and reaches from the Southeast region of the United States through the Northeast and into Canada. [Figure 2 Omitted].

    The problem becomes more complicated when all dependencies are considered. Daisy-chains can intersect and overlap, creating a larger and more complicated daisy-chain. A cycle can also be part of a daisy-chain. Thus, hundreds of stations may be inter-dependent and one station may require tens (or even hundreds) of stations to transition first in order to be able to begin operating on its post-auction channel. Figure 3 below shows another simulated 84 MHz outcome with a set of 796 inter-dependent stations. [Figure 3 Omitted].

    As indicated above, transition phases are a potentially useful tool to address dependencies between stations. Stations may be assigned to different phases in order to break daisy chains, or to the same phase in order to facilitate coordination by stations involved in a cycle, or to achieve other goals. We refer to inter-dependent stations assigned to the same phase as a “linked-station set” and the individual stations in the linked-station set as “linked-stations.”

    Another means of breaking dependencies is to allow temporary, limited increases in station-to-station (pairwise) interference that exceed the 0.5 percent allowed under the Commission's rules governing pre-auction and post-transition interference relationships. As discussed in the Public Notice, the Commission has previously allowed such temporary increases in pairwise interference above the 0.5 percent threshold in order to facilitate spectrum transitions. As shown below, the staff's analysis indicates that allowing temporary, limited increases in pairwise interference would significantly reduce the number of dependencies between stations and in turn reduce the size, number, and complexity of daisy chains and cycles. Additionally, the staff's analysis indicates that allowing temporary, limited increases in pairwise interference would not result in significant aggregate interference increases.

    Another means of breaking dependencies would be to assign stations in complicated daisy chains or cycles to operate on temporary channels prior to transitioning to their post-auction channels. Stations assigned to temporary channels would have to “move” twice, first to their temporary channels and then to their ultimate post-auction channels. Below we illustrate how temporary channel assignments could be used to break large cycles.

    Example 4:

    Temporary Channels. [Illustration Omitted]. In Example 4, nine stations are part of a complicated cycle and must coordinate their testing because no station can broadcast on its post-auction channel without causing undue interference with at least one other station in the set. However, if two of these stations are assigned to temporary channels (Station C and Station G), then the cycle is transformed into a collection of daisy chains in which stations at the same level of a daisy chain need not coordinate with one another in order to test equipment or operate on their post-auction channels. Since the longest chain in this example has five levels, stations could be assigned to five phases based on how far they are (in the dependence graph) from the stations placed on temporary channels.

    Section III—The Phase Assignment Tool. Under the proposed methodology, stations would be assigned to a limited number of transition phases. Every station in a phase must cease operating on its pre-auction channel at the end of the phase, i.e., the phase completion date. Stations would be assigned to phases using the Phase Assignment Tool. This Section discusses the Phase Assignment Tool as well as the proposed constraints (i.e., rules by which all assignments generated by the proposed tool must abide) and objectives (i.e., goals when creating the assignments). We begin by proposing specific constraints and objectives, followed by a discussion of the results of staff analysis illustrating the rationale underlying the proposal and the tradeoffs involved in choosing among different constraints and objectives. Proposed Constraints and Objectives. Based on the staff's analysis and the record developed to date, we propose the following constraints and objectives in assigning stations to phases.

    Constraints: (1) A station cannot cause more than two percent new interference to another station during the transition. As discussed above, we believe that it is important both to avoid undue interference during the transition and to provide stations with as much flexibility as possible to test equipment on their post-auction channels before transitioning. Although stations may be able to achieve these goals through coordination, coordination may not be feasible in situations involving large-scale and complex dependencies among stations. As discussed in more detail in the next section, the staff's analysis indicates that allowing temporary, limited increases in pairwise interference would reduce the number and complexity of dependencies without resulting in significant aggregate interference increases. Doing so is also likely to promote other potential goals, such as prioritizing the clearing of the 600 MHz Band and reducing the number of channel rescans. Although allowing higher levels of temporary interference—up to five percent—would further reduce dependencies, our proposal to allow no more than two percent represents a compromise between avoiding what the Bureau believes would cause undue interference and limiting dependencies. This proposal assumes that all winning bidders affecting the first phase of the transition who have agreed to go off-air completely, or that become a channel sharee of another station with a post-auction channel assignment, will have gone dark before the stations in the first transition phase begin testing of their equipment (e.g., two months before the end of the first transition phase). This assumption is reasonable given the expected timeline for paying winning stations and the estimated time for the first phase to complete.

    (2) No stations in Canada will be assigned to transition before the third transition phase and no Canadian stations will be assigned to a temporary channel. Due to dependencies between domestic and Canadian stations, a joint transition plan with Canada is necessary and is being developed by FCC and ISED. In keeping with our informal discussions with ISED Canada to date, stations in Canada have generally been assigned to later transition phases for this proposal. This constraint will promote efficient use of cross-border resources and respect the minimum notification periods to Canadian TV stations established in ISED's 600 MHz decision.

    (3) There will be no more than 10 transition phases. While increasing the number of phases could decrease the number of linked-station sets in each phase, a large number of phases may undercut other transition goals, such as transitioning stations within the same region at the same time and avoiding the need for multiple channel rescans by viewers. We also believe that limiting the number of phases will facilitate monitoring of the transition process. We believe that limiting the number of transition phases to 10 strikes a reasonable balance between these goals. Canadian stations not impeding the transition of U.S. stations may be permitted to continue to operate beyond the 10th phase based on rules to be established in Canada.

    (4) No U.S. stations will be assigned to temporary channels. Although we do not propose to assign stations to temporary channels, the attached PN invites comment on whether we should use temporary channels. In the event that temporary channels are used to reduce dependencies we propose to potentially apply one or more of the following additional constraints: (a) Only assign temporary channels to stations in complex dependencies. (b) Only assign temporary channels to stations that are in close proximity to the stations' ultimate post-auction channel assignments. As stated above, temporary channel assignments would requires stations to move twice. Requiring that the temporary channel be “close” to the ultimate channel may reduce the burden and expense associated with double moves. If such an approach is considered, we seek comment on what the definition of “close” should be. (c) Only assign temporary channels to stations with relatively low power (e.g., Class A stations). This constraint could limit the cost of the purchase of broadband antennas that would be necessary for stations that must move twice. If such an approach is considered, we seek comment on what the definition of a “relatively low power” should be with regard to a Class A or full power station.

    (5) All stations within a DMA will be assigned to no more than two different transition phases. While some parties have suggested that the Bureau could divide the country into specific regions for the transition, it is not possible to create a wholly regionalized plan that will respect interference constraints because the interference constraints create dependencies that may overlap geographic areas. The proposed DMA constraint provides similar benefits to those that would come from a purely regional approach. For example, taking a station's DMA into account clusters stations in a particular geographic area into the same transition phase. Doing this will make resource allocation more efficient—for instance, tower crews would be able to focus on multiple stations in a specific area during a single phase. Additionally, the constraint will benefit consumers by limiting the number of rescans the consumer will have to complete because of the transition. While this constraint potentially increases the number and/or size of linked-station sets within a transition phase, on balance we believe that the benefits to consumers and stations outweighs the burden caused by this constraint. Limiting each DMA to a single transition phase results in approximately two-thirds of all stations having to transition in the same phase, removing the benefits of a phased transition approach.

    (6) The difference in the number of stations in the largest transition phase and the smallest transition phase will be no more than 30 stations. If it is not feasible to assign stations in such a way that the difference in the number of stations in the largest transition phase and the smallest transition phase is less than or equal to 30 stations, then an optimization will be performed minimizing the difference between the largest transition phase and smallest transition phase, and subsequent optimizations will be limited to no more than 1.1 times the number found in this optimization. This constraint will attempt to make the number of assigned stations in each of the phases somewhat equal, which in turn will help manage limited resources by ensuring that they can be spread more evenly across the transition phases.

    (7) Every transitioning station will be assigned to one transition phase.

    (8) No phase can have more than 125 linked-stations. The dependencies created by the interference constraints can affect a large number of stations across large geographic areas. This constraint will limit the effect of those dependencies and, to the extent that coordination is needed, facilitate a manageable transition process for broadcasters. Based on staff analysis, we believe the proposed 125-station limit strikes a balance between minimizing dependencies and other goals. If it is not possible to limit the number of linked-stations in a phase to 125, then we propose to apply an objective of minimizing the maximum number of linked-stations in any phase, and constrain all phases to no more than 1.2 times that maximum number.

    (9) No station falling into the “complicated” category for purposes of the Phase Scheduling Tool can be assigned to Phase 1. The goal of this constraint is to allow adequate time to transition the most challenging stations and to prevent an early phase completion date to be delayed due to the most time consuming transitions.

    Objectives: In order to identify a solution that best satisfies the Commission's transition goals, we propose to apply the following objectives to assignments or “solutions” identified by the Phase Assignment Tool that satisfy the constraints proposed above. The Phase Assignment Tool would prioritize the proposed objectives in the sequence listed below. Subsequent objectives would be constrained by prior objectives.

    (1) Assign U.S. stations whose pre-auction channels are in the 600 MHz Band to earlier phases in order to clear the 600 MHz Band as quickly as possible, while simultaneously assigning all Canadian stations and U.S. stations whose pre-auction channel is in the remaining television bands (U.S. TV-band stations) to later phases, where possible. This objective would promote a number of goals. It would help to clear the 600 MHz Band first in order to open it up to wireless licensees to offer new innovative services. It would also prevent Canadian and U.S. stations from competing for limited resources and provide Canada with the time needed for its transition. The Phase Assignment Tool therefore gives weights to assignments where there are stations transitioning from the 600 MHz Band after transition Phase 8. Similarly, the Phase Assignment Tool gives weights to assignments where Canadian stations as well as U.S. TV-band stations are assigned to any transition phase earlier than Phase 9. The weights for stations not transitioning out of the 600 MHz Band before Phase 9 is significantly higher than the weights for U.S. TV-band stations or Canadian stations transitioning early. We propose the following weights to assignments: U.S. stations in the 600 MHz Band assigned to phase 9 would add a weight of 20; US stations in the 600 MHz Band assigned to phase 10 would add a weight of 200; US TV-band stations and Canadian stations assigned before phase 9 would add a weight of 1. The Phase Assignment Tool minimizes the sum of all weights incurred by the phase assignments.

    (2) Minimize the sum, over all DMAs, of the number of times a DMA must rescan. This objective benefits consumers by minimizing the number of rescans necessary by viewers in a market and creates regionalized clusters that will make resource allocation more efficient. As in constraint #5 proposed above, the use of DMAs attempts to provide similar benefits to those that would flow from a purely regional approach.

    (3) Minimize the total number of linked-stations. This proposed objective is different than constraint #8 proposed above, in that it would minimize the total number of linked-stations throughout all phases of the transition. This objective seeks to provide as many stations as possible with the ability to test their equipment on their post-auction channel while simultaneously broadcasting on their pre-auction channel without the need to coordinate.

    (4) Minimizing the difference between the number of stations in the largest transition phase and the smallest transition phase. Like constraint #6 proposed above, by minimizing this maximum difference, this objective attempts to reduce below 30 the maximum difference between the number of stations in different phases. We believe that evening out the number of stations assigned to each transition phase will help manage limited resources by ensuring that they can be spread more evenly across the transition phases.

    We seek comment on these proposed constraints and objectives. Although the Phase Assignment Tool can enforce any of these constraints and objectives, some conflict with others and cannot be imposed simultaneously and others will have no impact on the solution if placed after a preceding objective.

    The Phase Assignment Tool could also be used during the transition to modify phase assignments. We recognize that unforeseen events may occur during the transition that may warrant adjustments in order to ensure that the transition proceeds in a timely fashion. If we decide to use the Phase Assignment Tool during the transition to modify phase assignments, we propose to restrict reassignments to later transition phases in order to provide certainty to stations that any adjustments will not require them to transition earlier than their originally scheduled phase completion date.

    Preliminary Results of Staff Analysis- Baseline Results. This section presents results from running the Phase Assignment Tool using representative final channel assignment plans, for both a 114 MHz and an 84 MHz spectrum clearing scenario. In each scenario, all of the constraints proposed above are satisfied and the proposed objectives were applied. We assumed that Canadian stations will be jointly transitioning with U.S. stations. All Canadian stations are included in the studies. Those stations that will remain on their channel but be required to convert to digital are not reflected at this time. However, the final joint transition plan and schedule will include all analog and digital Canadian stations. We also assumed that Mexican stations will have already completed their transition to their new channels below channel 37 prior to the end of the first phase.

    Figures 4 and 5 below present histograms for the 114 MHz and 84 MHz cases, respectively, showing the total number of stations that transition in each phase and within each phase how many are (a) Canadian stations, (b) U.S. stations whose pre-auction channel is in the 600 MHz Band and (c) other U.S. stations. The figures show that the 600 MHz band is mostly clear of U.S.-based impairments by the end of Phase 8. Also, very few Canadian stations are assigned to early transition phases. Those Canadian stations that are assigned to early transition phases must transition earlier in order to allow U.S. stations or other Canadian stations to transition. Table 1 illustrates the number of stations that are part of linked-station sets in each of the two scenarios. [Figure 4, Figure 5, and Table 1 Omitted].

    Preliminary Results with Modified Constraints. To illustrate the reasons underlying the constraints and objectives proposed above, this section presents comparable results under an 84 MHz clearing target scenario using alternative constraints. We chose to use the 84 MHz clearing target to illustrate these tradeoffs because the results are generally similar to those obtained using higher clearing targets. In this 84 MHz scenario the following constraints were applied instead of the proposed constraints above: (a) Instead of not allowing any temporary channel assignments, a small number of temporary channel assignments were allowed; (b) instead of allowing temporary pairwise interference increases of up to 2 percent, pairwise interference increases were limited to 0.5 percent and, conversely, allowed to go up to 5 percent; and (c) instead of requiring that all stations in a DMA be assigned to no more than two different transition phases, the restriction was tightened to assign all stations within a DMA to the same transition phase and, conversely, loosened to require that all stations in a DMA be assigned to no more than three different transition phases. The results of applying these alternative constraints are shown in the figures and tables below. We invite comment on whether any of these alternative constraints should be adopted.

    Temporary Channel Assignments. Figure 6 below shows the impact of allowing 50 temporary channel assignments on the phase size distribution. Table 2 shows how allowing a small number of temporary channel moves can reduce the size of linked-station sets. The results in this table indicate that allowing up to 50 temporary channel assignments is likely to significantly reduce the size of the largest linked-station set, reduce the number of U.S. stations remaining in the 600 MHz Band in Phase 9, and reduce the number of DMAs requiring more than one rescan. [Figure 6 and Table 2 Omitted]

    Pairwise Interference. Figures 7 and 8 and Table 3 below show the results if (a) only 0.5 pairwise interference increases are allowed on a temporary basis during the transition and (b) pairwise interference increases up to 5 percent are allowed. Figures 7 and 8 and Table 3 reflect that, as the amount of temporary pairwise interference allowed is increased, more U.S. TV-Band and Canadian stations transition in the final two phases, and fewer DMAs require more than one rescan. As compared to the 0.5 percent results, the higher interference levels substantially reduced the maximum number of linked-station sets. [Figure 7, Figure 8, and Table 3 Omitted]

    Staff analysis also indicates that, when pairwise temporary interference is allowed to increase, aggregate interference levels (calculated consistent with the methodology presented in the Aggregate Interference PN) do not exceed the pairwise limits except for a few cases. In those few cases, the aggregate interference for any one station is never more than double the pairwise limit. Table 4 shows the results of the staff's analysis. [Table 4 Omitted].

    DMA Restrictions. Requiring that all stations within a DMA be assigned to the same transition phase resulted in approximately two thirds of all stations being assigned to the same phase. Figure 9 illustrates this result under an 84 MHz scenario. [Figure 9 Omitted]. On the other hand, as shown in Figure 10 and Table 5 below, when stations in the same DMA are allowed to transition in up to three different phases, the number of DMAs requiring more than one rescan actually decreases compared to the baseline run. This is because allowing a few DMAs to be subject to three rescans gives the optimization software more flexibility to improve the percentage of DMAs that only require one rescan. Loosening this constraint also results in more stations moving out of the 600 MHz Band sooner. [Figure 10 and Table 5 Omitted].

    Section IV: The Phase Scheduling Tool. After stations are assigned to phases by applying the Phase Assignment Tool described above, we propose to use the Phase Scheduling Tool to help determine the phase completion date for each phase. The Phase Scheduling Tool estimates the total time necessary for stations within a phase to perform the tasks required to complete the transition process. In this section, we discuss the Phase Scheduling Tool and the proposed inputs which include the specific tasks required for stations to transition and the estimated time required to complete each task.

    The Phase Scheduling Tool models the various processes involved in a station transitioning to its post-auction channel. It divides these processes into two sequential stages: The “Pre-Construction Stage” and the “Construction Stage.” While separate processes within a stage may occur concurrently, such as equipment procurement and zoning applications, all processes within the Pre-Construction Stage must be complete before the station is ready to move to the Construction Stage. For example, in the model, the process of installing a new primary antenna cannot occur until after the new antenna is manufactured and delivered. A transition phase cannot end until all stations in the model assigned to that phase have completed both stages and are ready to operate on their post-auction channels.

    Some processes require specialized resources that may be in limited supply. The Phase Scheduling Tool models these limited resources by constraining the amount available at any given time. If a station needs a constrained resource to complete a process, and the resource is unavailable because other stations are using it, the station is placed in a queue until the required resource is available. As described in more detail below, the processes within each phase are not designed to be a comprehensive listing of every task; we have instead separated those processes which need resources that are most limited in supply and therefore likely will have the biggest impact on scheduling.

    In each Stage, the Phase Scheduling Tool uses two inputs: (1) The time it would take for a station to complete the tasks of that stage if all resources are available when needed; and (2) the estimated availability of constrained resources. The Phase Scheduling Tool uses these inputs to calculate how long it will take each station within a transition phase to complete all work associated with both Stages. The output of the Tool is the estimated number of weeks from the start of the transition required for all stations assigned to a phase to complete all of the necessary transition tasks, test equipment on their post-auction channels, and be ready to operate on their post-auction channels.

    Since it is not possible to know the exact order stations will begin each process, the Phase Scheduling Tool uses discrete event simulation to model this uncertainty. The Phase Scheduling Tool does assume, however, that a station assigned to an earlier phase will begin its Pre-Construction Stage processes requiring a constrained resource (e.g., ordering an antenna) before a station assigned to a later phase. By assigning the station order within a transition phase randomly, called the “simulation order,” and simulating the transition processes, the Phase Scheduling Tool provides a single estimate of the time to complete each transition phase. By repeating this simulation multiple times with stations in the same phase entering the system in a new random simulation order, the Phase Scheduling Tool produces a range of completion times for each phase. The Bureau intends to use this range in determining appropriate phase deadlines given the composition of the individual stations in each phase.

    The Phase Scheduling Tool also enables the staff to analyze the sensitivity of transition phase time estimates based on changes in input data. During the transition, as new information becomes available, the Tool can be rerun to assess the potential impact of unforeseen developments on the overall schedule.

    The following subsections detail the specific processes or tasks that we propose to model for each stage, as well as the estimated time and resource availability for each process. The proposed estimates are based on data contained in the Widelity Report, submissions from stakeholders, and informational discussions with tower crew companies, other antenna and transmitter manufacturers, and broadcasters. We believe that the proposed estimates are conservative and that they reasonably capture each aspect of the transition. We invite comment on these proposed inputs. The final subsection shows sample outputs of the Phase Scheduling Tool for the two baseline Phase Assignment Tool runs set forth in the prior section.

    Modeling the Transition Stages. As stated earlier, the individual tasks required for a station to complete its transition have been grouped into two stages: The Pre-Construction Stage and the Construction Stage. In the Pre-Construction Stage, a station completes two tasks: Ordering and delivery of the main and auxiliary antennas; and administration and planning work, which includes zoning, administration, legal, possible structural tower improvements, equipment modifications, and other activities. In the Construction Stage, a station completes two additional tasks: Construction-related work and tower crew work. This process is shown in Figure 11 below. [Figure 11 Omitted].

    The Phase Scheduling Tool groups together all tasks within a stage that can be done regardless of how many other stations are performing similar tasks. However, since there are two constrained resources that are dependent on the actions of others (antenna deliveries and tower crew availability), these tasks are separated out and the model considers how resource availability impacts the total completion time for any station in either stage. We note that there are many other resources that are not specifically identified but are essential to completion of the transition process. Based on the staff's analysis and the record developed to date, resources such as auxiliary antenna manufacturing, transmitter manufacturing, transmission line manufacturing and RF component installers will not affect the time required for a station to complete its transition. The availability and manufacturing capacity of these resources have been identified as being sufficient to fulfill the expected demand during the transition (i.e., these resources have been designated as being “unconstrained”) and therefore are not broken out separately in the Phase Scheduling Tool. Instead, as illustrated in Figure 11, the tasks related to these unconstrained resources have been grouped into the general tasks of Administration/Planning, which is within the Pre-Construction Stage, and Construction-related Work, which is within the Construction Stage. The Phase Scheduling Tool uses conservative estimates for the time requirements in order to safely over-estimate the individual needs of each station.

    Pre-Construction Stage Inputs. There are two components to the Pre-Construction Stage: (1) The time required for antenna equipment to be ordered, manufactured and delivered (a significant constraint); and (2) the time required for all other planning and administration activities necessary to prepare for construction (called “Administration/Planning”). The Administration/Planning component includes zoning, administration, legal work, and pre-construction alterations to tower and transmitter equipment. Since administration and planning activities take place in parallel and the activities of one station are unlikely to impact the ability of others to perform the same activities, the model simply estimates the total time needed to complete all of these activities.

    The proposed Phase Scheduling Tool categorizes stations based on the difficulty of completing these activities. The Commission used a similar “bucketing” approach for categorizing stations as was used when determining the Final Channel Assignment. Proposed time estimates were derived by taking estimates from Widelity and, where appropriate, adding “slack” time so that the overall estimate of the time required would be a conservative one. The proposed time estimates are shown in Table 6 below. [Table 6 Omitted].

    The Administration/Planning time estimate sets the minimum amount of time required for a station to complete the Pre-Construction Stage. While Administration/Planning work is occurring, stations likely will place orders for their main antennas. The proposed time estimates for this component of the Pre-Construction Stage include manufacturing time once the antenna manufacturers receives orders from stations, as well as delivery time. If no station had to wait for its main antenna to be manufactured and delivered, then the maximum amount of time it would take any station to complete the Pre-Construction Stage would be the 72 weeks allotted for the complicated stations to complete their planning activities. However, the ability of manufactures to produce enough antennas may impact the overall schedule. Therefore, the Phase Scheduling Tool includes antenna manufacturing and delivery as a specific resource constraint. Each station within a Transition Phase must receive its antenna delivery in order for it to complete the Pre-Construction Stage.

    Stations are divided into two categories, based on the assumption that manufacture and delivery of directional antennas for full power stations will require more time than for non-directional and Class A antennas (of either type). The time estimates shown in Table 7 are based on the assumption that the antenna manufacturers will begin manufacturing antennas as soon as the orders are received unless they are manufacturing at their current capacity. [Table 7 Omitted].

    We also propose to include in the Phase Scheduling Tool a specific number of antennas that can be manufactured and delivered at any given time. Based on those numbers, some stations may be able to receive their antenna without waiting for any additional time, but other stations may have to wait for their antennas to be delivered. The Phase Scheduling Tool will place such stations in a queue until the antenna can be delivered, based on the station's assigned number in a simulation order. In addition, the Phase Scheduling Tool will assume that manufacturers have an inventory of 20 antennas at the start of the 39-month transition period, and that capacity will increase over the course of the transition period. These proposed assumptions are listed in Table 8 below. [Table 8 Omitted].

    The completion of the Pre-Construction Stage for a given station is the maximum completion time for these two activities—either the time required for Administration/Planning activities or the time required for the manufacture and delivery of the antennas. For stations in early phases, the Pre-Construction Stage is usually the time required for Administration/Planning. For a station assigned to a later phase, the station will likely have completed the Administration/Planning activities before the delivery of its antenna, and therefore, its Pre-construction Stage will be completed when the antenna is delivered.

    Construction Stage Inputs. The approach to modeling the Construction Stage is similar to that of the Pre-Construction Phase and consists of two activities: (1) The time to complete all general facets of construction (called “Construction-Related Work”); and (2) the time required by tower crews to complete installation of equipment on the tower. As with Pre-Construction Stage activities, these activities can occur in parallel but the estimated completion time for the Stage is the time required to complete both these activities. In addition, like the Administration/Planning category in the Pre-Construction Stage, the Construction-Related Work category is a catch-all category of work for the Construction Stage. The estimated time for this activity includes estimates of the time to complete all construction work and associated management and coordination activities. More specifically, Construction-Related Work includes estimates for the time associated with installing the transmitter components, combiners, RF mask filters and the transmission line to the tower base. Construction-Related Work also allows time for any possible installation of liquid cooling systems, AC power, and connection to remote control equipment and input signal connections if required. Finally, Construction-Related Work includes time required for performing any tower modifications and any final testing of the system. Table 9 proposes estimates of the time to complete all work included in the “Construction-Related Work” category. [Table 9 Omitted]

    The Construction-Related Work estimates the minimum amount of time required for a station to complete the Construction Stage. The other process in the Construction Stage work is tower work. The time required for tower work is both tower and antenna specific. Table 10 lists the different characteristics that determine the amount of time required to perform tower work. [Table 10 Omitted]. If a station did not need to wait for an antenna crew to become available in order to complete its tower work, then the amount of time the station would take to complete the Construction Stage would be the larger of the time estimated for construction-related work and the time estimated for the station to complete work on its tower. However, not every station will be able to have a tower crew as soon as needed. The Phase Scheduling Tool will place any station that is waiting for a tower crew to become available in a queue until a crew becomes available, based on the station's assigned number in a simulation order. Stations will be removed from the queue according to their simulation order.

    We propose to include in the Phase Scheduling Tool specific estimates regarding the number of available tower crews. The record developed to date reflects different estimates as to the number and types of tower crews that will be available. In light of the variance in these estimates, we propose to place tower crews into three buckets: One for U.S. crews capable of servicing towers that are particularly difficult to work on due to height or location; one for U.S. crews that are capable of servicing easier towers; and one for Canadian crews. U.S. stations on towers that are above 300 feet in height and that are top-mounted or located on a candelabra can only draw from the pool of U.S. crews that can handle such difficult sites. Other U.S. stations can only draw from the other pool of U.S. crews, on the assumption that these difficult site crews will be fully occupied. Canadian stations can only draw from the pool of Canadian crews. It is likely that crews will travel between countries, but separating the crews in this way provides a more conservative estimate of the number of crews available in each country. We expect that the number of crews will increase as the transition proceeds. The specific estimates we propose are set forth below in Table 11. We assume a conservative growth rate in U.S. tower crews of 5%, but no growth in Canadian crews (which is very conservative). [Table 11 Omitted].

    Other assumptions incorporated into the proposed Phase Scheduling Tool are: (1) The estimated time required to complete work on a tower is reduced or discounted if more than one station on the tower is transitioning in the same phase. The Phase Scheduling Tool assumes that antenna installations will be performed by a single tower crew at the same time for all stations located on a given tower that are assigned to the same phase. The total estimated time for work on the tower will be the time required for the most difficult station plus 10 percent for the second station and five percent for each additional station up to an additional 30 percent. Based on informal discussions with industry and the record developed to date, we believe that these proposed discounts are appropriately conservative; (2) The Phase Scheduling Tool assumes that 75 percent of all stations (including those with a licensed auxiliary antenna) will need to install an auxiliary antenna. For each station requiring an auxiliary antenna, one additional week of tower crew time is added to the tower crew time, which is the maximum time required for an auxiliary in Table 10; and (3) Where the estimated time required to complete an entire transition phase is less than four weeks because much of the work (other than transmission testing on the new channel) has already occurred prior to the start date for the testing period of that transition phase, the testing period window is scaled up to allow four weeks for testing.

    Sample Output. This section provides sample results of the Phase Scheduling Tool using the baseline Phase Assignment Tool results and the proposed constraints and objectives, as presented in section III above, for simulated auction outcomes involving 114 MHz and 84 MHz clearing scenarios. Although Tables 12 and 13 below show the average number of weeks from the start of the phase to phase completion date, each phase completion date will be listed as a specific date when the final transition plan is released. This outputs of each clearing scenario are represented graphically below in Figures 12 and 13, respectively. As both Figures show, stations within each phase cannot start testing until the prior phase is complete, and all stations within a phase must cease operating on their pre-auction channels by the phase completion date. [Table 12, Figure 12, Table 13, and Figure 13 Omitted].

    Appendix B—Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The following small entities, as well as an estimate of the number of such small entities, are discussed in the IRFA: (1) Full power television stations; (2) Class A TV and LPTV stations; (3) wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite); (4) wired telecommunications carriers; (5) cable television distribution services; (6) cable companies and systems; (7) cable system operators (Telecom Act standard); and (8) direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service.

    Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rule Changes. The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) delegated authority to the Media Bureau (Bureau) to establish construction deadlines within the 39-month post-incentive auction transition period for television stations that are assigned to new channels in the incentive auction repacking process. Pursuant to the Commission's direction, the Bureau, in consultation with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Office of Engineering and Technology and the Incentive Auction Task Force, is developing a plan for a “phased transition schedule.” The purpose of the Public Notice is to invite comment on the plan.

    The Bureau proposes to use a Phase Assignment Tool that will use mathematical optimization techniques to assign stations to one of 10 “transition phases.” The phases will have sequential testing periods and deadlines or “phase completion dates.” The phase completion date is the last day that a station in its assigned phase may operate on its pre-auction channel. The specific constraints and objectives the Bureau proposed are set forth in Appendix A to the Public Notice.

    The Bureau proposes to use a Phase Scheduling Tool to estimate the time required for stations in each phase to complete the tasks required to transition to their pre-auction channels in light of resource availability. The Bureau will use the Phase Scheduling Tool to guide it in establishing phase completion dates for each phase. This is the date by which stations within that phase must cease operations on their pre-auction channels. Appendix A details the specific tasks or processes that the Bureau proposes to model in the Phase Scheduling Tool for each stage of the transition process, as well as the estimated time and resource availability for each task.

    Under the proposed plan, the transition phases will begin at the same time, but will have sequential phase completion dates. Each phase will have a defined “testing period,” ending with the phase completion date. For each phase after the first one, the testing period will begin on the day after the phase completion date for the prior phase. The need for a station to coordinate with other stations during the testing period will depend on whether it is part of a “linked-station set,” that is, a set of two or more stations assigned to the same phase with interference relationships or “dependencies.” Stations that are not part of a linked-station set may test on their post-auction channels during the testing period without the need for coordination. Stations that are part of a linked-station set must coordinate testing with stations in the set so as not avoid undue interference. Such stations must transition to their post-auction channels simultaneously.

    As part of the proposed plan, the Bureau is seeking comment on whether to allow increased temporary interference between stations that are still operating on their pre-auction channels and stations testing or operating on their post-auction channels in order to facilitate the transition. The staff's analysis indicates that allowing temporary pairwise (station-to-station) interference above the 0.5 percent authorized by the rules governing increased permanent interference is likely to significantly reduce inter-dependencies between stations and facilitate coordination. The Bureau proposes to allow temporary pairwise interference increases of up to two percent, which it believes will produce substantial benefits without undue disruption to television service during the transition.

    The Bureau is also considering whether to assign some stations to temporary channels during the transition as another means of reducing the size or number of linked-station sets and facilitate the transition. The Bureau proposes to limit such assignments, however, to stations in complex “cycles” of inter-dependency. The Bureau also proposes to limit such assignments to channels that are close to stations' ultimate channel assignments, and to relatively low power stations, in order to limit the associated burdens and costs. Temporary channel assignments would replicate pre-auction coverage area and population served. Because the Bureau anticipates that stations would need to commence operations on temporary facilities early in the transition, it proposes to require that stations assigned to temporary channels apply for special temporary authority (STA) within ninety days of the Closing and Reassignment PN's release.

    If the Bureau decides to use temporary channel assignments, it tentatively concludes that stations will have must-carry rights on their temporary channels. It also proposes that any temporary channel assignments in the 600 MHz Band would be subject to the inter-service interference (ISIX) protections adopted in the ISIX Third Report and Order. In addition, a full power or Class A station operating on a temporary channel could displace a low power television (LPTV) station. An operating LPTV station displaced by a temporary channel assignment could file for a new channel during the post-auction LPTV displacement window. Alternatively, the displaced LPTV station could go silent or seek temporary authorization to operate its facility at variance from its authorized parameters in order to prevent interference.

    Because the Commission anticipated the possibility of using temporary channels to facilitate the transition and stated that the reasonably incurred costs of equipment needed to move to temporary channels are eligible for reimbursement, the Bureau notes that such costs would be eligible for reimbursement in the same manner as costs related to construction of permanent post-auction channel facilities. Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) likewise should be eligible for reimbursement of all eligible costs in order to continue to carry a reassigned station operating on a temporary channel.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements. If the Bureau decides to use temporary channels, it proposes to require that stations assigned to temporary channels apply for special temporary authority (STA) within ninety days of the Closing and Reassignment PN's release. It also proposes that any temporary channel assignments in the 600 MHz Band would be subject to the inter-service interference (ISIX) protections adopted in the ISIX Third Report and Order, which requires, among other things, that wireless carriers prepare and retain a study demonstrating that no interference will be caused to full-power or Class A broadcast television stations. We believe the proposals will not have a significant effect on the reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements of regulatees. To the extent that commenters believe that any of the proposals would impose any additional reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirement on small entities, we ask that they describe the nature of that burden.

    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, standard; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.

    In general, alternatives to proposed rules or policies are discussed only when those rules pose a significant adverse economic impact on small entities. In this context, however, the proposed transition plan set forth in the Public Notice generally confers benefits. In particular, the intent of the plan is to ensure that all stations are able to complete a timely transition to their final post-auction channel facilities without delay and without incurring unnecessary costs. Although certain proposals, such as the use of temporary channels and increased interference, may impose additional burdens on stations and MVPDs, the benefits of such proposals (such as further facilitating the successful post-incentive auction transition) outweigh any burdens associated with compliance. Further, eligible stations and MVPDs that incur additional costs associated with these proposals may seek reimbursement. In addition, if a full power or Class A station operating on a temporary channel displaces an operating LPTV station, such LPTV station could file for a new channel during the post-auction LPTV displacement window. Alternatively, the displaced LPTV station could go silent or seek temporary authorization to operate its facility at variance from its authorized parameters in order to prevent interference.

    Federal Communications Commission. Barbara A. Kreisman, Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25333 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    81 205 Monday, October 24, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 18, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by November 23, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Identifying Program Components and Practices that Influence SNAP Application Processing Timeliness Rates.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (the Act), Sections 11(e)(3) and 11(e)(9) requires that initial SNAP applications be processed and benefits provided within 30 days of the application date, or within 7 days for expedited applications.

    Need and Use of the Information: FNS monitors compliance with statutory requirements through the SNAP Quality Control System (SNAP-QC). Results of these monitoring activities have indicated that a majority of States do not meet the acceptable performance criterion of a 95 percent application processing timeliness (APT) rate. The primary purpose of this study is to determine best practices for facilitating high APT rates, and to identify policy and procedural practices that hinder and facilitate high APT rates.

    Description of Respondents: 51 State, Local or Tribal Government including the District of Columbia.

    Number of Respondents: 360.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 536.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25556 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 19, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by November 23, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    Title: Importation of Mangoes from India

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0312

    Summary of Collection: Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq), the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to carry out operations or measures to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, prevent, or retard the spread of plant pests new to the United States or not known to be widely distributed throughout the United States. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulates the importation of fruits and vegetables into the continental United States from certain parts of the world as provided in “subpart-Fruit and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-75). In accordance with these regulations, mangoes from India may be imported into the United States only under certain conditions to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United States.

    Need and Use of the Information: APHIS amended the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation into the continental United States of mangoes from India under certain conditions. As a condition of entry, the mangoes have to undergo irradiation treatment and be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with additional declaration statement providing specific information regarding the treatment and inspection of the mangoes and the orchards in which they were grown. The additional information collection activities include a preclearance workplan, trust fund agreement, compliance agreement, monitoring of inspections, orchard mutual agreement, irradiation treatment package labeling, recordkeeping, treatment certification, and denial and withdrawal certification. Failure to collect this information would greatly hinder APHIS' ability to ensure that mangoes from India are not carrying plant pests.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Federal Government (Foreign)

    Number of Respondents: 75

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion

    Total Burden Hours: 1,710

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25617 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Designation of Hastings Grain Inspection, Inc. To Provide Class X or Class Y Weighing Services AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    GIPSA is announcing the designation of Hastings Grain Inspection, Inc. (Hastings) to provide Class X or Class Y weighing services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended.

    DATES:

    Effective August 5, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Thein, 816-866-2223 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the December 9, 2014, Federal Register (79 FR 73027), GIPSA announced the designation of Hastings to provide official services under the USGSA, effective October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2017. Subsequently, Hastings asked GIPSA to amend their designation to include official weighing services. The USGSA authorizes the Secretary to designate authority to perform official weighing to an agency providing official inspection services within a specified geographic area, if such agency is qualified under 7 U.S.C. 79. Under 7 U.S.C. 79(a), GIPSA evaluated information regarding the designation criteria in section 7 U.S.C. 79 and determined that Hastings is qualified to provide official weighing services in their currently assigned geographic area.

    Hastings' designation is amended to include Class X or Class Y weighing within their assigned geographic area, effective August 5, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Interested persons may obtain official services by contacting Hastings at (402) 462-4254.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Susan B. Keith, Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25613 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Amendment to the Designation of Lincoln Grain Inspection Service, Inc. AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Lincoln Grain Inspection Service, Inc.'s (Lincoln) geographical territory is amended to exclude the area previously designated to Lincoln within New Mexico and Texas. Lincoln advised GIPSA that they will cease providing official services in New Mexico and Texas on October 31, 2016. Accordingly, GIPSA is announcing that the portion of Lincoln's designation within New Mexico and Texas will be canceled effective October 31, 2016. The designation of Lincoln is from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2018, but from October 31, 2016, through March 31, 2018 it will apply only to the geographic area listed below due to the voluntary cancellation. For official services in the New Mexico and Texas areas after October 31, 2016, contact Ron Metz, Field Office Manager, Domestic Inspection Operations Office, at telephone number 816-659-8400.

    DATES:

    Effective October 31, 2016

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sharon Lathrop, 816-891-0415 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services 7 U.S.C. 79(f). Under 7 U.S.C. 79(g), designations of official agencies are effective for no longer than five years, unless terminated by the Secretary, and may be renewed according to the criteria and procedures prescribed in 7 U.S.C. 79(f).

    Lincoln Designation

    Pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 79(f)(2), the following geographic area, in the States of Iowa and Nebraska, is assigned to this official agency.

    In Iowa and Nebraska

    Bounded on the North (in Nebraska) by the northern York, Seward, and Lancaster County lines; the northern Cass County line east to the Missouri River; the Missouri River south to U.S. Route 34. U.S. Route 34 east to Interstate 29; Bounded on the East by Interstate 29 south to the Fremont County line; the northern Fremont and Page County lines; the eastern Page County line south to the Iowa-Missouri State line; the Iowa Missouri State line west to the Missouri River; the Missouri River south-southeast to the Nebraska Kansas State line; Bounded on the South by the Nebraska-Kansas State line west to County Road 1 mile west of U.S. Route 81; Bounded on the West by County Road 1 mile west of U.S. Route 81 north to State Highway 8; State Highway 8 east to U.S. Route 81; U.S. Route 81 north to the Thayer County line; the northern Thayer County line east; the western Saline County line; the southern and western York County lines.

    The following grain elevators are not part of this geographic area assignment and are assigned to: Omaha Grain Inspection Service, Inc.: Goode Seed & Grain, McPaul, Fremont County, Iowa; and Haveman Grain, Murray, Cass County, Nebraska.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Susan B. Keith, Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25610 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Montana Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the Montana Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 11:00 a.m. (MDT) on Thursday, November 10, 2016, via teleconference. The purpose of the planning meeting is for the Advisory Committee to discuss the transcript and plan next steps regarding the briefing meeting on Border Town Discrimination Against Native Americans in Billings held on August 29, 2016.

    DATES:

    Thursday, November 10, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. (MDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    To be held via teleconference:

    Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-430-8694, Conference ID: 1007989.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Malee V. Craft, Regional Director, [email protected], 303-866-1040.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion by dialing the following Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-430-8694; Conference ID: 1007989. Please be advised that before being placed into the conference call, the operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and an email address (if available) prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free phone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-977-8339 and provide the FRS operator with the Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-430-8694, Conference ID: 1007989. Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Monday, December 12, 2016. Written comments may be mailed to the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1961 Stout Street, Suite 13-201, Denver, CO 80294, faxed to (303) 866-1050, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at (303) 866-1040.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=259 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda: Welcome and Roll Call Norma Bixby, Chair, Montana State Advisory Committee Malee V. Craft, Regional Director and Designated Federal Official (DFO) Discuss Transcript of briefing on Border Town Discrimination in Montana Montana Advisory Committee Next Steps Montana Advisory Committee Open Session Dated: October 18, 2016. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25592 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Southeast Region Dealer and Interview Family of Forms.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0013.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 7,494.

    Average Hours per Response: Dealer reporting for monitoring Federal fishery annual catch limits (ACLs): Coastal fisheries dealers reporting, 10 minutes; mackerel dealer reporting (non-gillnet), 10 minutes; mackerel dealer reporting (gillnet), 10 minutes; mackerel vessel reporting (gillnet), 10 minutes; wreckfish dealer reporting, 10 minutes.

    Bioprofile data from Trip Interview programs (TIP): Shrimp Interviews, 10 minutes; Fin Fish interviews, 10 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 5,028.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a current information collection.

    Fishery quotas are established for many species in the fishery management plans developed by the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery Management Council, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and The Caribbean Fishery Management Council. The Southeast Fisheries Science Center has been delegated the responsibility to monitor these quotas. To do so in a timely manner, seafood dealers that handle these species are required to report the purchases (landings) of these species. The frequency of these reporting requirements varies depending on the magnitude of the quota (e.g., lower quota usually require more frequent reporting) and the intensity of fishing effort. The most common reporting frequency is twice a month; however, some fishery quotas, (e.g., the mackerel gill net) necessitate weekly or by the trip reporting.

    In addition, information collection included in this family of forms includes interview with fishermen to gather information on the fishing effort, location and type of gear used on individual trips. This data collection is conducted for a subsample of the fishing trips and vessel/trips in selected commercial fisheries in the Southeast region and commercial fisheries of the US Caribbean. Fishing trips and individuals are selected at random to provide a viable statistical sample. These data are used for scientific analyses that support critical conservation and management decisions made by national and international fishery management organizations.

    A revision to this collection is requested because the Caribbean Fishery Management Council has asked that commercial trip interviews be conducted for the fisheries of the Caribbean. In order to support this request, the SEFSC has developed a sampling procedure which will require additional commercial trip interview with fishers in the Caribbean. This data collection is authorized under 50 CFR part 622.5.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25551 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE947 Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Caribbean Fishery Management Council's (Council) Outreach and Education Advisory Panel (OEAP) will meet in Puerto Rico.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on November 17, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at CFMC Office, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918, telephone: (787) 766-5926.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OEAP will meet to discuss the items contained in the following agenda:

    ○ Call to Order ○ Adoption of Agenda ○ OEAP Chairperson's Report • Status of: ○ Responsible Seafood Consumption Campaign ○ CFMC Report 157th Regular Meeting ○ 2017 Calendar Fuete y Verguilla Issue Celebrating 40 Year of the Magnusson Stevens Act and the CFMC ○ Caribbean Fishery App ○ USVI Activities ○ Social Media for Council Communications with Stakeholders ○ PEPCO ○ MREP Caribbean ○ Island-Based Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) ○ Other Business

    The meeting is open to the public, and will be conducted in English. Fishers and other interested persons are invited to attend and participate with oral or written statements regarding agenda issues.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. For more information or request for sign language interpretation and/other auxiliary aids, please contact Mr. Miguel A. Rolón, Executive Director, Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00918, telephone (787) 766-5926, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: October 19, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25653 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE971 Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of scoping meetings on Federal permits to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper (Snapper Unit 2) from Puerto Rico EEZ waters.

    SUMMARY:

    The Caribbean Fishery Management Council is considering establishing federal permits to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper (Snapper Unit 2) from Puerto Rico EEZ waters and is conducting scoping meetings to obtain public comments regarding this matter.

    Dates and Addresses November 14, 2016, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.—Corporación de Pescadores Unidos, Playa Húcares, Sector El Morillo, Carr. #3 Km. 65.9, Naguabo, Puerto Rico; November 15, 2016, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.—Mayagüez Holiday Inn, 2701 Hostos Avenue, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918-1903, telephone: (787) 766-5926.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The goal of these scoping meetings is to allow the public to comment on the options listed below and to provide alternative options not yet considered by the Council and NMFS, on federal permits to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper (Snapper Unit 2) from Puerto Rico EEZ waters.

    Actions and Alternatives

    Action 1: Establish a commercial permit to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper (Snapper Unit 2 [SU2]) from the Puerto Rico exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

    Option 1 (No Action): Do not require a commercial permit for harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Option 2: Require a commercial permit for harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ. If Option 2 is selected, the Council must also select Option 3, 4, or 5.

    Sub-option A: Establish an open access commercial permit for harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ, with no limit on the number of permits that may be issued.

    Sub-option B: Establish a limited entry commercial permit for harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ in which, following some period of eligibility, no new permits would be issued. If this sub-option is chosen, guidelines for transferring permits would need to be established.

    Option 3: Recognize the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (PRDNER) commercial queen snapper and cardinal snapper harvest permit as the required commercial permit for harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper in the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Option 4: Require a federal permit as the required commercial permit for harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Sub-option A: The required federal permit would be assigned to the individual fisher or to their business, and therefore valid regardless of the vessel from which the fisher is operating.

    Sub-option B: The required federal permit would be assigned to a vessel and therefore valid for all licensed fishers operating from that vessel.

    Option 5: Require either the Puerto Rico commercial queen snapper and cardinal snapper harvest permit, or a separate federal commercial SU2 harvest permit, for commercial harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Action 2: Permit eligibility.

    Option 1 (No Action): Do not establish eligibility requirements for obtaining a commercial permit to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Option 2: Require the applicant for a commercial permit to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ to hold a valid commercial license to fish in the U.S. EEZ.

    Option 3: Require the applicant for a commercial permit to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ to provide proof of previous queen snapper or cardinal snapper harvest activity during a specific period of time.

    Sub-option A: Use the most recent three years of reported commercial landings of queen snapper and/or cardinal snapper to determine eligibility.

    Sub-option B: Require the fisher to provide evidence of commercial queen snapper and/or cardinal snapper landings for at least three of the most recent five years for which landings data are available.

    Sub-option C: Other.

    Option 4: Require the applicant for a commercial permit to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ to provide proof of average annual landings of queen snapper and cardinal snapper during the specific period of time identified in Option 3.1

    1 Choosing Option 4 assumes that Option 3 was first chosen.

    Sub-option A: Minimum reported average annual landings of x pounds whole weight.

    Sub-option B: Minimum reported average annual landings of y pounds whole weight.

    Sub-option C: Minimum reported average annual landings of z pounds whole weight.

    Option 5: Other/Alternate Eligibility Requirements?

    Action 3: Allowable gear.

    Option 1 (No Action): Do not define allowable gear for commercial harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from Puerto Rico EEZ waters.

    Option 2: Define the allowable gear for commercial harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from Puerto Rico EEZ waters.

    Sub-option A: Manual hook-and-line (no power retrieval).

    Sub-option B: Bandit gear.

    Sub-option C: Other.

    Action 4: Allowable number of fishing trips.

    Option 1 (No Action): Do not specify a maximum number of allowable fishing trips per year for commercial harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Option 2: Specify a maximum number of allowable fishing trips per year for commercial harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Sub-option A: x trips.

    Sub-option B: y trips.

    Sub-option C: z trips.

    Sub-option D: Other.

    Action 5: Commercial trip limits.

    Option 1 (No Action): Do not specify a commercial trip limit for queen snapper and cardinal snapper harvested from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Option 2: Specify a commercial trip limit (in pounds) for queen snapper and cardinal snapper harvested from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Sub-option A: x pounds whole weight.

    Sub-option B: y pounds whole weight.

    Sub-option C: z pounds whole weight.

    Sub-option D: Other.

    Action 6: * Reporting method for fishers commercially permitted to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Option 1 (No Action): Do not establish a method to report landings of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ. PRDNER requires commercial catch reporting forms be used to report commercial harvest of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from Puerto Rico territorial and EEZ waters. Forms can be submitted in-person, by fax, or by email.

    Option 2: Require permitted commercial fishers to report landings of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ using a form specifically designed for this purpose. Forms can be submitted in-person, by fax, or by email.

    Option 3: Require fishers to record and report landings of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ using an electronic methodology. Forms will be submitted electronically via a pre-established communications conduit.

    Option 4: Allow fishers reporting landings of queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ to choose between the PRDNER commercial catch reporting form or an electronic reporting method.

    * Note—Fishers permitted to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ, who also harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from territorial waters, would be required to report landings from both areas.

    Action 7: Frequency of reporting for fishers permitted to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from Puerto Rico EEZ waters.

    Option 1 (No Action): Do not specify a frequency for submitting landings reports of queen snapper and cardinal snapper. Puerto Rico requires that fishers submit landings reports of commercially harvested queen snapper and cardinal snapper from territorial waters within 60 days of the fishing activity.

    Option 2: Require fishers permitted to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ to submit landings reports daily, regardless of fishing activity or lack thereof.

    Option 3: Require fishers permitted to harvest queen snapper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ to submit landings reports within 24 hours following completion of a fishing trip for which queen snapper and cardinal snapper were harvested from the Puerto Rico EEZ.

    Option 4: Require fishers permitted to harvest queen snpper and cardinal snapper from the Puerto Rico EEZ to submit landings reports weekly, regardless of fishing activity or lack thereof.

    Option 5: Other?

    Copy of the Scoping Document can be can be found at the Caribbean Council Web site at caribbeanfmc.com.

    Written comments can be sent to the Council not later than November 30, 2016, by regular mail to the address below, or via email to [email protected]

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. For more information or request for sign language interpretation and other auxiliary aids, please contact Mr. Miguel A. Rolón, Executive Director, Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00918-1903, telephone (787) 766-5926, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: October 19, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25654 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE981 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (MAFMC's) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting via Webinar, jointly with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC's) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, November 14, 2016, to view the agenda, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place via Webinar with a telephone-only connection option. The Webinar can be accessed, at http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/scup_quota_ap/. To access via telephone, dial 1-800-832-0736 and use room number 5068871.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site, at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel, together with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Advisory Panel, will meet on Monday, November 14, 2016, via Webinar (see DATES and ADDRESSES). The purpose of this meeting is to discuss potential changes to the dates of the three commercial quota periods for the Scup fishery. The three quota periods are each allocated a different percentage of the annual commercial quota and different possession limits are in effect during each period. The Council is considering initiating a framework adjustment, or other management action, to modify the dates of these quota periods, based on past requests from Advisory Panel members. During this meeting, advisors will review a preliminary analysis of the potential impacts of modifying the quota period dates, will review recommendations from the Monitoring Committee, and will have an opportunity to provide the Council with additional input on a potential management action to modify these dates.

    A detailed agenda and background documents will be made available on the Council's Web site, at www.mafmc,org, prior to the meeting.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 business days prior to the meeting.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 19 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25642 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE974 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 51 Stock Identification (ID) webinar for Gray Snapper.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 51 assessment of the Gray Snapper will consist of a data workshop, a review workshop, and a series of assessment webinars.

    DATES:

    The SEDAR 51 Stock ID webinar will be held November 14, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julie A. Neer at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; telephone: (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a multi-step process including: (1) Data Workshop; (2) Assessment Process utilizing webinars; and (3) Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a data report that compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The product of the Assessment Process is a stock assessment report that describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The assessment is independently peer reviewed at the Review Workshop. The product of the Review Workshop is a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, HMS Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and NGO's; International experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion in the Stock ID webinars are as follows:

    1. Participants will use review genetic studies, growth patterns, existing stock definitions, prior SEDAR stock ID recommendations, and any other relevant information on Gray Snapper stock structure.

    2. Participants will make recommendations on biological stock structure and define the unit stock or stocks to be addressed through this assessment.

    3. Participants will provide recommendations to address Council management jurisdictions, to support management of the stock or stocks, and specification of management benchmarks and fishing levels by Council jurisdiction in a manner consistent with the productivity measures of the stock.

    4. Participants will document work group discussion and recommendations through a Data Workshop working paper for SEDAR 51.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 business days prior to each workshop.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 19, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25651 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Final Order Regarding Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Application To Exempt Specified Transactions; Amendment to the Final Order Exempting Specified Transactions of Certain Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) is issuing a final order in response to an application from Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) to exempt specified transactions from certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA” or “Act”) and Commission regulations. In this release, the Commission is also amending an order issued on March 28, 2013 exempting other specified transactions from certain provisions of the CEA and Commission regulations.

    DATES:

    The effective date for the SPP Final Order and the Amended RTO-ISO Order is October 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert B. Wasserman, Chief Counsel, 202-418-5092, [email protected], Alicia L. Lewis, Special Counsel, 202-418-5862, [email protected], or Andrée Goldsmith, Special Counsel, 202-418-6624, [email protected], Division of Clearing and Risk; David P. Van Wagner, Chief Counsel, 202-418-5481, [email protected], or Riva Spear Adriance, Senior Special Counsel, 202-418-5494, [email protected], Division of Market Oversight, in each case at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    The Commission is issuing a final order (“SPP Final Order”) in response to an application (“Exemption Application”) 1 from SPP to exempt certain Transmission Congestion Rights, Energy Transactions, and Operating Reserve Transactions (collectively, the “SPP Covered Transactions”) from certain provisions of the CEA 2 and Commission regulations. The SPP Final Order exempts contracts, agreements, and transactions for the purchase or sale of the limited electric energy-related products that are specifically described within the SPP Final Order from certain provisions of the CEA and Commission regulations, with the exception of the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under CEA sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13 of the Act, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations § 23.410(a) and (b), § 32.4, and part 180.3 The exemption in the SPP Final Order also will exempt such transactions from private actions pursuant to CEA section 22.4 To be eligible for the exemption contained in the SPP Final Order, the contract, agreement, or transaction must be offered or entered into in a market administered by SPP pursuant to SPP's tariff, rate schedule, or protocol (collectively, “Tariff”), and the Tariff must have been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). In addition, the contract, agreement, or transaction must be entered into by persons who are “appropriate persons,” as defined in sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) of the Act,5 “eligible contract participants,” as defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the Act and Commission regulations,6 or persons who are in the business of: (i) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy, or (ii) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system. The SPP Final Order also extends to any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect to the SPP Covered Transactions. Finally, the SPP Final Order is subject to other conditions set forth therein. Authority for issuing the exemption is found in section 4(c)(6) of the Act.7 The Commission issued a proposed order and request for comment with respect to SPP's Exemption Application (“SPP Proposed Order”) on May 18, 2015.8

    1 In the Matter of the Application for an Exemptive Order Under Section 4(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act by Southwest Power Pool, Inc., Oct. 17, 2013, as amended Aug. 1, 2014.

    2 7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.

    3 The foregoing provisions are referred to as the “Excepted Provisions.”

    4 7 U.S.C. 25.

    5 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(3)(A) through (J).

    6 7 U.S.C. 1a(18)(A). See also Further Definition of “Swap Dealer,” “Security-Based Swap Dealer,” “Major Swap Participant,” “Major Security-Based Swap Participant” and “Eligible Contract Participant,” 77 FR 30596, May 23, 2012.

    7 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(6).

    8 Notice of Proposed Order and Request for Comment on an Application for an Exemptive Order From Southwest Power Pool, Inc. From Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Pursuant to the Authority Provided in Section 4(c)(6) of the Act, 80 FR 29490, May 21, 2015. The SPP Proposed Order was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2015.

    A copy of the Exemption Application is available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov/stellent/groups/public/@requestsandactions/documents/ifdocs/spp4camdappl080114.pdf; the attachments to the Application are posted at http://www.cftc.gov/stellent/groups/public/@requestsandactions/documents/ifdocs/spp4cattach-a-gg080114.pdf. A chart submitted by SPP that sets forth the status of its implementation of the standards set forth in FERC Order No. 741 is posted at http://www.cftc.gov/stellent/groups/public/@requestsandactions/documents/ifdocs/spp4caddendum_b.pdf. A copy of the SPP Proposed Order is available at 80 FR 29490, and on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@lrfederalregister/documents/file/2015-12346a.pdf. A copy of the comment file with respect to the SPP Proposed Order is available on the Commission's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1586.

    The Commission is also amending an order issued on March 28, 2013 pursuant to the authority in section 4(c)(6) of the Act exempting specified electric energy transactions from certain provisions of the CEA and Commission regulations (“RTO-ISO Order”).9 The RTO-ISO Order was issued in response to a consolidated petition from certain regional transmission organizations (“RTOs”) and independent system operators (“ISOs”). The RTO-ISO Order exempted contracts, agreements, and transactions for the purchase or sale of the limited electric energy-related products that are specifically described within the RTO-ISO Order from certain provisions of the CEA and Commission regulations, with the exception of the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under CEA sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13 of the Act, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180. The RTO-ISO Order did not specifically mention CEA section 22. The Commission issued a proposal to amend the RTO-ISO Order and request for comment on May 9, 2016 (“RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment”).10 The Commission is amending the text of the RTO-ISO Order to also exempt the transactions covered under that order from private actions pursuant to CEA section 22 (“Amended RTO-ISO Order”).

    9 Final Order in Response to a Petition From Certain Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations to Exempt Specified Transactions Authorized by a Tariff or Protocol Approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Public Utility Commission of Texas From Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Pursuant to the Authority Provided in the Act, 78 FR 19880, Apr. 2, 2013. The RTO-ISO Order was published in the Federal Register on April 2, 2013.

    10 Notice of Proposed Amendment to and Request for Comment on the Final Order in Response to a Petition from Certain Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations to Exempt Specified Transactions Authorized by a Tariff or Protocol Approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Public Utility Commission of Texas From Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Pursuant to the Authority Provided in the Act, 81 FR 30245, May 16, 2016. The RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment was published in the Federal Register on May 16, 2016.

    A copy of the RTO-ISO Order is available at 78 FR 19880 (April 2, 2013), and on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@lrfederalregister/documents/file/2013-07634a.pdf. A copy of the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment is available at 81 FR 30245 (May 16, 2016), and on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@lrfederalregister/documents/file/2016-11385a.pdf. A copy of the comment file with respect to the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment is available on the Commission's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1697.

    Table of Contents I. Relevant Dodd-Frank Provisions II. Background A. RTO-ISO Order B. SPP Exemption Application C. SPP Proposed Order 1. Transactions Proposed To Be Exempted 2. Conditions to the SPP Proposed Order 3. Additional Limitations D. Aspire v. GDF Suez E. RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment III. Summary of Comments A. Overview of Comments B. Private Right of Action Under CEA Section 22 1. Summary of Comments 2. Commission Determination C. Use of the Term “Member” in the SPP Proposed Order IV. Section 4(c) Determinations A. Section 4(c) Analysis 1. Overview of CEA Section 4(c) a. Sections 4(c)(6)(A) and (B) b. Section 4(c)(1) c. Discussion of Comments on Sections 4(c)(6) and 4(c)(1) d. Section 4(c)(2) e. Section 4(c)(3) 2. CEA Section 4(c) Determinations—SPP Final Order a. Commission Jurisdiction b. Consistent With the Public Interest and Purposes of the CEA c. CEA Section 4(a) Should Not Apply to the Transactions or Entities Eligible for the Exemption d. Appropriate Persons e. Effect on the Commission's or Any Contract Market's Ability To Discharge Its Regulatory or Self-Regulatory Duties Under the CEA 3. CEA Section 4(c) Determinations—Amended RTO-ISO Order a. Consistent With the Public Interest and Purposes of the CEA b. Other Section 4(c) Determinations B. Additional Limitations and Provisions—SPP Final Order V. Related Matters A. Regulatory Flexibility Act 1. Introduction 2. SPP Final Order 3. Amended RTO-ISO Order B. Paperwork Reduction Act 1. Introduction 2. SPP Final Order 3. Amended RTO-ISO Order C. Cost-Benefit Considerations 1. Introduction 2. SPP Final Order a. Background b. SPP Proposed Order and Request for Comment on the Commission's Proposed Consideration of Costs and Benefits c. Summary of the SPP Final Order d. Baseline e. Benefits f. Costs g. Consideration of Alternatives h. Consideration of CEA Section 15(a) Factors 3. Amended RTO-ISO Order a. Background b. RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment and Request for Comment on the Commission's Proposed Consideration of Costs and Benefits c. Summary of the Amended RTO-ISO Order d. Baseline e. Benefits f. Costs g. Consideration of Alternatives h. Consideration of CEA Section 15(a) Factors VI. SPP Final Order VII. Amended RTO-ISO Order I. Relevant Dodd-Frank Provisions 11

    11 For a fuller discussion, see RTO-ISO Order at 19881-82.

    On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”).12 Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act amended the CEA and altered the scope of the Commission's exclusive jurisdiction.13 In particular, it expanded the Commission's exclusive jurisdiction, which had included futures traded, executed, and cleared on CFTC-regulated exchanges and clearinghouses, to also cover swaps traded, executed, or cleared on CFTC-regulated exchanges or clearinghouses.14 As a result, the Commission's exclusive jurisdiction now includes swaps as well as futures.

    12See Dodd-Frank Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010). The text of the Dodd-Frank Act may be accessed at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@swaps/documents/file/hr4173_enrolledbill.pdf.

    13 Section 722(e) of the Dodd-Frank Act.

    14See 7 U.S.C. 2(a)(1)(A). The Dodd-Frank Act also added section 2(h)(1)(A), which requires swaps to be cleared if required to be cleared and not subject to a clearing exception or exemption. See 7 U.S.C. 2(h)(1)(A).

    The Dodd-Frank Act also added a savings clause that addresses the roles of the Commission, FERC, and state regulatory authorities as they relate to certain agreements, contracts, or transactions traded pursuant to the tariff or rate schedule of an RTO or ISO that has been approved by FERC or the state regulatory authority.15 That savings clause, paragraph (I)(i) of CEA section 2(a)(1), preserves the statutory authority of FERC and state regulatory authorities over agreements, contracts, or transactions entered into pursuant to a tariff or rate schedule approved by FERC or a State regulatory authority, that are (I) not executed, traded, or cleared on an entity or trading facility subject to registration, or (II) executed, traded, or cleared on a registered entity or trading facility owned or operated by an RTO or ISO.16 However, paragraph (I)(ii) of CEA section 2(a)(1) also preserves the Commission's statutory authority over such agreements, contracts, or transactions.17

    15See 7 U.S.C. 2(a)(1)(I).

    16 7 U.S.C. 2(a)(1)(I)(i).

    17See 7 U.S.C. 2(a)(1)(I)(ii).

    The Dodd-Frank Act granted the Commission specific powers to exempt certain contracts, agreements, or transactions from duties otherwise required by statute or Commission regulation by adding, as relevant here, new section 4(c)(6) to the CEA. Section 4(c)(6) provides that the Commission shall, if certain conditions are met, issue exemptions from the “requirements” of the CEA for certain transactions entered into pursuant to a tariff or rate schedule approved or permitted to take effect by FERC or a state regulatory authority.18

    18See 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(6). CEA section 4(c)(6) provides that the Commission shall issue an exemption only if the Commission determines that the exemption would be consistent with the public interest and the purposes of this Act. Moreover, the Commission must act in accordance with 4(c)(1) and 4(c)(2) when issuing an exemption under section 4(c)(6).

    The Commission must act “in accordance with” sections 4(c)(1) and (2) of the CEA when issuing an exemption under section 4(c)(6).19 Section 4(c)(1) grants the Commission the authority to exempt any agreement, contract, or transaction or class of transactions, including swaps, from certain provisions of the CEA, in order to promote responsible economic or financial innovation and fair competition.20 Section 4(c)(2) 21 of the Act further provides that the Commission may not grant exemptive relief unless it determines that: (1) The exemption would be consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the CEA; (2) the transaction will be entered into solely between “appropriate persons” as that term is defined in section 4(c); 22 and (3) the exemption will not have a material adverse effect on the ability of the Commission or any contract market to discharge its regulatory or self-regulatory responsibilities under the CEA.23 In enacting section 4(c), Congress noted that the purpose of the provision is to give the Commission a means of providing certainty and stability to existing and emerging markets so that financial innovation and market development can proceed in an effective and competitive manner.24

    19 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(6).

    20 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(1).

    21 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(2).

    22 Section 4(c)(3) of the CEA further outlines who may constitute an appropriate person for the purpose of a particular 4(c) exemption and includes, as relevant to the SPP Final Order: (a) Any person that qualifies for one of ten defined categories of appropriate persons; or (b) such other persons that the Commission determines to be appropriate in light of their financial or other qualifications, or the applicability of appropriate regulatory protections.

    23 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(2).

    24 H.R. Rep. No. 102-978, 102d Cong. 2d Sess., 1992 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3179, 3213 (1992).

    II. Background A. RTO-ISO Order

    On March 28, 2013, the Commission issued the RTO-ISO Order, which exempts specified transactions of particular RTOs and ISOs 25 from certain provisions of the CEA and Commission regulations. The scope of the RTO-ISO Order includes transactions that fall within the definitions of “Financial Transmission Rights,” “Energy Transactions,” “Forward Capacity Transactions,” or “Reserve or Regulation Transactions” 26 (collectively, the “RTO-ISO Covered Transactions”) and that are offered or sold in a market administered by one of the petitioning RTOs or ISOs pursuant to a tariff, rate schedule, or protocol that has been approved or permitted to take effect by FERC or PUCT.27 In addition, to be eligible for the exemption in the RTO-ISO Order, all parties to the agreements, contracts, or transactions that are covered by the RTO-ISO Order must be: (1) “appropriate persons,” as defined in section 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) of the CEA; (2) “eligible contract participants,” as defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the CEA and in Commission regulation 1.3(m); or (3) in the business of (i) generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy, or (ii) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system.28 To be eligible for the exemption in the RTO-ISO Order, the transactions must comply with all other enumerated terms and conditions in the RTO-ISO Order.29 The relief granted in, and the conditions imposed by, the SPP Proposed Order are consistent with the analogous provisions of the RTO-ISO Order.

    25 Six entities (the “Requesting Parties”) jointly filed a petition requesting the exemption provided in the RTO-ISO Order: Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”), ISO New England, Inc. (“ISO NE”), and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) are RTOs subject to regulation by FERC; California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) and New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) are ISOs subject to regulation by FERC; and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (“ERCOT”) performs the role of an ISO and is subject to regulation by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUCT”). See RTO-ISO Order at 19882.

    26See id. at 19912-13.

    27See id. at 19913. The exemption in the RTO-ISO Order also applies to “any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect” to any of the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions. See id. at 19912. These entities, including the six Requesting Parties (see supra note 25) are hereinafter referred to collectively as the “RTO-ISO Covered Entities.”

    28See id. at 19913-14.

    29See id. at 19912-15.

    In the RTO-ISO Order, the Commission excepted from the exemption the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under CEA sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13 of the Act, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180.30 The RTO-ISO Order did not discuss CEA section 22.

    30See id. at 19912.

    B. SPP Exemption Application

    On October 17, 2013, SPP filed an Exemption Application 31 with the Commission requesting that the Commission exercise its authority under section 4(c)(6) of the CEA 32 and section 712(f) of the Dodd-Frank Act 33 to exempt certain contracts, agreements, and transactions for the purchase or sale of specified electric energy products, that are offered pursuant to a FERC-approved Tariff, from most provisions of the Act.34 SPP is an RTO subject to regulation by FERC. As described in greater detail below, FERC encouraged the formation of RTOs to administer the electric energy transmission grid on a regional basis.35

    31 SPP filed an amended Exemption Application on August 1, 2014. Citations herein to “Exemption Application” are to the amended Exemption Application.

    32 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(6).

    33See section 712(f) of the Dodd-Frank Act.

    34See Exemption Application at 1.

    35See id. at 2 n.7.

    SPP specifically requested that the Commission exempt from most provisions of the CEA certain “transmission congestion rights,” “energy transactions,” and “operating reserve transactions,” as those terms are defined in the Exemption Application, if such transactions are offered or entered into pursuant to a Tariff under which SPP operates that has been approved by FERC, as well as any persons (including SPP, its members and its market participants) offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect to such transactions.36 SPP asserted that each of the transactions for which an exemption is requested is: (a) Subject to a long-standing, comprehensive regulatory framework for the offer and sale of such transactions established by FERC, and (b) part of, and inextricably linked to, SPP's delivery of electric energy and the organized wholesale electric energy markets that are subject to regulation and oversight by FERC.37 SPP expressly excluded from the Exemption Application any request for relief from the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13 of the Act, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4 and part 180,38 and such provisions explicitly have been carved out of the SPP Proposed Order. SPP asserted that it is seeking the requested exemption in order to provide greater legal certainty with respect to the regulatory requirements that apply to the transactions that are the subject of the Exemption Application.39

    36See i d. at 11-15.

    37See id. at 17.

    38See id. at 1.

    39See id. at 11.

    As discussed above,40 the relief that SPP requested is substantially similar to the relief the Commission granted in the RTO-ISO Order.

    40See supra section II.A.

    C. SPP Proposed Order

    On May 18, 2015, the Commission issued the SPP Proposed Order.41 The exemptive relief proposed in the SPP Proposed Order was substantially similar to the exemptive relief granted by the Commission in the RTO-ISO Order.

    41 80 FR 29490 (May 21, 2015).

    1. Transactions Proposed To Be Exempted

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission proposed to exempt the purchase and sale of three types of SPP Covered Transactions: (1) Transmission Congestion Rights (“TCRs”), (2) Energy Transactions, and (3) Operating Reserve Transactions, each as defined below, pursuant to section 4(c)(6) of the CEA.42

    42Id. at 29493-94, 29516-17. As set forth in the SPP Proposed Order, SPP represents that the terms “Transmission Congestion Rights,” “Energy Transactions,” and “Operating Reserve Transactions” are SPP's equivalent of the following terms set forth in the RTO-ISO Order: “Financial Transmission Right,” “Energy Transactions,” and “Reserve or Regulation Transactions,” respectively. SPP also avers that its transactions are defined in a manner consistent with the terms set forth in the RTO-ISO Order. Id. at 29493 n.51.

    A TCR 43 was proposed to be defined as “a transaction, however named, that entitles one party to receive, and obligates another party to pay, an amount based solely on the difference between the price for electric energy, established on an electric energy market administered by SPP, at a specified source (i.e., where electric energy is deemed injected into SPP's grid) and a specified sink (i.e., where electric energy is deemed withdrawn from SPP's grid).” 44 As set forth in the SPP Proposed Order, TCRs would be exempt only where each TCR is linked to, and the aggregate volume of TCRs for any period of time is limited by, the physical capability (after accounting for counterflow) of SPP's electric energy transmission system for such period; SPP serves as the market administrator for the market on which the TCRs are transacted; each party to the transaction is a market participant of SPP (or is SPP itself) and the transaction is executed on a market administered by SPP; and the transaction does not require any party to make or take physical delivery of electric energy.45

    43 As set forth in the SPP Proposed Order, SPP's markets will also include Auction Revenue Rights (“ARRs”). ARRs are allocated to transmission customers based on historical network load or transmission service reservations (or equivalent service taken under a grandfathered agreement between an SPP transmission owner and a customer). ARRs are granted exclusively to transmission service customers (i.e., not to other market participants or speculators) based on their transmission service (or grandfathered service) and are subject to SPP's simultaneous feasibility analysis of the capability of the SPP Transmission System. ARRs are not traded in SPP's market; instead, ARRs entitle the holder to a share of revenues from SPP-administered transmission congestion right auctions or may be “self-converted” at the customer's election into a transmission congestion right. Id. at 29493 n.52.

    44Id. at 29493; see also id. at 29517. The proposed definition of TCR is similar to the definition of financial transmission right (“FTR”) in the RTO-ISO Order. However, the proposed definition of TCR does not include TCR options, whereas the RTO-ISO Order's definition of FTR includes such rights in the form of options. Id. at 29493 n.53; cf. RTO-ISO Order at 19913 (defining the term FTR to include FTRs and FTRs in the form of options).

    45 80 FR at 29493.

    “Energy Transactions” were proposed to be defined as transactions in the SPP “Day-Ahead Market” 46 or “Real-Time Balancing Market,” 47 as those terms are defined in the SPP Proposed Order, for the purchase or sale of a specified quantity of electric energy at a specified location (including virtual bids and offers) where the price of electric energy is established at the time the transaction is executed.48 Performance occurs in the Real-Time Balancing Market by either the physical delivery or receipt of the specified electric energy or a cash payment or receipt at the price established in the Day-Ahead Market or Real-Time Balancing Market; and the aggregate cleared volume of both physical and cash-settled energy transactions for any period of time is limited by the physical capability of the electric energy transmission system operated by SPP for that period of time.49

    46 “Day-Ahead Market” was defined in the SPP Proposed Order as “an electric energy market administered by SPP on which the price of electric energy at a specified location is determined, in accordance with SPP's Tariff, for specified time periods, none of which is later than the second operating day following the day on which the Day Ahead Market clears.” Id. at 29517.

    47 “Real-Time Balancing Market” was defined in the SPP Proposed Order as “an electric energy market administered by SPP on which the price of electric energy at a specified location is determined, in accordance with SPP's Tariff, for specified time periods within the same 24-hour period.” Id.

    48Id. at 29493; see also id. at 29517. The definition of Energy Transactions is similar to the definition used by the Commission in the RTO-ISO Order. See RTO-ISO Order at 19913.

    49 80 FR at 29493; see also id. at 29517.

    “Operating Reserve Transactions” were proposed to be defined as transactions:

    (1) In which SPP, for the benefit of load-serving entities and resources, purchases, through auction, the right, during a period of time as specified in SPP's Tariff, to require the seller of such right to operate electric energy facilities in a physical state such that the facilities can increase or decrease the rate of injection or withdrawal of a specified quantity of electric energy into or from the electric energy transmission system operated by SPP with:

    (a) Physical performance by the seller's facilities within a response time interval specified in SPP's Tariff (Reserve Transaction); or

    (b) prompt physical performance by the seller's facilities (Area Control Error Regulation Transaction);

    (2) For which the seller receives, in consideration, one or more of the following:

    (a) Payment at the price established in SPP's Day-Ahead or Real-Time Balancing Market, as those terms are defined in the SPP Proposed Order, price for electric energy applicable whenever SPP exercises its right that electric energy be delivered (including “Demand Response,” as defined in the SPP Proposed Order);

    (b) Compensation for the opportunity cost of not supplying or consuming electric energy or other services during any period during which SPP requires that the seller not supply energy or other services;

    (c) An upfront payment determined through the auction administered by SPP for this service;

    (d) An additional amount indexed to the frequency, duration, or other attributes of physical performance as specified in SPP's Tariff; and

    (3) In which the value, quantity, and specifications of such transactions for SPP for any period of time shall be limited to the physical capability of the electric energy transmission system operated by SPP for that period of time.50

    50Id. at 29517; see also id. at 29493-94.

    Finally, in the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission clarified that financial transactions that are not tied to the allocation of the physical capabilities of an electric energy transmission grid would not be suitable for exemption, and were therefore not covered by the SPP Proposed Order, because such activity would not be inextricably linked to the physical delivery of electric energy.51

    51See id. at 29494.

    2. Conditions to the SPP Proposed Order

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission proposed four conditions, each of which is consistent with the RTO-ISO Order. First, the Commission proposed that all parties to the agreements, contracts, or transactions that are covered by the SPP Proposed Order must be “appropriate persons,” as such term is defined in sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) of the Act, “eligible contract participants,” as such term is defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the Act and in Commission regulation 1.3(m),52 or persons who are in the business of: (i) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy, or (ii) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system.53

    52Id. Consistent with the RTO-ISO Order, the Commission proposed to use its authority pursuant to CEA section 4(c)(3)(K) to include eligible contract participants as appropriate persons for the purposes of this SPP Final Order. See RTO-ISO Order at 19896, 19913; see also 7 U.S.C. 1a(18)(A) and Further Definition of “Swap Dealer,” “Security-Based Swap Dealer,” “Major Swap Participant,” “Major Security-Based Swap Participant” and “Eligible Contract Participant,” 77 FR 30596, May 23, 2012.

    53 80 FR at 29494. Consistent with the RTO-ISO Order, the Commission also proposed to use its authority pursuant to CEA section 4(c)(3)(K) to include persons who are in the business of: (i) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy, or (ii) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system. See RTO-ISO Order at 19899, 19913, 19914.

    Second, the Commission proposed that the agreements, contracts, or transactions that are covered by the SPP Proposed Order must be offered or sold pursuant to SPP's Tariff, which has been approved or permitted to take effect by FERC.54

    54 80 FR at 29494.

    Third, the Commission proposed that neither SPP's Tariff nor other governing documents may include any requirement that SPP notify a member prior to providing information to the Commission in response to a subpoena or other request for information or documentation.55

    55Id.

    Finally, the Commission proposed that information-sharing arrangements that are satisfactory to the Commission between the Commission and FERC must remain in full force and effect.56 The Commission proposed that this condition also requires that SPP comply with the Commission's requests on an as-needed basis for related transactional and positional market data.57

    56Id. The CFTC and FERC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) Regarding Information Sharing and Treatment of Proprietary Trading and Other Information on January 2, 2014 (“CFTC-FERC Information Sharing MOU”), which addresses the sharing of information in connection with market surveillance and investigations into potential market manipulation, fraud, or abuse. The MOU is available at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@newsroom/documents/file/cftcfercismou2014.pdf.

    57 80 FR at 29494.

    3. Additional Limitations

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission expressly noted that the proposed exemption was based upon the representations made in the Exemption Application and in the supporting materials provided by SPP and its counsel, and that any material change or omission in the facts and circumstances that alter the grounds for the SPP Proposed Order might require the Commission to reconsider its finding that the exemption contained therein is appropriate and/or in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of the CEA.58 The Commission highlighted several of SPP's representations as being of particular importance, including: (1) The exemption sought by SPP relates to the transactions described in the SPP Proposed Order, which are primarily entered into by commercial participants that are in the business of generating, transmitting, and distributing electric energy; 59 (2) SPP was established for the purpose of providing affordable, reliable electric energy to consumers within its geographic region; 60 (3) the transactions described in the SPP Proposed Order are an essential means, designed by FERC as an integral part of its statutory responsibilities, to enable the reliable delivery of affordable electric energy; 61 (4) each of the transactions defined in the SPP Proposed Order taking place on SPP's markets is monitored by both a market administrator (SPP) and an independent market monitor (“SPP Market Monitor”) responsible to FERC; 62 and (5) each transaction defined in the SPP Proposed Order is directly tied to the physical capabilities of SPP's electric energy grid.63

    58See id.; see also id. at 29518. These limitations are consistent with the RTO-ISO Order. See RTO-ISO Order at 19914-15.

    59See 80 FR at 29494; see also Exemption Application at 17.

    60See 80 FR at 29494; see also Exemption Application at 2, 17.

    61See 80 FR at 29494; see also generally FERC Order No. 888; FERC Order No. 2000; 18 CFR 35.34(k)(2); Exemption Application at 17.

    62See 80 FR at 29494; see also Exemption Application at 17.

    63See 80 FR at 29494; see also Exemption Application at 12-15.

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission explicitly reserved the authority to, in its discretion, revisit any of the terms of the relief provided by the SPP Proposed Order, including, but not limited to, making a determination that certain entities and transactions should be subject to the Commission's jurisdiction.64 The Commission also explicitly reserved the authority to, in its discretion, suspend, terminate, or otherwise modify or restrict the exemption granted in the SPP Proposed Order.65 Finally, the Commission announced its intention to exclude from the exemptive relief its general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under the CEA over SPP and the transactions defined in the SPP Proposed Order, including sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13 of the CEA and any implementing regulations promulgated thereunder including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180.66

    64See 80 FR at 29518.

    65See id.

    66See id. at 29515, 29516.

    The Commission explained in the SPP Proposed Order that neither the proposed nor the final RTO-ISO Order discussed, referred to, or mentioned CEA section 22, which provides for private rights of action for damages against persons who violate the CEA, or persons who willfully aid, abet, counsel, induce, or procure the commission of a violation of the Act.67 The Commission explained that by enacting CEA section 22, Congress provided private rights of action as a means for addressing violations of the Act as an alternative or supplement to Commission enforcement action.68 The Commission observed that it would be highly unusual for the Commission to reserve to itself the power to pursue claims for fraud and manipulation—a power that includes the option of seeking restitution for persons who have sustained losses from such violations or a disgorgement of gains received in connection with such violations—while at the same time, without explanation, denying private rights of action and damages remedies for the same violations.69 The Commission stated that if it intended to take such a differentiated approach (i.e., to limit the rights of private persons to bring such claims while reserving to itself the right to bring the same claims), the RTO-ISO Order would have included a discussion or analysis of the reasons therefore.70 The Commission therefore stated that, in the Commission's view, the RTO-ISO Order does not prevent private claims for fraud or manipulation under the CEA.71 The Commission further stated that this view would apply equally to the SPP Proposed Order.72

    67Id. at 29493.

    68Id.

    69Id.

    70Id.

    71Id.

    72Id.

    D. Aspire v. GDF Suez

    In February 2015, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas dismissed a private lawsuit on the ground that the CEA section 22 private right of action was not available to the plaintiffs under the RTO-ISO Order.73 The lawsuit alleged that certain electricity generators in ERCOT's market manipulated the market price of electricity by, among other things, intentionally withholding electricity generation during times of tight supply.74 The suit further alleged that this conduct created artificial and unpredictable prices in the secondary futures markets.75 The claim thus alleged that defendants were manipulating contract prices in the derivatives commodities market in violation of the Act.76 The District Court dismissed the claim, finding that under the RTO-ISO Order, the private right of action in CEA section 22 was “unavailable to [p]laintiffs.” 77 In February 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the District Court's ruling.78

    73Aspire Commodities, L.P. v. GDF Suez Energy N. Am., Inc., No. H-14-1111, 2015 WL 500482 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 3, 2015).

    74Id. at *1-*2.

    75Id. at *2.

    76See id.

    77Id. at *5.

    78See Aspire Commodities, L.P. v. GDF Suez Energy N. Am., Inc., No. 15-20125, 640 F. App'x 358 (5th Cir. Feb. 25, 2016).

    E. RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment

    On May 9, 2016, the Commission issued a notice of proposed order and request for comment which proposed to amend the text of the RTO-ISO Order to explicitly provide that the RTO-ISO Order does not exempt the entities covered under the RTO-ISO Order from the private right of action found in section 22 of the CEA79 with respect to the Excepted Provisions.80

    79 7 U.S.C. 25.

    80 81FR 30245.

    In the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment, the Commission noted that, currently, Paragraph 1 of the RTO-ISO Order states that the Commission:

    Exempts, subject to the conditions and limitations specified herein, the execution of the electric energy-related agreements, contracts, and transactions that are specified in paragraph 2 of this Order and any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect thereto, from all provisions of the CEA, except, in each case, the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under CEA sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180.81

    81 81 FR at 30247; see also RTO-ISO Order at 19912.

    The RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment stated that, under the RTO-ISO Order, for those CEA requirements from which the RTOs and ISOs are exempt, there can be no claim under CEA section 22 with respect to those requirements.82 The Commission further stated RTO-ISO Order did not specifically note that the exemption contained therein did not apply to actions pursuant to CEA section 22 with respect to the Excepted Provisions.83

    82 81 FR 30247.

    83Id.

    In light of the Aspire court ruling discussed above,84 in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment, the Commission proposed to amend the text of the RTO-ISO Order to clarify that the RTO-ISO Covered Entities are not exempt from the private right of action in CEA section 22 with respect to the Excepted Provisions. Specifically, the Commission proposed to amend Paragraph 1 of the RTO-ISO Order to read as follows (the additional language is italicized):

    84See supra section II.D.

    Exempts, subject to the conditions and limitations specified herein, the execution of the electric energy-related agreements, contracts, and transactions that are specified in paragraph 2 of this Order and any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect thereto, from all provisions of the CEA, except, in each case, the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under CEA sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180. This exemption also does not apply to actions pursuant to CEA section 22 with respect to the foregoing enumerated provisions. 85

    85 81 FR 30248. The RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment did not alter any of the other terms or conditions of the RTO-ISO Order.

    The Commission proposed the foregoing amendment to the RTO-ISO Order in order to ensure clarity.86 In addition, the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment gave the following additional reasons for proposing the amendment: (1) Amending the RTO-ISO Order to explicitly preserve the private right of action with respect to fraud and manipulation would not cause regulatory uncertainty or duplicative or inconsistent regulation; (2) conflicting judicial interpretations regarding the nature of the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions would not affect the jurisdiction of FERC or any relevant state regulatory authority; (3) the private right of action in the CEA is instrumental in protecting the American public, deterring bad actors, and maintaining the credibility of the markets subject to the Commission's jurisdiction; (4) the private right of action under CEA section 22 was established by Congress as an integral part of the CEA's enforcement and remedial scheme; and (5) the Commission's preservation of section 22 liability with respect to the Excepted Provisions is consistent with the Commission's actions in prior 4(c) orders.87

    86Id.

    87See id. at 30248-49.

    III. Summary of Comments A. Overview of Comments

    The Commission requested public comments on both the SPP Proposed Order and the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment.

    The public comment period on the SPP Proposed Order ended on June 22, 2015. The Commission received thirteen (13) comment letters on the SPP Proposed Order from twelve (12) commenters,88 the majority of which provided general support for the proposed exemption.89 The comment letters on the SPP Proposed Order addressed the following issues: preservation of the private right of action found in section 22 of the CEA; the Commission's jurisdiction; and the use of the term “member” in the SPP Proposed Order. In determining the scope and content of the SPP Final Order, the Commission has taken into account the issues raised by commenters.

    88 All comment letters are available through the Commission's Web site at: http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1586. Comments addressing the SPP Proposed Order were received from: Aspire Commodities, LP (“Aspire (1)”); Association of Electric Companies of Texas, Inc. (“AECT”); Coalition of Physical Energy Companies (“COPE”); Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC Staff (1)”); First Principles Economics, LLC (“First Principles”); GDF Suez Energy North America, Inc. (“GSENA (1)”); International Energy Credit Association (“IECA (1)”); Joint Trade Associations (collectively referring to the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Supply Association, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association); Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUCT (1)”); RTO-ISO Commenters (collectively referring to PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc., and the California Independent System Operator Corporation); SPP; and Texas Competitive Power Advocates (“TCPA”). COPE submitted an original comment letter on June 22, 2015 and submitted a second comment letter on June 23, 2015. The second comment letter, which was dated June 22, 2015, contained a correction to the version of COPE's comment letter that was originally submitted, and therefore superseded COPE's original comment letter. The corrected version of COPE's comment letter is herein referred to as “COPE (1).” COPE submitted a third comment letter after the expiration of the comment period, on June 25, 2015.

    89See, e.g., Aspire at 1; AECT at 1; COPE (1) at 2; First Principles at 1; GSENA (1) at 2; IECA at 3; Joint Trade Associations at 2; PUCT (1) at 2; SPP at 1; and TCPA at 2.

    The public comment period on the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment ended on June 15, 2016. The Commission received forty-eight (48) comment letters on the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment from forty-six (46) commenters,90 all of which addressed the proposed preservation of the private right of action found in section 22 of the CEA. In determining the scope and content of the Amended RTO-ISO Order, and the scope and content of the portions of the SPP Final Order related to the private right of action, the Commission has taken into account the issues raised by commenters.

    90 All comment letters are available through the Commission's Web site at: http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1697. Comments addressing the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment were received from: AKCSC; American Electric Power Company, Inc. (“AEP”); American Gas Association (“AGA”); Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.; Aspire Commodities, LP (“Aspire (2)”) Basin Electric Power Cooperative (“Basin”); Better Markets; Catherine Corn; bilmem ne; Coalition of Physical Energy Companies (“COPE (2)”); Commercial Energy Working Group (“CEWG”); Delaware Division of the Public Advocate, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, Maryland Office of People's Counsel, Office of People's Counsel for the District of Columbia, New Jersey Division of Rates Council, Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, Consumer Advocate Division of the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (“PJM JCA”); East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc.; East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Edison Electric Institute (“EEI”); Electric Power Supply Association (“EPSA”); Exelon Generation Company (“Exelon”); Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Staff (“FERC Staff (2)”); GDF Suez Energy North America, Inc. (“GSENA (2)”); Golden Spread Electric Cooperative (“Golden Spread”); Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.; International Energy Credit Association (“IECA (2)”); ISO/RTO Council (“IRC”); ITC Great Plains, LLC (“ITC”); Kansas City Power & Light Company (“KCP&L”); Large Public Power Council (“LPPC”); Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.; MISO Transmission Owners; Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (“MJMEUC”); National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (“NARUC”); National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and American Public Power Association (collectively, the “NFP Electric Associations”); North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation; Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (“OMPA”); Old Dominion Electric Cooperative; Omaha Public Power District (“OPPD”); Prairie Power, Inc.; PSEG Companies (“PSEG”); Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUCT (2)”); Raiden Commodities (“Raiden”); Southern Illinois Power Cooperative; Sunflower Electric Power Corporation; Tenaska Energy, Inc. (“Tenaska”); Texas Industrial Energy Consumers (“TIEC”); Westar Energy, Inc. (“Westar”); Western Farmers Electric Cooperative; and Xcel Energy Services Inc. (“Xcel”). Both Exelon and Golden Spread submitted two duplicate comments; any reference to either commenter below refers to the letter attachment on the Commission's Web site at the above link. In addition, twelve electric cooperatives submitted substantively identical comment letters: Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc., East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc., Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc., Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc., North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, Prairie Power, Inc., Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative. These twelve commenters are collectively referred to in the discussion that follows as the “Electric Cooperative Commenters,” and any citations to such commenters are to the letter of the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative.

    B. Private Right of Action Under CEA Section 22 1. Summary of Comments

    In response to the SPP Proposed Order, a number of commenters objected to the inclusion in the SPP Proposed Order of language proposing to preserve, in the RTO-ISO Order, private rights of action under CEA section 22 with respect to the Excepted Provisions, and these commenters asked that such language not be included in the SPP Final Order.91 Some commenters asserted that the Commission's proposed clarification of the RTO-ISO Order would deprive the RTOs and ISOs of due process and the right to comment on this aspect of the RTO-ISO Order. The Joint Trade Associations, for example, argued that the Commission's preservation of a private right of action under section 22 of the CEA in the proposed exemption would retroactively impose requirements that were not contemplated or discussed in prior proceedings.92 GSENA likewise stated that the Commission cannot retroactively alter the RTO-ISO Order “by simply reciting its belief or intent.” 93 COPE echoed this objection.94 A number of commenters asserted that the language regarding the preservation of private rights of action under CEA section 22 would amount to a retroactive alteration of the RTO-ISO Order, so the Commission should have provided notice to market participants and an opportunity to comment on the alteration.95 Also, commenters argued that the inclusion in the SPP Proposed Order of language stating that the intent of the RTO-ISO Order was to preserve such private rights of action would be contrary to the plain meaning of the RTO-ISO Order.96 In addition, in response to the SPP Proposed Order, commenters asserted that allowing private rights of action could (1) create a regulatory conflict that would be inconsistent with Congress' directive that the CFTC and FERC coordinate their actions to avoid conflicting or duplicative regulation; 97 (2) give rise to inconsistent rulings among the Commission, FERC, state regulatory agencies and federal district courts regarding the regulatory scheme for transactions in the RTO-ISO markets; 98 (3) adversely affect the ability of the Commission and FERC to determine under the CFTC-FERC jurisdictional MOU 99 how to exercise their respective authorities; 100 (4) result in inconsistent court decisions; 101 (5) be costly; 102 and (6) be inconsistent with other orders issued by the Commission pursuant to the authority in CEA section 4(c).103 Separately, in response to the SPP Proposed Order, FERC Staff raised concerns about the effect of allowing private rights of action under CEA section 22 on FERC's regulatory authority, and requested that the Commission clarify that its action on SPP's application does not limit or otherwise affect FERC's authority.104

    91See, e.g., Joint Trade Associations at 5; COPE (1) at 3, 5; GSENA (1) at 3; PUCT (1) at 3.

    92 Joint Trade Associations at 5.

    93 GSENA (1) at 3.

    94 COPE (1) at 5 (“[A] retroactive statement of agency intent” is not sufficient to change the plain meaning of the RTO-ISO Order).

    95 Joint Trade Associations at 5-6; COPE (1) at 5; IECA (1) at 2; RTO-ISO Commenters at 3; PUCT (1) at 4.

    96See, e.g., Joint Trade Associations at 5; COPE (1) at 3; PUCT (1) at 3-4.

    97 Joint Trade Associations at 7; IECA at 3.

    98 RTO-ISO Commenters at 5.

    99 Memorandum of Understanding Between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC-FERC Jurisdictional MOU”), Jan. 2, 2014, available at http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@newsroom/documents/file/cftcfercjmou2014.pdf.

    100 RTO-ISO Commenters at 5-6; 9-10.

    101 Joint Trade Associations at 6; RTO-ISO Commenters at 8-9.

    102 COPE (1) at 4; PUCT (1) at 6.

    103 RTO-ISO Commenters at 6-7.

    104 FERC Staff (1) at 2.

    In light of the comments received with respect to the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission proposed an amendment to the RTO-ISO Order to address the private right of action issue directly and to solicit further comment from the public on that issue.

    As noted above, the Commission received comments in response to the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment. Specifically, a number of commenters asserted that the private right of action is not necessary in the context of the RTO-ISO markets given the comprehensive regulatory scheme to which those markets are subject. For example, IRC asserted that the RTO-ISO markets are “comprehensively regulated” by FERC and PUCT, with substantial enforcement tools, resources, and experience.105 According to several commenters, FERC's broad enforcement authority over the RTO-ISO markets, including the authority to conduct investigations, re-settle markets, grant refunds, order disgorgement, impose civil penalties, and refer cases to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution, renders the private right of action unnecessary in such markets.106 In addition, FERC Staff noted that section 206 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) authorizes FERC to determine, either on its own motion or as a result of a complaint, that an existing rate or market feature is unjust and unreasonable, and to establish prospectively a just and reasonable rate.107 Similarly, PUCT argued that it has an established complaint process to accommodate claims of fraud and manipulation.108 More broadly, commenters asserted that both FERC and PUCT have sufficient processes in place for private parties to air their concerns.109 Commenters also noted that the RTO-ISO markets are subject to an additional layer of oversight by independent market monitors, which are tasked with tracking the behavior of RTO-ISO market participants and reporting suspicious behavior to FERC or PUCT.110 On the other hand, Aspire, Better Markets, and Raiden asserted that the private right of action protects market participants by deterring fraudulent or manipulative conduct in the RTO-ISO markets, and that private rights of action serve as a vital tool to augment the Commission's limited resources.111 Aspire and Raiden further argued that market participants are in the best position to observe and take action with respect to market manipulation, and that they are properly incentivized to bring private claims to seek compensation for any damages suffered.112

    105 IRC at 5-6. The IRC also argued that a Commission order should not be amended, expanded, or withdrawn absent a change in the law or the facts underlying the order. Id. at 12.

    106See, e.g., EPSA at 4; GSENA (2) at 3; MISO Transmission Owners at 5; PSEG at 2.

    107 FERC Staff (2) at 3.

    108 PUCT (2) at 11.

    109See, e.g., AGA at 3; EPSA at 5; GSENA (2) at 3; PUCT (2) at 11.

    110See, e.g., EEI at 10; PJM JCA at 4; MISO Transmission Owners at 5-6; PUCT (2) at 11-12; Xcel at 2.

    111 Aspire (2) at 2; Better Markets at 2-3; Raiden at 4.

    112 Aspire (2) at 6; Raiden at 6.

    In addition, several commenters argued that preserving the CEA section 22 private right of action in this context would result in regulatory and/or legal uncertainty. A number of commenters asserted that private rights of action could disrupt the regulatory framework in place over the RTO-ISO markets,113 undermine the efficiency and effectiveness of the RTO-ISO markets,114 interfere with FERC's and PUCT's ability to maintain the integrity and efficiency of the RTO-ISO markets,115 and interfere with FERC's and PUCT's ability to determine how the transactions in the RTO-ISO markets should be regulated so as to produce just and reasonable rates.116 Several commenters asserted that a judicial determination regarding the nature of the transactions in the RTO-ISO markets (i.e., whether a particular transaction is a swap) could affect FERC's or PUCT's jurisdiction over such transactions.117 In response to the Commission's question regarding the effect of the CEA's savings clause on such concerns, several commenters expressed the view that such clause is subject to differing interpretations, and as such, it is not clear how a court would interpret the interaction between the savings clause in CEA section 2(a)(1)(I) and the “exclusive jurisdiction” language in section 2(a)(1)(A).118 Better Markets and Aspire, on the other hand, argued that allowing private rights of action in the RTO-ISO markets would not blur the boundaries of the Commission's and FERC's jurisdiction over such markets, and that the savings clause in CEA section 2(a)(1)(I) would prevent any judicial interpretations regarding the nature of the transactions in the RTO-ISO markets from affecting FERC's or PUCT's jurisdiction over such transactions.119 Separately, FERC Staff requested that, if the Commission were to amend the RTO-ISO Order to provide a private right of action under the CEA in the RTO-ISO markets, the Commission reiterate in its final order that the Commission does not have exclusive jurisdiction over transactions covered by the RTO-ISO Order.120

    113See, e.g., Basin at 1; EEI at 8; ITC at 2; OMPA at 1; TIEC at 1-2.

    114 Westar at 2.

    115 EPSA at 8.

    116 IRC at 8.

    117See, e.g., EEI at 7; IRC at 9; MISO Transmission Owners at 12.

    118See, e.g., MISO Transmission Owners at 12; PUCT at 11.

    119 Better Markets at 3-4; Aspire at 7.

    120 FERC Staff (2) at 4.

    Separately, a number of commenters argued that permitting private actions under CEA section 22 against RTO-ISO market participants could result in conflicting or inconsistent court decisions.121 In addition, commenters claimed that allowing private rights of action in the RTO-ISO markets could provide an opportunity for private plaintiffs to collaterally attack market rules, tariffs, or filed rates that have been approved or permitted to take effect by the relevant regulator.122 Such a result, commenters argued, could make it difficult for market participants to rely on the established market rules, resulting in a chilling effect on otherwise appropriate market behavior, and could inject uncertainty and instability into the RTO-ISO markets.123 Several commenters also suggested that private rights of action could create an opportunity for courts to second-guess policy decisions made by FERC and PUCT,124 or for private litigants to force judicial revision of RTO-ISO market rules with which they disagree.125 Aspire and Better Markets argued, on the other hand, that the private right of action does not present any increased risk of inconsistent judicial decisions, as the Commission already has the authority to bring actions under the fraud and manipulation provisions that are reserved in the RTO-ISO Order.126

    121See, e.g., AGA at 3-4; PUCT (2) at 5.

    122See, e.g., AEP at 2; AGA at 3; COPE (2) at 6, 7; EPSA at 7; Exelon at 2; GSENA at 2; IRC at 10; MISO Transmission Owners at 7; OPPD at 5; PUCT (2) at 5; Tenaska at 2; Westar at 3. In response to the Commission's request for comments regarding the filed rate doctrine, the IRC and PUCT noted that courts have identified several exceptions to the filed rate doctrine, so there is no guarantee that a federal judge would grant a motion to dismiss based on such doctrine. IRC at 11; PUCT (2) at 10-11; see also MISO Transmission Owners at 11-12. The IRC further argued that, to the extent the filed rate doctrine would bar the types of private claims brought under CEA section 22, such a fact would undercut the rationale for allowing such private claims. IRC at 11.

    123See, e.g., PUCT (2) at 5; MISO Transmission Owners at 7; COPE (2) at 7; EPSA at 7; GSENA (2) at 2-3; OMPA at 3; OPPD at 5; PSEG at 3; Tenaska at 2-3; TIEC at 3-4; Xcel at 3.

    124 AGA at 4; TIEC at 3.

    125 EEI at 10.

    126 Aspire at 7; Better Markets at 3.

    Furthermore, a number of commenters argued that allowing private rights of action in the RTO-ISO markets would be contrary to congressional intent. Several commenters pointed out that the FPA expressly prohibits private rights of action; thus, commenters argued that allowing CEA section 22 private actions in the RTO-ISO markets would be contrary to the express intent of Congress.127 Commenters also urged that allowing private rights of action would create a regulatory conflict that is inconsistent with Congress' directive that the CFTC and FERC coordinate their actions to avoid conflicting or duplicative regulation,128 and would adversely affect the ability of the Commission and FERC to determine under the CFTC-FERC Jurisdictional MOU 129 how to exercise their respective authorities.130 On the other hand, Better Markets argued that preserving the private right of action would not be contrary to congressional intent, since Congress specifically included a private right of action in the CEA.131

    127See, e.g., CEWG at 2; EEI at 8; Exelon at 2; IRC at 6; KCP&L at 7; MISO Transmission Owners at 9; IECA at 4; FERC Staff (2) at 2-3.

    128 AGA at 3; CEWG at 5; FERC Staff (2) at 3.

    129See supra note 99.

    130 OPPD at 2-3; FERC Staff (2) at 2.

    131 Better Markets at 3.

    Several commenters also claimed that preserving the CEA section 22 private right of action would be inconsistent with prior Commission action. According to EEI, the RTO-ISO Order was consistent with previous orders issued by the Commission in that it did not contain any reference to or discussion of CEA section 22.132 EEI further pointed to a grant of temporary exemptive relief from provisions of the CEA added or amended by Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act that referenced certain terms that the Commission had not yet defined.133 That order expressly stated that “[t]o the extent that the Final Order provides [4(c)] exemptive relief [from certain provisions of the CEA], such exemptive relief would, in effect, preclude a person from succeeding in a private right of action under CEA section 22(a) for violation of such provisions.” 134 Both the IRC and EEI noted that the Commission has only expressly preserved the CEA section 22 private right of action in two prior 4(c) orders, both of which were superseded by Congress.135 The IRC claimed that it is not unusual for the Commission to reserve its own authority to address fraud and manipulation without also reserving private litigants' right to do so.136 COPE argued that there is no valid policy argument to require all orders issued under CEA section 4(c) to be the same.137 EPSA echoed this argument, noting that the Commission's actions in prior 4(c) orders should not control its decision on the private right of action here.138

    132 EEI at 6.

    133 Effective Date for Swap Regulation, 76 FR 42508, July 19, 2011.

    134 EEI at 6-7.

    135 EEI at 7 n.19; IRC at 12 n.32.

    136 IRC at 12.

    137 COPE (2) at 8.

    138 EPSA at 11.

    A number of commenters addressed the cost implications of allowing private rights of action in the RTO-ISO markets. For instance, several commenters argued that allowing private actions in the RTO-ISO markets would be costly, and that costs will be passed onto electricity consumers.139 The Electric Cooperative Commenters noted that costs will arise due to private litigation whether or not a private plaintiff can prove that market manipulation occurred.140 In addition, COPE asserted that private litigants could be motivated in part by monetary gain, whereas FERC, PUCT, and the Commission are motivated by the public interest.141 A number of commenters further asserted that consumers will bear the indirect costs of increased private litigation in the RTO-ISO markets, claiming that such costs would include indirect costs due to (1) increased regulatory uncertainty; 142 (2) increased risk; 143 (3) decreased liquidity in RTO-ISO products that are used to hedge and manage risk as market participants limit or forego activity in the RTO-ISO markets; 144 and (4) court decisions forcing RTOs and ISOs to change their infrastructure.145 PUCT also argued that allowing private litigants to bring actions against participants in the RTO-ISO markets would increase the costs associated with operating those markets.146 On the other hand, Better Markets argued that if the private right of action were available, market participants would not incur any increased costs of compliance because they would already be on notice of, and complying with, the fraud and manipulation provisions in the CEA.147

    139See, e.g., AGA at 4; CEWG at 4; EPSA at 5-6; Exelon at 3-4; IRC at 10; KCP&L at 4; MISO Transmission Owners at 9; MJMEUC at 3; NFP Electric Associations at 6; PUCT (2) at 5; and TIEC at 4.

    140 Electric Cooperative Commenters at 3. The Electric Cooperative Commenters also requested that, if the Commission were to allow private rights of action under CEA section 22 in the RTO-ISO markets, such actions not be allowed (1) against commercial end-user-only entities, or (2) to challenge commercial-end-user-only hedging transactions. Id.

    141 COPE (2) at 6; see also AEP at 2-3; EEI at 11; NFP Electric Associations at 5-6; Xcel at 3.

    142 AEP at 2.

    143 Exelon at 3-4.

    144Id.

    145 EPSA at 6.

    146 PUCT (2) at 5.

    147 Better Markets at 3.

    Lastly, Xcel and GSENA argued that allowing private rights of action in the RTO-ISO markets would ultimately result in reduced investment in renewable and efficient energy.148

    148 Xcel at 3-4; GSENA (2) at 4.

    2. Commission Determination

    The Commission has determined, in the limited context of the RTO-ISO markets which are the subject of the Amended RTO-ISO Order and the SPP Final Order, to issue a complete exemption from the private right of action in CEA section 22, including with respect to claims based on fraud or manipulation. The Commission is persuaded by several factors raised by the commenters. Considering all of these factors together, rather than any of these factors alone, or any subset of these factors, the Commission concludes that in the limited context of activities within the RTO-ISO markets, there should be a complete exemption from private claims under CEA section 22.

    Initially, the Commission agrees that the unique nature of the RTO-ISO markets differentiates this issue from other contexts in which a private right of action is essential.

    The RTO-ISO markets are heavily regulated by FERC and PUCT, with whom the Commission shares jurisdiction. This regulation is “pervasive” and it includes rate monitoring, tariff approval, authorization of market rules and pricing mechanisms, and real-time oversight of markets.149 As part of an articulated regulatory structure, these markets are also subject to close surveillance not only by the regulators but also by independent market monitors.150 In addition, FERC and PUCT support their regulation of the electric power markets with an enforcement program that includes the authority to order civil penalties, disgorgement, and to resettle the market.151

    149 FERC Staff (2) at 1-3.

    150E.g., FERC Staff (2) at 2; PJM JCA at 4; PUCT (2) at 11-12.

    151 FERC Staff (2) at 2; EPSA at 3-4.

    Furthermore, the Commission will continue to police these markets for fraud, manipulation and other unfair trading activities and, as contemplated by Congress, it can and will cooperate with these fellow regulators to deter and prevent unlawful trading activities in the RTO-ISO markets. In the same vein, the Commission and FERC both have the authority to take enforcement action, and to seek restitution on behalf of injured market participants that fall in their jurisdiction.152

    152 7 U.S.C. 13a-1(d)(3) (Commission authority to seek restitution); 16 U.S.C. 825h (describing FERC's remedial authority under the FPA); Pub. Util. Comm'n of Cal. v. FERC, 462 F.3d 1027, 1047-48 (9th Cir. 2006) (holding that section 309 of the FPA authorizes FERC to order restitution for profits gained as a result of a statutory or tariff violation); see also Consol. Edison Co. of N.Y., Inc. v. FERC, 347 F.3d 964, 967 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (same).

    Moreover, the Commission is further persuaded to issue an express exemption from the private right of action in the context of the RTO-ISO markets because private rights of action appear in tension with the intent of Congress in this context. In 2005, Congress amended the FPA to give FERC the authority to pursue manipulation of the electricity markets.153 At that time, Congress focused on whether there should be a private right of action for manipulation of these specific markets. Congress explicitly declined to grant such a right of action.154 This was a more particularized determination regarding the merits of private enforcement in these unique markets than the legislative judgment reflected in CEA section 22 that there should be a generally applicable private right of action for fraud and manipulation in the Commission's jurisdictional markets.

    153E.g., FERC Staff (2) at 2-3 & n.2.

    154Id.

    Finally, the Commission is persuaded that there is a potential for private rights of action regarding the entities and transactions in the RTO-ISO markets to interfere with FERC and PUCT oversight of these markets. Based on the totality of these factors, the Commission concludes that in the limited context of activities within these unique markets, there should be a complete exemption from private claims under CEA section 22.

    The Commission's determination regarding the CEA section 22 private right of action does not in any way affect the Commission's own authority to address fraudulent or manipulative conduct in these markets within the Commission's jurisdiction And, in cooperation with electricity regulators, the Commission will remain vigilant in policing these markets for fraud, manipulation and other illegal activity.

    In addition, in light of the above, the Commission encourages market participants who observe potential fraud or manipulation in the markets subject to the Commission's jurisdiction to bring their concerns to the Commission. The whistleblower provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission regulations continue to apply in this context and are available pursuant to their terms.155

    155 The Commission recognizes the arguments of Aspire, Raiden, and Better Markets regarding the fact that the existence of a private right of action would protect market participants by deterring fraudulent or manipulative conduct in the RTO-ISO markets. Aspire (2) at 2; Raiden at 4; Better Markets at 2-3. However, the Commission is of the view that, for all of the reasons stated in this section, such concerns are mitigated.

    C. Use of the Term “Member” in the SPP Proposed Order

    With respect to the Commission's use of the term “member” in the SPP Proposed Order, the Joint Trade Associations noted that the Commission used the term “member” throughout the SPP Proposed Order, and that while such term may have a defined meaning within the context of other Commission-regulated markets, such term is not defined for purposes of the SPP Proposed Order in the context of RTO and ISO markets.156 The Joint Trade Associations urged the Commission to clarify that the term “member,” as used in the context of RTO and ISO markets, refers to a market participant that is bound by the relevant tariff and that also meets the conditions to be considered an “appropriate person” that are set forth in the SPP Proposed Order.157 The Commission notes that this is consistent with its understanding of the term “member” in this context.158

    156 Joint Trade Associations at 8.

    157Id.

    158 This is also intended to address the concerns raised in SPP's comment letter with respect to the use of the terms “member” and “market participant.” SPP at 3-4.

    IV. Section 4(c) Determinations A. Section 4(c) Analysis 1. Overview of CEA Section 4(c) a. Sections 4(c)(6)(A) and (B)

    As discussed above in section I., the Dodd-Frank Act amended CEA section 4(c) to add sections 4(c)(6)(A) and (B), which provide authority to exempt certain transactions entered into: (a) Pursuant to a tariff or rate schedule approved or permitted to take effect by FERC, or (b) pursuant to a tariff or rate schedule establishing rates or charges for, or protocols governing, the sale of electric energy approved or permitted to take effect by the regulatory authority of the State or municipality having jurisdiction to regulate rates and charges for the sale of electric energy within the State or municipality.159 Indeed, section 4(c)(6) provides that if the Commission determines that the exemption would be consistent with the public interest and the purposes of this Act, the Commission shall issue such an exemption.160 However, any exemption considered under section 4(c)(6)(A) and/or (B) must be done “in accordance with [CEA sections 4(c)(1) and (2)].” 161

    159 The exemption language in section 4(c)(6) states that if the Commission determines that the exemption would be consistent with the public interest and the purposes of this Act, the Commission shall, in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 4(c), exempt from the requirements of this Act an agreement, contract, or transaction that is entered into (A) pursuant to a tariff or rate schedule approved or permitted to take effect by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; (B) pursuant to a tariff or rate schedule establishing rates or charges for, or protocols governing, the sale of electric energy approved or permitted to take effect by the regulatory authority of the State or municipality having jurisdiction to regulate rates and charges for the sale of electric energy within the State or municipality; or (C) between entities described in section 201(f) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824(f)).

    160 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(6).

    161 CEA section 4(c)(6) explicitly directs the Commission to consider any exemption proposed under 4(c)(6) in accordance with CEA sections 4(c)(1) and (2).

    b. Section 4(c)(1)

    As described above in section I., CEA section 4(c)(1) requires that the Commission act “by rule, regulation, or order, after notice and opportunity for hearing.” It also provides that the Commission may act “either unconditionally or on stated terms or conditions or for stated periods and either retroactively or prospectively, or both” and that the Commission may provide an exemption from any provisions of the CEA except subparagraphs (C)(ii) and (D) of section 2(a)(1).

    c. Discussion of Comments on Sections 4(c)(6) and 4(c)(1)

    The Commission noted in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment that, based on the difference in language between CEA sections 4(c)(6) and 4(c)(1), it is not clear that section 4(c)(6) provides the Commission with the authority to exempt from the section 22 private right of action. The Commission further noted that, while section 4(c)(1) authorizes the Commission to grant exemptions from the Act's “requirements” or “from any other provision of this Act,” section 4(c)(6) authorizes the Commission to exempt from the Act's “requirements” only.162

    162See 81 FR 30249.

    In response to this discussion, Aspire argued that section 4(c)(6), in authorizing exemptions from the CEA's “requirements” only, does not authorize the Commission to grant an exemption from the section 22 private right of action, since the private right of action is not a “requirement” of the CEA.163 IRC argued, on the other hand, that the narrower language in section 4(c)(6) does not limit the scope of the exemptions that the Commission may grant under sections 4(c)(1) and 4(c)(2).164

    163See Aspire (2) at 4.

    164See IRC at 13.

    As noted above in section IV.A.1.a., in granting an exemption under section 4(c)(6) of the CEA, the Commission must act “in accordance with” section 4(c)(1), which grants the Commission the discretionary authority to exempt from the Act's “requirements” or “from any other provision of this Act” if it makes certain findings.165 The policy basis for the Commission's decision to grant an exemption from the CEA section 22 private right of action under section 4(c)(6) applies equally, in the context of the present issue, to a decision to take the same action pursuant to section 4(c)(1), and the Commission has made the findings required under that provision in sections III.B.2., IV.A.2., and IV.A.3. Accordingly, even if the Commission were limited under section 4(c)(6) from granting an exemption from the CEA section 22 private right of action in the present context, the Commission would and does, for the reasons discussed above in section III.B.2., in the alternative exercise its discretion to grant such an exemption pursuant to its authority in section 4(c)(1) of the Act.

    165 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(1). The Commission has also considered that CEA section 22 may in fact be interpreted to impose a “requirement.” Section 22 states that certain persons who violate the Act or Commission regulations “shall be liable for actual damages.” 7 U.S.C. 25(a). This could be construed as a “requirement” to compensate the victim.

    d. Section 4(c)(2)

    As set forth above in section I., CEA section 4(c)(2) requires the Commission to determine that: To the extent an exemption provides relief from any of the requirements of CEA section 4(a), the requirement should not be applied to the agreement, contract or transaction; the exempted agreement, contract, or transaction will be entered into solely between appropriate persons; 166 and the exemption will not have a material adverse effect on the ability of the Commission or any contract market to discharge its regulatory or self-regulatory duties under the CEA.167

    166See CEA section 4(c)(2)(B)(i) and the discussion of CEA section 4(c)(3) below.

    167See CEA section 4(c)(2)(B)(ii). CEA section 4(c)(2)(A) also requires that the exemption would be consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the CEA, but that requirement duplicates the requirement of section 4(c)(6).

    e. Section 4(c)(3)

    As explained in section I. above, CEA section 4(c)(3) outlines who may constitute an appropriate person for the purpose of a 4(c) exemption, including as relevant to this SPP Final Order: (a) Any person that fits in one of ten defined categories of appropriate persons; or (b) such other persons that the Commission determines to be appropriate in light of their financial or other qualifications, or the applicability of appropriate regulatory protections.168

    168 CEA section 4(c)(3), 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(3), provides that the term “appropriate person” shall be limited to the following persons or classes thereof: (A) A bank or trust company (acting in an individual or fiduciary capacity); (B) A savings association; (C) An insurance company; (D) An investment company subject to regulation under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.); (E) A commodity pool formed or operated by a person subject to regulation under this Act; (F) A corporation, partnership, proprietorship, organization, trust, or other business entity with a net worth exceeding $1,000,000 or total assets exceeding $5,000,000, or the obligations of which under the agreement, contract or transaction are guaranteed or otherwise supported by a letter of credit or keepwell, support, or other agreement by any such entity or by an entity referred to in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (H), (I), or (K) of this paragraph; (G) An employee benefit plan with assets exceeding $1,000,000, or whose investment decisions are made by a bank, trust company, insurance company, investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.), or a commodity trading advisor subject to regulation under this Act; (H) Any governmental entity (including the United States, any state, or any foreign government) or political subdivision thereof, or any multinational or supranational entity or any instrumentality, agency, or department of any of the foregoing; (I) A broker-dealer subject to regulation under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) acting on its own behalf or on behalf of another appropriate person; (J) A futures commission merchant, floor broker, or floor trader subject to regulation under this Act acting on its own behalf or on behalf of another appropriate person; (K) Such other persons that the Commission determines to be appropriate in light of their financial or other qualifications, or the applicability of appropriate regulatory protections.

    2. CEA Section 4(c) Determinations—SPP Final Order a. Commission Jurisdiction

    Subject to the limitations set forth in the CEA, sections 4(c)(6)(A) and (B) of the Act grant the Commission the authority to exempt certain electric energy transactions provided that the Commission determines, among other things, that such exemption is consistent with the public interest and purposes of the CEA.169 The Commission received a comment from FERC in response to the SPP Proposed Order relating to the Commission's interpretation of its jurisdiction pursuant to section 4(c)(6).170

    169See discussion regarding CEA section 4(c)(6) in section IV.A.1.a. supra. As noted above in section IV.A.1.c., to the extent that the Commission's action on the private right of action issue, with respect to both the SPP Final Order and the Amended RTO-ISO Order, requires further authority under section 4(c)(1), the Commission can and does exercise its discretion to take such action pursuant to such authority.

    170 FERC Staff (1) at 2. The Commission received the same comment from FERC Staff in response to the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment. See FERC Staff (2) at 2. The Commission's determination with respect to this comment applies to both the SPP Final Order and the Amended RTO-ISO Order.

    FERC argued that the Commission should “interpret the [Dodd-Frank Act] as not applying to any contract or instrument traded in an RTO or ISO market pursuant to a FERC-accepted or approved tariff or rate schedule.” 171 Specifically, in its comment letter in response to the SPP Proposed Order, FERC maintained that RTO and ISO markets and transmission services are “tightly integrated” and “regulated to a greater extent than other commodity markets.” 172 FERC thus asserted that interpreting the Dodd-Frank Act to not apply to contracts or instruments traded in an RTO or ISO market pursuant to a FERC-accepted or approved tariff or rate schedule is “the most appropriate application of [the Dodd-Frank Act] to these circumstances.” 173 FERC further asserted that, while it does not take issue with the Commission's retention of anti-manipulation authority in the SPP Proposed Order, FERC also “retains its anti-manipulation authority, as well as its regulatory and oversight responsibilities, with respect to RTO and ISO markets.” 174 FERC accordingly requested that the Commission “clarify that its action on SPP's application, including any statements in this proceeding with respect to private claims for fraud or manipulation under the Commodity Exchange Act, do not limit or otherwise affect FERC's authority.” 175

    171 FERC Staff (1) at 2; see also FERC Staff (2) at 2.

    172 FERC Staff (1) at 2.

    173Id.

    174Id.

    175Id.

    In response to FERC's comment, the Commission notes that the interpretation of the Dodd-Frank Act proffered by FERC is contrary to the express language of that statute. The Dodd-Frank Act added a savings clause to the CEA that addresses the roles of the Commission, FERC, and state agencies as they relate to transactions traded pursuant to FERC- or state-approved tariffs or rate schedules. As noted above in section I., section 2(a)(1)(I) of the Act states that nothing in the Act limits or affects the statutory authority of FERC and state regulatory authorities over agreements, contracts, or transactions entered into pursuant to a tariff or rate schedule approved by FERC or a state regulatory authority, and also preserves the Commission's statutory authority over such agreements, contracts, or transactions. Moreover, while section 4(c)(6) of the CEA, added by the Dodd-Frank Act, empowers the Commission to exempt contracts, agreements, or transactions traded pursuant to a Tariff or rate schedule that has been approved or permitted to take effect by FERC or a state regulatory authority, it does not permit the Commission to automatically or mechanically apply the exemption. Instead, section 4(c)(6) mandates that the Commission initially determine that the exemption would be in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of the CEA, that the exemption would be applied only to agreements, contracts, or transactions that are entered into solely between appropriate persons, and that the exemption will not have a material adverse effect on the ability of the Commission or any contract market to discharge its regulatory or self-regulatory duties under the CEA.

    The Commission further notes, for purposes of clarification and as requested by FERC, that nothing in the SPP Final Order (or in the Amended RTO-ISO Order) limits or otherwise affects FERC's authority.

    b. Consistent With the Public Interest and the Purposes of the CEA

    As required by CEA section 4(c)(2)(A), as well as section 4(c)(6), the Commission determines that the SPP Final Order is consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the CEA. Section 3(a) of the CEA provides that transactions subject to the CEA affect the national public interest by providing a means for managing and assuming price risks, discovering prices, or disseminating pricing information through trading in liquid, fair and financially secure trading facilities.176 Section 3(b) of the CEA identifies the purposes of the CEA as follows: (1) To serve the public interests described in subsection (a) through a system of effective self-regulation of trading facilities, clearing systems, market participants and market professionals under the oversight of the Commission; and (2) to deter and prevent price manipulation or any other disruptions to market integrity; to ensure the financial integrity of all transactions subject to this Act and the avoidance of systemic risk; to protect all market participants from fraudulent or other abusive sales practices and misuses of customer assets; and to promote responsible innovation and fair competition among boards of trade, other markets and market participants.177

    176 7 U.S.C. 5(a).

    177 7 U.S.C. 5(b).

    Consistent with the proposed determinations set forth in the SPP Proposed Order,178 the Commission finds that: (a) The SPP Covered Transactions have been, and are, subject to a long-standing regulatory framework for the offer and sale of the Transactions established by FERC; and (b) the SPP Covered Transactions administered by SPP are part of, and inextricably linked to, the organized wholesale electric energy markets that are subject to FERC regulation and oversight. For example, FERC Order No. 2000 (which, along with FERC Order No. 888, encouraged the formation of RTOs and ISOs to operate the electronic transmission grid and to create organized wholesale electric energy markets) requires an RTO to demonstrate that it has four minimum characteristics: (1) Independence from any market participant; (2) a scope and regional configuration which enables the RTO to maintain reliability and effectively perform its required functions; (3) operational authority for its activities, including being the security coordinator for the facilities that it controls; and (4) short-term reliability.179 In addition, SPP stated that an RTO must demonstrate to FERC that it performs certain self-regulatory and/or market monitoring functions.180 SPP also represented that it is “responsible for ensur[ing] the development and operation of market mechanisms to manage transmission congestion” 181 and for establishing “market mechanisms [that] must accommodate broad participation by all market participants, and must provide all transmission customers with efficient price signals that show the consequences of their transmission usage decisions.” 182

    178See 80 FR at 29495-96.

    179See id. at 29495.

    180See id.; see also id. at 29495 n.81 (explaining that, according to SPP, SPP must employ a transmission pricing system that promotes efficient use and expansion of transmission and generation facilities; develop and implement procedures to address parallel path flow issues within its region and with other regions; serve as a provider of last resort of all ancillary services required by FERC Order No. 888 including ensuring that its transmission customers have access to a Real-Time balancing market; be the single OASIS (Open-Access Same-Time Information System) site administrator for all transmission facilities under its control and independently calculate Total Transmission Capacity and Available Transmission Capability; provide reliable, efficient, and not unduly discriminatory transmission service, it must provide for objective monitoring of markets it operates or administers to identify market design flaws, market power abuses and opportunities for efficiency improvements; be responsible for planning, and for directing or arranging, necessary transmission expansions, additions, and upgrades; and ensure the integration of reliability practices within an interconnection and market interface practices among regions). See Exemption Application at 18.

    181See 80 FR at 29495-96; see also Exemption Application at 18.

    182See 80 FR at 29496; see also Exemption Application at 18-19; 18 CFR 35.34(k)(2).

    Furthermore, as explained by SPP and discussed in the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission notes that the SPP Covered Transactions are entered into by commercial participants that are in the business of generating, transmitting, and distributing electric energy,183 and that SPP was established for the purpose of providing affordable, reliable electric energy to consumers within its geographic region.184 Additionally, the SPP Covered Transactions that take place on SPP's markets are overseen by the SPP Market Monitor, required by FERC to identify manipulation of electric energy on SPP's markets.185

    183See 80 FR at 29496; see also Exemption Application at 17.

    184See id.

    185See id.

    Moreover, fundamental to the Commission's “public interest” and “purposes of the [Act]” analysis is the fact that the SPP Covered Transactions are inextricably tied to SPP's physical delivery of electric energy.186 Another important factor is that the SPP Final Order is explicitly limited to SPP Covered Transactions taking place on markets that are monitored by the SPP Market Monitor, SPP, or both, and FERC. In contrast, an exemption for transactions that are not so monitored, or not related to the physical capacity of an electric transmission grid, or not directly linked to the physical generation and transmission of electric energy, or not limited to appropriate persons,187 is unlikely to be in the public interest or consistent with the purposes of the CEA, taking such transactions outside the scope of the SPP Final Order.

    186See 80 FR at 29496; see also Exemption Application at 12-15, 17 (describing the SPP Covered Transactions and noting that each of them “is part of, and inextricably linked to, the organized wholesale electric energy markets that are subject to FERC's regulation and oversight”).

    187See appropriate persons discussion infra IV.A.2.d.

    Finally, the extent to which the SPP Final Order is consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the Act can, in major part, be assessed by the extent to which the Tariff and activities of SPP, and supervision by FERC, are congruent with, and sufficiently accomplish, the regulatory objectives of the relevant Core Principles set forth in the CEA for derivatives clearing organizations (“DCOs”) and swap execution facilities (“SEFs”). Specifically, ensuring the financial integrity of the SPP Covered Transactions and the avoidance of systemic risk, as well as protection from the misuse of participant assets, are addressed by the Core Principles for DCOs. Providing a means for managing or assuming price risk and discovering prices, as well as prevention of price manipulation and other disruptions to market integrity, are addressed by the Core Principles for SEFs. Deterrence of price manipulation (or other disruptions to market integrity) and protection of market participants from fraudulent sales practices is achieved by the Commission retaining and exercising its jurisdiction over these matters. Therefore, the Commission has incorporated its DCO and SEF Core Principle analyses, set forth in the SPP Proposed Order,188 into its consideration of the SPP Final Order's consistency with the public interest and the purposes of the Act. In the same way, the Commission has considered how the public interest and the purposes of the CEA are also addressed by the manner in which SPP complies with FERC's credit reform policy.189

    188See 80 FR at 29499-515.

    189See section IV.B. infra; 80 FR at 29498-99.

    The Commission specifically requested comment on (a) whether it used the appropriate standard in making its section 4(c) determination, and (b) whether the SPP Proposed Order is consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the CEA. The Commission received no comments in response to these requests. The Commission therefore determines that it used the appropriate standard in making its public interest and purposes of the CEA determination. The Commission believes that the standards set forth in FERC regulation 35.47 appear to achieve goals similar to the regulatory objectives of the Commission's DCO Core Principles.190 Moreover, as set forth in the Commission's DCO Core Principle analysis in the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission determines that SPP's policies and procedures appear to be consistent with, and to accomplish sufficiently for purposes of this SPP Final Order, the regulatory objectives of the DCO Core Principles in the context of the SPP Covered Transactions.191 Also, as set forth in the Commission's SEF Core Principles analysis in the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission has determined that SPP's policies and procedures appear to be consistent with, and to accomplish sufficiently for purposes of this SPP Final Order, the regulatory objectives of the SEF Core Principles in the context of the SPP Covered Transactions.192 The Commission further determines that, for the reasons set forth in this SPP Final Order, the requested exemptive relief is consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the CEA.

    190Cf. RTO-ISO Order at 19900-01.

    191Cf. id. at 19901.

    192Cf. id. at 19902.

    c. CEA Section 4(a) Should Not Apply to the Transactions or Entities Eligible for the Exemption

    CEA section 4(c)(2)(A) requires, in part, that the Commission determine that the SPP Covered Transactions described in the SPP Final Order should not be subject to CEA section 4(a)—generally, the Commission's exchange trading requirement for a contract for the purchase or sale of a commodity for future delivery. As set forth in the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission has examined the SPP Covered Transactions, SPP, and its markets using the CEA Core Principle requirements applicable to a DCO and to a SEF as a framework for its public interest and purposes of the CEA determination.193 As further support for this determination, the Commission also is relying on the public interest and the purposes of the Act analysis in subsection IV.A.2.b. above. In so doing, the Commission has determined that, due to the FERC regulatory scheme and the RTO market structure applicable to the SPP Covered Transactions, the linkage between the SPP Covered Transactions and that regulatory scheme, and the unique nature of the market participants that would be eligible to rely on the exemption,194 CEA section 4(a) should not apply to the SPP Covered Transactions under the SPP Final Order.195

    193See 80 FR at 29499-515.

    194See appropriate persons analysis, section IV.A.2.d. infra; see also 80 FR at 29496-97.

    195 The Commission notes that such a determination would be consistent with a similar determination made in the RTO-ISO Order. See RTO-ISO Order at 19895.

    d. Appropriate Persons

    Section 4(c)(2)(B)(i) of the CEA 196 requires that the Commission determine that the exemption is restricted to SPP Covered Transactions entered into solely between “appropriate persons,” as that term is defined in section 4(c)(3) of the Act.197 Section 4(c)(3) defines the term “appropriate person” to include: (1) any person that falls within one of the ten categories of persons delineated in sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) of the Act; or (2) such other persons that the Commission determines to be appropriate pursuant to the limited authority provided by section 4(c)(3)(K).198 The Commission may determine that persons that do not meet the requirements of sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) are “appropriate persons” for purposes of section 4(c) only if it determines that such persons are “appropriate in light of their financial or other qualifications, or the applicability of appropriate regulatory protections.” 199

    196 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(2)(B)(i).

    197 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(3).

    198Id.; see also supra note 168.

    199 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(3)(K).

    Consistent with the RTO-ISO Order, the Commission proposed to limit the exemption to transactions where all parties thereto are “appropriate persons,” as defined in sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) of the Act,200 “eligible contract participants,” as defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the Act 201 and in Commission regulation 1.3(m),202 or persons who are in the business of: (i) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy, or (ii) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system.203 The Commission did not receive any comments objecting to this proposed limitation. Therefore, pursuant to the authority set forth in section 4(c)(3)(K) of the CEA and consistent with the RTO-ISO Order, the Commission has determined that “eligible contract participants,” as defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the CEA and in Commission regulation 1.3(m), and “persons who are in the business of: (i) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy, or (ii) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system,” are appropriate persons for purposes of the SPP Final Order, in light of their financial or other qualifications. Accordingly, this limitation has been incorporated into the SPP Final Order unchanged.

    200 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(3)(A)-(J).

    201 7 U.S.C. 1a(18)(A).

    202 17 CFR 1.3(m).

    203 80 FR 29496-97. The Commission notes that the proposed limitation is consistent with the RTO-ISO Order. See RTO-ISO Order at 19913.

    The Commission believes that this expansion, when combined with the “appropriate persons” definition delineated in sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) of the CEA, would appear to strike the appropriate balance because the exemption would apply only to those market participants that can demonstrate the financial wherewithal or the requisite business activities and congruent expertise to qualify as appropriate persons under section 4(c)(3)(K) of the CEA.204 The Commission has determined that “eligible contract participants,” as defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the CEA and in Commission regulation 1.3(m), are appropriate persons for purposes of the SPP Final Order in light of their financial or other qualifications, or the applicability of regulatory protections. Moreover, the Commission is using the authority provided by section 4(c)(3)(K) of the CEA to determine that a “person who actively participates in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy,” as defined within the SPP Final Order, is an appropriate person for purposes of the exemption provided therein.205 The SPP Final Order defines a “person who actively participates in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy” as “a person that is in the business of: (1) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy; or (2) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system.” The Commission has determined that the inclusion of transactions entered into by such persons is proper because such persons' active participation in the physical markets provides them with the requisite “qualifications” necessary to be deemed an “appropriate person” under CEA section 4(c)(3)(K) for purposes of the SPP Final Order.

    204Cf. RTO-ISO Order at 19899.

    205Cf. id. at 19897.

    e. Effect on the Commission's or Any Contract Market's Ability To Discharge Its Regulatory or Self-Regulatory Duties Under the CEA

    CEA section 4(c)(2)(B)(ii) requires the Commission to make a determination regarding whether exempting the SPP Covered Transactions will have a material adverse effect on the ability of the Commission or any contract markets to perform regulatory or self-regulatory duties.206 In making this determination, the Commission should consider such regulatory concerns as “market surveillance, financial integrity of participants, protection of customers, and trade practice enforcement.” 207 These considerations are similar to the purposes of the CEA as defined in section 3, initially addressed in the public interest and purposes of the CEA discussion.

    206 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(2)(B)(ii).

    207See H.R. Rep. No. 102-978, 102d Cong. 2d Sess., 1992 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3179, 3211 (1992).

    The Commission proposed to determine that the exemption would not have a material adverse effect on the Commission's or any contract market's ability to discharge its regulatory function.208 In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission noted the following assertion by SPP as support for its determination:

    208 80 FR 29497-98.

    Under Section 4(d) of the Act, the Commission will retain authority to conduct investigations to determine whether SPP is in compliance with any exemption granted in response to this request. . . . [T]he requested exemptions would also preserve the Commission's existing enforcement jurisdiction over fraud and manipulation. This is consistent with section 722 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the existing MOU between the FERC and the Commission and other protocols for inter-agency cooperation. SPP will continue to retain records related to the Transactions, consistent with existing obligations under FERC regulations.

    The regulation of exchange-traded futures contracts and significant price discovery contracts (“SPDCs”) will be unaffected by the requested exemptions. Futures contracts based on electricity prices set in SPP's markets that are traded on a designated contract market and SPDCs will continue to be regulated by and subject to the requirements of the Commission. No current requirement or practice of SPP or of a contract market will be affected by the Commission's granting the requested exemptions.209

    209Id. at 29497 (quoting Exemption Application at 22).

    In addition, the Commission stated that the limitation in the SPP Proposed Order to SPP Covered Transactions between certain appropriate persons avoids potential issues regarding financial integrity and customer protection.210

    210Id.

    Moreover, the Commission did not propose to exempt SPP from certain CEA provisions, including sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13, and any implementing regulations promulgated thereunder including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180, to the extent that those sections prohibit fraud or manipulation of the price of any swap, contract for the sale of a commodity in interstate commerce, or for future delivery on or subject to the rules of any contract market.211 As such, the Commission proposed to expressly retain authority to pursue fraudulent or manipulative conduct.212

    211Id.

    212Id. Nor did SPP seek an exemption from these provisions. See id. at 29497 n.107; Exemption Application at 1.

    In addition, the Commission proposed that granting the SPP Proposed Order for the SPP Covered Transactions would not have a material adverse effect on the ability of any contract market to discharge its self-regulatory duties under the Act.213 Specifically, with respect to TCRs and Operating Reserve Transactions, the Commission found that the exemption would not have a material adverse effect on any contract market carrying out its self-regulatory function because these transactions did not appear to be used for price discovery or as settlement prices for other transactions in Commission-regulated markets.214 With respect to Energy Transactions, the Commission proposed that, while these transactions did have a relationship to Commission-regulated markets because they can serve as a source of settlement prices for other transactions within Commission jurisdiction, they should not pose regulatory burdens on a contract market because SPP has market monitoring systems in place to detect and deter manipulation that takes place on its markets.215 In addition, the Commission noted that, as a condition to the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission would be able to obtain data from FERC with respect to activity on SPP's markets that may impact trading on Commission-regulated markets.216

    213 80 FR at 29497.

    214Id.

    215Id.; see also id. at 29494, 29496.

    216Id. at 29497.

    Finally, the Commission noted that if the SPP Covered Transactions ever could be used in combination with trading activity or in a position in a designated contract market (“DCM”) contract to conduct market abuse, both the Commission and DCMs have sufficient independent authority over DCM market participants to monitor for such activity.217

    217Id. at 29497-98.

    While the Commission did not receive any comments on its proposed determination that the exemption would not have a material adverse effect on the Commission's ability to discharge its regulatory duties, an important caveat should be made. With regard to the SEF Core Principle 3 analysis and general statements regarding the SPP Market Monitor's ability to detect and deter manipulation, the Commission notes that such statements were not meant to be construed as a final and irrevocable approval of the integrity of reference prices derived from SPP's markets. The Commission retains the authority to question and obtain additional information in a timely manner regarding the underlying prices to which TCRs and other electric energy contracts, which are subject to the Commission's jurisdiction, settle. As previously discussed, the Commission maintains the responsibility of ensuring that exchange-traded and cleared financial electric energy contracts are constructed such that the settlement mechanism produces prices that accurately reflect the underlying supply and demand fundamentals of SPP's markets and are not readily susceptible to manipulation. For this reason, as originally proposed, the Commission has conditioned the SPP Final Order upon access to related transactional and positional data from SPP's markets.218

    218See section IV.B. infra.

    For the reasons set forth herein and in the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission determines that the exemption for the SPP Covered Transactions in this SPP Final Order would not have a material adverse effect on the Commission's or any contract market's ability to discharge its regulatory function.

    3. CEA Section 4(c) Determinations—Amended RTO-ISO Order a. Consistent With the Public Interest and Purposes of the CEA

    As required by CEA section 4(c)(2)(A), as well as section 4(c)(6), the Commission previously determined that the exemption set forth in the RTO-ISO Order is consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the CEA.219 The amendment to the RTO-ISO Order does not alter the Commission's prior determinations with respect to the public interest and purposes of the CEA, and the Commission incorporates such prior determinations into the Amended RTO-ISO Order.

    219See RTO-ISO Order at 19894-95, 19900-02. The Commission's prior determination was based on a number of findings, including that (a) the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions have been, and are, subject to a long-standing, regulatory framework for the offer and sale of the Transactions established by FERC or PUCT; (b) the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions administered by the RTOs, ISOs, or ERCOT are part of, and inextricably linked to, the organized wholesale electric energy markets that are subject to FERC and PUCT regulation and oversight; (c) the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions are entered into primarily by commercial participants that are in the business of generating, transmitting, and distributing electric energy; (d) the Requesting Parties were established for the purpose of providing affordable, reliable electric energy to consumers within their geographic region; (e) the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions that take place on the Requesting Parties' markets are overseen by Market Monitoring Units, required by FERC and PUCT to identify manipulation of electric energy on the RTO-ISO Covered Entities' markets; (f) the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions are inextricably tied to the Requesting Parties' physical delivery of electric energy; (g) the RTO-ISO Order is explicitly limited to RTO-ISO Covered Transactions taking place on markets that are monitored by either an independent Market Monitoring Unit, a market administrator (the RTO, ISO, or ERCOT), or both, and a government regulator (FERC or PUCT); (h) the standards set forth in FERC regulation 35.47 appear to achieve goals similar to the regulatory objectives of the Commission's DCO Core Principles, and substantial compliance with such requirements was key to the Commission's determination that the tariffs and activities of the Requesting Parties and supervision by FERC or PUCT are congruent with, and—in the context of the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions—sufficiently accomplish, the regulatory objectives of each DCO Core Principle; (i) the Requesting Parties' policies and procedures appear to be consistent with, and to accomplish sufficiently for purposes of the RTO-ISO Order, the regulatory objectives of the DCO Core Principles in the context of the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions; and (j) the Requesting Parties' policies and procedures appear to be consistent with, and to accomplish sufficiently for purposes of the RTO-ISO Order, the regulatory objectives of the SEF Core Principles in the context of the RTO-ISO Covered Transactions. Id.

    In addition, the Commission determines that the current amendment to the RTO-ISO Order, which explicitly provides that the exemption set forth therein extends to private actions under CEA section 22, is in the public interest for all of the reasons stated in section III.B.2.220

    220 The Commission received one comment regarding the public interest findings in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment. EPSA argued that in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment, the Commission proposed to “automatically or mechanically bypass the required analysis” under CEA sections 4(c)(1) and 4(c)(2), and that the Commission's proposed public interest findings with respect the proposed amendment to explicitly preserve the CEA section 22 private right of action were insufficient. EPSA at 7-8. The Commission is of the view that the public interest analysis in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment, and that set forth herein, is neither automatic nor mechanical, and that such analyses meet the requirements of sections 4(c)(1) and 4(c)(2). Moreover, given the Commission's determination with respect to the private right of action issue, the Commission is of the view that EPSA's concern is now moot.

    b. Other Section 4(c) Determinations

    In the RTO-ISO Order, the Commission made a number of other determinations under CEA section 4(c), including:

    • The Dodd-Frank Act applies to contracts and instruments traded in RTO or ISO markets pursuant to a FERC- or state-approved tariff or rate schedule, subject to the Commission's authority under CEA section 4(c)(6) to exempt contracts, agreements, or transactions traded pursuant to such a tariff or rate schedule upon determining that the exemption would be in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of the CEA; that the exemption would be applied only to agreements, contracts, or transactions that are entered into solely between appropriate persons; and that the exemption will not have a material adverse effect on the ability of the Commission or any contract market to discharge its regulatory or self-regulatory duties under the CEA.221

    221See RTO-ISO Order at 19893-94; see also CEA section 4(c)(6).

    • Due to the FERC or PUCT regulatory scheme and the RTO or ISO market structure already applicable to the SPP Covered Transactions, the linkage between the SPP Covered Transactions and those regulatory schemes, and the unique nature of the market participants that are eligible to rely on the exemption in the RTO-ISO Order, CEA section 4(a) should not apply to the SPP Covered Transactions under the RTO-ISO Order.222

    222See RTO-ISO Order at 19895; see also CEA section 4(c)(2)(A).

    • Eligible contract participants, as defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the CEA and in Commission regulation 1.3(m), are appropriate persons for purposes of the RTO-ISO Order in light of their financial or other qualifications, or the applicability of regulatory protections.223 In addition, a “person who actively participates in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy,” as defined within the RTO-ISO Order, is an appropriate person for purposes of the exemption provided therein.224

    223See RTO-ISO Order at 19896; see also CEA section 4(c)(2)(B)(i).

    224See RTO-ISO Order at 19897; see also CEA section 4(c)(2)(B)(i).

    • The exemption in the RTO-ISO Order for the SPP Covered Transactions would not have a material adverse effect on the Commission's or any contract market's ability to discharge its regulatory function.225

    225See RTO-ISO Order at 19903-04; see also CEA section 4(c)(2)(B)(ii).

    The amendment to the RTO-ISO Order does not alter the Commission's determination with respect to any of the above 4(c) determinations. Therefore, the Commission hereby incorporates such prior 4(c) determinations, and the findings on which such determinations are based, into the Amended RTO-ISO Order. All transactions that were permitted pursuant to the exemption set forth in the RTO-ISO Order are still permitted under the Amended RTO-ISO Order. The only change made by the amendment to the RTO-ISO Order is that the Amended RTO-ISO Order provides explicitly that the exemption set forth therein also extends to actions pursuant to CEA section 22.

    B. Additional Limitations and Provisions—SPP Final Order

    As described in detail above,226 the Commission expressly noted in the SPP Proposed Order 227 that the proposed exemption was based upon the representations made in the Exemption Application and in the supporting materials provided by SPP and its counsel,228 and that any material change or omission in the facts and circumstances that alter the grounds for the SPP Proposed Order might require the Commission to reconsider its finding that the exemption contained therein is appropriate and/or in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of the CEA. The Commission did not receive any comments on this proposal. As such, the SPP Final Order is based on the representations made by SPP and its counsel in the Exemption Application, the supplemental information, and supporting materials filed with the Commission. In particular, the Commission notes that the following representations are of particular importance and integral to the Commission's decision to grant the exemption set forth in this SPP Final Order: (1) The exemption requested by SPP relates to SPP Covered Transactions that are primarily entered into by commercial participants that are in the business of generating, transmitting and distributing electric energy; 229 (2) SPP was established for the purpose of providing affordable, reliable electric energy to consumers within its geographic region; 230 (3) the SPP Covered Transactions are an essential means, designed by FERC as an integral part of its statutory responsibilities, to enable the reliable delivery of affordable electric energy; 231 (4) each of the SPP Covered Transactions taking place on SPP's markets is monitored by both a market administrator (SPP) and the SPP Market Monitor; 232 and (5) each SPP Covered Transaction is directly tied to the physical capabilities of SPP's electric energy grid.233 Therefore, the Commission affirms that any material change or omission in the facts and circumstances that alter the grounds for the SPP Final Order might require the Commission to reconsider its finding that the exemption contained therein is appropriate and consistent with the public interest and purposes of the CEA. The Commission reiterates that the SPP Covered Transactions must be tied to the allocation of the physical capabilities of an electric energy transmission grid in order to be suitable for exemption because such activity would be inextricably linked to the physical delivery of electric energy.

    226See section II.C.3. supra.

    227See 80 FR at 29494, 29518.

    228 As part of its Exemption Application, SPP provided the Commission with a legal opinion that provided the Commission with assurance that the netting arrangements contained in the approach selected by SPP to satisfy the obligations contained in FERC regulation 35.47(d) will, in fact, provide SPP with enforceable rights of setoff against any of its market participants under Title 11 of the United States Code in the event of the bankruptcy of the market participant. See Memorandum regarding Enforceability of Netting Practices from Hunton & Williams LLP to SPP, dated December 2, 2013.

    229See 80 FR at 29494; see also Exemption Application at 17.

    230See 80 FR at 29494; see also Exemption Application at 2, 17.

    231See 80 FR at 29494; see also generally FERC Order No. 888; FERC Order No. 2000; 18 CFR 35.34(k)(2); see also Exemption Application at 17.

    232See 80 FR at 29494; see also Exemption Application at 17.

    233See 80 FR at 29494; see also Exemption Application at 12-15.

    In addition, the Commission proposed to exclude from the exemptive relief its general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation, and scienter-based prohibitions over SPP and the SPP Covered Transactions under the CEA, including sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13 of the CEA and any implementing regulations promulgated thereunder including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180.234 The Commission received no comments regarding this reservation of authority.

    234See 80 FR at 29515, 29516.

    The Commission believes it prudent to reserve in the SPP Final Order its anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, as well as those scienter-based prohibitions in the specified provisions of the Act and Commission regulations (without finding it necessary in this particular context to preserve other enforcement authority). The Commission notes that reservation of enforcement authority is standard practice with exemptive orders issued pursuant to CEA section 4(c). The Commission also believes it is important to highlight that, as with all exemptions issued pursuant to CEA section 4(c), the exemption shall not affect the authority of the Commission under any other provision of the CEA to conduct investigations in order to determine compliance with the requirements or conditions of such exemption or to take enforcement action for any violation of any provision of the CEA or any rule, regulation or order thereunder caused by the failure to comply with or satisfy such conditions or requirements.235

    235See 7 U.S.C. 6(d).

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission also proposed to make a number of additional determinations, including but not limited to the following:

    • The Commission proposed to determine that the requirements set forth in FERC regulation 35.47 appear to achieve goals similar to the regulatory objectives of the Commission's DCO Core Principles, and substantial compliance with such requirements is key to the Commission's determination that the Tariff and activities of SPP and supervision by FERC are congruent with, and—in the context of the SPP Covered Transactions—sufficiently accomplish, the regulatory objectives of each DCO Core Principle.236

    236 80 FR 29498-99.

    • The Commission proposed to determine that, on the basis of SPP's representations and consistent with the RTO-ISO Order, it is not necessary, when considering the requisite public interest and purposes of the CEA determinations, to impose position limits on SPP's Integrated Marketplace.237

    237Id. at 29511.

    • The Commission proposed to determine that SPP's practices or Tariff and supervision by FERC are congruent with, and, in the context of the SPP Covered Transactions, sufficiently accomplish, the regulatory objectives of the Core Principles set forth in the CEA for DCOs.238

    238Id. at 29499-508.

    • The Commission proposed to determine that SPP's practices or Tariff and supervision by FERC are congruent with, and, in the context of the SPP Covered Transactions, sufficiently accomplish, the regulatory objectives of the Core Principles set forth in the CEA for SEFs.239

    239Id. at 29508-15.

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission proposed to limit the scope of the exemption to certain specified transactions:

    • The SPP Proposed Order would exempt Transmission Congestion Rights, Energy Transactions, and Operating Reserve Transactions from most requirements of the CEA, and the SPP Proposed Order would not extend the exemption beyond these three specifically-defined transactions.240 The SPP Proposed Order would include any modifications to existing transactions that do not alter the SPP Covered Transactions' characteristics in a way that would cause them to fall outside the definitions of the SPP Covered Transactions, and that are offered by SPP pursuant to a FERC-approved Tariff.

    240Id. at 29515.

    • The SPP Proposed Order would exempt products that qualify as one of the three defined SPP Covered Transactions, regardless of whether or not SPP offers the particular product at the present time.241

    241Id. at 29516.

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission proposed to condition the exemption on the following:

    • The SPP Proposed Order would be conditioned upon requiring (1) that an information sharing arrangement acceptable to the Commission be executed between the Commission and FERC and continue to be in effect, and (2) “SPP's compliance with the Commission's requests through FERC to share, on an as-needed basis and in connection with an inquiry consistent with the CEA and Commission regulations, positional and transactional data within SPP's possession for products in SPP's markets that are related to markets that are subject to the Commission's jurisdiction, including any pertinent information concerning such data.”242

    242Id. at 29517.

    • The SPP Proposed Order would be conditioned upon requiring that “[n]either the Tariff nor any other governing documents of SPP shall include any requirement that SPP notify its members prior to providing information to the Commission in response to a subpoena or other request for information or documentation.”243

    243Id.

    The Commission received no comments on the above proposed determinations, limitations, and conditions, and hereby incorporates such determinations, limitations, and conditions into the SPP Final Order. As noted in the SPP Proposed Order and earlier in this SPP Final Order, the SPP Covered Transactions are inextricably tied to SPP's physical delivery of electric energy, and they take place on markets that are monitored by the SPP Market Monitor, SPP, or both, and FERC. Specifically, with respect to TCRs and Operating Reserve Transactions, the Commission found that the exemption would not have a material adverse effect on any contract market carrying out its self-regulatory function because these transactions did not appear to be used for price discovery or as settlement prices for other transactions in Commission-regulated markets. With respect to Energy Transactions, while Energy Transactions did have a relationship to Commission-regulated markets because they can serve as a source of settlement prices for other transactions within Commission jurisdiction, they should not pose regulatory burdens on a contract market because SPP has market monitoring systems in place to detect and deter manipulation that takes place on its markets. Furthermore, conditioning the exemption provided in the SPP Final Order upon the Commission's ability to obtain related transactional and positional data from SPP, and SPP's compliance with such requests by sharing the requested information, is meant to enable the Commission to continue discharging its regulatory duties under the Act as set forth in CEA section 3.244

    244 7 U.S.C. 5.

    V. Related Matters A. Regulatory Flexibility Act 1. Introduction

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) requires that the Commission consider whether the exemptions set forth in the SPP Final Order and in the Amended RTO-ISO Order will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and, if so, provide a regulatory flexibility analysis respecting the impact.245

    245 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    2. SPP Final Order

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission found that SPP should not be considered a small entity based on the central role it plays in the operation of the electronic transmission grid and the creation of organized wholesale electric markets that are subject to FERC regulatory oversight,246 analogous to functions performed by DCMs and DCOs, which the Commission has previously determined not to be “small entities.”247 The SPP Proposed Order included entities that qualify as (1) “appropriate persons” pursuant to CEA sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J), (2) “eligible contract participants” (“ECPs”), as defined in CEA section 1a(18)(A) and Commission regulation 1.3 (m), or (3) persons who are in the business of: (i) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy, or (ii) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system.248 The Commission previously determined that ECPs are not “small entities” for purposes of the RFA.249 As a result, the Commission certified that the SPP Proposed Order would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for purposes of the RFA, and requested written comments regarding this certification.250 The Commission did not receive any comments with respect to its RFA analysis in the SPP Proposed Order.

    246 80 FR at 29518. See Enhancement of Electricity Market Surveillance and Analysis Through Ongoing Electronic Delivery of Data From Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators, 77 FR 26674, 26685-86, May 7, 2012 (RFA analysis as conducted by FERC regarding six RTOs and ISOs, including SPP).

    Commission staff also performed an independent RFA analysis based on Subsector 221 of sector 22 (utilities companies) of the Small Business Administration (“SBA”), which defines any small utility corporation as one that does not have more than 250 employees. See 13 CFR 121.201 (1-1-15 Edition). Staff concludes that SPP is not a small entity, since SPP represents that it employs more than 500 employees. See Exemption Application Attachments at 8.

    247See A New Regulatory Framework for Clearing Organizations, 66 FR 45604, 45609, Aug. 29, 2001 (DCOs); Policy Statement and Establishment of Definitions of “Small Entities” for Purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 47 FR 18618, 18618-19, Apr. 30, 1982 (DCMs).

    248See 80 FR at 29517. Under CEA section 2(e), only ECPs are permitted to participate in a swap, subject to the end-user clearing exception.

    249See Opting Out of Segregation, 66 FR 20740, 20743, Apr. 25, 2001.

    250 80 FR at 29518.

    The relief provided in the SPP Final Order to a person who actively participates in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy may impact some small entities to the extent they may fall within standards established by the SBA regulations defining any small utility corporation as one that does not have more than 250 employees.251 However, based on the Commission's existing information about SPP's markets, its market participants consist mostly of entities exceeding the thresholds defining “small entities” set out above.

    251See note 246 supra (citing 13 CFR 121.201).

    The Commission is of the view that the SPP Final Order alleviates the economic impact that the exempt entities, including any small entities that may opt to take advantage of the exemption set forth in the SPP Final Order, otherwise would be subjected to by exempting certain of their transactions from the application of substantive regulatory compliance requirements of the CEA and Commission regulations thereunder. Accordingly, the Commission is of the view that the SPP Final Order does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission, hereby certifies, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that the exemption set forth in the SPP Final Order would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    3. Amended RTO-ISO Order

    With respect to the Amended RTO-ISO Order, the Commission previously determined that the RTO-ISO Order would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.252 The Amended RTO-ISO Order does not substantively change the scope of the exemption set forth in the RTO-ISO Order. Furthermore, the RFA analysis in the RTO-ISO Order is still valid. Specifically, the RTOs and ISOs covered by the Amended RTO-ISO Order should not be considered small entities based on the central role they play in the operation of the electronic transmission grid and the creation of organized wholesale electric markets that are subject to FERC and PUCT regulatory oversight,253 analogous to functions performed by DCMs and DCOs, which, as noted above, the Commission has previously determined not to be “small entities.” 254 In addition, the Amended RTO-ISO Order includes entities that qualify as (1) “appropriate persons” pursuant to CEA sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J), (2) ECPs, as defined in CEA section 1a(18)(A) and Commission regulation 1.3 (m), or (3) persons who are in the business of: (i) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy, or (ii) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system. As noted above, the Commission has previously determined that ECPs are not “small entities” for purposes of the RFA.255 The Commission is of the view that, based on the Commission's existing information about the RTOs' and ISOs' markets, their market participants consist mostly of entities exceeding the thresholds defining “small entities.” 256

    252See RTO-ISO Order at 19906-07.

    253See note 246 supra; see also RTO-ISO Order at 19906.

    254See note 247 supra; see also RTO-ISO Order at 19906.

    255See note 249 supra; see also RTO-ISO Order at 19906.

    256See note 246 supra (citing 13 CFR 121.201). The threshold established by the SBA regulations define any small utility corporation as one that does not have more than 250 employees; see also RTO-ISO Order at 19907.

    Also, the Amended RTO-ISO Order would continue to alleviate the economic impact that the exempt entities, including any small entities that may opt to take advantage of the exemption set forth in the RTO-ISO Order, otherwise would be subjected to by continuing to exempt certain of their transactions from the application of substantive regulatory compliance requirements of the CEA and Commission regulations thereunder. Accordingly, the Commission does not expect the Amended RTO-ISO Order to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission, hereby certifies, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that the exemption set forth in the Amended RTO-ISO Order would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.257

    257 The Commission received one comment with respect to the RFA analysis in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment. The NFP Electric Associations argued that the RFA analysis in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment was “abbreviated and conclusory,” that the members of the NFP Electric Associations are “small entities” for purposes of the RFA, and that the amendment proposed in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment would have a negative impact on such entities. See NFP Electric Associations at 8. The Commission is of the view that the RFA analysis in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment, and that set forth herein, is sufficiently detailed and not conclusory. Moreover, given the Commission's determination with respect to the private right of action issue, the Commission is of the view that the NFP Electric Associations' concern is now moot.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act 1. Introduction

    The purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”) 258 are, among other things, to minimize the paperwork burden to the private sector, ensure that any collection of information by a government agency is put to the greatest possible uses, and minimize duplicative information collections across the government. The PRA applies to all information, “regardless of form or format,” whenever the government is “obtaining, causing to be obtained [or] soliciting” information, and includes and requires “disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or opinions,” when the information collection calls for “answers to identical questions posed to, or identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on, ten or more persons.” 259

    258 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    259 44 U.S.C. 3502(3).

    2. SPP Final Order

    The SPP Proposed Order provided that the exemption would be expressly conditioned upon information sharing arrangements between the Commission and FERC that are acceptable to the Commission continuing to be in effect.260 The Commission determined that the PRA would not apply because the SPP Proposed Order did not impose any new recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or other collections of information on ten or more persons that require approval of the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). The Commission did not receive any comments regarding this determination. The SPP Final Order thus incorporates the information sharing condition unchanged from the SPP Proposed Order, and this condition is consistent with the RTO-ISO Order.

    260 80 FR at 29517.

    3. Amended RTO-ISO Order

    With respect to the Amended RTO-ISO Order, the Commission previously determined that the RTO-ISO Order did not impose any new recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or other collections of information on ten or more persons that require OMB approval.261 The Amended RTO-ISO Order does not impose any recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or other collections of information on ten or more persons that require OMB approval.

    261See RTO-ISO Order at 19907-08.

    C. Cost-Benefit Considerations 1. Introduction

    Section 15(a) of the CEA262 requires the Commission to “consider the costs and benefits” of its actions before promulgating a regulation under the CEA or issuing certain orders. In issuing the SPP Final Order and the Amended RTO-ISO Order, the Commission is required by CEA sections 4(c)(6) and 4(c)(1) to ensure that they are consistent with the public interest. In much the same way, section 15(a) further specifies that the costs and benefits shall be evaluated in light of five broad areas of market and public concern: (1) Protection of market participants and the public; (2) efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures markets; (3) price discovery; (4) sound risk management practices; and (5) other public interest considerations. The Commission considers the costs and benefits resulting from its discretionary determinations with respect to the section 15(a) factors.

    262 7 U.S.C. 19(a).

    1. SPP Final Order a. Background

    On October 17, 2013, SPP filed an Exemption Application 263 with the Commission requesting that the Commission exercise its authority under section 4(c)(6) of the CEA and section 712(f) of the Dodd-Frank Act to exempt certain contracts, agreements, and transactions for the purchase or sale of specified electric energy products, that are offered pursuant to a FERC-approved Tariff, from most provisions of the Act.264 SPP asserted that each of the transactions for which an exemption is requested is (a) subject to a long-standing, comprehensive regulatory framework for the offer and sale of such transactions established by FERC, and (b) part of, and inextricably linked to, the organized wholesale electric energy markets that are subject to regulation and oversight by FERC. SPP expressly excluded from the Exemption Application any request for relief from the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13 of the Act, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4 and part 180,265 and such provisions explicitly have been carved out of the SPP Final Order.266

    263 As noted above, SPP filed an amended Exemption Application on August 1, 2014, and citations to “Exemption Application” herein are to the amended Exemption Application. See note 31 supra.

    264See 80 FR at 29491; see also Exemption Application at 1-2, 11-15.

    265See 80 FR at 29491; see also Exemption Application at 1.

    266See paragraph 1 of the SPP Final Order.

    b. SPP Proposed Order and Request for Comment on the Commission's Proposed Consideration of Costs and Benefits

    Upon consideration of the Exemption Application, the Commission issued the SPP Proposed Order, which proposed to exempt Transmission Congestion Rights, Energy Transactions, and Operating Reserve Transactions pursuant to section 4(c)(6) of the CEA.267 The Commission proposed to limit the exemption set forth in the SPP Proposed Order to persons who are (1) “appropriate persons,” as defined in CEA sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J); (2) “eligible contract participants,” as defined in CEA section 1a(18)(A) and Commission regulation 1.3(m); or (3) persons who actively participate in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy.268 Furthermore, under the SPP Proposed Order, the agreement, contract, or transaction must be offered or sold pursuant to SPP's Tariff, which has been approved by FERC.269 The exemption in the SPP Proposed Order would extend to any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect to the SPP Covered Transactions.270

    267See 80 FR at 29516-18; see also section II.C.1. supra.

    268See 80 FR at 29517.

    269See id.

    270See id. at 29516.

    In the SPP Proposed Order, the Commission clarified that financial transactions that are not tied to the allocation of the physical capabilities of an electric energy transmission grid would not be suitable for exemption, and were therefore not covered by the SPP Proposed Order because such activity would not be inextricably linked to the physical delivery of electric energy.271

    271See id. at 29494.

    The SPP Proposed Order expressly requested public comment on the Commission's proposed cost-benefit considerations, including with respect to reasonable alternatives; the magnitude of specific costs and benefits, and data or other information to estimate a dollar valuation; and any impact on the public interest factors specified in CEA section 15(a).272 The Commission did not receive any comments on its proposed cost-benefit considerations as set forth in the SPP Proposed Order.

    272See id. at 29522. As a general matter, in considering the costs and benefits of its actions, the Commission endeavors to quantify estimated costs and benefits where reasonably feasible. Here, however, the Commission considers the costs and benefits of this SPP Final Order mostly in qualitative terms because the commenters provided no such data or information to assist the Commission in doing so despite the SPP Proposed Order's request.

    c. Summary of the SPP Final Order

    As discussed above, the SPP Final Order makes certain determinations with respect to the scope of relief, including the scope of the SPP Covered Transactions.273 The Commission determined that any products that are offered by SPP, presently or in the future, pursuant to a Tariff that has been approved by FERC and that fall within the provided definitions of the SPP Covered Transactions, as well as any modifications to existing products that are offered by SPP pursuant to a Tariff that has been approved by FERC and that do not alter the characteristics of the SPP Covered Transactions in a way that would cause such products to fall outside these definitions, are intended to be included within the SPP Final Order.274 In this way, the Commission's SPP Final Order provides beneficial flexibility and efficiency in that, if the product qualifies as one of the three SPP Covered Transactions in the SPP Final Order, SPP would not be required to request or to obtain future supplemental relief for a modified product. At the same time, however, the Commission declined to include the phrase “directly related to, and a logical outgrowth of” in the definitions of the SPP Covered Transactions because such phrase is too vague and too potentially far reaching to permit meaningful analysis under the Commission's statutory standard of review.

    273See section IV.B. supra.

    274See id.

    The SPP Final Order also sets forth certain conditions to the effectiveness of the exemption set forth therein. First, the Commission must be able to obtain through FERC positional and transactional data within SPP's possession for products in SPP's markets that are related to markets subject to the Commission's jurisdiction, including any pertinent information concerning such data.275 Second, the exemption is expressly conditioned upon the requirement that neither the Tariff nor any other governing documents of SPP shall include any requirement that SPP notify its members prior to providing information to the Commission in response to a subpoena or other request for information or documentation.276

    275 Paragraph 4(a) of the SPP Final Order.

    276 Paragraph 4(b) of the SPP Final Order.

    In the discussion that follows, the Commission considers the costs and benefits of the SPP Final Order to the public and market participants generally, and to SPP specifically. It also considers the costs and benefits of the exemption described in the SPP Final Order, in light of the public interest factors enumerated in CEA section 15(a).

    d. Baseline

    The Commission's baseline for consideration of the costs and benefits of the SPP Final Order is the costs and benefits that the public and market participants (including SPP) would experience in the absence of this proposed regulatory action. In other words, the baseline is a situation in which the Commission takes no action and exercises jurisdiction, meaning that the transactions that are the subject of SPP's Exemption Application would be required to comply with all of the CEA and Commission regulations, as applicable.277 In such a scenario, the public and market participants would experience the full benefits and costs related to the CEA and Commission regulations, but as discussed in detail above, the transactions would still be subject to the congruent regulatory regime of FERC.278

    277 Under this situation, the statutory private right of action in CEA section 22 would remain intact and would apply, in accordance with its terms, to all applicable provisions of the CEA.

    278 Some benefits of CFTC regulation overlap with benefits of FERC regulation and, therefore, are attributable to both regimes.

    The Commission also considers the regulatory landscape as it exists outside the context of the Dodd-Frank Act's enactment. In this instance, it also is important to highlight the fact that each of the transactions for which an exemption is requested is already subject to a long-standing, comprehensive regulatory framework for the offer and sale of such transactions established by FERC.279 For example, the costs and benefits attendant to the Commission's condition that transactions be entered into between “appropriate persons” as described in CEA section 4(c)(3) has an analog outside the context of the Dodd-Frank Act in FERC's minimum criteria for RTO market participants as set forth in FERC Order No. 741. Moreover, the Commission has granted similar relief to other RTOs and ISOs regulated by either FERC or PUCT.280

    279See supra section IV.A.2.b.

    280See RTO-ISO Order; see also supra section II.A.

    In the discussion that follows, the Commission endeavored to, where reasonably feasible, estimate quantifiable dollar costs of the SPP Final Order. The benefits and costs of the SPP Final Order, however, are not presently susceptible to meaningful quantification. Most of the costs arise from limitations on the scope of the SPP Final Order, and many of the benefits tied to those limitations arise from avoiding defaults and their implications that are clearly large in magnitude, but impracticable to estimate. Being unable to quantify, the Commission discusses proposed costs and benefits in qualitative terms.

    e. Benefits

    The Commission's comprehensive action in this SPP Final Order benefits the public and market participants in several substantial if unquantifiable ways, as discussed below. First, by cabining the SPP Covered Transactions to the definitions provided in this SPP Final Order, the Commission limits the financial risk that may impact the markets. The mitigation of such risk inures to the benefit of SPP, market participants, and the public, especially SPP's members and electric energy ratepayers.

    The condition that only “appropriate persons” may enter into the SPP Covered Transactions benefits the public and the entities that fall under the “appropriate persons” definition themselves, by ensuring that only persons with resources sufficient to understand and manage the risks of the transactions are permitted to engage in the same. Further, the condition requiring that the SPP Covered Transactions only be offered or sold pursuant to a FERC-approved Tariff benefits the public by, for example, ensuring that the SPP Covered Transactions are subject to a regulatory regime that is focused on the physical provision of reliable electric energy, and also has credit requirements that are designed to achieve risk management goals congruent with the regulatory objectives of the Commission's DCO and SEF Core Principles. Absent these and other similar limitations on participant- and financial-eligibility, the integrity of the markets at issue could be compromised, and members and ratepayers left unprotected from potentially significant losses resulting from purely financial, speculative activity.

    The Commission's retention of power to redress any fraud or manipulation in connection with the SPP Covered Transactions protects market participants and the public generally, as well as the financial markets for electric energy products. For example, the SPP Final Order is conditioned upon the Commission's ability to obtain certain positional and transactional data within SPP's possession from SPP. Through this condition, the Commission expects that it will be able to continue discharging its regulatory duties under the CEA. Further, the condition that SPP may not, in the future, maintain any Tariff provisions that would require SPP to notify members prior to providing the Commission with information will help maximize the effectiveness of the Commission's enforcement program.

    In addition, explicitly providing an exemption from private claims under CEA section 22 will benefit market participants by allowing them to avoid legal and compliance costs due to an increased risk of private litigation under section 22. Moreover, granting an explicit exemption from the CEA section 22 private right of action reflects Congress' intent regarding how manipulation and fraud in the context of the RTO-ISO markets should be addressed. Lastly, providing an exemption from private actions pursuant to CEA section 22 will prevent any potential tension between the enforcement programs of FERC and PUCT, on the one hand, and private enforcement under the CEA, on the other.

    f. Costs

    The SPP Final Order is exemptive and provides “appropriate persons” engaging in SPP Covered Transactions relief from certain requirements of the CEA and attendant Commission regulations. As with any exemptive rule or order, the exemption in the SPP Final Order is permissive, meaning that SPP was not required to request it and is not required to rely on it. Accordingly, the Commission assumes that SPP would rely on the exemption only if the anticipated benefits warrant the costs of the exemption.

    The Commission is of the view that SPP, market participants, and the public will experience minimal, if any, ongoing costs as a result of the determinations and conditions set forth in the SPP Final Order because, as SPP certifies pursuant to Commission regulation 140.99(c)(3)(ii), the attendant conditions are substantially similar to requirements that SPP and its market participants already incur in complying with FERC regulations.

    The requirement that all parties to the agreements, contracts, or transactions that are covered by the exemption in the SPP Final Order must be (1) an “appropriate person,” as defined sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) of the CEA; (2) an “eligible contract participant,” as defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the CEA and in Commission regulation 1.3(m); or (3) a “person who actively participates in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy,” as defined in paragraph 5(f) of the SPP Final Order—is not likely to impose any significant, incremental costs on SPP because its existing legal and regulatory obligations under the FPA and FERC regulations mandate that only eligible market participants may engage in the SPP Covered Transactions.

    The requirement that the SPP Covered Transactions must be offered or sold pursuant to SPP's Tariff, which has been approved by FERC, is a statutory requirement for the exemption set forth in CEA section 4(c)(6) and therefore is not a cost attributable to an act of discretion by the Commission.281 Moreover, requiring that SPP not operate outside its approved Tariff derives from existing legal requirements and is not a cost attributable to this SPP Final Order.

    281See 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(6)(A), (B).

    As described above, FERC imposes on SPP and the SPP Market Monitor various information management requirements.282 These existing requirements are not materially different from the condition that neither SPP's Tariff nor other governing documents may include any requirement that SPP notify a member prior to providing information to the Commission in response to a subpoena, special call, or other request for information or documentation. This requirement is not likely to impose any significant, incremental costs on SPP because SPP's existing Tariff governing the sharing of information meets this condition.

    282See section IV.A.2.b. supra.

    Requiring that an information sharing arrangement between the Commission and FERC be in full force and effect is not a cost to SPP or to other members of the public because it has been an inter-agency norm since 2005.283 The requirement that SPP comply with the Commission's requests on an as-needed basis for related transactional and positional market data will impose only minimal costs on SPP to respond because the Commission contemplates that any information requested will already be in SPP's possession.284

    283 The CFTC and FERC first signed an information sharing MOU on October 12, 2005. On January 2, 2014, as directed by Congress under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Commission and FERC entered into the CFTC-FERC Information Sharing MOU, which superseded the 2005 MOU and provided for the sharing of information for use in analyzing market activities and protecting market integrity. See supra note 56.

    284 SPP represents that its Tariff requires the sharing of information with the Commission without prior notice to market participants. See Exemption Application Attachments at 52, 54; see also section IV.B. supra.

    In addition, in granting an explicit exemption from the CEA section 22 private right of action, the Commission notes that there may be minimal costs associated with the fact that private litigants will not be permitted to vindicate their own interests or directly contribute to those interests through litigation with respect to fraud and manipulation in the RTO-ISO markets. However, as stated above in section III.B.2., such costs are mitigated by the fact that FERC and PUCT will continue to pervasively regulate such markets. In addition, nothing in the SPP Final Order affects the Commission's own authority to address fraudulent or manipulative conduct in the RTO-ISO markets, including the Commission's authority to seek restitution for the benefit of victims. Also, as noted above in section III.B.2., the Commission encourages market participants who observe potential fraud or manipulation in the markets subject to the Commission's jurisdiction to bring their concerns to the Commission.

    g. Consideration of Alternatives

    The Commission considered the costs and benefits of not issuing the exemption found in the SPP Final Order. The Commission declined this approach as inconsistent with Congressional intent and contrary to the public interest, since Congress, in the Dodd-Frank Act, required the Commission to exempt certain contracts, agreements or transactions from duties otherwise required by statute or Commission regulation by adding a new section that requires the Commission to exempt from its regulatory oversight agreements, contracts, or transactions traded pursuant to a FERC-approved tariff, where such exemption is in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of the CEA. In addition, not issuing the exemption found in the SPP Final Order would result in SPP being treated differently from the RTOs and ISOs covered by the Commission's previous RTO-ISO Order.

    The Commission also considered the costs and benefits of expanding the definition of SPP Covered Transactions to include future products that are “directly related to, and a logical outgrowth of” existing products, as requested by SPP. The Commission declined this approach in part because of the concern that such an open-ended definition could present risks beyond those contemplated. At the same time, the Commission made clear that any new transactions that fall within the SPP Covered Transactions, which are explicitly defined in the SPP Final Order, and any modifications to existing transactions that do not alter the SPP Covered Transactions' characteristics in a way that would cause them to fall outside those definitions, that are offered by SPP pursuant to a FERC-approved Tariff, are intended to be included within the exemption in the SPP Final Order.285 This provides a benefit in that no supplemental relief for such products would be required, which is a cost-mitigating efficiency gain for SPP.

    285See section IV.B. supra.

    The Commission also considered expressly preserving the statutory private right of action found in CEA section 22 with respect to fraud and manipulation. The Commission has considered the costs and benefits of such action in light of the comments received, and, for the reasons stated in section III.B.2., has been persuaded that issuing an explicit exemption from CEA section 22 is the appropriate course of action.

    h. Consideration of CEA Section 15(a) Factors i. Protection of Market Participants and the Public

    As explained above, the Commission does not foresee that the SPP Final Order will have any negative effect on the protection of market participants and the public. More specifically, the SPP Covered Transactions, in light of the representations of SPP and in the context of SPP's regulation by FERC, do not appear to generate significant risks of the nature of those addressed by the CEA. The Commission has attempted to delineate the definitional boundaries for the SPP Covered Transactions in a manner that appropriately ring-fences against the possibility that they could generate such risks, either now or as they may evolve in the future. In addition, the Commission has limited the exemption set forth in the SPP Final Order to persons with resources sufficient to understand and manage the risks of the SPP Covered Transactions. This requirement serves to protect excluded market participants and it minimizes the risk of potential misuse of the exempt transactions.

    ii. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity of Futures Markets

    The Commission foresees little, if any, negative impact from the SPP Final Order on the efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of markets regulated under the CEA. As discussed above, the Commission believes that the SPP Final Order will promote efficiency by allowing entities who partake of the exemption delineated therein transactional flexibility that the Commission understands to be valuable to their ability to efficiently deploy their limited resources. Further, the Commission believes that the SPP Final Order will increase competition by granting an exemption to SPP and appropriate persons, as defined in the SPP Final Order, that is similar in scope to the exemption granted to other RTOs and ISOs in the RTO-ISO Order. In addition, as discussed above, the Commission's retention of its full enforcement authority will help ensure that any misconduct in connection with the exempted transactions does not jeopardize the financial integrity of the markets under the Commission's jurisdiction.

    iii. Price Discovery

    The Commission does not believe that the SPP Final Order will materially impair price discovery in non-exempt markets subject to the Commission's jurisdiction. As discussed above, the SPP Covered Transactions are used to manage unique electric industry operational risks. As such, Transmission Congestion Rights and Operating Reserve Transactions appear to be ill-suited for exchange trading and/or to serve a useful price discovery function. In addition, as discussed above, while Energy Transactions can serve as a source of settlement prices for other transactions in Commission-regulated markets, SPP has a market monitoring system in place to detect and deter manipulation that takes place on its markets.

    iv. Sound Risk Management Practices

    The Commission believes that the SPP Final Order will promote the ability of SPP and its market participants to manage the operational risks posed by unique electric energy market characteristics, including the non-storable nature of electric energy and demand that can and frequently does fluctuate dramatically within a short time-span. As discussed above, the Commission understands that the SPP Covered Transactions are an important tool facilitating SPP's ability to efficiently manage operational risk in fulfillment of its public service mission to provide affordable, reliable electric energy.

    v. Other Public Interest Considerations

    In exercising its sections 4(c)(1) and 4(c)(6) exemptive authority in the SPP Final Order, the Commission is acting to promote the broader public interest by facilitating the supply of affordable, reliable electric energy, as contemplated by Congress.286

    286See related discussion in section I. supra.

    3. Amended RTO-ISO Order a. Background

    As discussed above, the RTO-ISO Order currently exempts contracts, agreements, and transactions for the purchase or sale of the limited electric energy-related products that are specifically described within the RTO-ISO Order from certain provisions of the CEA and Commission regulations, with the exception of the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under CEA sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180.287 The RTO-ISO Order did not discuss CEA section 22.

    287See RTO-ISO Order at 19912.

    b. RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment and Request for Comment on the Commission's Proposed Consideration of Costs and Benefits

    As discussed above, the Commission issued the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment on May 9, 2016. The RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment proposed to amend the RTO-ISO Order to clarify that the RTO-ISO Order would not exempt the RTO-ISO Covered Entities from the private right of action found in section 22 of the CEA with respect to the Excepted Provisions.288

    288See supra section II.E.

    The RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment expressly requested public comment on the Commission's proposed cost-benefit considerations, including with respect to reasonable alternatives; the magnitude of specific costs and benefits, and data or other information to estimate a dollar valuation; and any impact on the public interest factors specified in CEA section 15(a).289

    289 81 FR at 30253.

    The Commission received four comments regarding the cost-benefit analysis in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment. The four commenters argued that the Commission's cost-benefit analysis of the amendment proposed in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment was inadequate or insufficient, and/or that the Commission underestimated the legal and regulatory costs of allowing private claims against market participants in the RTO-ISO markets.290

    290 EEI at 11; EPSA at 10; IRC at 13; NFP Electric Associations at 7.

    c. Summary of the Amended RTO-ISO Order

    The Amended RTO-ISO Order exempts the RTO-ISO market participants and RTO-ISO Covered Transactions from private actions pursuant to CEA section 22.

    In the discussion that follows, the Commission considers the costs and benefits of the Amended RTO-ISO Order to the public and market participants generally, and to the RTO-ISO Covered Entities specifically. It also considers the costs and benefits of the Amended RTO-ISO Order in light of the public interest factors enumerated in CEA section 15(a).

    d. Baseline

    In the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment, the Commission proposed to exclude from the exemption set forth in the RTO-ISO Order the private right of action under CEA section 22. Thus, the Commission's proposed baseline for consideration of the costs and benefits was the opposite of that action, i.e. the costs and benefits that the public and market participants would experience if the existing RTO-ISO Order were to be interpreted to exempt market participants from liability under the CEA section 22 private right of action.291 As discussed above,292 the Commission received a number of comments in response to the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment, and was persuaded by specific points made by such commenters to amend the RTO-ISO Order to grant an explicit exemption from the CEA section 22 private right of action. Given this change, the Commission believes it is more informative, for purposes of this analysis, to use as the baseline the costs and benefits that the public and market participants would have experienced if the RTO-ISO Order were amended as the Commission originally proposed to do in the RTO-ISO Order Proposed Amendment (in other words, if the RTO-ISO Order were amended to explicitly preserve the CEA section 22 private right of action).293

    291See 81 FR at 30252.

    292See supra sections III.B.1. and III.B.2.

    293See 81 FR 30247-48.

    In the discussion that follows, the Commission endeavored to, where reasonably feasible, estimate quantifiable dollar costs of the amendment to the RTO-ISO Order. The costs and benefits of the amendment, however, are not presently susceptible to meaningful quantification. Being unable to quantify, the Commission discusses proposed costs and benefits in qualitative terms.

    e. Benefits

    Using the baseline described above,294 amending the RTO-ISO Order to address the issue of exemption from the CEA section 22 private right of action one way or another will prevent future uncertainty with respect to the scope of the RTO-ISO Order. Amending the RTO-ISO Order to provide an express exemption from CEA section 22 will benefit RTO-ISO market participants by allowing them to avoid legal and compliance costs due to an increased risk of private litigation under section 22. Moreover, granting an explicit exemption from the CEA section 22 private right of action reflects Congress' intent regarding how manipulation and fraud in the context of the RTO-ISO markets should be addressed. Lastly, providing an exemption from private actions pursuant to CEA section 22 will prevent any potential tension between the enforcement programs of FERC and PUCT, on the one hand, and private enforcement under the CEA, on the other.

    294See supra section V.C.3.d.

    f. Costs

    Using the baseline described above,295 the Commission notes that there may be minimal costs associated with the fact that private litigants will not be permitted to vindicate their own interests or directly contribute to those interests through litigation with respect to fraud and manipulation in the RTO-ISO markets. However, as stated above in section III.B.2., such costs are mitigated by the fact that FERC and PUCT will continue to pervasively regulate such markets. In addition, nothing in the Amended RTO-ISO Order affects the Commission's own authority to address fraudulent or manipulative conduct in the RTO-ISO markets, including the Commission's authority to seek restitution for the benefit of victims. Also, as noted above in section III.B.2., the Commission encourages market participants who observe potential fraud or manipulation in the markets subject to the Commission's jurisdiction to bring their concerns to the Commission.

    295See id.

    g. Consideration of Alternatives

    The Commission considered not issuing the Amended RTO-ISO Order. The Commission considered the uncertainty that has arisen with respect to the scope of the RTO-ISO Order and the availability of a private right of action under the RTO-ISO Order, particularly following the court rulings in the Aspire v. GDF Suez action,296 and has determined that a no-amendment alternative would prolong such uncertainty and thus be contrary to the public interest.

    296See supra section II.D.

    The Commission also proposed to amend the RTO-ISO Order to explicitly preserve the CEA section 22 private right of action with respect to fraud and manipulation.297 The Commission has considered the costs and benefits of its proposed amendment in light of the comments received, and, for the reasons stated in section III.B.2., has been persuaded that issuing an explicit exemption from CEA section 22 is the appropriate course of action.

    297See 81 FR 30245.

    h. Consideration of CEA Section 15(a) Factors i. Protection of Market Participants and the Public

    The Commission notes that, while under the Amended RTO-ISO Order, private litigants will not be permitted to pursue fraud or manipulation claims under CEA section 22 with respect to the RTO-ISO markets, market participants will still be protected through the pervasive regulation of those markets by FERC and PUCT, and by the Commission's own authority to address fraud and manipulation in such markets.

    ii. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity of Futures Markets

    The Commission does not believe that the amendment to the RTO-ISO Order will have an effect on the efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of the futures markets.

    iii. Price Discovery

    The Commission does not believe that the amendment to the RTO-ISO Order will have an effect on price discovery.

    iv. Sound Risk Management Practices

    The Commission does not believe that the amendment to the RTO-ISO Order will have a material effect on sound risk management practices.

    v. Other Public Interest Considerations

    The Commission believes that the amendment to the RTO-ISO Order will foster the public interest for the reasons discussed above in section III.B.2.

    VI. SPP Final Order

    Upon due consideration and consistent with the determinations set forth above, the Commission hereby issues the following order (“Order”):

    Pursuant to its authority under sections 4(c)(1) and 4(c)(6) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA” or Act”) and in accordance with sections 4(c)(1) and (2) of the Act, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”)

    1. Exempts, subject to the conditions and limitations specified herein, the execution of the electric energy-related agreements, contracts, and transactions that are specified in paragraph 2 of this Order and any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect thereto, from all provisions of the CEA, except, in each case, the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under CEA sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180. For the avoidance of doubt, this exemption applies to private actions pursuant to CEA section 22 with respect to all provisions of the Act, including the foregoing enumerated provisions, but does not restrict the Commission's enforcement authority pursuant to those provisions.

    2. Scope. This exemption applies only to agreements, contracts and transactions that satisfy each of the following requirements:

    a. The agreement, contract or transaction is for the purchase and sale of one of the following electric energy-related products:

    (1) “Transmission Congestion Rights” defined in paragraph 5(a) of this Order, except that the exemption shall only apply to such Transmission Congestion Rights where:

    (a) Each Transmission Congestion Right is linked to, and the aggregate volume of Transmission Congestion Rights for any period of time is limited by, the physical capability (after accounting for counterflow) of the electric energy transmission system operated by SPP for such period;

    (b) SPP serves as the market administrator for the market on which the Transmission Congestion Rights are transacted;

    (c) Each party to the transaction is a member of SPP (or is SPP itself) and the transaction is executed on a market administered by SPP; and

    (d) The transaction does not require any party to make or take physical delivery of electric energy.

    (2) “Energy Transactions” as defined in paragraph 5(b) of this Order.

    (3) “Operating Reserve Transactions” as defined in paragraph 5(c) of this Order.

    b. Each party to the agreement, contract or transaction is:

    (1) An “appropriate person,” as defined in sections 4(c)(3)(A) through (J) of the CEA;

    (2) an “eligible contract participant,” as defined in section 1a(18)(A) of the CEA and in Commission regulation 1.3(m); or

    (3) a “person who actively participates in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy,” as defined in paragraph 5(f) of this Order.

    c. The agreement, contract or transaction is offered or sold pursuant to SPP's Tariff and that Tariff has been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”).

    3. Applicability to SPP. Subject to the conditions contained in the Order, the Order applies to SPP with respect to the transactions described in paragraph 2 of this Order.

    4. Conditions. The exemption provided by this Order is expressly conditioned upon the following:

    a. Information sharing: Information sharing arrangements between the Commission and FERC that are acceptable to the Commission continue to be in effect, and SPP's compliance with the Commission's requests through FERC to share, on an as-needed basis and in connection with an inquiry consistent with the CEA and Commission regulations, positional and transactional data within SPP's possession for products in SPP's markets that are related to markets that are subject to the Commission's jurisdiction, including any pertinent information concerning such data.

    b. Notification of requests for information: Neither the Tariff nor any other governing documents of SPP shall include any requirement that SPP notify its members prior to providing information to the Commission in response to a subpoena or other request for information or documentation.

    5. Definitions. The following definitions shall apply for purposes of this Order:

    a. A “Transmission Congestion Right” is a transaction, however named, that entitles one party to receive, and obligates another party to pay, an amount based solely on the difference between the price for electric energy, established on an electric energy market administered by SPP, at a specified source (i.e., where electric energy is deemed injected into the grid of SPP) and a specified sink (i.e., where electric energy is deemed withdrawn from the grid of SPP).

    b. “Energy Transactions” are transactions in a “Day-Ahead Market” or “Real-Time Balancing Market,” as those terms are defined in paragraphs 5(d) and 5(e) of this Order, for the purchase or sale of a specified quantity of electric energy at a specified location (including virtual bids and offers), where:

    (1) The price of the electric energy is established at the time the transaction is executed;

    (2) Performance occurs in the Real-Time Balancing Market by either:

    (a) Delivery or receipt of the specified electric energy, or

    (b) A cash payment or receipt at the price established in the Day-Ahead Market or Real-Time Balancing Market (as permitted by SPP in its Tariff); and

    (3) The aggregate cleared volume of both physical and cash-settled energy transactions for any period of time is limited by the physical capability of the electric energy transmission system operated by SPP for that period of time.

    c. “Operating Reserve Transactions” are transactions:

    (1) In which SPP, for the benefit of load-serving entities and resources, purchases, through auction, the right, during a period of time as specified in SPP's Tariff, to require the seller of such right to operate electric energy facilities in a physical state such that the facilities can increase or decrease the rate of injection or withdrawal of a specified quantity of electric energy into or from the electric energy transmission system operated by SPP with:

    (a) Physical performance by the seller's facilities within a response time interval specified in SPP's Tariff (Reserve Transaction); or

    (b) prompt physical performance by the seller's facilities (Area Control Error Regulation Transaction);

    (2) For which the seller receives, in consideration, one or more of the following:

    (a) Payment at the price established in SPP's Day-Ahead or Real-Time Balancing Market, as those terms are defined in paragraphs 5(d) and 5(e) of this Order, price for electric energy applicable whenever SPP exercises its right that electric energy be delivered (including “Demand Response,” as defined in paragraph 5(g) of this Order);

    (b) Compensation for the opportunity cost of not supplying or consuming electric energy or other services during any period during which SPP requires that the seller not supply energy or other services;

    (c) An upfront payment determined through the auction administered by SPP for this service;

    (d) An additional amount indexed to the frequency, duration, or other attributes of physical performance as specified in SPP's Tariff; and

    (3) In which the value, quantity, and specifications of such transactions for SPP for any period of time shall be limited to the physical capability of the electric energy transmission system operated by SPP for that period of time.

    d. “Day-Ahead Market” means an electric energy market administered by SPP on which the price of electric energy at a specified location is determined, in accordance with SPP's Tariff, for specified time periods, none of which is later than the second operating day following the day on which the Day-Ahead Market clears.

    e. “Real-Time Balancing Market” means an electric energy market administered by SPP on which the price of electric energy at a specified location is determined, in accordance with SPP's Tariff, for specified time periods within the same 24-hour period.

    f. “Person who actively participates in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy” means a person that is in the business of: (1) Generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy; or (2) providing electric energy services that are necessary to support the reliable operation of the transmission system.

    g. “Demand Response” means the right of SPP to require that certain sellers of such rights curtail consumption of electric energy from the electric energy transmission system operated by SPP during a future period of time as specified in SPP's Tariff.

    h. “SPP” means Southwest Power Pool, Inc. or any successor in interest to Southwest Power Pool.

    i. “Tariff.” Reference to a SPP “Tariff” includes a tariff, rate schedule or protocol.

    j. “Exemption Application” means the application for an exemptive order under 4(c)(6) of the CEA filed by SPP on October 17, 2013, as amended August 1, 2014.

    6. Effective Date. This Order is effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

    7. Delegation of Authority. The Commission hereby delegates, until such time as the Commission orders otherwise, to the Director of the Division of Market Oversight (“Division”) and to such members of the Division's staff acting under his or her direction as he or she may designate, in consultation with the General Counsel or such members of the General Counsel's staff acting under his or her direction as he or she may designate, the authority to request information from SPP pursuant to section 4(a) of this Order.

    This Order is based upon the representations made in the Exemption Application for an exemptive order under section 4(c) of the CEA filed by SPP,298 including those representations with respect to compliance with FERC regulation 35.47. It is also based on supporting materials provided to the Commission by SPP and its counsel, including a legal memorandum that, in the Commission's sole discretion, provides the Commission with assurance that the netting arrangements contained in the approach selected by SPP to satisfy the obligations contained in FERC regulation 35.47(d) will, in fact, provide SPP with enforceable rights of setoff against any of its market participants under title 11 of the United States Code in the event of the bankruptcy of the market participant. Any material change or omission in the facts and circumstances pursuant to which this Order is granted might require the Commission to reconsider its finding that the exemption contained therein is appropriate and/or consistent with the public interest and purposes of the CEA. Further, the Commission reserves the right, in its discretion, to revisit any of the terms and conditions of the relief provided herein, including but not limited to, making a determination that certain entities and transactions described herein should be subject to the Commission's full jurisdiction, and to condition, suspend, terminate or otherwise modify or restrict the exemption granted in this Order, as appropriate, upon its own motion.

    298 In the Matter of the Application for an Exemptive Order Under Section 4(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act by Southwest Power Pool, Inc., amended Aug. 1, 2014.

    VII. Amended RTO-ISO Order

    The Preamble to and Paragraph 1 of the RTO-ISO Order are revised to read as follows:

    Pursuant to its authority under sections 4(c)(1) and 4(c)(6) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) or (“Act”) and in accordance with sections 4(c)(1) and (2) of the Act, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission”)

    1. Exempts, subject to the conditions and limitations specified herein, the execution of the electric energy-related agreements, contracts, and transactions that are specified in paragraph 2 of this Order and any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect thereto, from all provisions of the CEA, except, in each case, the Commission's general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority, and scienter-based prohibitions, under CEA sections 2(a)(1)(B), 4(d), 4b, 4c(b), 4o, 4s(h)(1)(A), 4s(h)(4)(A), 6(c), 6(d), 6(e), 6c, 6d, 8, 9, and 13, and any implementing regulations promulgated under these sections including, but not limited to, Commission regulations 23.410(a) and (b), 32.4, and part 180. For the avoidance of doubt, this exemption applies to private actions pursuant to CEA section 22 with respect to all provisions of the Act, including the foregoing enumerated provisions, but does not restrict the Commission's enforcement authority pursuant to those provisions.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 18, 2016 by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Appendices to Final Order in Response to an Application From Southwest Power Pool, Inc. To Exempt Specified Transactions; Amendment to the Final Order Exempting Specified Transactions of Certain Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations—Commission Voting Summary, Chairman's Statement, and Commissioner's Statement Appendix 1—Commission Voting Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Massad and Commissioners Bowen and Giancarlo voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative.

    Appendix 2—Statement of Chairman Timothy G. Massad

    I support this order, which comes after careful review of the issue, including comments from many market participants.

    Our electric markets are subject to regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state regulators. Those regulators work to ensure that energy rates remain reasonable, transmission systems function reliably, and the interests of market participants are balanced with the protection of electricity consumers. In light of this, the CFTC exempted certain transactions in the regional transmission organization (RTO) and independent system operator (ISO) markets from most provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), other than our own authority to pursue fraud and manipulation in those markets.

    One issue was left uncertain, which was whether private rights of action under the CEA could be brought against RTOs, ISOs, and other market participants. As a general matter, private rights of action are important to our regulatory structure. They can deter bad actors and protect market participants. But many market participants expressed concern that private actions could create costs within the markets in ways regulators did not anticipate. For example, several state consumer advocate offices noted that private rights of action could inadvertently introduce regulatory uncertainty and increase costs for consumers. So while private rights of action will remain critical overall in our markets, I am persuaded that, in this limited instance, they could cause instability and adversely affect consumers without necessarily enhancing supervision of markets or consumer protection.

    In making this determination, it is important that the CFTC continues to retain the authority to pursue fraud and manipulation within those markets. Aggrieved market participants and consumers also still have the ability to file complaints with the CFTC and our Whistleblower program.

    I thank the CFTC staff and my fellow Commissioners for their work on this matter, as well as those who took the time to provide us with feedback.

    Appendix 3—Statement of Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo

    I support this commonsense decision that it is not in the public interest to allow private lawsuits against electric utilities trading in wholesale energy markets.

    Two months ago, I visited a construction site for a state-of-the-art electric power plant in my home state of New Jersey. The facility was being built to withstand future weather events like Superstorm Sandy. The power it will produce will serve millions of local residents.

    Without today's practical decision, power utilities across the country may have hesitated or delayed building such new power plants because of the regulatory uncertainty and costs associated with private litigation—costs that surely would be passed on to millions of ratepayers throughout the country.

    As I have observed, preserving the Section 22 private right of action is not necessary in these heavily regulated markets.1 Both the CFTC and the FERC have the authority to seek redress for the claims of private persons who raise meritorious allegations of fraud or manipulation.

    1See Notice of Proposed Amendment to and Request for Comment on the Final Order in Response to a Petition From Certain Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations To Exempt Specified Transactions Authorized by a Tariff or Protocol Approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Public Utility Commission of Texas From Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Pursuant to the Authority Provided in the Act, 81 FR 30245, 30254-55 (May 16, 2016) (Statement of Dissent by Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo); J. Christopher Giancarlo, Op-Ed, Unneeded mandate would hurt N.J. consumers, The Record, Aug. 18, 2016, available at http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-guest-writers/unneeded-mandate-would-hurt-n-j-consumers-1.1647129.

    I am heartened that the Commission now agrees and has concluded, with today's action, that allowing private lawsuits is not in the public interest.

    It is just commonsense.

    [FR Doc. 2016-25571 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Army Education Advisory Subcommittee Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open Subcommittee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Board of Visitors, a subcommittee of the Army Education Advisory Committee. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) Board of Visitors Subcommittee will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 7 and from 09:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, 891 Elkridge Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Detlev Kesten, the Alternate Designated Federal Officer for the subcommittee, in writing at Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, ATFL-APAS, Bldg. 634, Presidio of Monterey, CA 93944, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (831) 242-6670.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subcommittee meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to provide the subcommittee with briefings and information focusing on the Institute's plan to implement a comprehensive leadership development plan for its faculty and staff and to present updates to the curriculum. The subcommittee will also receive an update on the Institute's accreditation and will address administrative matters.

    Proposed Agenda: December 7—The subcommittee will receive briefings associated with DLIFLC's leadership development goals and curriculum updates and the Institute's actions in supporting said goal. The subcommittee will be updated on the Institute's on going self-study to reaffirm its academic accreditation. The subcommittee will complete administrative procedures and appointment requirements. December 8—The subcommittee will have time to discuss and compile observations pertaining to agenda items. General deliberations leading to provisional findings will be referred to the Army Education Advisory Committee for deliberation by the Committee under the open-meeting rules.

    Public Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is on a first to arrive basis. Attendees are requested to submit their name, affiliation, and daytime phone number fourteen business days prior to the meeting to Mr. Kesten, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Members of the public attending the subcommittee meetings will not be permitted to present questions from the floor or speak to any issue under consideration by the subcommittee.

    Because the meeting of the subcommittee will be held in a Federal Government facility, security screening is required. A photo ID is required to enter the facility. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. The facility is fully handicap accessible. Wheelchair access is available at the main entrance of the building. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mr. Kesten, the subcommittee's Alternate Designated Federal Officer, at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the subcommittee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the subcommittee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mr. Kesten, the subcommittee Alternate Designated Federal Officer, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will review all submitted written comments or statements and provide them to members of the subcommittee for their consideration. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the Alternate Designated Federal Official at least seven business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the subcommittee. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the subcommittee until its next meeting.

    Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140d, the Subcommittee is not obligated to allow a member of the public to speak or otherwise address the Subcommittee during the meeting. Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the Committee meeting only at the time and in the manner described below. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least seven business days in advance to the subcommittee's Alternate Designated Federal Official, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will log each request, in the order received, and in consultation with the Subcommittee Chair, determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the Subcommittee's mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. A 15-minute period near the end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described above, will be allotted no more than three minutes during the period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the Alternate Designated Federal Official.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25620 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Update to the 30 July 2013 Military Freight Traffic Unified Rules Publication (MFTURP) No. 1 AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) is providing notice that it is releasing an updated MFTURP No. 1.

    DATES:

    The update will be effective on October 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments to SDDC, G35, Transportation Policy, Process and Systems Branch, 1 Soldier Way, Building 1900W, ATTN: SDDC-AMSSD-OPT, Scott AFB 62225. Request for additional information may be sent by email to: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Reference: Military Freight Traffic Unified Rules Publications (MFTURP) No. 1. Background: The MFTURP No. 1 governs the purchase of surface freight transportation in the Continental United States (CONUS) by DoD using Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) exempt transportation service contracts. Miscellaneous: This publication, as well as the other SDDC publications, can be accessed via the SDDC Web site at: http://www.sddc.army.mil/GCD/default.aspx.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25619 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0105] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: 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; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title 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.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), 555 E. 88th Street, Bldg 10, Bratenahl, OH 44108-1068. ATTN: Craig Maddox, System Manager, myPay, (216) 204-2744 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: DFAS myPay Web Application, 0730-TBD.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary for DFAS to provide financial support to its customer base that opts to use the DFAS myPay Web Application for self-service management of their personnel financial pay accounts.

    Affected Public: Individuals and households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 300,175 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 1,200,698.

    Responses per Respondent: 1 (average).

    Annual Responses: 1,200,698.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion—respondents complete as needed.

    Respondents are DFAS customers who are military retirees, annuitants of military retirees, and former spouses of military retirees. These customers use the DFAS myPay Web Application as a means of self-service management of their DFAS myPay financial pay account. Online self-service transactions include the following:

    • Name Changes • Correspondence Address Changes • Payment Address Changes • Allotment Changes • Beneficiary for Arrears Changes • Direct Deposit Changes • Federal Tax Withholding Changes • State Tax Withholding Changes • Report of Existence Submissions • Email Address Changes • Security Questions Changes • Password Changes • PIN Changes • Login ID Changes • Limited Access Account Changes • Electronic/Hard-Copy Receipt Preference for IRS Form 1099-R Election Changes • Electronic/Hard-Copy Receipt Preference for IRS Form 1095 Election Changes • Electronic/Hard-Copy Receipt Preference for Account Alerts Election Changes • Single Sign-On (SSO) Election Changes Dated: October 19, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25643 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0106] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Media Activity, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of Small Business Programs of Defense Media Activity announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: 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; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title 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.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Office of Small Business Programs, Defense Media Activity ATTN: Kandace Chappell, 6700 Taylor Avenue, Fort Meade, MD 20755 or call OSBP, Defense Media Activity, at 301-222-6262 or email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: DMA Small Business Vendor Registry; OMB Control Number 0720-TBD.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to obtain and record the public information of small businesses interested in doing business with the Defense Media Activity. All information requested from the Small Businesses is already made available through other public databases such as sba.gov. Requested information will include name of company, small business status, and types of products and services the company offers in addition to their CAGE and NAICS codes.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit.

    Annual Burden Hours: 8.33.

    Number of Respondents: 100.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 100.

    Average Burden per Response: 5 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents are small businesses looking to learn more information on DMA's Procurement Process in addition to being informed of potential opportunities as they arise. This tool will serve as a Market Research tool that allows all those involved in the procurement process to be able to search and locate small businesses more easily when preparing procurement packages. This tool will serve as an in-house resource that can assist DMA in reaching mandated Small Business Goals.

    Dated: October 19, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25672 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Board for Education Sciences AGENCY:

    Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of an open teleconference meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the proposed agenda, date, time and dial-in procedures for an upcoming meeting of the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES). The notice also describes the functions of NBES. Notice of this meeting is required by § 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and is intended to notify the public of their opportunity to attend the meeting.

    DATES:

    The NBES meeting will be held on November 8, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time via telephone conference.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be conducted via telephone conference. Participants and members of the public should dial: (800) 779-9112 and enter code 8385849 when prompted. Members of the public will attend the meeting in listen-only mode. The meeting will also be hosted via webinar at: https://educate.webex.com/educate/j.php?MTID=mbb7da2a80e444fb357b3453eae1cc499. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting should send an RSVP email to Kenann McKenzie-Thompson, NBES Executive Director, at [email protected] RSVPs must be received no later than Tuesday, November 1, 2016. The conference line is limited to a first come, first served basis.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellie Pelaez, Designated Federal Official, NBES, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW., Suite 4107, Washington, DC 20202; phone: (202) 245-7274; fax: (202) 245-6752; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NBES's Statutory Authority and Function: NBES is authorized by § 116 of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA), 20 U.S.C. 9516. NBES advises the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (the Institute) on, among other things, the establishment of activities to be supported by the Institute and the funding for applications for grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for research after the completion of peer review. NBES also reviews and evaluates the work of the Institute.

    Meeting Agenda: NBES members will discuss and propose candidates for the Board to elect a Chairperson of the NBES. Following that process, the newly elected Chairperson will lead the meeting, at which time the Institute Director and Commissioners of the National Education Centers will provide updates on the work of the Institute. A final agenda is available from Ellie Pelaez (see contact information above) and is posted on the NBES Web site http://ies.ed.gov/director/board/agendas/index.asp.

    Submission of comments regarding the NBES's policy recommendations: There will not be an opportunity for public oral comments. However, members of the public are encouraged to submit any written comments no later than Tuesday, November 1, 2016 to Ellie Pelaez, Designated Federal Official, NBES, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW., Suite 4107, Washington, DC 20202; phone: (202) 245-7274; fax: (202) 245-6752; email: [email protected]

    Access to Records of the Meeting: The Department will post the meeting minutes on the NBES Web site no later than 90 days after the meeting. Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public may also inspect the meeting minutes at 550 12th Street SW., 4th Floor, Washington, DC, by emailing [email protected] or by calling (202) 245-7274 to schedule an appointment.

    Reasonable Accommodations: If you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify Ellie Pelaez by or before November 1, 2016. Although we will attempt to meet any request(s) received after November 1, 2016, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

    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.

    Authority:

    Section 116 of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA), 20 U.S.C. 9516.

    Ruth Neild, Deputy Director for Policy and Research, Delegated Duties of the Director, Institute of Education Sciences.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25680 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Staff Attendance at the Southwest Power Pool Regional Entity Trustee, Regional State Committee, Members' Committee and Board of Directors' Meetings

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of its staff may attend the meetings of the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Regional Entity Trustee (RET), Regional State Committee (RSC), Members' Committee and Board of Directors as noted below. Their attendance is part of the Commission's ongoing outreach efforts.

    All meetings will be held at SPP's Headquarters, 201 Worthen Drive, Little Rock, AR 72223-4936. The phone number is (501) 614-3200. All meetings are Central Time.

    SPP RET October 24, 2016 (8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) SPP RSC October 24, 2016 (1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) SPP Members/Board of Directors October 25, 2016 (8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.)

    The discussions may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket No. ER11-1844, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER12-1179, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2850, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1775, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1777, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-1976, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-2028, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-2115, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-2324, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-2347, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-2351, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER15-2356, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. EC16-53, South Central MCN, LLC Docket No. EL16-108, Tilton Energy v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER16-13, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-204, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-209, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-228, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-791, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-829, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-846, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-862, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-863, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-932, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1086, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1211, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1286, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1305, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1351, Westar Energy, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1314, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1341, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1546, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1772, Public Service Company of Colorado Docket No. ER16-1797, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1799, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1912, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-1945, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2296, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2330, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2486, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2488, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2499, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2513, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2522, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2523, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2530, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2557, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2595, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2596, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2634, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2655, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2660, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2677, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER16-2734, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER17-1, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER17-31, Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    These meetings are open to the public.

    For more information, contact Patrick Clarey, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (317) 249-5937 or [email protected]

    Dated: October 17, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25623 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-23-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Macquarie Energy to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/13/16.

    Accession Number: 20161013-5038.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/25/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-24-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: CNE Gas Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/13/16.

    Accession Number: 20161013-5041.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/25/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-25-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: North Shore Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/13/16.

    Accession Number: 20161013-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/25/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-26-000.

    Applicants: Ozark Gas Transmission, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Munich Re Trading Negotiated Rate eff 12-1-2016 to be effective 12/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/14/16.

    Accession Number: 20161014-5033.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-27-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2016-10-14 Encana to be effective 10/14/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/14/16.

    Accession Number: 20161014-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-28-000.

    Applicants: American Midstream (AlaTenn), LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Proposed Tariff Changes to be effective 11/14/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/14/16.

    Accession Number: 20161014-5177.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-29-000.

    Applicants: AEP Generation Resources Inc., AEP Generating Company, Lightstone Generation LLC.

    Description: Joint Petition for Temporary Waiver and Request for Expedited Action and a Shortened Notice Period of AEP Generation Resources Inc., et al.

    Filed Date: 10/14/16.

    Accession Number: 20161014-5211.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/21/16.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-814-001.

    Applicants: Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report.

    Filed Date: 10/14/16.

    Accession Number: 20161014-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/26/16.

    Any person desiring to protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 17, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25647 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-30-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Keyspan to BUG 792110 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161017-5047.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-31-000.

    Applicants: Questar Overthrust Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Off-System Services to be effective 11/17/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161017-5050.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-32-000.

    Applicants: Southern Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: MGAG Mini Expansion Filing to be effective 12/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161017-5057.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-33-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Equitrans' Clean-Up Filing—October 2016 to be effective 11/17/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161017-5139.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-34-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/18/16 Negotiated Rates—Consolidated Edison Energy Inc. (RTS) 2275-09 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161018-5035.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-35-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/18/16 Negotiated Rates—Wells Fargo Commodities, LLC (RTS) 7810-02 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161018-5036.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25648 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC16-14-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-604 & FERC-923); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting its information collection [FERC-604 (Cash Management Agreements) and FERC-923 (Communication of Operational Information between Natural Gas Pipelines and Electric Transmission Operators)] to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 54574,8/16/2016) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on either the FERC-604 or the FERC-923 and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0267 (FERC-604) or 1902-0265 (FERC-923) should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: [email protected]. Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-4718.

    A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC16-14-000, by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the information collection requirements for all collections described below with no changes to the current reporting requirements. Please note that each collection is distinct from the next.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and cost of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    FERC-604, Cash Management Agreements

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0267.

    Abstract: Cash management or “money pool” programs typically concentrate affiliates' cash assets in joint accounts for the purpose of providing financial flexibility and lowering the cost of borrowing.

    In a 2001 investigation, FERC staff found that balances in cash management programs affecting FERC-regulated entities totaled approximately $16 billion. Additionally, other investigations revealed large transfers of funds (amounting to more than $1 billion) between regulated pipeline affiliates and non-regulated parents whose financial conditions were precarious. The Commission found that these and other fund transfers and the enormous (mostly unregulated) pools of money in cash management programs could detrimentally affect regulated rates.

    To protect customers and promote transparency, the Commission issued Order 634-A (2003) requiring entities to formalize in writing and file with the Commission their cash management agreements. At that time, the Commission obtained OMB clearance for this new reporting requirement under the FERC-555 information collection (OMB Control No. 1902-0098). Now, the Commission includes these reporting requirements for cash management agreements under the FERC-604 information collection (OMB Control No. 1902-0267). The Commission implemented these reporting requirements in 18 CFR parts 141.500, 260.400, and 357.5.

    Type of Respondent: Public utilities, natural gas companies, and oil pipeline companies.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    1 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $74.50 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The Commission staff believes that the industry's level and skill set is comparable to FERC's with an average hourly cost (wages plus benefits) of $74.50.

    FERC-604, Cash Management Agreements Number of respondents Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden & cost per response 1 Total annual burden hours & total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) 25 1 25 1.5 hrs.; $111.75 37.5 hrs.; $2,793.75 $111.75
    FERC-923, Communication of Operational Information Between Natural Gas Pipelines and Electric Transmission Operators

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0265.

    Abstract: In 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) revised its regulations to provide explicit authority to interstate natural gas pipelines and public utilities that own, operate, or control facilities used for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce to voluntarily share non-public, operational information with each other for the purpose of promoting reliable service and operational planning on either the pipeline's or public utility's system. This helps ensure the reliability of natural gas pipeline and public utility transmission service by permitting transmission operators to share the information with each other that they deem necessary to promote the reliability and integrity of their systems. FERC removed actual or perceived prohibitions to the information sharing and communications between industry entities. The communications of information are not and will not be submitted to FERC. Rather, the non-public information is shared voluntarily between industry entities. FERC does not prescribe the content, medium, format, or frequency for the information sharing and communications. Those decisions are made by the industry entities, depending on their needs and the situation.

    Type of Respondent: Natural gas pipelines and public utilities.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    2 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $74.50 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The Commission staff believes that the industry's level and skill set is comparable to FERC's with an average hourly cost (wages plus benefits) of $74.50.

    3 The estimate for the number of respondents is based on the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Compliance Registry as of July 29, 2016, minus the Transmission Operators within ERCOT.

    FERC-923, Communication of Operational Information Between Natural Gas Pipelines and Electric Transmission Operators Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden & cost per response 2 Total annual burden hours & total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Public Utility Transmission Operator, communications 3 164 12 1,968 0.5 hrs.; $37.25 984 hrs.; $73,308 $447 Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines, communications 155 12 1,860 0.5 hrs.; $37.25 930 hrs.; $69,285 447 Total 3,828 1,914 hrs; $142,593
    Dated: October 18, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25622 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0341; FRL-9951-99-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Plywood and Composite Products (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Plywood and Composite Products (40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDD) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1984.06, OMB Control No. 2060-0552), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through October 31, 2016. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (81 FR 26546) on May 3, 2016 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may neither conduct nor sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0341, to: (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit: http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: Owners and operators of affected facilities are required to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements for the NESHAP General Provisions (40 CFR part 63, subpart A), as well as for the specific requirements at 40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDD. This includes submitting initial notifications, performance tests and periodic reports and results, and maintaining records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. These reports are used by EPA to determine compliance with the standards.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Plywood and composite wood products (PCWP) facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart DDDD).

    Estimated number of respondents: 228 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally, and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 11,900 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,250,000 (per year), which includes $16,000 in either annualized capital/startup or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an adjustment increase in the total estimated labor hours as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. This increase is not due to any program changes. The change in the labor burden and cost estimates occurred because of a change in assumption. This ICR assumes all existing respondents will have to familiarize with the regulatory requirements each year. In addition, there is a small increase in O&M cost due to rounding of total cost figure to three significant figures.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25630 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2012-0679; FRL-9952-96-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Petroleum Refineries: Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units, and Sulfur Recovery Units (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Petroleum Refineries: Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units, and Sulfur Recovery Units (40 CFR part 63, subpart UUU) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1844.08, OMB Control No. 2060-0554), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through October 31, 2016. Public comments were requested previously via the Federal Register (81 FR 26546) on May 3, 2016 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may neither conduct nor sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2012-0679, to: (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit: http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: Owners and operators of three types of affected units at major source petroleum refineries (fluid catalytic cracking units for catalyst regeneration, catalytic reforming units, and sulfur recovery units) are required to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements for the General Provisions (40 CFR part 63, subpart A), as well as the applicable standards in 40 CFR part 63, subpart UUU. This includes submitting initial notifications, performance tests and periodic reports and results, and maintaining records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. These reports are used by EPA to determine compliance with these standards.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Affected units at major source petroleum refineries: Fluid catalytic cracking units for catalyst regeneration, catalytic reforming units, and sulfur recovery units.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63 Subparts UUU).

    Estimated number of respondents: 142 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 20,200 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $10,900,000 (per year), which includes $8,820,000 in either annualized capital/startup or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase in the total estimated burden as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. The increase in burden from the most- recently approved ICR is primarily due to the December 2015 final rule amendments. The changes to 40 CFR part 63 Subpart UUU caused by the rule amendment are summarized in section 1(b). The specific changes that impacted this ICR are (1) the elimination of the SSM exemption, (2) the requirement for FCCUs to do periodic PM performance testing and a one-time HCN performance test, and (3) revisions to requirements for catalytic reforming catalyst regeneration when using active purging. This ICR accounts for the burden presented previously in both EPA ICR Number 1844.06 (existing rule) and EPA ICR Number 1844.07 (2015 amendment).

    The elimination of the SSM exemption did not lead to any changes to the time or cost burden estimates, or to the number of responses, because the previous assumption was that all existing respondents have already complied with the initial requirements to prepare and submit the SSM plan, thus the time and cost estimate was already zero. In this supporting statement, we have added a footnote in Table 1 to explain that the SSM exemption has been eliminated and that the burden item can be removed out of future ICR supporting statements.

    We have accounted for the additional labor and O&M costs to notify, perform, and prepare and submit the reports for the PM and HCN performance tests for FCCUs. We have also accounted for the additional labor for owners or operators of facilities with FCCUs to update their operating, maintenance, and monitoring plan, to account for the new requirements.

    We have also accounted for the additional labor and responses associated with training personnel and performing an engineering assessment for evaluation of the new catalytic reforming unit operational requirements.

    Furthermore, we have added a new burden item for performing relative accuracy test audits on units using CEMs, based on industry comments received from API (further discussed in Section 3(c)). This contributed to an increase in the total labor burden, cost and number of annual responses.

    In addition, the total number of respondents was revised from 123 to 142, which contributed to the increase in burden and cost.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25628 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0336; FRL-9952-02-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations (40 CFR part 63, subpart DD) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1717.11, OMB Control No. 2060-0313), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through October 31, 2016. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (81 FR 26546) on May 3, 2016 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An agency may neither conduct nor sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0336, to: (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit: http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: The NESHAP for Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations were proposed on October 13, 1994, and promulgated on July 1, 1996. The affected entities are subject to the General Provisions of the NESHAP (40 CFR part 63, subpart A), and any changes, or additions to these provisions are specified at 40 CFR part 63, subpart DD. Owners or operators of the affected facilities must submit a one-time-only report of any physical or operational changes, initial performance tests, and periodic reports and results. Owners or operators are also required to maintain records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. Reports are required semiannually at a minimum.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Waste management and recovery facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart DD).

    Estimated number of respondents: 45 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 40,600 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $5,060,000 (per year), which includes $874,000 in either annualized capital/startup or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease in the respondent labor hours, labor costs, and the number of responses. The decrease reflects an update in the estimated respondent universe. The previously approved ICR (1717.09) estimated 236 sources. In developing the 2015 amendment, we estimate that only 45 sources are subject to these standards.

    There is an increase in the total O&M cost compared to the previously approved ICR. This cost increased because the current ICR incorporates additional requirements associated with the 2015 amendment, including additional O&M cost associated with LDAR and PRD monitoring equipment.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25627 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9954-43-OLEM] Thirtieth Update of the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Since 1988, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has maintained a Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket (“Docket”) under Section 120(c) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Section 120(c) requires EPA to establish a Docket that contains certain information reported to EPA by Federal facilities that manage hazardous waste or from which a reportable quantity of hazardous substances has been released. As explained further below, the Docket is used to identify Federal facilities that should be evaluated to determine if they pose a threat to public health or welfare and the environment and to provide a mechanism to make this information available to the public.

    This notice identifies the Federal facilities not previously listed on the Docket and also identifies Federal facilities reported to EPA since the last update on March 3, 2016. In addition to the list of additions to the Docket, this notice includes a section with revisions of the previous Docket list and a section of Federal facilities that are to be deleted from the Docket. Thus, the revisions in this update include 13 additions, 28 corrections, and 21 deletions to the Docket since the previous update. At the time of publication of this notice, the new total number of Federal facilities listed on the Docket is 2,318.

    DATES:

    This list is current as of October 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Electronic versions of the Docket and more information on its implementation can be obtained at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/previous-federal-agency-hazardous-waste-compliance-docket-updates by clicking on the link for Update #30 to the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket or by contacting Benjamin Simes ([email protected]), Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket Coordinator, Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (Mail Code 5106R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. Additional information on the Docket and a complete list of Docket sites can be obtained at: https://www.epa.gov/fedfac/fedfacts.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Regional Docket Coordinators 3.0 Revisions of the Previous Docket 4.0 Process for Compiling the Updated Docket 5.0 Facilities Not Included 6.0 Facility NPL Status Reporting, Including NFRAP Status 7.0 Information Contained on Docket Listing 1.0 Introduction

    Section 120(c) of CERCLA, 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 9620(c), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), requires EPA to establish the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket. The Docket contains information on Federal facilities that manage hazardous waste and such information is submitted by Federal agencies to EPA under Sections 3005, 3010, and 3016 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. § 6925, 6930, and 6937. Additionally, the Docket contains information on Federal facilities with a reportable quantity of hazardous substances that has been released and such information is submitted by Federal agencies to EPA under Section 103 of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9603. Specifically, RCRA Section 3005 establishes a permitting system for certain hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities; RCRA Section 3010 requires waste generators, transporters and TSD facilities to notify EPA of their hazardous waste activities; and RCRA Section 3016 requires Federal agencies to submit biennially to EPA an inventory of their Federal hazardous waste facilities. CERCLA Section 103(a) requires the owner or operator of a vessel or onshore or offshore facility to notify the National Response Center (NRC) of any spill or other release of a hazardous substance that equals or exceeds a reportable quantity (RQ), as defined by CERCLA Section 101. Additionally, CERCLA Section 103(c) requires facilities that have “stored, treated, or disposed of” hazardous wastes and where there is “known, suspected, or likely releases” of hazardous substances to report their activities to EPA.

    CERCLA Section 120(d) requires EPA to take steps to assure that a Preliminary Assessment (PA) be completed for those sites identified in the Docket and that the evaluation and listing of sites with a PA be completed within a reasonable time frame. The PA is designed to provide information for EPA to consider when evaluating the site for potential response action or inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL).

    The Docket serves three major purposes: (1) To identify all Federal facilities that must be evaluated to determine whether they pose a threat to human health and the environment sufficient to warrant inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL); (2) to compile and maintain the information submitted to EPA on such facilities under the provisions listed in Section 120(c) of CERCLA; and (3) to provide a mechanism to make the information available to the public.

    The initial list of Federal facilities to be included on the Docket was published in the Federal Register on February 12, 1988 (53 FR 4280). Since then, updates to the Docket have been published on November 16, 1988 (53 FR 46364); December 15, 1989 (54 FR 51472); August 22, 1990 (55 FR 34492); September 27, 1991 (56 FR 49328); December 12, 1991 (56 FR 64898); July 17, 1992 (57 FR 31758); February 5, 1993 (58 FR 7298); November 10, 1993 (58 FR 59790); April 11, 1995 (60 FR 18474); June 27, 1997 (62 FR 34779); November 23, 1998 (63 FR 64806); June 12, 2000 (65 FR 36994); December 29, 2000 (65 FR 83222); October 2, 2001 (66 FR 50185); July 1, 2002 (67 FR 44200); January 2, 2003 (68 FR 107); July 11, 2003 (68 FR 41353); December 15, 2003 (68 FR 69685); July 19, 2004 (69 FR 42989); December 20, 2004 (69 FR 75951); October 25, 2005 (70 FR 61616); August 17, 2007 (72 FR 46218); November 25, 2008 (73 FR 71644); October 13, 2010 (75 FR 62810); November 6, 2012 (77 FR 66609); March 18, 2013 (78 FR 16668); January 6, 2014 (79 FR 654), December 31, 2014 (79 FR 78850); August 17, 2015 (80 FR 49223), and March 3, 2016 (81 FR 11212). This notice constitutes the thirtieth update of the Docket.

    This notice provides some background information on the Docket. Additional information on the Docket requirements and implementation are found in the Docket Reference Manual, Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket found at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/docket-reference-manual-federal-agency-hazardous-waste-compliance-docket-interim-final or obtained by calling the Regional Docket Coordinators listed below. This notice also provides changes to the list of sites included on the Docket in three areas: (1) Additions, (2) Deletions, and (3) Corrections. Specifically, additions are newly identified Federal facilities that have been reported to EPA since the last update and now are included on the Docket; the deletions section lists Federal facilities that EPA is deleting from the Docket.1 The information submitted to EPA on each Federal facility is maintained in the Docket repository located in the EPA Regional office of the Region in which the Federal facility is located; for a description of the information required under those provisions, see 53 FR 4280 (February 12, 1988). Each repository contains the documents submitted to EPA under the reporting provisions and correspondence relevant to the reporting provisions for each Federal facility.

    1 See Section 3.2 for the criteria for being deleted from the Docket.

    In prior updates, information was also provided regarding No Further Remedial Action Planned (NFRAP) status changes. However, information on NFRAP and NPL status is no longer being provided separately in the Docket update as it is now available at: http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/fedfacts or by contacting the EPA HQ Docket Coordinator at the address provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    2.0 Regional Docket Coordinators

    Contact the following Docket Coordinators for information on Regional Docket repositories: Martha Bosworth (HBS), US EPA Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Mail Code: OSRR07-2, Boston MA 02109-3912, (617) 918-1407.

    Helen Shannon (ERRD), US EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866, (212) 637- 4260.

    Joseph Vitello (3HS12), US EPA Region 3, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 814-3354.

    Dawn Taylor (4SF-SRSEB), US EPA Region 4, 61 Forsyth St. SW., Atlanta, GA 30303, (404) 562-8575.

    David Brauner (SR-6J), US EPA Region 5, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 353-3705.

    Philip Ofosu (6SF-RA), US EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202-2733, (214) 665-3178.

    Paul Roemerman (SUPRERSP), US EPA Region 7, 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219, (913) 551-7694.

    Ryan Dunham (EPR-F), US EPA Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 312-6627.

    Leslie Ramirez (SFD-6-1), US EPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 972-3978.

    Monica Lindeman (ECL, ABU), US EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, ECL-112, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 553-5113.

    3.0 Revisions of the Previous Docket

    This section includes a discussion of the additions and deletions to the list of Docket facilities since the previous Docket update.

    3.1 Additions

    In this notice, 13 Federal facilities are being added to the Docket, primarily because of new information obtained by EPA (for example, recent reporting of a facility pursuant to RCRA Sections 3005, 3010, or 3016 or CERCLA Section 103). CERCLA Section 120, as amended by the Defense Authorization Act of 1997, specifies that EPA take steps to assure that a Preliminary Assessment (PA) be completed within a reasonable time frame for those Federal facilities that are included on the Docket. Among other things, the PA is designed to provide information for EPA to consider when evaluating the site for potential response action or listing on the NPL.

    3.2 Deletions

    In this notice, 21 Federal facilities are being deleted from the Docket. There are no statutory or regulatory provisions that address deletion of a facility from the Docket. However, if a facility is incorrectly included on the Docket, it may be deleted from the Docket. The criteria EPA uses in deleting sites from the Docket include: a facility for which there was an incorrect report submitted for hazardous waste activity under RCRA (e.g., 40 CFR § 262.44); a facility that was not Federally-owned or operated at the time of the listing; a facility included more than once (i.e., redundant listings); or when multiple facilities are combined under one listing. (See Docket Codes (Categories for Deletion of Facilities) for a more refined list of the criteria EPA uses for deleting sites from the Docket. Facilities being deleted no longer will be subject to the requirements of CERCLA Section 120(d).

    3.3 Corrections

    Changes necessary to correct the previous Docket are identified by both EPA and Federal agencies. The corrections section may include changes in addresses or spelling, and corrections of the recorded name and ownership of a Federal facility. In addition, changes in the names of Federal facilities may be made to establish consistency in the Docket or between the Superfund Enterprise Management System (SEMS) and the Docket. For the Federal facility for which a correction is entered, the original entry is as it appeared in previous Docket updates. The corrected update is shown directly below, for easy comparison. This notice includes 28 corrections.

    4.0 Process for Compiling the Updated Docket

    In compiling the newly reported Federal facilities for the update being published in this notice, EPA extracted the names, addresses, and identification numbers of facilities from four EPA databases — the WebEOC, the Biennial Inventory of Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Activities, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information System (RCRAInfo), and SEMS— that contain information about Federal facilities submitted under the four provisions listed in CERCLA Section 120(c).

    EPA assures the quality of the information on the Docket by conducting extensive evaluation of the current Docket list and contacts the other Federal Agency (OFA) with the information obtained from the databases identified above to determine which Federal facilities were, in fact, newly reported and qualified for inclusion on the update. EPA is also striving to correct errors for Federal facilities that were previously reported. For example, state-owned or privately-owned facilities that are not operated by the Federal government may have been included. Such problems are sometimes caused by procedures historically used to report and track Federal facilities data. Representatives of Federal agencies are asked to contact the EPA HQ Docket Coordinator at the address provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice if revisions of this update information are necessary.

    5.0 Facilities Not Included

    Certain categories of facilities may not be included on the Docket, such as: (1) Federal facilities formerly owned by a Federal agency that at the time of consideration was not Federally-owned or operated; (2) Federal facilities that are small quantity generators (SQGs) that have never generated more than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste in any month; (3) Federal facilities that are solely hazardous waste transportation facilities, as reported under RCRA Section 3010; and (4) Federal facilities that have mixed mine or mill site ownership.

    An EPA policy issued in June 2003 provided guidance for a site-by-site evaluation as to whether “mixed ownership” mine or mill sites, typically created as a result of activities conducted pursuant to the General Mining Law of 1872 and never reported under Section 103(a), should be included on the Docket. For purposes of that policy, mixed ownership mine or mill sites are those located partially on private land and partially on public land. This policy is found at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/policy-listing-mixed-ownership-mine-or-mill-sites-created-result-general-mining-law-1872. The policy of not including these facilities may change; facilities now omitted may be added at some point if EPA determines that they should be included.

    6.0 Facility NPL Status Reporting, Including NFRAP Status

    EPA tracks the NPL status of Federal facilities listed on the Docket. An updated list of the NPL status of all Docket facilities, as well as their NFRAP status, is available at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/fedfacts or by contacting the EPA HQ Docket Coordinator at the address provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. In prior updates, information regarding NFRAP status changes was provided separately.

    7.0 Information Contained on Docket Listing

    The information is provided in three tables. The first table is a list of new Federal facilities that are being added to the Docket. The second table is a list of Federal facilities that are being deleted from the Docket. The third table is for corrections.

    The Federal facilities listed in each table are organized by the date reported. Under each heading is listed the name and address of the facility, the Federal agency responsible for the facility, the statutory provision(s) under which the facility was reported to EPA, and a code.2

    2 Each Federal facility listed in the update has been assigned a code that indicates a specific reason for the addition or deletion. The code precedes this list.

    The statutory provisions under which a Federal facility is reported are listed in a column titled “Reporting Mechanism.” Applicable mechanisms are listed for each Federal facility: for example, Sections 3005, 3010, 3016, 103(c), or Other. “Other” has been added as a reporting mechanism to indicate those Federal facilities that otherwise have been identified to have releases or threat of releases of hazardous substances. The National Contingency Plan 40 CFR § 300.405 addresses discovery or notification, outlines what constitutes discovery of a hazardous substance release, and states that a release may be discovered in several ways, including: (1) A report submitted in accordance with Section 103(a) of CERCLA, i.e., reportable quantities codified at 40 CFR part 302; (2) a report submitted to EPA in accordance with Section 103(c) of CERCLA; (3) investigation by government authorities conducted in accordance with Section 104(e) of CERCLA or other statutory authority; (4) notification of a release by a Federal or state permit holder when required by its permit; (5) inventory or survey efforts or random or incidental observation reported by government agencies or the public; (6) submission of a citizen petition to EPA or the appropriate Federal facility requesting a preliminary assessment, in accordance with Section 105(d) of CERCLA; (7) a report submitted in accordance with Section 311(b)(5) of the Clean Water Act; and (8) other sources. As a policy matter, EPA generally believes it is appropriate for Federal facilities identified through the CERCLA discovery and notification process to be included on the Docket.

    The complete list of Federal facilities that now make up the Docket and the NPL and NFRAP status are available to interested parties and can be obtained at http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/fedfacts or by contacting the EPA HQ Docket Coordinator at the address provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. As of the date of this notice, the total number of Federal facilities that appear on the Docket is 2,318.

    Dated: October 17, 2016. Charlotte Bertrand, Director, Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office, Office of Land and Emergency Management. Categories for Deletion of Facilities

    (1) Small-Quantity Generator.Show citation box

    (2) Never Federally Owned and/or Operated.

    (3) Formerly Federally Owned and/or Operated but not at time of listing.

    (4) No Hazardous Waste Generated.

    (5) (This code is no longer used.)

    (6) Redundant Listing/Site on Facility.

    (7) Combining Sites Into One Facility/Entries Combined.

    (8) Does Not Fit Facility Definition.

    Categories for Addition of Facilities

    (15) Small-Quantity Generator with either a RCRA 3016 or CERCLA 103 Reporting Mechanism.

    (16) One Entry Being Split Into Two (or more)/Federal Agency Responsibility Being Split.

    (17) New Information Obtained Showing That Facility Should Be Included.

    (18) Facility Was a Site on a Facility That Was Disbanded; Now a Separate Facility.

    (19) Sites Were Combined Into One Facility.

    (19A) New Currently Federally Owned and/or Operated Facility Site.

    Categories for Corrections of Information About Facilities

    (20) Reporting Provisions Change.

    (20A) Typo Correction/Name Change/Address Change.

    (21) Changing Responsible Federal Agency. (If applicable, new responsible Federal agency submits proof of previously performed PA, which is subject to approval by EPA.)

    (22) Changing Responsible Federal Agency and Facility Name. (If applicable, new responsible Federal Agency submits proof of previously performed PA, which is subject to approval by EPA.)

    (24) Reporting Mechanism Determined To Be Not Applicable After Review of Regional Files.

    Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket Update #30—Additions Facility name Address City State Zip code Agency Reporting mechanism Code Date AIR NATIONAL GUARD—NEXT TO BUILDING 100 200 ROAD SECTOR CENTRAL, JOSE A TONY SANTANA AVE CAROLINA PR 00979-1514 AIR FORCE CERLCA 103 15 UPDATE #30. TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY FONTANA HYDRO HIGHWAY 28 FONTANA NC 28733 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. USBR YELLOWTAIL DAM AND POWERPLANT YELLOWTAIL FIELD BRANCH 2 AVE. B FORT SMITH MT 59035 INTERIOR RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. USPS HUNTINGTON BEACH VMF 6771 WARNER AVE HUNTINGTON BEACH CA 92647 USPS RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. MARITIME ADMINISTRATION 2606 HARRISON ROAD, FORT EUSTIS NEWPORT NEWS VA 23604 TRANSPORTATION CERCLA 103 17 UPDATE #30. NPS—FORT DARLING LANDFILL—RICHMOND NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK 7610 FORT DARLING ROAD RICHMOND VA 23237 INTERIOR CERLCA 103 17 UPDATE #30. TVA MAINTENANCE FACILITY HED 219 RIVER ROAD MUSCLE SHOALS AL 35662 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. SOUTHAVEN CC 2882 STATELINE ROAD WEST SOUTHAVEN MS 38671 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. WATTS BAR HYDRO 6868 WATTS BAR HWY SPRING CITY TN 37381 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. FORT PATRICK HENRY HYDRO 3657 FT HENRY DRIVE KINGSPORT TN 37664 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. GREAT FALLS HYDRO 1778 GREAT FALLS ROAD ROCK ISLAND TN 38581 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. CHICKAMAUGA POWER SERVICE CENTER TN HWY 153 CHATTANOOGA TN 37401 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. GALLATIN FOSSIL PLANT (AND CT SITE) 1499 STEAM PLANT ROAD GALLATIN TN 37066 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 17 UPDATE #30. Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket Update #30—Deletions Facility name Address City State Zip code Agency Reporting mechanism Code Date ELSON LAGOON EAST OF BARROW BARROW AK 99723 NAVY CERCLA 103 3 9/27/1991 U.S. POSTAL SERVICE 600 CHURCH ST NORFOLK VA 23501 USPS RCRA 3010 4 9/27/1991 USDOI BLM IDORA MINE AND MILL SITE CARBON CENTER ROAD, 10 MI SE OF PRITCHARD, 10 MI N OF WALLACE, T49N R5E SEC 30 WALLACE ID 83873 INTERIOR OTHER 8 11/25/2008 U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY-MARINE FACILITY (MARFAC) 599 SEAPORT BLVD REDWOOD CITY CA 94063 INTERIOR RCRA 3010 8 3/18/2013 COMMANDER NAVY REGION SOUTHEAST 8998 BLOUNT ISLAND BLVD JACKSONVILLE FL 32226-4033 NAVY RCRA 3010 2 10/13/2010 JACHMAN ARMY RESERVE CENTER 12100 GREENSPRING AVE OWLINGS MILL MD 21117 ARMY RCRA 3010 6 11/10/1993 SECTION 5 IMPOUNDMENT SW 1/4 NW 1/4 SE 1/4 OF SEC 5 GLENVIL TOWNSHIP NE AGRICULTURE CERCLA 103 3 9/27/1991 NORTH RIVER WHITE ALICE COMMUNICATIONS T18S R10W S36 KRM UNALAKLEET AK 99684 AIR FORCE RCRA 3016 6 11/10/1993 PALMETTO SITE 8400 TATUM RD PALMETTO GA 30268 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 2 11/23/1998 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ROUGH & READY ISLAND BLDG. 414 STOCKTON CA 95203 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 3 8/17/2007 WAVERLY WETS 2 MILES SOUTH WAVERLY IA 50677 ARMY RCRA 3016 6 6/11/1995 HASTINGS TRAINING SITE R.R. 2, P.O. BOX 178 HASTINGS NE 68901 CORPS OF ENGINEERS, CIVIL RCRA 3016 6 6/11/1995 NA WATTS BAR CENTRAL MAINT FACILITY WATTS BAR RESERV-TN HWY 68E SPRING CITY TN 37381 TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY RCRA 3010 6 9/27/1991 JET PROPULSION LABORATORY NORTH BASE RD., EDWARDS AFB EDWARDS CA 93523 AIR FORCE RCRA 3010 6 2/12/1988 NAVAL STATION TREASURE ISLAND TREASURE ISLAND SAN FRANCISCO CA 94130 NAVY RCRA 3005 6 2/12/1988 NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CTR PORT HUENEME VENTURA CA 93043 NAVY RCRA 3005 6 2/12/1988 NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL-ANNEX 1 GRACE HOPPER AVE MONTEREY CA 93943 NAVY RCRA 3010 6 6/11/1995 DEFENSE COMMUNICATION AGENCY SOUTH COURTHOUSE ROAD ARLINGTON VA 22204 DEFENSE CERCLA 103 6 2/5/1993 NAVAL AIR STATION NORFOLK N/A NORFOLK VA 23511 NAVY RCRA 3005 6, 7 2/12/1988 ANIAK AIRPORT 61′34″ N. 159′31″ W. ANIAK AK 99557 INTERIOR CERCLA 103 6 12/12/1991 FWS-SAN DIEGO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE-SOUTH SAN 13910 LYONS VALLEY ROAD, SUITE R JAMUL CA 91935-3805 INTERIOR RCRA 3016 6 7/19/2004 Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket Update #30—Corrections Facility name Address City State Zip code Agency Reporting mechanism Code Date FEDERICO GEGETAU INDOOR FIRING RANGE (GENERAL SERVICE SITE) GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. RCRA 3010 20A 8/17/2015 FEDERICO GEGETAU INDOOR FIRING RANGE (GENERAL SERVICE SITE) 150 CARLOS CHANDON AVENUE, ROOM 359 SAN JUAN PR 00918 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 8/17/2015 ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, WHITNEY POINT LAKE AND DAM 10 SOUTH HOWARD STREET BALTIMORE MD 21201 CORPS OF ENGINEERS, CIVIL RCRA 3010 20A 8/17/2015 ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WHITNEY POINT LAKE AND DAM 5327 WHITNEY POINT UPPER LISLE RD WHITNEY POINT NY 13862 CORPS OF ENGINEERS, CIVIL RCRA 3010 8/17/2015 FORMER RED ROCKS MINE MERCURY MINE 37°51′23″ N. 118°14′34″ W. DYER NV 89010 AGRICULTURE RCRA 3010 20A 12/31/2012 FORMER RED ROCK MERCURY MINE 37°51′23″ N. 118° 14′ 34 W L. DYER NV 89010 AGRICULTURE RCRA 3010 12/31/2012 GREENSPRING—CONTROL GREENSPRING ROAD GREENSPRING MD 21117 DEFENSE CERCLA 103 20, 20A, 21 11/16/1988 JACHMAN RESERVE CENTER 12100 GREENSPRING AVE., OWINGS MILLS, MD GREENSPRING MD 21117 ARMY CERCLA 103, RCRA 3010 11/16/1988 FDA-KANSAS CITY SITE 1009 CHERRY ST KANSAS CITY MO 64106 AGRICULTURE RCRA 3010 21 11/23/1998 FDA-KANSAS CITY SITE 1009 CHERRY ST KANSAS CITY MO 64106 HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES RCRA 3010 11/23/1998 USAF-NORTH RIVER AFS MOUTH OF NORTH RIVER UNALAKLEET AK 99684 AIR FORCE CERCLA 103 20, 20A 11/16/1988 USAF-NORTH RIVER WHITE ALICE COMMUNICATIONS SITE T18S R10W S36 KRM, 8 MILES EAST OF CY UNALAKLEET AK 99684 AIR FORCE CERCLA 103, RCRA 3010 11/16/1988 DLA-MUKILTEO DEFENSE FUEL SUPPORT POINT FRONT ST & LOVELAND AVE MUKILTEO WA 98275 DEFENSE RCRA 3010 20, 21 2/12/1988 DLA-MUKILTEO DEFENSE FUEL SUPPORT POINT FRONT ST & LOVELAND AVE MUKILTEO WA 98275 DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY CERCLA 103, RCRA 3010 2/12/1988 SOMERVILLE DEPOT ROUTE 206 SOMERVILLE NJ 08876 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CERCLA 103 21 11/16/1988 SOMERVILLE DEPOT ROUTE 206 SOMERVILLE NJ 08876 DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY CERCLA 103 11/16/1988 U.S. DEPT OF DEFENSE DFSP ESCANABA U.S. HIGHWAY 41, DELTA COUNTY 001 (ESC) GLADSTONE MI 49837 DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY RCRA 3010 20, 21 2/12/1988 U.S. DEPT OF DEFENSE DFSP ESCANABA U.S. HIGHWAY 41, DELTA COUNTY 001 (ESC) GLADSTONE MI 49837 AIR FORCE RCRA 3010 2/12/1988 BELLE MEAD SUPPLY DEPOT #1 RT 206 BELLE MEAD NJ 08502 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 20A 2/12/1988 BELLE MEAD SUPPLY DEPOT RT 206 & MOUNTAIN VIEW RD HILLSBOROUGH NJ 08502 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 2/12/1988 NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY QUINCE ORCHARD RD GAITHERSBURG MD 20760 COMMERCE RCRA 3005 20A 2/12/1988 NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY 100 BUREAU DRIVE, MS 1730 GAITHERSBURG MD 20899 COMMERCE RCRA 3010 2/12/1988 TRANS SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (CLT) 5501 JOSH BIRMINGHAM PKWY STE CHARLOTTE NC 28208 TREASURY RCRA 3010 21 3/18/2013 TRANS SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (CLT) 5501 JOSH BIRMINGHAM PKWY STE CHARLOTTE NC 28208 HOMELAND SECURITY RCRA 3010 3/18/2013 TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMIN PHIL INTL 8500 ESSINGTON AVE PHILADELPHIA PA 19153 TREASURY RCRA 3010 21 3/18/2013 TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMIN PHIL INTL 8500 ESSINGTON AVE PHILADELPHIA PA 19153 HOMELAND SECURITY RCRA 3010 3/18/2013 GSA RARITAN DEPOT 4700 WOODBRIDGE AVENUE EDISON NJ 08817 EPA RCRA 3005 21 11/16/1988 GSA RARITAN DEPOT 2890 WOODBRIDGE AVENUE EDISON NJ 08817 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3005 11/16/1988 EPA RARITAN DEPOT 4700 WOODBRIDGE AVENUE EDISON NJ 08817 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3005 21 2/12/1988 EPA RARITAN DEPOT 4700 WOODBRIDGE AVENUE EDISON NJ 08817 EPA RCRA 3005 2/12/1988 NEW YORK 201 VARICK ST NEW YORK NY 10014 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 20A 2/12/1988 FEDERAL BUILDING NEW YORK 201 VARICK ST NEW YORK NY 10014 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 2/12/1988 FEDERAL OFFICE BUILDING NO. 2 ROOM 1090 BUILDING MANAGER'S OFFICE ARLINGTON VA 20370 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 21 12/29/2000 FEDERAL OFFICE BUILDING NO. 2 ROOM 1090 BUILDING MANAGER'S OFFICE ARLINGTON VA 20370 ARMY RCRA 3010 12/29/2000 PARR WAREHOUSES GSA BLDG B SPRINGFIELD VA 22150 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 20A 6/11/1995 LOGISTICS OPERATIONS CENTER (LOC) PARR WAREHOUSES GSA BLDG B SPRINGFIELD VA 22150 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 6/11/1995 CUSTOMS FIELD OFFICE 1200 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE WASHINGTON DC 20004 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 20A 2/12/1988 WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON BLDG 1200 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE WASHINGTON DC 20004 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 2/12/1988 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY BUILDING 200 INDEPENDENCE AVENUE, SW WASHINGTON DC 20201 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3016 21 2/12/1988 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY BUILDING 200 INDEPENDENCE AVENUE, SW WASHINGTON DC 20201 HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES RCRA 3016 2/12/1988 ATLANTA FEDERAL CENTER PROJECT 45 BROAD ST. ATLANTA GA 30303 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 20A 11/23/1998 SAM NUNN ATLANTA FEDERAL CENTER PROJECT 45 BROAD ST. ATLANTA GA 30303 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 11/23/1998 FORT WORTH FEDERAL SUPPLY CENTER 501 FELIX ST. FORT WORTH TX 76101 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 20A 2/12/1988 FORT WORTH FEDERAL SUPPLY CENTER 501 W FELIX ST. FORT WORTH TX 76115 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 2/12/1988 WATER & POWER RESOURCES DENVER FEDERAL CENTER, BLDG 56 DENVER CO 80225 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CERCLA 103 21 6/11/1995 WATER & POWER RESOURCES DENVER FEDERAL CENTER, BLDG 56 DENVER CO 80225 INTERIOR CERCLA 103 6/11/1995 MISSISSIPPI RIVER DIVISION COLD BROOK DAM HOT SPRINGS SD 57747 CORPS OF ENGINEERS, CIVIL CERCLA 103 20A 9/27/1991 NORTHWEST DIVISION COLD BROOK DAM HOT SPRINGS SD 57747 CORPS OF ENGINEERS, CIVIL CERCLA 103 9/27/1991 U.S. APPRAISERS BUILDING/GSA 630 SANSOME STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94111 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION RCRA 3010 21 3/18/2013 U.S. APPRAISERS BUILDING/CBP LABORATORY 630 SANSOME STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94111 HOMELAND SECURITY RCRA 3010 3/18/2013 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 345 MIDDLEFIELD ROAD SAN MATEO CA 94025 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CERCLA 103 21 2/5/1993 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 345 MIDDLEFIELD ROAD SAN MATEO CA 94025 INTERIOR CERCLA 103 2/5/1993 FWS-SWEETWATER MARSH NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE CHULA VISTA AND NATIONAL CITY CA INTERIOR RCRA 3016 20A 7/19/2004 FWS-SAN DIEGO BAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 1080 GUNPOWDER POINT DR CHULA VISTA CA 91910 INTERIOR RCRA 3016 7/19/2004 U.S. SECRET SERVICE—ARIEL RIOS BLDG PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE NW WASHINGTON DC 20004 HOMELAND SECURITY RCRA 3010 20A 12/31/2012 U.S. SECRET SERVICE—WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON BLDG NORTH PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE NW WASHINGTON DC 20004 HOMELAND SECURITY RCRA 3010 12/31/2012
    [FR Doc. 2016-25640 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0338; FRL-9952-90-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for the Manufacture of Amino/Phenolic Resins (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for the Manufacture of Amino/Phenolic Resins (40 CFR part 63, subpart OOO) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1869.10, OMB Control No. 2060-0434), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through October 31, 2016. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (81 FR 26546) on May 3, 2016 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may neither conduct nor sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0338, to: (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit: http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: Owners and operators of affected facilities are required to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements for the General Provisions (40 CFR part 63, subpart A), as well as for the specific requirements at 40 CFR part 63, subpart OOO. This includes submitting initial notifications, performance tests and periodic reports and results, and maintaining records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. These reports are used by EPA to determine compliance with the standards.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Facilities that manufacture amino/phenolic resins.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63 Subpart OOO).

    Estimated number of respondents: 19 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally, and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 23,300 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $3,360,000 (per year), includes $958,000 in either annualized capital/startup or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an adjustment increase in the total estimated burden and capital and O&M costs as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. This increase is due to a recent amendment to the standard. The 2014 amendment requires additional reporting, recordkeeping, and equipment monitoring requirements, resulting in an increase in burden and costs for the regulated universe.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25629 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9954-41-OAR] Clean Air Act Advisory Committee; Notice of Charter Renewal AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of charter renewal.

    Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App.2, the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) is a necessary committee which is in the public interest. Accordingly, CAAAC will be renewed for an additional two-year period. The purpose of the CAAAC is to provide advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on policy issues associated with implementation of the Clean Air Act. Inquiries may be directed to Tamara Saltman, CAAAC Designated Federal Officer, U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., (Mail Code 6103A), Washington, DC 20460, or by email to [email protected]

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Tamara Saltman, Designated Federal Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25518 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0894; FRL-9951-98-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives—Requirements for Manufacturers (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR) “Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives—Requirements for Manufacturers (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 0309.15, OMB Control No. 2060-0150) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through October 31, 2016. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (81 FR 32326) on May 23, 2016 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0894, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James W. Caldwell, Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Mail Code 6405A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9303; fax number: (202) 343-2801; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: In accordance with the regulations at 40 CFR part 79, subparts A, B, C, and D, Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives, manufacturers (including importers) of motor-vehicle gasoline, motor-vehicle diesel fuel, and additives for those fuels, are required to have these products registered by EPA prior to their introduction into commerce. Registration involves providing a chemical description of the fuel or additive, and certain technical, marketing, and health-effects information. The development of health-effects data, as required by 40 CFR 79, Subpart F, is covered by a separate information collection. Manufacturers are also required to submit periodic reports (annually for additives, quarterly and annually for fuels) on production volume and related information. The information is used to identify products whose evaporative or combustion emissions may pose an unreasonable risk to public health, thus meriting further investigation and potential regulation. The information is also used to ensure that fuel additives comply with EPA requirements for protecting catalytic converters and other automotive emission controls. The data have been used to construct a comprehensive data base on fuel and additive composition. The Mine Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor restricts the use of diesel additives in underground coal mines to those registered by EPA. Most of the information is business confidential.

    Form Numbers: EPA Forms 3520-12, 3520-12A, 3520-12Q, 3520-13, 3520-13A, and 3520-13B.

    Respondents/affected entities: Manufacturers and importers of motor-vehicle gasoline, motor-vehicle diesel fuel, and additives to those fuels.

    Respondents obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 79).

    Estimated number of respondents: 2,975.

    Frequency of response: On occasion, quarterly, annually.

    Total estimated burden: 21,000 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,939,250 (per year), includes $49,250 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in estimates: There is an increase of 400 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is due to an increase in the number of registered fuels and fuel additives for which periodic reports are required.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25626 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1219] Information Collection Approved by the Office of the Management and Budget (OMB) AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Communications Commission has received Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval, for a period of three years, of the information collection requirements under control number 3060-1219, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number, and no person is required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Comments concerning the accuracy of the burden estimates and any suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the person listed in the For Further Information Contact section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nicole Ongele, Office of Managing Director, at (202) 418-2991 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1219.

    OMB Approval Date: September 20, 2016.

    OMB Expiration Date: September 30, 2019.

    Title: Connect America Fund-Alternative Connect America Cost Model Support.

    Form Numbers: N/A.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Estimated Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,010 respondents; 2,090 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5-2 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion and annual reporting requirement, one-time reporting requirement and recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 155, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, 405, 410, and 1302.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1,780 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No Cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: We note that USAC must preserve the confidentiality of all data obtained from respondents; must not use the data except for purposes of administering the universal service programs; and must not disclose data in company-specific form unless directed to do so by the Commission.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The Commission adopted a voluntary path for rate-of-return carriers to receive model-based universal service support in exchange for making a commitment to deploy broadband-capable networks meeting certain service obligation to a pre-determined number of eligible locations by state. The Commission addressed the requirement that carriers electing model-based support must notify the Commission of that election and their commitment to satisfy the specific service obligations associated with the amount of model support. In addition, the Commission adopted reforms to the universal service mechanisms used to determine support for rate-of-return carriers not electing model-based support. Among other such reforms, the Commission adopted an operating expense limitation to improve carriers' incentives to be prudent and efficient in their expenditures, a capital investment allowance to better target support to those areas with less broadband deployment, and broadband deployment obligations to promote “accountability from companies receiving support to ensure that public investment are used wisely to deliver intended results.” This information collection addresses the new burdens associated with those reforms.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25593 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to all Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10484—First Community Bank of Southwest Florida, Also Doing Business as Community Bank of Cape Coral, Fort Meyers, Florida

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for First Community Bank of Southwest Florida, also doing business as Community Bank of Cape Coral, Fort Meyers, Florida (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of First Community Bank of Southwest Florida on August 2, 2013. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Division of Resolutions and Receiverships Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6 1601 Bryan Street Dallas, TX 75201

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25594 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10197—Old Southern Bank, Orlando, Florida

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Old Southern Bank, Orlando, Florida (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Old Southern Bank on March 12, 2010. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25595 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    DATE and TIME:

    Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    999 E Street NW., Washington, DC (Ninth Floor).

    STATUS:

    This Meeting will be Open to the Public.

    ITEMS TO BE DISCUSSED:

    Draft Advisory Opinion 2016-12: Citizen Super PAC Draft Advisory Opinion 2016-11: Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. and Plains Cotton Growers Political Action Committee Draft Advisory Opinion 2016-14: Libertarian Party of Alabama, Libertarian Party of Arkansas, Arizona Libertarian Party, Libertarian Party of Hawaii, Libertarian Party of Idaho, Libertarian Party of Maryland, Libertarian Party of Mississippi, Missouri State Libertarian Party, Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of North Dakota, Libertarian Party of Texas Proposed Amendments to Directive 52 Audit Division Recommendation Memorandum on Conservative Campaign Committee (CCC) (A13-15) Management and Administrative Matters

    Individuals who plan to attend and require special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should contact Shawn Woodhead Werth, Secretary and Clerk, at (202) 694-1040, at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

    PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION:

    Judith Ingram, Press Officer, Telephone: (202) 694-1220.

    Shawn Woodhead Werth, Secretary and Clerk of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25797 Filed 10-20-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than November 7, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Chapelle Davis, Assistant Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. The FGB Term Trust, Robert H. Godwin, and Edward E. Haddock, Jr., all of Winter Park, Florida, and Al Thomas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; to collectively acquire 25.2 percent of the outstanding shares of First Green Bancorp, Inc., and thereby acquire First Green Bank, both of Mount Dora, Florida.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Jacquelyn K. Brunmeier, Assistant Vice President) 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. Alix E. Behm, Willmar, Minnesota; to retain 25 percent or more of the shares of Kandiyohi Bancshares, Inc., Willmar, Minnesota, and thereby indirectly retain control of Home State Bank, Litchfield, Minnesota.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, October 19, 2016. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25665 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Sunshine Act Meeting; Notice of Board Member Meeting Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board October 31, 2016 77 K Street NE., 10th Floor Board Room, Washington, DC 20002. Agenda Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Member Meeting October 31, 2016 In-Person, 8:30 a.m. Open Session 1. Approval of the minutes for the September 19, 2016 Board Member Meeting 2. Monthly Reports (a) Participant Activity Report (b) Legislative Report (c) Investment Performance and Policy Report 3. Investment Manager Services Review 4. Quarterly Reports (d) Budget Review (e) Audit Status 5. Internal Audit (f) Internal Audit Charter (g) Lockbox Operations Audit Report 6. Mid-Year Financial Audit 7. Office of Resource Management Annual Report Closed Session Information covered under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4) and (c)(9)(B). Adjourn CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: October 20, 2016. Megan Grumbine, General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25761 Filed 10-20-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-17-0891; Docket No. CDC-2016-0099] 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 effort 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 to the “World Trade Center Health Program Enrollment, Treatment, Appeals & Reimbursement” information collection approved under OMB Control Number 0920-0891, which allows the collection of information from Program members and affiliated medical providers for the purpose of determining eligibility and providing treatment services in accordance with the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0099 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:

    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 proposed revisions to an existing data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed revisions to an existing 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 revised 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

    World Trade Center Health Program Enrollment, Treatment, Appeals & Reimbursement (OMB Control No. 0920-0891, Expires 09/30/2018)—Revision—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    NIOSH seeks to request OMB approval to revise the currently approved information collection activities that support the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-347, as amended by Pub. L. 114-113) created the WTC Health Program to provide medical monitoring and treatment benefits to eligible firefighters and related personnel, law enforcement officers, and rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania (responders), and to eligible persons who were present in the dust or dust cloud on September 11, 2001, or who worked, resided, or attended school, childcare, or adult daycare in the New York City disaster area (survivors).

    This request also seeks to incorporate the World Trade Center Health Program Petition for the addition of a New WTC-Related Health Condition for Coverage under the WTC Health Program package (0920-0929) into the existing approval, World Trade Center Health Program Enrollment, Appeals, Reimbursement, & Petitions (OMB Control No. 0920-0891). Upon approval, OMB Control number 0920-0929 will be discontinued.

    Since its inception in 2011, the WTC Health Program has been approved to collect information from applicants and Program members (enrolled WTC responders and survivors) concerning eligibility and enrollment, appointment of a designated representative, medical care, travel reimbursement, and appeal of adverse Program decisions. The WTC Health Program is also currently approved to collect information from Program medical providers, including health condition certification requests and pharmaceutical claims. Currently-approved total estimated burden is 13,594 hours annually. See OMB Control No. 0920-0891, exp. September 30, 2018.

    The WTC Health Program has determined that some existing forms need to be updated, and new information collections related to a recent rulemaking should be added.

    Changes to WTC Health Program regulations in 42 CFR part 88 will require the extension of existing information collections. Specifically, 42 CFR 88.13 establishes procedures for the appeal of Program decisions to disenroll Program members and deny enrollment to applicants. Appeals of enrollment denial decisions, which include the submission of appeal request letters, are currently approved; the Program proposes to extend this information collection to account for the burden of requests for appeal of disenrollment decisions. Of the over 70,000 Program members, we expect that 0.014 percent (10) will be subsequently disenrolled from the Program. Of those, we expect that 30 percent (3) will appeal the disenrollment decisions. We estimate that the disenrollment appeal requests will take no more than 0.5 hours per respondent. The annual burden estimate is 1.5 hours.

    Section 42 CFR 88.21 establishes procedures for the appeal of WTC Health Program decisions to decertify a WTC-related health condition, deny certification, and deny treatment authorization. Appeals of health condition certification denials and treatment authorization denials, which include the submission of appeal request letters, are currently approved; the Program proposes to extend this information collection to account for the burden of requests for appeal of decertification decisions. The information collection would also be expanded to allow Program members to provide additional information and/or an oral statement. Of the estimated 51,472 Program members who have at least one health condition certification, we estimate that 0.02 percent (10) will be decertified, and 50 percent (5) of those will appeal a decertification. We estimate that the appeal request letter will take no more than 0.5 hours per respondent. Providing additional information and/or an oral statement will take no more than 1 hour per respondent. The annual burden estimate for decertification appeals is 7.5 hours. We estimate that Program members request certification for 20,000 health conditions each year. Of those 20,000, we estimate that 1 percent (200) of certification requests are denied by the WTC Health Program. We further expect that 30 percent of denied certifications, or 60 individuals, will be appealed. We estimate that the appeals letter takes no more than 30 minutes and providing additional information and/or an oral statement will take no more than 1 hour. The burden estimate for certification denial appeals is 90 hours. Finally, of the projected 51,472 Program members who receive medical care, we estimate that 0.05 percent (26) will appeal a determination by the WTC Health Program that the treatment being sought is not medically necessary. We estimate that the appeals letter will take no more than 30 minutes and providing additional information and/or an oral statement will take no more than 1 hour. The burden estimate for treatment authorization denial appeals is 39 hours.

    Finally, 42 CFR 88.23 establishes procedures for the appeal of a WTC Health Program decision to deny reimbursement to a Program medical provider for treatment determined not to be medically necessary. Accordingly, the Program proposes the addition of information collected in the appeal request. We estimate that of the nearly 52,000 Program providers, we estimate that 1.15 percent (600) annually will be denied reimbursement for treatment found to be not medically necessary or in accordance with treatment protocols, and will appeal the decision. We estimate that the appeal letter will take no more than 0.5 hours to compile. The burden estimate for treatment reimbursement denial appeals is 300 hours.

    The Program also finds it necessary to add a new form to allow applicants and Program members to grant permission to share information with a third person about an individual's application or case. We estimate that 30 applicants and members will submit a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Release Form annually. The form is expected to take no longer than 0.25 hours to complete. The burden estimate for the HIPAA Release form is 7.5 hours.

    In addition to describing those burden estimates revised by this action, the estimated annualized burden hours for those collection instruments not subject to revision in this action are included in the table below.

    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
    FDNY Responder World Trade Center Health Program FDNY Responder Eligibility Application 45 1 30/60 23 General Responder World Trade Center Health Program Responder Eligibility Application (Other than FDNY) 2,475 1 30/60 1,238 Pentagon/Shanksville Responder World Trade Center Health Program Pentagon/Shanksville Responder 630 1 30/60 315 WTC Survivor World Trade Center Health Program Survivor Eligibility Application (all languages) 1,350 1 30/60 675 General responder Postcard for new general responders in NY/NJ to select a clinic 2,475 1 15/60 619 Program Medical Provider Physician Request for Certification 20,000 1 30/60 10,000 Responder (FDNY and General Responder)/Survivor Denial Letter and Appeal Notification—Enrollment 45 1 30/60 23 Responder (FDNY and General Responder)/Survivor Disenrollment Letter and Appeal Notification 3 1 30/60 1.5 Responder (FDNY and General Responder)/Survivor Denial Letter and Appeal Notification—Health Condition Certification 60 1 90/60 90 Responder (FDNY and General Responder)/Survivor Decertification Letter and Appeal Notification 5 1 90/60 7.5 Responder (FDNY and General Responder)/Survivor Denial Letter and Appeal Notification—Treatment Authorization 26 1 90/60 39 Responder (FDNY and General Responder)/Survivor WTC Health Program Medical Travel Refund Request 10 1 10/60 2 Designated Rep Form Form to designate a representative 10 1 15/60 3 HIPAA Release Form to share member information 10 1 15/60 3 Pharmacy Outpatient prescription pharmaceuticals 150 261 1/60 653 Program Medical Provider Reimbursement Denial Letter and Appeal Notification 600 1 30/60 300 Responder/Survivor/Advocate (physician) Petition for the addition of health conditions 60 1 60/60 60 Total 14,052
    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. 2016-25579 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-17-17AW; Docket No. CDC-2016-0101] 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 the proposed information collection project entitled “Assessment of Targeted Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Efforts on the Implementation of Comprehensive Cancer Control”. CDC is requesting to collect information about TTA offered under two different cooperative agreements using case studies, a web-based survey, and in-depth interviews in order to document how TTA was provided and identify elements of TTA administered across both cooperative agreements that could inform the development of a viable TTA model for enhancing future tobacco and cancer prevention and control efforts.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0101 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:

    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

    Assessing the Impact of Targeted Training and Technical Assistance Efforts on the Implementation of Comprehensive Cancer—NEW—National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and health care costs for cancer care are expected to rise to $158 billion by 2020. Addressing this public health problem requires primary prevention, early detection and treatment, support for cancer survivors, and a reduction in health disparities. Providing support to state, tribal, territorial and local organizations to implement evidence-based strategies has the potential to impact population-level cancer outcomes and reduce the burden of cancer.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) has been a primary funder for state and community-based cancer control interventions since its inception in the late 1990s. The program supports states and communities in developing a comprehensive approach to cancer prevention and control that includes supporting an infrastructure for state, local, and population-based interventions and multi-sectoral partnerships and coalitions. Currently, NCCCP supports 65 cancer control program grantees including programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in a number of tribes, tribal organizations, and U.S. Associated Pacific Islands/territories.

    In addition, CDC's Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) also has worked to build state health department infrastructure and capacity to conduct coordinated comprehensive tobacco prevention and control activities which contribute to cancer health outcomes. In fiscal year 2015, OSH provided funding to a number of state health departments and local partners through the National State-Based Tobacco Control Program (NSTB) to support the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based environmental, policy, and systems interventions, strategies, and activities to reduce tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure, tobacco-related disparities and associated disease, disability, and death.

    In striving to build capacity and maximize the impact of CDC's funded programs, CDC has focused on developing and implementing innovative programs to enhance TTA delivered to NCCCP and NSBT grantee programs. CDC funds 10 programs under two cooperative agreements—Consortium of National Networks to Impact Populations Experiencing Tobacco-Related and Cancer Health Disparities (DP13-1314) and the National Support to Enhance Implementation of Comprehensive Cancer Control Activities (DP13-1315). These cooperative agreements provide funding to organizations to provide TTA to state NCCCP and NSBT grantees to support local implementation of high-impact public health strategies. DP13-1314 awardees are charged with building the capacity of NCCCP and NSBT grantees through the administration of a national network to reduce the burden of cancer- and tobacco-related health disparities among vulnerable populations; DP13-1315 awardees are charged with delivering TTA to NCCCP programs and partners to enhance and facilitate local implementation of comprehensive cancer control (CCC) activities; policy, systems and environmental change strategies; effective public health partnership building; and promotion of CCC program successes and leverage additional resources for cancer control and prevention. These two TTA models aim to impact both short- and long-term outcomes on the awardee, NCCCP program, and population levels.

    CDC proposes to conduct an assessment of the DP13-1314 and DP13-1315 cooperative agreements to: (1) Increase CDC's understanding of the TTA provided to NCCCP and NSTB grantees across both cooperative agreements, (2) help identify the extent to which core elements of the TTA were administered, and (3) determine the elements of TTA across both cooperative agreements that show promise for improving NCCCP and NSTB capacity. There are no other data collection efforts currently underway to assess implementation of the two TTA models or their perceived effectiveness among awardee programs.

    This information collection request will involve three complementary data collection efforts: (1) Case studies of DP13-1314 and DP13-1315 awardees (consisting of interviews with DP13-1314 and DP13-1315 program managers/directors, evaluators, and partners); (2) a cross-sectional web-based survey administered to NCCCP and NSBT program directors, coalition members, and partners; and (3) in-depth interviews with NCCCP and NSBT program directors, staff, coalition members, and partners who received a high volume of TTA from one or more of the DP13-1314 and DP13-1315 awardees. The case studies will be used to explore how DP13-1314 and DP13-1315 awardees are implementing their respective cooperative agreements and administering TTA to NCCCP and NSBT grantees; the factors that affect the implementation of specific TTA components; and the extent to which each cooperative agreement was able to achieve planned short-term outcomes. The web-based survey will inform CDC's understanding of the reach of DP13-1314 and DP13-1315 TTA efforts; elicit information from NCCCP and/or NSBT programs and coalitions about the TTA received, including type, dosage, frequency and format; and assess the perceptions of the effectiveness of the TTA provided in building capacity to achieve intended outcomes. The in-depth interviews with “high-volume” TTA users will facilitate an in-depth exploration of the type and quality of TTA activities received; perceived quality of TTA and its contributions to NCCCP and NSBT grantee program implementation, and achievement of CDC priorities and goals.

    CDC will use findings from the assessment to inform development of future TTA efforts that utilize the core elements across the two models to more effectively and efficiently support NCCCP's partner organizations.

    CDC seeks a two-year approval to collect the required information. Participation is voluntary and respondents will not receive incentives for participation. There are no costs to respondents other than 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)
  • DP13-1314 and DP13-1315 Awardee Organizations Worksheet for Identifying Case Study Interviewees 10 1 60/60 10 DP13-1314 Program Directors/Managers Case Study Interview Guide for DP13-1314 Program Managers 16 1 90/60 24 Case Study Follow-Up Interview Guide for DP13-1314 Program Managers 16 1 60/60 16 DP13-1315 Program Directors/Managers Case Study Interview Guide for DP1-1315 Program Managers 4 1 90/60 6 Case Study Follow-Up Interview Guide for DP1-1315 Program Managers 4 1 60/60 4 DP13-1314 Evaluators Case Study Interview Guide for DP1-1314 Evaluators 16 1 60/60 16 DP13-1315 Evaluators Case Study Interview Guide for DP1-1315 Evaluators 4 1 60/60 4 DP13-1314 Partners Case Study Interview Guide for DP1-1314 Partners 32 1 60/60 32 DP13-1315 Partners Case Study Interview Guide for DP1-1315 Partners 8 1 60/60 8 NCCCP and NSBT Program Directors, Staff, Partners, and Coalition Members Survey 1560 1 15/60 390 NCCCP and NSBT Program Directors, Staff, Partners, and Coalition Members TTA Recipient Interview Guide 10 1 30/60 5 Total 515
    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. 2016-25671 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30 Day-17-16AVC] 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] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice 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

    CDC/ATSDR Formative Research and Tool Development—New — Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requests approval for a new generic information collection plan entitled CDC/ATSDR Formative Research and Tool Development. This information collection plan is designed to allow CDC to conduct formative research information collection activities for developing new tools and methodologies to support agency research, surveillance, program evaluation, communications, health promotion, and research project development. It helps researchers identify and understand the characteristics of target populations that influence their decisions and actions.

    Formative research is integral in developing programs as well as improving existing and ongoing programs. Formative research looks at the community in which a public health intervention is planned or will be implemented and helps the project staff understand the interests, attributes and needs of different populations and persons in that community. Formative research occurs before a program is designed and implemented, or while a program is being conducted.

    CDC conducts formative research to develop public-sensitive and effective communication messages and data collection tools. To develop scientifically valid and appropriate methods, interventions, and instruments, cycles of interviews and focus groups are designed to inform the development of a product.

    Products from these formative research studies will be used for prevention of illness and disease. Findings from these studies may also be presented as evidence to disease-specific National Advisory Committees, to support revisions to recommended prevention and intervention methods, as well as new recommendations.

    Much of CDC's health communication takes place within campaigns that have fairly lengthy planning periods— timeframes that accommodate the standard Federal process for approving data collections. Short term qualitative interviewing and cognitive research techniques have previously proven invaluable in the development process.

    This request may include studies investigating the utility and acceptability of proposed sampling and recruitment methods, intervention contents and delivery, questionnaire domains, individual questions, and interactions with project staff or electronic data collection equipment. These activities will also provide information about how respondents answer questions and ways in which question response bias and error can be reduced.

    This request may include the collection of information from public health programs to assess needs related to initiation of a new program activity or expansion or changes in scope or implementation of existing program activities to adapt them to current needs. The information collected will be used to advise programs and provide capacity-building assistance tailored to the identified needs.

    Overall, these development activities are intended to provide information that will increase the success of surveillance or research projects through increasing response rates and decreasing response error, thereby decreasing future data collection burden to the public. The studies that will be covered under this request will include one or more of the following investigational modalities: (1) Structured and qualitative interviewing for surveillance, research, interventions and material development, (2) cognitive interviewing for development of specific data collection instruments, (3) methodological research (4) usability testing of technology-based instruments and materials, (5) field testing of new methodologies and materials, (6) investigation of mental models for health decision-making, to inform health communication messages, and (7) organizational needs assessments to support development of capacity. Respondents who will participate in individual and group interviews (qualitative, cognitive, and computer assisted development activities) are selected purposively from those who respond to recruitment advertisements.

    In addition to utilizing advertisements for recruitment, respondents who will participate in research on survey methods may be selected purposively or systematically from within an ongoing surveillance or research project. Participation of respondents is voluntary. There is no cost to participants other than their time. Annual estimated burden is 18,750 hours.

    Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average hours per response Total response burden (Hrs.)
    General public and health care providers Screener 5,000 1 15/60 1,250 Interview 5,000 1 1 5,000 Focus Group Interview 5,000 1 2 10,000 Survey 5,000 1 30/60 2,500
    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. 2016-25601 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS-3180-N4] Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0308] Program for Parallel Review of Medical Devices AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (the Agencies) are informing the public that the Parallel Review of medical devices pilot program will be fully implemented and extended indefinitely. The Agencies are soliciting nominations from manufacturers of innovative medical devices to participate in the “Program for Parallel Review of Medical Devices.” The Parallel Review program is a collaborative effort that is intended to reduce the time between FDA marketing approval or FDA's granting of a de novo request and Medicare coverage decisions through CMS's National Coverage Determination (NCD) process. This program is intended to ensure prompt and efficient patient access to safe and effective and appropriate medical devices for the Medicare population.

    DATES:

    The program described in this document for parallel review for medical devices is effective October 24, 2016. The program will be fully implemented as of the date of the publication of this document in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For device manufacturers interested in Parallel Review and for general questions: Murray Sheldon, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 301-796-5443, [email protected] For questions related to devices reviewed by Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research: Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 240-402-7911. For general questions about the NCD process: Tamara Syrek Jensen, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 410-786-3529, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background A. Parallel Review Pilot Program's History

    As discussed in the September 17, 2010, Federal Register notice (75 FR 57045), the Agencies announced their intention to initiate a Parallel Review pilot program that would establish a process for overlapping evaluation of clinical evidence for premarket, FDA-regulated medical devices in order to reduce the time between FDA marketing approval or FDA's granting of a de novo request and a Medicare NCD. The Agencies piloted the program in an effort to increase quality of patient health care by facilitating earlier access to innovative medical technologies for Medicare beneficiaries.

    In the October 11, 2011, Federal Register notice (76 FR 62808), the Agencies provided notice of the procedures for voluntary participation in the pilot program as well as the guiding principles they intended to follow during the program. In the December 18, 2013, Federal Register notice (78 FR 76628), the Agencies extended the duration of the pilot program for an additional 2 years.

    Currently, the Agencies appreciate the full potential of the parallel review program and realize the positive impact of the pilot, and have now decided to transition into a permanent program.

    B. Purpose of Parallel Review

    Parallel Review allows both Agencies to review information about a medical device concurrently, rather than sequentially, while continuing to make their premarket review and coverage decisions consistent with their respective statutory authority. FDA works to ensure that only safe and effective medical devices are marketed in the United States. CMS makes coverage decisions for medical technologies, which are reasonable and necessary for the Medicare population. Neither FDA's premarket review criteria nor CMS's coverage processes criteria change when a medical device is accepted into the parallel review program.

    C. Lessons Learned From the Parallel Review Pilot Program

    The Agencies learned two primary lessons from the Parallel Review pilot program. First, they found that manufacturers benefit from engaging both Agencies at the pivotal clinical trial design phase. The feedback that manufacturers receive from both Agencies at the pivotal clinical trial design stage can assist manufacturers in designing pivotal trials that can answer both Agencies' evidentiary questions. Thus, it is more likely that manufacturers will only need to conduct a single pivotal clinical study rather than several pivotal clinical studies to satisfy both Agencies.

    Second, concurrent review by the Agencies of clinical evidence can reduce the time from FDA premarket approval or the granting of a de novo request to an NCD. For example, on August 11, 2014, FDA approved a medical device that was part of the Parallel Review Pilot Program. On the same day, CMS initiated its national coverage analysis (NCA). CMS published a favorable final NCD on October 9, 2014, less than 2 months after the medical device received its premarket approval and 7 months before the NCD statutory due date.

    II. Parallel Review Program

    Based on the positive experience from the Parallel Review Pilot Program, both Agencies have decided to extend the Parallel Review program indefinitely.

    A. Parallel Review Process

    The program has two stages: (1) The pivotal clinical trial design development stage, and (2) the concurrent evidentiary review stage. The manufacturer should submit a request for parallel review prior to the start of the first stage by sending an email to [email protected], which indicates their interest in the program and includes the following information:

    1. Nomination of manufacturer:

    • Name of the manufacturer and relevant contact information;

    • name of the product;

    • succinct description of the technology and disease or condition the device is intended to diagnose or treat; and

    • state of development of the technology (that is, in pre-clinical testing, in clinical trials, currently undergoing premarket review by FDA)

    2. A statement that the manufacturer intends to meet jointly with FDA and CMS using FDA's Pre-Submission program (Ref. 1), or other mechanisms that allow for meetings of the three parties to gather and incorporate feedback from both Agencies about the design and analysis of their pivotal clinical trial, to support a marketing application and a National Coverage Determination.

    3. A statement that the medical device will require an original or supplemental application for premarket approval (PMA) or the granting of an FDA de novo request;

    4. The medical device is not excluded by statute from Part A and/or Part B Medicare coverage (and the request for parallel review includes a list of Part A and/or Part B Medicare benefit categories, as applicable, into which the manufacturer believes the medical device falls); and

    5. A statement that the medical device addresses the public health needs of the Medicare population (and the request for parallel review includes an explanation of how).

    Upon completion of the pivotal trial and submission of an original or supplemental PMA, or a de novo request, the Agencies intend to review the pivotal clinical trial evidence concurrently (“in parallel”). Both Agencies will independently review the data to determine whether it meets their respective Agency's standards and communicate with the manufacturer during their respective reviews.

    Manufacturers and each Agency have the option to withdraw from the Parallel Review Program until CMS opens the NCD by posting a tracking sheet. For example, if the manufacturer would like to withdraw from the program after the pivotal trial, but before the NCA tracking sheet is posted, that would be acceptable. More information on the NCD process is set forth in the August 7, 2013 Federal Register notice (78 FR 48164). Once a tracking sheet is posted, CMS must complete the statutorily defined NCD process.

    B. Candidate Prioritization

    The Agencies intend to review Parallel Review requests and respond within 30 days after receipt of the email. The Agencies intend to prioritize innovative medical devices that will benefit from the efficiencies of the Parallel Review. Priority will also be given to medical devices expected to have the most impact on the Medicare population. An FDA marketing approval does not guarantee a favorable coverage decision.

    III. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As stated in previous Federal Register notices related to the Parallel Review pilot, due to FDA and CMS resource issues, the permanent program will follow the same capacity limit by accepting no more than five candidates per year. As such, like the pilot program, this collection of information does not meet the definition of an information collection, as defined under 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    IV. References

    The following references are on display in the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852, and are available for viewing by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; they are also available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. FDA has verified the Web site addresses, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but Web sites are subject to change over time.

    1. FDA Guidance, “Requests for Feedback on Medical Device Submissions: The Pre-Submission Program and Meetings with Food and Drug Administration Staff.” Available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/UCM311176.pdf.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy, Food and Drug Administration. Dated: October 5, 2016. Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25659 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0663] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting Requirements for Human Drug and Biological Products and Safety Reporting Requirements for Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Studies in Humans AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA).

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0672. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting Requirements for Human Drug and Biological Products and Safety Reporting Requirements for Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Studies in Humans; OMB Control Number 0910-0672—Extension

    In the Federal Register of October 31, 2013 (78 FR 65338), FDA published a document entitled “Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting Requirements for Human Drug and Biological Products and Safety Reporting Requirements for Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Studies in Humans.” The document clarified the Agency's expectations for timely review, evaluation, and submission of relevant and useful safety information and implemented internationally harmonized definitions and reporting standards for IND safety reports. The document also required safety reporting for bioavailability and bioequivalence studies. The document was intended to improve the utility of Investigational New Drug (IND) safety reports, expedite FDA's review of critical safety information, better protect human subjects enrolled in clinical trials, and harmonize safety reporting requirements internationally.

    The rulemaking included the following information collection under the PRA that was not already included in 21 CFR 312.32 and approved under OMB control number 0910-0014.

    Section 312.32(c)(1)(ii) and (c)(1)(iii) requires reporting to FDA, in an IND safety report, of potential serious risks from clinical trials within 15 calendar days for findings from epidemiological studies, pooled analyses of multiple studies, or other clinical studies that suggest a significant risk in humans exposed to the drug.

    Section 312.32(c)(1)(iii) specifies the requirements for reporting to FDA in an IND safety report potential serious risks from clinical trials within 15 calendar days for findings from in vitro testing that suggest a significant risk to humans.

    Section 312.32(c)(1)(iv) requires reporting to FDA in an IND safety report within 15 calendar days of any clinically important increase in the rate of occurrence of serious suspected adverse reactions over that listed in the protocol or investigator brochure.

    The rulemaking also included new information collection under the PRA by requiring safety reporting for bioavailability and bioequivalence studies (21 CFR 320.31(d)).

    In tables 1 and 2 of this document, the estimates for “No. of Respondents,” “No. of Responses per Respondent,” and “Total Annual Responses” were obtained from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) reports and data management systems for submissions received in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and from other sources familiar with the number of submissions received under the noted 21 CFR section. The estimates the “Hours per Response” are unchanged based on information from CDER and CBER individuals familiar with the burden associated with these reports and from prior estimates received from the pharmaceutical industry.

    In the Federal Register of March 18, 2016 (81 FR 14860), we published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed extension of this collection of information. No comments were received.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden [CDER] 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    320.31(d) Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Safety Reports 13 15 195 14 2,730 312.32(c)(1)(ii) and (c)(1)(iii) IND Safety Reports 100 6 600 12 7,200 312.32(c)(1)(iv) IND Safety Reports 10 1 10 12 120 Total (CDER) 10,050 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Table 2—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden [CBER] 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    320.31(d) Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Safety Reports 1 1 1 14 14 312.32(c)(1)(ii) and (c)(1)(iii) IND Safety Reports 137 4 548 12 6,576 312.32(c)(1)(iv) IND Safety Reports 5 1.4 7 12 84 Total (CBER) 6,674 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: October 18, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25606 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0882] Generic Drug User Fees; Notice of Public Meeting; Request for Comments; Extension of Comment Period; Correction AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; extension of comment period; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the extension of the comment period and correcting a notice that appeared in the Federal Register of Monday, September 26, 2016 (81 FR 66035). The document announced a public meeting entitled “Generic Drug User Fees; Public Meeting; Request for Comments.” In that Federal Register notice, FDA requested comments on the draft recommendations related to the reauthorization of the Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012 (GDUFA). The Agency is taking this action to allow interested persons the statutorily required 30 days to submit comments. Also, the document was published with an error in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. This document corrects that error.

    DATES:

    FDA is extending the comment period on the Generic Drug User Fee recommendations published September 26, 2016 (81 FR 66035). Submit either electronic or written comments by November 16, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Derek Griffing, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 75, Rm. 1673, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 240-402-6980, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Federal Register of September 26, 2016, FDA published a request for comments on GDUFA reauthorization draft recommendations. The comment period ends on November 7, 2016.

    Because the Agency posted the draft recommendations on October 14, 2016, and the statute requires a period of 30 days be provided for the public to provide comments on the draft recommendations, FDA is extending the comment period for the GDUFA reauthorization draft recommendations until November 16, 2016.

    In addition, in FR Doc. 2016-23111, appearing on page 66035 in the Federal Register of Monday, September 26, 2016, the following correction is made:

    On page 66038, in the final paragraph of the first column, the second sentence is corrected to read: “Specifically, FDA would issue product-specific guidance identifying the methodology for developing drugs and generating evidence needed to support ANDA approval, for 90 percent of new chemical entity new drug applications that are approved on or after October 1, 2017, at least 2 years prior to the earliest lawful filing date.”

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25603 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Evaluation of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Autism CARES Act Initiative AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR must be received no later than December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 14N-39, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Evaluation of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Autism CARES Act Initiative.

    OMB No. 0915-0335—Revision

    Abstract: In response to the growing need for research and resources devoted to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD), the U.S. Congress passed the Combating Autism Act (CAA) in 2006; reauthorized under the Autism CARES (Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support) Act of 2014 (H.R. 4631; Pub L. 113-157). Through Autism CARES, HRSA is tasked with increasing awareness of ASD and other DD, reducing barriers to screening and diagnosis, promoting evidence-based interventions, and training health care professionals in the use of valid and reliable diagnostic tools.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The purpose of this information collection is to design and implement an evaluation to assess the effectiveness of MCHB's activities in meeting the goals and objectives of the Autism CARES Act. This ICR is a revision to an existing package; this study is the third evaluation of MCHB's Autism CARES activities and employs similar data collection methodologies to the prior studies. Grantee interviews remain the primary form of data collection, but the research team has made minor adjustments to the data collection processes in order to reduce burden on respondents. Changes include adjusting the interview protocols to improve flow and clarify questions and planning for more than one respondent to attend interviews in instances where the principal investigator requests support.

    Likely Respondents: Grantees funded by HRSA under the Autism CARES Act will be the respondents for this data collection activity. The grantees are from these MCHB programs: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Training Program; Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Training Program; State Implementation Program; State Innovation in Care Integration Program; Research Network Program; Research Program; Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center (ITAC); and the State Public Health Autism Center (SPHARC) Resource Center.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the information requested. 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. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Grant program/form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average burden per response
  • (in hours)
  • Total hour
  • burden
  • LEND Interview Protocol 43 2 86 1 86 DBP Interview Protocol 10 2 20 1 20 State Implementation Program Interview Protocol 9 2 18 1 18 State Innovation in Care Integration State Grantees 4 1 4 1 4 Research Network Interview Protocol 5 2 10 1 10 Research Program R40 Interview Protocol 10 1 10 1.5 15 Research Network Questionnaire 5 1 5 1 5 Resource Center: ITAC Interview Protocol 1 2 2 1 2 Resource Center: SPHARC Interview Protocol 1 2 2 1 2 Total 88 157 162

    HRSA 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.

    Amy McNulty, Deputy Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25618 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is hereby giving notice that the Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability (ACBTSA) will hold a meeting. The meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will take place Monday November 28, 2016, from 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Tuesday November 29, 2016, from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Veterans' Health Administration National Conference Center, 2011 Crystal Drive, 1st floor Conference Center, Crystal City, VA 22202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. James Berger, Designated Federal Officer for the ACBTSA, Senior Advisor for Blood and Tissue Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Mary E. Switzer Building, 330 C Street SW., Suite L100, Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202)-795-7697; Fax: (202)-691-2102; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The ACBTSA provides advice to the Secretary through the Assistant Secretary for Health. The Committee advises on a range of policy issues to include: (1) Identification of public health issues through surveillance of blood and tissue safety issues with national biovigilance data tools; (2) identification of public health issues that affect availability of blood, blood products, and tissues; (3) broad public health, ethical, and legal issues related to the safety of blood, blood products, and tissues; (4) the impact of various economic factors (e.g., product cost and supply) on safety and availability of blood, blood products, and tissues; (5) risk communications related to blood transfusion and tissue transplantation; and (6) identification of infectious disease transmission issues for blood, organs, blood stem cells and tissues. The Committee has met regularly since its establishment in 1997.

    In December 2013, the Committee made recommendations regarding the blood system. At that time, the Committee expressed concern about the ongoing reductions in blood use, the number of large scale consolidations occurring, the cost recovery issues for blood centers, and the potential effects on safety and innovation due to instability. In November 2015, the Committee made recommendations again, reaffirming the December 2013 recommendations, highlighting the worsening conditions, and suggesting potential initiatives to address the issues in the blood system. Past recommendations made by the ACBTSA may be viewed at http://www.hhs.gov/ohaidp/initiatives/blood-tissue-safety/advisory-committee/index.html.

    The Committee will meet on November 28-29, 2016 to hear the findings from the HHS sponsored RAND study, “Toward a Sustainable Blood Supply in the United States: An Analysis of the Current System and Alternatives for the Future.” The ACBTSA Subcommittee on Blood System Sustainability will present their response to the study, and the full Committee will discuss and develop appropriate recommendations for HHS consideration. Additional topics that are pertinent to the mission of the Committee may be added to the agenda.

    The public will have an opportunity to present their views to the Committee during public comment sessions scheduled for both days of the meeting. Comments will be limited to five minutes per speaker and must be pertinent to the discussion. Pre-registration is required for participation in the public comment session. Any member of the public who would like to participate in this session is required to submit their name, email, and comment summary prior to close of business on November 17, 2016. If it is not possible to provide 30 copies of the material to be distributed at the meeting, then individuals are requested to provide a minimum of one (1) copy of the document(s) to be distributed prior to the close of business on November 17, 2016. It is also requested that any member of the public who wishes to provide comments to the Committee utilizing electronic data projection submit the necessary material to the Designated Federal Officer prior to the close of business on November 17, 2016.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. James J. Berger, Senior Advisor for Blood and Tissue Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25650 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-41-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Health Services Organization and Delivery.

    Date: November 3, 2016.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Peter J Kozel, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3139, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1116, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR 14-260: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention among Native American Populations.

    Date: November 4, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Martha L Hare, RN, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3154, MSC 7770, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 451-8504, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Nursing and Related Clinical Sciences.

    Date: November 7, 2016.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Peter J Kozel, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3139, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1116, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 18, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25587 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee to the National Cancer Institute.

    The meeting will be open to the public, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting. The meeting will also be videocast and can be accessed from the NIH Videocasting and Podcasting Web site (http://videocast.nih.gov/).

    Name of Committee: Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee to the National Cancer Institute.

    Date: November 16, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: Ongoing and new activities at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.

    Place: National Cancer Institute Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF) 8560 Progress Drive Auditorium Room E1600 Frederick, MD 21702.

    Contact Person: Peter L. Wirth, Ph.D. Executive Secretary National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health 9609 Medical Center Drive Room 7W-514 Bethesda, MD 20892 240-276-6434 [email protected]

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    In the interest of security, NCI's Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF) has instituted stringent procedures for entrance into the ATRF building. Visitors will be asked to show one form of identification (for example, a government-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport) and to state the purpose of their visit.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/fac/facmeetings.htm, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 18, 2016. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy
    [FR Doc. 2016-25588 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR Panel: The Influence of Drug Abuse on HIV Prevention, Treatment and Progression.

    Date: November 16-17, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Shalanda A Bynum, Ph.D., M.P.H., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3206, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-755-4355, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; AREA R15 Grant Applications.

    Date: November 17, 2016.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Michael M. Sveda, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2204, MSC 7890, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-3565, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: AIDS and Related Research Integrated Review Group; NeuroAIDS and other End-Organ Diseases Study Section.

    Date: November 18, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hotel Nikko San Francisco, 222 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

    Contact Person: Eduardo A Montalvo, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5108, MSC 7852, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1168, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Small Business: Dermatology, Rheumatology and Inflammation.

    Date: November 18, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Doubletree Hotel Bethesda, (Formerly Holiday Inn Select), 8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Rajiv Kumar, Ph.D., Chief, MOSS IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4216, MSC 7802, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1212, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Infectious Diseases, Reproductive Health, Asthma and Pulmonary Conditions: Small Grant Mechanisms.

    Date: November 18, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Lisa Steele, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, PSE IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3139, MSC 7770, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-594-6594, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Neuroendocrinology, Sleep, Stress and Alcohol.

    Date: November 18, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Jasenka Borzan, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive Room 4214 MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892-7814, 301-435-1787, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology.

    Date: November 18, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Heidi B Friedman, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1012A, MSC 7770, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-379-5632, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Training in Comparative and Veterinary Medicine.

    Date: November 18, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Maria DeBernardi, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6158, MSC 7892, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1355, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Anatomy, Imaging and Rehabilitation of Musculoskeletal System.

    Date: November 18, 2016.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Yi-Hsin Liu, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4214, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1781, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 18, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25586 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective October 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Bertie, Johnston, and Wayne Counties for Individual Assistance (already designated for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    Wilson County for Individual Assistance and assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25581 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4281-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Iowa; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Iowa (FEMA-4281-DR), dated September 29, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: September 29, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated September 29, 2016, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Iowa resulting from severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of August 23-27, 2016, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Iowa.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the State. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, David G. Samaniego, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Iowa have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, and Winneshiek Counties for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the State of Iowa are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25559 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4282-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Hawaii; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Hawaii (FEMA-4282-DR), dated October 6, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 6, 2016, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Hawaii resulting from severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of September 11-14, 2016, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the State. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Dr. Ahsha N. Tribble, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Hawaii have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Maui County for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the State of Hawaii are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25557 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4284-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Georgia; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Georgia (FEMA-4284-DR), dated October 8, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 8, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 8, 2016, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Georgia resulting from Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 4, 2016, and continuing, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Georgia.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B) under the Public Assistance program in the designated areas, Hazard Mitigation throughout the State, and any other forms of assistance under the Stafford Act that you deem appropriate subject to completion of Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs). Direct Federal assistance is authorized.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Warren J. Riley, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Georgia have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh Counties for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    All areas within the State of Georgia are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25589 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3380-EM; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Emergency and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-3380-EM), dated October 7, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective October 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 7, 2016, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

    I have determined that the emergency conditions in the State of North Carolina resulting from Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 4, 2016, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the State of North Carolina.

    You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas. Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Elizabeth Turner, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

    The following areas of the State of North Carolina have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

    Alamance, Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Sampson, Scotland, Stokes, Surry, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wilson, and Yadkin Counties for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25564 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4286-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] South Carolina; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of South Carolina (FEMA-4286-DR), dated October 11, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 11, 2016, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of South Carolina resulting from Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 4, 2016, and continuing, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of South Carolina.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B) under the Public Assistance program in the designated areas, Hazard Mitigation throughout the State, and any other forms of assistance under the Stafford Act that you deem appropriate subject to completion of Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs). Direct Federal assistance is authorized.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, W. Michael Moore, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of South Carolina have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, Marion, and Williamsburg Counties for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    All areas within the State of South Carolina are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25597 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective October 12, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Greene County for Individual Assistance (already designated for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    Harnett and Sampson Counties for Individual Assistance and assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25561 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3378-EM; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] South Carolina; Emergency and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the State of South Carolina (FEMA-3378-EM), dated October 6, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 6, 2016, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

    I have determined that the emergency conditions in the State of South Carolina resulting from Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 4, 2016, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the State of South Carolina.

    You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas. Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, W. Michael Moore, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

    The following areas of the State of South Carolina have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

    All 46 South Carolina counties and the Catawba Nation for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25584 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3377-EM; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Florida; Emergency and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the State of Florida (FEMA-3377-EM), dated October 6, 2016, and related determinations.

    EFFECTIVE DATE:

    October 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 6, 2016, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

    I have determined that the emergency conditions in the State of Florida resulting from Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 3, 2016, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the State of Florida.

    You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas. Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Terry L. Quarles, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

    The following areas of the State of Florida have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

    Baker, Brevard, Broward, Citrus, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Volusia Counties for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25580 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3379-EM; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Georgia; Emergency and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the State of Georgia (FEMA-3379-EM), dated October 6, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 6, 2016, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

    I have determined that the emergency conditions in the State of Georgia resulting from Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 4, 2016, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the State of Georgia.

    You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas. Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Warren J. Riley, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

    The following areas of the State of Georgia have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

    Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Ware, and Wayne Counties for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25591 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4283-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Florida; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Florida (FEMA-4283-DR), dated October 8, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 8, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 8, 2016, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Florida resulting from Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 3, 2016, and continuing, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Florida.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B) under the Public Assistance program in the designated areas, Hazard Mitigation throughout the State, and any other forms of assistance under the Stafford Act that you deem appropriate subject to completion of Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs). Direct Federal assistance is authorized.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Terry L. Quarles, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Florida have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Nassau,

    St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Volusia Counties for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    All areas within the State of Florida are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25590 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration [Docket No. TSA-2006-24191] Intent To Request Revision From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC®) Program AGENCY:

    Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

    ACTION:

    60-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) invites public comment on one currently approved Information Collection Request (ICR), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 1652-0047, abstracted below that we will submit to OMB for revision in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The collection involves the submission of identifying and other information by individuals applying for a TWIC® and a customer satisfaction survey.

    DATES:

    Send your comments by December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be emailed to [email protected] or delivered to the TSA PRA Officer, Office of Information Technology (OIT), TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6011.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina A. Walsh at the above address, or by telephone (571) 227-2062.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation is available at http://www.reginfo.gov. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting comments to—

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Information Collection Requirement

    OMB Control Number 1652-0047; Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC®) Program. TSA developed the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC®) program to mitigate threats and vulnerabilities in the national transportation system. TWIC® is a common credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and all mariners holding U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard) credentials. Before issuing an individual a TWIC®, TSA performs a security threat assessment, which requires TSA to collect certain personal information such as name, address, date of birth and other information. Applicants are also required to provide fingerprints, photograph, and undergo checks for ties to terrorism, applicable immigration status and a criminal history records check. Also, individuals in the field of transportation who are required to undergo a security threat assessment in certain other programs, such as the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism (CFATS) program, may apply for a TWIC® and the associated security threat assessment to satisfy CFATS requirements.

    The program implements authorities set forth in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) (Pub. L. 107-71; Nov. 19, 2002; sec. 106), the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) (Pub. L. 107-295; Nov. 25, 2002; sec. 102), and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-59; Aug. 10, 2005; sec. 7105), codified at 49 U.S.C. 5103a(g). TSA and the U.S. Coast Guard issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on May 22, 2006, 71 FR 29396. After consideration of public comments on the NPRM, TSA issued a joint final rule with the Coast Guard on January 25, 2007 (72 FR 3492), applicable to the maritime transportation sector that would require this information collection.

    TSA collects data from applicants during an optional pre-enrollment step or during the enrollment session at an enrollment center. TSA will use the information collected to conduct a security threat assessment, which includes: (1) A criminal history records check; (2) a check of intelligence databases; and (3) an immigration status check. TSA may also use the information to determine a TWIC holder's eligibility to participate in TSA's expedited screening program for air travel, TSA Pre✓®. TSA invites all TWIC® applicants to complete an optional survey to gather information on the applicants' overall customer satisfaction with the enrollment process. This optional survey is administered by a Trusted Agent (a representative of the TWIC® enrollment service provider, who performs enrollment functions) during the process to activate the TWIC®. These surveys are collected at each enrollment center and compiled to produce reports that are reviewed by the contractor and TSA.

    The collection is being revised to allow TSA to use the information to expand enrollment options and the potential use of biographic and biometric (e.g., fingerprints, iris scans, and/or photo) information. This will allow future use of the information collected for additional comparability or eligibility determinations for other programs or security requirements, such as allowing the TWIC® applicant to participate not only in a program such as the TSA Pre✓® Application Program, TSA's expedited screening program for air travelers, but also in the Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) Program without requiring an additional background check.

    In addition, the collection is being revised to remove the requirement to collect information about the Extended Expiration Date (EED) TWIC®. In 2012, TSA issued an exemption option that permitted eligible TWIC® cardholders to obtain a replacement card that extended the expiration date of their security threat assessment and TWIC® card by three years on payment of a reduced renewal fee. The EED TWIC® was a one-time temporary option intended to provide convenience and cost-savings to applicants pending U.S. Coast Guard issuance of the Notice to Proposed Rulemaking for the TWIC® Reader Rule. The EED TWIC® renewal option is being discontinued, and applicants will be required to obtain a five-year TWIC® through the standard renewal process.

    Also, TSA is re-evaluating its fee collection for the TWIC® Program in light of changes to the fee the FBI charges for fingerprint processing. Effective October 1, 2016, the FBI will reduce its fingerprint-based criminal history records check fee by $2.75 based on recommendations from a required user fee study (81 FR 45535). Section 1572.501(b)(3) of the TWIC® Final Rule (72 FR 3491) states that if the FBI amends its fee for criminal history records checks, TSA will collect the amended FBI fee. As a result of the FBI's fee change, the TWIC® standard enrollment fee ($128.00) will be reduced by $2.75. Effective October 1, 2016, TSA will collect a $125.25 fee for standard enrollments. The FBI fee is one segment of the TWIC® Program's overall fee. The TWIC® fee contains segments for enrollment, full/reduced card production/security threat assessment, and the FBI fee. Reduced rate and replacement TWIC® card enrollment fees will not change.

    The current estimated annualized hour burden is 736,670 hours and the estimated annualized cost burden is $90,276,808.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Joanna Johnson, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25667 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration New Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: TSA infoBoards AGENCY:

    Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has forwarded the new Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. TSA published a Federal Register notice, with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments, of the following collection of information on March 17, 2016, 81 FR 14471. The collection involves the TSA infoBoards, an information-sharing environment designed to serve stakeholders in the transportation security community that is used to disseminate mission-critical information. It provides stakeholders with an online portal that allows authorized users to obtain, post, and exchange information, access common resources, and communicate with similarly situated individuals. Utilizing and inputting information into TSA infoBoards is completely voluntary.

    DATES:

    Send your comments by November 23, 2016. A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB. Comments should be addressed to Desk Officer, Department of Homeland Security/TSA, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina A. Walsh, TSA PRA Officer, Office of Information Technology (OIT), TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6011; telephone (571) 227-2062; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation is available at http://www.reginfo.gov. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting comments to—

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Information Collection Requirement

    Title: TSA infoBoards.

    Type of Request: New collection.

    OMB Control Number: Not yet assigned.

    Form(s): TSA Form 1427.

    Affected Public: Individuals with transportation security responsibilities, such as aircraft operators, airport security coordinators, and international transportation security coordinators.

    Abstract: TSA infoBoards was developed by TSA as part of its broad responsibilities and authorities under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA),1 and delegated authority from the Secretary of Homeland Security, for “security in all modes of transportation . . . including security responsibilities . . . over modes of transportation that are exercised by the Department of Transportation.” 2 TSA infoBoards (formerly WebBoards) is an information-sharing environment designed to serve stakeholders in the transportation security community and is used to disseminate mission-critical information. It provides stakeholders with an online portal which allows authorized users to obtain, post, and exchange information, access common resources, and communicate with similarly situated individuals. This system also integrates other security-related information and communications at the sensitive security information (SSI) level. It is located in a secure online environment and is accessible from the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) and TSA (for TSA staff only). Accessing and using TSA infoBoards is completely voluntary; TSA does not require participation.

    1See Public Law 107-71 (115 Stat. 597, Nov. 19, 2001).

    2See 49 U.S.C. 114 (d). The TSA Assistant Secretary's current authorities under ATSA have been delegated to him by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Section 403(2) of the Homeland Security Act (HSA) of 2002, Public Law 107-296 (116 Stat. 2315, Nov. 25, 2002), transferred all functions of TSA, including those of the Secretary of Transportation and the Under Secretary of Transportation of Security related to TSA, to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Pursuant to DHS Delegation Number 7060.2, the Secretary delegated to the Assistant Secretary (then referred to as the Administrator of TSA), subject to the Secretary's guidance and control, the authority vested in the Secretary with respect to TSA, including that in section 403(2) of the HSA.

    TSA will collect two types of information through TSA infoBoards: (1) User registration information and (2) user's choice of “communities.” TSA infoBoards users are not required to provide all information requested-however, if users choose to withhold information, they will not receive the benefits of TSA infoBoards associated with that information collection.

    1. User registration information. TSA will collect registration information to ensure only those meeting the requirements for access to SSI information under TSA's regulations (49 CFR part 1520) are given access to the TSA infoBoards. Such registration information will include the user's name, professional contact information, agency/company, job title, employer, airport (optional), citizenship, regulatory category, and employment verification contact information.

    2. User's Choice of TSA infoBoards Communities. TSA will collect information on the user's choice of TSA infoBoards community(ies). To meet the requirements for access to SSI under TSA's regulations, users are asked to submit their desired requestor type and boards so that TSA may assess the user's qualifications and needs before granting access.

    Use of Results

    TSA will use this information to assess and improve the capabilities of all transportation modes to prevent, prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from transportation security incidents. An inability to collect this information will limit TSA's ability to enable modal operators to respond to, and quickly recover after, a transportation security incident. Insufficient awareness, prevention, response, and recovery to a transportation security incident will result in increased vulnerability of the U.S. transportation network.

    Number of Respondents: 6,000 users.3

    3 Due to the recalculation of numbers since the publication of the 60-day notice, the number of respondents has decreased from 10,000 to 6,000. Accordingly, the burden hours have decreased from 10,000 to 6,000 hours.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: An estimated 6,000 hours annually.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Joanna Johnson, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25669 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0130] Agency Information Collection Activities: Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, Form I-407; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    60-Day Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment upon this proposed extension of a currently approved collection of information. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the information collection notice is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments regarding the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e. the time, effort, and resources used by the respondents to respond), the estimated cost to the respondent, and the actual information collection instruments.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    All submissions received must include the OMB Control Number 1615-0130 in the body of the letter, the agency name and Docket ID USCIS-2013-0005. To avoid duplicate submissions, please use only one of the following methods to submit comments:

    (1) Online. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under e-Docket ID number USCIS-2013-0005;

    (2) Mail. Submit written comments to DHS, USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140, telephone number 202-272-8377 (This is not a toll-free number. Comments are not accepted via telephone message). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2013-0005 in the search box. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make to DHS. DHS may withhold information provided in comments from public viewing that it determines may impact the privacy of an individual or is offensive. For additional information, please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: Form I-407; USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) use Form I-407 to inform USCIS and formally record their abandonment of lawful permanent resident status. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services uses the information collected in Form I-407 to record the LPR's abandonment of lawful permanent resident status.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 12,527 responses at 15 minutes per response.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: 3,132 annual burden hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $30,691.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25596 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5173-N-11] Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Extension of Deadline for Submission of Assessment of Fair Housing for Consolidated Plan Participants That Receive a Community Development Block Grant of $500,000 or Less AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistance Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice advises that HUD is extending the deadline for submission of an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) by consolidated plan program participants that received in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 or receive in a subsequent fiscal year a Community Development Block Grant of $500,000 or less, or in the case of a HOME consortium, whose members collectively received a CDBG grant of $500,000 or less, from the program year that begins on or after January 1, 2018, to the program year that begins on or after January 1, 2019 for which a new consolidated plan is due, the same date that qualified public housing agencies (PHAs) are to submit their AFHs.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adam Norlander, Special Assistant, Office of Community Planning and Development, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 7100, Washington, DC 20410; telephone number 202-402-3778 (toll-free). Individuals with hearing or speech impediments may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service during working hours at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On July 16, 2015, at 80 FR 42357, HUD published in the Federal Register its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) final rule. The AFFH final rule provides HUD program participants with a new approach for planning for fair housing outcomes that will assist them in meeting their statutory obligation to affirmatively further fair housing as required by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3608. To assist HUD program participants in meeting this obligation, the AFFH rule provides that program participants must conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) using an “Assessment Tool.”

    HUD's AFFH regulations codified in 24 CFR part 5 provide, in § 5.160, for a staggered AFH submission deadline for its program participants. For example, § 5.160 provides that for their first AFH, consolidated program participants, except for program participants that received a FY 2015 CDBG grant of $500,000 or less, must submit an AFH no later than 270 calendar days prior to the start of their program year that begins on or after January 1, 2017 for which a new consolidated plan is due. Section 5.160 provides that consolidated program participants that received a FY 2015 CDBG grant of $500,000 or less must submit their first AFH no later than 270 calendar days prior to the start of the program year that begins on or after January 1, 2018 for which a new consolidated plan is due. Section 5.160 provides that qualified public housing agencies (PHAs) 1 must submit their first AFH no later than 270 calendar days prior to the start of the fiscal year that begins on or after January 1, 2019 for which a new 5-year plan is due.

    1 “Qualified PHA,” is defined in section 2702 of title VII of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) (Public Law 110-289, approved July 30, 2008). Section 2702 of HERA defines “qualified PHA” as a PHA: (1) for which the sum of (i) the number of public housing dwelling units administered by PHA, and (ii) the number of vouchers under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)) administered by the PHA is 550 or fewer; and (2) that is not designated under section 6(j)(2) of the United States Housing Act as a troubled PHA, and does not have a failing score under the Section 8 Management Assessment Program during the prior 12 months. HUD codified this statutory definition in its regulations on Public Housing Agency Plans at 24 CFR part 903, and the definition of “qualified PHA” is found at § 903.3(c).

    By notice published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2015, at 80 FR 2062, prior to publication of the AFFH final rule, HUD announced its intention to provide a later AFH submission deadline for certain program participants that are typically small entities, such as qualified PHAs, or in the case of consolidated program participants that receive a small CDBG grant of $350,000 or less. HUD solicited public comment with the notice for a period of 30 days, on its January 15, 2015, and public feedback was favorable to HUD's proposal to provide later AFH submission deadlines for smaller program participants and program participants that received a smaller CDBG grant. In consideration of public comment received on the January 15, 2015, notice, and, as noted above, in the AFFH final rule, HUD provided a separate submission deadline for QPHAs; that is, their first AFH is due no later than 270 calendar days prior to the start of the fiscal year that begins on or after January 1, 2019 for which a new 5-year plan is due. For consolidated program participants that received an FY 2015 CDBG grant of $500,000 or less, their first AFH must be submitted not later than 270 days prior to the start of the program year that begins on or after January 1, 2018 for which a new consolidated plan is due. In response to public comment, HUD raised the dollar amount of the CDBG grant from $350,000 to $500,000.

    Through this notice, HUD is extending the AFH submission deadline for the first AFH submission for consolidated program participants that received an FY 2015 CDBG grant of $500,000 or less, or in the case of HOME consortia, whose members collectively received an FY 2015 CDBG grant of $500,000 or less, to the same AFH submission deadline as QPHAs. For consolidated program participants that received an FY 2015 CDBG grant of $500,000 or less, their first AFH is due no later than 270 calendar days prior to the start of the program year that begins on or after January 1, 2019, for which a new consolidated plan is due.

    Through this notice, HUD also advises that the AFH submission deadline for program participants that received an FY 2015 CDBG grant of $500,000 or less also applies to new consolidated program participants that received a small CDBG grant in FY 2016, or receive a small CDBG grant in FY 2017 or FY 2018.

    Consolidated Plan program participants that receive this extension must continue to comply with existing, ongoing obligations to affirmatively further fair housing. Until a consolidated plan program participant has submitted its first AFH, it will continue to provide the AFFH Consolidated Plan certification in accordance with the regulations that existed prior to August 17, 2015. (See 24 CFR 5.160(3).) The prior certification provides that program participants will conduct an analysis to identify impediments (AI) to fair housing choice within the jurisdiction, take appropriate actions to overcome the effects of any impediments identified through that analysis, and maintain records reflecting the analysis and actions. For Consolidated Plan program participants that are starting a new 3-5 year Consolidated Plan cycle that begins before their due date for an AFH or for Consolidated Plan program participants that otherwise have old or out-of-date AIs, the AI should continue to be updated in accordance with the Fair Housing Planning Guide until those Consolidated Plan program participants convert to the new AFFH process.

    Dated: October 13, 2016. Gustavo Velasquez, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25637 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5910-N-18] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: 24 CFR Part 55, Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands AGENCY:

    Office of Community Planning and Development, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone (202) 402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Liz Zepeda, Environmental Specialist, Office of Environment and Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; telephone (202) 402-3988 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: 24 CFR 55, Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands.

    OMB Approval Number: 2506-0151.

    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved request.

    Form Number: None.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: 24 CFR 55 implements decisionmaking procedures prescribed by Executive Order 11988 with which applicants must comply before HUD financial assistance can be approved for projects that are located within floodplains. Records of compliance must be kept.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): Local, state, and tribal governments.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 575.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 575.

    Frequency of Response: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: Varies.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 2,500 hours.

    Information collection Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of
  • response
  • Responses per annum Burden hour
  • per response
  • Annual burden
  • hours
  • Hourly cost
  • per response
  • Annual cost
    55.20 275 1 275 8 2,200 40 88,000 55.21 300 1 300 1 300 40 12,000 Total 575 1 575 Varies 2,500 40 100,000
    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: October 13, 2016. Harriet Tregoning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25634 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5916-N-18] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name/or OMB Control number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-5564 (this is not a toll-free number) or email [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arlette Mussington, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., (L'Enfant Plaza, Room 2206), Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202-402-4109 This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Mussington.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program.

    OMB Control Number: 2577-0178.

    Type of Request: Revision of currently approved collection.

    Agency Form Numbers: HUD-52650, HUD-52651, HUD-52652, HUD-50058, HUD-2880, HUD-2994-A, HUD-2991, HUD 52752 HUD 52755, SF-424, SF-LLL, HUD-1044.

    Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use: The FSS program, which was established in the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, promotes the development of local strategies that coordinate the use of public housing assistance and assistance under the Section 8 rental certificate and voucher programs (now known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program) with public and private resources to enable eligible families to increase earned income and financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency. Public Housing Agencies consult with local officials to develop an Action Plan, enter into a Contract of Participation with each eligible family that opts to participate in the program, compute an escrow credit for the family, report annually to HUD on implementation of the FSS program, and complete a funding application for the salary of an FSS program coordinator.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): Public Housing Agencies, Tribes/Tribally Designated Housing Entities, State or Local Governments.

    Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden Description of information collection Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per year Total annual responses Hours per
  • response
  • Total hours
    SF424—Application for Federal Assistance 800 1 800 0.75 600 SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities 40 1 40 0.17 7 HUD 2880—Applicant/Recipient/Disclosure/Update Form (OMB No. 2510-0011) 800 1 800 0 0 HUD-2991—Certification of Consistency with the Consolidated Plan (OMB No. 2506-0112) 800 1 800 0 0 HUD 52752—Certification of Consistency with the Indian Housing Plan 15 1 15 0.25 4 HUD-52755—Sample Contract Admin. Partnership Agreement 40 1 40 0.17 7 HUD-2994—A You are Our Client (OMB no: 2535-0116) 50 1 50 0 0 HUD-52651—FSS Application 800 1 800 1.5 1,200 Subtotal (Application) 2.8 1,818 Action Plan 10 1 10 10 100 HUD-52650—Contract of Participation 900 10 9,000 .25 2,250 HUD-52652—Escrow Account Credit Worksheet 750 50 37,500 .85 31,875 HUD-1044—Grant Agreement* 700 1 700 N/A N/A Annual Report (Narrative) 700 1 700 1 700 HUD-50058—Family Report
  • (OMB No. 2577-0083)
  • 900 50 45,000 0 0
    Subtotal (Program Reporting/Recordkeeping) 12.1 34,925 Total 14.9 36,743 * HUD-1044, Award/Amendment is completed by HUD staff, signed by the recipient of the grant, and returned to HUD. This form is a certification and HUD ascribes no burden to its use.

    Burden hours for forms showing zero burden hours in this collection are reflected in the OMB approval number cited or do not have a reportable burden.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the pubic and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: October 11, 2016. Merrie Nichols-Dixon, Deputy Director, Office of Policy, Programs, and Legislative Initiatives.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25632 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5910-N-17] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Environmental Review Procedures for Entities Assuming HUD Environmental Responsibilities AGENCY:

    Office of Community Planning and Development, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: December 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone (202) 402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Liz Zepeda, Environmental Specialist, Office of Environment and Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; telephone (202) 402-3988 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection:

    Title of Information Collection: 24 CFR part 58—Environmental Review Procedures for Entities Assuming HUD Environmental Review Responsibilities.

    OMB Approval Number: 2506-0087.

    Type of Request: Extension.

    Form Number: HUD-7015.15.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: The Request for Release of Funds and Certification is used to document compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the related environmental statutes, executive orders, and authorities in accordance with the procedures identified in 24 CFR part 58. Recipients certify compliance and make requests for release of funds.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): State, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 18,785.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 18,785.

    Frequency of Response: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: .6.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 11,271.

    Information collection Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • Responses
  • per annum
  • Burden hour
  • per response
  • Annual
  • burden hours
  • Hourly cost
  • per response
  • Annual
  • cost
  • Total 18,785 1 18,785 .6 11,271 30 338,130
    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: October 13, 2016. Harriet Tregoning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25633 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5909-N-73] 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Request for Withdrawals From Replacements Reserves/Residual Receipts Funds AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD has submitted the proposed information collection requirement described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The purpose of this notice is to allow for an additional 30 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; fax: 202-395-5806. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QMAC, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email Colette Pollard at [email protected] or telephone 202-402-3400. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A. The Federal Register notice that solicited public comment on the information collection for a period of 60 days was published on August 2, 2016 81 FR 50721.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Request for Withdrawals from Replacements Reserves/Residual Receipts Funds.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0555.

    Type of Request: Revision of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: HUD-9250.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Project owners are required to submit this information and required supporting documentation when requesting a withdrawal for funds from the Reserves for Replacement and/or Residual Receipt Funds. HUD reviews this information to ensure that funds are withdrawn and used in accordance with regulatory and administrative policy.

    Respondents: Affected public.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 28,412.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 7,671.

    Frequency of Response: Various.

    Average Hours per Response: 2.25.

    Total Estimated Burden: 17,260.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond: Including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: October 14, 2016. Colette Pollard, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25639 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX16CD00B951000] Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of revision of a currently approved information collection, (1028-0097).

    SUMMARY:

    We (the U.S. Geological Survey) are notifying the public that we have submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the information collection request (ICR) described below. To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this ICR. This collection is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    To ensure that your comments on this ICR are considered, OMB must receive them on or before November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please submit written comments on this information collection directly to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior, via email: ([email protected]); or by fax (202) 395-5806; and identify your submission with `OMB Control Number 1028-0097 `State Water Resources Research Institute Program Annual Application, National Competitive Grants and Reporting'. Please also forward a copy of your comments and suggestions on this information collection to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 807, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); (703) 648-7195 (fax); or [email protected].gov (email). Please reference `OMB Information Collection 1028-0097: `State Water Resources Research Institute Program Annual Application, National Competitive Grants and Reporting' in all correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Earl Greene, Chief, Office of External Research, U.S. Geological Survey, 5522 Research Park Drive, Baltimore, MD 21228 (mail); 443-498-5505 (phone); [email protected] (email). You may also find information about this ICR at www.reginfo.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended (42 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.), authorizes a research institute water resources or center in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands, and American Samoa. There are currently 54 such institutes, one in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. The institute in Guam is a regional institute serving Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Each of the 54 institutes submits an annual application for an allotment grant, national competitive grants, and provides an annual report on its activities under the grant. The State Water Resources Research Institute Program issues an annual call for applications from the institutes to support plans to promote research, training, information dissemination, and other activities meeting the needs of the States and Nation. The State Water Resources Research Institute Program also issues a second annual call for competitive grants to focus on water problems and issues of a regional or interstate nature beyond those of concern only to a single State. The U.S. Geological Survey has been designated as the administrator of the provisions of the Act.

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1028-0097.

    Form Number: NA.

    Title: State Water Resources Research Institute Program Annual Application, National Competitive Grants and Reporting.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Respondent Obligation: Necessary to obtain or retain benefits.

    Frequency of Collection: Annually.

    Description of Respondents: The state water resources research institutes authorized by the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended, and listed at http://water.usgs.gov/wrri/index.php.

    Estimated Total Number of Annual Responses: We expect to receive 54 applications and award 54 grants per year from State and local governments for the annual applications. We also expect to receive 65 applications from individuals and award 4 grants per year for the national competitive grants.

    Estimated Time per Response: 10,160 hours. This includes 100 hours per government applicant to prepare and submit the annual application; 40 hours per individual applicant to prepare and submit the national competitive grant application and 40 hours (total) per grantee to complete the annual reports.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 10,160.

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: There are no “non-hour cost” burdens associated with this IC.

    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until the OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obliged to respond.

    Comments: On June 17, 2016, we published a Federal Register notice (81 CFR 39710) announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval and soliciting comments. The comment period closed on August 16, 2016. We received no comments.

    III. Request for Comments

    We again invite comments concerning this ICR as to: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) how to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) how to minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your personal mailing address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personally identifiable information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us and the OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

    James Sayer, Information Collections Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25621 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR U.S. Geological Survey [GX16LR000F60100] Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a renewal of a currently approved information collection (1028-0059) Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

    SUMMARY:

    We (the U.S. Geological Survey) are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below. This collection consists of 1 form. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this IC. This collection is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    To ensure that your comments are considered, OMB must receive them on or before November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please submit your written comments on this IC directly to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior, at [email protected] (email); or (202) 395-5806 (fax). Please also forward a copy of your comments to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 807, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); 703-648-7197 (fax); or [email protected] (email). Reference “Information Collection 1028-0059, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty” in all correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lori E. Apodaca, National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 989, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); 703-648-7724 (phone); or [email protected] (email). You may also find information about this Information Collection Request (ICR) at www.reginfo.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The collection of this information is required by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and will, upon request, provide the CTBT Technical Secretariat with geographic locations of sites where chemical explosions greater than 300 tons TNT-equivalent have occurred.

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1028-0059.

    Form Number: USGS Form 9-4040-A.

    Title: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

    Type of Request: Extension without change of a currently approved collection.

    Affected Public: Business or Other-For-Profit Institutions: U.S. nonfuel minerals producers.

    Respondent Obligation: Participation is voluntary.

    Frequency of Collection: Annually.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 2,500.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 625 hours.

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: There are no “non-hour cost” burdens associated with this IC.

    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number and current expiration date.

    III. Request for Comments

    On May 4, 2016, a 60-day Federal Register notice (81 FR 26826) was published announcing this information collection. Public comments were solicited for 60 days ending July 5, 2016. We did not receive any public comments in response to that notice. We again invite comments as to: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden time to the proposed collection of information; (c) how to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) how to minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that the comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your personal mailing address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personally identifiable information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personally identifiable information from public view, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

    Michael J. Magyar, Associate Director, National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25631 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary [16XD4523WS DS64800000 DWSN00000.000000 DP64803] Privacy Act of 1974; as Amended; Notice To Amend an Existing System of Records AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of amendment to an existing system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Department of the Interior is issuing a public notice of its intent to amend the Department of the Interior Privacy Act system of records, “Safety Management Information System—Interior, DOI-60”, to add new routine uses, update existing routine uses, system manager, system location, categories of individuals covered by the system, categories of records in the system, authority for maintenance of the system, storage, safeguards, retention and disposal, system manager and address, notification procedures, records access and contesting procedures, and records source categories.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 23, 2016. This amended system will be effective November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Any person interested in commenting on this amendment may do so by: Submitting comments in writing to Teri Barnett, Departmental Privacy Officer, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 7456 MIB, Washington, DC 20240; hand-delivering comments to Teri Barnett, Departmental Privacy Officer, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 7456 MIB, Washington, DC 20240; or emailing comments to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Safety Management Information System Program Manager, Office of Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 5559 MIB, Washington, DC 20240, or by telephone at (202) 208-5549.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Occupational Safety and Health manages the “Safety Management Information System—Interior, DOI-60” system of records. The purpose of this system is to document and monitor injuries or illnesses incurred by DOI employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors, in accordance with the Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations and requirements. The Safety Management Information System (SMIS) was developed in response to the DOI Occupational Safety and Health Strategic Plan as a tool for DOI individuals who are injured or who file claims seeking benefits under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), and enables oversight of the DOI Worker's Compensation Program. The FECA establishes the system for processing and adjudicated claims that Federal employees and other covered individuals file with the Department of Labor's Office of Worker's Compensation Program (OWCP), seeking monetary, medical and similar benefits for injuries or deaths sustained while in the performance of duty. SMIS maintains information on accidents, injuries, and illnesses that occur on DOI property, and workers' compensation claims; provides summary data of injury, illness and property loss information to DOI bureaus and offices for analytical purposes to improve accident prevention policies, procedure, regulations, standards, and operations; and provides listings of individual cases to bureaus and offices to ensure that accidents are reported as appropriate. Some records in this system may be covered under government-wide system of records, DOL/GOVT-1, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Federal Employees' Compensation Act File, published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2012 (77 FR 1738).

    DOI is publishing this amended notice to reflect updated information in the system manager, system location, categories of individuals covered by the system, categories of records in the system, authority for maintenance of the system, storage, retrievability, safeguards, retention and disposal, system manager and address, notification procedures, records access and contesting procedures, and records source categories. Additionally, DOI is modifying existing routine uses to reflect updates consistent with standard DOI routine uses, and adding new routine uses to permit sharing of information with: (1) The Executive Office of the President to respond to an inquiry by the individual to whom that record pertains; (2) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in relation to legislative affairs mandates by OMB Circular A-19; (2) the Department of the Treasury to recover debts owed to the United States; (3) the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to conduct records management inspections; (4) Federal, state, territorial, local, tribal, or foreign agencies when there is an indication of a violation of law; (5) appropriate government agencies and organizations to provide information in response to court orders or for discovery purposes related to litigation; (6) an expert, consultant, or contractor that performs services on DOI's behalf to carry out the purposes of the system; (7) another Federal agency to assist that agency in responding to an inquiry by the individual to whom that record pertains; (8) the Department of Labor, Office of Worker's Compensation Program, to provide injury or illness data to process and adjudicate claims for compensation; (9) the news media and the public, with approval by the Public Affairs Officer and Senior Agency Official for Privacy in consultation with Counsel; (10) to a beneficiary in the event of death following an accident or injury or to an agent in the case of an individual's disability; and (11) to appropriate government agencies or organizations for the purpose of protecting public health and preventing exposure or transmission of communicable or quarantinable disease. DOI last published a system of records notice for SMIS in the Federal Register on April 7, 1999 (64 FR 16991) and published an amended notice on February 13, 2008 (73 FR 8342).

    The amendments to the system will be effective as proposed at the end of the comment period (the comment period will end 30 days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register), unless comments are received which would require a contrary determination. DOI will publish a revised notice if changes are made based upon a review of the comments received.

    II. Privacy Act

    The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, embodies fair information practice principles in a statutory framework governing the means by which Federal agencies collect, maintain, use, and disseminate individuals' personal information. The Privacy Act applies to information about individuals that is maintained in a “system of records.” A “system of records” is a group of any records under the control of an agency for which information is retrieved by the name of an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual. The Privacy Act defines an individual as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. As a matter of policy, DOI extends administrative Privacy Act protections to all individuals. Individuals may request access to their own records that are maintained in a system of records in the possession or under the control of DOI by complying with DOI Privacy Act regulations, 43 CFR part 2, subpart K.

    The Privacy Act requires each agency to publish in the Federal Register a description denoting the type and character of each system of records that the agency maintains, the routine uses of each system to make agency record keeping practices transparent, to notify individuals regarding the uses of their records, and to assist individuals to more easily find such records within the agency. The amended “Safety Management Information System (SMIS), DOI-60” system of records is published in its entirety below.

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), DOI has provided a report of this system of records to the Office of Management and Budget and to Congress.

    III. Public Disclosure

    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: October 19, 2016. Teri Barnett, Departmental Privacy Officer. SYSTEM NAME:

    Safety Management Information System (SMIS), DOI-60.

    SYSTEM CLASSIFICATION:

    Unclassified.

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    Records in this system are centrally managed at the Office of Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 5559 MIB, Washington, DC 20240. This system is physically located at the National Park Service, National Information Services Center, 12795 West Alameda Parkway, Lakewood, CO 80228.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    Individuals covered by the system include DOI employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and visitors who have accidents, injuries or illnesses on DOI property, or who file claims seeking benefits under FECA by reason of injuries or illnesses sustained while in the performance of official duty.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    This system contains records related to accidents, injuries and illnesses that occur on DOI property, to employees during the performance of their official duties, and the accompanying workers' compensation claim files. Records contain information such as name, Social Security number, date of birth, date of injury, date of death, injury code, gender, home address, personal or work email address, summary of accident, injury, or illness, and other information related to claims processing, reports of accidents or investigations, and remedial actions. Information about workplace accidents, workplace injuries or illness, and workers' compensation claims include occupation code, Office of Workers' Compensation Program (OWCP) case number, OWCP adjudication code, OWCP case status codes, OWCP medical costs, OWCP compensation costs, DOI employee salary information, a summary of the accident, injury or illness related to the worker's compensation claim for analytical purposes, and a descriptive narrative about the cause of the accident, injury or illness, and worker's compensation claim information.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Section 19, 29 U.S.C. 668; Health Service Program, 5 U.S.C. 7901; 31 U.S.C. 3721; Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters, 29 CFR 1960; and Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    The primary purpose of this system is to record and maintain information on accidents, injuries and illnesses incurred by DOI employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors. SMIS maintains information on workplace injuries, workplace illness, and workers' compensation claims; provides summary data of injury, illness and property loss information for analytical purposes to improve accident prevention policies, procedure, regulations, standards, and operations; provides listings of individual cases to ensure that accidents are reported as appropriate; and assist OWCP in the adjudication of employee worker's compensation claims.

    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act, all or a portion of the records or information contained in this system may be disclosed outside DOI as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    (1)(a) To any of the following entities or individuals, when the circumstances set forth in paragraph (b) are met:

    (i) The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ);

    (ii) A court or an adjudicative or other administrative body;

    (iii) A party in litigation before a court or an adjudicative or other administrative body; or

    (iv) Any DOI employee acting in his or her individual capacity if DOI or DOJ has agreed to represent that employee or pay for private representation of the employee;

    (b) When:

    (i) One of the following is a party to the proceeding or has an interest in the proceeding:

    (A) DOI or any component of DOI;

    (B) Any other Federal agency appearing before the Office of Hearings and Appeals;

    (C) Any DOI employee acting in his or her official capacity;

    (D) Any DOI employee acting in his or her individual capacity if DOI or DOJ has agreed to represent that employee or pay for private representation of the employee;

    (E) The United States, when DOJ determines that DOI is likely to be affected by the proceeding; and

    (ii) DOI deems the disclosure to be:

    (A) Relevant and necessary to the proceeding; and

    (B) Compatible with the purpose for which the records were compiled.

    (2) To a congressional office in response to a written inquiry that an individual covered by the system, or the heir of such individual if the covered individual is deceased, has made to the office.

    (3) To the Executive Office of the President in response to an inquiry from that office made at the request of the subject of a record or a third party on that person's behalf, or for a purpose compatible for which the records are collected or maintained.

    (4) To any criminal, civil, or regulatory law enforcement authority (whether Federal, state, territorial, local, tribal or foreign) when a record, either alone or in conjunction with other information, indicates a violation or potential violation of law—criminal, civil, or regulatory in nature, and the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were compiled.

    (5) To an official of another Federal agency to provide information needed in the performance of official duties related to reconciling or reconstructing data files or to enable that agency to respond to an inquiry by the individual to whom the record pertains.

    (6) To Federal, state, territorial, local, tribal, or foreign agencies that have requested information relevant or necessary to the hiring, firing or retention of an employee or contractor, or the issuance of a security clearance, license, contract, grant or other benefit, when the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were compiled.

    (7) To representatives of the National Archives and Records Administration to conduct records management inspections under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

    (8) To state, territorial and local governments and tribal organizations to provide information needed in response to court order and/or discovery purposes related to litigation, when the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were compiled.

    (9) To an expert, consultant, grantee, or contractor (including employees of the contractor) of DOI that performs services requiring access to these records on DOI's behalf to carry out the purposes of the system.

    (10) To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when:

    (a) It is suspected or confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in the system of records has been compromised; and

    (b) DOI has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interest, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by DOI or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and

    (c) The disclosure is made to such agencies, entities and persons who are reasonably necessary to assist in connection with DOI's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    (11) To the Office of Management and Budget during the coordination and clearance process in connection with legislative affairs as mandated by OMB Circular A-19.

    (12) To the Department of the Treasury to recover debts owed to the United States.

    (13) To the news media and the public, with the approval of the Public Affairs Officer in consultation with counsel and the Senior Agency Official for Privacy, where there exists a legitimate public interest in the disclosure of the information, except to the extent it is determined that release of the specific information in the context of a particular case would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    (14) To the Department of Labor to provide injury or illness data for processing and adjudicating claims under the Federal Employee's Compensation Act or workers compensation claims.

    (15) To another Federal agency to assist that agency in responding to an inquiry by the individual to whom that record pertains.

    (16) To a beneficiary in the event of death following an accident or injury or to an agent in the case of an individual's disability.

    (17) To appropriate Federal, State, tribal, or local, governmental agencies or organizations for the purpose of protecting the vital interests of persons, including to assist such agencies or organizations in preventing exposure to or transmission of a communicable or quarantinable disease, to combat other significant public health threats, or identify any public health threat or risk.

    DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:

    None.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: STORAGE:

    Records maintained in paper form are stored in file folders in file cabinets at secured DOI facilities. Electronic records are maintained in computer servers, computer hard drives, electronic databases, email, and electronic media such as removable drives, compact disc, magnetic disk, diskette, and computer tapes.

    RETRIEVABILITY:

    Information is retrieved by name and OWCP case number.

    SAFEGUARDS:

    The records contained in this system are safeguarded in accordance with 43 CFR 2.226 and other applicable security and privacy rules and policies. During normal hours of operation, paper records are maintained in locked file cabinets under the control of authorized personnel. Computerized records systems follow the National Institute of Standards and Technology privacy and security standards as developed to comply with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a; Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521; Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, 44 U.S.C. 3551-3558; and the Federal Information Processing Standards 199: Standards for Security Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems. Computer servers on which electronic records are stored are located in secured DOI facilities with physical, technical and administrative levels of security to prevent unauthorized access to the DOI network and information assets. Security controls include encryption, firewalls, audit logs, and network system security monitoring.

    Electronic data is protected through user identification, passwords, database permissions and software controls. Access to records in the system is limited to authorized personnel who have a need to access the records in the performance of their official duties, and each user's access is restricted to only the functions and data necessary to perform that person's job responsibilities. System administrators and authorized users are trained and required to follow established internal security protocols and must complete all security, privacy, and records management training and sign the DOI Rules of Behavior. A privacy impact assessment was conducted for SMIS to ensure appropriate controls and safeguards are in place to protect the information within the system.

    RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

    Records in this system are maintained under Departmental Records Schedule (DRS) 1.2A—Short-Term Human Resources, which has been approved by NARA (DAA-0048-2013-0001-0004). DRS-1.2A is a Department-wide records schedule that covers human resources or payroll files, including forms, reports, correspondence, and related medical and investigatory records concerning on-the-job injuries. The disposition for these records is temporary and the records are cut-off on termination of compensation or when the deadline for filing a claim has passed. Records are destroyed three years after cut-off.

    Records not covered by DRS-1.2A are maintained under DRS-1.1A, Short-Term Administration Records (DAA-0048-2013-0001-0001), and include investigative case files of fires, explosions, and accidents submitted for review and filing in other agencies or organizational elements, and reports and related papers concerning occurrences of such a minor nature that they are settled locally without referral to other organizational elements. The disposition for these records is temporary and the records are cut-off at the end of the fiscal year in which the records are created. Records are destroyed three years after cut-off.

    Records may be maintained under DRS-1.1B, Long-Term Administration Records (DAA-0048-2013-0001-0002), and include records related to motor vehicle accidents maintained by transportation offices that may be reported in SMIS. The disposition for these records is temporary and the records are cut-off at the end of the fiscal year in which files are closed. Records are destroyed seven years after cut-off. SMIS hardcopy data containing personal information must be disposed of in a manner that complies with the Privacy Act of 1974.

    Paper records are disposed of by shredding or pulping, and records contained on electronic media are degaussed or erased in accordance with the applicable records retention schedule, DOI 384 Departmental Manual 1 and NARA guidelines.

    SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS:

    SMIS Program Manager, Office of Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 5559, Washington, DC 20240.

    NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES:

    An individual requesting notification of the existence of records on himself or herself should send a signed, written inquiry to the System Manager identified above. The request envelope and letter should both be clearly marked “PRIVACY ACT INQUIRY.” A request for notification must meet the requirements of 43 CFR 2.235.

    RECORDS ACCESS PROCEDURES:

    An individual who is requesting records about himself or herself should send a signed, written inquiry to the System Manager identified above. The request should describe the records sought as specifically as possible. The request envelope and letter should both be clearly marked “PRIVACY ACT REQUEST FOR ACCESS.” A request for access must meet the requirements of 43 CFR 2.238.

    CONTESTING RECORDS PROCEDURES:

    An individual requesting corrections or the removal of material from his or her records should send a signed, written request to the System Manager identified above. A request for corrections or removal must meet the requirements of 43 CFR 2.246.

    RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    Information is provided by an employee, contractor, volunteer, or visitor who have been injured while performing official duties or while on DOI property, supervisors of injured employees, DOI safety managers, family members of an injured party, personnel records from the DOI Federal Personnel Payroll System, and the Department of Labor during the course of processing workers' compensation claims.

    EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM:

    None.

    [FR Doc. 2016-25649 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR957000-L14400000-BJ0000-17XL1109AF: HAG 17-0] Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/Washington AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, Portland, Oregon, 30 days from the date of this publication.

    Willamette Meridian Washington T. 28 N., R. 39 E., accepted September 13, 2016
    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the plats may be obtained from the Public Room at the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, 1220 S.W. 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204, upon required payment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kyle Hensley, (503) 808-6124, Branch of Geographic Sciences, Bureau of Land Management, 1220 S.W. 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204. 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:

    A person or party who wishes to protest against this survey must file a written notice with the Oregon State Director, Bureau of Land Management, stating that they wish to protest. A statement of reasons for a protest may be filed with the notice of protest and must be filed with the Oregon State Director within thirty days after the protest is filed. If a protest against the survey is received prior to the date of official filing, the filing will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat will not be officially filed until the day after all protests have been dismissed or otherwise resolved. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personally identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personally identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Mary J.M. Hartel, Chief Cadastral Surveyor of Oregon/Washington.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25658 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR02050400, 16XR0687NA, RX.18527901.3000000] Central Valley Project Improvement Act Water Management Plans AGENCY:

    Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Reclamation has made available to the public the Water Management Plans for four entities. For the purpose of this announcement, Water Management Plans (Plans) are considered the same as Water Conservation Plans. Reclamation is publishing this notice in order to allow the public an opportunity to review the Plans and comment on the preliminary determinations.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on the preliminary determinations on or before November 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Ms. Charlene Stemen, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-410, Sacramento, CA 95825; or via email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To be placed on a mailing list for any subsequent information, please contact Ms. Charlene Stemen at the email address above or at 916-978-5281 (TDD 978-5608).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    To meet the requirements of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 and the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982, the Bureau of Reclamation developed and published the Criteria for Evaluating Water Management Plans (Criteria). Each of the four entities listed below has developed a Plan that has been evaluated and preliminarily determined to meet the requirements of these Criteria. The following Plans are available for review:

    • Colusa County Water District • James Irrigation District • Lindmore Irrigation District • Sycamore Mutual Water Company

    We are inviting the public to comment on our preliminary (i.e., draft) determination of Plan adequacy. Section 3405(e) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (Title 34 Public Law 102-575), requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish and administer an office on Central Valley Project water conservation best management practices that shall “develop criteria for evaluating the adequacy of all water conservation plans developed by project contractors, including those plans required by Section 210 of the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982.” Also, according to Section 3405(e)(1), these criteria must be developed “with the purpose of promoting the highest level of water use efficiency reasonably achievable by project contractors using best available cost-effective technology and best management practices.” These criteria state that all parties (Contractors) that contract with Reclamation for water supplies (municipal and industrial contracts over 2,000 acre-feet and agricultural contracts over 2,000 irrigable acres) must prepare a Plan that contains the following information:

    1. Description of the District;

    2. Inventory of Water Resources;

    3. Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agricultural Contractors;

    4. BMPs for Urban Contractors;

    5. Plan Implementation;

    6. Exemption Process;

    7. Regional Criteria; and

    8. Five-Year Revisions.

    Reclamation evaluates Plans based on these criteria. A copy of these Plans will be available for review at Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Regional Office, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-410, Sacramento, CA 95825. Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review. If you wish to review a copy of these Plans, please contact Ms. Stemen.

    Public Disclosure

    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.

    Richard J. Woodley, Regional Resources Manager, Mid-Pacific Region, Bureau of Reclamation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25666 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4332-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [OMB Number 1140-0012] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Notice of Firearms Manufactured or Imported (ATF Form 2 (5320.2) AGENCY:

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), will submit 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.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until December 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments, particularly with respect to the estimated public burden or associated response time, have suggestions, need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions, or desire any additional information, please contact Gary Schaible, Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, National Firearms Act Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) either by mail at 99 New York Ave. NE., Washington, DC 20226, by email at [email protected], or by telephone 202-648-7165.

    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 agency, 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 (check justification or form 83-I): Revision of a currently approved collection.

    2 The Title of the Form/Collection: Notice of Firearms Manufactured or Imported.

    3 The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form number (if applicable): ATF Form 2 (5320.2).

    Component: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice.

    4 Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: Business or other for-profit.

    Other (if applicable): None.

    Abstract: The ATF Form 2 (5320.2) is required of (1) a person who is qualified to manufacture National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms, or (2) a person who is qualified to import NFA firearms to register manufactured or imported NFA firearm(s).

    5 An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An estimated 4,552 respondents will utilize the form, and it will take each respondent approximately 30 minutes to complete the form.

    6 An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated annual public burden associated with this collection is 7,773 hours.

    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., Room 3E-405B, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: October 18, 2016. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25566 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-FY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Agency Information Collection Activities; OMB Approvals; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act-Related Information Collection Requests ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval and effective date for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act-related Information Collection Requests (ICRs) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    DATES:

    The information collections referenced in this notice will take effect on October 18, 2016, the same date as for all other aspects of the Final Rules published August 19, 2016 (81 FR 56071 and 81 FR 55791).

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of these ICRs with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

    On an ong