Federal Register Vol. 81, No.222,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 222 (November 17, 2016)

Page Range80989-81640
FR Document

81_FR_222
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 81006 - Teacher Preparation IssuesPDF
81 FR 81639 - America Recycles Day, 2016PDF
81 FR 81057 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Anti-Circumvention Inquiries on the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty OrdersPDF
81 FR 81062 - Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe From India: Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty OrdersPDF
81 FR 81139 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 81233 - Sunshine Act Meetings; Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of DirectorsPDF
81 FR 81116 - Privacy Act of 1974; Publication of Notices of Systems of Records and Proposed New Systems of RecordsPDF
81 FR 81140 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 81172 - Job Corps: Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Rehabilitation or Replacement of Buildings at the Gulfport Job Corps Center, Gulfport, MississippiPDF
81 FR 81174 - Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH); Notice of Renewal of CharterPDF
81 FR 81146 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 81143 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 81144 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 81074 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Determination on Whether To List the Harbor Seals in Iliamna Lake, Alaska as a Threatened or Endangered SpeciesPDF
81 FR 81175 - Proposal Review Panel for Computing and Communication Foundations; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 81052 - State of Nebraska; Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management ProgramPDF
81 FR 81229 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received, Airbus SASPDF
81 FR 81172 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Evaluation of Strategies Used in TechHire and Strengthening Working Families Initiative Grant ProgramsPDF
81 FR 81007 - State of Nebraska; Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management ProgramPDF
81 FR 81229 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Northrop Grumman CorporationPDF
81 FR 81230 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Page, Andrew K.PDF
81 FR 81150 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 81149 - Government-Owned Invention; Availability for LicensingPDF
81 FR 81149 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 81151 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 81096 - Notice of a Public Meeting of the National Drinking Water Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 81096 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 81055 - Request for Nominations of Member To Serve on the Commerce Data Advisory Council (CDAC)PDF
81 FR 81099 - Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4-FinalPDF
81 FR 81056 - Foreign-Trade Zone 12-McAllen, Texas; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
81 FR 81056 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 189-Kent/Ottawa/Muskegon Counties, Michigan, Authorization of Production Activity, Adient US LLC, Subzone 189D, (Motorized Seat Adjusters for Motor Vehicles), Holland and Zeeland, MichiganPDF
81 FR 81228 - U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 81138 - Disability Advisory Committee; Announcement of Next MeetingPDF
81 FR 81228 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment” ExhibitionPDF
81 FR 81064 - Glycine From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances ReviewPDF
81 FR 81053 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Kansas Advisory Committee To Discuss the Committee's Draft Report Regarding Voting Rights in the State, as Well as Other Civil Rights Issues for Future InquiryPDF
81 FR 81054 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Minnesota Advisory Committee To Begin Preparations for a Public Hearing To Gather Testimony Regarding Civil Rights and Policing Practices in MinnesotaPDF
81 FR 81175 - Diablo Canyon Power Plant, Units 1 and 2PDF
81 FR 81176 - Wolf Creek Generating Station; Consideration of Approval of Transfer of LicensePDF
81 FR 81228 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 81320 - Privacy Act of 1974; Republication of Systems of Records NoticesPDF
81 FR 81233 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
81 FR 81236 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
81 FR 81230 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
81 FR 81156 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Request for ATF Background Investigation Information (ATF F 8620.65)PDF
81 FR 81139 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
81 FR 81235 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; DiabetesPDF
81 FR 80996 - DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP)PDF
81 FR 81086 - PetSmart, Inc., Provisional Acceptance of a Settlement Agreement and OrderPDF
81 FR 81239 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 81237 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 81154 - Notice of Public Meeting, Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council MeetingPDF
81 FR 81151 - Final Habitat Conservation Plan and Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement; Na Pua Makani Wind Energy Project, Oahu, HawaiiPDF
81 FR 81153 - Proposed Information Collection; Approval Procedures for Nontoxic Shot and Shot CoatingsPDF
81 FR 81053 - Notice of Implementation of the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Technology for Soil Erodibility System Calculations for the Natural Resources Conservation ServicePDF
81 FR 81065 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 81175 - Proposal Review; Notice of MeetingsPDF
81 FR 81003 - Security Zone; Potomac River and Anacostia River, and Adjacent Waters; Washington, DCPDF
81 FR 81224 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 81157 - Notice of Proposed Administrative Settlement Order on Consent and Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser AgreementPDF
81 FR 81157 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree and Proposed First Amendment to Another Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
81 FR 81154 - Certain Table Saws Incorporating Active Injury Mitigation Technology and Components Thereof; Commission Determination Not To Review a Final Initial Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Schedule for Briefing on Remedy, the Public Interest, and BondingPDF
81 FR 81089 - Shell Energy North America (US), L.P.; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
81 FR 81090 - Algonquin Power (Beaver Falls), LLC; Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping CommentsPDF
81 FR 81092 - Brookfield White Pine Hydro LLC; Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
81 FR 81093 - Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 81093 - Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 81091 - Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Northern Lights 2017 Expansion ProjectPDF
81 FR 81150 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing and/or Co-DevelopmentPDF
81 FR 81246 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
81 FR 81243 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8879-EOPDF
81 FR 81245 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8453-EOPDF
81 FR 81240 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Forms 8821 and 8821-APDF
81 FR 81243 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
81 FR 81242 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8855PDF
81 FR 81242 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
81 FR 81245 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
81 FR 81015 - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Civil Rights Update to the Federal-State AgreementPDF
81 FR 81189 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to, and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of, a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 2 Thereto, Relating To Listing and Trading of Shares of Cumberland Municipal Bond ETF under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
81 FR 81182 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the NYSE Arca Options Fee Schedule Effective November 3, 2016PDF
81 FR 81184 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Changes, as Modified by Amendments No. 1, Relating to Post-Only Orders and Orders With Midpoint PeggingPDF
81 FR 81202 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Implementation Date for Alternative Trading Systems To Report Sequence Numbers Under Rule 4554PDF
81 FR 81206 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Transaction Fees at Chapter XV, Section 2 Entitled “NASDAQ Options Market-Fees and Rebates”PDF
81 FR 81216 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Change Adopting a Decommission Extension Fee for Receipt of the NYSE MKT Order Imbalances Market Data ProductPDF
81 FR 81186 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Adopting a Decommission Extension Fee for Receipt of the NYSE Order Imbalances Market Data ProductPDF
81 FR 81213 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 12504 of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes and Rule 13504 of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes Relating to Motions To Dismiss in ArbitrationPDF
81 FR 81222 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 104 To Delete Subsection (g)(i)(A)(III) Prohibiting Designated Market Makers From Establishing a New High (Low) Price on the Exchange in a Security the DMM Has a Long (Short) Position During the Last Ten Minutes Prior to the Close of TradingPDF
81 FR 81210 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 104-Equities To Delete Subsection (g)(i)(A)(III) Prohibiting Designated Market Makers From Establishing a New High (Low) Price on the Exchange in a Security the DMM Has a Long (Short) Position During the Last Ten Minutes Prior to the Close of TradingPDF
81 FR 81219 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 4702 and Rule 4703 To Add a “Trade Now” Instruction to Certain Order TypesPDF
81 FR 81203 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 4702 and Rule 4703 To Add a “Trade Now” Instruction to Certain Order TypesPDF
81 FR 81200 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fees SchedulePDF
81 FR 81247 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 4952PDF
81 FR 81244 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
81 FR 81247 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 926PDF
81 FR 81241 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
81 FR 81248 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Revenue Procedure 2004-19PDF
81 FR 81137 - Consumer Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 81094 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Notification of Chemical Exports-TSCA Section 12(b)PDF
81 FR 81116 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Metal Can Manufacturing Surface Coating (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 81095 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Boat Manufacturing (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 81115 - NSPS for Secondary Brass and Bronze Production, Primary Copper Smelters, Primary Zinc Smelters, Primary Lead Smelters, Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants, and Ferroalloy Production Facilities (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 81098 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Magnetic Tape Coating Facilities (Renewal)PDF
81 FR 81238 - Limitation on Claims Against Proposed Public Transportation ProjectsPDF
81 FR 81023 - Proposed Addition of New Grape Variety Names for American WinesPDF
81 FR 81066 - Revised National Environmental Policy Act Implementing ProceduresPDF
81 FR 81179 - Information Collection Request Submission for OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 81158 - Notice of Proposed Exemption Involving UBS Assets Management (Americas) Inc.; UBS Realty Investors LLC; UBS Hedge Fund Solutions LLC; UBS O'Connor LLC; and Certain Future Affiliates in UBS's Asset Management and Wealth Management Americas Divisions (Collectively, the Applicants or the UBS QPAMs) Located in Chicago, Illinois; Hartford, Connecticut; New York, New York; and Chicago, Illinois, RespectivelyPDF
81 FR 81240 - Sanctions Action Pursuant to Executive Order 13224PDF
81 FR 81174 - NASA Advisory Council; MeetingPDF
81 FR 81140 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 81139 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 81049 - Chlorpyrifos; Tolerance Revocations; Notice of Data Availability and Request for CommentPDF
81 FR 81148 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 81147 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 81018 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 80993 - Liabilities Recognized as Recourse Partnership Liabilities Under Section 752; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 80994 - Liabilities Recognized as Recourse Partnership Liabilities Under Section 752; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 80994 - Civil Penalty Inflation AdjustmentPDF
81 FR 81033 - Adjustments to Cost Recovery Fees Relating to the Regulation of Oil, Gas, and Sulfur Activities on the Outer Continental ShelfPDF
81 FR 81276 - Implementation of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: Nonattainment Area Classifications and State Implementation Plan RequirementsPDF
81 FR 81250 - Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical SubstancesPDF
81 FR 81021 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 80989 - Equal Access to Housing in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs-Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender IdentityPDF
81 FR 81516 - Onshore Oil and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Measurement of GasPDF
81 FR 81356 - Onshore Oil and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Site SecurityPDF
81 FR 81462 - Onshore Oil and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Measurement of OilPDF

Issue

81 222 Thursday, November 17, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau PROPOSED RULES New Grape Variety Names for American Wines, 81023-81033 2016-27573 Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request for Background Investigation Information, 81156-81157 2016-27648 Safety Enviromental Enforcement Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement RULES Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustments, 80994-80996 2016-27503 PROPOSED RULES Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on Outer Continental Shelf: Adjustments to Cost Recovery Fees, 81033-81049 2016-27500 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81143-81147 2016-27691 2016-27692 2016-27693 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81148-81149 2016-27550 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Correction, 81147-81148 2016-27549 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Kansas Advisory Committee, 81053-81054 2016-27658 Minnesota Advisory Committee, 81054-81055 2016-27657 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Security Zones: Potomac River, Anacostia River, and Adjacent Waters, Washington, DC, 81003-81006 2016-27628 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economics and Statistics Administration

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Settlement Agreements and Orders: PetSmart, Inc., 81086-81089 2016-27644 Defense Department Defense Department RULES DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, 80996-81003 2016-27645 Economics Statistics Economics and Statistics Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Commerce Data Advisory Council, 81055-81056 2016-27668 Education Department Education Department RULES Teacher Preparation Issues, 81006-81007 C1--2016--24856 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Proposed Exemptions: UBS Assets Management (Americas) Inc., et al., 81158-81172 2016-27564 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Job Corps: Rehabilitation or Replacement of Buildings at Gulfport Job Corps Center, Gulfport, MS, 81172 2016-27696 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Significant New Use: Rules on Certain Chemical Substances, 81250-81274 2016-27326 State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions: Nebraska, 81007-81014 2016-27680 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone, 81276-81317 2016-27333 State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions: Nebraska, 81052 2016-27683 Tolerance Revocations: Chlorpyrifos, 81049-81052 2016-27552 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: NESHAP for Boat Manufacturing, 81095-81096 2016-27578 NESHAP for Metal Can Manufacturing Surface Coating, 81116 2016-27579 Notification of Chemical Exports, 81094-81095 2016-27580 NSPS for Magnetic Tape Coating Facilities, 81098-81099 2016-27576 NSPS for Secondary Brass and Bronze Production, Primary Copper Smelters, Primary Zinc Smelters, Primary Lead Smelters, Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants, and Ferroalloy Production Facilities, 81115 2016-27577 Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4—Final, 81099-81114 2016-27667 Meetings: National Drinking Water Advisory Council, 81096 2016-27671 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 81096-81098 2016-27669 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 81116-81137 2016-27702 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 81018-81021 2016-27529 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 81021-81023 2016-27310 NOTICES Petitions for Exemption; Summaries: Airbus SAS, 81229-81230 2016-27682 Andrew K. Page, 81230 2016-27678 Northrop Grumman Corp., 81229 2016-27679 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Meetings: Consumer Advisory Committee, 81137-81138 2016-27583 Disability Advisory Committee, 81138-81139 2016-27663 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 81139 2016-27829 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Algonquin Power (Beaver Falls), LLC, 81090-81091 2016-27618 Florida Gas Transmission Co., LLC, 81093-81094 2016-27616 Texas Eastern Transmission, LP, 81093 2016-27615 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Brookfield White Pine Hydro, LLC, 81092 2016-27617 Northern Natural Gas Co., Northern Lights Expansion Project, 81091-81092 2016-27614 License Applications: Shell Energy North America (US), LP, 81089-81090 2016-27619 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 81139 2016-27647 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors, 81233 2016-27781 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes, 81235-81236 2016-27646 Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 81233-81235 2016-27651 Vision, 81230-81233, 81236-81237 2016-27649 2016-27650 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 81140 2016-27559 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 81139-81140 2016-27558 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81140-81143 2016-27701 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81237-81240 2016-27641 2016-27642 Limitation on Claims Against Proposed Public Transportation Projects, 81238-81239 2016-27575 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Approval Procedures for Nontoxic Shot and Shot Coatings, 81153-81154 2016-27634 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Na Pua Makani Wind Energy Project, Oahu, HI, 81151-81153 2016-27635 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service PROPOSED RULES Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Civil Rights Update to Federal-State Agreement, 81015-81018 2016-27604 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 81240 2016-27562 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities; Authorizations: Adient US, LLC, Subzone 189D, Foreign-Trade Zone 189, Kent/Ottawa/Muskegon Counties, MI, 81056 2016-27665 Reorganizations under Alternative Site Frameworks: Foreign-Trade Zone 12, McAllen, TX, 81056-81057 2016-27666 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department RULES Equal Access to Housing in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity, 80989-80993 2016-27196 Interior Interior Department See

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Liabilities Recognized as Recourse Partnership Liabilities under Section 752; Correction, 80993-80994 2016-27516 2016-27517 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81240-81248 2016-27585 2016-27586 2016-27587 2016-27588 2016-27589 2016-27601 2016-27605 2016-27606 2016-27607 2016-27608 2016-27609 2016-27610 2016-27611 2016-27612 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China, 81057-81062 2016-27850 Glycine from the People's Republic of China, 81064-81065 2016-27660 Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India, 81062-81064 2016-27846 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Table Saws Incorporating Active Injury Mitigation Technology and Components Thereof, 81154-81156 2016-27622 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

NOTICES Proposed Administrative Settlement Orders on Consents and Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Agreements: Star Forge, LLC, 81157 2016-27624 Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Air Act, 81157-81158 2016-27623
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of Strategies Used in TechHire and Strengthening Working Families Initiative Grant Programs, 81172-81174 2016-27681
Land Land Management Bureau RULES Onshore Oil and Gas Operations: Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Measurement of Gas, 81516-81636 2016-25410 Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Measurement of Oil, 81462-81513 2016-25405 Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Site Security, 81356-81459 2016-25407 NOTICES Meetings: Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council, 81154 2016-27636 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: NASA Advisory Council, 81174-81175 2016-27560 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 81149-81151 2016-27613 2016-27676 Meetings: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 81149-81151 2016-27674 2016-27675 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 81150 2016-27677 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81065-81066 2016-27632 Endangered and Threatened Species: Determination on Whether to List Harbor Seals in Iliamna Lake, AK, 81074-81086 2016-27690 National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures, 81066-81074 2016-27567 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Proposal Panel Review for Computing and Communication Foundations, 81175 2016-27689 Proposal Review, 81175 2016-27629 National Resources Natural Resources Conservation Service NOTICES Implementation of Water Erosion Prediction Project Technology for Soil Erodibility System Calculations, 81053 2016-27633 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES License Transfers; Applications Wolf Creek Generating Station, 81176-81179 2016-27654 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 81320-81354 2016-27652 Request for action: Diablo Canyon Power Plant, Units 1 and 2, 81175-81176 2016-27656 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, 81174 2016-27695 Peace Peace Corps NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81179-81182 2016-27565 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: America Recycles Day (Proc. 9543), 81637-81640 2016-27916 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 81200-81202 2016-27590 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 81202-81203, 81213-81216 2016-27595 2016-27599 NASDAQ BX, Inc., 81203-81206 2016-27591 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 81184-81186, 81206-81209, 81219-81221 2016-27592 2016-27598 2016-27600 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 81186-81189, 81222-81224 2016-27594 2016-27596 NYSE Arca, Inc., 81182-81184, 81189-81199 2016-27602 2016-27603 NYSE MKT, LLC, 81210-81213, 81216-81219 2016-27593 2016-27597 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81224-81228 2016-27627 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment, 81228 2016-27662 Meetings: U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, 81228 2016-27664 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 81228-81229 2016-27653 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 81250-81274 2016-27326 Part III Environmental Protection Agency, 81276-81317 2016-27333 Part IV Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 81320-81354 2016-27652 Part V Interior Department, Land Management Bureau, 81356-81459 2016-25407 Part VI Interior Department, Land Management Bureau, 81462-81513 2016-25405 Part VII Interior Department, Land Management Bureau, 81516-81636 2016-25410 Part VIII Presidential Documents, 81637-81640 2016-27916 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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81 222 Thursday, November 17, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR 5, 1000, 1003, 1005, 1006 and 1007 [Docket No. FR-5861-F-03] RIN 2506-AC40 Equal Access to Housing in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs—Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, HUD.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

As the Nation's housing agency, HUD has the unique charge to promote the Federal goal of providing decent housing and a suitable living environment for all. In February 2012, HUD issued a final rule requiring HUD programs to make eligibility determinations for individuals seeking admission to HUD-assisted or -insured housing without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The 2012 rule did not, however, cover HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. Through this final rule, HUD revises its Native American and Native Hawaiian program regulations to ensure all eligible individuals and families, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, have access to these programs. This final rule seeks to provide consistency across HUD programs and restates the Department's commitment that eligibility for admission and continued occupancy in HUD-assisted and -insured housing is not based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

DATES:

Effective: December 19, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Heidi J. Frechette, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Native American Housing Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4126, Washington, DC 20410-4000; telephone number 202-402-6321 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (this is a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background—Tribal Consultation and the May 9, 2016, Proposed Rule

On February 3, 2012, at 77 FR 5662, HUD issued a final rule entitled “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” which required that HUD-assisted and -insured housing be made available in accordance with program eligibility requirements and without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, but excluded HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. HUD committed in the 2012 rule's preamble to engage in tribal consultation before applying these same requirements to its Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. HUD engaged in tribal consultation, in the form of a “Dear Tribal Leader Letter,” before proceeding with this rulemaking.

On May 9, 2016, HUD published a proposed rule, at 81 FR 28037, to amend its Native American and Native Hawaiian program regulations to require that access be provided without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status in housing assisted or insured under these programs. The proposed rule sought to add the equal access provisions in 24 CFR 5.105(a)(2) and adopt the definitions of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” provided in § 5.100 to the Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. Specifically, the proposed rule sought to amend regulations for the following: Native American Housing Activities, at 24 CFR part 1000; Community Development Block Grants for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages, at 24 CFR part 1003; the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program, at 24 CFR part 1005; the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Program, at 24 CFR part 1006; and Section 184A Loan Guarantees For Native Hawaiian Housing, at 24 CFR part 1007. HUD also proposed to make conforming amendments to § 5.105(a)(2) to make explicit that the requirements in § 5.105(a)(2) apply to housing with loans guaranteed or insured under one of HUD's Native American or Native Hawaiian housing programs, and not solely to loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). A detailed description of the proposed amendments can be found in the preamble to the proposed rule available at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/granule/FR-2016-05-09/2016-10753.

II. Final Rule

This final rule follows publication of the May 9, 2016, proposed rule and takes into consideration the public comments received. The public comment period closed on July 8, 2016, and HUD received 13 distinct comments relating to the proposed rule. HUD received public comments from individuals, tribal nations, housing authorities, nonprofit social service providers, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organizations. Section III of this preamble responds to the comments received on the proposed rule. HUD has decided to adopt the proposed rule and makes a minor change to § 5.105(a)(2) to clarify that all loans insured by HUD are subject to the equal access provisions, not only loans insured by FHA. This final rule ensures that eligibility determinations for housing-assisted or -insured under HUD's Native American or Native Hawaiian housing programs are made without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

HUD notes that in adopting this final rule with the cross-references to § 5.105(a)(2), the changes to § 5.105(a) that were adopted in HUD's final rule entitled “Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual's Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs” (the CPD Equal Access Rule), at 81 FR 64763, will apply to HUD's Native American or Native Hawaiian housing programs. Those changes include amended definitions of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” and the removal of the prohibition of inquiries provision that was previously at § 5.105(a)(2)(ii). The amended “gender identity” definition states that gender identity “means the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth and regardless of the person's perceived gender identity. Perceived gender identity means the gender with which a person is perceived to identify based on that person's appearance, behavior, expression, other gender related characteristics, or sex assigned to the individual at birth or identified in documents.” The amended “sexual orientation” definition states that sexual orientation “means one's emotional or physical attraction to the same and/or opposite sex (e.g., homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality).” See 81 FR 64763 for further information.

III. Public Comments Submitted on Proposed Rule and HUD's Responses

HUD received 13 distinct comments relating to the proposed rule. Most commenters were very supportive and appreciative of HUD's efforts to ensure access in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs for LGBT individuals. Although the majority of commenters supported the rule as important to protect the rights of LGBT individuals, some expressed different opinions on the way the rule could be improved to ensure that vulnerable populations are protected. Many of the commenters stated that the rule's language needed to be clarified to ensure greater protections for the LGBT population. Commenters provided their overall views regarding the rule, as well as specific comments on HUD's regulatory text. All comments can be viewed at https://www.regulations.gov/.1

1 Please note, www.regulations.gov assigns numbers to the comments starting with 0002. The number 0001 is reserved for the Federal Register publication (the November 20, 2015, proposed rule).

HUD appreciates all of the comments offered in response to HUD's proposed rule.

Comment: Applying this rule to Native American and Native Hawaiian communities promotes consistent policies throughout all of HUD's programs. Commenters stated that it is important to ensure consistency where there is overlap between HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs and other HUD programs, which are already subject to the requirements of the Equal Access Rule. Many commenters wrote that the rule is a strong step in the direction of alleviating discrimination against LGBT persons in Native American and Native Hawaiian populations and promoting the Federal goal of providing decent housing and a suitable living environment for all.

HUD Response: As the Nation's housing agency, it is important that HUD maintain consistent policies across its programs, inclusive of Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. HUD issued guidance to assist LGBT individuals and families facing housing discrimination. (See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/LGBT_Housing_Discrimination). In addition to the guidance, HUD initiated Equal Access rule rulemaking to make clear that HUD's rental housing and homeownership programs are open to all eligible persons regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. This rule furthers HUD's goal of equal treatment for all individuals who are eligible for HUD-assisted or -insured housing.

Comment: The rule is aligned with traditional Native tribal beliefs. Commenters stated that Native nations have not historically discriminated against those who are LGBT. Commenters stated that Native nations believe in acceptance of all persons, no matter their differences, and that traditional practices teach them that no one is to be excluded or homeless because of their sexual orientation. Another commenter stated that promulgating the rule demonstrates respect for the values of the Native American and Native Hawaiian communities and American society as a whole. A commenter provided sources that demonstrate that Native American tribes “respected” and “highly revered” LGBT people historically and that Native Hawaiians likely accepted LGBT individuals prior to colonization by Western and Christian influences. Commenters described their own and others' experiences with Native cultures and how inclusion of all, including the LGBT community, was not in violation of Native values.

HUD Response: HUD appreciates the comments stating that the Equal Access rule, as applied to Native American and Native Hawaiian HUD-assisted or -insured housing, is consistent with Native tribal beliefs.

Comment: Social stigma against LGBT individuals is not uncommon and has caused disparities in housing access for LGBT Native members. Commenters cited statistics that indicated access to safe housing for members of the LGBT communities may be hard to find—citing that between 20 and 40 percent of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBT, questioning, intersex, or two spirit; and 26 percent of LGBT youth were forced from their home upon revealing their sexual identity to their parents. Commenters also noted that it is difficult to fully assess the impact of housing discrimination in the LGBT community because of a lack of nationwide data collection. Commenters cited general statistics outside of Native communities from a 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation study that shows that 34 percent of LGB people reported having experienced, or knowing someone who had experienced, housing discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. Further, commenters cited a 2006 Michigan housing study showing that 27 percent of same-sex test couples inquiring about renting or buying housing in Michigan encountered discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.

HUD Response: The exclusion of an individual or family from HUD housing due to that individual's sexual orientation or gender identity is inconsistent with HUD's mission to ensure decent housing and a suitable living environment for all. The housing discrimination, harassment, and homelessness that LGBT persons face in the United States is part of what precipitated HUD's rulemaking in this area. Accordingly, it is incumbent on HUD to ensure that the regulations governing its Native American and Native Hawaiian housing programs provide the same protections for LGBT persons as HUD's other programs.

Comment: Research reveals that the transgender community is even more vulnerable to housing discrimination. Commenters cited the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which found that 47 percent of American Indians and American Natives reported having been denied a home or apartment because they were transgender or gender nonconforming. The survey also found that 19 percent of transgender respondents reported being refused a home or apartment due to their sexual orientation and 11 percent of transgender respondents reported being evicted because of their gender identity or expression. The commenters further said that one in five respondents (19 percent) have experienced homelessness as a result of discrimination or mistreatment because of their gender identity or expression, and that discrimination was particularly pronounced for transgender people of color.

HUD Response: HUD is aware of the significant challenges that transgender persons face in Native American and Native Hawaiian communities when attempting to access housing and shelter. HUD understands that housing discrimination and equal access are critical issues for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, as they are for everyone, and HUD's rulemaking in this area is in direct response. HUD believes that by requiring equal access for LGBT individuals, including gender nonconforming persons, in this regulation, HUD will be better able to address concerns of access to HUD-assisted and -insured housing in its Native American and Hawaiian Native programs.

Comment: The current definition of gender identity under § 5.100, providing that gender identity means “actual or perceived gender-related characteristics” is unclear. Commenters stated that this definition could cause difficulty in enforcement of the proposed rule and that HUD should specify how it intends to determine “the gender with which a person identifies,” in order to prevent misinterpretation by agency employees. One commenter stated the rule's language needs to be unequivocally clear and that the difference between “actual” and “perceived” characteristics is ambiguous. The commenter stated that the definition of gender identity must be clear, so that programs are able to refrain from discriminatory practices when making placement decisions and not be in violation of the Equal Access Rule. Many commenters supported the adoption of the revised definitions of gender identity and perceived gender identity set forth in the CPD Equal Access Rule and use of the definitions in all applications of HUD's Equal Access Rules.

A commenter stated that the current “gender identity” language under § 5.100 states that gender identity refers to “actual or perceived gender-related characteristics,” and proposed a change to the language to state that gender identity is “the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth or perceived gender identity.”

HUD Response: HUD appreciates the suggested revisions to the definition of “gender identity” offered by the commenters, and HUD agrees that a consistent definition across its programs makes sense. Therefore, as noted above, HUD will apply the amended definition of “gender identity” as provided in the CPD Equal Access Rule to HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs.

Comment: HUD should expressly reinforce the broad definition of “family” that was included in the final version of the Equal Access Rule adopted in 2012. Commenters stated that the provision in the Equal Access Rule of 2012 that an eligible family, including an individual, may not be excluded from housing programs because of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status was one of the core advancements of that critically important rule, and it should apply equally to the extension of the rule to HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. Commenters noted that despite the Supreme Court's affirmation of marriage equality nationwide, key challenges for two spirit and LGBT families remain, including impediments to two spirit and LGBT people creating legal relationships with their children, which makes the application of a broad and inclusive definition of “family” essential. Commenters stated that the final rule should be updated to make the definition of “family” in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs consistent with the definition of family currently provided in § 5.403, including clarifying that the definition applies “regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.”

HUD Response: Certain regulations governing the Native American and Native Hawaiian housing programs covered by this rule already include a definition of the term “family.” The regulatory definitions are derived directly from corresponding statutory definitions of the term “family.” For instance, section 4(6) of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) (25 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.) provides a definition of family. The definition in the implementing program regulation at § 1000.10 mirrors that statutory definition. Although the Native American and Native Hawaiian housing programs' statutory and regulatory definitions of family vary from the definition of family in § 5.403, the substantive rights and protections in § 5.105(a)(2) apply without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. Therefore, HUD does not believe it is necessary to amend the definition of family in the regulations governing these programs in order to provide these substantive rights and protections.

Comment: This rule encroaches upon sovereignty and self-determination of Indian tribes. A commenter stated that the final rule encroaches upon the sovereignty and self-determination of Indian tribes, which the Federal Government has committed to uphold, which is in violation of Executive Order 13175. The commenter stated that the final rule is adverse to Indian tribes' ability to self-govern their own internal affairs, including the governance of domestic relations. The same commenter also stated that some tribes require cohabiting couples to be married, other tribes consider it a criminal offense for cohabiting couples not to be married, other tribes do not have a preference, and that due to differing beliefs tribes should have the right to govern domestic relations and not be forced to adopt the Equal Access in Native American and Native Hawaiian final rule.

HUD Response: HUD's rule does not violate of Executive Order 13175 entitled “Consultation with Indian Tribal Governments.” HUD's rule only pertains to the administration of HUD's housing programs and does not regulate domestic relations and the recognition of marriage. The rule simply establishes program requirements that ensure that Native American and Native Hawaiian families receiving assistance under these programs are afforded the same protections as all other families receiving assistance under HUD's other programs. A tribe that participates in HUD's programs, and a lender that chooses to become an approved lender under HUD's loan guarantee programs, must comply with all program requirements established by HUD. HUD reaffirms its commitment to ensure the furtherance of tribal sovereignty and self-determination, and HUD emphasizes that this rule ensures that Native American families are afforded equal access to its Native American housing programs.

Comment: HUD must follow Executive Order 13175. Some commenters stated that HUD did not follow the requirements of Executive Order 13175, which requires that agencies consult and coordinate with Indian tribes in the development of policies that impact Indian communities, when implementing this proposed rule. Commenters stated that HUD's attempt to engage tribes regarding the proposed rule via comments, in response to Federal Register notices, and letters does not translate to a collaborative effort between HUD and tribal communities, nor do HUD's actions exemplify a good faith effort to consult with tribes. One commenter stated HUD should have engaged in more meaningful government-to-government consultations with tribal entities that commented on HUD's January 2015 letter about their concerns. The same commenter wrote that HUD does not know how to engage in meaningful consultation within Native communities, citing that HUD's January 2015 letter was addressed to tribal leaders, while HUD's May 2016 letter was addressed to Native American & Native Hawaiian Leaders. In contrast, other commenters stated that HUD's consultation was fully adequate and reached the necessary standard level of “consultation” under Executive Order 13175.

HUD Response: HUD's tribal consultation policy (81 FR 40893) is to consult with Indian tribes early in the rulemaking process on matters that have tribal implications. HUD uses a wide variety of methods to conduct tribal consultation with Indian tribes, including sending letters to tribal leaders requesting feedback on proposed policies. Accordingly, on January 28, 2015, HUD sent letters to tribal leaders informing them that HUD was considering whether to revise the regulations governing HUD's Native American housing programs to provide Native American families participating in these programs with the same equal access protections as families receiving assistance under HUD's other programs. HUD requested the opinions of tribal leaders in order to inform its decision to proceed with the rulemaking. HUD received two comments and considered these comments before proceeding with this rulemaking. The same day that HUD published the proposed rule in the Federal Register, May 9, 2016, HUD sent a second letter to inform tribal leaders of the rule's publication and strongly encouraged tribal leaders to provide feedback through the public comment period. HUD believes that the process it has undertaken meets the requirements of Executive Order 13175.

Comment: HUD must use negotiated rulemaking to make regulatory changes. A commenter stated that HUD is incorrect in asserting that the agency is not required to undergo negotiated rulemaking under section 106(b)(2)(A) of NAHASDA (25 U.S.C. 4166(b)(2)(A)) to implement this final rule. Specifically, the commenter stated that HUD's regulations at § 1000.12 provide that other nondiscrimination requirements do not apply to actions under NAHASDA by federally recognized tribes and their tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs) and that HUD should follow the same course that it pursued in the past, when dealing with issues of nondiscrimination, by initiating negotiated rulemaking to consider whether § 5.105(a)(2)(i) should be applicable to federally recognized tribes and their TDHEs. The commenter also wrote that this provision will impact how other NAHASDA statutory requirements are impacted and how the rights of participants are protected.

HUD Response: As HUD stated in the proposed rule, the requirement to undertake negotiated rulemaking pertains to regulations that are required to implement NAHASDA statutory requirements. See 25 U.S.C. 4116(b)(2)(A). This rule pertains to HUD's general cross-cutting nondiscrimination requirements that apply across HUD and does not pertain to regulations that are required to implement NAHASDA statutory requirements. Therefore, HUD asserts that such requirements are not subject to negotiated rulemaking under NAHASDA. The commenter cited § 1000.12 as supporting the reason why nondiscrimination requirements should be implemented through negotiated rulemaking. However, the requirements at § 1000.12 either mirror the nondiscrimination requirements in section 201 of NAHASDA, or restate the applicability of Federal nondiscrimination statutes that apply on their face to programs authorized under NAHASDA. HUD finds the reference to the manner in which § 1000.12 was issued to be unpersuasive here.

IV. Findings and Certifications Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) generally requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule does not impose any new costs, or modify existing costs, applicable to HUD grantees. Rather, the purpose of this final rule is to ensure equal access to HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Environmental Impact

This final rule sets forth nondiscrimination standards. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(3), this rule is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

Executive Order 13132 (entitled “Federalism”) prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule either: (i) Imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments and is not required by statute or (ii) preempts State law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive order. This final rule would not have federalism implications and would not impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments or preempt State law within the meaning of the Executive order.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) (UMRA) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and on the private sector. This final rule would not impose any Federal mandates on any State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector within the meaning of the UMRA.

List of Subjects 24 CFR Part 5

Administrative practice and procedure, Aged, Claims, Drug abuse, Drug traffic control, Grant programs—housing and community development, Grant programs—Indians, Individuals with disabilities, Loan programs—housing and community development, Low and moderate income housing, Mortgage insurance, Pets, Public housing, Rent subsidies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

24 CFR Part 1000

Aged, Community development block grants, Grant programs—housing and community development, Grant programs—Indians, Indians, Individuals with disabilities, Public housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

24 CFR Part 1003

Alaska, Community development block grants, Grant programs—housing and community development, Grant programs—Indians, Indians, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

24 CFR Part 1005

Indians, Loan programs—Indians, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

24 CFR Part 1006

Community development block grants, Grant programs—housing and community development, Grant programs—Indians, Hawaiian Natives, Low and moderate income housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

24 CFR Part 1007

Hawaiian Natives, Loan programs—housing and community development, Loan programs—Indians, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the preamble, HUD amends 24 CFR parts 5, 1000, 1003, 1005, 1006, and 1007, as follows:

PART 5—GENERAL HUD PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS; WAIVERS 1. The authority citation for part 5 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 1437a, 1437c, 1437d, 1437f, 1437n, 3535(d), Sec. 327, Pub. L. 109-115, 119 Stat. 2936, and Sec. 607, Pub. L. 109-162, 119 Stat. 3051.

2. In § 5.105, revise paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
§ 5.105 Other Federal requirements.

(a) * * *

(2) Equal access to HUD-assisted or -insured housing. A determination of eligibility for housing that is assisted by HUD or subject to a mortgage insured by HUD shall be made in accordance with the eligibility requirements provided for such program by HUD, and such housing shall be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

PART 1000—NATIVE AMERICAN HOUSING ACTIVITIES 3. The authority citation for part 1000 continues to read as follows: Authority:

25 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

4. In § 1000.12, add paragraph (e) to read as follows:
§ 1000.12 What nondiscrimination requirements are applicable?

(e) The equal access to HUD-assisted or -insured housing requirements in 24 CFR 5.105(a)(2).

PART 1003—COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS FOR INDIAN TRIBES AND ALASKA NATIVE VILLAGES 5. The authority citation for part 1003 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 3535(d) and 5301 et seq.

6. In § 1003.601, add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 1003.601 Nondiscrimination.

(c) A grantee shall comply with the equal access to HUD-assisted or -insured housing requirements in 24 CFR 5.105(a)(2).

PART 1005—LOAN GUARANTEES FOR INDIAN HOUSING 7. The authority citation for part 1005 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1715z-13a; 15 U.S.C. 1639c; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

8. Add § 1005.115 to read as follows:
§ 1005.115 Equal Access.

The equal access to HUD-assisted or -insured housing requirements in 24 CFR 5.105(a)(2) apply to this part.

PART 1006—NATIVE HAWAIIAN HOUSING BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM 9. The authority citation for part 1006 continues to read as follows: Authority:

25 U.S.C. 4221 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

10. In § 1006.355, revise the introductory paragraph and add paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 1006.355 Nondiscrimination requirements.

Program eligibility under the Act and this part may be restricted to Native Hawaiians. Subject to the preceding sentence, no person may be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability, or excluded from program eligibility because of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The following nondiscrimination requirements are applicable to the use of NHHBG funds:

(d) The equal access to HUD-assisted or -insured housing requirements in 24 CFR 5.105(a)(2).

PART 1007—SECTION 184A LOAN GUARANTEES FOR NATIVE HAWAIIAN HOUSING 11. The authority citation for part 1007 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1715z-13b; 15 U.S.C. 1639c; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

12. Amend § 1007.45 by revising the section heading, redesignating the undesignated paragraph as paragraph (a), and adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 1007.45 Nondiscrimination.

(b) The equal access to HUD-assisted or -insured housing requirements in 24 CFR 5.105(a)(2) apply to this part.

Dated: November 4, 2016. Lourdes Castro Ramirez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. Nani A. Coloretti, Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-27196 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9788] RIN 1545-BM84 Liabilities Recognized as Recourse Partnership Liabilities Under Section 752; Correction AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Correcting amendment.

SUMMARY:

This document contains corrections to final and temporary regulations (TD 9788) that were published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 (81 FR 69282). The final and temporary regulations provide rules concerning how liabilities are allocated for purposes of section 707 of the Internal Revenue Code and when certain obligations are recognized for purposes of determining whether a liability is a recourse partnership liability under section 752.

DATES:

This correction is effective November 17, 2016 and is applicable on and after January 3, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Caroline E. Hay or Deane M. Burke (202) 317-5279 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The final and temporary regulations (TD 9788) that are the subject of this correction are under sections 707 and 752 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Need for Correction

As published, the final and temporary regulations (TD 9788) contain errors that may prove to be misleading and are in need of clarification.

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Correction of Publication

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

Section 1.707-5T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 707(a)(2)(B).

Par. 2. Section 1.707-5T is amended by revising paragraph (a)(2)(i); and paragraph (f) Example 7 (i) is amended by revising the second to last sentence. The revisions read as follows:
§ 1.707-5T Disguised sales of property to partnership; special rules relating to liabilities (temporary).

(a) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) In general. For purposes of § 1.707-5, a partner's share of a liability of a partnership, as defined in § 1.752-1(a) (whether a recourse liability or a nonrecourse liability) is determined by applying the same percentage used to determine the partner's share of the excess nonrecourse liability under § 1.752-3(a)(3) (as limited in its application to this paragraph (a)(2)), but such share shall not exceed the partner's share of the partnership liability under section 752 and applicable regulations (as limited in the application of § 1.752-3(a)(3) to this paragraph (a)(2)).

(f) * * *

Example 7. * * *

(i) * * * For disguised sale purposes, assume that G's and H's share of liability 1 is $2,000 each in accordance with paragraph (a)(2) of this section (which determines a partner's share of a liability using the percentage under § 1.752-3(a)(3), but not exceeding the partner's share of the liability under section 752 and applicable regulations). * * *

Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, (Procedure and Administration).
[FR Doc. 2016-27517 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9788] RIN 1545-BM84 Liabilities Recognized as Recourse Partnership Liabilities Under Section 752; Correction AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final and temporary regulations; correction.

SUMMARY:

This document contains corrections to final and temporary regulations (TD 9788) that were published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 (81 FR 69282). The final and temporary regulations provide rules concerning how liabilities are allocated for purposes of section 707 of the Internal Revenue Code and when certain obligations are recognized for purposes of determining whether a liability is a recourse partnership liability under section 752.

DATES:

This correction is effective November 17, 2016 and is applicable on and after January 3, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Caroline E. Hay or Deane M. Burke (202) 317-5279 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The final and temporary regulations (TD 9788) that are the subject of this correction are under sections 707 and 752 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Need for Correction

As published, the final and temporary regulations (TD 9788) contain errors that may prove to be misleading and are in need of clarification.

Correction of Publication

Accordingly, the final and temporary regulations (TD 9788), that are the subject of FR Doc. 2016-23388, are corrected as follows:

On page 69284, in the preamble, first column, the last sentence from the bottom of the first full paragraph, “Therefore, the 707 Temporary Regulations provide that a partner's share of a partnership liability for disguised sale purposes does not include any amount of the liability for which another partner bears the EROL for the partnership liability under § 1.752-2.” is corrected to read “Therefore, the 707 Temporary Regulations provide that for purposes of § 1.707-5, a partner's share of a liability of a partnership, as defined in § 1.752-1(a) (whether a recourse liability or a nonrecourse liability) is determined by applying the same percentage used to determine the partner's share of the excess nonrecourse liability under § 1.752-3(a)(3) (as limited in its application to § 1.707-5T(a)(2)), but such share shall not exceed the partner's share of the partnership liability under section 752 and applicable regulations (as limited in the application of § 1.752-3(a)(3) to § 1.707-5T(a)(2)).”.

Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, (Procedure and Administration).
[FR Doc. 2016-27516 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement 30 CFR Part 250 [Docket ID: BSEE-2016-0010; 17XE1700DX EEEE500000 EX1SF0000.DAQ000] RIN 1014-AA30 Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustment AGENCY:

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Interior.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule adjusts the level of the civil monetary penalty contained in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) regulations pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance.

DATES:

Effective November 17, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert Fisher, Acting Chief Safety and Enforcement Division, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, (202) 208-3955 or by email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background II. Calculation of Adjustment III. Comments Received on the Interim Final Rule IV. Procedural Matters A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866 and 13563) B. Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act E. Takings (E.O. 12630) F. Federalism (E.O. 13132) G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988) H. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Departmental Policy) I. Paperwork Reduction Act J. National Environmental Policy Act K. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211) L. Administrative Procedure Act I. Background

This final rule was initiated as a BSEE Interim Final Rule “Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustment,” which was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2016. (81 FR 41801). The Interim Final Rule (IFR) adjusted the level of the maximum civil monetary penalty contained in BSEE regulations pursuant to OCSLA, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, and OMB guidance. The IFR was effective July 28, 2016, and the IFR comment period closed on August 29, 2016. No comments were received and BSEE is finalizing the IFR as published.

OCSLA directs the Secretary of the Interior to adjust the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount at least once every three years to reflect any increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to account for inflation. (43 U.S.C. 1350(b)(1)). The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 104-410) (FCPIA of 1990) required that all civil monetary penalties, including the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount, be adjusted at least once every 4 years. Pursuant to OCSLA and the FCPIA of 1990, the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount was last adjusted in 2011. (See 76 FR 38294 (June 30, 2011)). In 2014 and 2015, BSEE performed computations to determine if it should increase the existing OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount to account for inflation. After performing those computations, BSEE determined that adjustments of the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amounts were not warranted in 2014 and 2015.

On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114-74) (FCPIA of 2015). The FCPIA of 2015 requires Federal agencies to adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment, if warranted, through rulemaking and then to make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. The purpose of these adjustments is to maintain the deterrent effect of civil penalties and to further the policy goals of the underlying statutes.

Pursuant to OCSLA and the FCPIA of 2015, this rule adjusts the following maximum civil monetary penalty (per day per violation):

ER17NO16.076 II. Calculation of Adjustment

On February 24, 2016, OMB issued guidance on calculating the civil monetary penalty adjustments pursuant to the FCPIA of 2015. (See Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, from Shaun Donovan, Director, OMB, re: Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015). Based on this guidance, the Department of the Interior identified applicable civil monetary penalties and calculated the necessary adjustments. A civil monetary penalty is any assessment with a dollar amount that is levied for a violation of a Federal civil statute or regulation, and is assessed or enforceable through a civil action in Federal court or an administrative proceeding. A civil monetary penalty does not include a penalty levied for violation of a criminal statute, or fees for services, licenses, permits, or other regulatory review. The initial calculated adjustment is based on the percent change between the CPI for all Urban Consumers for the month of October in the year of the previous adjustment (or in the year of establishment, if no adjustment has been made) and the October 2015 CPI.

For 2016, OCSLA and the FCPIA of 2015 required that BSEE adjust the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount and provide for the adjustment timing. In computing the new OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount, in accordance with the OMB guidance, BSEE divided the October 2015 CPI by the October 2011 CPI (237.838/226.421) since BSEE last adjusted the maximum civil penalty amount in 2011. This resulted in a multiplying factor of 1.05042. The existing maximum civil penalty amount ($40,000) was multiplied by the multiplying factor (40,000 × 1.05042 = 42,016.8). The FCPIA of 2015 requires that the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount be rounded to the nearest $1.00 at the end of the calculation process. Accordingly, the adjusted OCSLA maximum civil penalty is $42,017. This increase in the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount does not exceed 150 percent of the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount as of November 2, 2015, as stipulated by the FCPIA of 2015. Also, pursuant to the FCPIA of 2015, the increase in the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount applies to civil penalties assessed after the date the increase took effect (July 28, 2016), even when the associated violation(s) predate(s) such increase.

III. Comments Received on the Interim Final Rule

Although the IFR was effective as of July 28, 2016, the IFR included a request for public comments. The public comment period closed on August 29, 2016. BSEE received no comments on the IFR and is therefore finalizing this rulemaking as originally implemented by the IFR.

IV. Procedural Matters A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866 and 13563)

Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. E.O. 13563 directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 further emphasizes that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for all rules unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA applies only to rules for which an agency is required to first publish a proposed rule. (See 5 U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a)). Because the FCPIA of 2015 requires agencies to adjust penalties for the catch-up adjustment through an interim final rulemaking, agencies are not required to complete a notice and comment process prior to promulgation. Thus, the RFA does not apply to this rulemaking.

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

(1) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

(2) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

(3) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments, or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, a statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

E. Takings (E.O. 12630)

This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have takings implications under E.O. 12630. Therefore, a takings implication assessment is not required.

F. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

Under the criteria in section 1 of E.O. 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. Therefore, a federalism summary impact statement is not required.

G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

This rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. Specifically, this rule:

(1) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

(2) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

H. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Departmental Policy)

The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the Department of the Interior's consultation policy, under Departmental Manual Part 512 Chapters 4 and 5, and under the criteria in E.O. 13175. We have determined that it has no substantial direct effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and that consultation under the Department of the Interior's tribal consultation policy is not required.

I. Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) is not required. We 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.

J. National Environmental Policy Act

This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required because the rule is covered by a categorical exclusion (see 43 CFR 46.210(i)). This rule is excluded from the requirement to prepare a detailed statement because it is a regulation of an administrative nature. We have also determined that the rule does not involve any of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would require further analysis under NEPA.

K. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in E.O. 13211. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 250

Administrative practice and procedure, Continental shelf, Environmental impact statements, Environmental protection, Government contracts, Incorporation by reference, Investigations, Oil and gas exploration, Penalties, Pipelines, Continental Shelf—mineral resources, Continental Shelf—rights-of-way, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur.

Amanda C. Leiter, Acting Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management. PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF Accordingly, the interim rule amending 30 CFR part 250 which was published at 81 FR 41801 on June 28, 2016, is adopted as a final rule without change.
[FR Doc. 2016-27503 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 188 [Docket ID: DOD-2013-OS-0230] RIN 0790-AJ16 DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) AGENCY:

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, DoD.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures to be used by DoD personnel for the operation and management of the DoD ELAP. The DoD ELAP provides a unified DoD program through which commercial environmental laboratories can voluntarily demonstrate competency and document conformance to the international quality systems standards as they are implemented by DoD.

DATES:

This rule is effective on December 19, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Edmund Miller, 571-372-6904.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On October 15, 2015 (80 FR 61997-62003), the Department of Defense published a proposed rule in the Federal Register titled “DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP)” for a 60-day public comment period. After the 60-day public comment period had completed, no public comments were received. As a result, no changes were made to the rule text.

Executive Summary

The purpose of this regulatory action is to document the procedures for the operation and management of the DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP). The legal authority for the regulatory action is Section 515, Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554), which directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government-wide guidelines that “provide policy and procedural guidance to Federal Agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by Federal Agencies.” OMB guidelines, provided by FR Volume 67, Number 36, page 8452 (February 22, 2002) required federal agencies to maintain a basic standard of quality and take appropriate steps to incorporate information quality criteria into DoD public information dissemination practices. The guidance further provided that DoD Components shall adopt standards of quality that are appropriate to the nature and timeliness of the information they disseminate. The DoD ELAP provides the standards for ensuring the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of definitive environmental testing data disseminated by DoD for the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP).

This rule includes a general overview of DoD ELAP and establishment of standard operating procedures. It utilizes the baseline quality systems requirements of The NELAC Institute (TNI) and ISO/IEC 17025 standards, but alone neither of these standards meet the testing and analysis needs for DERP. Therefore the DoD Quality Systems Manual (QSM) for environmental laboratories serves as the standard for DoD ELAP accreditation. The QSM contains the minimum requirements DoD considers essential to ensure the generation of definitive environmental data of know quality, appropriate for their intended uses. These minimal needs are not met by TNI or ISO 17025 standards alone. The DoD ELAP includes procedures on how to evaluate and recognize 3rd party accreditation bodies; perform and document government oversight of the DoD ELAP to ensure ongoing compliance with program requirements and to identify opportunities for continual improvement; conduct project-specific laboratory approvals for specific tests not addressed in the DoD ELAP; and handle specific complaints concerning the processes established by the DoD ELAP or the QSM.

Past DoD laboratory assessment programs were specific to each DoD Component and limited to available resources. This created an overlap in assessments and fewer opportunities for laboratories to participate on DoD contracts. This rule proposes to establish a program to allow qualified laboratories to received third-party accreditation and become eligible to provide environmental sampling and testing services for DoD. It will be a voluntary program open to any qualified laboratories wishing to participate, thereby promoting fair and open competition among commercial laboratories.

Since laboratories fund their own participation in the accreditation process, it will allow DoD to focus its resources on providing oversight of laboratory contracts. By proposing to replace separate DoD Component-specific laboratory approval programs, the DoD ELAP will eliminate redundant assessments, promote interoperability across the Department, streamline the process for DoD to identify and procure competent providers of environmental laboratory services, and provide more opportunities for commercial laboratories to participate in DoD environmental sampling and testing contracts.

The scope of accreditation under ELAP includes specific laboratory services such as the test methods used, type of material tested (soil, water, etc.), and type of contaminants measured. The evaluation of a test method also includes the use of internal laboratory standard operating procedures.

Statement of Legal Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3701 promotes transfer and utilization of science and technology resources of the Federal government. Public Law 106-554 requires the Federal government to ensure the quality and integrity of information disseminated by Federal agencies. In response, the DoD ELAP sets forth requirements on environmental laboratories conducting analytical testing for DoD to generate documented quality data capable of being reproduced in accordance with commonly accepted scientific standards and practices.

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

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” because it does not: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.

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

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This rule will not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.

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

The Department of Defense does not expect this final rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et. seq.). The rule establishes a policy to provide a unified DoD program for commercial environmental laboratories to voluntarily demonstrate competency and document conformance to the international quality system standards already implemented by DoD. The Department's experience with these laboratories indicates that the professional skill and technical requirements of the accreditation program limits the numbers of entities that are likely to be impacted by this rule to approximately 100 entities. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require that DoD prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

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

It has been certified that 32 CFR part 188 does not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The requirements in this rule do not require OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act as the information is collected by the four accreditation bodies and not the Department. These accreditation bodies accredit the laboratories to meet DoD standards for environmental sampling and testing.

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. This rule will not have a substantial effect on State and local governments.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 188

Laboratories, Oversight.

Accordingly, 32 CFR part 188 is added to read as follows: PART 188—DOD ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY ACCREDITATION PROGRAM (ELAP) Sec. 188.1 Purpose. 188.2 Applicability. 188.3 Definitions. 188.4 Policy. 188.5 Responsibilities. 188.6 Procedures. Authority:

15 U.S.C. 3701; Pub. L. 106-554, 114 Stat. 2763.

§ 188.1 Purpose.

This part implements policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures to be used by DoD personnel for the operation and management of the DoD ELAP.

§ 188.2 Applicability.

This part applies to Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this part as the “DoD Components”).

§ 188.3 Definitions.

Unless otherwise noted, these terms and their definitions are for the purposes of this part.

Accreditation. Third-party attestation conveying formal demonstration of a laboratory's competence to carry out specific tasks.

Accreditation body (AB). Authoritative organization that performs accreditation.

Assessment. Process undertaken by an AB to evaluate the competence of a laboratory, based on requirements contained in the DoD Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories (QSM), for a defined scope of accreditation.

Change. A reissuance of the DoD QSM containing minor changes to requirements or clarifications of existing requirements necessary to ensure consistent implementation.

Complaint. Defined in International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17025:2005, “General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories” (available for purchase at http://www.iso.org/iso/store.htm).

Contractor project chemist. Defined in Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Memorandum, “Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services” (available at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfars/changenotice/2008/20080303/223.7.pdf).

Corrective action response. Description, prepared by the laboratory, of specific actions to be taken to correct a deficiency and prevent its reoccurrence.

Deficiency. An unauthorized deviation from requirements.

Definitive data. Defined in DoD Instruction 4715.15, “Environmental Quality Systems” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/471515p.pdf).

Environmental Data Quality Workgroup (EDQW) component principal. A voting member of the DoD EDQW.

Errata sheet. A document prepared by the EDQW and issued by the EDQW chair, defining minor “pen and ink” changes that apply to the most recently issued version of the DoD QSM. Errata will be corrected in the next change or revision of the DoD QSM.

Government chemist. Defined in USD(AT&L) Memorandum, “Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services.”

Government oversight. The set of activities performed by or on behalf of the DoD EDQW to provide assurance that ABs and assessors are providing thorough, consistent, objective, and impartial assessments within the specified scopes of accreditation and to identify opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD QSM and DoD ELAP.

International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) mutual recognition arrangement (MRA). An arrangement through which ABs are evaluated and accepted by their peers for conformance to ILAC rules and procedures. To be accepted into the ILAC MRA, the AB must become a signatory to its requirements; specifically, it must commit to maintain conformance with the current version of Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Ensuring Quality of Information Disseminated to the Public by the Department of Defense”) and ensure that the laboratories it accredits comply with ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

ILAC MRA peer evaluation. The process through which ABs are assessed by other ABs and receive or maintain acceptance into the ILAC MRA.

Project-specific laboratory approval. The set of activities undertaken by the DoD EDQW to assess whether a laboratory is competent to perform specific tests, in the case where no DoD-ELAP accredited laboratory is able to perform the required tests.

Quality system. Defined in ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

Recognition. The acceptance of an AB by the EDQW based on its demonstrated commitment to maintain signatory status in the ILAC MRA and accept the DoD ELAP conditions and criteria for recognition.

Revision. A reissuance of the DoD QSM containing significant changes in requirements or scope. A significant change is one that could reasonably be expected to affect a laboratory's ability to comply with the requirement (i.e., the laboratory is likely to have to make a change in its quality system or technical procedures in order to maintain compliance).

Scope of accreditation. Specific laboratory services, stated in terms of test method, matrix, and analyte, for which accreditation is sought or has been granted.

§ 188.4 Policy.

It is DoD policy, in accordance with DoD Instruction 4715.15, to implement the DoD ELAP for the collection of definitive data in support of the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) at all DoD operations, activities, and installations, including government-owned, contractor-operated facilities and formerly used defense sites.

§ 188.5 Responsibilities.

(a) Secretaries of the Military Departments and Director, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The Director, DLA, is under the authority, direction, and control of the USD(AT&L), through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness. The Secretaries of the Military Departments and Director, DLA:

(1) Provide resources to support project-specific government oversight for the collection of definitive data in support of the DERP.

(2) Provide resources to support project-specific laboratory approvals, if required.

(b) Secretary of the Navy. In addition to the responsibilities in paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary of the Navy plans, programs, and budgets for DoD EDQW activities necessary to support government oversight of the DoD ELAP.

§ 188.6 Procedures.

(a) DoD ELAP Overview—(1) Introduction. (i) DoD ELAP provides a unified DoD program through which commercial environmental laboratories can voluntarily demonstrate competency and document conformance to the international standard established in ISO/IEC 17025:2005 as implemented by the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Memorandum, “DoD Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories” (available at http://www.denix.osd.mil/edqw/upload/QSM-V4-2-Final-102510.pdf) (referred to in this part as the “DoD Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories (QSM)”). The DoD QSM provides minimum quality systems requirements, based on ISO/IEC 17025:2005, for environmental laboratories performing testing for DoD.

(ii) DoD ELAP was developed in compliance with 15 U.S.C. 3701 (also known as the “National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act”). Support and guidance was provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, following procedures used to establish similar programs for other areas of testing. The DoD ELAP supports implementation of section 515 of Public Law 106-554, “Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001” and Office of Management and Budget Guidance, “Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies” (67 FR 8452) as implemented by Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Ensuring Quality of Information Disseminated to the Public by the Department of Defense.”

(iii) Using third party ABs operating in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC 17011:2004(E), “Conformity Assessment—General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies” (available for purchase at http://www.iso.org/iso/store.htm), the DoD ELAP:

(A) Promotes interoperability among the DoD Components.

(B) Promotes fair and open competition among commercial laboratories.

(C) Streamlines the process for identifying and procuring competent providers of environmental laboratory services.

(D) Promotes the collection of data of known and documented quality.

(2) Authority. Operation of the DoD ELAP is authorized by DoD Instruction 4715.15.

(3) Program requirements. (i) Pursuant to DoD Instruction 4715.15, laboratories seeking to perform testing in support of the DERP must be accredited in accordance with DoD ELAP.

(ii) The DoD ELAP applies to:

(A) Environmental programs at DoD operations, activities, and installations, including government-owned, contractor-operated facilities and formerly used defense sites.

(B) Permanent, temporary, and mobile laboratories regardless of their size, volume of business, or field of accreditation that generate definitive data.

(iii) Participation in the program is voluntary and open to all laboratories that operate under a quality system conforming to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Memorandum, “DoD Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories.” Laboratories may seek accreditation for any method they perform in accordance with documented procedures, including non-standard methods. Laboratories are free to select any participating AB for accreditation services.

(iv) To participate in DoD ELAP, ABs must be U.S.-based signatories to the ILAC MRA and must operate in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011:2004(E).

(4) Program oversight. In accordance with Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment Memorandum, “DoD Environmental Data Quality Workgroup Charter” (available at http://www.denix.osd.mil/edqw/upload/USA004743-10-Signed-Memo-to-DASs-DLA-DoD-Envir-Data-Quality-Workgroup-Charter-1Oct10-1.pdf), the DoD EDQW:

(i) Provides coordinated responses to legislative and regulatory initiatives.

(ii) Responds to requests for DoD Component information.

(iii) Develops and recommends department-wide policy related to sampling, testing, and quality assurance for environmental programs.

(iv) Implements and provides oversight for the DoD ELAP.

(v) Includes technical experts from the Military Services and DLA as well as an EDQW component principal (voting) member from each of the Military Services.

(vi) Specifies the EDQW Navy principal, Director of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEASYSCOM) 04XQ(LABS), serve as EDQW chair.

(b) Maintaining the DoD QSM—(1) General. The DoD EDQW will maintain and improve the DoD QSM to ensure that:

(i) The DoD QSM remains current in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

(ii) Minimum essential requirements are met.

(iii) Requirements are clear, concise, and auditable.

(iv) The DoD QSM will efficiently and effectively support the DoD ELAP.

(2) Procedures.— (i) Annual review. At a minimum, the DoD EDQW will perform an annual review of the DoD QSM, based on feedback received from participants in DoD ELAP (e.g., DoD Components, commercial laboratories, and ABs). The review will also address any revisions to ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

(ii) Ongoing review. As received, the DoD EDQW will respond to questions submitted through the Defense Environmental Network Information Exchange (DENIX) concerning the interpretation of DoD QSM requirements. DoD EDQW participants will forward all questions through their EDQW component principal to the DoD EDQW chair.

(iii) Issuances. The DoD EDQW chair will prepare DoD QSM updates:

(A) Correspondence. The DoD EDQW chair, in consultation with the EDQW component principals, will prepare correspondence (email or memorandum) providing responses to all written requests for clarification and interpretation of the DoD QSM. Depending on the significance of the issue, as determined by the EDQW chair, the response may also result in a posting to the frequently asked question (FAQ) section of the appropriate Web sites.

(B) Errata sheets. Minor corrections to the DoD QSM, such as typographical errors, may be made by the issuance of an errata sheet defining “pen and ink” changes that apply to the current version of the DoD QSM. Following concurrence by all EDQW component principals, errata sheets will be issued as needed by the DoD EDQW chair. Errata will be corrected in the next change or revision to the DoD QSM.

(C) Changes. Changes to the DoD QSM will be issued as necessary to reflect minor changes to requirements or clarifications of existing requirements that are necessary to ensure consistent implementation. Following concurrence by the EDQW component principals, changes will be issued by the DoD EDQW chair in the form of a complete DoD QSM.

(1) The first change to DoD QSM Version 4 will be numbered Version 4.1, the second change will be Version 4.2, etc.

(2) Changes to the DoD QSM will be posted on DENIX in place of the previous version or change of the DoD QSM.

(D) Revisions. A revision will be issued if one or more of the proposed changes could reasonably be expected to affect a laboratory's ability to comply with the requirement (i.e., the laboratory is likely to have to make a change in its quality system or technical procedures).

(1) Once EDQW component principals have reached consensus on the proposed revision, the DoD EDQW chair will forward the proposed revision to all participating DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories and ABs for review.

(2) The DoD EDQW will review and respond to comments received from the DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories and ABs within the designated comment period.

(3) Following concurrence by the EDQW component principals, revisions will be issued by the DoD EDQW chair in the form of a complete DoD QSM.

(4) A revision of Version 4 will be issued as Version 5, a revision of Version 5 will be issued as Version 6, etc.

(5) The final revised version of the DoD QSM will be posted on DENIX in place of the previous version including any DoD QSM updates.

(3) Continual improvement. The DoD EDQW will meet with the ABs on an annual basis to review lessons learned and identify additional opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD ELAP and the DoD QSM.

(4) Data and records management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW will maintain all DoD QSM updates in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1, “Department of the Navy Records Management Program: Records Management Manual” (available at http://doni.daps.dla.mil/SECNAV%20Manuals1/5210.1.pdf).

(c) Recognizing ABs.—(1) General. (i) The DoD EDQW will:

(A) Use the procedures in this paragraph to evaluate and recognize third-party ABs in support of the DoD ELAP.

(B) Develop and maintain the application for recognition, the conditions and criteria for recognition and related forms, and review submitted AB applications for completeness and compliance with DoD ELAP requirements.

(ii) The DoD EDQW chair, following consultation with and concurrence by the EDQW component principals, grants or revokes AB recognition in accordance with this paragraph.

(2) Limitations. Candidate ABs must be U.S.-based signatories in good standing to the ILAC MRA. ABs must maintain ILAC recognition to maintain DoD ELAP recognition. Because the EDQW continually monitors AB performance, no pre-defined limits are placed on the duration of recognition; however, the EDQW may revoke recognition at any time, for cause, in accordance with paragraph (c)(3)(vii) of this section.

(3) Procedures. (i) Upon receipt of an application for recognition, the DoD EDQW will review the application package for completeness. A complete application package must include:

(A) Application for recognition.

(B) Signed acceptance of the conditions and criteria for DoD ELAP recognition.

(C) Electronic copy of the AB's quality systems documentation.

(D) Copy of the most recent ILAC MRA peer evaluation documentation.

(ii) If necessary to complete the review, the DoD EDQW will request additional documentation from the applicant.

(iii) The EDQW component principals will review the application package for compliance with requirements. Prior to granting recognition, the EDQW component principals must unanimously concur that all application requirements have been met.

(iv) Once the EDQW component principals have completed review of the application package, the DoD EDQW chair will notify the AB, either granting recognition or citing specific reasons for not doing so (i.e., indicating which areas of the application package are deficient).

(v) Once recognition has been granted, the DoD EDQW chair will post the name and contact information of the AB on DENIX.

(vi) With unanimous concurrence, the EDQW component principals may revoke recognition if the AB:

(A) Violates any of the conditions or criteria for recognition.

(B) Fails to operate in accordance with its documented quality system.

(vii) Should it become necessary to revoke an AB's recognition, the DoD EDQW chair will notify the AB stating specific reasons for the revocation and remove the AB's name from the list of DoD ELAP-recognized ABs.

(viii) If recognition is revoked, the AB must immediately cease to perform all DoD ELAP assessments.

(ix) ABs who have been denied recognition, or ABs whose recognition has been revoked, may appeal that decision.

(A) Within 15 calendar days of its receipt of a notice denying or revoking recognition, the AB must submit to the DoD EDQW chair a written statement with supporting documentation contesting the denial or revocation.

(B) The submission must demonstrate that:

(1) Clear, factual errors were made by the DoD EDQW during the review of the AB's application for recognition; or

(2) The decision to revoke recognition was based on clear, factual errors, and that the AB would have been determined to meet all requirements for recognition if those errors had been corrected.

(x) The DoD EDQW will have up to 30 calendar days to review the appeal and provide written notice to the AB either accepting the appeal and granting, or restoring, recognition, or explaining the basis for denying the appeal.

(4) Continual improvement. The DoD EDQW will meet with ABs on an annual basis to review lessons learned and identify additional opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD ELAP. On a 5-year cycle, at minimum, the DoD EDQW will evaluate whether the process for evaluating and recognizing ABs is continuing to meet DoD needs.

(5) Data and records management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW, will maintain copies of all application packages and associated documentation in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1.

(d) Performing government oversight—(1) General. DoD personnel will use the procedures in this paragraph to perform and document government oversight of the DoD ELAP. Government oversight will include monitoring the performance of AB assessors during laboratory assessments, reviewing laboratory assessment reports, observing ILAC MRA peer evaluations, and evaluating AB Web sites for content on accredited laboratories.

(2) Limitations. (i) DoD personnel performing oversight must observe, but must not participate in, laboratory assessments or ILAC MRA peer evaluations. Specifically, DoD personnel must not:

(A) Offer specific advice to the laboratory regarding the development or implementation of quality systems or technical procedures;

(B) Offer specific advice or direction to assessors or peer evaluators regarding accreditation processes, assessment procedures, or documentation of findings; or

(C) Impede assessors, peer reviewers, or laboratory personnel in any way during the performance of their work, including technical procedures, document reviews, observations, interviews, and meetings.

(ii) If, during the course of an assessment, questions by laboratory personnel or assessors are directed to DoD personnel, personnel must limit responses to specific text from the DoD QSM or published FAQs. DoD personnel must not render opinions regarding interpretation of the DoD QSM. If there are questions about the DoD QSM that require interpretation, DoD personnel must advise the assessor to contact the AB who may, if necessary, contact the DoD EDQW chair for a coordinated response.

(iii) If DoD personnel observe any evidence of inappropriate practices on the part of assessors or laboratory personnel during the course of the assessment, they must record the observations and notify the DoD EDQW chair immediately (inappropriate practices are identified in the DoD QSM). DoD personnel must not call either the laboratory's or the assessor's attention to the specific practice in question.

(3) Personnel qualifications. DoD personnel or contractors performing oversight must:

(i) Meet the government chemist or contractor project chemist requirements contained in the USD(AT&L) Memorandum, “Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services.”

(ii) Have a working knowledge of the DoD QSM requirements and be familiar with environmental test methods and instrumentation.

(iii) Obey all laboratory instructions regarding health and safety precautions while in the laboratory.

(4) Procedures. (i) The DoD EDQW will maintain an up-to-date calendar of scheduled assessments and peer evaluations based on input from the ABs, peer evaluators, and assigned oversight personnel.

(ii) Once an assessment or peer review has been scheduled, the EDQW component principals will determine if DoD oversight of the activity will be performed. The goal will be to observe a representative number of activities for each AB.

(iii) The EDQW component principals will provide the DoD EDQW chair the names of personnel from their respective DoD Components who will participate in the oversight.

(iv) The DoD EDQW chair will provide the AB with contact information for the oversight personnel.

(v) If two or more DoD personnel are scheduled to monitor the assessment, the DoD EDQW chair will designate a lead that will be responsible for compiling an oversight report.

(vi) The lead for the oversight activity will request a copy of the assessment plan from the AB's lead assessor and distribute it to other oversight personnel.

(vii) The lead will review the assessment plan to determine the scope of accreditation and ensure that oversight personnel are assigned to monitor a cross-section of the assessment.

(viii) Persons performing oversight will review previous oversight reports, if available, for the particular AB and assessors performing the assessment.

(ix) Observing all health and safety protective measures, oversight personnel must accompany the assessor(s) as they witness procedures and conduct interviews, taking care not to interfere with the assessment.

(5) Reporting. Within 15 calendar days of the onsite assessment, the lead for the oversight activity will complete an oversight report and forward the completed report through the appropriate EDQW component principal to the DoD EDQW chair.

(i) The DoD EDQW chair will provide copies of the report to the EDQW component principals for review.

(ii) After review by the EDQW component principals, the DoD EDQW chair will provide a summary of the oversight report to the AB performing the assessment.

(6) Handling disputes. Laboratories must follow the AB's dispute resolution process for all disputes concerning the assessment or accreditation of the laboratory, including disagreements involving an interpretation of the DoD QSM arising during the accreditation process.

(i) In the event the laboratory and the AB are unable to resolve a disagreement concerning the interpretation of the DoD QSM, either the laboratory or the AB may request the DoD EDQW provide an interpretation of the DoD QSM. The DoD EDQW chair will provide a written response to the laboratory and the AB providing the DoD authoritative interpretation of the DoD QSM. No review of this interpretation will be available to the laboratory or the AB.

(ii) The DoD EDQW will not consider or take a position on requests by either a laboratory or an AB on a dispute concerning accreditation of the laboratory.

(7) Continual improvement. The DoD EDQW will:

(i) Review the ABs' assessment reports and the DoD oversight reports to evaluate the thoroughness, consistency, objectivity, and impartiality of the DoD ELAP assessments.

(ii) Compare assessment reports across laboratories, ABs, and assessors.

(iii) Compare DoD ELAP findings to findings from previous assessments.

(iv) Identify opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD ELAP.

(v) Meet with ABs on an annual basis to review lessons learned and identify additional opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD ELAP.

(8) Data and records management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW will maintain copies of all oversight reports in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1.

(e) Conducting project-specific laboratory approvals—(1) General. The DoD EDQW will use the procedures in this paragraph to conduct project-specific laboratory approvals for specific tests in the rare instances when DoD is unable to identify a DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory capable of providing the required services. This will ensure that competent laboratories are used to support DoD environmental projects. Examples of these rare instances include:

(i) The required method, matrix, or analyte is not included in the scope of accreditation for any existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories.

(ii) The required method, matrix, and analyte combination is included in the scope of accreditation for an existing accredited laboratory; however, the laboratory is unable to meet one or more of the project-specific measurement performance criteria.

(2) Limitations. (i) Project-specific laboratory approvals are not to be used as substitutes for the required DoD ELAP-accreditation.

(ii) The DoD EDQW will not perform project-specific laboratory approvals in cases where one or more DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories capable of meeting project-specific requirements are available.

(iii) The project-specific laboratory approval is a one-time approval, the specific terms of which will be outlined in the approval notice issued by the DoD EDQW.

(3) Personnel qualifications. DoD personnel and contractors assessing laboratories for the purpose of performing project-specific laboratory approvals must meet the government chemist or contractor project chemist requirements contained in USD(AT&L) Memorandum, “Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services.” Personnel must have a working knowledge of the DoD QSM requirements and be familiar with required environmental test methods and instrumentation.

(4) Procedures. (i) If a project-specific laboratory approval is requested, the DoD EDQW will request and review a copy of the project's quality assurance project plan (QAPP).

(ii) If, after review of the QAPP, the DoD EDQW determines that an existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory is available to provide the required services, the laboratory contact information will be provided to the project manager requesting assistance.

(iii) If, after review of the QAPP, the DoD EDQW determines that no existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory is available to provide the required services, the DoD EDQW will:

(A) Work with the project team to determine whether the use of alternative procedures by an existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory is feasible;

(B) Determine if the required services can be added to the scope of accreditation of an existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory; or

(C) Work with the project team to identify a candidate laboratory for project-specific laboratory approval.

(iv) If a project-specific approval is needed, the DoD EDQW will:

(A) Determine the type of assessment required (on-site, document review, etc.).

(B) Determine if additional funding is required to support the assessment. If additional funding is required, the DoD EDQW will provide a cost estimate and work with the project manager to establish funding.

(v) If the DoD EDQW determines that a project-specific laboratory approval is warranted and resources (including funding and technical expertise) are available to support the assessment, the DoD EDQW chair will coordinate with the EDQW component principals to appoint an assessment team with appropriate technical backgrounds.

(vi) The DoD EDQW chair will designate an assessment team leader. The assessment team leader will:

(A) Request the documentation needed to perform the assessment.

(B) Assign responsibilities for individual members of the assessment team, if appropriate.

(C) Coordinate the document reviews.

(D) Lead the assessment team in the performance of the on-site assessment, if required.

(E) Provide a report to the DoD EDQW chair. The report will identify whether:

(1) The laboratory is capable of meeting all project-specific requirements.

(2) Documentation procedures are in place to provide data that are scientifically valid, defensible, and reproducible.

(3) Any deficiencies must be corrected prior to granting the project-specific laboratory approval.

(vii) The DoD EDQW chair, with concurrence by the EDQW component principals, will issue a report to the project manager and laboratory detailing the results of the assessment and any deficiencies that must be corrected prior to granting a project-specific laboratory approval.

(viii) Upon receipt of the laboratory's corrective action response, if required, the assessment team will:

(A) Review the laboratory's corrective action response for resolving the deficiencies.

(B) Provide the EDQW component principals with a final report describing the resolution of findings and containing recommendations on whether to grant the project-specific laboratory approval.

(ix) The DoD EDQW chair, with concurrence by the EDQW component principals, will prepare a report for the DoD project manager describing the results of the assessment and the status and terms of the project-specific laboratory approval. Information about project-specific laboratory approvals will not be posted on Web sites listing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories.

(5) Continual improvement. The EDQW component principals will review project-specific laboratory assessment reports to evaluate the thoroughness, consistency, objectivity, and impartiality of project-specific assessments and make recommendations for continual improvement of the DoD QSM and the DoD ELAP.

(6) Data and records management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW will maintain copies of all laboratory records and project-specific assessment reports in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1.

(f) Handling complaints—(1) General. The DoD EDQW will use the procedures in this paragraph to handle complaints concerning the processes established in the DoD ELAP or the DoD QSM. The DoD EDQW will document and resolve complaints promptly through the appropriate channels, consistently and objectively, and identify and implement any necessary corrective action arising from complaints. Complaints generally fall into one of four categories:

(i) Complaints by any party against an accredited laboratory.

(ii) Complaints by any party against an AB.

(iii) Complaints by any party concerning any assessor acting on behalf of the AB.

(iv) Complaints by any party against the DoD ELAP itself.

(2) Limitations. The procedures in this paragraph:

(i) Do not address appeals by laboratories regarding accreditation decisions by ABs. Appeals to decisions made by ABs regarding the accreditation status of any laboratory must be filed directly with the AB in accordance with agreements in place between the laboratory and the AB.

(ii) Are not designed to handle allegations of unethical or illegal actions as described in paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section.

(iii) Do not address complaints involving contractual requirements between a laboratory and its client. All contracting issues must be resolved with the contracting officer.

(3) Procedures. (i) All complaints must be filed in writing to the EDQW chair. All complaints must provide the basis for the complaint (i.e., the specific process or requirement in the DoD ELAP or the DoD QSM that has not been satisfied or is believed to need changing) and supporting documentation, including descriptions of attempts to resolve the complaint by the laboratory or the AB.

(ii) Upon receipt of the complaint, the DoD EDQW chair will assign a unique identifier to the complaint, send a notice of acknowledgement to the complainant, and forward a copy of the complaint to the EDQW component principals.

(iii) In consultation with the EDQW component principals, the DoD EDQW chair will make a preliminary determination of the validity of the complaint. Following preliminary review, the actions available to the DoD EDQW chair include:

(A) If the DoD EDQW chair determines the complaint should be handled directly between the complainant and the subject of the complaint, the DoD EDQW will refer the complaint to the laboratory, or AB, as appropriate. The DoD EDQW will notify the complainant of the referral, but will take no further action with respect to investigation of the complaint. The subject of the complaint will be expected to respond to the complainant in accordance with their established procedures and timelines. A copy of the response will be provided to the DoD EDQW.

(B) If insufficient information has been provided to determine whether the complaint has merit, the DoD EDQW will return the complaint to the complainant with a request for additional supporting documentation.

(C) If the complaint appears to have merit and the parties to the complaint have been unable to resolve it, the DoD EDQW will investigate the complaint and recommend actions for its resolution.

(D) If available information does not support the complaint, the DoD EDQW may reject the complaint.

(E) If the complaint alleges inappropriate laboratory practices or other misconduct, the DoD EDQW chair will consult legal counsel to determine the recommended course of action.

(iv) In all cases, the DoD EDQW will notify the complainant and any other entity involved in the complaint and explain the response of the EDQW to the complaint.

(4) Continual improvement. The DoD EDQW will look into root causes and trends in complaints to help identify actions that should be taken by the DoD EDQW, or any parties involved with DoD ELAP, to prevent recurrence of problems that led to the complaints.

(5) Data and records management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW will maintain copies of all complaint documentation in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1.

Dated: November 14, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 2016-27645 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0675] RIN 1625-AA87 Security Zone; Potomac River and Anacostia River, and Adjacent Waters; Washington, DC AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a series of security zones in the National Capital Region (NCR) on specified waters of the Potomac River and Anacostia River, and adjacent waters during increased security events. This action is necessary to prevent terrorist acts and incidents immediately before, during, and after events held within the NCR, whenever such an event exists, as determined by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. This rule prohibits vessels and persons from entering the security zone and requires vessels and persons in the security zone to depart the security zone, unless specifically exempt under the provisions in this rule or granted specific permission from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. The regulations will enhance the safety and security of persons and property within the Nation's Capital, while minimizing, to the extent possible, the impact on commerce and legitimate waterway use.

DATES:

This rule is effective December 19, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0675 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Ronald L. Houck, at Sector Maryland-National Capital Region Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 410-576-2674, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

On September 2, 2016, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Security Zone; Potomac River and Anacostia River, and adjacent waters; Washington, DC” in the Federal Register (81 FR 60663). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this security zone. During the comment period that ended November 1, 2016, we received no comments.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP determined that it is necessary to establish a series of security zones within the NCR. The purpose of these security zones is to ensure the safety of vessels and the relevant navigable waters before, during, and after the event.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

As noted above, we received no comments on our NPRM published on September 2, 2016. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM.

This rule establishes a series of security zones on specified waters of the Potomac River, Anacostia River and adjacent waters. The security zones cover specified navigable waters within the NCR whenever an event that requires increased security is taking place. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during, and after the event. No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the security zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The COTP Maryland-National Capital Region will notify the maritime community, via Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM), of the location and duration of the security zone as the increased security event dictates. The security zone established for a specific increased security event will consist of one or more of the security zones categorized below.

Security zone one includes all navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by the Francis Scott Key (US-29) Bridge, at mile 113, and bounded to the south by a line drawn from the Virginia shoreline at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, at 38°51′21.3″ N., 077°02′00.0″ W., eastward across the Potomac River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., including the waters of the Boundary Channel, Pentagon Lagoon, Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin, and Roaches Run. Events that typically require enforcement of the zone include activities associated with the U.S. Presidential Inauguration and State funerals for former Presidents of the U.S.

Security zone two includes all navigable waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by the John Philip Sousa (Pennsylvania Avenue) Bridge, at mile 2.9, and bounded to the south by a line drawn from the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., southward across the Anacostia River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Giesboro Point at position 38°50′52.4″ N., 077°01′10.9″ W., including the waters of the Washington Channel. Events that typically require enforcement of the zone include activities associated with the U.S. Presidential Inauguration and State funerals for former Presidents of the U.S.

Security zone three includes all navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by a line drawn from the Virginia shoreline at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, at 38°51′21.3″ N., 077°02′00.0″ W., eastward across the Potomac River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., thence southward across the Anacostia River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Giesboro Point at position 38°50′52.4″ N., 077°01′10.9″ W., and bounded to the south by the Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95/I-495) Bridge, at mile 103.8. Events that typically require enforcement of the zone include activities associated with the U.S. Presidential Inauguration and State funerals for former Presidents of the U.S.

The above zones may also be enforced for unplanned events requiring increased security, including but not limited to presidential nominating conventions; international summits and conferences; and meetings of international organizations.

Security zone four includes all navigable waters of the Georgetown Channel of the Potomac River, 75 yards from the eastern shore measured perpendicularly to the shore, between the Long Railroad Bridge (the most eastern bridge of the 5-span, Fourteenth Street Bridge Complex) to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge and all waters in between, totally including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin. This zone is enforced annually from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. local time on July 4.

Security zone five includes all navigable waters in the Potomac River, including the Boundary Channel and Pentagon Lagoon, bounded on the west by a line running north to south from points along the shoreline at 38°52′50″ N./077°03′25″ W., thence to 38°52′49″ N./077°03′25″ W.; and bounded on the east by a line running from points at 38°53′10″ N./077°03′30″ W., thence northeast to 38°53′12″ N./077°03′26″ W., thence southeast to 38°52′31″ N./077°02′34″ W., and thence southwest to 38°52′28″ N./077°02′38″ W. This zone will be enforced on three days each year: Memorial Day (observed), September 11, and November 11. Specifically, the zone will be enforced from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Memorial Day (observed); from 8 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. on September 11; and from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on November 11.

Security zone six includes all navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the Francis Scott Key (U.S. Route 29) Bridge at mile 113.0, downstream to and bounded on the south by the Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95/I-495) Bridge, at mile 103.8, including the waters of the Boundary Channel, Pentagon Lagoon, Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin, and Roaches Run; and all waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the John Philip Sousa (Pennsylvania Avenue) Bridge, at mile 2.9, downstream to and bounded on the south by its confluence with the Potomac River. This zone will be enforced annually for the State of the Union Address, starting at 9 a.m. on the day of the State of the Union Address through 2 a.m. the following day.

V. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration and time of year of the security zones. The Coast Guard determined that this rulemaking would not be a significant regulatory action for the following reasons: Security zones one, two and three are expected to be enforced for only a week or two at a time and on only a few occasions per year. Additionally, the Coast Guard designed the areas for security zones one, two and three to cover only a portion of the navigable waterways while still sustaining the flow of commerce, and mariners may request permission from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or the designated representative to transit the zone. Security zones four and five are expected to be enforced for only less than 24 hours at a time and on only a few occasions per year. Additionally, the Coast Guard designed the areas for security zones four and five to cover only a small portion of the navigable waterways, waterway users may transit the Potomac River around the areas, and mariners may request permission from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or the designated representative to transit the zone. Security zone six is expected to be enforced for only less than 24 hours at a time and on only on one occasion per year when vessel traffic is normally low. Additionally, the Coast Guard designed the area for security zone six to cover only a portion of the navigable waterways while still sustaining the flow of commerce, and mariners may request permission from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or the designated representative to transit the zone. Moreover, the Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule would allow vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

B. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

This rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves security zones that would prohibit entry on specified waters of the Potomac River and Anacostia River, and adjacent waters, during increased security events. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Revise § 165.508 to read as follows:
§ 165.508 Security Zone; Potomac River and Anacostia River, and adjacent waters; Washington, DC.

(a) Location. Coordinates used in this paragraph are based on NAD83. The following areas are security zones:

(1) Zone 1. All navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by the Francis Scott Key (US-29) Bridge, at mile 113, and bounded to the south by a line drawn from the Virginia shoreline at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, at 38°51′21.3″ N., 077°02′00.0″ W., eastward across the Potomac River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., including the waters of the Boundary Channel, Pentagon Lagoon, Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin, and Roaches Run;

(2) Zone 2. All navigable waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by the John Philip Sousa (Pennsylvania Avenue) Bridge, at mile 2.9, and bounded to the south by a line drawn from the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., southward across the Anacostia River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Giesboro Point at position 38°50′52.4″ N., 077°01′10.9″ W., including the waters of the Washington Channel;

(3) Zone 3. All navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by a line drawn from the Virginia shoreline at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, at 38°51′21.3″ N., 077°02′00.0″ W., eastward across the Potomac River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., thence southward across the Anacostia River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Giesboro Point at position 38°50′52.4″ N., 077°01′10.9″ W., and bounded to the south by the Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95/I-495) Bridge, at mile 103.8.

(4) Zone 4. All navigable waters of the Georgetown Channel of the Potomac River, 75 yards from the eastern shore measured perpendicularly to the shore, between the Long Railroad Bridge (the most eastern bridge of the 5-span, Fourteenth Street Bridge Complex) to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge; and all waters in between, totally including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin.

(5) Zone 5. All navigable waters in the Potomac River, including the Boundary Channel and Pentagon Lagoon, bounded on the west by a line running north to south from points along the shoreline at 38°52′50″ N., 077°03′25″ W., thence to 38°52′49″ N., 077°03′25″ W.; and bounded on the east by a line running from points at 38°53′10″ N., 077°03′30″ W., thence northeast to 38°53′12″ N., 077°03′26″ W., thence southeast to 38°52′31″ N., 077°02′34″ W., and thence southwest to 38°52′28″ N., 077°02′38″ W.

(6) Zone 6. All navigable waters described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section.

(b) Regulations. The general security zone regulations found in 33 CFR 165.33 apply to the security zones created by this section, § 165.508.

(1) Entry into or remaining in a zone listed in paragraph (a) in this section is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. Public vessels and vessels already at berth at the time the security zone is implemented do not have to depart the security zone. All vessels underway within the security zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone at the time the security zone is implemented.

(2) Persons desiring to transit the area of the security zone must first obtain authorization from the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or his or her designated representative. To seek permission to transit the area, the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region and his or her designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel, by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or his designated representative and proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while within the zone.

(3) The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the security zones listed in paragraph (a) in this section by Federal, State, and local agencies.

(c) Definitions. As used in this section:

Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port to act on his or her behalf.

Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region to assist in enforcing the security zones described in paragraph (a) of this section.

Public vessel means a vessel that is owned or demise-(bareboat) chartered by the government of the United States, by a State or local government, or by the government of a foreign country and that is not engaged in commercial service.

(d) Enforcement. (1) In addition to the specified times in paragraphs (d)(2) through (4) of this section, the security zones created by this section will be enforced only upon issuance of a notice of enforcement by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. The Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region will cause notice of enforcement of these security zones to be made by all appropriate means to the affected segments of the public of the enforcement dates and times of the security zones including publication in the Federal Register, in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7(a). Such means of notification may also include, but are not limited to Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners.

(2) Security Zone 4, established in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, will be enforced annually, from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4.

(3) Security Zone 5, established in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, will be enforced annually on three dates: Memorial Day (observed), September 11, and November 11. Security Zone 5 will be enforced from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Memorial Day (observed); from 8 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. on September 11; and from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on November 11.

(4) Security Zone 6, established in paragraph (a)(6) of this section, will be enforced annually on the day the State of the Union Address is delivered. Security Zone 6 will be enforced from 9 a.m. on the day of the State of the Union Address until 2 a.m. on the following day.

(e) Suspension of enforcement. (1) The Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region may suspend enforcement of the enforcement period in paragraphs (d)(1) through(4) in this section earlier than listed in the notice of enforcement. Should the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region suspend the zone earlier than the duration listed, he or she will make the public aware of this suspension by Broadcast Notice to Mariners and/or on-scene notice by his or her designated representative.

Dated: November 9, 2016. Lonnie P. Harrison, Jr., Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region.
[FR Doc. 2016-27628 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Parts 612 and 686 [Docket ID ED-2014-OPE-0057] RIN 1840-AD07 Teacher Preparation Issues Correction

In rule document 2016-24856 beginning on page 75494 in the issue of Monday, October 31, 2016, make the following correction:

On page 75494, in the first column, the DATES section should read as follows:

DATES:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 612 are effective November 30, 2016. The amendments to part 686 are effective on July 1, 2017, except for amendatory instructions 4.A., 4.B., 4.C.iv., 4.C.x. and 4.C.xi., amending 34 CFR 686.2(d) and (e), which are effective on July 1, 2021.

[FR Doc. C1-2016-24856 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R07-RCRA-2016-0637; FRL-9955-25-Region 7] State of Nebraska; Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

Nebraska has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final authorization of revisions to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA has determined that these revisions satisfy all requirements needed to qualify for final authorization and is authorizing Nebraska's revisions through this direct final rule.

DATES:

This final authorization will become effective on January 17, 2017, unless EPA receives adverse written comments by December 19, 2016. If EPA receives such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-RCRA-2016-0637, to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lisa Haugen, EPA Region 7, Enforcement Coordination Office, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219, phone number: (913) 551-7877, and email address: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to authorize the revisions. EPA believes this action is not controversial and does not expect comments that oppose it. Unless EPA receives written comments that oppose this authorization during the comment period, the decision to authorize Nebraska's revisions to its hazardous waste program will take effect. If EPA receives comments that oppose this action, EPA will publish a document in the Federal Register withdrawing today's direct final rule before it takes effect.

Authorization of State-Initiated Changes A. Why are revisions to State programs necessary?

States which have received final authorization from EPA under RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), must maintain a hazardous waste program that is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal hazardous waste program. As the Federal program is revised, the states must change their programs and ask the EPA to authorize the changes. Changes to state hazardous waste programs may be necessary when Federal or state statutory or regulatory authority is modified or when certain other changes occur. Most commonly, states must change their programs because of changes to EPA's regulations in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 124, 260 through 268, 270, 273 and 279. States can also initiate their own changes to their hazardous waste program and these changes must then be authorized.

B. What decisions have we made in this rule?

EPA concludes that Nebraska's application to revise its authorized program meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA. Therefore, EPA is granting Nebraska final authorization to operate its hazardous waste program with the revisions described in the authorization application. Nebraska has responsibility for permitting Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) within its borders (except in Indian Country) and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program application, subject to the limitations of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA). New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA take effect in authorized states before they are authorized for the requirements. Thus, EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in Nebraska, including issuing permits, until Nebraska is granted authorization to do so.

C. What is the effect of this authorization decision?

The effect of this decision is that a facility in Nebraska subject to RCRA will now have to comply with the authorized state requirements instead of the equivalent Federal requirements in order to comply with RCRA. Nebraska has enforcement responsibilities under its state hazardous waste program for violations of such program, but EPA retains its authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which include, among others, authority to: (1) Perform inspections, and require monitoring, tests, analyses, or reports; and (2) Enforce RCRA requirements and suspend or revoke permits. This action does not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which Nebraska is being authorized by this direct final action are already effective and are not changed by this action.

D. Why wasn't there a proposed rule before this rule?

Along with this direct final rule, EPA is publishing a separate document in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register that serves as the proposal to authorize these state program revisions. EPA did not publish a proposal before this direct final action because EPA views this action as a routine program change and does not expect comments that oppose its approval. EPA is providing an opportunity for public comment now, as described in Section E of this document.

E. What happens if EPA receives comments that oppose this action?

If EPA receives comments that oppose this authorization, we will withdraw this rule by publishing a document in the Federal Register before the rule becomes effective. EPA will base any further decision on the authorization of Nebraska's program revisions on the proposal mentioned in the previous section, after considering all comments received during the comment period. EPA will then address all such comments in a later final rule. You may not have another opportunity to comment. If you want to comment on this authorization, you must do so at this time.

If EPA receives comments that oppose only the authorization of a particular revision to the State hazardous waste program, we will withdraw only that part of this action, and the authorization of the program revisions that the comments do not oppose will become effective on the date specified above. The Federal Register withdrawal document will specify which part of the authorization will become effective and which part is being withdrawn.

F. For what has Nebraska previously been authorized?

Nebraska initially received final authorization on January 24, 1985, effective February 7, 1985 (50 FR 3345), to implement the RCRA hazardous waste management program. Nebraska received authorization for revisions to its program on October 4, 1985, effective December 3, 1988 (53 FR 38950); June 25, 1996, effective August 26, 1996 (61 FR 32699); April 10, 2003, effective June 9, 2003 (68 FR 17553); October 4, 2004, effective December 3, 2004 (69 FR 59139); and December 30, 2008, effective September 24, 2010 (75 FR 58328).

G. What changes are we authorizing with this action?

On September 21, 2016, Nebraska submitted its final application seeking authorization of hazardous waste program revisions in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. The State's authorization package includes an updated Program Description, a General Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), a Corrective Action MOA between the EPA and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ), a copy of title 128 of the Nebraska Administrative Code, as amended on July 6, 2016, and an Attorney General's Statement. The State has made amendments to the provisions listed in the table which follows. The State's laws and regulations, amended by these provisions, provide authority which remains equivalent to, no less stringent than, and not broader in scope than the Federal laws and regulations. Nebraska's regulatory references are to title 128 or title 129, as noted, of the Nebraska Administrative Code, as amended on July 6, 2016. We are granting Nebraska final authorization to carry out the following provisions of the State's program in lieu of the Federal program.

Federal requirement 40 CFR Analogous Nebraska authority Title 128 Changes Analogous to Part 124 124.31(a) 13-001.03 & 13-001.05 124.31(b) 31(c) 13-016.01-.02 124.31(d) (all) 13-016.03, .03(A) (all) and .03(B) (all) 124.32(a) 13-001.04 & .05 124.32(b)-(c) 13-017.01-.02 124.33(a) 13-001.06 124.33(b)-(f) 13-018.01-.05 Changes Analogous to Part 260 260.10 “contained” 1-023 (all) 260.10 “corrective action management unit (CAMU)” 1-027 260.10 “designated facility” 1-037 (all) 260.10 “disposal facility” 1-043 260.10 “facility” (2) and (3) 1-052.02-.03 260.10 “Hazardous secondary material” 1-063 260.10 “Hazardous secondary material generator” 1-064 260.10 “Intermediate facility” 1-079 260.10 “lamp” 25-008.06 260.10 “Land-based unit” 1-081 260.10 “landfill” 1-082 260.10 “manifest” 1-089 260.10 “manifest tracking number” 1-090 260.10 “miscellaneous unit” 1-092 260.10 “no free liquids” 1-096 260.10 “Remanufacturing” 1-110 260.10 “remediation waste” 1-111 260.10 “remediation waste management site” 1-112 260.10 “staging pile” 1-123 260.10 “Transfer facility” 1-133 260.10 “universal waste” 25-008.13 (all) 260.10 “wipe” 1-153 260-11 References 1-003 260.30 5-001 and 001.01 260.30(b)-(f) 5-001.01B-.01F 260.31(c); 260.31(c)(1)-(5) 5-001.04 (all) 260.31(d)(all) 5-001.05 (all) 260.33 (Section heading and introductory text) 5-003 260.33(a) 5-003.01 260.33(c)-(e) 5-003.03-.05 260.34(all) 5-004 (all) 260.42 section heading 5-008 260.42(a) (all) 5-008.01 (all) 260.42(b) 5-008.02 260.43 (all) 5-009 (all) Changes Analogous to Part 261 261.1(c)(4) 2-002.03 261.1(c)(8) 2-002.07 261.2(b)(3)-(4) 2-003.02A3-A4 261.2(c)(3) except references to 261.4(a)(17) 2-003.03C 261.2(c)(4) table 1 except references to 261.4(a)(17) 2-003.03/Table 1 261.2(g) 2-003.07 261.4(a)(23) (all) 2-008.25 261.4(a)(24) (all) 2-008.26 261.4(a)(26) (all) 2-008.24 261.4(a)(27) (all) 2-008.27 261.4(b)(15) (all) 2-009.13 (all) 261.4(b)(18) (all) 2-009.14 261.4(g) (all) 2-014.01 (all) 261.6(c)(1) 7-005 261.7(b)(1)(iii)(A)-(B) 2-015.03C-.03D 261.9(b),(c)-(d) 25-001.01B,.01C-D 261.32(a) adding K181 3-014, Table 5 261.32(b)-(d) 3-014.01 Subpart H—Financial Requirements for Management of Excluded Hazardous Secondary Materials 261.140-261.151 3-022 Subpart I—Use and Management of Containers 261.170-261.179 3-023 Subpart J—Tank Systems 261.190-261.200 3-024 Subpart M—Emergency Preparedness and Response for Management of Excluded Hazardous Secondary Materials 261.400-261.420 3-025 Subpart AA—Air Emission Standards for Process Vents 261.1030-261.1035 3-026 Subpart BB—Air Emission Standards for Equipment Leaks 261.1050-261.1064 3-027 Subpart CC—Air Emission Standards for Tanks and Containers 261.1080-261.1089 3-028 261 Appendix VII Adding K181 Appendix II 261 Appendix VIII Adding o-Anisidine (2-methoxyaniline); p-Cresidine; 2-4-Dimethylaniline (2,4-xylidine); 1,2-Phenylenediamine; and 1-3-Phenylenediamine Appendix I Changes Analogous to Part 262 262.20(a)(1) 10-002.01A 262.21 (all) 10-002.01A1 262.27 (all) 10-002.14 (all) 262.32(b) 10-003.01D 262.33 10-003.01E 262.34(m) (all) 10-004.06 (all) 262.54(c) and (e) 10-006 262.60(c)-(e) 10-006 262/Appendix 10-002.01A 262.34(a)(1)(i) 10-004.01A6 262.34(a)(1)(ii) 10-004.01B 262.34(a)(4) 10-004.01H 262.34(d)(2) 9-007.03C Changes Analogous to Part 263 263.20(a)(1)-(2) 11-006.01 and 006.01A 263.20(g) (all) 11-006.07 (all) 263.21(b)(1) 11-006.10 263.21(b) (all) 11-006.10A (all) Changes Analogous to Part 264 264.1(g)(11)(ii)-(iv) 21-001 264.1(j) (all) 21-001.04 (all) 264.3 21-001.05 Subpart B—GENERAL FACILITY STANDARDS 264.10 and 264.12-264.19 21-002 Subpart E—MANIFEST SYSTEM, RECORDKEEPING, AND REPORTING 264.70-264.77 21-005 Subpart F—RELEASES FROM SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT UNITS 264.90-264.101 21-006 (For discussion of 21-006.01 see section H of this notice.) Subpart G—CLOSURE AND POST-CLOSURE 264.110-264.120 21-007 Subpart H—FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS 264.140-264.151 21-008 Subpart I—USE AND MANAGEMENT OF CONTAINERS 264.170-264.179 21-009 Subpart J—TANK SYSTEMS 264.190-264.200 21-010 Subpart K—SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS 264.220-264.232 21-011 Subpart S—SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR CLEANUP 264.550-264.555 21-016 (For discussion of 21-016.01 see section H of this notice.) Subpart X—MISCELLANEOUS UNITS 264.600-264.603 21-018 Subpart AA—AIR EMISSION STANDARDS FOR PROCESS VENTS 264.1030-264.1036 21-019 Subpart BB—AIR EMISSION STANDARDS FOR EQUIPMENT LEAKS 264.1050-264.1065 21-020 Subpart CC—AIR EMISSION STANDARDS FOR TANKS, SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS, AND CONTAINERS 264.1080-264.1091 21-021 Changes Analogous to Part 265 265.1(b) 22-001 265.1(c)(14)(ii)-(iv) 22-001.01K Subpart B—GENERAL FACILITY STANDARDS 40 CFR 265.10 and 265.12-265.19 22-002 Subpart E—MANIFEST SYSTEM, RECORDKEEPING, AND REPORTING 265.70-265.77 22-005 Subpart F—GROUND-WATER MONITORING 265.90-265.94 22-006 (For discussion of 22-006.01—006.05 see section H of this notice) Subpart G—CLOSURE AND POST-CLOSURE 265.110-265.121 22-007 Subpart H—FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS 265.140-265.150 22-008 Subpart I—USE AND MANAGEMENT OF CONTAINERS 265.170-265.178 22-009 Subpart J—TANK SYSTEMS 265.190-265.200, and 265.202 22-010 Subpart K—SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS 265.220-265.231 22-011 Subpart AA—AIR EMISSION STANDARDS FOR PROCESS VENTS 265.1030-265.1035 22-019 Subpart BB—AIR EMISSION STANDARDS FOR EQUIPMENT LEAKS 265.1050-265.1064 22-020 Subpart CC—AIR EMISSION STANDARDS FOR TANKS, SURFACE IMPOUNDMENTS, AND CONTAINERS 265.1080-265.1091 22-021 Appendix VI 22-027 Changes Analogous to Part 266 266.80(a) 7-012.01 and .02, including Table Changes Analogous to Part 268 268.1 (all) 20-001.01-001.06 268.2 20-002 268.2(c) 20-002.03 268.3(a)-(d) 20-003.01 268.4 20-004 268.7(a) intro 20-005.01 268.7(a)(3)-(8) 20-005.01C-.01H 268.7(a)(9) 20-005.01I, 20-005.01I1-005.01I4 268.7(a)(10) 20-005.01J 268.7(b)-(d) 20-005.02—005.04 268.9 (all) 20-006 (all) 268.14 (all) 20-007 268.20 20-008.01 Subpart C—PROHIBITIONS ON LAND DISPOSAL 268.30-268.39 20-008.01 268.40 (all) 20-009 268.40/Treatment Standard Table revising F039 and by adding K181 20--Table 9 268.42(a) 20-010.01 268.42(a)/Table 1 20-010.01, Table 10 268.42(c) (all) 20-010.02 (all) 268.42(d) 20-010.03 268.44(h) (all) 5-006 (all) 268.45 (all) 20-011.01-011.04 268.45/Table 1 20-Table 11 268.46 20-Table 9 268.48(a) 20-012.01 268.48(a)/Universal Treatment Standards Table adding o-Anisidine (2-methoxyaniline); p-Cresidine; 2,4-Dimethylaniline (2,4-xylidine); and 1,3-Phenylenediamine 20-Table 12 268.49 (all) 20-013 (all) 268.50 (all) 20-014 (all) Appendix III List of Halogenated Organic Compounds Regulated Under § 268.32 20-015 Appendix IV Wastes Excluded From Lab Packs Under the Alternative Treatment Standards of § 268.42(c) 20-16 Appendix VI Recommended Technologies To Achieve Deactivation of Characteristics in Section 268.42 20-17 Appendix VII LDR Effective Dates of Surface Disposed Prohibited Hazardous Wastes 20-018 Appendix VIII LDR Effective Dates of Injected Prohibited Hazardous Wastes 20-019 Appendix IX Extraction Procedure (EP) Toxicity Test Method and Structural Integrity Test (Method 1310B) 20-020 Appendix XI Metal Bearing Wastes Prohibited From Dilution in a Combustion Unit According to 40 CFR 268.3(c) 20-021 Changes Analogous to Part 270 270.1(c) intro 12-001.02 270.1(c)(2)(viii)(B)-(D) 12-001.03H 270.1(c)(7) 12-001.09 270.2 “corrective action management unit” 1-027 270.2 “disposal facility” 1-043 270.2 “Facility mailing list” 15-006.01A 270.2 “Remedial Action Plan (RAP)” 12-001.0314 270.4(a)(2)-(a)(4) 12-002.01B-.01D 270.11(d)(1)-(d)(2) 13-011.03-011.04 270.14 Contents of part B: General requirements 13-012.02 270.15-270.27 Specific part B information requirements 13-012.04 270.28 13-012.02A 270.30(m) 14-002.18 270.42 Appendix I adding number 3 to section D; adding number 10 to Section L; and adding Section N Corrective Action Appendix V 270.60(c)(3)(vii) 12-001.04A1(b) 270.61(b)(5) 12-001.04B5 270.62 Hazardous waste incinerator permits 12-001.04C 270.66 Permits for boilers and industrial furnaces burning hazardous waste 12-001.04F 270.68 12-001.04G 270.73(a) 12-003.04A Subpart H—Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) 270.79-270.230 12-004 Changes Analogous to Part 273 273.1(a)(2)-(4) 25-001.01B 273.2(a)(1) 25-002.01A 273.2(b)(2) 25-002.01B 273.2(b)(3) 25-002.02C 273.3(a) 25-003.01 273.4(a) 25-004.01 273.5(a) 25-005.01 273.5(b) (all) and (c) all 25-005.02 (all) and .03 (all) 273.8(a)-(b) 25-007.01-.02 273.9 “Lamp” 25-008.06 273.9 “Large quantity handler of universal waste” 25-008.07 excluding “electronic items”
  • (For discussion of the state's additional waste stream “electronic items” see section H of this notice.)
  • 273.9 “small quantity handler of universal waste” 25-008.11 excluding “electronic items”
  • (For discussion of the state's additional waste stream “electronic items” see section H of this notice.)
  • 273.9 “universal waste” 25-008.13 excluding “electronic items”
  • (For discussion of the state's additional waste stream “electronic items” see section H of this notice.)
  • 273.10 25-009 273.13-(d) (all) 25-012.04 (all) 273.14(e) 25-013.05 273.30 25-020 273.32(b)(4) 25-022.02D excluding “electronic items” (For discussion of the state's additional waste stream “electronic items” see section H of this notice.) 273.33(d) (all) 25-023.04 (all) 273.34(e) 25-024.05 273.50 25-031 273.60(a) 25-038 273.81(a) 25-043.01 Changes Analogous to Part 60 Federal Requirement 40 CFR Analogous Nebraska authority Title 129 60 Appendix A 34-002.02
    H. Where are the revised State rules different from the Federal rules?

    1. State clarification of Federal rules. These clarifications do not affect the enforcement status of the rule, but simply improves clarity for the regulated community.

    (a) Nebraska chose not to publish the note in 40 CFR 268.42 because all the information formerly contained in 40 CFR 268.42/tables 2 and 3 are now contained in title 128, chapter 20, section 009/table 9 and section 010/table 10. By omitting the note, the State eliminated a source of possible confusion.

    (b) Nebraska chose not to publish the note in 40 CFR 268.43 because all the information formerly contained in 40 CFR 268.43/table CCW is now contained in title 128, chapter 20, section 009/table 9. By omitting the note, the State eliminated a source of possible confusion.

    (c) Nebraska chose not to publish the note in 40 CFR 268.46 because all the information formerly contained in 40 CFR 268.46 is now contained in title 128, chapter 20, section 009/table 9. By omitting the note, the State eliminated a source of possible confusion.

    2. More Stringent Nebraska Rules. The Nebraska hazardous waste program contains some provisions that are more stringent than is required by the RCRA program as codified in the July 1, 2015, edition of the title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These more stringent provisions are being recognized as a part of the Federally-authorized program.

    The specific more stringent provisions are also noted in Nebraska's authorization application. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (a) 40 CFR 268.7(a)(1) and (a)(2) include parenthetical provisions, beginning with “Alternatively,” which allow a generator of hazardous waste to send the waste to a RCRA-permitted hazardous waste treatment facility without determining whether the hazardous waste has to be treated before it can be land disposed. This allowance shifts the determination requirement to the treatment facility. Nebraska omits these parenthetical provisions and is therefore more stringent than the Federal regulations by keeping the responsibility for determining if the hazardous waste meets LDR treatment standards with the generator.

    (b) At 20-005.01B1, Nebraska requires specific language for a contaminated soil certification statement. The Federal rules do not specify required language, therefore the State is more stringent.

    (c) In title 128, chapter 20, the table—Treatment Standards for Hazardous Waste—Nebraska includes the chemical 1,3-Phenylenediamine under the F039 listing. This chemical is not included in the table located at 40 CFR 268.40. Therefore the State is more stringent.

    (d) At 21-006, Nebraska adopts and incorporates by reference 40 CFR part 264, subpart F, pertaining to releases from solid waste management units. Nebraska adds a provision at 21-006.01, which requires groundwater monitoring wells to be designed according to ASTM Standard D5092-90. In addition, any groundwater monitoring well to be placed in a stratigraphic unit composed of loessal sediment must be designed and sampled in a manner approved by NDEQ intended to minimize turbidity in samples taken from the well. The Federal regulations do not have these specific requirements, therefore Nebraska is more stringent.

    (e) At 40 CFR 270.60(b)(3), the Federal rules the owner/operator of an injection well disposing of hazardous waste is considered to have RCRA permit if they have a UIC permit issued after November 8, 1984 and meet the conditions listed at 270.60(b)(3)(i) and (ii). Hazardous waste injection wells are expressly prohibited under title 122, Nebraska Administrative Code, Rules and Regulations for Underground Injection and Mineral Production Wells, chapter 3, section 003. Through this prohibition, the State rule is more stringent than the Federal rule.

    (f) At 22-006, Nebraska adopts and incorporates by reference 40 CFR part 265, subpart F, pertaining to groundwater monitoring. Nebraska adds a provision at 22-006.01, which requires groundwater monitoring wells to be designed according to ASTM Standard D5092-90. In addition, any groundwater monitoring well to be placed in a stratigraphic unit composed of loessal sediment must be designed and sampled in a manner approved by NDEQ intended to minimize turbidity in samples taken from the well. The Federal regulations do not have these specific requirements, therefore Nebraska is more stringent.

    (g) At 22-006, Nebraska adopts and incorporates by reference 40 CFR part 265, subpart F, pertaining to groundwater monitoring. At 22-006.03, Nebraska adds a provision which requires sampling during the initial four consecutive quarters for all analytes listed in 40 CFR 265.92(b), as incorporated by reference at 22-006. This requirement is more stringent than the Federal rules.

    The 40 CFR 265.92(b)(1)-(3) outlines criteria required, Nebraska adds a provision at 22-006.03, which requires groundwater monitoring wells to be designed according to ASTM Standard D5092-90. In addition, any groundwater monitoring well to be placed in a stratigraphic unit composed of loessal sediment must be designed and sampled in a manner approved by NDEQ intended to minimize turbidity in samples taken from the well. The Federal regulations do not have these specific requirements, therefore Nebraska is more stringent.

    (h) At 22-006, Nebraska adopts and incorporates by reference 40 CFR part 265, subpart F, pertaining to groundwater monitoring. At 40 CFR 265.93(d)(7)(ii), the Federal regulations state that determinations may cease if the groundwater quality assessment plan was implemented during the post-closure care period. At 22-006.04, the State regulations allow these determinations to cease only if the facility is operating under an approved Post Closure Plan. Therefore the State regulations are more stringent than the Federal rules.

    (i) At 22-006, Nebraska adopts and incorporates by reference 40 CFR part 265, subpart F, pertaining to groundwater monitoring. Under 265.93(f), the owner or operator must report the results of analyses annually. At 22-006.05, Nebraska requires the analyses to be submitted within 45 days following the end of the quarter in which the sample was taken. Therefore, the State is more stringent.

    (j) The Federal regulations at 273.32(b)(4) require a large quantity handler of universal waste to send written notification of universal waste management to the regulating authority. Nebraska requires the generator to list the type of waste being generated. Therefore, the state rule is more stringent than the Federal rule.

    (k) At 261.2(c)(3), and in column 3 of 261.2(c)(4) table 1, the Federal regulations list the exclusion cited at 261.4(a)(17). Nebraska did not adopt this exclusion. Therefore, the state is more stringent than the Federal regulations.

    3. Broader in scope. EPA considers the following state requirements to be beyond the scope of the Federal program, and therefore EPA is not authorizing these requirements and cannot enforce them. Entities must comply with these requirements in accordance with state law, but they are not RCRA requirements. The specific broader in scope provisions include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (a) At 22-006, Nebraska adopts and incorporates by reference 40 CFR part 265, subpart F, pertaining to groundwater monitoring. At 40 CFR 265.92(b), the owner or operator must determine the concentration or value of the listed parameters in ground-water samples. At 22-006.02, Nebraska includes sampling for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the discretion of the Director on a case-by-case basis. The VOCs shall be analyzed in accordance with a method approved by the Director. This requirement is broader in scope than the Federal rules.

    (b) Title 128 chapter 25 contains Nebraska's “Standards for Universal Waste Management.” The state adds an additional waste stream “electronic items” to the list of types of universal waste subject to these regulations. 40 CFR part 273, the Federal “Standards for Universal Waste Management” do not include “electronic items” as an identified waste stream. Therefore, any references or requirements for managing the “electronic items” waste stream universal waste are broader in scope and not enforceable by EPA.

    I. Who handles permits after the authorization takes effect?

    Nebraska will issue permits for all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. EPA will continue to administer and enforce any RCRA hazardous waste permits or portions of permits which EPA issued prior to the effective date of this authorization until they expire or are terminated. EPA will not issue any more permits, or new portions of permits, for the provisions listed in the table above after the effective date of this authorization. EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which Nebraska is not yet authorized.

    J. How does this action affect Indian Country (18 U.S.C. 1151) in Nebraska?

    Nebraska is not authorized to carry out its Hazardous Waste Program in Indian Country within the State. This authority remains with EPA. Therefore, this action has no effect in Indian Country.

    K. What is codification and is EPA codifying Nebraska's Hazardous Waste Program as authorized in this rule?

    Codification is the process of placing the State's statutes and regulations that comprise the State's authorized hazardous waste program into the Code of Federal Regulations. We do this by referencing the authorized State rules in 40 CFR part 272. EPA is not codifying the authorization of Nebraska's changes at this time. However, we reserve the amendment of 40 CFR part 272, subpart CC for the authorization of Nebraska's program changes at a later date.

    L. Administrative Requirements

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this action from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), and therefore, this action is not subject to review by OMB. This action authorizes State requirements for the purpose of RCRA 3006 and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. Accordingly, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action authorizes pre-existing requirements under State law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by State law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). For the same reason, this action also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it merely authorizes State requirements as part of the State RCRA hazardous waste program without altering the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established by RCRA. This action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant and it does not make decisions based on environmental health or safety risks. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    Under RCRA 3006(b), EPA grants a state's application for incorporation by reference as long as the State meets the criteria required by RCRA. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for the EPA, when it reviews a state authorization application, to require the use of any particular voluntary consensus standard in place of another standard that otherwise satisfies the requirements of RCRA. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this rule, EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard affected conduct. EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings” issued under the executive order. This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This action will be effective January 17, 2017, unless objections to this authorization are received.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Hazardous waste, Hazardous waste transportation, Indian lands, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    This action is issued under the authority of Sections 2002(a), 3006, and 7004(b) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6926, 6974(b).

    Dated: November 3, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27680 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    81 222 Thursday, November 17, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service 7 CFR Part 272 RIN 0584-AE51 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Civil Rights Update to the Federal-State Agreement AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The proposed action would update civil rights assurance language contained in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations on the Federal-State Agreement (FSA). The rule does not contain any new requirements and would codify protections already required by Federal law and existing policy.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before January 17, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, invites interested persons to submit written comments on this proposed rule. Comments may be submitted in writing by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Send comments to Sasha Gersten-Paal, Branch Chief, Certification Policy Branch, Program Development Division, FNS, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, 703-305-2507.

    All written comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will be included in the record and made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of comments and the identity of individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. FNS will make written comments publicly available online at http://www.regulations.gov.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sasha Gersten-Paal, Branch Chief, Certification Policy Branch, Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, 703-305-2507.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (the Act), requires that each State operating SNAP have a State Plan of Operation (State Plan) specifying details as to how the State conducts the program. The State Plan contains forms, plans, agreements and policy descriptions required by Federal regulation and is cleared under OMB No. 0584-0083, Expiration date 4/30/2017. Current SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 272.2(a)(2) include the FSA as one such required component of the State Plan. The FSA is the legal agreement between the Department of Agriculture (Department) and the State agency through which the State elects to operate SNAP and to administer the program in accordance with the Act, SNAP regulations and the State Plan. Although both the Department and the State agency may mutually agree to modify or supplement the language, the regulations at 7 CFR 272.2(b)(1) contain standard FSA language for State agencies operating SNAP.

    As a Federal program, civil rights protections for SNAP applicants and recipients are important and essential. The standard FSA language contained in the regulations at 7 CFR 272.2(b)(1) already requires State agencies administering SNAP to agree to assure compliance with civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 11(c) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (now the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended), and the Department's regulatory nondiscrimination requirements.

    Since the publication of the final rule establishing the standard FSA language, additional civil rights legislation has been passed and more uniform administrative procedures have been established to support effective enforcement of the civil rights protections. Further, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended the addition of updated references in the Department's civil rights-related materials. The Department understands that similar language has been incorporated into agreements in other Federal agencies, and has incorporated very similar language in agreements in the Department's Child Nutrition Program and Women, Infants and Children programs. We note, by way of background, that the FSA in SNAP is unique within the Department's programs in that most other comparable agreements are not contained in the Federal regulations but in forms formally approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    This proposed rule would incorporate references to additional civil rights legislation into the standard FSA language at section 272.2. Those references include Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.), Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Persons with Limited English Proficiency.” This proposed rule would incorporate those provisions into the regulations at 7 CFR 272.2(b)(1). The rule would also require States to comply with Department instructions, policy guidance, and other written directions as well as current regulatory nondiscrimination regulations located at 7 CFR part 15 et seq. and 7 CFR 272.6 (Nondiscrimination Compliance for participating State agencies). Again, these additions would codify protections already required by Federal law, regulations and existing policy.

    FSAs, once signed by a State's Governor or authorized designee, are valid indefinitely under 7 CFR 272.2(e)(1) until they are terminated. Section 272.2(e)(1) also provides that the FSA must be signed and submitted to FNS within 120 days after the publication of the regulations in final form and shall remain in effect until terminated. Although initially included in the regulations with other regulatory FSA requirements, the same procedure would apply to this update. That is, upon publication of this proposed rule as final, all State agencies administering SNAP would be required to sign a new FSA with the updated language and provide a copy of the same to the Department within 120 days after publication of the regulations in final form. Although State agencies are already required to abide by the new civil rights language as stated above, the Department believes it is important to incorporate the updated language at section 272.2(b)(1) in the FSA itself.

    The rule also proposes additional items be added to the FSA standard language. The other items allow for the Department to track, analyze and enforce the civil rights protections in the FSA. First, this proposed rule would add that the State agency's agreement to follow civil rights requirements in the FSA is made in consideration of and for the purposes of obtaining Federal financial assistance. Second, the rule would incorporate into the FSA the State agency's obligation to compile data, maintain records, and submit records and reports as required to allow for effective enforcement of the civil rights provisions. This would include an assurance to allow Department personnel to review and access records, access facilities and interview personnel to ascertain compliance with nondiscrimination laws. The rule would also codify procedures to support enforcement of the nondiscrimination protections by updating the FSA to include a provision that the Department may seek judicial enforcement for violations of the FSA, and add assurances that the State agency and its successors are bound by the FSA. Again, these provisions would not only be responsive to DOJ's suggestions regarding nondiscrimination compliance language but also mirror language in other USDA programs.

    Procedural Matters Executive Order 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility.

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant and was not reviewed by the OMB in conformance with Executive Order 12866.

    Regulatory Impact Analysis

    This rule has been designated as not significant by the Office of Management and Budget, therefore, no Regulatory Impact Analysis is required.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires Agencies to analyze the impact of rulemaking on small entities and consider alternatives that would minimize any significant impacts on a substantial number of small entities. Pursuant to that review, it has been certified that this rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local and Tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, the Department generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures by State, local or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector, of $146 million or more (when adjusted for inflation; GDP deflator source: Table 1.1.9 at http://www.bea.gov/iTable) in any one year. When such a statement is needed for a rule, Section 205 of the UMRA generally requires the Department to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the most cost effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule.

    This proposed rule does not contain Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local and Tribal governments or the private sector of $146 million or more in any one year. Thus, the rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

    Executive Order 12372

    State administrative matching grants for SNAP are listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Programs under 10.561. For the reasons set forth in the final rule in 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, and related Notice (48 FR 29114, June 24, 1983), this program is included in the scope of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. The Department issued guidance in June 2016 to State agencies as part of a larger effort to help States ensure their State Plans are complete and up to date, which in part included direction to State agencies to incorporate updated civil rights provisions as an addendum to existing FSAs. The Department's Food and Nutrition Service SNAP Regional Offices individually discussed these issues directly with State agencies during policy calls and meetings.

    Federalism Summary Impact Statement

    Executive Order 13132 requires Federal agencies to consider the impact of their regulatory actions on State and local governments. Where such actions have federalism implications, agencies are directed to provide a statement for inclusion in the preamble to the regulations describing the agency's considerations in terms of the three categories called for under Section (6)(b)(2)(B) of Executive Order 13121. The Department has considered the impact of this rule on State and local governments and has determined that this rule does not have significant federalism implications. State agencies will be required to update the standard language contained in FSAs once. This agreement will then be binding until otherwise terminated. Therefore, under section 6(b) of the Executive Order, a federalism summary is not required.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is intended to have preemptive effect with respect to any State or local laws, regulations or policies that conflict with its provisions or that would otherwise impede its full and timely implementation. This rule is not intended to have retroactive effect unless so specified in the Effective Dates section of the final rule. Prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of the final rule, all applicable administrative procedures must be exhausted.

    Civil Rights Impact Analysis

    The changes to SNAP regulations in this proposed rule are to incorporate references to additional civil rights legislation into the standard FSA language.

    Impact on State agencies: State agencies would be required to submit to the Department an updated FSA within 120 days upon publication of this proposed rule as final. The FSA would include the updated language, signed by a State's Governor or authorized designee. State agencies would also have to agree to certain administrative procedures that ensure effective enforcement of the added protections, such as maintaining data and complying with Federal reviews.

    Impact on Households: The updated FSA language would emphasize existing nondiscrimination protections for SNAP households to the effect that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of sex, race, color, age, political belief, religious creed, disability, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subject of discrimination under SNAP.

    Training and Outreach: The proposed rule highlights protections that already exist and are required by Federal law, regulations, and existing policy. The Department issued guidance in June 2016 to State agencies as part of a larger effort to help States ensure their State Plans are complete and up to date. It included direction to State agencies to incorporate the updated civil rights provisions as an addendum to existing FSAs to guarantee they were highlighted immediately.

    FNS also maintains a public Web site that provides basic information on each program, including SNAP. Interested persons, including potential applicants, applicants, and participants can find information about their right to be treated fairly and the protections they are guaranteed. The Web site also includes information on how to report when an individual feels his or her rights were violated and not treated in accordance with this provision.

    Finding and Conclusion: After careful review of the rule's intent and provisions, and the characteristics of SNAP households and individual participants, the Department has determined that this proposed rule will not have a disparate impact on any group or class of persons.

    Executive Order 13175

    Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with Tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have Tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian Tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes. The Department notes that the regulatory changes proposed in this rule impact program applicants and participants equally regardless of tribal status or residence. We are unaware of any current Tribal laws that could be in conflict with the final rule.

    To share information on the proposed rule with Indian Tribes, FNS discussed the proposed rule at a tribal consultation meeting on August 17, 2016.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chap. 35; 5 CFR 1320) requires OMB to approve all collections of information by a Federal agency before they can be implemented. Respondents are not required to respond to any collection of information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number.

    The provisions in this proposed rule do not contain new information collection requirements subject to approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1994. The Department anticipates that this rule would have no to minimal time and cost impacts on the Federal government and State agencies. State agencies are already required to follow the requirements contained in the added nondiscrimination references. Any time and cost burden would be related to administrative obligations to sign an updated Federal-State Agreement and ensure appropriate recordkeeping to support enforcement of the nondiscrimination provisions as cleared under OMB Number 0584-0083. FNS provides 50 percent of SNAP's administrative cost reimbursement and so a portion of any minimal administrative costs would be offset by federal funding.

    Since State agencies are already required to have these agreements, the impact of this provision is negligible. Other minimal burdens imposed on State agencies by this proposed rule are usual and customary within the course of their normal business activities.

    E-Government Act Compliance

    The Department is committed to complying with the E-Government Act of 2002, to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.

    List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 272

    Alaska, Civil rights, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Grant programs—social programs, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 272 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 272—REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATING STATE AGENCIES 1. The authority citation for Part 272 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

    2. Revise § 272.2(b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 272.2 Plan of operation.

    (b) * * *

    (1) The wording of the Federal/State Agreement is as follows:

    The State of __ and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereby agree to act in accordance with the provisions of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, implementing regulations, instructions, policy guidance, and other written directions interpreting Federal law and regulations applicable to this program, and the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation. The State and FNS USDA further agree to fully comply with any changes in Federal law and regulations. This agreement may be modified with the mutual written consent of both parties.

    Provisions

    The State agrees to:

    1. Administer the program in accordance with the provisions contained in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, and in the manner prescribed by regulations issued pursuant to the Act; and to implement the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation.

    2. Assurance of Civil Rights Compliance: Comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.), section 11(c) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (7 U.S.C. 2020), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as amended by the ADA Amendment Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 12131-12189) as implemented by Department of Justice regulations at 28 CFR part 35 and 36, Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency” (August 11, 2000), and all requirements imposed by the regulations, instructions, policy guidance, and other written directions issued by the Department of Agriculture to the effect that, no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of sex, race, color, age, political belief, religious creed, disability, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subject to discrimination under SNAP. This includes program-specific requirements found at 7 CFR part 15 et seq. and 7 CFR 272.6.

    This assurance is given in consideration of and for the purpose of obtaining any and all Federal assistance extended to the State by USDA under the authority of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended. Federal financial assistance includes grants, and loans of Federal funds; reimbursable expenditures, grants, or donations of Federal property and interest in property; the detail of Federal personnel; the sale, lease of, or permission to use Federal property or interest in such property; the furnishing of services without consideration, or at a nominal consideration, or at a consideration that is reduced for the purpose of assisting the recipient or in recognition of the public interest to be served by such sale, lease, or furnishing of services to the recipient; or any improvements made with Federal financial assistance extended to the State by USDA. This assistance also includes any Federal agreement, arrangement, or other contract that has as one of its purposes the provision of cash assistance for the purchase of food, cash assistance for purchase or rental of food service equipment or any other financial assistance extended in reliance on the representations and agreements made in this assurance.

    By accepting this assurance, the State agency agrees to compile data, maintain records, and submit records and reports as required, to permit effective enforcement of nondiscrimination laws and permit authorized USDA personnel during hours of program operation to review and copy such records, books, and accounts, access such facilities and interview such personnel as needed to ascertain compliance with the nondiscrimination laws. If there are any violations of this assurance, USDA, FNS, shall have the right to seek judicial enforcement of this assurance. This assurance is binding on the State agency, its successors, transferees and assignees as long as it receives assistance or retains possession of any assistance from USDA. The person or persons whose signatures appear below are authorized to sign this assurance on behalf of the State agency.

    3. (For States with Indian Reservations only). Implement the Program in a manner that is responsive to the special needs of American Indians on reservations and consult in good faith with tribal organizations about that portion of the State's Plan of Operation pertaining to the implementation of the Program for members of the tribe on reservations.

    4. FNS agrees to: 1. Pay administrative costs in accordance with the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, implementing regulations, and an approved Cost Allocation Plan.

    2. Carry out any other responsibilities delegated by the Secretary in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended.

    Date Signature (Governor or Authorized Designee) Date Signature (Regional Administrator, FNS) Dated: November 7, 2016. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27604 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9389; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-153-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new Airworthiness Directive (AD) for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that certain wing fuel tank access panels are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require replacement of affected access panels and modification of the coamings of the associated access holes. We are proposing this AD to prevent the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 3, 2017.

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone: +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax: +31 (0)88-6280-111; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.myfokkerfleet.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-2016-9389; 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:

    Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1137; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-9389; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-153-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

    Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Widespread damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site damage and multiple-element damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane. This condition is known as widespread fatigue damage. It is associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2016-0125, dated June 21, 2016, which supersedes EASA AD 2014-0158, dated July 7, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Based on findings on test articles, fatigue-induced cracks may develop in the coamings of certain wing fuel tank access panels Part Number (P/N) D12395-403 and P/N D12450-403, installed on Fokker F28 Mark 0100 aeroplanes.

    To ensure the continued structural integrity with respect to fatigue, repetitive inspections were included in the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness. Fokker Services also developed precautionary measures to reduce stress loads in the affected areas by replacement of the affected access panels with new panels, P/N D19701-401 and P/N D19701-403, having thinner skin, and a modification by introducing internal patches to the coamings of the affected access holes.

    These precautionary measures were introduced with Service Bulletins (SB) SBF100-57-027 and SBF100-57-028. As part of the Widespread Fatigue Damage re-evaluation, it was concluded that repetitive inspections through the ALS do not provide a sufficient level of protection against the fatigue-induced cracks.

    This condition, if not corrected, would affect the structural integrity of the lower wing skins of both outer wings in the areas surrounding the affected fuel tank access panels.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires replacement of the affected access panels and modification of the coamings of these access holes.

    Post-modification inspection requirements depend on the actual number of flight cycles accumulated at the moment of modification. Related detailed information is provided in SBF100-57-027 and SBF100-57-028, as well as in Fokker Services ALS Report SE-623 Issue 12.

    Fokker Services All Operators Message AOF100.178#05 provides additional information concerning the subject addressed by this [EASA] AD.

    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-2016-9389.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Fokker Services B.V. has issued the following service information:

    • Fokker Service Bulletin SBF 100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013. This service information provides instructions to replace certain fuel tank access panels.

    • Fokker Service Bulletin SBF 100-57-028, Revision 2, dated December, 11, 2013. This service information provides instructions to modify the coamings of certain fuel tank access holes.

    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.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    In the “Required Action(s) and Compliance Times” section of the MCAI, paragraphs (3) and (4) specify to incorporate or comply with certain maintenance tasks (repetitive inspections). These actions are not included in this proposed AD. Since EASA AD 2014-0158, dated July 7, 2014, was issued, EASA issued AD 2016-0125, dated June 21, 2016, which includes a requirement to incorporate those maintenance tasks. We are considering further rulemaking to require the actions specified in EASA AD 2016-0125, dated June 21, 2016.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 15 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Replacement and Modification 510 work-hours × $85 per hour = $43,350 per airplane $45,500 $88,350 $1,325,250
    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 adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Fokker Services B.V.: Docket No. FAA-2016-9389; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-153-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 3, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 series airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that certain wing fuel tank access panels are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking in the wing structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification and Replacement

    Within 63,000 flight cycles since first flight of the airplane, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, accomplish the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes identified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013: Modify the coamings of the fuel tank access holes at the access panel locations identified in, and in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (2) For airplanes identified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013: Replace access panels having part number D12395-403 and D12450-403 with new panels having part number D19701-401 and D19701-403, at the access panel locations identified in, and in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (h) Parts Installation Prohibition

    (1) For airplanes that, on the effective date of this AD, have an access panel with part number D12395-403 or D12450-403 installed at any of the affected locations: After accomplishing the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable, no person may install, on any airplane, access panels having part number D12395-403 or D12450-403 at any access panel location as identified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (2) For airplanes that, on the effective date of this AD, do not have an access panel with part number D12395-403 or D12450-403 installed at any of the affected locations: As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any airplane, access panels having part number D12395-403 or D12450-403 at any access panel location as identified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (i) 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 the service information specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i) or (i)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, dated May 2, 1994.

    (ii) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, Revision 1, dated November 1, 1994.

    (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 the service information specified in paragraph (i)(2)(i) or (i)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, dated September 13, 1993.

    (ii) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 1, dated May 2, 1994.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1137; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] 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: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Fokker Services B.V.'s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2014-0158, dated July 7, 2014, 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-2016-9389.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone: +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax: +31 (0)88-6280-111; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.myfokkerfleet.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 November 7, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27529 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9384; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-154-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 777-300ER series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that certain galley tripod mount assemblies were not connected to the tie rods in the overhead support structure. This proposed AD would require an inspection of certain galleys for the presence of the hardware that connects the tripod mount assembly to the tie rods in the overhead support structure, and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 3, 2017.

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9384.

    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-2016-9384; 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 Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Brown, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6476; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-9384; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-154-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 because of 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

    We have received a report that the T53 and T52 tie rods to the tripod mount assembly in the A2 and A3 galleys were found unattached during a routine production inspection of certain airplanes before delivery. The cause was determined to be a change to the galley installation sequence. This changed installation sequence did not include a robust method to make sure that the tie rods were attached to the galley before delivery. Since this unsafe condition was found, Boeing has implemented a new improved process to ensure that the hardware that attaches the T53 and T52 tie rods to the tripod mount assembly in the A2 and A3 galleys is attached. A galley tripod mount assembly that is unconnected to the tie rods in the overhead support structure can cause a galley to come loose under a high dynamic load causing a risk of serious injury to passengers and the blocking of evacuation routes.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016. The service information describes procedures for doing an inspection of the area above the A2 and A3 galleys to make sure the hardware (i.e., pin assembly or bolt assembly) that connects the tripod mount assembly to the applicable T53 and T52 tie rods is installed; and corrective actions. 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

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.” For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9384.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. Corrective actions correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    This proposed AD requires a detailed inspection for specific hardware instead of the general visual inspection specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 4 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $340

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

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all available costs in our cost estimate.

    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 adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

    The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2016-9384; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-154-AD.

    (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 3, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-300ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that certain galley tripod mount assemblies were not attached to the tie rods in the overhead support structure. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct an unconnected galley tripod mount assembly to the tie rods in the overhead support structure, which can cause a galley to come loose under a high dynamic load causing a risk of serious injury to passengers and the blocking of evacuation routes.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Corrective Actions

    Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD: Do a detailed inspection of the area above the A2 and A3 galleys to make sure the hardware (i.e., pin assembly or bolt assembly) that connects the tripod mount assembly to the applicable T53 and T52 tie rods is installed, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) Definition of Detailed Inspection

    For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is an intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning and elaborate procedures may be required.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. If a step or substep is labeled “RC Exempt,” then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Eric Brown, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6476; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 2, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27310 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 4 [Docket No. TTB-2016-0011; Notice No. 165] RIN 1513-AC24 Proposed Addition of New Grape Variety Names for American Wines AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to amend its wine labeling regulations by adding a number of new names to the list of grape variety names approved for use in designating American wines. TTB also proposes to remove one existing entry and replace it with a slightly different name, and to correct the spelling of another existing entry. The proposed amendments would allow wine bottlers to use these additional approved grape variety names on wine labels and in wine advertisements.

    DATES:

    TTB must receive written comments on or before January 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    Internet: https://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2016-0011 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

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

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

    See the Public Participation section of this notice for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing.

    You may view copies of this proposed rule and any comments TTB receives about this proposal at https://www.regulations.gov within Docket No. TTB-2016-0011. A link to that docket is posted on the TTB Web site at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 165. You also may view copies of this proposed rule and any comments TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. Please call 202-453-2270 to make an appointment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Berry, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Regulations and Rulings Division; telephone 202-453-1039, ext. 275.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act requires that these regulations, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels, and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product.

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the regulations promulgated under the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01 (dated December 10, 2013, superseding Treasury Order 120-01 (Revised), “Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau,” dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these laws.

    Use of Grape Variety Names on Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) sets forth the standards promulgated under the FAA Act for the labeling and advertising of wine. Section 4.23 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.23) sets forth rules for varietal (grape type) labeling. Paragraph (a) of that section sets forth the general rule that the names of one or more grape varieties may be used as the type designation of a grape wine only if the wine is labeled with an appellation of origin as defined in § 4.25. Under paragraphs (b) and (c), a wine bottler may use the name of a single grape variety on a label as the type designation of a wine if not less than 75 percent of the wine (or 51 percent in certain limited circumstances) is derived from grapes of that variety grown in the labeled appellation of origin area. Under paragraph (d), a bottler may use two or more grape variety names as the type designation of a wine if all the grapes used to make the wine are of the labeled varieties and if the percentage of the wine derived from each grape variety is shown on the label (and with additional rules in the case of multicounty and multistate appellations of origin). Paragraph (e) of § 4.23 provides that only a grape variety name approved by the TTB Administrator may be used as a type designation for an American wine and states that a list of approved grape variety names appears in subpart J of part 4.

    Within subpart J of part 4, the list of grape variety names and their synonyms approved for use as type designations for American wines appears in § 4.91 (27 CFR 4.91). Alternative grape variety names temporarily authorized for use are listed in § 4.92 (27 CFR 4.92). Finally, § 4.93 (27 CFR 4.93) sets forth rules for the approval of grape variety names.

    Approval of New Grape Variety Names

    Section 4.93 provides that any interested person may petition the TTB Administrator for the approval of a grape variety name and that the petition should provide evidence of the following:

    • That the new grape variety is accepted;

    • That the name for identifying the grape variety is valid;

    • That the variety is used or will be used in winemaking; and

    • That the variety is grown and used in the United States.

    Section 4.93 further provides that documentation submitted with the petition may include:

    • A reference to the publication of the name of the variety in a scientific or professional journal of horticulture or a published report by a professional, scientific, or winegrowers' organization;

    • A reference to a plant patent, if patented; and

    • Information pertaining to the commercial potential of the variety, such as the acreage planted and its location or market studies.

    Section 4.93 also places certain eligibility restrictions on the approval of grape variety names. TTB will not approve a new name:

    • If it has been used previously for a different grape variety;

    • If it contains a term or name found to be misleading under § 4.39 (27 CFR 4.39); or

    • If it contains the term “Riesling.” (See T.D. ATF-370, 61 FR 522, published 1/8/96.)

    Typically, if TTB determines that the evidence submitted with a petition supports approval of the new grape variety name, TTB will send a letter of approval to the petitioner advising the petitioner that TTB will propose to add the grape variety name to the list of approved grape variety names in § 4.91 at a later date. Those letters are considered administrative approvals, and they are posted on TTB's Web site once a grape variety is approved. After one or more approvals have been issued, a notice of proposed rulemaking will be prepared for publication in the Federal Register proposing to add the name(s) to the § 4.91 list, with opportunity for public comment. In the event that one or more comments or other information demonstrate the inappropriateness of an approval action, TTB will determine not to add the grape variety name in question to the list and will advise the original petitioner that the name is no longer approved.

    Since the last revision of the approved grape variety names list in § 4.91, (T.D. TTB-95, 76 FR 66625, published October 27, 2011), TTB has received and administratively approved a number of petitions for new grape variety names. In this notice, TTB is proposing to add a number of grape variety names to the list of names in § 4.91 to reflect those approvals. The evidence that the petitioners submitted in support of each name—and that formed the basis for the TTB approval—is summarized below. TTB is requesting comments on the appropriateness of these names for use on American wine labels.

    TTB is also requesting comments on one petitioned-for grape name that TTB did not approve administratively. The petition for this name—Phoenix—is also discussed below. In addition, TTB has received a petition requesting that one grape variety name currently listed in § 4.91—Geneva Red 7—be removed from the list and replaced with the name “Geneva Red.” TTB is requesting comments on this petition.

    Grape Name Petitions Amigne

    White Heron Cellars, Quincy, Washington, petitioned TTB to add “Amigne” to the list of approved grape variety names. Amigne is a white Vitis vinifera grape variety long grown in Switzerland, but relatively new to the United States. The petitioner stated that it has grown the variety since the 1990s, and submitted written verification from a plant pathologist identifying its vines as Amigne. As evidence of the variety's acceptance, name validity, and usage, the petitioner also submitted references to Amigne from a Swiss publication “Principaux cépages cultivés en Suisse” (Principle Varieties Cultivated in Switzerland), published by the Swiss Federal Agricultural Research Station at Changins. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Amigne to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Arandell

    Jessica Lyga, Plant Varieties & Germplasm Licensing Associate, Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization, Cornell University, petitioned TTB to add “Arandell” to the list of approved grape varieties. Arandell, a red wine grape developed at Cornell, is a cross between two interspecific hybrid selections from Cornell's grape breeding program. According to a Cornell University bulletin submitted by the petitioner, Arandell is a “grape characterized by a high degree of natural disease resistance and producing dark red wines with clean, berry aromas.” The petitioner also submitted Arandell's listing in the National Grape Registry, published by the University of California at Davis (UC Davis), which notes the variety is available for sale at two commercial nurseries in New York. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Arandell to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Aromella

    Jessica Lyga, Plant Varieties & Germplasm Licensing Associate, Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization, Cornell University, petitioned TTB to add “Aromella” to the list of approved grape varieties. Aromella is a white wine grape developed at Cornell from a cross between Traminette and Ravat 34. According to a Cornell University bulletin submitted by the petitioner, Aromella is “a winter-hardy white wine grape with high potential productivity and excellent aromatic muscat wine characteristics.” The petitioner also submitted Aromella's listing in UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which notes the variety is available for sale at three commercial nurseries in New York and California. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Aromella to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Arvine

    White Heron Cellars, Quincy, Washington, petitioned TTB to add “Arvine” to the list of approved grape variety names. Arvine is a white Vitis vinifera variety originally from Switzerland and northern Italy. The petitioner stated that it has grown Arvine since the 1990s, having obtained its vines from Foundation Plant Services (FPS) at UC Davis. FPS currently sells the variety. As evidence of the variety's acceptance, name validity, and usage, the petitioner also submitted references to Arvine from a Swiss publication “Principaux cépages cultivés en Suisse” (Principle Varieties Cultivated in Switzerland), published by the Swiss Federal Agricultural Research Station at Changins. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Arvine to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Bianchetta trevigiana

    Laraneta Winery, Templeton, California, petitioned TTB to add “Bianchetta trevigiana” to the list of approved grape variety names. Bianchetta trevigiana is a white Vitis vinifera variety originally from northern Italy. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted a letter from UC Davis's FPS stating that DNA testing done on one of the petitioner's vines showed it to be of the Bianchetta trevigiana variety. According to UC Davis's National Grape Registry, the variety is available for sale at two California nurseries. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Bianchetta trevigiana to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Black Spanish

    Majek Vineyard and Winery, San Antonio, Texas, petitioned TTB to add “Black Spanish” to the list of approved grape variety names as a synonym for the currently listed “Lenoir.” Black Spanish is a hybrid red wine grape grown in Texas and other southern States. As evidence of the validity of the name “Black Spanish” to identify the variety, the petitioner submitted links to several Web sites that refer to the variety by that name. These links include one to UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which lists “Black Spanish” as a common synonym for Lenoir, and three links to nursery Web sites that list the variety by the name “Black Spanish.” If Black Spanish is approved, it will appear as a synonym for Lenoir in § 4.91. TTB believes that the evidence warrants the approval of Black Spanish as a valid name commonly used in the United States for this variety. However, we welcome comments on this issue. Based on the above evidence, TTB proposes to add the name “Black Spanish” to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91 to be identified with its synonym “Lenoir.” TTB also received a petition for approval of the name “Jacquez,” another synonym for Lenoir (see discussion below under “Jacquez”).

    Bluebell

    Clover Meadow Winery, Shell Lake, Wisconsin, petitioned TTB to add “Bluebell” to the list of approved grape variety names. Bluebell is an interspecific cross developed at the University of Minnesota in 1944. A very cold-hardy variety, it is commonly used for table grapes, juice, and jelly. The petitioner, however, produces wine from the variety. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted Web site references to Bluebell from the University of Minnesota and UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which lists five nurseries selling the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add the name “Bluebell” to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Bourboulenc

    Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles, California, petitioned TTB to add “Bourboulenc” to the list of approved grape variety names. Bourboulenc is a white Vitis vinifera variety associated with the Rhône region of France, where it is one of the thirteen authorized varieties permitted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation of origin. As part of the petition, Tablas Creek submitted a letter of support from the director of FPS at UC Davis, Dr. Deborah Golino. In her letter, Dr. Golino states that Bourboulenc plant material was imported from France to FPS, where it was tested and found to be free of viruses, then planted in FPS's Russell Ranch Foundation Vineyard. The variety is currently available for sale to the public at FPS. In addition to the letter from Dr. Golino, the petitioner also submitted several published references to Bourboulenc. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Bourboulenc to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Brachetto

    Pete Anderson of Eusinus Vineyard and Witch Creek Winery, Carlsbad, California, petitioned TTB to add “Brachetto” to the list of approved grape variety names. Brachetto is a red Vitis vinifera variety originally from the Piedmont region of Italy. The petitioner states he has grown Brachetto for several years at his Eusinus Vineyard and is aware of one other California winery growing and producing wine from the variety. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted a letter from FPS at UC Davis stating that its DNA analysis of his vine sample showed it to be a match for samples of Brachetto held by the National Clonal Germplasm Repository at UC Davis. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Brachetto to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    By George

    Girouard Vines, Tulsa, Oklahoma, petitioned TTB to add “By George” to the list of approved grape variety names. By George is a red wine grape developed by George E. Girouard by crossing Ruby Cabernet with Vitis aestivalis JG #3. As evidence of the grape's acceptance and name validity, the petitioner submitted a listing for By George from the May 2012 HortScience's Register of New Fruit and Nut Cultivars. The petitioner states that the variety is currently grown in Oklahoma and California, and it planned to release a wine made from By George in 2015. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add By George to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Caladoc

    RBZ Vineyards, Templeton, California, petitioned TTB to add “Caladoc” to the list of approved grape variety names. Caladoc is a red Vitis vinifera grape developed in France in 1958 as a crossing of Grenache and Malbec. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted a listing for Caladoc from UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which indicates that the variety is for sale from FPS. The petitioner also submitted pages from a California nursery catalogue indicating that it sells the variety. Additionally, the petitioner states that it and several other U.S. vineyards grow Caladoc. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Caladoc to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Caprettone

    Belle Fiore Winery, Ashland, Oregon, petitioned TTB to add “Caprettone” to the list of approved grape variety names. Caprettone is a white Vitis vinifera originally from southern Italy. As evidence of the grape's acceptance and name validity, the petitioner submitted a listing for Caprettone from UC Davis's National Grape Registry. According to this listing, Caprettone was initially released by UC Davis's FPS under the name “Coda di Volpe”; however, subsequent DNA testing correctly identified the variety as Caprettone. The National Grape Registry currently lists three nurseries selling the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Caprettone to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Chisago

    Wine Haven, Inc., Chisago City, Minnesota, petitioned TTB to add “Chisago” to the list of approved grape variety names. Chisago is a red wine variety developed by the petitioner from a crossing of St. Croix and Swenson Red. Noteworthy for its winter hardiness, the variety can survive temperatures that reach minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted copies of its U.S. Plant Patent and U.S. Trademark Registration for Chisago, along with two articles referencing the variety and a list of wine competition awards won by its Chisago wine. According to the petitioner, several other Minnesota vineyards also are growing Chisago, and two nurseries planned to sell the variety in 2012. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Chisago to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Coda di Volpe

    Pete Anderson of Eusinus Vineyard and Witch Creek Winery, Carlsbad, California, petitioned TTB to add “Coda di Volpe” to the list of approved grape variety names. Coda di Volpe is a white Vitis vinifera variety originally from the Campania region of Italy. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner cited three published references to Coda di Volpe and notes that UC Davis's Foundation Plant Services imported Coda di Volpe vines in 2000. According to the petitioner, five California vineyards and wineries grow or make wine from the variety. UC Davis's National Grape Registry lists three California nurseries that sell Coda di Volpe vines to the public. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Coda di Volpe to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Diana

    John H. Brahm III, winemaster at Arbor Hill Winery, Naples, New York, petitioned TTB to add “Diana” to the list of approved grape variety names. Diana is a red hybrid variety that has grown in the Finger Lakes region since the mid-1800s. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted an excerpt from the 1908 book “The Grapes of New York,” which describes Diana as a seedling of Catawba that ripens early and is thus good for cold climates. The petitioner also submitted a photo of a Widmer's Wine Cellars label for a Diana wine, vintage 1942. The petitioner states that Arbor Hill has recently produced a Diana wine which it intends to release for sale. TTB notes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, New York, maintains Diana in its collection and distributes the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Diana to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Esprit

    Deja Vine Vineyards & Winery, Martelle, Iowa, petitioned TTB to add “Esprit” to the list of approved grape variety names. Esprit, a white interspecific hybrid, was developed by Elmer Swenson as a cross between Villard blanc and Edelweiss. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted two publications from Iowa State University describing the viticultural characteristics of Esprit and the quality of its wine. Esprit is also listed in UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which notes that a New York nursery sells the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Esprit to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Falanghina

    Pete Anderson of Eusinus Vineyard and Witch Creek Winery, Carlsbad, California, petitioned TTB to add “Falanghina” to the list of approved grape variety names. Falanghina is a white Vitis vinifera grape variety originally from the Campania region of Italy. As evidence, the petitioner cited a number of wine publications that reference Falanghina. The variety is also listed in UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which names four nurseries selling the variety. According to the petitioner, four California vineyards and wineries are either growing Falanghina or producing wine from the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Falanghina to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Geneva Red/Geneva Red 7

    Jessica Lyga of Cornell University petitioned TTB to change the currently approved grape variety name “Geneva Red 7” to “Geneva Red.” Geneva Red 7 was added to § 4.91 by T.D. TTB-95 as the result of a petition from a New York winery (see 76 FR 66625, October 27, 2011). The Geneva Red petition states that Cornell University, the developer and owner of the grape variety, does not endorse the use of the name “Geneva Red 7” and notes that the petition for that name was submitted without its approval. The petition states that Cornell is concerned that the “7” in “Geneva Red 7” is confusing and leads the consumer to question whether there are similarly named grape varieties, such as Geneva Red 1, 2, 3, etc.

    As evidence for the name Geneva Red, the petitioner submitted a 2003 Cornell publication referencing the variety as “Geneva Red,” along with the variety's entry from UC Davis' National Grape Registry which lists the variety as “Geneva Red.” Based on this evidence, TTB granted administrative approval to the name “Geneva Red” as a valid synonym for “Geneva Red 7,” but advised the petitioner that it could not remove the name “Geneva Red 7” from § 4.91 without rulemaking. The petitioner has subsequently submitted a list of four commercial vineyards and wineries that use the name “Geneva Red” for the grape variety on their Web sites. Because the evidence indicates that this is the name currently used in the marketplace for the variety, TTB proposes to remove the name “Geneva Red 7” from § 4.91 and replace it with “Geneva Red.” However, TTB welcomes comments on the validity of the name, Geneva Red, as an approved name for this grape variety.

    TTB further proposes to allow the use of the grape variety name “Geneva Red 7” for a period of 1 year after publication of a final rule on this matter if Geneva Red 7 is removed based on sufficient evidence from comments received. If this proposal is adopted as a final rule, those holding a certificate of label approval (COLA) with the name “Geneva Red 7” would have sufficient time to obtain new labels. At the end of the 1-year period, holders of approved “Geneva Red 7” labels would be required to discontinue their use as their COLA approval will be revoked by operation of the final rule (see 27 CFR 13.51 and 13.72(a)(2)). TTB believes the 1-year period will provide such label holders with adequate time to use up their supply of previously approved “Geneva Red 7” labels. This proposal appears in a new paragraph (e) of 27 CFR 4.92.

    Godello

    California American Terroirs, Sonoma, California, petitioned TTB to add “Godello” to the list of approved grape variety names. Godello is a white Vitis vinifera variety native to Spain and Portugal. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner cited several published references to the Godello variety in professional journals and wine reference books. These include the article “Prospection and identification of grapevine varieties cultivated in north Portugal and northwest Spain,” J.P. MARTÍN, et al., from the journal “Vitis,” 50 (1), pp. 29-33 (2011), and “Wine Grapes,” Jancis Robinson, ed. (2012), p. 413. The petitioner also submitted evidence that a California nursery sells the variety. According to the petitioner, a number of wineries in California and Oregon grow Godello. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Godello to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Gros Manseng

    Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles, California, petitioned TTB to add “Gros Manseng” to the list of approved grape variety names. Gros Manseng is a white Vitis vinifera variety of French origin. As evidence of the variety's acceptance and name validity, the petitioner submitted several published references to Gros Manseng, including the “Oxford Companion to Wine” (1999 edition) and Pierre Galet's “Cépage et Vignobles de France.” Tablas Creek Vineyards imported Gros Manseng into the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, in 2000. After it was indexed and declared virus free in 2003, it was shipped bare root to the petitioner. The petitioner states it has provided Gros Manseng budwood to a California nursery, and TTB is aware of two other nurseries selling the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Gros Manseng to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Humagne Rouge

    White Heron Cellars, Quincy, Washington, petitioned TTB to add “Humagne Rouge” to the list of approved grape variety names. Humagne Rouge is a red Vitis vinifera grape variety long grown in Switzerland, but relatively new to the United States. The petitioner stated that it obtained its Humagne Rouge vines from UC Davis's FPS in the 1990s, and the petition included an entry for the variety from a 1997 FPS catalogue showing that the variety was sold in the United States. As evidence of the variety's acceptance, name validity, and usage, the petitioner also submitted references to Humagne Rouge from a Swiss publication, “Principaux cépages cultivés en Suisse” (Principle Varieties Cultivated in Switzerland), published by the Swiss Federal Agricultural Research Station at Changins. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Humagne Rouge to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Jacquez

    Haak Vineyards & Winery, Santa Fe, Texas, petitioned TTB to add “Jacquez” to the list of approved grape variety names as a synonym for the currently listed “Lenoir.” Jacquez is a hybrid red wine grape grown in Texas and other southern States, where it is also known by the name “Black Spanish.” The petitioner states it has used the name “Jacquez” on its wine labels since 2003; as a result, its customers identify the wine by that name. As evidence of the validity of the name “Jacquez” to identity the variety, the petitioner submitted an entry for Jacquez from UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which lists “Black Spanish” and “Lenoir” as synonyms. The petitioner also cites a number of wine reference books that refer to the variety as “Jacquez,” including Hugh Johnson's “Story of Wine” (2002 edition, p. 439).

    TTB also received a petition for “Black Spanish.” (See discussion above under “Black Spanish.”) If Jacquez and Black Spanish are both approved, three names for one variety will appear in § 4.91. TTB believes that the evidence warrants the approval of Jacquez and Black Spanish as they are both valid names commonly used in the United States for this variety. However, we welcome comments on this issue. Based on the above evidence, TTB proposes to add the name “Jacquez” to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91 to be identified with its synonyms “Black Spanish” and “Lenoir.”

    Jupiter

    Yamhalis Vineyard, Yamhill, Oregon, petitioned TTB to add “Jupiter” to the list of approved grape variety names. Jupiter is a hybrid grape developed by the University of Arkansas and released for commercial production in 1999. Although it is most commonly used as a table grape, the petitioner states it produces a good dry red wine. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted an article on Jupiter in the scientific journal HortScience (Vol. 43 (7)), a copy of the plant patent for Jupiter, and a letter from Dr. John R. Clark, one of Jupiter's breeders. According to UC Davis's National Grape Registry, the variety is available from at least four U.S. nurseries. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add the name “Jupiter” to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    King of the North

    Clover Meadow Winery, Shell Lake, Wisconsin, petitioned TTB to add “King of the North” to the list of approved grape variety names. A black grape, King of the North is an interspecific hybrid of unknown origin. Although it is most frequently grown for table grapes, juice, and jelly, it is also used to produce red wine by the petitioners and other wineries. As supporting evidence, the petitioner submitted Web site references to King of the North from Iowa State University and UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which lists three nurseries selling the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add the name “King of the North” to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Lambrusca di Alessandria

    Pete Anderson of Witch Creek Winery, Carlsbad, California, petitioned TTB to add “Lambrusca di Alessandria” to the list of approved grape variety names. Lambrusca di Alessandria is a red Vitis vinifera variety of Italian origin. According to the petitioner, Lambrusca di Alessandria is a different variety from the Lambrusco currently listed in § 4.91. He cites as evidence a March-April 2006 article from the Italian publication “Italus Hortus,” titled “Lambruschi from Piedmont: Historical investigations, fingerprinting and genetic relationships with other autochthonous Italian grapes (Vitis vinifera L.),” by D. Torello Marinoni; S. Raimondi; P. Boccacci; and A. Schneider. The petitioner also cites “Vitigni d'Italia,” by Antonio Calò, Attilio Scienza, and Angelo Costacurta (2001) as a reference book that names and identifies the variety as distinctive from other Lambruschi varieties. Additionally, the petitioner notes that Lambrusca di Alessandria is maintained, by that name, in the collection of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Davis, California.

    When the petitioner submitted a grapevine sample that he thought was of the Nebbiolo variety to UC Davis's FPS for DNA analysis, he was informed that the sample was actually Lambrusca di Alessandria. This result was subsequently confirmed by Dr. Anna Schneider of the Istituto di Virologia Vegetale Sezione di Grugliasco, Torino, Italy. The petitioner reports that seven vineyards and wineries in California are currently growing Lambrusca di Alessandria or producing wine from it. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add the name “Lambrusca di Alessandria” to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Loureiro

    Lehrman Beverage Law petitioned TTB to add “Loureiro” to the list of approved grape variety names. Loureiro is a white Vitis vinifera variety originally cultivated in Spain and Portugal. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted the listing for Loureiro in UC Davis's National Grape Registry, along with evidence that at least two California nurseries sell the variety and a number of California wineries produce wine from it. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Loureiro to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Madeleine Sylvaner

    Comfort Farm and Vineyard, Langley, Washington, petitioned TTB to add “Madeleine Sylvaner” to the list of approved grape variety names. Madeleine Sylvaner is a white Vitis vinifera variety that grows well in cooler climates. As evidence, the petitioner cited a Washington State University publication entitled “Growing Grapes for Wine and Table in the Puget Sound Region” that discusses Madeleine Sylvaner as a variety well suited to the Puget Sound climate. The petitioner states that it has grown the variety for 12 years and provided Madeleine Sylvaner grapes to other wineries in the Puget Sound region. TTB is aware of other Washington wineries producing wine from this variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Madeleine Sylvaner to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Marquis

    Wyldewood Cellars Winery, Mulvane, Kansas, petitioned TTB to add “Marquis” to the list of approved grape variety names. Marquis is a white hybrid variety developed at Cornell University as a cross of the Athens and Emerald Seedless varieties. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted a copy of Cornell's 1999 plant patent for Marquis, a 1996 bulletin on Marquis issued by Cornell, and an article about the variety from the journal HortScience (Vol. 32 (1)). Marquis is also listed in UC Davis's National Grape Registry and is available from at least four commercial nurseries. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Marquis to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Marselan

    RBZ Vineyards, Templeton, California, petitioned TTB to add “Marselan” to the list of approved grape variety names. Marselan is a red Vitis vinifera variety developed in France as a crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache noir. The petitioner submitted a listing for Marselan from UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which indicates that the variety is available for sale from FPS. The petitioner also submitted pages from a California nursery catalogue indicating that it also sells the variety. Additionally, the petitioner states that it and several other U.S. vineyards grow Marselan. Based on this evidence, TTB proposed to add Marselan to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Mustang

    Natalia Winery, Natalia, Texas, petitioned TTB to add “Mustang” to the list of approved grape names. Mustang (Vitis mustangensis) is a variety native to the United States that grows wild in areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner cited a number of internet Web sites that reference the Mustang variety, including that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and Texas A & M University's Department of Horticulture. The petitioner states that it harvests 1/2 ton of Mustang grapes with which it produces a 100% Mustang wine. Additionally, TTB has found evidence that at least one Texas nursery sells Mustang vines. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Mustang to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Petite Pearl

    Tom Plocher of Plocher Vines, Hugo, Minnesota, petitioned TTB to add “Petite Pearl” to the list of approved grape names. Petite Pearl, a red hybrid known for its cold hardiness, was developed by Mr. Plocher from a 1996 cross of MN 1094 and E.S. 4-7-26. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted a January 2013 article about Petite Pearl published by Midwest Wine Press entitled “Coming Soon: A New Red Wine That's a Pearl,” along with evidence that two nurseries (in Minnesota and Vermont) sell the variety. He also named four wineries producing Petite Pearl wine. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Petite Pearl to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Phoenix

    King's Raven Winery, Oregon City, Oregon, petitioned TTB to add “Phoenix” to the list of approved grape names. Phoenix is a white Vitis vinifera variety developed in Germany as a cross of Bacchus weiss and Villard blanc. The petitioner submitted a number of published references to Phoenix, including a listing in UC Davis's National Grape Registry, along with evidence that two other American vineyards grow the variety.

    Although TTB believes that the petition contains sufficient evidence under § 4.93 to approve the name “Phoenix,” TTB opted to propose adding the name to the list of grape variety names through rulemaking action rather than approve it administratively due to potential conflicts with existing COLAs. An electronic search of TTB's COLAs online database for the word “Phoenix” disclosed 174 COLAS that use the word “Phoenix” on a wine label as part of a brand or fanciful name. Of these, 40 have been approved since 2012 for 12 different wineries. The use of a grape variety name in a brand name potentially could be misleading and prohibited under § 4.39. If the name Phoenix is approved as a grape variety name, these labels potentially could be misleading, particularly if they do not also contain a grape varietal designation. Because of this potential impact on current labels, TTB believes that the label holders should be given an opportunity to comment on this proposal. Those comments will better inform TTB as to whether the grape variety name should be approved and thus added to the list of approved names in § 4.91.

    Picardan

    Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles, California, petitioned TTB to add “Picardan” to the list of approved grape variety names. Picardan is a white Vitis vinifera variety associated with the Rhône region of France, where it is one of the thirteen authorized varieties permitted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation of origin. As part of the petition, Tablas Creek submitted a letter of support for approval of the name from the director of FPS, Dr. Deborah Golino. In her letter, Dr. Golino states that Picardan plant material was imported from France to FPS, where it was tested and found to be free of viruses, then planted in FPS's Classic Foundation Vineyard. The variety is currently available for sale to the public at FPS. In addition to the letter from Dr. Golino, the petitioner also submitted several published references to Picardan. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Picardan to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Pinot Bianco

    Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery, Livermore, California, petitioned TTB to add “Pinot bianco” to the list of approved grape variety names as a synonym for the currently listed “Pinot blanc.” Pinot bianco is the Italian name for this white wine variety, while Pinot blanc is the French name. The petitioner, who specializes in Italian grape varieties, believes that it would be confusing to customers if it labeled its Pinot bianco wines with the French name for the variety. As evidence of the validity of the synonym “Pinot bianco,” the petitioner cited a Web site about Italian varieties grown in California that refers to the variety by that name (see http://www.cal-italia.org/wine.html). Additionally, two wine reference books state that Pinot bianco is the Italian name for Pinot blanc, “The Oxford Companion to Wine” (Robinson, 1999 edition, p. 533) and “Oz Clarke's Encyclopedia of Grapes” (2001, p. 171). Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Pinot bianco to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91 as a synonym of Pinot blanc.

    Plymouth

    Girouard Vines, Tulsa, Oklahoma, petitioned TTB to add “Plymouth” to the list of approved grape variety names. Plymouth is a red wine grape developed by George E. Girouard by crossing Merlot with Vitis aestivalis JG #3. As evidence of the grape's acceptance and name validity, the petitioner submitted a listing for Plymouth from the May 2012 HortScience's Register of New Fruit and Nut Cultivars. The petitioner states that the variety is currently grown in Oklahoma and California, and it plans to release a wine made from Plymouth in 2015. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Plymouth to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Ribolla Gialla

    Vare Vineyards, Napa, California, petitioned TTB to add “Ribolla Gialla” to the list of approved grape variety names. Ribolla Gialla is a white Vitis vinifera variety that has long grown in the Friuli region of Italy and in Slovenia. The petitioner states it has grown the variety and produced wine from it since 2004. The petitioner further states it sold grapes from the 2009 harvest to seven other wineries. As additional evidence, the petitioner cited a number of wine reference books that refer to the variety. Ribolla Gialla is also listed in UC Davis's National Grape Registry, which at the time of the petition listed three California nurseries selling the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Ribolla Gialla to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Rieslaner

    Mokelumne Glen Vineyards, Lodi, California, petitioned TTB to add “Rieslaner” to the list of approved grape variety names. Rieslaner is a white Vitis vinifera variety developed in Germany in 1921 as a cross of Riesling and Silvaner. According to the petitioner, it obtained its Rieslaner as cuttings from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station many years ago and has been using it in wine blends. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner cited a number of wine reference books that refer to Rieslaner, including “The Oxford Companion to Wine” (Robinson, 2006 edition, p. 577), and “Production of Grapes and Wines in Cool Climates” (David Jackson and Danny Schuster, 1986, p. 108). Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Rieslaner to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Riverbank

    Wild Grape Vineyards, Kindred, North Dakota, petitioned TTB to add “Riverbank” to the list of approved grape variety names. Riverbank (Vitis riparia) is a red variety native to North America that grows wild in the central and northeastern sections of the United States and Canada. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted evidence that at least one North Dakota nursery sells Riverbank vines and that at least one South Dakota winery sells wine produced from the variety. The petitioner also noted that the University of Minnesota has used the Riverbank variety in its grape breeding program to breed varieties with cold tolerance (see http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/grapesandwine.aspx). Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Riverbank to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Rose of Peru

    Galleano Winery, Mira Loma, California, petitioned TTB to add “Rose of Peru” to the list of approved grape variety names. Rose of Peru is a red Vitis vinifera variety, long grown in California, that DNA evidence has disclosed to be identical to the Mission variety, which is currently approved under § 4.91. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted a number of published references to the name “Rose of Peru,” including a February 12, 2007, article from Wine Spectator magazine entitled “Researchers Uncover Identity of Historic California Grape” about the Mission grape variety. According to this article, DNA research conducted at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia in Spain found the Rose of Peru variety to be identical to Mission. The results of this research were published in the article “Determining the Spanish Origin of Representative Ancient American Grapevine Varieties” (Tapia, et al.) from the June 2007 American Journal of Enology & Viticulture (vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 242-251). Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Rose of Peru to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91 as a synonym for Mission.

    Saperavi

    Standing Stone Vineyards, Hector, New York, petitioned TTB to add “Saperavi” to the list of approved grape variety names. Saperavi is a red Vitis vinifera variety that originates from the country of Georgia. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner cited several published references to Saperavi. These include “The Concise Atlas of Wine” (Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, 2009, pp. 227-229), and an article from the trade journal Vineyard & Winery Management entitled “(The Republic of) Georgia on Their Minds” (November/December 2010), which notes that a number of vineyards in the Northeastern United States are growing Saperavi. According to evidence submitted by the petitioner, three wineries in the Finger Lakes region of New York (including the petitioner) are growing the variety and producing wine from it. In addition, a New York nursery sells Saperavi, and the variety is listed in UC Davis's National Grape Registry. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Saperavi to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Schönburger

    Plum Hill Vineyards, Gaston, Oregon, petitioned TTB to add “Schönburger” to the list of approved grape variety names. Schönburger is a Vitis vinifera variety with pink berries developed in Germany in 1979 from a crossing of Pinot Noir, Chasselas Rosé, and Muscat Hamburg. A cool climate variety, it is currently grown in Germany, England, and the U.S. and Canadian Pacific Northwest. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner cited a number of published references to Schönburger, including “The Oxford Companion to Wine” (Robinson, 2006 edition, p. 622). UC Davis's National Grape Registry lists Schönburger and notes that two Washington State University facilities sell the variety to the public. The petitioner states it has 1.5 acres of Schönburger from which it plans to produce 600 cases of wine. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Schönburger to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Sheridan

    Blackhawk Winery, Sheridan, Indiana, petitioned TTB to add “Sheridan” to the list of approved grape variety names. Sheridan, an interspecific cross of Herbert and Worden, was bred at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and released in 1921. Black in color, it is often used as a table grape. Sheridan is listed in UC Davis's National Grape Registry, and is available for sale at two New York nurseries. At the time of the petition, the petitioner was growing Sheridan and planning to produce wine from it. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Sheridan to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Southern Cross

    Girouard Vines, Tulsa, Oklahoma, petitioned TTB to add “Southern Cross” to the list of approved grape variety names. Southern Cross is a red wine grape developed by George E. Girouard by crossing Merlot with Vitis aestivalis JG #3. As evidence of the grape's acceptance and name validity, the petitioner submitted a listing for Southern Cross from the May 2012 HortScience's Register of New Fruit and Nut Cultivars. The petitioner stated that the variety is currently grown in Oklahoma and California, and it plans to release a wine made from Southern Cross in 2015. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Southern Cross to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Terret Noir

    Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles, California, petitioned TTB to add “Terret Noir” to the list of approved grape variety names. Terret Noir is a red Vitis vinifera variety associated with the Rhône region of France, where it is one of the 13 authorized varieties permitted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation of origin. As part of the petition, Tablas Creek submitted a letter of support for approval of the Terret Noir variety from the director of FPS, Dr. Deborah Golino. In her letter, Dr. Golino states that Terret Noir plant material was imported from France to FPS, where it was tested and found to be free of viruses, then planted in FPS's vineyards. The variety is currently available for sale to the public at FPS. In addition to the letter from Dr. Golino, the petitioner also submitted several published references to Terret Noir as evidence of the variety's acceptance and name validity. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Terret Noir to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Tinta Amarela

    Abacela Winery, Roseburg, Oregon, petitioned TTB to add “Tinta Amarela” to the list of approved grape variety names. Tinta Amarela is a black Vitis vinifera grape that originated in Portugal, where it is commonly used in port. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted several published references to Tinta Amarela from wine reference books and wine Web sites. The petitioner also noted that the entry for Tinta Amarela in UC Davis's National Grape Registry lists eight U.S. nurseries that sell the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Tinta Amarela to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Tinta Cao

    Cypher Winery, Paso Robles, California, petitioned TTB to add “Tinta Cao” to the list of approved grape variety names. Tinta Cao is a synonym for “Tinto cão,” a name already listed in § 4.91. As evidence that Tinta Cao is a valid name for the variety, the petitioner submitted a copy of the 2008 California Grape Crush Report, issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The publication, referring to “Tinta Cao,” reports that 408.6 tons of the grape were crushed in California that year. Additionally, UC Davis's National Grape Register lists “Tinta Cao” as a synonym for Tinto cão and TTB is aware of at least one California vineyard selling the variety by the proposed name. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Tinta Cao to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91 as a synonym for Tinto cão.

    Tinta Roriz

    Cypher Winery, Paso Robles, California, petitioned TTB to add “Tinta Roriz” to the list of approved grape variety names. Tinta Roriz is a synonym for “Tempranillo” and “Valdepeñas,” names already listed in § 4.91. As evidence that Tinta Roriz is a valid name for the variety, the petitioner submitted a copy of the 2008 California Grape Crush Report, which refers to Tinta Roriz as a synonym for Tempranillo and Valdepeñas. UC Davis's National Grape Registry contains a separate listing for Tinta Roriz, but notes that it is a Portuguese name for the grape variety known in Spain as Tempranillo. If the name “Tinta Roriz” is approved, three names for this variety will appear in § 4.91. TTB believes that the evidence warrants the approval of Tinta Roriz. However, we welcome comments on this issue. Based on the above evidence, TTB proposes to add Tinta Roriz to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Touriga Nacional

    Cypher Winery, Paso Robles, California, petitioned TTB to add “Touriga Nacional” to the list of approved grape variety names. Touriga Nacional is a black Vitis vinifera grape variety originally from Portugal. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted a copy of the 2008 California Grape Crush Report, issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This publication reports that 914.5 tons of Touriga Nacional were crushed in California that year. Also, UC Davis's National Grape Registry contains an entry for Touriga Nacional, and it lists 12 nurseries selling the variety. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Touriga Nacional to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    The name “Touriga” is currently listed in § 4.91, which the petitioner contends is similar to listing “Cabernet Sauvignon” as “Cabernet.” However, the petitioner did not request the removal of “Touriga” from the list, nor did it submit any evidence for such a removal. TTB is aware that there are other grape variety names that include “Touriga” as part of the name (the National Grape Registry also lists “Touriga Franca” and “Touriga Brasileira”). Because bottlers of wines produced from these grapes may be utilizing the name “Touriga,” TTB proposes to keep the name on the list for now. However, we welcome comments regarding the accuracy of the name “Touriga.”

    Vaccarèse

    Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles, California, petitioned TTB to add “Vaccarèse” to the list of approved grape variety names. Vaccarèse is a red Vitis vinifera variety associated with the Rhône region of France, where it is one of the 13 authorized varieties permitted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation of origin. As part of the petition, Tablas Creek submitted a letter of support from the director of FPS, Dr. Deborah Golino. In her letter, Dr. Golino states that Vaccarèse plant material was imported from France to FPS, where it was tested and found to be free of viruses, then planted in FPS's Russell Ranch Foundation Vineyard. The variety is currently available for sale to the public at FPS. In addition to the letter from Dr. Golino, the petitioner also submitted several published references to Vaccarèse. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Vaccarèse to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Valjohn

    Girouard Vines, Tulsa, Oklahoma, petitioned TTB to add “Valjohn” to the list of approved grape variety names. Valjohn is a red wine grape developed by George E. Girouard by crossing Cabernet Franc with Vitis aestivalis JG # 3. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner submitted a listing for Valjohn from the May 2012 HortScience's Register of New Fruit and Nut Cultivars. The petitioner stated that the variety is currently grown in Oklahoma and California, and that it plans to release a wine made from Valjohn in 2015. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Valjohn to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Verdejo

    Berryessa Gap Vineyards, Winters, California, petitioned TTB to add “Verdejo” to the list of approved grape variety names. Verdejo is a white Vitis vinifera variety that has grown for centuries in the Rueda region of Spain. To satisfy the requirements of § 4.93, the petitioner cites a number of published references to Verdejo, including in “The Oxford Companion to Wine” (Robinson, 2006 edition) and the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. Separately, TTB received a letter of support for the petition from the director of FPS, Dr. Deborah Golino. She reports that FPS imported the variety in 2000 and since 2006 has distributed more than 750 Verdejo cuttings or plants to California vineyards. According to UC Davis's National Grape Registry, five nurseries sell Verdejo to the public. Based on this evidence, TTB proposes to add Verdejo to the list of grape variety names in § 4.91.

    Technical Correction

    TTB has become aware of a technical error in § 4.91 in that the grape variety name “Madeleine Angevine” is currently misspelled as “Madeline Angevine.” TTB proposes to correct this error in this document. TTB also proposes to allow the use of the spelling “Madeline Angevine” for a period of 1 year after publication of a final rule on this matter so that anyone holding a COLA with the misspelling has sufficient time to obtain new labels. If this proposal is adopted as a final rule, at the end of the 1-year period, holders of approved “Madeline Angevine” labels must discontinue their use as their certificates of label approval will be revoked by operation of the final rule (see 27 CFR 13.51 and 13.72(a)(2)). TTB believes the 1-year period will provide such label holders with adequate time to use up their supply of previously approved “Madeline Angevine” labels. This proposal appears in a new paragraph (e) of 27 CFR 4.92.

    Public Participation Comments Sought

    TTB requests comments from members of the public, particularly any person whose use of an approved label might be impacted by final approval of the grape variety names that are the subject of this proposed rule. TTB is also interested in comments that might bring into question whether an added grape name is accurate and appropriate for the designation of American wines. TTB is particularly interested in comments concerning the grape name discussed above that TTB did not approve by letter, Phoenix, as well as Geneva Red 7, the grape name we are proposing to replace with the name “Geneva Red.” Finally, TTB invites comment on any other issue raised by this notice of proposed rulemaking. Please support your comment with specific information about the grape varietal name in question.

    Submitting Comments

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

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this proposed rule within Docket No. TTB-2016-0011 on “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at https://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 165 on the TTB Web site at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the site's “Help” tab.

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

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

    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this proposed rule. Your comments must reference Notice No. 165 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments and considers all comments as originals.

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

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

    Confidentiality

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

    Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this proposed rule and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2016-0011 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB Web site at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 165. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at https://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the site's “Help” tab.

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

    You may view copies of this proposed rule and any electronic or mailed comments TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies for 20 cents per 8.5- x 11-inch page. Contact TTB's information specialist at the above address or by telephone at 202-453-2270 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The decision of a grape grower to petition for a grape variety name approval, or the decision of a wine bottler to use an approved name on a label, is entirely at the discretion of the grower or bottler. This proposed regulation does not impose any new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirements. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    Drafting Information

    Jennifer Berry of the Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, drafted this document.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 4

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Customs duties and inspection, Imports, Labeling, Packaging and containers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trade practices, Wine.

    Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend 27 CFR, chapter I, part 4 as set forth below:

    PART 4—LABELING AND ADVERTISING OF WINE 1. The authority citation for 27 CFR part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205, unless otherwise noted.

    2. In § 4.91, the list of grape variety names following the introductory text is amended by removing the entries for “Geneva Red 7,” “Lenoir,” “Madeline Angevine,” “Mission,” “Pinot blanc,” “Tempranillo (Valdepeñas),” “Tinto cão,” and “Valdepeñas (Tempranillo),” and by adding new entries in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 4.91 List of approved names. Amigne Arandell Aromella Arvine Bianchetta trevigiana Black Spanish (Jacquez, Lenoir) Bluebell Bourboulenc Brachetto By George Caladoc Caprettone Chisago Coda di Volpe Diana Esprit Falanghina Geneva Red Godello Gros Manseng Humagne Rouge Jacquez (Black Spanish, Lenoir) Jupiter King of the North Lambrusca di Alessandria Lenoir (Black Spanish, Jacquez) Loureiro Madeleine Angevine Madeleine Sylvaner Marquis Marselan Mission (Rose of Peru) Mustang Petite Pearl Phoenix Picardan Pinot bianco (Pinot blanc) Pinot blanc (Pinot bianco) Plymouth Ribolla Gialla Rieslaner Riverbank Rose of Peru (Mission) Saperavi Schönburger Sheridan Southern Cross Tempranillo (Tinta Roriz, Valdepeñas) Terret Noir Tinta Amarela Tinta Cao (Tinto cão) Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo, Valdepeñas) Tinto cão (Tinta Cao) Touriga Nacional Vaccarèse Valdepeñas (Tempranillo, Tinta Roriz) Valjohn Verdejo
    3. Section 4.92 is amended by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 4.92 Alternative names permitted for temporary use.

    (e) Wines bottled prior to [date 1 year after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register].

    Alternative Name/Name Geneva Red 7—Geneva Red Madeline Angevine—Madeleine Angevine
    Signed: September 29, 2016. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: November 3, 2016. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2016-27573 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement 30 CFR Part 250 [Docket ID: BSEE-2016-0003; 17XE1700DX EEEE500000 EX1SF0000.DAQ000] RIN 1014-AA31 Adjustments to Cost Recovery Fees Relating to the Regulation of Oil, Gas, and Sulfur Activities on the Outer Continental Shelf AGENCY:

    Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) currently charges a fee for 31 different services (hereafter “cost recovery fees”) it provides to non-Federal recipients. The services were identified by BSEE's predecessor agency, the Minerals Management Service (MMS). This proposed rule would revise and clarify the existing fees; add new fees for certain services; revise and codify the existing conditions for refunding fees; and clarify the acceptable methods of fee payment. This proposed rule would enable BSEE to recover its full costs associated with providing these services to recipients of special benefits beyond those accruing to the general public.

    DATES:

    BSEE will consider all comments received by January 17, 2017. BSEE may not consider comments received after this date. Submit comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the information collection burden in this proposed rule by December 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule by any of the following methods. Please use the Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN) 1014-AA31 as an identifier to your message. See also Public Availability of Comments under Procedural Matters.

    Submit comments electronically. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for “BSEE-2016-0003.” Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and related materials available for this rulemaking. BSEE will post all relevant comments.

    • Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior (DOI); Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; Attention: Regulations and Standards Branch; 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166. Please reference Adjustment of Service Fees Relating to the Regulation of Oil, Gas, and Sulfur Activities on the Outer Continental Shelf, AA31 in your comments and include your name and return address.

    • Comments on the information collection contained in this proposed rule are separate from those on the substance of the proposed rule. Send comments on the information collection burden in this rule to: OMB, Interior Desk Officer, 202-395-5806 (fax); email [email protected]. Please also send a copy to BSEE at [email protected], fax number (703) 787-1546, or by the address listed above.

    Public Availability of Comments—Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kimberly Monaco, Budget Analyst, Office of Budget at (703) 787-1658, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background A. BSEE Statutory and Regulatory Authority B. Summary of Existing Cost Recovery Fees Regulations and Basis for Proposed Amendments C. Request for Comments on Potential Future Fees II. Procedural Matters I. Background A. BSEE Statutory and Regulatory Authority

    In accordance with the Independent Offices Appropriation Act, 1952, 31 U.S.C. 9701 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-25,1 BSEE is required to assess a charge against each identifiable non-Federal recipient of special benefits derived from BSEE services beyond those received by the public at large. The charge BSEE assesses is legally sufficient if it recovers BSEE's full cost to provide the service.

    1 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-25 Revised, User Charges, July 8, 1993, and Transmittal Memorandum 1.

    OMB Circular A-25 requires a Federal agency to conduct a biennial review of its user charges to determine whether adjustments are necessary and to review other agency programs to determine whether new fees should be established for any services it provides. BSEE reviewed its 31 services and pre-production site visits along with the associated cost recovery fees to determine whether the cost of providing each of the services supports the existing fee structure in the existing regulations. BSEE's methodology for calculating its direct and indirect costs to perform the 31 services and the pre-production site visits is found later in this document. Results from the direct and indirect cost calculations indicate that 17 fees should be increased, eight fees reduced, and six fees subdivided into two tiers by complexity, with six of the subdivided fees increasing above the existing undivided fee, and six decreasing. The results also indicate that the existing pre-production site visit fees for two of the facility production safety system applications should be decreased for visits to facilities offshore and increased for visits to facilities while in a shipyard. Finally, the results suggest that new pre-production site visit fees should be implemented for the four facility production safety system applications that did not previously include site visit fees. The details of these proposed fees are shown in the Service Fee Table later in this document.

    The fees are codified in BSEE's regulations at 30 CFR 250.125(a). This proposed rule would: (1) Amend 31 of the cost recovery fees in existing § 250.125; (2) establish two tiers of fees within the Deepwater Operations Plans (DWOPs), New Pipeline Applications, Pipeline Modification Applications for both Lease Term and Right-of-way (ROW) Pipelines, ROW Pipeline Grant Applications, and Unitization Revisions fee categories; (3) add four new pre-production site visit cost recovery fees to the existing two pre-production site visit fees to support the review and approval, if necessary, of production safety system applications; (4) revise the two existing pre-production site visit cost recovery fees; (5) amend and codify conditions for granting fee payment refunds in the existing Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) No. 2009-N09; 2 (6) amend § 250.126 to provide clarification on the payment of cost recovery fees and the acceptable payment methods; and 7) include descriptions of the two complexity-based levels of service fees in 30 CFR 250.292 (DWOPs), § 250.1000 (Applications to install or modify lease term pipelines), § 250.1015 (Applications for pipeline ROW grants)), and § 250.1303 (Requests for voluntary unitization).

    2 Minerals Management Service, MMS Policy on Refund Requests for Service Fees, NTL No. 2009-N09, November 1, 2009.

    In addition to BSEE's in-depth review of the bureau's existing cost recovery fees, the need for adjustments is further supported by the fact that, with the exception of adjustments for inflation, BSEE's cost recovery fees have not been adjusted since the 2005 and 2006 rulemakings establishing the fees (see 70 FR 49871 (August 25, 2005) and 71 FR 40904 (July 19, 2006)). Over the last ten years, offshore operations have moved into deeper, more complex, and more hostile environments. This evolution of offshore operations has resulted in increasingly technical and more complex requests submitted by operators. Reviewing and approving these requests requires extensive communication and collaboration between offshore operators, BSEE engineers, and BSEE subject matter experts (SMEs) who are knowledgeable about the safety and environmental aspects of the current technologies and operational challenges, which require additional time and more experienced, senior-level individuals at higher pay grades to review and approve. In addition, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 authorized BSEE to “establish higher minimum rates of basic pay for employees of the Department of the Interior in the Gulf of Mexico Region in the Geophysicist (GS-1313), Geologist (GS-1350), and Petroleum Engineer (GS-0881) job series at grades 5 through 15 at rates no greater than 25 percent above the minimum rates of basic pay normally scheduled . . .” Public Law 112-74, sec. 121(c) (Dec. 23, 2011). In August 2015, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) increased the special pay for the job series identified in Public Law 112-74, sec. 121(c) (Dec. 23, 2011) to 35 percent above basic pay and also used its authority to establish the same 35 percent special pay rate for the Inspectors (GS-1801) job series. These special pay rates have allowed the Bureau to be competitive with the oil and gas industry in attracting and retaining qualified personnel, but have increased the bureau's personnel costs. For these reasons, BSEE's costs to provide certain services have increased over the levels set out in the existing regulations including, but not limited to, the costs to process applications for permits to drill and applications for permits to modify. For other services, the proposed fees may be lower than the existing fees due to an overall reduced cost to provide those services (i.e., efficiencies).

    The proposed adjustments are based on an analysis of BSEE's costs for providing services from fiscal year (FY) 2013 to FY 2015. The proposed fee adjustments are necessary to more accurately align fees with the cost of BSEE's services provided to the non-Federal recipients. BSEE invites comments on each of the proposed fee adjustments described later in this document.

    B. Summary of Existing Cost Recovery Fees Regulations and Basis for Proposed Amendments

    Existing §§ 250.125 and 250.126 set out the amount of cost recovery fees for each BSEE service and provide instructions for making payments. Section 250.125(a) lists the 31 cost recovery fees currently imposed by BSEE for specific services. Section 250.125(b) requires that payment of the applicable fee(s) must accompany the request for service and provides that all fees are non-refundable. Section 250.125(c) requires the submission of a written request and accompanying payment within 72 hours of a BSEE verbal approval. Section 250.126 requires that all cost recovery fees be paid electronically through www.pay.gov.

    BSEE proposes to amend § 250.125 by revising the fees for specific services based on its in-depth review and incorporating guidance from NTL No. 2009-N09 regarding conditions for granting fee payment refunds. BSEE proposes amendments to § 250.126 to provide clarification on the payment of cost recovery fees and the acceptable payment methods. BSEE also proposes to amend the following other sections of 30 CFR part 250 that are subject to the proposed § 250.125 amendments in this document: § 250.292 (DWOPs); § 250.1000 (Applications to install or modify lease term pipelines); § 250.1015 (Applications for pipeline ROW grants); and § 250.1303 (Requests for voluntary unitization).

    What Fees Would This Proposed Rule Adjust?

    BSEE is proposing adjustments to its 31 existing cost recovery fees to fully account for the costs of providing the services listed in the Service Fee Table below. Additionally, BSEE is proposing to amend § 250.125(a) to:

    1. Subdivide into two categories and add different fee levels for six types of cost recovery fees (DWOPs, New Pipeline Applications, Pipeline Modification Applications for both Lease Term and ROW Pipelines, ROW Pipeline Grant Applications, and Unitization Revisions) to accurately reflect the varying levels of complexity of the requested services and the corresponding levels of costs to BSEE from providing those services; 3 and

    3 The complexity-based fees for these services are specified in proposed §§ 250.125(a)(2), (15)-(17), (19), and (28) and in the Service Fee Table in this document.

    2. Add four new pre-production site visit fees and revise the two existing pre-productions site visit fees to support the review and approval of production safety system applications, if a site visit is deemed necessary. These new and revised site visit fees are proposed to be included in §§ 250.125(a)(5)-(10).

    The following table lists the type of service to be performed by BSEE when it receives a plan, application, permit, or other request; the associated regulatory citation for each type of request; the existing and proposed fee; and the proposed acceptable payment type for each service. The proposed payment types are credit card and electronic check through the Automated Clearing House (ACH-debit). Because the current U.S. Treasury limit on credit card payments is $24,999.99, an ACH-debit must be used for payments of $25,000 or more.

    In the Service Fee Table below, the existing regulations are in regular font; proposed text is in italic font; and new fees are in bold font. The fifth column, payment type, is provided to explain the options for payment for a particular service.

    Service Fee Table Service—processing of the
  • following:
  • 30 CFR citation Existing fee Proposed fee Payment type
    (1) Suspension of Operations/Suspension of Production (SOO/SOP) Request § 250.171(e) $2,123 $3,055 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (2) Deepwater Operations Plan § 250.292(q) $3,599 (a) Deepwater Operations Plan—Simple $14,290 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (b) Deepwater Operations Plan-Complex (New Technology) $70,333 ACH-debit Only. (3) Application for Permit to Drill (APD; Form BSEE-0123) § 250.410(d); § 250.513(b); § 250.1617(a) $2,113 $10,420 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (4) Application for Permit to Modify (APM; Form BSEE-0124) § 250.465(b); § 250.513(b); § 250.613(b); § 250.1618(a); § 250.1704(g) $125 $1,680 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (5) New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with More than 125 Components § 250.842 $5,426
  • $14,280 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $7,426 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard
  • A component is a piece of equipment or an ancillary system that is protected by one or more of the safety devices required by American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 14C (as incorporated by reference in § 250.198)
  • $3,976
  • $13,534 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $14,567 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard
  • A component is a piece of equipment or an ancillary system that is protected by one or more of the safety devices required by API RP 14C (as incorporated by reference in § 250.198)
  • Credit Card or ACH-debit.
    (6) New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with 25-125 Components § 250.842 $1,314
  • $8,967 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $5,141 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard
  • $548
  • $8,508 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $9,818 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard
  • Credit Card or ACH-debit.
    (7) New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with Fewer than 25 Components § 250.842 $652 $463
  • $4,338 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $1,967 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard
  • Credit Card or ACH-debit.
    (8) Production Safety System Application—Modification with More than 125 Components Reviewed § 250.842 $605 $1,278
  • $9,313 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $8,100 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard
  • Credit Card or ACH-debit.
    (9) Production Safety System Application—Modification with 25-125 Components Reviewed § 250.842 $217 $439
  • $6,765 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $7,326 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard
  • Credit Card or ACH-debit.
    (10) Production Safety System Application—Modification with Fewer than 25 Components Reviewed § 250.842 $92 $386
  • $4,513 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $2,141 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard
  • Credit Card or ACH-debit.
    (11) Platform Application—Installation—Under the Platform Verification Program § 250.905(l) $22,734 $28,311 ACH-debit Only. (12) Platform Application—Installation—Fixed Structure Under the Platform Approval Program § 250.905(l) $3,256 $1,914 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (13) Platform Application—Installation—Caisson/Well Protector § 250.905(l) $1,657 $1,914 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (14) Platform Application—Modification/Repair § 250.905(l) $3,884 $1,975 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (15) New Pipeline Application (Lease Term) $3,541 (a) New Pipeline Application (Lease Term)—Shallow Water (less than 1000 ft.) § 250.1000(b) $1,584 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (b) New Pipeline Application (Lease Term)—Deepwater (greater than 1000 ft.) $3,663 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (16) Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term) $2,056 (a) Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term)—Minor § 250.1000(b) $651 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (b) Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term)—Major $1,696 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (17) Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW) $4,169 (a) Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW)—Minor § 250.1000(b) $455 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (b) Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW)—Major $1,800 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (18) Pipeline Repair Notification § 250.1008(e) $388 $557 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (19) Pipeline ROW Grant Application $2,771 (a) Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Shallow Water (less than 1000 ft.) § 250.1015(a) $1,662 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (b) Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Deepwater (greater than 1000 ft.) $3,796 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (20) Pipeline Conversion of Lease Term to ROW § 250.1015(a) $236 $494 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (21) Pipeline ROW Assignment § 250.1018(b) $201 $397 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (22) 500 Feet From Lease/Unit Line Production Request § 250.1156(a) $3,892 $5,440 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (23) Gas Cap Production Request § 250.1157 $4,953 $11,962 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (24) Downhole Commingling Request § 250.1158(a) $5,779 $14,064 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (25) Complex Surface Commingling and Measurement Application § 250.1202(a); § 250.1203(b); § 250.1204(a) $4,056 $8,205 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (26) Simple Surface Commingling and Measurement Application § 250.1202(a); § 250.1203(b); § 250.1204(a) $1,371 $3,514 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (27) Voluntary Unitization Proposal or Unit Expansion § 250.1303(d) $12,619 $27,288 ACH-debit Only. (28) Unitization Revision $896 (a) Unitization Revision—Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Successor Unit Operator/Sub-operator § 250.1303(d) $1,683 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (b) Unitization Revision—Exhibit C $3,255 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (29) Application to Remove a Platform or Other Facility § 250.1727 $4,684 $2,846 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (30) Application to Decommission a Pipeline (Lease Term) § 250.1751(a) or § 250.1752(a) $1,142 $857 Credit Card or ACH-debit. (31) Application to Decommission a Pipeline (ROW) § 250.1751(a) or § 250.1752(a) $2,170 $980 Credit Card or ACH-debit.
    How did BSEE determine the costs to be recovered by the proposed fees?

    Federal agency policy covering full cost recovery through user charges is outlined in OMB Circular A-25. According to OMB Circular A-25, BSEE should assess fees to recover the bureau's full costs of providing the services to the offshore oil and gas industry, rather than market price, because BSEE is acting on behalf of the United States to issue offshore oil and gas permits, approve DWOPs, and provide the other listed services. Therefore, BSEE used the full cost recovery approach, described in paragraph 6.d.1 of OMB Circular A-25, to assess the cost of each process.

    For each of the services provided by BSEE, the process begins with the submission of an application, plan, permit, or other request by an operator. BSEE typically provides the service requested when an operator submits a request and the associated user fee. The output of each service is BSEE's issuance of the permit or application/plan approval or denial.

    In order to determine the current cost of BSEE's services, BSEE assessed and itemized its services through data collection and dialogue with BSEE personnel in its Gulf of Mexico Regional Office (GOMR) and other BSEE SMEs. This process included the identification of each task undertaken by BSEE to review and approve each type of plan, application, permit, or other request. These tasks include: The initiating event or BSEE's receipt of a request for service; the identification of personnel to perform the review of the plan, application, permit, or other request; the review of the plan, application, permit, or other request; and the issuance of the permit or approval/denial of the application/plan. This information and the time spent performing each task were used to calculate BSEE's service costs, consistent with the procedures in OMB Circular A-25, as explained in the following discussion.

    How were the direct costs calculated?

    The direct costs assessed as part of the full cost recovery analysis are direct labor costs, e.g., direct salary costs and fringe benefits for BSEE staff performing the requested services. Direct labor costs were established using the average work time provided by BSEE staff members for each task. The average time was then multiplied by the 2016 Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) General Schedule (GS) pay grade hourly rate for the employee responsible for completing that task. The GS pay grade was calculated at a step 5 level, which was estimated to be the average step within each pay grade. A range of GS pay grades are involved in certain actions (i.e., specific tasks might be accomplished by either a GS-7, 9, or 11 employee). In this case, BSEE averaged the hourly rate for a step 5 at all the grade levels that could accomplish the task to create an average hourly rate for that specific task.

    The following 2016 OPM GS rate tables were used to identify the appropriate hourly rate for the employee responsible for completing each task:

    (1) For any task completed by a petroleum engineer, OPM's 2016 special rate tables 711 and 712 were utilized. These tables provide petroleum engineers in GOMR and the Pacific OCS Region (POCSR) with a 35 percent increase above OPM's “Base” pay rate.

    (2) For any task completed by a geologist or geophysicist, OPM's 2016 special rate table 711 was utilized. This table provides geologists and geophysicists in Jefferson, LA and Camarillo, CA with a 35 percent increase above OPM's “Base” pay rate. Jefferson, LA includes the GOMR New Orleans District where the majority of these positions are located.

    (3) For all other tasks not covered by (1) or (2) above, the GS “REST OF UNITED STATES” 2016 rate table was used.

    Along with direct labor salary costs, OMB Circular A-25 requires the collection of direct labor costs classified as fringe benefits, which usually includes paid leave, medical insurance, and retirement. Historically, BSEE has calculated the fringe benefits as 28 percent of the direct salary costs and refers to that percentage as the “fringe benefit factor.” The fringe benefit factor was applied to all labor categories and grades for all cost recovery fee calculations.

    How were the indirect costs calculated?

    In accordance with OMB Circular A-25, indirect costs include personnel fringe benefits, all physical overhead costs, and management and supervisory costs. In accordance with OMB Circular A-25, BSEE assessed indirect costs for all headquarters, Regional, and District personnel and operations involved in the provision of services that are the subject of this proposed rule. These indirect costs include salaries and fringe benefits of personnel providing ancillary support functions, material and supply costs, utilities, and other costs that are allocated across all services provided by BSEE. BSEE has an extensive activity-based costing code table and cost capture database (Cost and Performance Management Tool (CPMT)) that categorizes all BSEE costs as either direct or indirect. Data from CPMT, going back to FY 2007, were analyzed to develop an appropriate methodology for estimating the indirect costs component of the cost recovery fees.

    Indirect costs were estimated using the historical ratio of indirect to direct costs observed at the headquarters, Regional, or District levels. From FY 2007 through FY 2015, the ratio was consistently between 51 and 56 percent. An average ratio of 53.51 percent was used. This percentage was applied to each service's direct cost to derive an indirect cost estimate for each service. The following table provides the indirect to direct cost data and ratios for BSEE and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) predecessor agencies, MMS and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, from FY 2007-FY 2011 and for BSEE from FY 2013-FY 2015.4 FY 2012 data were not included due to inaccurate tracking that occurred as BSEE and BOEM were established at the beginning of that fiscal year.

    4 BSEE and BOEM were created on October 1, 2011 as part of the DOI reorganization and division of responsibilities formerly exercised by MMS.

    Direct and Indirect Cost Data 1 Fiscal year Direct total cost
  • ($ millions)
  • Indirect total cost
  • ($ millions)
  • Indirect/direct cost ratio
  • (percent)
  • 2007 205.62 110.75 53.86 2008 203.42 114.35 56.22 2009 219.36 120.14 54.77 2010 222.91 114.88 51.54 2011 244.25 135.10 55.31 2013 113.27 58.26 51.43 2014 138.21 74.50 53.91 2015 159.97 81.68 51.06 Average 53.51
    Why are two fee levels proposed for some service categories?

    Two fee levels are proposed for certain applications, plans, permits, and other requests for BSEE services (e.g., simple DWOP vs. complex DWOP, or shallow water pipeline application (lease term) vs. deepwater pipeline application (lease term)) based on the varying levels of complexity, and resulting costs, associated with processing those requests. The six categories of BSEE services for which two tiers of complexity-based fees are proposed are identified in the following list, along with clarification for operators on which fee is more appropriate with regard to an application, plan, permit, or other request for these services:

    1. DWOP: The complexity of processing a DWOP varies and depends on whether it includes new or unusual technology, as well as the scope and scale of the proposed development project.

    a. DWOP—Complex: An operator would submit payment for this service when a DWOP meets any of the following criteria:

    • The plan contains new or unusual technology, as defined in 30 CFR 250.200(b), and the new or unusual technology:

    —requires a high degree of specialized knowledge; —exceeds the limits of existing engineering standards; —conflicts with existing engineering standards; or —warrants an additional level of review due to the risk associated with implementation; or

    • The plan includes installation of a new floating production facility.

    b. DWOP—Simple: An operator would submit payment for this service for all DWOPs that do not meet the criteria for Deepwater Operation Plans—Complex. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • A new or unusual technology as defined in 30 CFR 250.200(b) that does not require a high degree of specialized knowledge.

    • A new or unusual technology that is a modification or repair to an existing floating production facility or project.

    • A subsea tieback to a new or existing floating production facility.

    • A material change, addition or revision to an existing, previously approved project.

    • A subsea tieback/additional well(s) for which only minor or no updates for subsea production safety system are necessary.

    • Addition of a new subsea development to a new or existing floating production facility.

    2. New Pipeline Application (Lease Term): The complexity of processing an application varies and is dependent on the water depth of the pipeline.

    a. New Pipeline Application (Lease Term)—Shallow Water: An operator would submit payment for this service when the pipeline in a New Pipeline Application (Lease Term) is located in its entirety in water depths less than or equal to 1,000 feet (ft.).

    b. New Pipeline Application (Lease Term)—Deepwater: An operator would submit payment for this service when any portion of the pipeline in a New Pipeline Application (Lease Term) is located in water depths greater than 1,000 ft.

    3. Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term): The complexity of processing an application varies and is dependent on the complexity of the modification.

    a. Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term)—Major: An operator would submit payment for this service when a Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term) contains a route modification request. Actions which constitute a “route modification” include, but are not limited to, changing a pipeline route, installing a new portion of pipeline, decommissioning a portion of pipeline, and changing service or flow direction of a pipeline.

    b. Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term)—Minor: An operator would submit payment for this service for all other Pipeline Applications—Modification (Lease Term) requests (i.e., for all Pipeline Applications—Modification (Lease Term) requests that do not contain a route modification).

    4. Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW): The complexity of processing an application varies and is dependent on the complexity of the modification.

    a. Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW)—Major. An operator would submit payment for this service when a Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW) contains a route modification request. Actions that constitute a “route modification” include, but are not limited to, changing a pipeline route, installing a new portion of pipeline, decommissioning a portion of pipeline, and changing service or flow direction of a pipeline.

    b. Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW)—Minor: An operator would submit payment for this service for all other Pipeline Applications—Modification (ROW) requests (i.e., for all Pipeline Applications—Modification (ROW) requests that do not contain a route modification). An example is an ROW Grant Modification request for cessation of operations.

    5. Pipeline ROW Grant Application: The complexity of processing an application varies and is dependent on the water depth of the pipeline.

    a. Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Shallow Water: An operator would submit payment for this service when the pipeline in a Pipeline ROW Grant Application is located in its entirety in water depths less than or equal to 1,000 ft.

    b. Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Deepwater: An operator would submit payment for this service when any portion of the pipeline in a Pipeline ROW Grant Application is located in water depths greater than 1,000 ft.

    6. Unitization Revision: BSEE currently charges one fee for the review of a Unitization Revision; however, the complexity of processing the application and resulting cost vary based on the specific exhibits being revised in the signed unit agreement. Typical unitization applications contain an Exhibit A, which is the lease plat identifying the unit area; Exhibit B, which is a listing of the component leases and ownership of each; and Exhibit C, which is a listing of the participation and allocation by lease. Payment for unitization revision services are as follows:

    a. Unitization Revision—Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Designation of Successor Unit Operator/Sub-operator: The Unit Operator would submit payment for this service when a Unitization Revision is submitted for approval that revises Exhibit A and/or Exhibit B of the signed unit agreement or designates a Successor Unit Operator and/or Successor Unit Sub-operator.

    b. Unitization Revision—Exhibit C: The Unit Operator would submit payment for this service when a Unitization Revision is submitted for approval that revises Exhibit C of the signed unit agreement.

    Why are there proposed new and adjusted fees for some services that involve BSEE site visits?

    In accordance with existing § 250.800, production must not commence until the production safety system has been approved and a pre-production inspection has been requested by the lessee. If a BSEE application reviewer decides that a pre-production inspection is necessary as part of the production safety system application review and approval process, then a team of engineers and inspectors visits the facility offshore (e.g., a mobile offshore drilling unit) or at a shipyard.

    Existing §§ 250.125(a)(5) and (6) establish fees for visiting a facility offshore or in a shipyard for two of the six production safety system applications, when necessary, as part of the BSEE review and approval process. Visits to an offshore facility or a shipyard can become necessary in order to verify that safety devices are in the proper locations or to identify if they are missing when compared with the associated application submitted for approval. Any necessary corrections to production safety systems can typically be handled more easily while construction work is ongoing in a shipyard, rather than when the facility is offshore.

    BSEE's costs for travel to offshore facilities and shipyard locations and for services, as part of the application review process, can be recovered in accordance with OMB Circular A-25. Estimates for BSEE's costs for these services include costs for transportation, lodging, and labor hours for each labor category involved.

    As illustrated in the Service Fee Table, under §§ 250.125(a)(7)-(a)(10), BSEE proposes four new fees for production safety system visits to offshore facilities or shipyards. BSEE also proposes to amend the two existing fees for production safety system inspection visits to offshore facilities or shipyards under §§ 250.125(a)(5) and 250.125(a)(6). The proposed new and amended fees would affect:

    1. New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with more than 125 components;

    2. New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with 25-125 components;

    3. New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with fewer than 25 components;

    4. Production Safety System Application—Modification with more than 125 components reviewed;

    5. Production Safety System Application—Modification with 25-125 components reviewed; and

    6. Production Safety System Application—Modification with fewer than 25 components reviewed.

    Why are the adjustments to BSEE's cost recovery fees necessary?

    As previously mentioned, offshore operations have changed dramatically over the last ten years, which has led to adjustments in the review and approval process for a large portion of the services BSEE provides to industry. BSEE proposes the listed fee levels based on the assessment of the bureau's full costs to provide the associated services using the methodology described above. However, this full-cost methodology is not entirely comparable to the methodologies used in the 2005 and 2006 rulemakings that initially established the fees. The following examples provide the general rationale for some of the fee adjustments as compared to the fees in existing regulations.

    1. BSEE's assessment of its costs for processing complex DWOPs indicates that six employees, ranging in grades from GS-5 through GS-14, will spend between 310 and 1,094 hours reviewing, analyzing, and processing these plans. As previously discussed, the increased complexity of offshore operations has required additional senior-level employees to spend added time reviewing and approving these plans. This is particularly true with regard to the increased processing time of DWOPs and the associated increased costs to BSEE. In addition, the existing $3,599 fee for processing both complex and simple DWOPs does not account for the special pay that many BSEE employees receive for reviewing and approving these plans and the higher indirect cost ratio. The fee assessed for DWOP review has also not been adjusted since a 2006 rulemaking that established the existing fee. The adjusted fee is the result of calculations performed with input from BSEE Regional Offices and takes into account the increased complexity of submitted DWOPs due to the use of new or unusual technologies and the increased scope or scale of proposed plans. Based on its assessment, BSEE proposes to subdivide the DWOP processing fees and assess a $70,333 fee for processing complex DWOPs in 250.125(a)(2)(ii).

    2. Similarly, BSEE proposes subdividing the fees for processing unitization revisions based on its assessment of the bureau's direct and indirect costs. Typically, seven BSEE positions, ranging in grades from GS-5 through GS-15, spend between 6.6 and 29.7 hours processing unitization revisions impacting exhibits A and B, while six BSEE positions spend between 8.5 to 71.9 hours processing unitization revisions impacting exhibit C. As is the case with the existing DWOP fee, the existing $896 fee for processing unitization revisions does not account for the special pay that many BSEE employees receive for reviewing and approving these documents and the higher indirect cost ratio. Based on its assessment, BSEE proposes a $1,683 fee for processing a unitization revision related to exhibits A and B and a $3,255 fee for processing a unitization revision related to exhibit C in 250.125(a)(28)(i) and (ii).

    3. BSEE is also proposing to reduce some existing fees based on its assessment of the bureau's full costs to process applications and requests. For example, BSEE's assessment indicated that five BSEE employees, ranging in grades from GS-5 through GS-14, will spend between 5.8 and 12.5 hours processing an application for a minor lease term pipeline modification, resulting in $651 in full bureau costs. Since the existing fee of $2,056 was established, efficiencies have resulted in lower costs to process applications and requests (e.g., a technician now performs certain steps in the process previously performed by an engineer). Based on this assessment, BSEE proposes to subdivide and reduce the existing fee for processing both major and minor applications for lease term pipeline modifications in § 250.125(a)(16)(i).

    C. Request for Comments on Potential Future Fees

    Due to the large number of revised applications received by BSEE and the associated costs to BSEE to process them, BSEE is currently evaluating the need for additional fees for revised applications for permits to drill (R-APD) and revised applications for permits to modify (R-APM). Accordingly, BSEE requests comments on whether separate fee levels for R-APD and R-APM should be proposed in a future rulemaking. BSEE also requests comments on the factors that should be the basis for determining the separate fee levels for R-APDs and R-APMs (e.g., complexity, water depth, etc.).

    II. Procedural Matters Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders (E.O.) 12866 and 13563)

    E.O. 12866 provides that OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), will review all significant rules. BSEE has determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by section 3(f) of E.O. 12866 because:

    —It is not expected to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; —It would not adversely affect in a material way the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; —It would not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; —It would not alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights or obligations of their recipients; and —It would not raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in E.O. 12866.

    Accordingly, BSEE has not prepared an economic analysis, and OIRA has not reviewed this proposed rule.

    E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the Nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. E.O. 13563 directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. It also emphasizes that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. BSEE is developing this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The DOI certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (RFA). The RFA, at 5 U.S.C. 603, requires agencies to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis to determine whether a regulation would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Further, under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, at section 212 of Public Law 104-121 (March 29, 1996), an agency is required to produce compliance guidance for small entities if the rule would have a significant economic impact.

    The Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis prepared by BSEE assessed the impact of this proposed rule on small entities, as defined by the applicable Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards. BSEE has determined that this proposed rule potentially affects operators and holders of Federal oil and gas leases, as well as right-of-way holders, on the OCS. This includes an estimated 99 businesses with active operations. Businesses that operate under this rule fall under the SBA's North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 211111 (Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction) and 213111 (Drilling Oil and Gas Wells). For these NAICS classifications, a small business is defined as one with fewer than 1,251 employees (for NAICS 211111) and fewer than 1,001 (for NAICS 213111). Based on these criteria, 54 of the potentially impacted businesses are considered small and 45 are considered large businesses. BSEE considers that a rule has an impact on a “substantial number of small entities” when the total number of small entities impacted by the rule is equal to or exceeds 10 percent of the relevant universe of impacted entities. Approximately 55% of the businesses that would be affected by this rule are considered small; therefore, BSEE has determined that this rule would impact a substantial number of small businesses under the RFA.

    BSEE's analysis estimates the incremental costs for small operators, lease holders, and right-of-way holders in the offshore oil and natural gas industry. Costs already incurred as a result of existing fees were not considered as costs of this proposed rule because they are part of the baseline. Among the 54 small businesses involved in offshore operations, the average annual corporate sales volume, from the latest available data, for the year 2014, is $186 million, which is approximately $192 million in 2016 dollars.

    The following “Change in Cost per Small Entity” table provides an analysis and derivation of the estimated average cost, per small firm, that would be incurred per year as a result of the proposed rule. The first column of the table displays the list of services provided, as they appeared earlier in the Service Fee Table. The second column displays an estimate of the total counts of these services expected over the three fiscal year period 2016-2018. The third and fourth columns show the existing fee, and the proposed fee, respectively, for each service provided. The fifth column then displays, for each service, the expected change in total costs over the three-year period, on the basis of the data in the previous columns (the change in fees and the counts of services). The sixth column reflects the estimated proportion of the change in cost per small firm based on BSEE's data regarding counts of services across firms from FY 2013 to FY 2015. Finally, the seventh column reflects the estimated change in cost per small firm per fiscal year, by taking the annualized product of columns five and six. The estimated additional costs of the proposed rule from service fee changes totals approximately $8,875 per small firm per year, or an estimated 0.0046 percent of an average small business's sales.

    Change in Cost per Small Entity by Proposed Rule Provision 1 [Negatives in parentheses] Service provided Estimated (Est.) total counts for all operators in
  • FY 2016-
  • FY 2018
  • Existing fee per incidence Proposed fee per
  • incidence
  • Change in total cost for all firms in
  • FY 2016-
  • FY 2018
  • Est.
  • proportion
  • of cost
  • per small firm
  • Est. change in cost per small firm, per FY
    1 Suspension of Operations/Suspension of Production (SOO/SOP) Request 468 $2,123 $3,055 $436,176 0.0085 $1,235 2a Deepwater Operations Plan—Simple 19 3,599 14,290 203,129 0.0074 502 2b Deepwater Operations Plan—Complex 11 3,599 70,333 734,074 0.0074 1,813 3 Application for Permit to Drill (APD; Form BSEE-0123) 244 2,113 10,420 2,026,908 0.0082 5,544 4 Application for Permit to Modify (APM; Form BSEE-0124) 540 125 1,680 839,700 0.0094 2,622 5 New Facility Production Safety System Application for facility with more than 125 components 3 5,426 3,976 (4,350) 0.0085 (12)   Pre-Production inspection Facility Offshore 3 14,280 13,534 (2,238) 0.0085 (6)   Pre-Production inspection Facility in a Shipyard 3 7,426 14,567 21,423 0.0085 61 6 New Facility Production Safety System Application for facility with 25-125 components 12 1,314 548 (9,192) 0.0085 (26)   Pre-Production inspection Facility Offshore 3 8,967 8,508 (1,377) 0.0085 (4)   Pre-Production inspection Facility in a Shipyard 3 5,141 9,818 14,031 0.0085 40 7 New Facility Production Safety System Application for facility with fewer than 25 components 29 652 463 (5,481) 0.0085 (15)   Pre-Production inspection Facility Offshore 3 4,338 13,014 0.0085 37   Pre-Production inspection Facility in a Shipyard 3 1,967 5,901 0.0085 17 8 Production Safety System Application—Modification with more than 125 components reviewed 404 605 1,278 271,892 0.0085 768   Pre-Production inspection Facility Offshore 3 9,313 27,939 0.0085 79   Pre-Production inspection Facility in a Shipyard 3 8,100 24,300 0.0085 69 9 Production Safety System Application—Modification with 25-125 components reviewed 1,424 217 439 316,128 0.0085 893   Pre-Production inspection Facility Offshore 3 6,765 20,295 0.0085 57   Pre-Production inspection Facility in a Shipyard 3 7,326 21,978 0.0085 62 10 Production Safety System Application—Modification with fewer than 25 components reviewed 880 92 386 258,720 0.0085 731   Pre-Production inspection Facility Offshore 3 4,513 13,539 0.0085 38   Pre-Production inspection Facility in a Shipyard 3 2,141 6,423 0.0085 18 11 Platform Application—Installation—Under the Platform Verification Program 5 22,734 28,311 27,885 0.0111 103 12 Platform Application—Installation—Fixed Structure Under the Platform Approval Program 27 3,256 1,914 (36,234) 0.0106 (128) 13 Platform Application—Installation—Caisson/Well Protector 41 1,657 1,914 10,537 0.0126 44 14 Platform Application—Modification/Repair 108 3,884 1,975 (206,172) 0.0075 (514) 15a New Pipeline Application (Lease Term)—Shallow water (less than 1000 ft.) 12 3,541 1,584 (23,484) 0.0038 (30) 15b New Pipeline Application (Lease Term)—Deepwater (greater than 1000 ft.) 369 3,541 3,663 45,018 0.0038 58 16a Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term)—Minor 361 2,056 651 (507,205) 0.0040 (673) 16b Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term)—Major 11 2,056 1,696 (3,960) 0.0040 (5) 17a Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW)—Minor 631 4,169 455 (2,343,534) 0.0083 (6,462) 17b Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW)—Major 21 4,169 1,800 (49,749) 0.0083 (137) 18 Pipeline Repair Notification 397 388 557 67,093 0.0081 181 19a Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Shallow water (less than 1000 ft.) 121 2,771 1,662 (134,189) 0.0092 (409) 19b Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Deepwater (greater than 1000 ft.) 77 2,771 3,796 78,925 0.0092 241 20 Pipeline Conversion of Lease Term to ROW 35 236 494 9,030 0.0116 35 21 Pipeline ROW Assignment 800 201 397 156,800 0.0092 478 22 500 Feet From Lease/Unit Line Production Request 69 3,892 5,440 106,812 0.0093 330 23 Gas Cap Production Request 87 4,953 11,962 609,783 0.0035 709 24 Downhole Commingling Request 138 5,779 14,064 1,143,330 0.0048 1,828 25 Complex Surface Commingling and Measurement Application 164 4,056 8,205 680,436 0.0082 1,863 26 Simple Surface Commingling and Measurement Application 251 1,371 3,514 537,893 0.0082 1,473 27 Voluntary Unitization Proposal or Unit Expansion 50 12,619 27,288 733,450 0.0021 522 28a Unitization Revision—Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Successor Unit Operator/Suboperator 154 896 1,683 121,198 0.0076 309 28b Unitization Revision—Exhibit C 21 896 3,255 49,539 0.0076 126 29 Application to Remove a Platform or Other Facility 687 4,684 2,846 (1,262,706) 0.0089 (3,729) 30 Application to Decommission a Pipeline (Lease Term) 707 1,142 857 (201,495) 0.0050 (333) 31 Application to Decommission a Pipeline (ROW) 503 2,170 980 (598,570) 0.0077 (1,526) Total 2 8,874 As a Percent of the Average Sales Revenue of Small Firms ($192 million) 0.0046 1 Estimated dollar amounts are in 2016 dollars. 2 Numbers may not add up due to rounding.

    BSEE has concluded the additional costs of the proposed rule would impose an insignificant, negligible burden on small entities.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The proposed rule is not a major rule under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This proposed rule:

    (a) Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more;

    (b) Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; and

    (c) Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    The requirements would apply to all entities operating on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) regardless of company designation as a small business. For more information on costs affecting small businesses, see the Regulatory Flexibility Act portion of this document.

    Your comments are important. The Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and 10 Regional Fairness Boards were established to receive comments from small businesses about federal agency enforcement actions. The Ombudsman will annually evaluate the enforcement activities and rate each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on the actions of BSEE, call 1-888-734-3247. You may comment to the SBA without fear of retaliation. Allegations of discrimination/retaliation filed with the SBA will be investigated for appropriate action.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule would not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The proposed rule would not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, a statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., is not required.

    Takings Implication Assessment (E.O. 12630)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 12630, this proposed rule does not have significant takings implications. The proposed rule is not a governmental action capable of interference with constitutionally protected property rights. Therefore, a Takings Implication Assessment is not required.

    Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 13132, this proposed rule does not have federalism implications. This proposed rule would not substantially and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and State governments. To the extent that State and local governments have a role in OCS activities, this proposed rule would not affect that role. A federalism assessment is not required.

    Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This proposed rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. Specifically, this proposed rule:

    (1) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

    (2) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

    Consultation With Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 13175)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 13175 and the Department's tribal consultation policy, we have evaluated this proposed rule and have determined that it has no substantial direct effects on federally recognized Indian tribes, or on the relationship or distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, and that consultation under the Department's tribal consultation policy is not required.

    Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995

    This proposed rule contains a collection of information that will be submitted to OMB for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, BSEE invites the public and other Federal agencies to comment on any aspect of the non-hour cost burden. If you wish to comment on the information collection (IC) aspects of this proposed rule, you may send your comments directly to OMB and send a copy of your comments to the Regulations and Standards Branch (see the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule). Please reference Adjustments to Cost Recovery Fees Relating to the Regulation of Oil, Gas, and Sulfur Activities on the Outer Continental Shelf, 1014—NEW, in your comments. BSEE specifically requests comments concerning: The need for the information, its practical utility, the accuracy of the agency's burden estimate, and ways to minimize the burden. You may obtain a copy of the supporting statement for the new collection of information by contacting the Bureau's Information Collection Clearance Officer at (703) 787-1607. To see a copy of the entire IC request (ICR) submitted to OMB, go to http://www.reginfo.gov (select Information Collection Review, Currently Under Review).

    The PRA provides that 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. OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information contained in these proposed regulations 30 to 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it by December 19, 2016.

    The title of the collection of information for this rule is 30 CFR part 250, Adjustments to Cost Recovery Fees. The proposed regulations pertain to BSEE updating its 31 cost recovery fees, including additional fees for site visits if deemed necessary. These proposed changes are designed to recover the full cost BSEE incurs for providing these services.

    Potential respondents comprise Federal OCS oil, gas, and sulfur operators and lessees, as well as pipeline ROW holders. Responses to this collection of information are required to obtain or retain a benefit and are mandatory. The frequency of response varies depending upon the requirement. The IC does not include questions of a sensitive nature. BSEE will protect proprietary information according to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and DOI's implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2), 30 CFR 250.197, Data and information to be made available to the public or for limited inspection, and 30 CFR part 252, OCS Oil and Gas Information Program.

    OMB approved the IC burden of the existing 30 CFR part 250 regulations under Control Numbers 1014-0022, Subpart A (84,391 hour burden, $1,371,458 non-hour cost burden; expiration 8/31/17); 1014-0024, Subpart B ($39,589 non-hour cost burden; expiration 11/30/2018); 1014-0025 Applications for Permit to Drill ($862,104 non-hour cost burden, expiration 4/30/2017); 1014-0026, Applications for Permit to Modify ($361,625 non-hour cost burden, expiration 5/31/2017); 1014-0003, Subpart H ($323,481 non-hour cost burden; expiration 12/31/2017); 1014-0011, Subpart I, ($392,874 non-hour cost burden, expiration 5/31/2017); 1014-0016, Subpart J ($1,508,968 non-hour cost burden, expiration 8/31/2018); 1014-0019, Subpart K ($1,361,176 non-hour cost burden, expiration 1/31/2019); 1014-0002, Subpart L ($322,479 non-hour cost burden, expiration 10/31/16); 1014-0015, Subpart M ($138,188 non-hour cost burden, expiration 12/31/2017); and 1014-0010, Subpart Q ($1,686,396 non-hour cost burden, expiration 10/31/2016), respectively.

    If this proposed rule is finalized and codified, the various non-hour cost burdens and one new hour burden will be removed from this collection of information and consolidated with their primary information collection burden under their respective OMB Control Numbers.

    Hour burdens are included in the regulatory requirements of various OMB-approved ICRs, of which only one is changing and discussed in this ICR.

    Hour Burden Table Citation
  • 30 CFR 250
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements Hour burden Average
  • number of annual
  • responses
  • Annual burden hours
    Subpart A 125; 126; 292; 1000; 1015; 1303 Cost recovery fees, applications, confirmation receipts, etc., verbal approvals pertaining to fees Cost Recovery Fees and related items are covered individually throughout Part 250 0. 125(c) Request refund, including a reason for the refund, within 150 days of the initial payment 3 min. 200 requests 10. Total 200 responses 10 hours.

    BSEE currently receives approximately $7,000,000 in cost recovery fees (non-hour cost burdens) annually. This proposed rulemaking would increase that total by approximately $9,000,000 for a total of $16,000,000 in cost recovery fees. The following table provides a breakdown of the non-hour cost burdens for this proposed rulemaking.

    [Existing non-hour cost burden/cost recovery fees are in regular font; proposed non-hour cost burden/cost recovery fees and text are in italic font; new fees are in bold font]

    Non-Hour Cost Burden Table Citation 30 CFR part 250 Service/cost recovery fee Non-hour cost burdens Subpart A 171(e) Suspension of Operations and/or Suspension of Production (SOO/SOP) Request $2,123 × 646 requests = $1,371,458.
  • $3,055 × 646 requests = $1,973,530.
  • Subpart B 292(q) Deepwater Operations Plan [simple and complex] $3,599 × 11 plans = $39,589.
  • $14,290 × 7 simple DWOPs = $100,030.
  • $70,333 × 4 complex DWOPs = $281,332.
  • Applications for Permit to Drill 410(d); 513(b); 1617(a) Application for Permit to Drill [initial permit] $2,113 × 408 applications = $862,104.
  • $10,420 × 408 applications = $4,251,360.
  • Application for Permit to Modify 465(b); 513(b); 613(b); 1618(a); 1704(g) Application for Permit to Modify [initial permit] $125 × 2,893 applications = $361,625.
  • $1,680 × 2,893 applications = $4,860,240.
  • Subpart H 842 New Facility Production Safety System Application for facility with more than 125 components $5,426 × 1 application = $5,426.
  • $3,976 × 1 application = $3,976.
  • Pre-production Inspection—offshore $14,280 × 1 offshore = $14,280.
  • $13,534 × 1 offshore = $13,534.
  • Pre-production Inspection—shipyard $7,426 × 1 shipyard = $7,426.
  • $14,567 × 1 shipyard = $14,567.
  • 842 New Facility Production Safety System Application for facility with 25-125 components $1,314 × 4 applications = $5,256.
  • $548 × 4 applications = $2,192.
  • Pre-production Inspection—offshore $8,967 × 1 offshore visit = $8,967.
  • $8,508 × 1 offshore visit = $8,508.
  • Pre-production Inspection—shipyard $5,141 × 1 shipyard = $5,141.
  • $9,818 × 1 shipyard = $9,818.
  • 842 New Facility Production Safety System Application for facility with fewer than 25 components $652 × 10 applications = $6,520.
  • $463 × 10 applications = $4,630.
  • Pre-production Inspection—offshore $4,338 × 1 offshore visit = $4,338. Pre-production Inspection—shipyard $1,967 × 1 shipyard = $1,967. 842 Production Safety System Application—Modification with more than 125 components reviewed $605 × 174 applications = $105,270.
  • $1,278 × 174 applications = $222,372.
  • Pre-production Inspection—offshore $9,313 × 1 shipyard visit = $9,313. Pre-production Inspection—shipyard $8,100 × 1 shipyard visit = $8,100. 842 Production Safety System Application—Modification with 25-125 components reviewed $217 × 615 applications = $133,455.
  • $439 × 615 applications = $269,985.
  • Pre-production Inspection—offshore $6,765 × 1 offshore = $6,765. Pre-production Inspection—shipyard $7,326 × 1 shipyard = $7,326. 842 Production Safety System Application—Modification with fewer than 25 components reviewed $92 × 345 applications = $31,740.
  • $386 × 345 applications = $133,170.
  • Pre-production Inspection—offshore $4,513 × 1 offshore = $4,513. Pre-production Inspection—shipyard $2,141 × 1 shipyard = $2,141. Subpart I 905(l) Platform Application—Installation—Under the Platform Verification Program $22,734 × 3= $68,202.
  • $28,311 × 3 = $84,933.
  • 905(l) Platform Application—Installation—Fixed Structure Under the Platform Approval Program $3,256 × 12 = $39,072.
  • $1,914 × 12 = $22,968.
  • 905(l) Platform Application—Installation—Caisson/Well Protector $1,657 × 20 = $33,140.
  • $1,914 × 20 = $38,280.
  • 905(1) Platform Application—Modification/Repair $3,884 × 65 applications = $252,460.
  • $1,975 × 65 applications = $128,375.
  • Subpart J 1000(b) Submit application and all required information and notices to install new lease term pipeline (L/T P/L). $3,541 × 61 L/T P/L applications = $216,001. Submit application and all required information and notices to modify a L/T P/L—Shallow Water (less than 1,000 ft.) $1,584 × 2 applications = $3,168. Submit application and all required information and notices to modify a L/T P/L—Deepwater (greater than 1,000 ft.) $3,663 × 59 applications = $216,117. 1000(b) Submit application and all required information and notices to modify a L/T P/L $2,056 × 102 L/T P/L applications = $209,712. Submit application and all required information and notices to modify a L/T P/L—Minor $651 × 99 minor modifications = $64,449. Submit application and all required information and notices to modify a L/T P/L—Major $1,696 × 3 major modifications = $5,088. 1000(b) Pipeline Application Modification (ROW) $4,169 × 190 applications = $792,110. Pipeline Application Modification (ROW)—Minor $455 × 184 minor applications = $83,720. Pipeline Application Modification (ROW)—Major $1,800 × 6 major applications = $10,800. 1008(e) Pipeline Repair Notification $388 × 156 = $60,528. Pipeline Repair Notification $557 × 156 notifications = $86,892. 1015(a) Pipeline ROW Grant Application $2,771 × 62 applications = $171,802. Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Shallow Water (less than 1,000 ft.) $1,662 × 38 ROWs in shallow water = $63,156. Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Deepwater (greater than 1,000 ft.) $3,796 × 24 ROWs in Deepwater = $91,104. 1015(a) Pipeline Conversion of Lease Term to ROW $236 × 15 applications = $3,540. $494 × 15 applications = $7,410. 1018(b) Pipeline ROW Assignment $201 × 275 P/L ROW requests = $55,275. $397 × 275 P/L ROW requests = $109,175. Subpart K 1156(a) 500 Feet From Lease/Unit Line Production Request $3,892 × 20 requests = $77,840. $5,440 × 20 requests = $108,800. 1157 Gas Cap Production Request $4,953 × 22 requests = $108,966. $11,962 × 22 requests = $263,164. 1158(a) Downhole Commingling Request $5,779 × 30 requests = $173,370. $14,064 × 30 requests = $421,920. Subpart L 1202(a); 1203(b); 1204(a) Complex Surface Commingling and Measurement Application $4,056 × 67 applications = $271,752. $8,205 × 67 applications = $549,735. 1202(a); 1203(b); 1204(a) Simple Surface Commingling and Measurement Application $1,371 × 37 applications = $50,727. $3,514 × 37 applications = $130,018. Subpart M 1303(d) Voluntary Unitization Proposal or Unit Expansion $12,619 × 8 requests = $100,952. $27,288 × 8 requests =$218,304. Unitization Revision $896 × 41 revisions = $36,736. Unitization Revision—Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Successor Unit Operator/Sub-operator $1,683 × 36 Exhibit A/B = $60,588. Unitization Revision—Exhibit C $3,255 × 5 Exhibit C = $16,275. Subpart Q 1727 Application to Remove a Platform or Other Facility $4,684 × 240 applications = $1,124,160. $2,846 × 240 applications = $683,040. 1751(a); 1752(a) Application to Decommission a Pipeline (Lease Term) $1,142 × 213 applications = $243,246. $857 × 213 applications = $182,541. 1751(a); 1752(a) Application to Decommission a Pipeline (ROW) $2,170 × 147 applications = $318,990. $980 × 147 applications = $144,060. NEW NON-HOUR COST BURDEN $44,463. REVISED NON-HOUR COST BURDEN $15,943,324. TOTAL NEW and Revised Non-Hour Cost Burdens $15,987,787.

    Although the total new and revised Non-Hour Cost Burdens are estimated to be $16 million based on 3-year averages of the number of plans, applications, and permits, due to recent declines in the number of these submissions, BSEE anticipates that collections will more closely approximate $11 million in FY 2018.

    For further information on this non-hour burden estimation process, refer to 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(1) and (2), or contact the BSEE Information Collection Clearance Officer at (703) 787-1607.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969

    This proposed rule meets the criteria set forth in 516 Departmental Manual (DM) 15.4C(1) for a categorical exclusion because it involves modification of existing regulations, the impacts of which would be limited to administrative or economic effects with minimal environmental impacts. BSEE also analyzed this proposed rule to determine if extraordinary circumstances, set forth in 43 CFR 46.215, exist that would require BSEE to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement for actions otherwise eligible for a categorical exclusion. BSEE concluded that this proposed rule does not trigger any of the criteria for extraordinary circumstances and, therefore, has not prepared an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.

    Data Quality Act

    In developing this proposed rule, we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554 § 515).

    Effects on the Nation's Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This proposed rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in E.O. 13211 because:

    —It is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866; —It is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; and —It has not been designated as a significant energy action by the Administrator of OIRA. Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by E.O. 12866, E.O. 12988, E.O. 13563, and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    —Be logically organized; —Use the active voice to address readers directly; —Use clear language rather than jargon; —Be divided into short sections and sentences; and —Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that you find unclear, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 250

    Administrative practice and procedure, Continental Shelf, Environmental impact statements, Environmental protection, Government contracts, Investigations, Oil and gas exploration, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur.

    Dated: October 31, 2016. Amanda C. Leiter, Acting Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) proposes to amend 30 CFR part 250 as follows:

    PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULFUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF 1. Authority citation for part 250 continues to read as follow: Authority:

    30 U.S.C. 1751; 31 U.S.C. 9701, 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(1)(C), 43 U.S.C. 1334.

    2. Revise § 250.125 by: a. Revising the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows; b. Redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d); c. Removing paragraph (b) and adding new paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 250.125 Service fees.

    (a) * * *

    Service Fee Table Service—processing of the following: Fee amount 30 CFR citation (1) Suspension of Operations/Suspension of Production (SOO/SOP) Request $3,055 § 250.171(e). (2) Deepwater Operations Plan: (i) Deepwater Operations Plan—Simple $14,290 § 250.292(q). (ii) Deepwater Operations Plan—Complex (New Technology) $70,333 (3) Application for Permit to Drill (APD; Form BSEE-0123) $10,420 § 250.410(d); § 250.513(b); § 250.1617(a). (4) Application for Permit to Modify (APM; Form BSEE-0124) $1,680 § 250.465(b); § 250.513(b); § 250.613(b); § 250.1618(a); § 250.1704(g). (5) New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with More than 125 Components $3,976 $13,534 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $14,567 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard A component is a piece of equipment or an ancillary system that is protected by one or more of the safety devices required by API RP 14C (as incorporated by reference in § 250.198) (6) New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with 25-125 Components $548 $8,508 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $9,818 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard § 250.842. (7) New Facility Production Safety System Application for Facility with Fewer than 25 Components $463 $4,338 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $1,967 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard § 250.842. (8) Production Safety System Application—Modification with More than 125 Components Reviewed $1,278 $9,313 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $8,100 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard § 250.842. (9) Production Safety System Application—Modification with 25-125 Components Reviewed $439 $6,765 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $7,326 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard § 250.842. (10) Production Safety System Application—Modification with Fewer than 25 Components Reviewed $386 $4,513 additional fee will be charged if BSEE conducts a pre-production inspection of a facility offshore, and $2,141 for an inspection of a facility while in a shipyard § 250.842. (11) Platform Application—Installation—Under the Platform Verification Program $28,311 § 250.905(l). (12) Platform Application—Installation—Fixed Structure Under the Platform Approval Program $1,914 § 250.905(l). (13) Platform Application—Installation—Caisson/Well Protector $1,914 § 250.905(l). (14) Platform Application—Modification/Repair $1,975 § 250.905(l). (15) New Pipeline Application (Lease Term): (i) New Pipeline Application (Lease Term)—Shallow Water (less than 1,000 ft.) $1,584 § 250.1000(b). (ii) New Pipeline Application (Lease Term)—Deepwater (greater than 1,000 ft.) $3,663 (16) Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term): (i) Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term)—Minor $651 § 250.1000(b). (ii) Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term)—Major $1,696 (17) Pipeline Application—Modification Right-of-Way (ROW): (i) Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW)—Minor $455 § 250.1000(b). (ii) Pipeline Application—Modification (ROW)—Major $1,800 (18) Pipeline Repair Notification $557 § 250.1008(e). (19) Pipeline ROW Grant Application: (i) Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Shallow Water (less than 1,000 ft.) $1,662 § 250.1015(a). (ii) Pipeline ROW Grant Application—Deepwater (greater than 1,000 ft.) $3,796 (20) Pipeline Conversion of Lease Term to ROW $494 § 250.1015(a). (21) Pipeline ROW Assignment $397 § 250.1018(b). (22) 500 Feet From Lease/Unit Line Production Request $5,440 § 250.1156(a). (23) Gas Cap Production Request $11,962 § 250.1157. (24) Downhole Commingling Request $14,064 § 250.1158(a). (25) Complex Surface Commingling and Measurement Application $8,205 § 250.1202(a); § 250.1203(b); § 250.1204(a). (26) Simple Surface Commingling and Measurement Application $3,514 § 250.1202(a); § 250.1203(b); § 250.1204(a). (27) Voluntary Unitization Proposal or Unit Expansion $27,288 § 250.1303(d). (28) Unitization Revision: (i) Unitization Revision—Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Successor Unit Operator/Sub-operator $1,683 § 250.1303(d). (ii) Unitization Revision—Exhibit C $3,225 (29) Application to Remove a Platform or Other Facility $2,846 § 250.1727. (30) Application to Decommission a Pipeline (Lease Term) $857 § 250.1751(a) or § 250.1752(a). (31) Application to Decommission a Pipeline (ROW) $980 § 250.1751(a) or § 250.1752(a).

    (b) Fees specified in paragraph (a) must be paid electronically using one of the methods required by § 250.126. Proof of payment of the fees listed in paragraph (a) must accompany the submission of the application or other request for service. Once a fee is paid, it is nonrefundable, except as provided in paragraph (c). If your application is returned to you as incomplete, you are not required to submit a new fee with the amended application.

    (c) BSEE will issue a refund in certain situations.

    (1) You are eligible for a refund if you submit:

    (i) More than one payment with a single request;

    (ii) An incorrect fee or fee amount; or

    (iii) A payment without submitting any application or other request and the matter does not proceed further.

    (2) If you meet the criteria for a refund, you must submit a completed Refund Request form, which can be found at http://www.bsee.gov/About-BSEE/Fees-for-Services/. On the Refund Request form, in the “*Memo (reason requesting refund)” section, you must list the reason for the refund. You must use the information from your original proof of payment to prepare your refund request.

    (3) You must submit all refund requests to BSEE within 150 days of the initial service fee payment. If you do not submit your request within the 150-day timeframe, BSEE will not issue a refund.

    (4) If you have any questions pertaining to refund eligibility or to the preparation of the refund request, contact the appropriate Regional Office.

    3. Revise § 250.126 to read as follows:
    § 250.126 Electronic payment instructions.

    (a) You must file all payments under any provision of this part electronically, as provided in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section.

    (1) If you submit an application through the eWell Web site at https://ewell.bsee.gov/ewell/, you must use the interactive payment feature in that system, which directs you through pay.gov to make a payment. A copy of your pay.gov payment confirmation or pay.gov receipt serves as proof of your payment.

    (2) For applications not submitted through eWell, you may make a payment through the Fees for Services page on the BSEE Web site at http://www.bsee.gov/About-BSEE/Fees-for-Services/ or directly through the pay.gov Web site. A copy of your pay.gov payment confirmation or pay.gov receipt serves as proof of your payment and must accompany the submission of the application or other request for service.

    (b) Payments at or below the current U.S. Treasury credit card limit may be made using a credit card or through the automated clearing house (ACH-debit). Payments above the current U.S. Treasury credit card limit must be made through ACH-debit.

    (c) BSEE does not accept wire transfer electronic payments.

    4. In § 250.292, revise paragraph (q) to read as follows:
    § 250.292 What must the DWOP contain?

    (q) Payment of the service fee listed in § 250.125. The service fee is divided into two levels based on the complexity of the plan, as shown in the following table.

    Application type Description (1) Complex plans Plans containing: i. “new or unusual technology” as defined by § 250.200 and such technology: A. requires a high degree of specialized knowledge; B. exceeds the limits of existing engineering standards; C. conflicts with existing engineering standards; or D. warrants an additional level of review due to the risk associated with implementation. ii. installation of a new floating production facility. (2) Simple plans All other plans.
    5. Revise § 250.1000 by: a. Redesignating paragraphs (c) through (e) as paragraphs (e) through (g); and b. Adding new paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 250.1000 General requirements

    (c) The service fee for a New Pipeline Application (Lease Term) is divided into two levels based on water depth, as shown in the following table:

    Application type Description (1) Shallow water applications Applications for new lease term pipelines that will be located in their entirety within water depths of 1,000 feet or less. (2) Deepwater applications Applications for new lease term pipelines, any portion of which will be located in water depths greater than 1,000 feet.

    (d) The service fee for a Pipeline Application—Modification (Lease Term) and a Pipeline Application—Modification (Right-of-way) are divided into two levels based on complexity, as shown in the following table:

    Application type Description (1) Major Applications Applications containing a route modification. (2) Minor Applications All other applications.
    6. In § 250.1015, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 250.1015 Applications for pipeline right-of-way grants

    (a) You must submit to the Regional Supervisor an original and three copies of an application for a new or modified pipeline ROW grant. The application must address those items required by §§ 250.1007(a) or (b) of this subpart, as applicable. It must also state the primary purpose for which you will use the ROW grant. If the ROW has been used before the application is made, the application must state the date such use began, by whom, and the date the applicant obtained control of the ROW. When you file your application, you must pay the rental required under § 250.1012 of this subpart, as well as the service fees listed in § 250.125 of this part for a pipeline ROW grant to install a new pipeline, or to convert an existing lease term pipeline into an ROW pipeline. An application to modify an approved ROW grant must be accompanied by the additional rental required under § 250.1012, if applicable. You must file a separate application for each ROW. The service fee for a pipeline ROW grant application is divided into two levels based on water depth, as shown in the following table:

    Application type Description (1) Shallow water applications Applications for a pipeline ROW grant for pipelines that will be located in their entirety within water depths of 1,000 feet or less. (2) Deepwater applications Applications for a pipeline ROW grant for pipelines, any portion of which will be located in water depths greater than 1,000 feet.
    7. In § 250.1303, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 250.1303 How do I apply for voluntary unitization?

    (d) You must pay the service fee listed in § 250.125 of this part with your request for a voluntary unitization proposal or the expansion of a previously approved voluntary unit to include additional acreage. Additionally, you must pay the service fee listed in § 250.125 with your request for unitization revision. The service fee for a request for unitization revision is divided into two levels, as shown in the following table:

    Application type Description (1) Exhibits A and B Applications for revisions to Exhibit A and/or Exhibit B or designation of Successor Unit Operators and/or Successor Unit Sub-operators. (2) Exhibit C Applications for revisions to Exhibit C.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27500 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-VH-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0653; FRL-9954-65] Chlorpyrifos; Tolerance Revocations; Notice of Data Availability and Request for Comment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is announcing and inviting comment on additional information obtained and developed by EPA in conjunction with the proposed tolerance revocation for chlorpyrifos. This information includes the revised human health risk assessment and the drinking water assessment. It also includes EPA's issue paper and supporting analyses presented to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel's (SAP) meeting in April 2016 that addressed chlorpyrifos biomonitoring data and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, public comments received during the meeting, the FIFRA SAP's meeting minutes and the FIFRA SAP report. EPA is specifically soliciting comments on the validity and propriety of the use of all the new information, data, and analyses. EPA is accepting comment on the information and analysis, as well as reopening comment on any other aspect of the proposal or the underlying support documents that were previously available for comment. The EPA continues to seek comment on possible mitigation strategies, namely, use deletions, which might allow the EPA to retain a small subset of existing chlorpyrifos food uses. Commenters need not resubmit comments previously submitted. EPA will consider those comments, as well as comments in response to this notice, in taking a final action.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before January 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0653, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dana Friedman, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-8827; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. How should I submit Confidential Business Information (CBI) to the Agency?

    Do not submit this information to EPA electronically. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    II. Purpose of This Document

    EPA is reopening the comment period on the proposed rule: Entitled “Chlorpyrifos; Tolerance Revocations” (80 FR 69080, November 6, 2015) (FRL-9935-92), herein referred to as the “proposed rule,” for the purpose of obtaining public comment on the additional information and analyses announced in this document and which may be relevant to the development of a final action. EPA is also accepting comment on any other aspect of the proposal or the underlying support documents that were previously available for comment. As explained in the proposed rule, the timing of EPA's issuance of the proposal was dictated by an August 10, 2015 order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) v. EPA, No. 14-72794. The PANNA decision directed EPA to respond by October 31, 2015 to PANNA and the Natural Resource Defense Council's (NRDC) petition to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances and cancel all chlorpyrifos registrations. As a result of that timing, EPA had not yet completed portions of its scientific assessment when it issued the proposed rule. Specifically, EPA noted that it issued the proposed rule in advance of completing a refined drinking water assessment and without conducting additional analysis of the hazard from chlorpyrifos in response to comments received on EPA's December 2014 Revised Human Health Risk Assessment. Accordingly, EPA noted in the proposed rule that it would update the proposal with any new or modified analyses, as EPA completed additional work after the proposal and, to the extent practicable, EPA would provide the public an opportunity to comment on that work prior to issuing a final rule. Consistent with that commitment, EPA is today seeking comment on the following documents that were not available for public comment during the prior comment period on the proposed rule: Chlorpyrifos: Revised Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration Review (2016); the materials and final report from the 2016 Chlorpyrifos SAP; and Chlorpyrifos Registration Review Drinking Water Assessment.

    EPA's revised analyses do not result in a change to the EPA's proposal to revoke all tolerances but it does modify the methods and risk assessment used to support that finding in accordance with the advice of the SAP. The revised analysis indicates that expected residues of chlorpyrifos on most individual food crops exceed the “reasonable certainty of no harm” safety standard under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). In addition, the majority of estimated drinking water exposures from currently registered uses, including water exposures from non-food uses, continue to exceed safe levels even taking into account more refined drinking water exposures. Accordingly, based on current labeled uses, the agency's analysis provided in this notice continues to indicate that the risk from the potential aggregate exposure does not meet the FFDCA safety standard. EPA can only retain chlorpyrifos tolerances if it is able to conclude that such tolerances are safe. EPA has not identified a set of currently registered uses that meets the FFDCA safety standard because it is likely only a limited number of food uses alone, and in combination with predicted drinking water exposures, would meet the standard. Further, EPA has not received any proposals for mitigation that registrants may be willing to undertake that would allow the EPA to retain any of the tolerances subject to this rulemaking. EPA continues to seek comment on possible mitigation strategies, namely, use deletions, which might allow the EPA to retain a small subset of existing chlorpyrifos food uses.

    EPA consulted the FIFRA SAP for scientific advice on its analysis of biomonitoring data at a meeting on April 19-21, 2016, at which time, the public also had an opportunity to provide comment. The FIFRA SAP was asked to address the use of the epidemiological study The Mothers and Newborn Study of North Manhattan and South Bronx performed by the Columbia Children's Center for Environmental Health (CCCEH) at Columbia University to establish a new toxicological endpoint and associated point of departure for chlorpyrifos based on observed adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in children resulting from prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos. While the residential uses that resulted in chlorpyrifos exposures in the CCCEH study were cancelled in 2000, EPA believes this study remains relevant in evaluating risks from exposure to currently registered uses. In its presentation to the SAP, EPA proposed to use biomonitoring data (cord blood concentrations) identified in the CCCEH study (Rauh et al., 2006 and Rauh et al., 2011) as the basis for its point of departure. The FIFRA SAP provided feedback indicating that it did not believe using the cord blood data from that study was appropriate to establish a new point of departure. The SAP's primary criticism was that there was not enough data on the relationship between cord blood concentrations at birth to exposures at and around the time of chlorpyrifos application to support its use in quantitative risk assessment. Further, the FIFRA SAP noted that EPA's assessment did not identify a particular window of exposure within the prenatal period linked to the effects reported. Generally, however, the FIFRA SAP agreed with the overall conclusion of the CCCEH study, i.e. the association between prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children.

    The final FIFRA SAP report provides a detailed account of the uncertainties associated with the agency's April 2016 proposed approach to selecting the point of departure and its use in quantitative risk assessment. It also outlines the SAP's concern that “epidemiology and toxicology studies suggest there is evidence for adverse health outcomes associated with chlorpyrifos exposures below levels that result in 10% red blood cell (RBC) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition” (FIFRA SAP, 2016, p. 18). The FIFRA SAP recommended that EPA should derive the point of departure for neurodevelopmental effects using the “estimated peak blood concentration or time weighted average blood concentration within the prenatal period” (FIFRA SAP, 2016, p. 42).

    After careful consideration of public comments and the SAP's recommendations, EPA has concluded the most appropriate path for reconciling the SAP's concerns is to follow through on the SAP's recommendation to use a time weighted average approach. The agency agrees with the 2016 FIFRA SAP (and previous SAPs) that there is a potential for neurodevelopmental effects associated with chlorpyrifos exposure to occur at levels below 10% RBC AChE inhibition, and that EPA's existing point of departure (which is based on 10% AChE inhibition), is therefore not sufficiently health protective.

    As detailed in Chlorpyrifos: Revised Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration Review (2016), in order to follow up on the SAP's recommendation that the point of departure should be based on blood concentrations at the time of exposure to chlorpyrifos (rather than based on cord blood at the time of delivery), EPA evaluated the most likely chlorpyrifos application method to determine peak exposures to the CCCEH study cohort experiencing neurodevelopmental effects in children. EPA contacted the technical pest advisor responsible for overseeing New York City's housing authority in order to confirm the application method used at the time the CCCEH study was conducted. Based on those conversations and a review of the registered uses available during that period, EPA concluded that crack and crevice treatments were the most likely exposure pattern among those use patterns registered at the time of the study and therefore has used these exposures as the basis for a new point of departure.

    EPA generally selects the dose at which no toxicological effects are demonstrated to ensure our regulatory endpoint reflects a level of exposure that does not present a risk concern. However, the CCCEH study only supported the determination of a lowest observed adverse effects level (LOAEL). In situations where the agency selects a POD from a study where a no observed adverse effects level (NOAEL) has not been identified, EPA generally will retain the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) safety factor of 10X to account for the uncertainty in using a LOAEL. The 2016 revised risk assessment retains this uncertainty factor for chlorpyrifos and also applies a 10X uncertainty factor for intraspecies variability because of the lack of sufficient information to reduce or remove this factor.

    The external exposure was calculated based on the assumptions and methods outlined in the EPA's 2012 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Residential Pesticide Exposure Assessment and chemical-specific exposure data, where available. Specifically, the 2012 Residential SOPs, which were peer reviewed by the FIFRA SAP in October 2009, were used to predict the potential exposures which could have occurred to individuals in the cohort for the indoor crack and crevice pesticide use pattern.

    EPA then used the chlorpyrifos physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model to estimate the study cohort mothers' systemic dose related to the LOAEL by (1) determining time-weighted average (TWA) blood levels from women exposed to chlorpyrifos from indoor exposures to the cancelled crack and crevice use and (2) using the crack and crevice TWA blood level as the internal dose for determining points of departure for infants, children, and adults exposed to chlorpyrifos using current exposure potential. The use of the PBPK model to assess internal dosimetry from various exposure scenarios continues to be supported by the SAP. This applies to the crack and crevice scenario identified as the most likely exposure pattern in the CCCEH study, where women were potential exposed via the dermal, oral, and inhalation routes. The detailed rationale is presented in Chlorpyrifos: Revised Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration Review (2016).

    EPA has also completed, and is making available for public comment, Chlorpyrifos Registration Review Drinking Water Assessment. EPA conducted a national screening level drinking water assessment in 2014. Because of the court decision ordering EPA to respond to the PANNA-NRDC Petition by October 31, 2015, EPA was not able to complete a more refined drinking water assessment for chlorpyrifos in advance of the proposed rule. Since that time EPA conducted the refined drinking water assessment with the intention of providing a basis for supporting a more tailored approach to risk mitigation. In the proposal, EPA proposed revoking all tolerances largely because the agency could not make a safety finding based on drinking water exposure in highly-vulnerable watersheds. EPA reasoned if it could better identify where such vulnerable areas might be, it could be possible for registrants to amend product labeling in ways that might make unnecessary some number of the proposed tolerance revocations.

    Chlorpyrifos Registration Review Drinking Water Assessment serves to combine, update and complete the work presented in the 2011 and 2014 drinking water assessments for chlorpyrifos as part of the registration review process. This document specifically focuses on the exposure estimates for surface water. The 2014 assessment presented an approach for deriving more regionally-specific estimated drinking water exposure concentrations for chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon for two water resource regions, hydrologic unit code (HUC)-02. This assessment updates those exposure assessments and provides estimates for the remaining (i.e., 19) HUC-02 regions. Urban uses, which had not previously been assessed, are included in this update. This assessment also includes statistical analysis of all available monitoring data for chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon. While this drinking water assessment is more refined than the previous assessments, as a general matter, the results did not allow for identification of many areas where potential exposures of concern to drinking water can be ruled out. As a result, this assessment does not significantly alter the conclusions in the proposed rule regarding drinking water exposure and continues to indicate potential exposure to chlorpyrifos or chlorpyrifos-oxon in finished drinking water across the country based on currently labeled uses. This is supported by both model estimated concentrations as well as measured chlorpyrifos concentrations in surface water across the United States.

    Section IV of this Notice of Data Availability (NODA) describes all additional data and analyses and how they impact the EPA's proposal. Note, however, that this NODA does not provide an exhaustive presentation of the additional data and analysis that EPA is placing in the associated docket and seeking comment on. All the information subject to this notice can be accessed as described in section III of this notice.

    EPA is providing notice on these additional analyses to provide an opportunity for the public to submit additional data or information for the agency's consideration as it develops the final rule. Since EPA is still in the process of deliberating the provisions of a final rule, EPA cannot definitively state whether this information will provide support for any provision of the final rule, or that the agency has determined that it is appropriate to rely on this information in developing the final rule.

    On December 10, 2015, the Ninth Circuit issued a further order requiring EPA to complete any final rule and fully respond to the PANNA and NRDC petition by December 30, 2016. On June 30, 2016, EPA sought a 6-month extension to that deadline in light of the SAP's recommendation at the meeting and in order to allow EPA to fully consider the SAP's written report. The FIFRA SAP report was finalized and made available for EPA consideration on July 20, 2016. The court rejected EPA's request for a 6-month extension and ordered EPA to complete its final action by March 31, 2017 (an extension of 3 months). The court also announced that no further extensions to that date would be granted.

    III. Where can the information identified in this document be found?

    The information that EPA is be made available for public review and comment can be found in the following dockets: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0653, the docket for the proposed tolerance revocations, and EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0062, the FIFRA SAP docket, which contains the Chlorpyrifos Issue Paper and supporting materials. Both dockets can be accessed through http://www.regulations.gov. As noted, EPA is also reopening the comment period to allow for comment on any aspect of the proposed revocation published on November 6, 2015 (80 FR 69080) (FRL-9935-92).

    IV. What analysis and data are being noticed?

    1. EPA is seeking comment on the following updates to the chlorpyrifos human health risk assessment: (1) Use of the crack and crevice scenario to derive an exposure level for women in the Columbia study; (2) using the LOAEL from the Columbia study and PBPK modeling to derive an endpoint for use in quantitative risk assessment; (3) use of the 10X uncertainty factor for intraspecies variability; (4) use of the 10X FQPA safety factor for LOAEL to NOAEL extrapolation (please include your rationale for any alternative values suggested for this factor). Its analysis is included in the Chlorpyrifos: Revised Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration Review (2016), which is available in the chlorpyrifos tolerance revocation docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0653).

    2. EPA is also making available for comment the issue paper and associated materials presented to the April 2016 FIFRA SAP and the final report of the SAP. The FIFRA SAP materials and final report are available in the FIFRA SAP docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0062).

    3. EPA is also seeking comment on Chlorpyrifos Registration Review Drinking Water Assessment, a highly refined drinking water assessment that updates and completes the agency's examination of exposure through drinking water for all registered uses of chlorpyrifos. This assessment integrates regionally specific (i.e., spatially relevant) estimated drinking water concentrations and an extensive evaluation of available surface water monitoring data for chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon. The assessment considers both agricultural and non-agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos, a sensitivity analysis for model estimated concentrations, and statistical evaluation of surface water monitoring data.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: November 10, 2016. Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Acting Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27552 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R07-RCRA-2016-0637; FRL-9955-24-Region 7] State of Nebraska; Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Nebraska has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final authorization of revisions to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA is proposing to grant final authorization to Nebraska.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed action must be received in writing by December 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-RCRA-2016-0637, to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Haugen, EPA Region 7, Enforcement Coordination Office, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219, phone number: (913) 551-7877, or email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of the Federal Register, EPA is authorizing the revisions by a direct final rule. EPA did not make a proposal prior to the direct final rule because we believe this action is not controversial and do not expect comments that oppose it. We have explained the reasons for this authorization in the preamble of the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated in relation to this action. If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on part of this rule and if that part can be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those parts of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: November 3, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27683 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    81 222 Thursday, November 17, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS-2016-0009] Notice of Implementation of the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Technology for Soil Erodibility System Calculations for the Natural Resources Conservation Service AGENCY:

    Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of WEPP for soil erodibility system calculations scheduled for implementation for public review and comment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to implement the WEPP technology to replace the use of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, Version 2 (RUSLE2), where applicable.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This is effective November 17, 2016.

    Comment Date: Submit comments on or before December 19, 2016. The final version of the new WEPP water erosion prediction technology will be adopted after the close of the 30-day period, and after consideration of all comments.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number NRCS-2016-0009, using any of the following methods:

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

    Mail or hand-delivery: Norman Widman, National Agronomist, Ecological Sciences Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue Southwest, Room 6150, Washington, DC 20250.

    Email: [email protected].

    NRCS will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. In general, personal information provided with comments will be posted. If your comment includes your address, phone number, email, or other personal identifying information, your comments, including personal information, may be available to the public. You may ask in your comment that your personal identifying information be withheld from public view, but this cannot be guaranteed.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Norman Widman, National Agronomist, Ecological Sciences Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue Southwest, Room 6153, Washington, DC 20250.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The RUSLE2, an empirical erosion prediction model for calculating sheet and rill water erosion, is being replaced by WEPP technology for selected highly erodible compliance applications. The WEPP model is for use where water erosion is the primary causal factor for comparing the annual level of erosion before conservation system application to the expected annual level of erosion after conservation system application (i.e., substantial reduction for highly erodible land conservation). The use of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) to calculate potential erodibility remains unchanged. The regulation for USLE is located at 7 CFR 610.14.

    The implementation of the WEPP technology does not affect the highly erodible soil map unit list contained in the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide as of January 1, 1990. The factor values from the 1990 list will continue to be used for all erodibility index calculations, including sodbuster determinations and review of previous determinations.

    The WEPP technology computer model is a process-based, daily time-step model that predicts soil erosion by simulating the fundamental processes controlling water erosion. WEPP calculates sheet and rill erosion rates and sediment deposition and delivery. The WEPP model also provides the user with spatial information regarding soil flux, deposition, and loss from specific regions of a field over time. The model is intended for conservation planning, assessing water erosion for NRCS' National Resources Inventory, and aiding the development of regional and national policy.

    The WEPP modular design is amenable to incorporation of new features; thus, WEPP utility also is for estimating long-term soil productivity, the effect of climate change on crop growth and erosion, sediment depositional loading of lakes and streams, and ephemeral erosion prediction.

    Further, WEPP aids in calculating onsite and offsite economic costs of erosion and assessing impacts of management strategies on public lands when used in conjunction with other models.

    A complete summary of the processes utilized by the WEPP model can be seen in “WEPP Model Documentation” on the USDA Agricultural Research Service Web page at http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=10621. Additional WEPP documents also are also available on this Web page.

    The proposed implementation timeframe for WEPP in each NRCS field office with a water erosion concern is December 1, 2016. Section 1201(a)(11)(C) of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, (16 U.S.C. 3801(a)(11)(C)) requires NRCS to make available for public review and comment all proposed changes to equations to carry out the highly erodible land provisions of the law in a manner consistent with section 553 of title 5.

    Signed this 4th day of October, 2016, in Washington, DC. Jason A. Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27633 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-16-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Kansas Advisory Committee To Discuss the Committee's Draft Report Regarding Voting Rights in the State, as Well as Other Civil Rights Issues for Future Inquiry AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Kansas Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Monday, December 12, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. CST. The meeting will include a discussion of a (partial) draft report on voting rights in the state, and a discussion of other current civil rights concerns in Kansas for future study.

    DATES:

    The meeting will take place on Monday, December 12, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. CST.

    ADDRESSES:

    Public Call Information: Dial: 888-397-5335, Conference ID: 6723214.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-397-5335, conference ID: 6723214. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Corrine Sanders at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Kansas Advisory Committee link (http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=249). Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Roll Call Discussion of Committee Report: Voting Rights in Kansas Civil Rights in Kansas: 2017 Project Concepts Future Plans and Actions Public Comment Adjournment Dated: November 14, 2016. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27658 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Minnesota Advisory Committee To Begin Preparations for a Public Hearing To Gather Testimony Regarding Civil Rights and Policing Practices in Minnesota AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Minnesota Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Thursday, December 08, 2016, at 1:00pm CST for the purpose of preparing for a public hearing to gather testimony regarding civil rights and policing practices in Minnesota.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. CST.

    Public Call Information: Dial: 877-857-6161, Conference ID: 6681139.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 877-857-6161, conference ID: 6681139. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Minnesota Advisory Committee link (http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=256). Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Introductions Discussion of Hearing Preparation: Civil Rights and Policing Practices in Minnesota Public Comment Future Plans and Actions Adjournment Dated: November 14, 2016. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27657 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economics and Statistics Administration Request for Nominations of Member To Serve on the Commerce Data Advisory Council (CDAC) AGENCY:

    Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Request for Nominations to the CDAC.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce is requesting nomination of individuals to the Commerce Data Advisory Council. The Secretary will consider nominations received in response to this notice, as well as from other sources. The SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice provides committee and membership criterial.

    DATES:

    The Economics and Statistics Administration must receive nominations for members by midnight December 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please submit nominations to the email account [email protected], this account is specifically set up to receive Data Advisory Council applications. Nominations may also be submitted by postal delivery to Burton Reist, Director of External Affairs, Economics and Statistics Administration/DFO CDAC, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Burton Reist, Director of External Affairs, Economics and Statistics Administration, Department of Commerce, at (202) 482-3331 or email [email protected], also at 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Department of Commerce (Department) collects, compiles, analyzes, and disseminates a treasure trove of data, including data on the Nation's economy, population, and environment. This data is fundamental to the Department's mission and is used for the protection of life and property, for scientific purposes, and to enhance economic growth. However, the Department's capacity to disseminate the increasing amount of data held and to disseminate it in formats most useful to its customers is significantly constrained.

    In order to realize the potential value of the data the Department collects, stores, and disseminates, the Department must minimize barriers to accessing and using the data. Consistent with privacy and security considerations, the Department is firmly committed to unleashing its untapped data resources in ways that best support downstream information access, processing, analysis, and dissemination.

    The Commerce Data Advisory Council (CDAC) provides advice and recommendations, to include process and infrastructure improvements, to the Secretary on ways to make Commerce data easier to find, access, use, combine and disseminate. The aim of this advice shall be to maximize the value of Commerce data to all users including governments, businesses, communities, academia, and individuals.

    The Secretary will draw CDAC membership from the data industry academia, non-profits and state and local governments with a focus on recognized expertise in collection, compilation, analysis, and dissemination. As privacy concerns span the entire data lifecycle, expertise in privacy protection also will be represented on the Council. The Secretary will select members that represent the entire spectrum of Commerce data including demographic, economic, scientific, environmental, patent, and geospatial data. The Secretary will select members from the information technology, business, non-profit, and academic communities, and state and local governments. Collectively, their knowledge will include all types of data Commerce distributes and the full lifecycle of data collection, compilation, analysis, and dissemination.

    II. Description of Duties

    The Council shall advise the Secretary on ways to make Commerce data easier to find, access, use, combine, and disseminate. Such advice may include recommended process and infrastructure improvements. The aim of this advice shall be to maximize the value of Commerce data to governments, businesses, communities, and individuals.

    In carrying out its duties, the Council may consider the following:

    —Data management practices that make it easier to track and disseminate integrated, interoperable data for diverse users; —Best practices that can be deployed across Commerce to achieve common, open standards related to taxonomy, vocabulary, application programming interfaces (APIs), metadata, and other key data characteristics; —Policy issues that arise from expanding access to data, including issues related to privacy, confidentiality, latency, and consistency; —Opportunities and risks related to the combination of public and private data sources and the development of joint data products and services resulting from public-private partnerships; —External uses of Commerce data and similar federal, state, and private data sets by businesses; and, —Methods to enhance communication and collaboration between stakeholders and subject-matter experts at Commerce on data access and use. The Council meets up to four times a year, budget permitting. Special meetings may be called when appropriate.

    Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees, is the governing instrument for the CDAC.

    III. Membership

    1. The Council shall consist of up to 20 members.

    2. The Secretary shall select and appoint members and members shall serve at the pleasure of the Secretary.

    3. Members shall represent a cross-section of business, academic, non-profit, and non-governmental organizations.

    4. The Secretary will choose members of the Council who ensure objectivity and balance, a diversity of perspectives, and guard against potential for conflicts of interest.

    5. Members shall be prominent experts in their fields, recognized for their professional and other relevant achievements and their objectivity.

    6. In order to ensure the continuity of the Commerce Data Advisory Council, the Council shall be appointed so that each year the terms expire of approximately one-third of the members of the Council.

    7. Council members serve for terms of two years and may be reappointed to any number of additional terms. Initial appointments may be for 12-, 18-and 24-month increments to provide staggered terms.

    8. Nominees must be able to actively participate in the tasks of the Council, including, but not limited to regular meeting attendance, Council meeting discussant responsibilities, and review of materials, as well as participation in conference calls, webinars, working groups, and special Council activities.

    9. Should a council member be unable to complete a two-year term and when vacancies occur, the Secretary will select replacements who can best either replicate the expertise of the departing member or provide the CDAC with a new, identified needed area of expertise. An individual chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed for the remainder of the term of the member replaced or for a two-year term as deemed. A vacancy shall not affect the exercise of any power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Council.

    10. No employee of the federal government can serve as a member of the Census Scientific Advisory Committee.

    All members of the Commerce Data Advisory Council shall adhere to the conflict of interest rules applicable to Special Government Employees as such employees are defined in 18 U.S.C. 202(a). These rules include relevant provisions in 18 U.S.C. related to criminal activity, Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 CFR part 2635), and Executive Order 12674 (as modified by Executive Order 12731).

    IV. Compensation

    1. Membership is under voluntary circumstances and therefore members do not receive compensation for service on the Commerce Data Advisory Council.

    2. Members shall receive per diem and travel expenses as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 5703, as amended, for persons employed intermittently in the Government service.

    V. Nominations Information

    The Secretary will consider nominations of all qualified individuals to ensure that the CDAC includes the areas of subject matter expertise noted above (see ”Background and Membership”). Individuals may nominate themselves or other individuals, and professional associations and organizations may nominate one or more qualified persons for membership on the CDAC. Nominations shall state that the nominee is willing to serve as a member of the Council.

    A nomination package should include the following information for each nominee:

    1. A letter of nomination stating the name, affiliation, and contact information for the nominee, the basis for the nomination (i.e., what specific attributes recommend him/her for service in this capacity), and the nominee's field(s) of expertise;

    2. A biographical sketch of the nominee and a copy of his/her resume or curriculum vitae; and

    3. The name, return address, email address, and daytime telephone number at which the nominator can be contacted.

    The Department of Commerce is committed to equal opportunity in the workplace and seeks diverse Committee membership. The Department has special interest in assuring that women, minority groups, and the physically disabled are adequately represented on advisory committees; and therefore, extends particular encouragement to nominations for appropriately qualified female, minority, or disabled candidates. The Department of Commerce also encourages geographic diversity in the composition of the Council. All nomination information should be provided in a single, complete package and received by the stated deadline, December 1, 2016. Interested applicants should send their nomination package to the email or postal address provided above.

    Potential candidates will be asked to provide detailed information concerning financial interests, consultancies, research grants, and/or contracts that might be affected by recommendations of the Council to permit evaluation of possible sources of conflicts of interest. Finally, nominees will be required to certify that they are not subject to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (22 U.S.C. 611) or the Lobbying Disclosure Act (2 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

    Dated: November 4, 2016. Austin Durrer, Chief of Staff for Under Secretary for Economic Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27668 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-46-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 189—Kent/Ottawa/Muskegon Counties, Michigan, Authorization of Production Activity, Adient US LLC, Subzone 189D, (Motorized Seat Adjusters for Motor Vehicles), Holland and Zeeland, Michigan

    On July 13, 2016, Adient US LLC (Adient), owned by Johnson Controls, Inc., submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board for its facility within FTZ 189D, at sites in Holland and Zeeland, Michigan.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (81 FR 49619, July 28, 2016). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27665 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-76-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone 12—McAllen, Texas; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the McAllen Foreign Trade Zone, Inc., grantee of FTZ 12, requesting authority to reorganize the zone under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on November 10, 2016.

    FTZ 12 was approved by the FTZ Board on October 23, 1970 (Board Order 84, 35 FR 16962, November 3, 1970), and expanded on May 2, 1984 (Board Order 254, 49 FR 22842, June 1, 1984), on June 19, 1990 (Board Order 469, 55 FR 26225, June 27, 1990), on April 29, 1996 (Board Order 819, 61 FR 21157, May 9, 1996), and on January 21, 2003 (Board Order 1266, 68 FR 5271-5272, February 3, 2003).

    The current zone includes the following sites: Site 1 (865 acres total, four parcels)—McAllen Southwest Industrial Area located at FM 1016 and Ware Road (80 acres), at FM 1016 between Bentsen Road and Shary Road (695 acres), at 3801 West Military Highway (50 acres), and at 6800 South Ware Road (40 acres) in McAllen; and, Site 2 (8.5 acres)—McAllen Miller International Airport Air Cargo Facility located south of Uvalde Street and East of FM 1926 in McAllen.

    The grantee's proposed service area under the ASF would be Hidalgo County, Texas, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed service area is within and adjacent to the Hidalgo/Pharr Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

    The applicant is requesting authority to reorganize its existing zone to include all of the existing sites as “magnet” sites. The ASF allows for the possible exemption of one magnet site from the “sunset” time limits that generally apply to sites under the ASF, and the applicant proposes that Site 1 be so exempted. No subzones/usage-driven sites are being requested at this time. The application would have no impact on FTZ 12's previously authorized subzone.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Camille Evans of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is January 17, 2017. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to January 31, 2017.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Camille Evans at [email protected] or (202) 482-2350.

    Dated: November 10, 2016. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27666 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-029, C-570-030] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Anti-Circumvention Inquiries on the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In response to requests from ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, United States Steel Corporation, and AK Steel Corporation, as well as Steel Dynamics, Inc. and California Steel Industries, (collectively, Domestic Producers), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is initiating anti-circumvention inquiries to determine whether imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products (CRS), which are produced in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) from hot-rolled steel produced in the People's Republic of China (PRC), are circumventing the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on CRS from the PRC.

    DATES:

    Effective November 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John K. Drury or Victoria Cho, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0195 or (202) 482-5075, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 28, 2015, AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal USA EEC, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and the United States Steel Corporation (collectively, Petitioners) filed petitions seeking the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of CRS from Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Following the Department's final affirmative determinations of dumping and countervailable subsidies,1 and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)'s finding of material injury,2 the Department issued AD and CVD orders on imports of CRS from the PRC.3

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Partial Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, FR 81 (May 24, 2016).

    2See Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From China and Japan; Determinations, 81 FR 45305 (July 13, 2016)

    3See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan and the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 45956 (July 14, 2016) (AD Order); see also Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 81 FR 45960 (July 14, 2016) (CVD Order) (collectively, Orders).

    On September 22, 2016, pursuant to section 781(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.225(h), Steel Dynamics, Inc. and California Steel Industries submitted a request for the Department to initiate anti-circumvention inquiries to determine whether producers of CRS in Vietnam are circumventing the Orders by exporting to the United States CRS which is completed or assembled in Vietnam using hot-rolled steel (HRS) sourced from the PRC.4 On September 27, 2016, ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, United States Steel Corporation, and AK Steel Corporation also submitted a request for the Department to initiate anti-circumvention inquiries and issue preliminary determinations of circumvention to suspend liquidation of imports of CRS from Vietnam.5 On October 13, 2016, we received comments supporting the allegation from the United Steelworkers.6 Domestic Producers request that the Department treat CRS imports from Vietnam as subject merchandise under the scope of the Orders and impose cash deposit requirements on all imports of CRS from Vietnam.

    4See Letter from Schagrin Associates to the Secretary of Commerce, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from China: Request for Circumvention Ruling,” dated September 22, 2016 (Schagrin Request).

    5See Letter from Kelley Drye & Warren LLP to the Secretary of Commerce, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China—Request for Circumvention Ruling Pursuant to Section 781(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930,” dated September 27, 2016 (Kelley Drye Request).

    6See Letter from United Steelworkers to the Secretary of Commerce, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China,” dated October 13, 2016.

    On October 17, 2016, we received comments objecting to the allegation from Metallia U.S.A., LLC, Metallia, A Division of Hartree Partners, LP, Nippon Steel and Sumiken Bussan Americas Inc., Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., and Marubeni-Itochu Steel America Inc. (MISA).7 Also on October 17, 2016, we received comments objecting to the allegation from Minmetals, Inc. (Minmetals).8 On October 17, 2016, we also received comments objecting to the allegation from POSCO-Vietnam Co., Ltd. (POSCO Vietnam).9 On October 21, 2016, we received comments objecting to the allegation from China Steel Sumikin Vietnam Joint Stock Company.10 Also on October 26, 2016, we received comments objecting to the allegation from Summit Global Trading, a Subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (Sumitomo).11 On October 28, 2016, we received comments objecting to the allegation from thyssenkrupp Materials NA, Inc. (thyssenkrupp).12 On October 31, 2016, we also received comments objecting to the allegation on behalf of Hoa Sen Group (HSG) 13 and Maruichi Sun Steel Joint Stock Company (Maruichi).14 On November 1, 2016, we received comments objecting to the allegation from behalf of from Vietnam Competition Authority.15

    7See Letter from Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP to the Secretary of Commerce, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products and Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China: Response to Request for Anti-Circumvention Inquiry,” dated October 17, 2016.

    8See Letter from Minmetals, Inc. to the Secretary of Commerce, dated October 17, 2016.

    9See Letter from Arnold and Porter, LLP to the Secretary of Commerce, “Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from China: Response to Petitioners' Circumvention Allegation,” dated October 17, 2016 (POSCO Vietnam Submission).

    10See Letter from Mowry & Grimson, PLLC and Sidley Austin LLP to the Secretary of Commerce, “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from China—Response to Petitioners' Circumvention Allegations,” dated October 20, 2016.

    11See Letter from Sandler, Travis, and Rosenberg, P.A. to the Secretary of Commerce, “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China: Response to Request for Anti-Circumvention Inquiry,” dated October 26, 2016.

    12See Letter from Crowell and Moring, LLP to the Secretary of Commerce, “Certain Corrosion-Resistant and Cold-Rolled Steel Products from the People's Republic of China: Comments Opposing Petitioners' Circumvention Allegations,” dated October 28, 2016.

    13See Letter from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, LLP to the Secretary of Commerce, “Opposition to Request for Anti-Circumvention Inquiry Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products and Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China,” dated October 31, 2016.

    14See Letter from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, LLP to the Secretary of Commerce, “Opposition to Request for Anti-Circumvention Inquiry Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products and Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China,” dated October 31, 2016.

    15See the Letter from the Vietnam Competition Authority to the Secretary of Commerce, “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from China; Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from China—Opposition to Initiation of Anticircumvention Proceedings,” dated November 1, 2016.

    Scope of the Orders

    The products covered by the orders are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other nonmetallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with nonrectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of the orders are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). If steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the orders if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of the orders unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of the orders:

    • Ball bearing steels; 16

    16 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels; 17

    17 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel; 18

    18 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland. 19

    19Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan. 20

    20Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, Dec. 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to the orders are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6075, 7211.23.6085, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8015, 7225.50.8085, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050.

    The products subject to the orders may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the orders is dispositive.

    Merchandise Subject to the Anti-Circumvention Inquiries

    These anti-circumvention inquiries cover CRS exported from Vietnam produced from HRS exported from the PRC.

    Initiation of Anti-Circumvention Inquiries

    Section 781(b)(1) of the Act provides that the Department may find circumvention of an AD or CVD order when merchandise of the same class or kind subject to the order is completed or assembled in a foreign country other than the country to which the order applies. In conducting an anti-circumvention inquiry, under section 781(b)(1) of the Act, the Department relies on the following criteria: (A) Merchandise imported into the United States is of the same class or kind as any merchandise produced in a foreign country that is the subject of an antidumping or countervailing duty order or finding; (B) before importation into the United States, such imported merchandise is completed or assembled in another foreign country from merchandise which is subject to the order or merchandise which is produced in the foreign country that is subject to the order; (C) the process of assembly or completion in the foreign country referred to in section (B) is minor or insignificant; (D) the value of the merchandise produced in the foreign country to which the AD or CVD order applies is a significant portion of the total value of the merchandise exported to the United States; and (E) the administering authority determines that action is appropriate to prevent evasion of such order or finding. As discussed below, Domestic Producers provided evidence with respect to these criteria.

    A. Merchandise of the Same Class or Kind

    Domestic Producers claim that CRS exported to the United States is the same class or kind as that covered by the Orders in these inquiries.21 Domestic Producers provided evidence to show that the merchandise from Vietnam enters the United States under the same tariff classification as subject merchandise.22

    21See Schagrin Request, at 8; Kelley Drye Request, at 8. See also sections 781(b)(1)(A)(i) and (iii) of the Act.

    22See Kelley Drye Request, at Attachment 1.

    B. Completion of Merchandise in a Foreign Country

    Domestic Producers note that section 781(b)(l)(B)(ii) of the Act requires that “the Department must also determine whether, prior to importation into the United States, the merchandise in the third country is completed from merchandise produced in the country subject to the antidumping or countervailing duty order.” 23 Domestic Producers presented evidence showing after the publication of the preliminary affirmative CVD determination in December 2015, how the imports of CRS from Vietnam to the United States more than tripled than the previous two years combined. Additionally, Domestic Producers provide evidence that no capacity currently exists in Vietnam to produce HRS and, thus, they contend any CRS manufactured in Vietnam must use imported HRS.24 Domestic Producers also provide information reflecting that imports into the United States of CRS from the PRC significantly decreased after the imposition of the Orders, and imports into the United States of CRS from Vietnam, as well as imports into Vietnam of Chinese HRS, also increased significantly.25 Finally, Domestic Producers state that Minmetals, a U.S. trading company, currently has arrangements to ship HRS from the PRC to Vietnam and convert the HRS to CRS for export to the United States with the purpose of evading the Orders. 26

    23Id., at 8.

    24See Schagrin Request, at 10; see also Kelley Drye Request, at 8-9.

    25See Schagrin Request, at 11-14; see also Kelley Drye Request, at 9-10.

    26See Schagrin Request, at 15 and Exhibit 10.

    C. Minor or Insignificant Process

    Domestic Producers maintain that the process for completing CRS from HRS is minor or insignificant. Under section 781(b)(2) of the Act, the Department considers five factors to determine whether the process of assembly or completion is minor or insignificant. Domestic Producers allege that the production of HRS in the PRC, which is subsequently further processed into CRS in Vietnam, comprises the majority of the value associated with the merchandise imported into the United States, and that the processing of HRS into CRS in Vietnam adds relatively little value.

    (1) Level of Investment

    Domestic Producers contend that the level of investment necessary to construct a factory which can produce CRS from HRS in Vietnam is insignificant. In support of its contention, Domestic Producers compare the investment necessary to install a re-rolling facility with the investment necessary to produce HRS using a fully-integrated production process for melting iron and making steel.27 Domestic Producers estimate that the investment necessary to construct a re-rolling facility in Vietnam that uses HRS substrate to produce CRS would be between $28 million at $70 million.28 In contrast, Domestic Producers estimate that the investment necessary to construct a fully integrated steel production facility, including a blast furnace and basic oxygen furnace, in the PRC would be between $295 million and $10.1 billion.29 Domestic Producers also argue that using investment levels in the PRC for a basic steel making, including a blast furnace and basic oxygen furnace, as opposed to an electric arc furnace, is appropriate as approximately 90 percent of the steel production in the PRC comes from fully integrated steel mills.30

    27See Schagrin Request, at 16-17; see also Kelley Drye Request, at 11-13.

    28See Schagrin Request, at 17; see also Kelley Drye Request, at 12.

    29See Schagrin Request, at 16; see also Kelley Drye Request, at 12 and Attachment 9.

    30See Kelley Drye Request, at 12.

    (2) Level of Research and Development

    Domestic Producers assert that the level of research and development in Vietnam is either minimal or non-existent. Domestic Producers state that Vietnam is importing technology from other sources, rather than developing its own technology.31 As an example of the importation of technology into Vietnam, Domestic Producers provided evidence that “Dong A, a Vietnamese steel company, recently announced that it is installing European and Japanese equipment in a new facility that includes a pickling line and a cold-rolling mill.” 32

    31See Schagrin Request, at 17-18; see also Kelley Drye Request at 13.

    32See Kelley Drye Request at 13 and Attachment 11.

    (3) Nature of Production Process

    According to Domestic Producers, the production process undertaken by Vietnamese producers of CRS is less complex than steelmaking, and minimal in nature.33 Citing to a report from the ITC,34 Domestic Producers describe the process to produce HRS as consisting of three distinct states: Melting and refining, casting molten steel into semi-finished forms, and hot-rolling the semi-finished forms into HRS.35 In contrast, Domestic Producers provide information indicating that the production of CRS from HRS involves only cleaning and pickling, rolling, annealing, and tempering.36

    33See Schagrin Request, at 18; see also Kelley Drye Request at 14.

    34See Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Australia, Brazil, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Turkey, and The United Kingdom, Inv. Nos. 70t-TA-545-547 and 73l-TA-1291-1297, USITC Pub.4570 (October 2015) (Preliminary) at I-19. Domestic Producers attached the report as Attachment 12.

    35See Kelley Drye Request, at 14-16 and Attachment 12.

    36Id., at 17. Domestic Producers cite to Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Australia, Brazil, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Turkey, and The United Kingdom, Inv. Nos. 70t-TA-545-547 and 73l-TA-1291-1297, USITC Pub. 4570 (Oct.2015) (Preliminary) at I-21 in support of their description of the CRS production process.

    (4) Extent of Production Facilities in Vietnam

    Domestic Producers provide information indicating that production facilities in Vietnam are more limited compared to facilities in the PRC.37 As noted above, Domestic Producers maintain that Vietnam has no HRS capacity. Domestic Producers claim that Vietnam has fewer than a dozen large producers of flat steel products. Moreover, Domestic Producers indicate that Vietnam has limited production facilities that would allow for production of CRS to support the significant increase of imports into the United States from Vietnam.38

    37See Schagrin Request, at 18. Domestic Producers cite to report on the state of the steel industry in Vietnam in support of their statements. See Nozomu Kawabata, “The Vietnamese Iron and Steel Industry in Transition to a Market Economy—Attainments and Challenges,” at 14, 20, & 35 (May, 2016) (Tohoku Economics Research Group, Tohoku University, Discussion Paper No. 349) (Kawabata Report), attached as Exhibit 4 to the Request.

    38See Kelley Drye Request, at 17-18.

    (5) Value of Processing in Vietnam

    Domestic Producers assert that producing HRS in the PRC accounts for a large percentage of the total value of CRS that is produced in Vietnam using HRS from the PRC. Using information from the recent CRS investigation by the ITC, Domestic Producers state that the price of HRS is consistently between 80 percent and 90 percent of the value of CRS.39 Using another approach, focusing solely on the cost of production in Vietnam, Domestic Producers estimate that the cost of manufacture for the CRS operations value added in Vietnam is less than ten percent.40 As noted above, Domestic Producers argue that the vast majority of the processing and value of CRS comes from HRS. The value of processing CRS in Vietnam is a minor part of the total cost of manufacture, unlikely to exceed 20 percent of the total value. Thus, the value of the merchandise produced in China is estimated to be at least 80 percent of the total value of the merchandise shipped to the United States.41

    39See Schagrin Request, at 18-19.

    40See Kelley Drye Request, at 18-19 and Attachment 14.

    41See Kelley Drye Request, at 19.

    D. Additional Factors To Consider in Determining Whether Action Is Necessary

    Section 781(b)(3) of the Act directs the Department to consider additional factors in determining whether to include merchandise assembled or completed in a foreign country within the scope of the order, such as: “(A) the pattern of trade, including sourcing patterns, (B) whether the manufacturer or exporter of the merchandise . . . is affiliated with the person who uses the merchandise. . . to assemble or complete in the foreign country the merchandise that is subsequently imported into the United States, and (C) whether imports into the foreign country of the merchandise. . . have increased after the initiation of the investigation which resulted in the issuance of such order or finding.”

    (1) Pattern of Trade

    Domestic Producers provide information reflecting that at the time the petitions were filed for the original investigations of CRS from the PRC, Vietnam was not a source of U.S. imports of CRS in 2014. Domestic Producers provide information reflecting imports of CRS from Vietnam to the United States through July 2015 were low.42 However, subsequent to the preliminary injury determination by the ITC, the final quarter of 2015 saw increased imports of CRS from Vietnam to the United States.43 Domestic Producers provide information demonstrating that after the Department's preliminary affirmative CVD determination for CRS from the PRC in December 2015, imports of CRS from Vietnam into the United States surged dramatically.44 Domestic Producers further provide evidence that imports of CRS from the PRC to the United States decreased substantially over the same time period.45 No other factual information on the record contradicts this claim.

    42See Kelley Drye Request, at 19-20 and Attachment 1.

    43Id., at 20

    44Id.

    45Id., at 5-6.

    (2) Affiliation

    Domestic Producers have not provided any allegation of affiliation between producers of HRS in the PRC and producers of CRS in Vietnam.

    (3) Increase of HRS Shipments From the PRC to Vietnam After Initiations of the AD and CVD Investigations of CRS From the PRC

    Domestic Producers presented evidence indicating that imports of HRS from the PRC to Vietnam have increased since the initiation of the investigations of CRS from the PRC.46 No other factual information on the record contradicts this claim.

    46See Schagrin Request, at 11-14; see also Kelley Drye Request, at 21 and Attachment 3.

    Analysis of the Allegations

    Based on our analysis of Domestic Producers anti-circumvention allegations and the information provided therein, the Department determines that anti-circumvention inquiries of the AD and CVD orders on CRS from the PRC are warranted.

    With regard to whether the merchandise from Vietnam is of the same class or kind as the merchandise produced in the PRC, Domestic Producers presented information to the Department indicating that, pursuant to section 781(b)(1)(A) of the Act, the merchandise being produced in and/or exported from Vietnam is of the same class or kind as CRS produced in the PRC, which is subject to the Orders. 47 Consequently, the Department finds that Domestic Producers provided sufficient information in their requests regarding the class or kind of merchandise to support the initiation of these anti-circumvention inquiries.

    47See Schagrin Request, at 9; see also Kelly Dry Request, at 8 and Attachment 1.

    With regard to completion or assembly of merchandise in a foreign country, pursuant to section 781(b)(1)(B) of the Act, Domestic Producers also presented information to the Department indicating that the CRS exported from Vietnam to the United States is produced in Vietnam using HRS from the PRC.48 We find that the information presented by Domestic Producers regarding this criterion supports its request to initiate these anti-circumvention inquiries.

    48See Schagrin Request, at 6 and 11-18 and Exhibits 1-2, 4-5, 7 and 13; see also Kelly Dry Request, at 8-11 and Attachments 1-5.

    The Department finds that Domestic Producers sufficiently addressed the factors described in section 781(b)(1)(C) and 781(b)(2) of the Act regarding whether the process of assembly or completion of CRS in Vietnam is minor or insignificant. In particular, information in Domestic Producers' submission indicates that: (1) The level of investment in re-rolling facilities is minimal when compared with the level of investment for basic steel making facilities; (2) there is little or no research and development taking place in Vietnam; (3) the CRS production processes involve the simple processing of HRS from a country subject to the Orders; (4) the CRS production facilities in Vietnam are more limited compared to facilities in the PRC; and (5) the value of the processing performed in Vietnam is a small proportion of the value of the CRS imported into the United States, as the production of HRS in the PRC accounts for 80 to 90 percent of the value of finished CRS.

    With respect to the value of the merchandise produced in the PRC, pursuant to section 781(b)(1)(D) of the Act, Domestic Producers relied on published sources, a simulated cost structure for producing CRS in Vietnam, and arguments in the “minor or insignificant process” portion of its anti-circumvention allegation to indicate that the value of the key material, HRS, produced in the PRC may be significant relative to the total value of the CRS exported to the United States. We find that this information adequately meets the requirements of this factor, as discussed above, for the purposes of initiating these anti-circumvention inquiries.

    Finally, with respect to the additional factors listed under section 781(b)(3) of the Act, we find that Domestic Producers presented evidence indicating that shipments of CRS from Vietnam to the United States increased since the imposition of the Orders and that shipments of HRS from the PRC to Vietnam also increased since the Orders took effect, further supporting initiation of these anti-circumvention inquiries. Accordingly, we are initiating a formal anti-circumvention inquiry concerning the AD and CVD Orders on CRS from the PRC, pursuant to section 781(b) of the Act.

    In connection with these anti-circumvention inquiries, in order to determine, (1) the extent to which PRC-sourced HRS is further processed into CRS in Vietnam before shipment to the United States, (2) the extent to which a country-wide finding applicable to all exports might be warranted, as alleged by Domestic Producers, and (3) whether the process of turning PRC-sourced HRS into CRS is minor or insignificant, the Department intends to issue questionnaires to solicit information from interested parties. The Department intends to issue questionnaires to solicit information from the Vietnamese producers and exporters concerning their shipments of CRS to the United States and the origin of the imported HRS being processed into CRS. A company's failure to respond completely to the Department's requests for information may result in the application of partial or total facts available, pursuant to section 776(a) of the Act, which may include adverse inferences, pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act.

    While we believe sufficient factual information has been submitted by Domestic Producers supporting their request for inquiries, we do not find that the record supports the simultaneous issuance of a preliminary ruling. Such inquiries are by their nature typically complicated and can require information regarding production in both the country subject to the order and the third country completing the product. As noted above, the Department intends to request additional information regarding the statutory criteria to determine whether shipments of CRS from Vietnam are circumventing the AD and CVD orders on CRS from the PRC. Thus, with further development of the record required before a preliminary ruling can be issued, the Department does not find it appropriate to issue a preliminary ruling at this time.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(e), the Department finds that the issue of whether a product is included within the scope of an order cannot be determined based solely upon the application and the descriptions of the merchandise. Accordingly, the Department will notify by mail all parties on the Department's scope service list of the initiation of these anti-circumvention inquiries. In addition, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(f)(1)(i) and (ii), in this notice of initiation issued under 19 CFR 351.225(e), we have included a description of the product that is the subject of these anti-circumvention inquiries (i.e., CRS that contains the characteristics as provided in the scope of the Orders) and an explanation of the reasons for the Department's decision to initiate an anti-circumvention inquiry, as provided above.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(l)(2), if the Department issues a preliminary affirmative determination, we will then instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation and require a cash deposit of estimated antidumping and countervailing duties, at the applicable rate, for each unliquidated entry of the merchandise at issue, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after the date of initiation of the inquiry. The Department will establish a schedule for questionnaires and comments on the issues. In accordance with section 781(f) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.225(f)(5), the Department intends to issue its final determination within 300 days of the date of publication of this initiation.

    This notice is published in accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(f).

    Dated: November 4, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27850 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-867, C-533-868] Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe From India: Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (“Department”) and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”), the Department is issuing antidumping duty (“AD”) and countervailing duty (“CVD”) orders on welded stainless pressure pipe (“WSPP”) from India.

    DATES:

    Effective November 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alex Rosen at (202) 482-7814 or Mandy Mallot at (202) 482-6430, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In accordance with sections 705(d) and 735(d) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“Act”), on September 29, 2016, the Department published its affirmative final determination of sales at less than fair value (“LTFV”) and its affirmative final determination that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of WSPP from India.1 On November 9, 2016, the ITC notified the Department of its final affirmative determination that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of LTFV imports and subsidized imports of WSPP from India, within the meaning of sections 735(b)(1)(A)(i) and 705(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act.2

    1See Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 81 FR 66921 (September 29, 2016) (“AD Final Determination”). See also Countervailing Duty Investigation of Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Final Affirmative Determination, 81 FR 66925 (September 29, 2016) (“CVD Final Determination”).

    2See Letter to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary, from Irving Williamson, Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, regarding antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of welded stainless pressure pipe from India (Investigation Nos 701-TA-548 and 731-TA-1298), dated November 9, 2016 (“ITC Letter”).

    Scope of the Orders

    The merchandise covered by these orders is circular welded austenitic stainless pressure pipe not greater than 14 inches in outside diameter. For purposes of this scope, references to size are in nominal inches and include all products within tolerances allowed by pipe specifications. This merchandise includes, but is not limited to, the American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) A-312 or ASTM A-778 specifications, or comparable domestic or foreign specifications. ASTM A-358 products are only included when they are produced to meet ASTM A-312 or ASTM A-778 specifications, or comparable domestic or foreign specifications.

    Excluded from the scope are: (1) Welded stainless mechanical tubing, meeting ASTM A-554 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications; (2) boiler, heat exchanger, superheater, refining furnace, feedwater heater, and condenser tubing, meeting ASTM A-249, ASTM A-688 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications; and (3) specialized tubing, meeting ASTM A-269, ASTM A-270 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications.

    The subject imports are normally classified in subheadings 7306.40.5005, 7306.40.5040, 7306.40.5062, 7306.40.5064, and 7306.40.5085 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). They may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 7306.40.1010, 7306.40.1015, 7306.40.5042, 7306.40.5044, 7306.40.5080, and 7306.40.5090. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only; the written description of the scope of these orders is dispositive.

    Antidumping Duty Order

    In accordance with sections 735(b)(1)(A)(i) and 735(d) of the Act, the ITC has notified the Department of its final determination that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports of WSPP that are subsidized by the government of India and sold in the United States at LTFV. Therefore, in accordance with section 735(c)(2) of the Act, we are publishing this antidumping duty order. Because the ITC determined that imports of WSPP from India are materially injuring a U.S. industry, unliquidated entries of such merchandise from India, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, are subject to the assessment of antidumping duties.

    In accordance with section 736(a)(1) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties equal to the amount by which the normal value of the merchandise exceeds the export price (or constructed export price) of the merchandise, for all relevant entries of WSPP from India. Antidumping duties will be assessed on unliquidated entries of WSPP from India entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after May 10, 2016, the date of publication of the AD Preliminary Determination, 3 but will not include entries occurring after the expiration of the provisional measures period and before publication of the ITC's final injury determination, as further described below.

    3See Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 28824 (May 10, 2016) (“AD Preliminary Determination”).

    Provisional Measures (AD)

    Section 733(d) of the Act states that instructions issued pursuant to an affirmative preliminary determination may not remain in effect for more than four months, except where exporters representing a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise request the Department to extend that four-month period to no more than six months. At the request of exporters that account for a significant proportion of WSPP from India, the Department extended the four-month period to six months.4 In the underlying investigation, the Department published the AD Preliminary Determination on May 10, 2016.5 Therefore, the extended period, beginning on the date of the publication of the AD Preliminary Determination, ended on November 5, 2016. Furthermore, section 737(b) of the Act states that definitive duties are to begin on the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determination.

    4Id.

    5Id.

    Therefore, in accordance with section 733(d) of the Act and our practice,6 we will instruct CBP to terminate the suspension of liquidation and to liquidate, without regard to antidumping duties, unliquidated entries of WSPP from India entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption after November 5, 2016, until and through the day preceding the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determination in the Federal Register. Suspension of liquidation will resume on the date of publication of the ITC's final determination in the Federal Register.

    6See, e.g., Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determination for India and Taiwan, and Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 48390 (July 25, 2016).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation (AD)

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, we will instruct CBP to continue to suspend liquidation on entries of subject merchandise from India. These instructions suspending liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

    We will also instruct CBP to require cash deposits equal to the amounts as indicated below, except for Sunrise Stainless Pvt. Ltd. and Sun Mark Stainless Pvt. Ltd. (collectively, “Sunrise Group”), which are adjusted for certain countervailable subsidies, where appropriate, as described below.7 Because Sunrise Group has an estimated weighted-average final dumping margin of zero, we are directing CBP to terminate suspension of liquidation of entries of WSPP produced and exported by this entity. In addition, subject merchandise produced and exported by Sunrise Group will be excluded from the antidumping duty order. Accordingly, effective on the date of publication of the ITC's final affirmative injury determination, CBP will require, at the same time as importers would normally deposit estimated duties on this subject merchandise, a cash deposit equal to the estimated duties on this subject merchandise, a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margins listed below. The “All Others” rate applies to all exporters of subject merchandise not specifically listed. For the purpose of determining cash deposit rates, the estimated weighted-average dumping margins for imports of subject merchandise have been adjusted, as appropriate, for export subsidies found in the final determination of the companion countervailing duty investigation of this merchandise.8

    7See AD Final Determination, 81 FR at 66922 (describing the adjustments to the AD margins in more detail); see also sections 772(c)(1)(C) and 777A(f) of the Act, respectively. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin calculation program, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to CBP. See, e.g., Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1.

    8See CVD Final Determination.

    Estimated Weighted-Average Antidumping Duty Margin

    The weighted-average antidumping duty margin percentages are as follows:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (%)
  • Cash-deposit
  • rate
  • (%)
  • Steamline Industries Ltd 12.66 10.17 All Others 12.66 8.35
    Countervailing Duty Order

    In accordance with sections 705(b)(1)(A)(i) and 705(d) of the Act, the ITC notified the Department of its final determination that the industry in the United States producing WSPP is materially injured by reason of subsidized imports of WSPP from India.9 Therefore, in accordance with section 705(c)(2) and 706(a) of the Act, we are publishing this countervailing duty order.

    9See ITC Letter.

    Pursuant to section 706(a) of the Act, the Department will direct CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, countervailing duties on unliquidated entries of WSPP entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after March 11, 2016, the date on which the Department published its affirmative preliminary countervailing duty determination in the Federal Register,10 and before July 9, 2016, the effective date on which the Department instructed CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation in accordance with section 703(d) of the Act.11 Section 703(d) of the Act states that the suspension of liquidation pursuant to a preliminary determination may not remain in effect for more than four months. Therefore, entries of WSPP made on or after July 9, 2016, and prior to the date of publication of the ITC's final determination in the Federal Register are not liable for the assessment of countervailing duties, due to the Department's discontinuation, effective July 9, 2016, of the suspension of liquidation.

    10See CVD Preliminary Determination.

    11See CVD Final Determination.

    Suspension of Liquidation (CVD)

    In accordance with section 706 of the Act, the Department will direct CBP to reinstitute suspension of liquidation, effective on the date of publication of the ITC's notice of final determination in the Federal Register, and to assess, upon further instruction by the Department pursuant to section 706(a)(1) of the Act, countervailing duties for each entry of the subject merchandise in an amount based on the net countervailable subsidy rates for the subject merchandise. The Department will also direct CBP to require a cash deposit for each entry of subject merchandise in an amount equal to the net countervailable subsidy rates listed below. The all-others rate applies to all producers and exporters of subject merchandise not specifically listed.

    12See CVD Preliminary Determination, in which we determined that Sunrise Stainless Private Limited, Sun Mark Stainless Pvt. Ltd., and Shah Foils Ltd. are entitled to the same subsidy rate.

    Exporter/producer Subsidy rate
  • (%)
  • Steamline Industries Limited 3.13 Sunrise Stainless Private Limited/Sun Mark Stainless Pvt. Ltd./Shah Foils Ltd.12 6.22 All-Others 4.65
    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice constitutes the AD and CVD orders with respect to WSPP from India pursuant to sections 736(a) and 706(a) of the Act. Interested parties can find an updated list of orders currently in effect by either visiting http://enforcement.trade.gov/stats/iastats1.html or by contacting the Department's Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Commerce Building.

    These orders are published in accordance with sections 706(a), 736(a), and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.211(b).

    Dated: November 14, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27846 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-836] Glycine From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In response to a request from Salvi Chemical Industries Ltd. (Salvi), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is initiating a changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty order on glycine from the People's Republic of China (PRC).

    DATES:

    Effective November 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dena Crossland or Brian Davis, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3362 or (202) 482-7924, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 18, 2016, the Department received a request from Salvi to initiate a changed circumstances review in order for the Department to determine that the glycine produced by Salvi is no longer processed from PRC-origin glycine.1 Additionally, Salvi requests that the Department determine that importers of glycine from Salvi are eligible to participate in a certification process.2 Salvi refers to an anti-circumvention inquiry, where the Department determined that Salvi was processing Chinese glycine, and that glycine processed in India of Chinese origin does not change country of origin, and, therefore, Salvi had circumvented the Order.3 As part of our determination, we stated that Salvi could not take part in a certification process, whereby Salvi's importers could certify that they had not imported Chinese-origin glycine and would not be subject to the antidumping duty rate for Chinese glycine.4 This certification process was established to ensure that merchandise entering the United States from India was properly identified as subject or non-subject merchandise. However, we also stated that Salvi could request an administrative review or a changed circumstances review to show that it is no longer processing PRC-glycine and exporting such glycine from India.5 If the Department determined that Salvi is no longer processing PRC-origin glycine, and instead is producing glycine from raw materials of non-PRC origin, the Department could allow the importers of Salvi's product to certify that the glycine being produced and exported is not processed PRC-origin glycine.6

    1See Letter to the Department of Commerce from Salvi Chemical Industries Limited regarding “Glycine from the People's Republic of China: Request for Changed Circumstances Review,” dated July 18, 2016.

    2Id.

    3See Glycine From the People's Republic of China: Final Partial Affirmative Determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 73426 (December 10, 2012) (Circumvention Notice) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination of the Anti-Circumvention Inquiry of the Antidumping Duty Order on Glycine from the People's Republic of China. See also Antidumping Duty Order: Glycine From the People's Republic of China, 60 FR 16116 (March 29, 1995) (Order) and Final Scope Ruling Concerning the Antidumping Duty Order on Glycine from the People's Republic of China, Memorandum from Richard Weible to Gary Taverman, dated December 3, 2012 (Final Scope Ruling).

    4See Circumvention Notice and Final Scope Ruling.

    5See Final Scope Ruling.

    6Id.

    On July 26, 2016, the Department received comments from domestic interested party, GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. (GEO), regarding Salvi's request.7 On August 29, 2016, we extended the deadline to initiate until October 17, 2016, in order to collect information and legible exhibits from Salvi, because it did not submit a sufficient response, and to consider interested parties' comments.8 On September 9, 2016, we issued a questionnaire to Salvi, to which it responded on September 26, 2016.9 On October 6, 2016, GEO submitted comments on Salvi's questionnaire response.10 On October 13, 2016, we determined that we had a sufficient request from Salvi and that the deadline for initiating a changed circumstances review should be November 10, 2016.11 On October 20, 2016, Salvi placed on the record certain information issued by the Department in the recently completed 2014-2015 administrative review under this antidumping duty order.12 On October 27, 2016, GEO provided comments on Salvi's October 20, 2016 submission.13

    7See Letter to the Department of Commerce from GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. regarding “Glycine from the People's Republic of China: GEO's Opposition to Salvi's Request for Changed Circumstances Review,” dated July 26, 2016.

    8See Letter from the Department of Commerce to Salvi Chemical Industries Limited regarding “Request for Changed Circumstances Review—Glycine from the People's Republic of China,” dated August 29, 2016.

    9See Letter from the Department of Commerce to Salvi Chemical Industries Limited, dated September 9, 2016 and Letter to the Department of Commerce from Salvi Chemical Industries Limited regarding “Glycine from the People's Republic of China: Changed Circumstances Review Response,” dated September 26, 2016.

    10See Letter to the Department of Commerce from GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. regarding “Glycine from the People's Republic of China: GEO's Comments Regarding Salvi's September 26, 2016 Response to the Department September 9, 2016 Questionnaire,” dated October 6, 2016.

    11See Memorandum to The File from Dena Crossland, International Trade Analyst, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, regarding “Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Glycine from the People's Republic of China” and on the subject of “Changed Circumstances Review Deadline,” dated October 13, 2016.

    12See Letter to the Department of Commerce from Salvi Chemical Industries Limited regarding “Glycine from the People's Republic of China: Changed Circumstances Review; Placing Information from the 2014-2015 Administrative Review on the Administrative Record,” dated October 20, 2016; and Glycine From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015, 81 FR 72567 (October 20, 2016) and corresponding “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Glycine from the People's Republic of China; 2014-2015.”

    13See Letter to the Department of Commerce from GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. regarding “Glycine from the People's Republic of China: GEO's Comments Regarding Salvi's October 20, 2016 Placement of Information from the 2014-2015 Administrative Review on the Record,” dated October 27, 2016.

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by this antidumping duty order is glycine, which is a free-flowing crystalline material, like salt or sugar. Glycine is produced at varying levels of purity and is used as a sweetener/taste enhancer, a buffering agent, reabsorbable amino acid, chemical intermediate, and a metal complexing agent. This proceeding includes glycine of all purity levels. Glycine is currently classified under subheading 2922.49.4020 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).14 Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under the order is dispositive.15

    14 In separate scope rulings, the Department determined that: (a) D(-) Phenylglycine Ethyl Dane Salt is outside the scope of the order and (b) PRC-glycine exported from India remains the same class or kind of merchandise as the PRC-origin glycine imported into India. See Notice of Scope Rulings and Anticircumvention Inquiries, 62 FR 62288 (November 21, 1997) and Circumvention Notice, respectively.

    15See Order.

    Initiation of Changed Circumstances Review

    Pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department will conduct a changed circumstances review upon receipt of information concerning, or a request from an interested party of, an antidumping duty order which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review of the order. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.216(d), based on the information provided by Salvi, the Department finds that there is sufficient information to initiate a changed circumstances review. Therefore, we are initiating a changed circumstances review pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216(d) to determine whether Salvi is no longer processing PRC-origin glycine, and instead is producing glycine from raw materials of non-PRC origin, and whether it should be able to participate in the certification process described in the Final Scope Ruling. The Department intends to publish in the Federal Register a notice of preliminary results of the antidumping duty changed circumstances review in accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(i), which will set forth the Department's preliminary factual and legal conclusions. The Department will issue its final results of review in accordance with the time limits set forth in 19 CFR 351.216(e).

    This notice is in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: November 10, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27660 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-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: Green Sturgeon ESA 4(d) Rule Take Exceptions and Exemptions.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0613.

    Form Number(s): None.

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

    Number of Respondents: 46.

    Average Hours per Response: Written notification describing research, monitoring or habitat restoration activities, 40 hours; development of fisheries management and evaluation plans or state 4(d) research programs, 40 hours; reports, 5 hours; development of a tribal fishery management plan, 20 hours.

    Burden Hours: 1,760.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris; hereafter, “Southern DPS”) was listed as a threatened species in April 2006. Protective regulations under section 4(d) of the ESA were promulgated for the species on June 2, 2010 (75 FR 30714) (the final ESA 4(d) Rule). To comply with the ESA and the protective regulations, entities must obtain take authorization prior to engaging in activities involving take of Southern DPS fish unless the activity is covered by an exception or exemption. Certain activities described in the “exceptions” provision of 50 CFR 223.210(b) are not subject to the take prohibitions if they adhere to specific criteria and reporting requirements. Under the “exemption” provision of 50 CFR 223.210(c), the take prohibitions do not apply to scientific research, scientific monitoring, and fisheries activities conducted under an approved 4(d) program or plan; similarly, take prohibitions do not apply to tribal resource management activities conducted under a Tribal Plan for which the requisite determinations described in 50 CFR 223.102(c)(3) have been made.

    To ensure that activities qualify under exceptions to or exemptions from the take prohibitions, local, state, and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic researchers, and private organizations are asked to voluntarily submit detailed information regarding their activity on a schedule to be determined by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) staff. This information is used by NMFS to (1) track the number of Southern DPS fish taken as a result of each action; (2) understand and evaluate the cumulative effects of each action on the Southern DPS; and (3) determine whether additional protections are needed for the species, or whether additional exceptions may be warranted. NMFS designed the criteria to ensure that plans meeting the criteria would adequately limit impacts on threatened Southern DPS fish, such that additional protections in the form of a federal take prohibition would not be necessary and advisable.

    Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local, or Tribal government; business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: On occasion, annually and biennially.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    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: November 14, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27632 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF031 Revised National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publishes this notice to request comments on its draft Companion Manual to NOAA Administrative Order NAO 216-6A (“Companion Manual”) containing policy and procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related authorities. Included in the Companion Manual are NOAA's proposed revised categorical exclusions (CE) and related extraordinary circumstances. Pursuant to Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations, NOAA is soliciting comments on its proposed procedures from members of the interested public. Additionally, in this notice, NOAA is providing a synopsis of the proposed changes to NOAA's CEs to assist the public in reviewing those changes.

    DATES:

    Comments on the revised NEPA procedures must be received by December 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on NOAA's proposed NEPA procedures may be submitted through one of these methods: (1) Electronic Submission of Comments: Submit electronic comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-HQ-2016-0145, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments; (2) Mail: Send to NOAA NEPA Coordinator, Attention Katherine Renshaw, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 15132, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    Instructions: NOAA may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public record and NOAA will generally post for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender is publicly accessible. NOAA will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). NOAA will make this notice and the draft Companion Manual available online for public inspection at http://www.nepa.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Please send questions by email to [email protected]; or contact Rachel Lipsy at 301-427-8247.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) declares a national policy to promote efforts that will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment, stimulate the health and welfare of man, and enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the United States. NEPA also established the CEQ to, among other things, analyze and interpret environmental trends and information, to review and appraise programs and activities of the Federal government in light of NEPA's purpose, and to develop policies to promote the improvement of environmental quality. As part of these responsibilities, the CEQ promulgated regulations to implement NEPA (see 40 CFR part 1500 et seq.). Those regulations direct Federal agencies to adopt procedures for implementing NEPA and to review and revise those policies and procedures as necessary to ensure full compliance with the purposes and provisions of NEPA.

    NEPA and the CEQ implementing regulations provide for environmental review of a proposed government action in the form of an Environmental Assessment (EA), Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), or Categorical Exclusion (CE). A CE is “a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment,” and, based on the agency's past experience, does not require further NEPA review in the form of either an EA or EIS. See 40 CFR 1508.4, CEQ, “Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions Under the National Environmental Policy Act” (75 FR 75628; December 6, 2010). A CE does not exempt an action from NEPA review; rather, it is one form of environmental review under NEPA. See 75 FR 75631. A CE may be applied to a proposed action after the decision maker has carefully reviewed the description of the action and determined that it fits within the category of actions encompassed by the CE. See 40 CFR 1508.4. In making this determination, the decision maker must also consider whether extraordinary circumstances apply, which would lead to a normally categorically excluded action to have the potential for significant impacts. Thus, a CE does not eliminate environmental review of a proposed action but reduces paperwork and delay and allows an agency to efficiently focus its resources on proposed actions with the potential for significant environmental effects.

    On April 22, 2016, NOAA issued NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A (NAO 216-6A), which updated NOAA's policy for compliance with NEPA, the CEQ NEPA regulations, and other related authorities, including Executive Order (EO) 12114, Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions; EO 11988, Floodplain Management; and EO 11990, Protection of Wetlands. The NAO authorized the development of a Companion Manual entitled Policy and Procedures for Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and Related Authorities (“Companion Manual”). The draft Companion Manual includes NOAA's proposed revised CEs as an appendix. NAO 216-6A superseded NOAA Administrative Order NAO 216-6 dated May 20, 1999 (1999 NAO), with the exception of those provisions implementing CEQ regulation 40 CFR 1507.3(b), including the NOAA's CEs and related provision for extraordinary circumstances. Those provisions temporarily remain in effect until superseded by revised CEs and the authorized Companion Manual. Additionally, the National Marine Fisheries Service's February 23, 2016 supplement to NAO 216-6, entitled “Revised and Updated NEPA Procedures for Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management Actions,” remains in effect. The supplement sets forth the policies and procedures for NEPA compliance for such actions. For convenience, the supplement is reproduced as Appendix C to the Companion Manual. Decision makers for such actions may also consider and apply the guidance in the Companion Manual to the extent it is consistent with the policies and procedures in the supplement.

    Process

    NOAA last updated its NEPA Procedures in 1999. In order to ensure that its procedures, including CEs and extraordinary circumstances, remain appropriate to ensure full compliance with the purposes and provisions of NEPA, NOAA began an extensive review process. As part of its process for revising the agency's NEPA procedures, NOAA convened a Working Group composed of representatives across NOAA's Staff and Line Offices. The Working Group members conducted significant scoping within their respective offices to assess the need for revised NEPA procedures, the need for revised CEs, and to gather information relevant to proposed new CEs, including information necessary to support the proposed changes. Throughout the revision process, NOAA also conducted outreach with other agencies with similar missions, and consulted extensively with CEQ. See 40 CFR 1507.3.

    Upon review of NOAA's overall NEPA procedures, the agency determined that its existing procedures would benefit from clarifying revisions and that NOAA's CEs would benefit from revisions to clarify the scope and applicability and that several new CEs were appropriate to improve NEPA review by categorically excluding actions that, based on NOAA's experience, have no potential to significantly impact the human environment. In some instances, NOAA determined that providing additional language to describe the categories of actions covered by an existing CE was necessary to clarify the intended scope of that CE. In other cases, NOAA determined that the scope of a CE was unclear because it covered too many disparate activities with few meaningful limitations. The Working Group determined that breaking out components of these CEs into discrete CEs that accurately described the category of actions to be excluded from further NEPA review and including appropriately limiting language clarified the proper scope and application of the CE for the decision maker. Additionally, NOAA identified CEs that either lacked adequate substantiation or were no longer necessary because of mission changes. Accordingly, NOAA proposes to eliminate these types of CEs.

    NOAA proposes to substantiate its new and revised CEs by benchmarking other agencies' CEs, relying on previously implemented actions, and/or relying on the expert opinions of NOAA's professional staff, all of which are methods recommended by CEQ to substantiate proposed new or revised CEs. See 75 FR 75633-34. Benchmarking means that NOAA is substantiating a CE based on other agencies' experience with a comparable CE and the administrative record developed by other agencies when they established their own CEs. To ensure the CEs that NOAA proposes to benchmark properly support NOAA's proposed CEs, NOAA analyzed the actions encompassed by other agencies' CEs by considering the characteristics of the actions, methods of implementing the actions, frequency of the actions, applicable standard operating procedures or implementing guidance, and timing and context to determine that the actions analyzed by these agencies are sufficiently similar to those covered by the proposed CE to offer support for NOAA's conclusion that these actions will not result in individually or cumulatively significant impacts on the human environment under normal circumstances.

    Additionally, and where appropriate, NOAA relied on its professional staff to analyze the activities encompassed by the proposed CEs and explain the expert's conclusion that those activities have no potential for significant effects on the environment. Finally, NOAA relied on its own experience with previously implemented actions (e.g., EAs that resulted in Findings of No Significant Impacts) to determine that the analyses of those actions and the resulting absence of environmental effects of those actions support the proposed CE.

    Synopsis of Proposed Changes to CEs Applicable Terms

    Certain terms appear frequently in the language of NOAA's proposed CEs to limit their scope and ensure they are applied properly and limited to those activities that NOAA has determined have no potential for significant impacts. The following list presents and describes these terms:

    (1) “Previously disturbed ground” refers to land that has been changed such that its functioning ecological processes have been and remain substantially altered by human activity. The term encompasses areas that have been transformed from natural cover to non-native species or a developed state, including but not limited to, utility and electrical power transmission corridors and rights-of-way, paved and unpaved roads, and construction footprints.

    (2) “Minor” and “small-scale” are terms NOAA considers in the context of the particular proposal, including its proposed location. In assessing whether a proposed action is small, in addition to the actual magnitude of the proposal, NOAA considers factors such as industry norms and the relationship of the proposed action to similar types of development or activity in the vicinity of the proposed action. When considering the size of a proposed facility, for example, NOAA would review the surround land uses, the scale of the proposed action relative to existing development, and the capacity of existing roads and other infrastructure to support the proposed action. When these limiting terms are used within a specific CE, the administrative record for that CE provides further explanation of their meaning in the context of the activity addressed by that CE.

    (3) “Negligible” refers to a level of impact that is below significant to the point of being hardly detectable. Factors for consideration include: Procedures that employ generally accepted industry standards or best management practices that have been tested and verified at the time an activity is proposed; whether an activity has understood or well-documented impacts at the time an activity is proposed; whether control and quality measures are in place (e.g., monitoring and verification; emergency plans and preparedness); the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of the proposed activity on a resource; and the context and intensity of expected discharges or deposits and disturbances to resources, like the submerged lands of any sanctuary, corals, and other living, cultural, and historical resources.

    Categorical Exclusions

    NOAA's proposed revised CEs are organized into eight series, based on the types of activities encompassed by each group. Series A encompasses CEs that pertain to Trust Resource Management Actions. B pertains to Trust Resource Authorization and Permitting Actions. C pertains to Habitat Restoration Actions. D pertains to Additional External Funding. E pertains to Research Actions. F pertains to Real and Personal Property Improvement, Maintenance, and Construction Actions. G pertains to Operational Actions. Finally, H pertains to Acquisition and Leasing Actions.

    The following list presents NOAA's proposed CEs, followed by a description of the CE's relationship to the existing CEs from the 1999 NAO and an explanation of how and why a CE was revised or developed.

    Trust Resource Management Actions

    [A1]. “An action that is a technical correction or a change to a fishery management action or regulation, which does not result in a substantial change in any of the following: Fishing location, timing, effort, authorized gear types, access to fishery resources or harvest levels.”

    NOAA proposes to consolidate components of several CEs from the 1999 NOA: 6.03a.3(b)(1), 6.03a.3(b)(2), 6.03d.4(a), and 6.03d.4(b). NOAA realized in implementing NEPA since 1999 that there were several very similar CEs that frequently served the same purpose. NOAA also determined that it would be most helpful for practitioners to address different types of management plans in separate CEs so that limitations to ensure that the category of actions would not result in significant impacts were appropriate to the types of management plan in place. Accordingly, consolidating these classes of actions into a single CE for fishery management actions and regulations clarified the CE's scope and applicability for decision makers. The proposed revision limits the scope of the CE so that any corrections or changes to which the CE is to be applied may not result in a substantial change in fishing location, timing, effort, authorized gear types, access to fishery resources or harvest levels. The proposed changes and revisions do not result in a substantial change in scope or applicability from the listed CEs in the 1999 NAO.

    [A2]. “Preparation of a recovery plan pursuant to section 4(f)(1) of the ESA. Such plans are advisory documents that provide consultative and technical assistance in recovery planning and do not implement site-specific or species-specific management actions. However, implementation of specific tasks identified in a recovery plan may require an EA or EIS depending on the nature of the action.”

    NOAA proposes to revise CE 6.03e.3(a) by adding “and do not direct site-specific or species-specific management actions” to the definition of consultative. NOAA's use of the language “. . . advisory documents that provide consultative and technical assistance in recovery planning and do not direct site-specific or species-specific management actions. However, implementation of specific tasks identified in a recovery plan may require additional NEPA analysis depending on the nature of the action” further clarifies the proper use of the CE and ensures that it is not employed to cover specific management actions. The proposed changes and revisions clarify the scope and applicability of the CE and do not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [A3.] “Temporary fishery closures or extensions of closures under section 305(c)(3)(C) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to ensure public health and safety.”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover temporary fishery closures or extensions of closures under section 305(c)(3)(C) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to ensure public health and safety following a public health emergency or an oil spill.

    [A4.] “Minor updates to existing national marine sanctuary management plans. This CE does not apply to sanctuary designations, expansions, changes in terms of designation, or new sanctuary management plans.”

    NOAA proposes to consolidate components of two CEs from the 1999 NOA: 6.03a.3(b)(1) and 6.03a.3(b)(2). NOAA realized in implementing NEPA since 1999 that there were several very similar CEs that frequently served the same purpose. NOAA also determined that discrete CEs with appropriately limiting language specific to different types of management plans would be most helpful to decision makers. Accordingly, consolidating these classes of actions into a single CE for minor updates to existing national marine sanctuary management plans clarified the CE's scope and applicability for decision makers. NOAA proposes to explicitly limit the use of this CE by not allowing the category to be applied to actions that are amendments or changes to a management plan that affect sanctuary boundaries or to new sanctuary management plans. The National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) mandates that the Secretary of Commerce (as delegated to NOAA) prepare an environmental impact statement for sanctuary designations and boundary changes. The proposed changes and revisions do not result in a substantial change in scope or applicability from the listed CEs in the 1999 NAO.

    [A5.] “Updates to existing National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) management plans, provided that the update does not change NERR boundaries or add or significantly change allowable uses, uses requiring a permit, or restrictions on uses. This CE does not apply to new NERR management plans, or to the execution of any specific action subsequently funded to support the updated NERR management plan.”

    NOAA proposes to consolidate components of two CEs from the 1999 NOA: 6.03a.3(b)(1) and 6.03a.3(b)(2). NOAA realized in implementing NEPA since 1999 that there were several very similar CEs that frequently served the same purpose. NOAA also determined that discrete CEs with appropriately limiting language specific to different types of management plans would be most helpful to decision makers. Accordingly, consolidating these classes of actions into a single CE for updates to existing NERR management plans clarified the CE's scope and applicability for decision makers. The CE is limited so that it may not be applied to actions where the update changes reserve boundaries and the change adds or significantly changes allowable uses requiring a permit, or restrictions on uses. Additionally the CE is limited in that it does not apply to new NERR management plans, or to the execution of any specific action subsequently funded to support the updated NERR management plan. The proposed changes and revisions do not result in a substantial change in scope or applicability from the listed CEs in the 1999 NAO.

    [A6.] “Review and approval of changes to state coastal management programs under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) § 306(e) (16 U.S.C. 1455(e)) and NOAA's regulations at 15 CFR part 923.”

    NOAA proposes to consolidate components of two CEs: 6.03a.3(b)(1) and 6.03a.3(b)(2). NOAA realized in implementing NEPA since 1999 that there were several very similar CEs that frequently served the same purpose. NOAA also determined that discrete CEs with appropriately limiting language specific to different types of management plans would be most helpful to decision makers. Accordingly, consolidating these classes of actions into a single CE for review and approval of changes to state coastal management programs under the CZMA 16 U.S.C. 1455(e) and NOAA's regulations at 15 CFR part 923 clarified the CE's scope and applicability for decision makers. The Working Group determined that these statutory and regulatory limitations appropriately limited the scope of the CE so that activities encompassed by the CE have no potential for significant effects on the environment under normal circumstances.

    Trust Resource Authorization and Permitting Actions

    [B1.] “Issuance of permits or permit modifications under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA for take, import, or export of endangered species for scientific purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species, or in accordance with the requirements of an ESA section 4(d) regulation for threatened species.”

    NOAA proposes to make minor revisions to CE 6.03e.3(b) by adding section 4(d) of the ESA to the text of the CE. The intent and purpose of Sections 10(a)(1)(a) and 4(d) of the ESA to issue permits for scientific or enhancement purposes. The proposed changes and revisions do not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [B2.] “Issuance of permits or permit amendments under section 104 of the MMPA for take or import of marine mammals for scientific research, enhancement, commercial or educational photography or public display purposes; and issuance of Letters of Confirmation under the General Authorization for scientific research involving only Level B harassment.”

    NOAA proposes to revise CE 6.03f.2(a) by removing section 101(a)(1) of the MMPA from the text of the CE. The reference to section 101(a)(1) was incorrect in the 1999 version and the revision corrects this error. The proposed revision does not result in any change in the scope or applicability of the CE.

    [B3.] “Issuance of, and amendments to, “low effect” Incidental Take Permits and their supporting “low effect” Habitat Conservation Plans under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA.”

    NOAA proposes minor text edits to revise CE 6.03e.3(d) for clarification and readability. The proposed revision does not result in a substantial change on the scope or applicability of the CE.

    [B4.] “Issuance of incidental harassment authorizations under section 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA for the incidental, but not intentional, take by harassment of marine mammals during specified activities and for which no serious injury or mortality is anticipated.”

    NOAA proposes to maintain CE 6.03f.2(b) and revise the language to clarify the proper scope and application of the CE. The 1999 NAO included an error that referred to only section 101(a)(5)(A) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act—this error has been corrected in this revision, which now properly refers to both sections 101(a)(5)(A) and 101(a)(5)(D). Additionally, the 1999 version of the CE required authorizations to be “tiered from a programmatic environmental review” and this requirement has been removed. NOAA currently reviews small take incidental harassment authorizations under NEPA without the need for a “tiering” process. Accordingly, the proposed revision does not result in a substantial change in scope or applicability from the CEs in the 1999 NAO.

    NOAA proposes four new CEs—B5, B6, B7, and B8—to cover the issuance of, or amendments to general permits, special use permits, authorizations, and certifications for activities conducted within National Marine Sanctuaries. Previously, NOAA had applied CEs 6.03c.3(a), 6.03c.3(c), 6.03c.3(d), and 6.03c.(3)(i) to address these actions. The Working Group determined that proposing new CEs that specifically encompass the actions described in B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, and B10 clarified the scope and applicability of the CEs for decision makers. Each CE is limited by conditions to ensure that activities encompassed by the CEs have no potential for significant effects on the environment under normal circumstances.

    [B5.] “Issuance of, or amendments to, general permits for activities that are included in established permit categories at 15 CFR part 922 and that meet the regulatory review criteria at 15 CFR part 922, that limit any potential impacts so that the proposed activity will be conducted in a manner compatible with the National Marine Sanctuaries Act's primary objective of resource protection.”

    [B6.] “Issuance of, or amendments to, special use permits for activities in a national marine sanctuary that are necessary to either establish conditions of access to and use of any sanctuary resource or promote public use and understanding of a sanctuary resource and must be conducted in a manner that does not destroy, cause the loss of, or injure sanctuary resources in accordance with the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.”

    [B7.] “Issuance of or amendments to, authorizations for activities allowed by a valid federal, regional, state, local or tribal government approval (e.g., leases, permits and licenses) issued after the effective date of sanctuary designation or expansion, so long as such authorizations are based upon a consideration of the regulatory review criteria at 15 CFR part 922, and will only result in negligible effects to sanctuary resources.”

    [B8.] “Issuance of, or amendments to certifications for pre-existing activities authorized by a valid federal, regional, state, local, or tribal government approval (e.g., leases, permits and licenses) or rights of subsistence use or access in existence on the date of the designation or expansion of any national marine sanctuary where the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries issues terms and conditions that are either ministerial or prescribe avoidance, minimization, or mitigation measures designed to ensure negligible effects to sanctuary resources.”

    [B9.] “Issuance of, or amendments to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (as established by Presidential Proclamation 8031) permits for activities that are included in established permit categories (50 CFR part 404) and that meet the regulatory review criteria at (50 CFR 404.11), that limit any potential impacts so that the proposed activity will be conducted in a manner compatible with the monument's primary objective of resource protection.”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover the issuance of, or amendments to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument permits for activities that are included in established permit categories under 50 CFR part 404 and that meet the regulatory review criteria under 50 CFR 404.11.

    [B10.] “Issuance of, or amendments to, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument special ocean use permits for activities or use of the monument that are engaged in to generate revenue or profits for one or more of the persons associated with the activity or use, and do not destroy, cause the loss of, or injure monument resources.”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover the issuance of, or amendments to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument special ocean use permits for activities or use of the monument that are engaged in to generate revenue or profits for one or more of the persons associated with the activity or use, and do not destroy, cause the loss of, or injure monument resources.

    [B11.] “Issuance of Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Scientific Research Permits (SRPs) and other permits for research that may impact species regulated under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA). This includes permitted research of limited size, magnitude or duration with negligible individual or cumulative impacts, which requires temporary relief of fishery management regulations.”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover the issuance of, or amendments to permits or authorizations for activities that are conducted within Marine National Monuments other than Papahānaumokuākea that are limited in scope so that the potential impacts of the proposed activities will be conducted in a manner compatible with a monument's primary objective of resource protection, and do not destroy, cause the loss of, or injure monument resources.

    [B12.] “Issuance of Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Scientific Research Permits (SRPs) and other permits for research that may impact species regulated under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA). This includes permitted research of limited size, magnitude or duration with negligible individual or cumulative impacts, which requires temporary relief of fishery management regulations. “

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover the issuance of Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Scientific Research Permits (SRPs) and other permits for research that may impact species regulated under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA). These revisions are intended to encompass activities regarding the issuance of EFPs and SRPs for research activities within the scope of the CE and conducted for the benefit of fisheries and the environment.

    Habitat Restoration Actions

    [C1.] “Habitat restoration actions, provided that such action: (1) Transplants only organisms currently or formerly present at the site or in its immediate vicinity (if transplant is a component of the action); (2) does not require substantial placement of fill or dredging; (3) does not involve any removal of debris, excavation, or conditioning of soils unless such removal of debris, excavation, or conditioning of soils is geographically limited to the impact area such that site conditions will not impede or negatively alter natural processes, is in compliance with all permit and disposal requirements,), and will not impact critical aquifers or recharge areas; and (4) does not involve an added risk of human or environmental exposure to toxic or hazardous substances, pathogens, or radioactive materials.

    Notes:

    If applicable, limitations and mitigation measures identified in the NOAA Restoration Center Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Habitat Restoration Actions must be followed. This CE includes, but is not limited to, response or restoration actions under CERLCA, OPA, or NMSA, if such actions are intended to restore an ecosystem, habitat, biotic community, or population of living resources to a determinable pre-impact condition prior to the incident leading to the response or restoration.”

    NOAA proposes to revise the version of CE 6.03b.2 by removing the condition that actions encompassed by this CE “are intended to restore an ecosystem, habitat, biotic community, or population of living resources to a determinable pre-impact condition.” NOAA determined that removing the requirement “(1) are intended to restore an ecosystem, habitat, biotic community, or population of living resources to a determinable pre-impact condition” clarified the applicability of this CE. Previously, the condition limited the CE's application to circumstances where NOAA was able to determine the pre-impact condition of the resource to be restored and this created confusion as to the scope and applicability of the CE. NOAA also added criteria that limit the scope of the CE. These four limitations were developed and reviewed by the Working Group and included to ensure that this category of actions is properly limited in context and intensity such that there is no potential for individual or cumulative significant effects on the human environment under normal circumstances. Finally, NOAA added the requirement that, if applicable, limitations and mitigation measures identified in the NOAA Restoration Center Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Habitat Restoration Actions (June 2015) (RC PEIS) must be followed.

    Additional External Funding

    [D1.] “Financial activities for the following financial services: (1) Loans for purchase, refinancing, or reconstruction of fishing vessels and purchase or refinancing of individual fishing quota through the Fisheries Finance Program; (2) Deferred tax program provided to fishermen to construct, reconstruct, or acquire fishing vessels through the Capital Construction Fund Program; and (3) Compensation to fishermen for economic and property losses caused by oil and gas obstructions on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf under the Fishermen's Contingency Fund.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(b) to explicitly cover only the limited financial activities for specific financial services under the Fisheries Finance Program, the Capital Construction Fund Program, and the Fisherman's Contingency Fund. The Working Group determined that for the vast majority of financial assistance and financial services actions, decision makers should look at whether the underlying activity to be funded falls within one of the established CEs. The activities addressed in proposed D1, however, while appropriate for a CE, were not separately addressed in any of the other NOAA CEs and thus are proposed here as a separate financial activities category. The proposed revision clarifies the scope and applicability of the CE.

    [D2.] “Provision of a grant, a contract or other financial assistance to a State, Fishery Management Council or Marine Fisheries Commission under 16 U.S.C. 1881a(d).”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(d) to explicitly cover the provision of a grant, contract, or other financial assistance to a State, Fishery Management Council or Marine Fisheries Commission under 16 U.S.C. 1881a(d). Similar to the activities addressed in D1, the Working Group determined that the specific provision of funding pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1881(a)(d) was appropriately addressed in a CE and not otherwise covered by other NOAA proposed CEs. The proposed revision clarifies the scope and applicability of the CE.

    Research Actions

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CEs 6.03c.3(a) and 6.03c.3(d) to explicitly cover a variety of research activities with no potential for individual or cumulative significant effects under normal circumstances. The Working Group determined that it would be more appropriate to address research programs and projects with more specificity than the existing 1999 CE, which broadly covers all “research programs or projects of limited size and duration or with only short-term, minor effects on the human environment.” Instead, after an internal scoping process evaluating the types of research activities that were routinely and appropriately relying on the existing CE, the Working Group developed the following categories of activities in proposed CEs E1-E8. For each of the proposed research CEs, the Working Group proposed limitations appropriate to the category of activities to ensure that the activities covered by each CE have no potential for significant effects on the environment under normal circumstances.

    [E1.] “Activities conducted in laboratories and facilities where research practices and safeguards prevent environmental impacts.”

    [E2.] “Social science projects and programs, including economic, political science, human geography, demography, and sociology studies, including information collection activities in support of studies.”

    [E3.] “Activities to collect aquatic, terrestrial, and atmospheric data in a non-destructive manner.”

    [E4.] “Activities that survey or observe living resources in the field with little to no potential to adversely affect the environment or interfere with organisms or habitat.”

    [E5.] “Activities involving invasive techniques or methods that are conducted for scientific purposes, when such activities are conducted in accordance with all applicable provisions of the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Such activities will be limited to impacting living resources on a small scale relative to the size of the populations, and limited to methodologies and locations to ensure that there are no long-term adverse impacts to benthic habitats, essential fish habitat, critical habitat, or listed species.”

    [E6.] “Research that involves the development and testing of new and modified fishing gear and technology in order to reduce adverse effects from fishing gear on non-target species.”

    [E7.] “Collection of data and biological samples on fishing vessels or dockside as part of previously authorized commercial and/or recreational fishing activities.”

    [E8.] “Biological, chemical, or toxicological research conducted in closed system mesocosm/aquaculture facilities that are conducted according to recommended protocols that provide containment and disposal of chemicals, toxins, non-native species, etc., in compliance with established Federal and state regulatory guidelines, and best management practices.”

    Real and Personal Property Improvement, Maintenance, and Construction Actions

    [F1.] “Siting, construction (or modification), and operation of support buildings and support structures (including, but not limited to, trailers and prefabricated buildings) within or contiguous to an already developed area (where active utilities and currently used roads are readily accessible).”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover activities to place and operate trailers, modular buildings, storage buildings, or shipping units within or contiguous to an already developed area.

    [F2.] “In-kind replacement of personal property and fixtures and other components of real property when such activities do not result in a substantial change in the existing construction footprint. In-kind replacement includes installation of new components to replace outmoded components if the replacement does not result in a substantial change to the design capacity, or function of the facility.”

    NOAA proposes to make minor revisions to CE 6.03c.3(e) by breaking out a component of this CE into a separate CE. NOAA's use of the language “In-kind replacement includes installation of new components to replace outmoded components if the replacement does not result in a substantial change to the design capacity, or function of the facility” further clarifies the CE. The proposed changes and revisions do not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CEs in the 1999 NAO.

    [F3.] “(a) Routine repair, maintenance, and improvement of real and personal property, where such activities are required to maintain and preserve buildings, structures, infrastructures, vehicles, and equipment in a condition suitable to be used for its designed purpose.

    (b) New construction, expansion and/or improvement of facilities where all of the following conditions are met:

    (1) The site is in a developed area and/or a previously disturbed site;

    (2) The structure and proposed use are compatible with applicable Federal, Tribal, State, and local planning and zoning standards and consistent with Federally approved State coastal management programs and the National Historic Preservation Act;

    (3) The proposed use will not substantially increase the number of motor vehicles, marine vessels, or aircraft at the facility or in the area;

    (4) The site and scale of construction or improvement are consistent with those of existing, adjacent, or nearby buildings;

    (5) The construction or improvement will not result in uses that exceed existing infrastructure capacities (e.g., electrical, roads, sewer, water, parking);

    (6) The construction or improvement will not result in operational uses that adversely affect the surrounding community (e.g., noise); and

    (7) The community-valued view sheds are not adversely affected.

    (c) Installation, repair, maintenance, and enhancement of public access facilities and infrastructure, if the activity:

    (1) Is small-scale and nondestructive;

    (2) Is consistent with applicable right-of-way conditions and approved land use plans; and

    This CE does not apply where the project must be submitted to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) for review and NCPC determines that it does not have an applicable Categorical Exclusion.”

    NOAA proposes to break out and merge several portions of the following CEs: 6.03c.3(c) “minor improvements to an existing site (e.g., fences, roads, picnic facilities, etc.)”; 6.03c.3(e) “routine facility maintenance and repair”; 6.03c.3(f); 6.03c.3(g); and, 6.03c.3(i) “routine maintenance.” The proposed changes and revisions clarify the scope and applicability of the CE.

    [F4]. “Routine groundskeeping and landscaping activities where ground disturbance is limited to previously disturbed areas (e.g., previously filled paved, or cleared areas).”

    NOAA proposes to make minor revisions to CE 6.03c.3(e) by breaking out a portion of this CE into a separate CE. These types of actions are already covered in the portion of CE 6.03c.3(e) in “grounds-keeping activities.” The CE is limited to activities where ground disturbance is limited to previously disturbed areas. The proposed revisions do not result in a substantial change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [F5.] “Installation, operation, maintenance, improvements, repair, upgrade, removal, and/or replacement of instruments or instrument systems in or on:

    1. An existing structure or object (e.g., tower, antenna, building, pier, buoy, terrestrial vehicle, or bridge) or

    2. On previously disturbed (e.g., filled, paved, or cleared) ground, or

    3. On undisturbed ground, if the equipment installation, operation, and removal will require no or minimal ground disturbance.”

    Microwave/radio communications towers and antennas must be limited to 200 feet in height without guy wires. NOAA proposes a new CE to cover activities of installing, operating, repairing, maintaining, upgrading, removing and/or replacing instruments or instrument systems in or on an existing structure or object, or on previously disturbed ground or on undisturbed ground that involve either no or minimal ground disturbance.

    [F6.] “The determination that real property is excess to the needs of the Agency, when the real property is excessed in conformity with General Services Administration procedures or is legislatively authorized to be excessed.”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover declarations of real property as excess in conformance with General Services Administration procedures or as legislatively authorized.

    [F7.] “The disposal, demolition or removal of real property and related improvements, buildings and structures, including associated site restoration, and the disposal of personal property and debris in accordance with all applicable agency procedures and legal requirements.”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover the disposal, demolition or removal of real property and related improvements, buildings and structures, including associated restoration, and the disposal of property and debris in accordance with all applicable Agency procedures.

    Operation Actions

    [G1.] “Routine administrative actions such as (1) program planning, direction and evaluation, (2) administrative tasks, services and support including personnel and fiscal management, advisory services, document and policy preparation, and records management, and (3) development, establishment, and revisions to documents including, but not limited to interagency agreements, memoranda of understanding, memoranda of agreement, cooperative agreements, and university agreements. This CE does not include any associated activities proposed in these documents beyond the administrative task of creating and establishing the document. Actions subsequently funded by or undertaken pursuant to the approved documents may require additional NEPA review at the time those actions are proposed.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(d) to explicitly cover program planning, direction and evaluation; administrative tasks; development, establishment and revisions to administrative documents, including interagency agreements, memoranda of understanding, memoranda of agreement, cooperative agreements, and university agreements. Many of these types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(d) in “program planning and budgeting, including strategic planning and operational planning . . . executive direction; administrative services.” The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in a significant change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [G2.] “Routine movement of mobile assets, such as vessels and aircraft, for homeport reassignments or repair/overhaul, where no new support facilities are required.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(d) to explicitly cover routine movement of mobile assets. These types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(d) in “ship and aircraft operations.” The CE is limited to the routine movement of mobile assets for homeport reassignments or repair/overhaul, where no new support facilities to ensure that activities encompassed by the CE have no potential for significant effects on the environment under normal circumstances.

    [G3.] “Topographic, bathymetric, land use and land cover, geological, hydrologic mapping, charting, and surveying services that do not involve major surface or subsurface land disturbance and involve no permanent physical, chemical, or biological change to the environment.”

    NOAA proposes to break out and revise a portion of CE 6.03c.3(d) to cover certain mapping and surveying services and activities. Many of these types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(d) in “mapping, charting, and surveying services.” The CE is limited to activities that do not involve major surface or subsurface land disturbance and involve no permanent physical, chemical, or biological change to environment. The Working Group determined these limitations were necessary to ensure the activities encompassed by the CE have no potential for significant effects on the environment under normal circumstances.

    [G4.] “Basic environmental services and monitoring, such as weather observations, communications, analyses, and predictions; environmental satellite operations and services; digital and physical environmental data and information services; air and water quality observations and analysis, and IT operations. All such activities must be conducted within existing facilities.”

    [G4.] “Basic environmental services and monitoring, such as weather observations, communications, analyses, and predictions; environmental satellite operations and services; digital and physical environmental data and information services; air and water quality observations and analysis, and IT operations. All such activities must be conducted within existing facilities.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(d) to explicitly cover environmental satellite and environmental data and information service activities, environmental service activities, and air quality observations and analysis activities. These types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(d) in “basic environmental services and monitoring, such as weather observations, communications, analyses, and predictions; environmental satellite services; environmental data and information services;” and “air quality observations and analysis.” The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope of applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [G5.] “Enforcement operations conducted under legislative mandate such as the MSA, ESA, MMPA, the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 (Lacey), and/or the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. This does not include bringing judicial or administrative civil or criminal enforcement actions which are outside the scope of NEPA in accordance with 40 CFR 1508.18(a).”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(d) to explicitly cover enforcement operations. These types of actions are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(d) in “enforcement operations.” As noted in the language of the CE, 40 CFR 1508.18(a) provides that major federal actions subject to NEPA do not include “bringing judicial or administrative civil or criminal enforcement actions.” Accordingly, this CE only covers those enforcement operations outside of this scope that would not otherwise be excluded from NEPA. The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [G6.] “Actions that change the NEXRAD radar coverage patterns that do not lower the lowest scan elevation and do not result in direct scanning of previously non-scanned terrain by the NEXRAD main beam.”

    NOAA proposes no substantive changes to CE 6.03c.3(h). The phrase “actions that” was added for grammatical reasons. The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [G7.] “Preparation of policy directives, rules, regulations, and guidelines of an administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature, or for which the environmental effects are too broad, speculative or conjectural to lend themselves to meaningful analysis and will be subject later to the NEPA process, either collectively or on a case-by-case basis.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(i) to explicitly cover policy directives, order, regulations, and guidance. These types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(i) in “preparation of regulations, Orders, manuals or other guidance that implement, but do not substantially change these documents” and “policy directives, regulations, and guidelines of an administrative financial, legal, technical, or procedures nature, or the environmental effects of which are too broad, speculative, or conjectural to lend themselves to meaningful analysis and will be subject later to the NEPA process, either collectively or case-by-case.” The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [G8.] “Activities that are educational, informational, or advisory to other agencies, public and private entities, visitors, individuals, or the general public, including training exercises and simulations.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(i) to explicitly cover educational, informational, advisory, and consultative activities. These types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(i) in “activities which are educational, informational, advisory, or consultative to other agencies, public and private entities, visitors, individuals or the general public.” The Working Group determined that expressly including training exercises and simulations in the text of the CE clarified its scope and applicability for decision makers. The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [G9.] “Actions taken to identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, reduce, remove, dispose, or recycle marine debris when removal is undertaken in a non-destructive manner and actions are in accordance with Federal, State, and local laws and regulations for environmental protection, and where all relevant regulatory consultation, and/or permit requirements have been satisfied.”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover actions taken to identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, reduce, remove, dispose, or recycle marine debris. The CE is limited by the requirement that actions encompassed by the CE must be undertaken in a non-destructive manner and in accordance with Federal, State, and local laws and regulations for environmental protection and all relevant regulatory consultation and/or permit requirements have been satisfied.

    Acquisition and Leasing Actions

    [H1.] “Procurement of labor, equipment, materials, data and software needed to execute mission requirements in accordance with applicable procurement regulations, executive orders, and policies. This includes, but is not limited to, procurement of mobile and portable equipment that is stored in existing structures or facilities.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(e) and broaden the coverage of the CE to include activities to procure labor, equipment, materials, and software necessary to execute NOAA's mission, including, but not limited to the purchase of mobile and portable equipment to be stored in existing structures or facilities. A portion of these activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.0303.c(e) in “procurement contracts for NEPA documents.”

    [H2.] “Procurement of space by purchase or lease of or within an existing facility or structure in accordance with applicable procurement regulations, executive orders, and policies when there is no change in the general type of use, no new construction of buildings or utilities, and minimal change in design from the previous occupancy level.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(e) to explicitly cover procurement by purchase or lease of space within a previously occupied structure. These types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(e) in “acquisitions of space within an existing previously occupied structure, either by purchase or lease, where no change in the general type or use and minimal change from previous occupancy level is proposed.” The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [H3.] “Outgranting of government-controlled property in accordance with applicable regulations, executive orders, and policies to a Federal entity for any purpose consistent with the existing land or facility use or to a non-Federal entity, when the use will remain substantially the same.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of the CE in the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(e) to explicitly cover outgranting of government-controlled space. These types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(e) in “out-lease or license of government-controlled space, or sublease of government-leased space to a non-Federal tenant when the use will remain substantially the same.” The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO; the change in terminology from “out-lease” to outgranting is intended to more accurately capture the type of action covered.

    [H4.] “Acquisition of real property (including fee simple estates, leaseholds, and easements) that is not acquired through condemnation of a lease interest, and will not result in significant change in use and does not involve construction or modification.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of the CE in the 1999 NAO 6.03c.3(e) to explicitly cover procurement and lease of land. These types of activities are already covered in the portion of the 1999.

    NAO 6.03c.3(e) in “acquisition of land which is not in a floodplain or other environmentally sensitive area and does not result in condemnation.” NOAA proposes to remove the portion of the CE explicitly stating “which is not in a floodplain or other environmentally sensitive area.” NOAA revised its extraordinary circumstances to include environmental, historic, or cultural unique areas and floodplains, and therefore no longer required the text to be explicit within this CE. The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [H5.] “Granting easements or rights of entry to use NOAA controlled property for activities that, if conducted by NOAA, could be categorically excluded. Grants of easements or rights-of-way for the use of NOAA controlled real property complementing the use of existing rights-of-way or real property use for use by vehicles (not to include significant increases in vehicle loading); electrical, telephone, and other transmission and communication lines; water, wastewater, stormwater, and irrigation pipelines, pumping stations, and facilities; and similar utility and transportation uses.”

    NOAA proposes to create a new categorical exclusion to encompass the activity of granting an easement or right of entry to use NOAA-controlled property for activities that could be categorically excluded if conducted by NOAA.

    [H6.] “Relocation of employees into existing Federally-owned or commercially leased office space within the same metropolitan area not involving a substantial increase in the number of motor or other vehicles at a facility.”

    NOAA proposes to break out a portion of CE 6.03c.3(e) to explicitly cover relocation of employees. These types of actions are already covered in the portion of the 1999 NAO 9.03c.3(e) in “relocation of employees into existing Federally-owned or commercially leased office space within the same metropolitan area not involving a substantial number of employees or a substantial increase in the number of motor vehicles at a facility.” The proposed revision to break out a portion of the 1999 CE does not result in any change in scope or applicability from the CE in the 1999 NAO.

    [H7.] “Transferring real property to a non-Federal entity, an agency other than GSA, as well as to States, local agencies and Indian Tribes, including return of public domain lands to the Department of the Interior.”

    NOAA proposes a new CE to cover the transfer of real property to a federal agency other than the General Services Administration as well as to a non-Federal entity, including States, local agencies, and Indian tribes. This proposed CE also applies to the return of public domain lands to the Department of the Interior.

    Dated: November 9, 2016. Lois J. Schiffer, General Counsel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27567 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 121120640-6943-02] RIN 0648-XC365 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Determination on Whether To List the Harbor Seals in Iliamna Lake, Alaska as a Threatened or Endangered Species AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a listing determination.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, have completed our review of the status of eastern North Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) in Iliamna Lake, Alaska. Our review was in response to a petition to list these seals as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, we conclude that the seals in Iliamna Lake do not constitute a species, subspecies, or distinct population segment (DPS) under the ESA. As a result, we conclude that listing the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake, Alaska is not warranted.

    DATES:

    This listing determination is made as of November 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    This finding and supporting information are available on our Web page at: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/pr/harbor-seals. Supporting documentation used in preparing this listing determination is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the office of NMFS Alaska Region, Protected Resources Division, 709 West 9th Street, Room 461, Juneau, AK 99801. This documentation includes the petition, the Biological Review Team's DPS report, information provided by the public and interested parties, and scientific and commercial data gathered for the review.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mandy Migura, NMFS Alaska Region, (907) 271-1332; Jon Kurland, NMFS Alaska Region, (907) 586-7638; or Lisa Manning, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8466.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 19, 2012, we received a petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to list the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake, Alaska as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA, and to designate critical habitat concurrent with listing. CBD asserted that the harbor seals found in Iliamna Lake constitute a DPS of Pacific harbor seals and contended that the seals in Iliamna Lake face threats warranting protection as a listed species under the ESA. Iliamna Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Alaska and is connected to the Bristol Bay region of the Bering Sea by the Kvichak River.

    On May 17, 2013 (78 FR 29098), we found that the petition presented substantial information indicating that listing the seals in Iliamna Lake under the ESA may be warranted, and we requested comments from the public to inform our status review, and to help us determine whether these seals should be listed as threatened or endangered. To assist with our status review, we convened a Biological Review Team (BRT), composed of federal scientists with expertise in marine mammal biology and marine mammal genetics, to review the available information about the status of the species, and provide an assessment regarding the seals in Iliamna Lake. The BRT compiled information about the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake in a DPS Report (Boveng et al., 2016).

    In this notice, we announce our finding that the petitioned action to list harbor seals in Iliamna Lake under the ESA as either threatened or endangered is not warranted because the seals do not constitute a distinct population segment (DPS) and thus are not a separate “species,” as the ESA defines that term. Speficically, while we conclude that the seals are a discrete population, the best scientific and commercial data available suggest that they are not significant to the greater taxon to which they belong, i.e., the eastern North Pacific harbor seal subspecies (Phoca vitulina richardii).

    ESA Statutory, Regulatory, and Policy Considerations

    Section 3 of the ESA defines a “species” as “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” Section 3 of the ESA further defines an endangered species as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” and a threatened species as one “which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” Thus, we interpret an “endangered species” to be one that is presently in danger of extinction. A “threatened species,” on the other hand, is not presently in danger of extinction, but is likely to become so in the foreseeable future. In other words, the primary statutory difference between a threatened and endangered species is the timing of when a species may be in danger of extinction, either presently (endangered) or in the foreseeable future (threatened).

    Under section 4(a)(1) of the ESA, we must determine whether a species is threatened or endangered because of any one or a combination of the following factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or human-made factors affecting its continued existence. We must make this determination based solely on the best scientific and commercial data available after conducting a review of the status of the species and taking into account those efforts being made by states or foreign governments to protect the species.

    The first step in determining whether the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake warrant listing under the ESA is to assess if they meet the ESA's definition of “species.” Although there has been speculation regarding the taxonomy of the seals in Iliamna Lake (i.e., whether they are harbor seals, spotted seals, or hybrids), recent genetic analyses (O'Corry-Crowe 2013) provide a high degree of confidence these seals are harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). The data available are insufficient to suggest the seals in Iliamna Lake, Alaska are a separate subspecies of harbor seal apart from the subspecies P. v. richardii (Boveng et al., 2016), which ranges from Mexico to Alaska. Therefore, we assessed whether the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake constitute a distinct population segment of P. v. richardii.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and NMFS (the “Services”) adopted the Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Population Segments under the ESA (the DPS Policy, 61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996) to clarify the Services' interpretation of the term “distinct population segment” for the purposes of listing, delisting, and reclassifying vertebrates under the ESA. The DPS Policy establishes two criteria that must be met for a population or group of populations to be considered a DPS: (1) The population segment must be discrete in relation to the remainder of the species (or subspecies) to which it belongs; and (2) the population segment must be significant to the remainder of the species (or subspecies) to which it belongs. In this case, harbor seals in Iliamna Lake would need to be both discrete from and significant to the eastern North Pacific subspecies of harbor seals (P. v. richardii), to be designated as a DPS.

    If the seals in Iliamna Lake were found to meet the DPS criteria, we would then conduct a status review and determine whether they are threatened or endangered because of any one or a combination of the factors from section 4(a)(1) of the ESA. Such a determination would be based solely on the best scientific and commercial data available. Here, because we concluded that the seal population in Iliamna Lake is not a DPS, we did not conduct a status review of the population under section 4(a)(1) of the ESA.

    Harbor Seal Biology and Life History Physical Description

    Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) range in length and size from 1.5-1.9 meters (m) and 75-180 kilograms (kg) for males, and 1.4-1.7 m and 60-145 kg for females, with weights varying seasonally (Sease 1992). At birth, harbor seal pups are approximately 0.75-1.0 m in length and weigh 10-20 kg (Sease 1992). There is a large amount of natural variation in harbor seal coats with coloration ranging from tan/brown to light gray/black with patterns of spots, rings, and blotches that vary between individuals (Shaughnessy and Fay 1977; Kelly 1981). Variable patterns in seal coats have been well documented and may be a result of the age or sex of the animal, season, location, or the environment they inhabit (Shaughnessy and Fay 1977; Kelly 1981; Moss 1992; Caro et al., 2012). The stage of molting also has an impact on the appearance of their coats.

    Life History

    On average, harbor seals reach sexual maturity at the age of five for both females and males; however, females exhibit a larger range of age at maturity (Calkins and Pitcher 1979). The variation depends on population size and trend, body condition, and prey resources (Pitcher and Calkin 1979; Mclaren and Smith 1985; Atkinson 1997). Harbor seals in the eastern North Pacific subspecies also exhibit natural variation in the timing of pupping, ranging from March to September (Bigg 1969; Temte et al., 1991; Searse 1992), depending in part on general geographic location. Aerial surveys of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake since 2010 have documented that pupping occurs in the lake, with pups observed during aerial surveys in June, July, and August (Burns et al., 2012; Burns et al., 2013; Boveng et al., 2016; NMML unpubl. data).

    Harbor seals molt annually following pupping (Pitcher and Calkins 1979). Molting usually lasts 1-2 months, during which time seals spend a large amount of time hauled-out (Pitcher and Calkins 1979; Daniel et al., 2003). Molting occurs in stages across the body, affecting coloration and pattern of the coat throughout the molt.

    Harbor seals are considered opportunistic foragers and feed on a wide variety of prey found in marine, estuarine, and fresh waters (Carretta et al., 2015). Since they inhabit coastal waters, harbor seal dives are often less than 50 m and last 2-5 minutes (Bowen et al., 1999; Frost et al., 2001, 2006) which influences the prey species available for foraging. Alaskan harbor seals have been documented to forage on pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific sand lance, sculpins, Pacific salmon, trout, char, graylings, flatfishes, capelin, eulachon, smelt, and Pacific herring (Hobson et al., 1997; Iverson et al., 1997; Houser et al., 2008; Geiger et al., 2013). Power and Gregoire (1978) report harbor seal diet in Lower Seal Lake, Quebec being dominated by lake and brook trout. Harbor seals have also been documented to follow salmon and other anadromous fish up rivers and into freshwater lakes where they may remain for extended periods (e.g. Bigg 1969a, 1981, and Hoover 1988 as cited in Sease 1992; Middlemas et al., 2006). One of the largest sockeye salmon populations in the world run up the Kvichak River into Iliamna Lake annually in June and July. Harbor seals have been observed to follow these fish runs seasonally from Bristol Bay, although whether those seals enter Iliamna Lake has not been documented.

    Distribution and Abundance

    Harbor seals are one of the most widespread pinniped species and are found throughout the northern hemisphere, ranging from temperate to polar regions. As of 2008, the worldwide harbor seal population was estimated between 350,000 and 500,000 mature individuals (Thompson and Härkönen 2008). Currently, there are five recognized subspecies of harbor seals: P. v. vitulina in the eastern Atlantic; P. v. concolor in the western Atlantic; P. v. mellonae in some lakes and rivers draining into eastern Hudson Bay; P. v. richardii in the eastern North Pacific; and P. v. stejnegeri (also known as P. v. kurilensis) in the western North Pacific (Rice 1998; Berta and Churchill 2012).

    The harbor seals found in Iliamna Lake are classified as part of the subspecies P. v. richardii, also commonly referred to as eastern North Pacific harbor seals. Eastern North Pacific harbor seals range from Mexico to Alaska (Carretta et al., 2015), with an estimated abundance of 360,000 individuals (DFO 2010). More than 205,000 harbor seals occur in Alaska (Muto and Angliss 2015).

    Eastern North Pacific harbor seals in Alaska are divided into 12 separate stocks under the Marine Mammal Protection Act; however, these stocks do not represent taxonomic delineations, and all 12 stocks are part of the subspecies P. v. richardii. Harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are part of the Bristol Bay stock, which was estimated at approximately 32,350 individuals based on a 2011 survey (Muto and Angliss 2015), an increase from the estimated 18,577 seals in 2005 (Allen and Angliss 2014).

    Aerial surveys of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake have primarily been conducted in the summer and have consistently documented fewer than 350 animals (Mathisen and Kline 1992; Small 2001; Withrow and Yano 2009; Burns et al., 2012; Burns et al., 2013; NMML unpubl. data). The standard protocol for harbor seal aerial surveys is that only seals on land are counted and seals in the water are not counted (Burns et al., 2011; Burns et al., 2013). It is likely that not all seals haul-out at the same time and some seals present in the water were not counted during the surveys of Iliamna Lake. Thus, the actual number of seals in Iliamna Lake at the time of these surveys may have been greater than the number of seals reported during the aerial surveys. To estimate abundance and trends in seal numbers in Iliamna Lake, a simple demographic model was developed (Boveng et al., in prep as reported in Boveng et al., 2016). That model indicates that the number of seals in the lake, about 400, has been relatively stable from 1984-2013 with little to no evidence of a trend over the past 5,10, and 15-year horizons. In 2011, household surveys of local residents from six communities in the Iliamna Lake region were conducted. Based upon a synthesis of the information provided by this local traditional knowledge (LTK) of Iliamna Lake residents, the population size of seals in the lake was believed to be approximately 329 individuals, with a general belief that the population was increasing (Burns et al., 2013).

    Habitat Use and Movements

    Harbor seals typically inhabit near-shore coastal waters, but are well known for their use of estuaries and rivers, and have been recorded over 200 kilometers (km) upstream (see review in COSEWIC 2007). Harbor seals are known to haul-out on a variety of natural and manmade substrates which include beaches, sandbars, rocks, islands, ice, docks, piers, and boats. Their varied haul-out substrates are an example of the behavioral plasticity of harbor seals to adapt to a range of environmental settings and conditions (Komers 1997; Vincent et al., 2010).

    Harbor seals are often described as a sedentary, non-migratory species, with considerable site fidelity to one or a few haul-outs, with large scale movements being rare. Traditional thinking is that harbor seals generally stay within 50 km of a primary haul-out site (e.g., see Peterson et al., 2012). However, Burns (2002) states this is a “gross oversimplification” and instead states that harbor seals move quite extensively in some cases, including movements characterized as “migrations, juvenile dispersal, seasonal shifts, shifts related to breeding activity, responses to seals habitat exclusion, responses to acute or chronic disturbance, and immigration/emigration, occasionally on a relatively large scale.” Satellite tagging studies document that harbor seals have large home ranges with haul-out sites that vary seasonally and by individual, with some seals migrating hundreds of km between breeding and post-breeding habitats (e.g., Lowry et al., 2001; Lesage et al., 2004; Peterson et al., 2012; Womble and Gende 2013). These studies also report strong evidence of site fidelity by harbor seals to their breeding or locations where they were tagged during summer. In the St. Lawrence estuary in Canada, over half of the satellite tagged harbor seals left their summer haul-out areas once solid ice formed within the bays of the estuary, and migrated between 65 km and 520 km to over-wintering sites (Lesage et al., 2004). In the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Hardee (2008) reported that harbor seal movements up to 100 km from the tagging site occurred most frequently outside of the breeding season, and that some adult males made trips in excess of 200 km roundtrip that lasted 1-8 weeks between April and August. Hardee (2008) observed long-distance and long-duration movements by harbor seals throughout the study period, with males making multiple roundtrip movements greater than 200 km that were not associated with a migratory over-wintering behavior. Hardee's (2008) study, as well as a study of harbor seals from the Wadden Sea, Denmark (Tougaard et al., 2003 as cited in Hardee 2008), contradict the traditional view that harbor seals reside in a limited geographic area and do not leave that home area for extended periods of time. Peterson et al. (2012) documented adult male harbor seals in the Pacific Northwest moving rapidly between haul-outs, at times traveling over 100 km in about two days. That study also concluded that some adult male harbor seals had secondary haul-out sites greater than 100 km from the primary haul-out site; that the locations of, and distances between, primary and secondary haul-outs varied by seal; and that seasonal migrations over 100 km by adult male seals were more common than previously believed. In Alaska, Lowry et al. (2001) reported juvenile harbor seal movements of 300-500 km, and Womble and Gende (2013) documented extensive migrations of harbor seals from Glacier Bay during the post-breeding season, with some females traveling to Prince William Sound, a distance up to 900 km one way. A harbor seal tagged in the Egegik and Ugashik region of eastern Bristol Bay traveled in excess of 470 km, and 8 of 14 tagged harbor seals traveled in excess of 100 km from a major haul-out site (ADF&G unpubl. data).

    There is also variation in individual movements of harbor seals within a population, with some seals traveling great distances seasonally while others stay within a smaller area year-round. Womble and Gende (2013) noted that some harbor seals in Glacier Bay, Alaska, were residents year-round whereas others were migratory. For the migrating harbor seals, there was a high degree of site fidelity back to Glacier Bay the following pupping/breeding season despite the extensive migration away from the breeding area during the post-breeding season (Womble and Gende 2013). Lesage et al. (2004) documented that half of the tagged harbor seals in the St. Lawrence estuary in Canada left their summer haul-out areas and migrated up to 520 km to over-wintering sites, whereas the other half stayed year-round. Peterson et al. (2012) concluded that some harbor seals in the Pacific Northwest had spatially separated primary and secondary haul-outs, while other seals stayed relatively close to a primary haul-out year-round. Sharples et al. (2012) documented highly variable individual harbor seal movements for seals tagged in the British Isles. This study also concluded that region and season better explained the variation in foraging movements than the individual seal's sex, size, and body condition (Sharples et al. 2012), suggesting the local habitat conditions and distance to profitable feeding grounds may influence the foraging movements of the seals.

    No harbor seals in Iliamna Lake have been satellite tagged, thus there are no data available about harbor seals movements in Iliamna Lake comparable to those discussed in the preceding paragraphs. Data on habitat use and movements of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are from aerial surveys documenting locations where harbor seals were hauled-out (e.g., Mathisen and Kline 1992; Small 2001; Withrow and Yano 2009; Burns et al., 2012; Burns et al., 2013), and the LTK of residents, including Alaska Native subsistence hunters around Iliamna Lake (e.g., Burns et al., 2013; Van Lanen et al., 2013). In Iliamna Lake, hauled-out harbor seals are observed primarily in the northeastern portion of the lake, but some local residents report seeing seals in the southwestern portion of the lake, especially near the Kvichak River and Igiugig (Burns et al., 2013). The majority of aerial surveys of Iliamna Lake were conducted during the summer/ice-free season, with a small number of recent (2010-2013) surveys also flown during the winter/ice-present season. The recent aerial surveys documented seasonal variations in seal presence and abundance in the lake, with significantly greater numbers of seals observed hauled-out during the summer pupping and molting periods (e.g., 237 seals observed August 4, 2013) than during the winter (e.g., 9 seals observed April 4, 2013) (Burns et al., 2011; Withrow et al., 2012; Burns et al., 2012; Burns et al., 2013; NMML unpubl. data).

    While harbor seals are known to haul-out on ice, recent aerial surveys have documented few seals hauled-out during winter surveys in Iliamna Lake. For example, an aerial survey flown in April 2010, when the lake was almost completely frozen-over, documented only 11 seals; observers reported they “did not see any areas that could support the several hundred seals that have been documented in the summer” (Withrow et al., 2011). Another aerial survey in April 2013 observed only nine hauled-out seals (NMML unpubl. data). Although fewer seals are documented during winter months, there has been some speculation, primarily by some local residents (Burns et al., 2013; Van Lanen et al., 2013), that all the seals remain in the lake year-round and are undetectable during winter aerial surveys. It is possible seals present in the lake in winter are not observed because they are either in the water or they are under the ice in areas with air pockets, which may become accessible along shorelines when the lake's water level drops after a heavy layer of ice has formed at the surface. The particular environmental condition of under-ice air pockets has been scientifically documented in the Lacs des Loups Marins in Canada (Twomey 1939 as cited in Smith and Horonowitsch 1987; Smith and Horonowitsch 1987). The Lacs des Loups Marins are home to harbor seals in subspecies P. v. mellonae, who reside in freshwater lakes year-round and are believed to use under ice haul-outs when the lakes are iced-over (Smith and Horonowitsch 1987; Smith 1997; DFO 2016). While neither this environmental condition nor the use of under-ice air pockets by harbor seals have been scientifically assessed in Iliamna Lake, the use of under ice air pockets or chambers could explain why fewer seals are observed in Iliamna Lake when it is frozen compared to when it is not. However, this theory does not explain why only eight seals were counted in November 2010 (Burns et al., 2011) when the lake was not iced-over. There currently is no scientific evidence available to determine whether air chambers or haul-outs are used by seals under the ice in Iliamna Lake during the winter; however, local residents have reported hearing seals under the ice in such spaces (Burns et al., 2013). Regardless of the number of seals present in winter, the aerial surveys provide scientific evidence of some level of year-round presence of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake.

    Conclusions drawn from recent aerial surveys suggest that some harbor seals may be year-round residents of Iliamna Lake whereas other harbor seals may seasonally migrate to and from the lake (Burns et al., 2011; Withrow et al., 2011; Burns et al., 2012; Burns et al., 2013). Some of the LTK regarding the migration patterns of seals in Iliamna Lake are inconsistent, and collectively they do not provide clarity (see Burns et al., 2013). Some LTK reports indicate harbor seals migrate between Iliamna Lake and Bristol Bay and are frequently seen traversing the Kvichak River (e.g., Alvarez 2013; Burns et al., 2013; Igiugig Tribal Village Council 2013; Mohr 2013; Wilson 2013), while other reports indicate that the seals do not migrate and are present in the lake year-round (e.g., Burns et al., 2013; Jacko 2013; Mohr 2013). Local residents around Iliamna Lake indicate that observations of harbor seals in the Kvichak River are typically made beginning in spring, peak during mid-summer, and decline to zero in the winter months; however, some residents of Levelock on the Kvichak River have observed seals in the river in the winter (Burns et al., 2013). This suggests that the Kvichak River may be used seasonally as a migration route between Iliamna Lake and Bristol Bay.

    No scientific data are available to determine whether enough fish remain in Iliamna Lake to support hundreds of seals during winter. Some LTK indicates that the lake may not have sufficient food available to support the number of seals observed in summer months on a year-round basis. A local seal hunter recently noted that two seals harvested during two consecutive winters in the lake had not “one drop of food in the stomach or intestines” (Burns et al., 2013). Another seal hunter recollected shooting a seal in March one year that was very skinny and had no fat on it, and speculated that during cold winters there was inadequate food for the seals (Burns et al., 2013). However, the hunter also mentioned that it was very rare to find a skinny seal in Iliamna Lake. During our public comment period we received a comment that provided calculations of the abundance of non-salmonid freshwater fish available during the overwinter period and indicated that a population of approximately 300 seals could not be sustained on the levels of freshwater fish available in the winter. We have no information to support or refute the calculations provided by the commenter.

    Alternatively, there may be adequate abundance of prey available in the lake year-round, but some seals could leave the lake in winter for other reasons. In the St. Lawrence estuary, a study of satellite-tagged harbor seals found that seals left summer haul-out areas when solid ice formed within the bays of the estuary despite “evidence of high abundance of potential prey for harbor seals in the estuary during winter” (Lesage et al., 2004). This study concluded that availability of prey in winter “is not the primary factor which influences the movement and distribution patterns of harbor seals” (Lesage et al., 2004). As discussed earlier, harbor seals have been documented to have spatially separated home ranges which vary seasonally (e.g. Lowry et al., 2001; Lesage et al., 2004; Peterson et al., 2012; Womble and Gende 2013), but also high site fidelity to breeding locations. Thus, it is plausible that some harbor seals from Bristol Bay seasonally follow the salmon to Iliamna Lake and return to Bristol Bay for winter, but there are no data available either to support or refute this scenario.

    Whether seals migrate seasonally between Iliamna Lake and Bristol Bay has not been scientifically investigated, with the exception of a few recent aerial surveys of Iliamna Lake and the Kvichak River. Aerial surveys of the Kvichak River (five complete or partial river surveys conducted from 2008-2013) have failed to document harbor seal presence in the river (Burns et al., 2013), but it is possible that seals in the river may have been missed during the surveys or that the surveys were conducted when seals were not using the river. For example, during an aerial survey in 2011, the survey crew received a report of seals in a tributary of the Kvichak River near Kastinak Flats, but the survey crew was unable to locate the seals when they flew over the area approximately 30 minutes later (Burns et al., 2013; D. Withrow, NMML, pers. comm.). Additionally, Burns et al., (2013) postulated that seals present in the Kvichak River may not be accounted for as a result of the survey methodology, which only counts seals hauled-out, not those in the water. Other reports suggest harbor seals are regularly seen throughout the Kvichak River (Burns et al., 2013; Van Lanen et al., 2013; ADF&G unpubl. data). Of 14 harbor seals satellite tagged in Egegik and Ugashik Bays within eastern Bristol Bay in 2000 and 2001, none were documented in the Kvichak River or Iliamna Lake (ADF&G unpubl. data). However, the sample size is too small to conclude that migration between Bristol Bay and Iliamna Lake does not occur. We did not find any scientific evidence to conclude the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake constitute a closed population with no migration between the lake and marine waters, and the documented LTK on this question was inconsistent. In the absence of persuasive evidence of a closed population, for purposes of our DPS assessment, we assumed that harbor seal migration between Iliamna Lake and Bristol Bay (or beyond) is possible.

    Subsistence Harvest

    Harbor seals are an important resource for Alaska Native communities surrounding Iliamna Lake. Harbor seals are not only a food source, but also provide materials that can be used for clothing, handicrafts, and cultural traditions. Reports of harvesting harbor seals by indigenous people around Iliamna Lake date back to the early 1800s and LTK suggests that seals have inhabited the lake for many centuries (Fall et al., 2006; Van Lanen 2012; Burns et al., 2013). The majority of hunting occurs during February and March; however, some animals have been harvested in summer and occasionally in winter (Burns et al., 2013). Seven communities around Iliamna Lake and along the Kvichak River were surveyed regarding their harvest of marine mammals: Pedro Bay, Pope-Vannoy Landing, Kokhanok, Newhalen, Igiugig, Iliamna, and Levelock (Burns et al., 2013). Between 1982 and 2011, approximately 150 seals were harvested in Iliamna Lake; however, there is a marked difference in the number of seals harvested each of those years (Burns et al., 2013). For instance, there were no reported harvests of seals in 1982 and 1996, yet 33 were harvested in 1991. The most recent survey in 2011 reported that 44 percent of households surveyed from these seven communities used “freshwater” harbor seal products and 13 percent used “saltwater” harbor seal products in some capacity, resulting from an estimated harvest of 29 seals (five “saltwater” and 24 “freshwater”) (Burns et al., 2013).

    Distinct Population Segment (DPS) Assessment

    As described above, only species, subspecies, and DPSs are eligible for listing as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA. A DPS is a population or group of populations of a vertebrate species that meet both the “discreteness” and “significance” criteria of our DPS policy (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996). If a population segment is found to be discrete and significant, it is a DPS and is considered a “species” under the ESA. If the population is not both discrete and significant, it does not meet the criteria for designation as a DPS and does not qualify as a “species” as defined by the ESA; thus, we need not evaluate its status relative to the factors in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA because it cannot be listed as a threatened or endangered species. Our assessment first addresses the discreteness of the harbor seals found in Iliamna Lake, and then addresses whether these seals are significant to P. v. richardii, as these terms are defined in our DPS policy (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996).

    As discussed above, we know from formal scientific studies and LTK that at least some harbor seals are present in the lake year-round; i.e. are residents of Iliamna Lake. What is not clear from the science or LTK is whether harbor seals from Bristol Bay migrate to Iliamna Lake. The BRT considered four scenarios: (1) The population of seals in Iliamna Lake is self-sustaining with seals being year-round residents of the lake, and no migration of seals from Bristol Bay into the lake occurs; (2) there are resident seals in the lake, and some seals from Bristol Bay migrate to the lake during the summer, but there is no interbreeding of seals from the two regions and the Bristol Bay seals do not stay in the lake during winter; (3) Iliamna Lake contains a mix of seals born in the lake and those born in the marine environment but who migrated to the lake (either temporarily or permanently), and these seals are interbreeding; or (4) there is no self-sustaining population of seals in the lake and migration is necessary to sustain the population of seals in the lake. The BRT found three of the four scenarios to be plausible, favoring explanations 1 and 2, but not ruling out 3. None of the BRT members considered the forth scenario likely (Boveng et al., 2016). For our DPS analyses, we recognize that questions remain regarding whether there is migration, and references below to seals in or from Iliamna Lake are not meant to imply that their birth location (either in Iliamna Lake or the marine environment) is known, but rather are an indication of the seals' location in Iliamna Lake at time of observation or sampling.

    Discreteness

    We first sought to determine whether the harbor seal population in Iliamna Lake is discrete in relation to the remainder of the taxon to which it belongs (i.e., the eastern North Pacific harbor seal subspecies, P. v. richardii). A population segment of a vertebrate species may be considered discrete if it satisfies either one of the following conditions specified in our DPS policy: “(1) it is markedly separated from other populations of the same taxon as a consequence of physical, physiological, ecological, or behavioral factors. Quantitative measures of genetic or morphological discontinuity may provide evidence of this separation; or (2) it is delimited by international governmental boundaries within which differences in control of exploitation, management of habitat, conservation status, or regulatory mechanisms exist that are significant in light of section 4(a)(1)(D) of the ESA.” Because Iliamna Lake is entirely within the United States, the second discreteness criterion identified above is not relevant. Thus, we focused our assessment of discreteness on whether the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are markedly separated from other harbor seals in the subspecies P. v. richardii, with emphasis on the nearest harbor seal stock in adjacent Bristol Bay. In addition to examining four categories of factors (i.e., physical, physiological, ecological, or behavioral factors) as mechanisms with the potential for providing marked separation by limiting the dispersal of breeders between populations, the BRT recognized that dispersal rates often cannot be directly measured in natural populations. As such, the BRT also decided to separately review the available genetic information for evidence of separation.

    Physical Factors: Iliamna Lake is located at the base of the Alaska Peninsula, where it drains through the Kvichak River into Bristol Bay. Thus, harbor seal habitat in Iliamna Lake is separated from the nearest habitat commonly used by harbor seals in Bristol Bay by the Kvichak River. Reports regarding the length of the Kvichak River vary, with some older documents reporting the river is approximately 80 km (50 mi) in length (e.g., Orth 1971; BLM 2004), whereas more recent reports suggest it is closer to 115-120 km (71-75 mi) (e.g., Withrow and Yano 2009; Boveng et al., 2016; validated by a measurement of the river path between Kogging and Iliamna Lake using a high resolution topographic map). The discrepancy in reported distances of the river could be explained by changes in the river itself over time, variances in the starting and ending measurement points, or by using straight-line measurements on a map versus tracing the path of the river.

    Although seals are found predominantly in the northeast region of Iliamna Lake, the most recent studies indicate harbor seals are found throughout Iliamna Lake, in rivers draining into the lake (Iliamna, Newhalen, and Gilbralter rivers), and throughout the Kvichak River (Alvarez 2013; Burns et al., 2011; Burns et al., 2012; Burns et al., 2013; Igiugig Tribal Village Council 2013; Mohr 2013; Van Lanen et al., 2013; Wilson 2013). The distance that seals would have to travel from the lake to Bristol Bay is well within the known distances that harbor seals travel (see previous discussion in “Habitat Use and Movements”). Thus, the evidence available does not indicate that the length of the Kvichak River nor the distance to the northeast region of Iliamna Lake (approximately 180 km from Bristol Bay) would be a physical barrier separating seals in Iliamna Lake from those in Bristol Bay.

    Physical factors that could impede harbor seal passage in the Kvichak River include shallow braided sandbars and ice cover during winter. Although poorly adapted for travel on land, harbor seals in other areas have been suspected to cross land up to 0.15 km long and on inclines as steep as 25 degrees to get from one body of water to another (COSEWIC 2007), so it is reasonable to assume harbor seals have the capability to cross shallow braided sandbars in the Kvichak River.

    Millions of sockeye salmon enter Iliamna Lake from marine waters annually via the Kvichak River along with other species of anadromous salmon. Also, another marine mammal species has been reported to travel to Iliamna Lake via the Kvichak River. Beluga whales, which are less agile and much larger than harbor seals, have been documented in the Kvichak River (Frost et al., 1983; Quakenbush 2002) in the spring, summer, and fall (Chythlook and Coiley 1994) and have been observed near Igiugig (Burns et al., 2013; Wilson 2013) and in Iliamna Lake (Mohr 2013). Thus, the available evidence suggests the Kvichak River is passable for harbor seals, at least part of the year when the river is not frozen over.

    Individual BRT members were not in agreement regarding the scientific support for discreteness due to physical factors, but concluded “no strong evidence was found either for or against marked separation by physical barriers between harbor seals in Iliamna Lake and those in Bristol Bay” (Boveng et al., 2016). When we considered the best available information indicating that there is access between Iliamna Lake and Bristol Bay via the Kvichak River, which is passable at least part of the year, and that the distance between the two locations is within documented migration distances of harbor seals, along with with the opinion of the BRT, we concluded that the best available information does not support a conclusion that there is separation due to physical factors. As such, we find that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not markedly separated from other harbor seals of the subspecies P. v. richardii as a consequence of physical factors.

    Physiological Factors: Unlike the Lacs des Loups Marins harbor seals in Canada, a landlocked population that lives exclusively in freshwater lakes and rivers and has documented physiological differences from the adjacent harbor seal population in marine waters (Smith et al., 1994), no studies exist suggesting there are statistically significant morphological or physiological differences between harbor seals in Iliamna Lake and other members of the subspecies P. v. richardii. Consequently, our discreteness analysis considered other types of evidence which may suggest physiological differences. Specifically, we considered observations obtained primarily from those with LTK of seals in Iliamna Lake having a different size, taste, pelage, and timing of pupping as compared to seals in Bristol Bay.

    The concentration and availability of salmon to seals in Iliamna Lake in the summer may account for perceived differences reported by LTK in size and taste of seals in Iliamna Lake compared to seals in Bristol Bay. For example, several respondents of a recent LTK survey indicated that the “physical size of the seals grows every year following the salmon runs” (Burns et al., 2013), suggesting high availability and consumption of energy-rich salmon results in growth of seals during the summer. While the well-fed seals may have experienced salmon-fueled growth, the flavor of the harvested seals has been reported to become less desirable after the salmon runs, which is reportedly why seals in Iliamna Lake are not normally hunted in fall (Burns et al., 2013). The LTK perception of differences in pelage pattern and coloration is conflicting (see Burns et al., 2013), and no formal studies have been conducted to determine if there are significant differences in pelage patterns for harbor seals in Iliamna Lake versus elsewhere. Burns et al., (2013) speculate that the timing of the harvest of harbor seals in relation to the timing of the annual molt may play a role in the perceptions of difference in pelage texture or coloration. The observed variances in taste, body size, and pelage traits are more likely a reflection of seasonal diet, normal phenotypic plasticity, and individual variation rather than an indication that the seals in Iliamna Lake are physiologically distinct from those in the adjacent marine environment.

    The timing of pupping for eastern North Pacific harbor seals ranges from March to September (Bigg 1969; Temte et al., 1991; Sease 1992). In Iliamna Lake, LTK reports about the timing of pupping are variable, with some reports of seal pups born on the lake ice during March and April, and other reports indicating pups are born during the first half of June (Burns et al., 2013). LTK observations of seal pup sightings in Iliamna Lake ranged from February to September, with the majority of pup sightings between April and August (Burns et al., 2013). Between 2009 and 2013, aerial surveys of Iliamna Lake documented newborn pups in June, July, and August (Burns et al., 2013). Both aerial survey observations and local resident observations of newborn seal pups in Iliamna Lake are within the normal range of pupping dates for the eastern North Pacific harbor seal subspecies.

    Jemison and Kelly (2001) and Reijnders et al. (2010) showed that the timing of harbor seal pupping in the same location can shift by as much as several weeks over the course of a few decades. A review of data from 1975-2006 for harbor seals in Nanvek Bay, Alaska, (which is the main location within Bristol Bay for which harbor seal pupping data are available) indicates that the average peak pupping date can vary by a couple of weeks over just a few years (e.g., June 18 in 2002 vs. July 3 in 2006; see Table 1 in Boveng et al., 2016). This observed natural variation in timing of harbor seal pupping, along with scarcity of available data, may account for seemingly conflicting information in the scientific literature about the timing of pupping in Iliamna Lake relative to other harbor seals in Alaska (e.g., Burns et al., 2013 states “when compared to Bristol Bay seals only, the timing of pupping in Iliamna does not appear to be substantially delayed” versus Withrow et al. (2011) which states “Elsewhere in Alaska we observe harbor seals pupping much earlier, in May and June”). According to the BRT report (Boveng et al., 2016), the latest peak pupping date estimated for the Nanvek Bay region of Bristol Bay was July 5 (1990). Iliamna Lake aerial surveys flown in 2010, 2011, and 2013 indicate that the earliest peak pupping date was July 9 (2010). Sparse data about pupping dates in both Bristol Bay and Iliamna Lake lead us to conclude that while we do not know the precise timing of peak pupping of harbor seals in either region, we do know that timing of peak pupping can vary by a couple of weeks among years within a given location. Therefore, an overlap of the timing of pupping between seals in Bristol Bay and Iliamna Lake is possible, even though there may be a 15-day delay in the average peak pupping date in Iliamna Lake (July 12) versus the average peak pupping date in Nanvek Bay (June 27) (see Boveng et al., 2016). Burns et al. (2013) also concluded that compared to Bristol Bay, the timing of pupping in Iliamna Lake does not appear to be substantially delayed. A model developed to estimate the abundance and trend of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake (Boveng et al., in prep as cited in Boveng et al., 2016) predicted a peak pupping date of July 20 (versus the July 12 peak pupping date suggested by a simple average of the dates of maximum pup counts presented in Table 1 of the BRT Report); however, there was substantial imprecision in the model's estimate for the peak of pup counts in the lake.

    Individual BRT members were not all in agreement regarding the degree of scientific support for discreteness based upon marked separation due to physiological factors. Regarding differences in physiological traits such as pelage coloration or texture and seal size and taste, the BRT report stated “whether any of these differences truly reflect physiological differences or separation is not clear, and the BRT was unaware of any documentation that these traits are heritable and would indicate separation or novel genetic diversity” (Boveng et al., 2016). Regarding physiological separation based on the notion that pupping in Iliamna Lake is potentially delayed by two to six weeks when compared to nearby populations, the BRT stated, “The sparsity of information currently available for Iliamna Lake, imprecision in determining the timing for any of the comparison populations, and the length of the harbor seal pupping period (approximately 6-10 weeks), reduce the confidence that can be placed on the apparent difference” (Boveng et al., 2016).

    When we considered all the evidence currently available to us, including the lack of direct measures of physiological factors, the possibility that perceived differences in seals' appearance may be the result of natural individual variation, the imprecision of estimating pupping dates due to limited data, the potential overlap of pupping seasons between Iliamna Lake and Bristol Bay, and the large timeframe (March to September) for typical pupping times across the eastern North Pacific harbor seal taxon, we concluded that the available information is too weak for us to make a determination that there is separation based on physiological factors. As such, based on the available evidence, we find that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not markedly separated from other harbor seals of the subspecies P. v. richardii as a consequence of physiological factors.

    Ecological Factors: Harbor seals are known to pursue and aggregate around concentrations of anadromous prey, particularly salmon (e.g., London et al., 2001, Orr et al., 2004, and Wright et al., 2007, as cited in Peterson et al., 2012; Middlemas et al., 2006; Hauser et al., 2008). Changes in distribution of seasonally abundant prey in the Pacific Northwest have been suggested as a possible explanation for seasonal movements of harbor seals in that area (Peterson et al., 2012), as harbor seals may move deliberately to exploit regions of higher prey availability (Hardee 2008). In Alaska, movements of 125 km by adult female harbor seals have coincided with seasonal eulachon runs in the Copper River Delta (Lowry et al., 2001). Savarese and Burns (2010) documented peak harbor seal numbers coincident with peaks in regional salmon abundance in the Bering Glacier region, and contended the salmon attracted large numbers of harbor seals to the region. Peterson et al. (2012) speculated that the observations of harbor seals using spatially separated haul-out sites on a seasonal basis may be related to seasonal changes in prey distribution and foraging opportunities.

    Hauser et al. (2008) examined foraging by harbor seals in Iliamna Lake during July and August, when salmon are very abundant in the lake, and reported that the seals predominately fed on large salmonids (salmon, trout, char, and graylings) during the summer months. In addition to salmonids, Hauser et al. (2008) documented lampreys, smelts, sculpins, whitefishes, sticklebacks, and other unidentified prey items in the scat samples of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake. Thus, harbor seals in Iliamna Lake appear to be opportunistic feeders, consistent with the general pattern of harbor seals foraging on a wide variety of fish and invertebrate prey across their range, with regional differences in diet diversity (Jemison 2001; COSEWIC 2007). The prey items and seasonal concentration of salmon in the diet of seals in Iliamna Lake are consistent with those documented for harbor seals in other freshwater systems. For example, Middlemas et al. (2006) documented a summer peak in the contribution of salmonid prey to the diet of harbor seals observed in a Scottish river system; Beck et al. (1970) documented a seal in Edehon Lake, Canada with both trout and whitefish in its stomach; and Power and Gregoire (1978) reported that harbor seals in lakes ate various freshwater fish present in the lakes, including trout. Smith et al. (1996) examined stomachs of four harbor seals from the Lacs des Loups Marins which contained in large part lake whitefish, lake trout, and brook trout. Scat collected in the Nanvak Bay region of Bristol Bay also showed that harbor seals have a diverse diet, including some of the same types of prey species consumed in Iliamna Lake (e.g., salmon, smelts, sculpins) as well as other prey species (e.g., codfishes, herring, squid/octopus) (Jemison 2001).

    Stable isotope analyses of whiskers and muscle tissue can provide some insights about harbor seal diets from several months prior to the date the samples were collected. Samples collected from a small number of subsistence harvested harbor seals from Iliamna Lake provide preliminary evidence that those specific seals consumed freshwater fish during the previous winter (Burns et al., 2013). These preliminary data and the typical timing of ice melt in the Kvichak River and Iliamna Lake (May-June) suggest that these samples were most likely collected from seals which had overwintered in the lake. However, these preliminary stable isotope data are not especially revealing due to the lack of data on whisker growth rates, tissue turnover times, and direct measures of the isotopic signature of potential prey resources (Burns et al., 2013).

    If ecological factors prevented harbor seals in Iliamna Lake from mixing with other harbors seals during mating season, then there could be marked separation as a result of lack of opportunities for interbreeding. However, when considering the timing of the annual ice melt in the Kvichak River and Iliamna Lake, the sockeye salmon runs into Iliamna Lake, and the presumed mating seasons of seals in Bristol Bay and in Iliamna Lake, the BRT concluded that the timing of these events would not preclude opportunities for interbreeding by seals migrating from Bristol Bay to Iliamna Lake (Boveng et al., 2016).

    The BRT members were in general agreement regarding the degree of scientific support for discreteness based upon marked separation due to ecological factors, and concluded there was “no strong evidence for separation” as a result of any of the ecological factors considered. Based on the available evidence, we find that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not markedly separated from other harbor seals of the subspecies P. v. richardii as a result of ecological factors.

    Behavioral Factors: There are no scientific or LTK data available to assess whether mating behaviors (e.g., vocalizations or mate attraction displays) differ for seals in Iliamna Lake relative to those in Bristol Bay or other areas of the eastern North Pacific harbor seal range. Absent data available regarding mating behaviors of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake, the BRT construed the selection of relatively remote pupping sites in the northeastern region of Iliamna Lake (nearly 200 km from pupping sites in Bristol Bay) to be a behavior, and suggested the selection of the unusual location was evidence of some degree of separation, especially given harbor seals' site fidelity to breeding locations. The selection of distant pupping sites could be interpreted to mean that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not freely breeding with harbor seals in Bristol Bay, and lead to a conclusion there is marked separation. However, even a small amount of breeding dispersal from marine populations of harbor seals into Iliamna Lake could render the degree of genetic differentiation insignificant (Boveng et al., 2016), suggesting there may not be marked separation. The available LTK does not resolve this question, as opinions vary regarding whether seals in the lake are residents, migrants, or a mix of both (see Burns et al., 2013).

    Previously we mentioned that harbor seals commonly follow anadromous prey into freshwater environments, such as rivers and lakes. Thus, we do not consider the mere presence of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake to be a behavioral adaptation suggestive of marked separation from harbor seals in the marine environment. However, some Alaska Natives in the Iliamna Lake region, including subsistence hunters, have postulated that the seals overwinter in the lake by using under-ice air gaps and haul-outs (Burns et al., 2013), although such winter habitats have not been documented in Iliamna Lake. Lack of data complicates a determination of whether use of under-ice shelters would be a special, learned behavioral adaptation that is unique to harbor seals over-wintering in freshwater environments, or if this behavior would be one that any harbor seal in a similar environment may adopt. Similar under-ice habitats in the Lacs des Loups Marins in Canada have been suggested as potential harbor seal lairs or breathing chambers (e.g., Smith and Horonowitsch 1987; COSEWIC 2007). This, in turn, suggests that use of such under-ice habitats may be an example of the behavioral plasticity that results in harbor seals using a range of behaviors and habitats in response to environmental conditions (Komers 1997; Vincent et al., 2010).

    The Lacs des Loups Marins harbor seal population has shown evidence of modifying typical harbor seal behavior and adapting to its environment. It is postulated that, because no pups have been observed being born on the ice during that species' pupping time period (April, when the lakes are frozen), the Lacs des Loups Marins harbor seals have learned and adapted to their situation by whelping in under-ice shelters similar to subnivean birth lairs (snow caves) used by ringed seals (Consortium Gilles Shooner & Associes et al., 1991 as cited in Smith 1997). On the contrary, Burns et al. (2013) include information from local residents near Iliamna Lake who suggest some harbor seal pups may be born in Iliamna Lake in March and April, when the lake is still frozen, but pup on the ice, not under it. Due to this reported on-ice pupping, even if the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake utilize under-ice habitats as shelters or breathing chambers, such behavior would not be an adaptation necessary for successful pupping by seals that use the lake. Thus, unlike the Lacs des Loups Marins harbor seals, the evidence suggests that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake have not developed novel behaviors to facilitate pupping in a lake environment.

    The BRT members were in general agreement regarding the degree of scientific support for discreteness based upon marked separation due to behavioral factors, as determined by selection of pupping locations far from those in Bristol Bay, and the ambiguity regarding the degree of migration and breeding dispersal (if any). Their judgment suggests behavioral separation is possible, but the available evidence is not strong, or is contradicted by other evidence. Our review of behavioral factors indicates that the observed harbor seal behaviors in Iliamna Lake are not uncommon; harbor seals in Iliamna Lake have not been documented to display behaviors outside the range of normal harbor seal behaviors (e.g., no unique mating, pupping, or foraging behaviors reported), although there are unresolved questions about migration and use of under ice shelters. There is no information available to suggest that harbor seals living in ice conditions year-round in a freshwater system would require different behavioral adaptations from harbor seals living in ice conditions in a saltwater or estuarine system. Despite the lack of these obvious indications of potential behavioral separation, we recognize the possibility that the selection of pupping locations distant from other known pupping locations could be construed as a behavior and indicate marked separation as a result of the selection of pupping sites limiting the potential for interbreeding. Therefore, we find that the best available evidence is not conclusive but indicates that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake may be markedly separated from other harbor seals of the subspecies P. v. richardii as a consequence of behavioral factors.

    Genetics: To further consider whether harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are markedly separated from other populations of eastern North Pacific harbor seals as a consequence of physical, physiological, ecological, or behavioral factors, we examined available genetic evidence which may be indicative of separation. Genetic samples available from harbor seals in Iliamna Lake were compared to genetic samples available from harbor seals in the Egegik and Ugashik regions of eastern Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay has the nearest concentration of seals to Iliamna Lake, and the BRT determined “the seals in eastern Bristol Bay would be expected to be the most similar to the Iliamna Lake seals if there is breeding dispersal between the two areas, and therefore would be expected to pose the most stringent test for demonstrating discreteness” (Boveng et al., 2016).

    Genetic samples have been collected and analyzed from 13 harbor seals in Iliamna Lake collected in six years from 1996 through 2012. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis revealed that 11 of 13 seals sampled from Iliamna Lake exhibited the same mtDNA haplotype (O'Corry-Crowe 2013), meaning all 11 seals had the same group of genes inherited from their female parent. The remaining two DNA samples did not yield results for this test. This specific mtDNA haplotype (Pvit-Hap#7) is the most common haplotype found in harbor seals sampled from Bristol Bay and is observed in roughly 21 percent of harbor seals from the Egegik and Ugashik regions of Bristol Bay (Burns et al., 2013; O'Corry-Crowe 2013). Thus, this haplotype is not unique to harbor seals in Iliamna Lake.

    The identification of only one mtDNA haplotype in harbor seals from Iliamna Lake appears to suggest unusually low genetic diversity. For comparison, 76 harbor seals sampled from the Egegik and Ugashik regions of eastern Bristol Bay exhibited 33 different mtDNA haplotypes (O'Corry-Crowe 2013; Burns et al., 2013). If seals from the Egegik and Ugashik regions were immigrating into the lake and staying year-round, there would be almost an 80 percent likelihood that one of the other mtDNA haplotypes, not Pvit-Hap#7, would be seen in samples collected from Iliamna Lake (O'Corry-Crowe 2013). However, because mtDNA is inherited from the mother, mtDNA diversity analysis cannot determine if male seals are migrating to and from the lake and breeding with resident female seals. Hardee (2008) recognized similar limitations of mtDNA given observations of male harbor seals in the Pacific Northwest traveling larger distances than previously believed, possibly to mate in a separate geographic region before returning to their home site. Therefore, conclusive results about the level of genetic diversity require analyses using nuclear DNA (nDNA; which also provides information from the male parent), and more formal analyses of mtDNA with statistical comparisons to harbor seals sampled from other regions within the range of the taxon (O'Corry-Crowe 2013). These more stringent data regarding genetic diversity do not exist.

    In addition to examining the existing genetic diversity of the samples, analyses were conducted to examine the extent of genetic differentiation between harbor seals sampled in Iliamna Lake from those sampled in the Egegik and Ugashik regions of eastern Bristol Bay. The results of analyses examining genetic differentiation using both mtDNA and nDNA suggest that the harbor seals sampled in Iliamna Lake were genetically differentiated from harbor seals sampled in the Egegik and Ugashik regions of eastern Bristol Bay (Burns et al., 2013; O'Corry-Crowe 2013). The results of these analyses also suggest that male and female-mediated dispersal between the Egegik and Ugashik regions of eastern Bristol Bay and Iliamna Lake was restricted (Burns et al., 2013; O'Corry-Crowe 2013). Although no directed comparisons were conducted between Iliamna Lake samples and genetic samples collected from harbor seals in other areas of Bristol Bay or other portions of the range of the taxon, the measure of mtDNA genetic differentiation between seals in Iliamna Lake and those in eastern Bristol Bay yielded results showing substantially greater genetic differentiation than all previous pairwise comparisons between the other major centers of harbor seal abundance in Alaska (O'Corry-Crowe 2012; Boveng et al., 2016). These genetic differentiation results are suggestive of the presence of a small, isolated population of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake.

    O'Corry-Crowe (2013) identifies several limitations of the findings for the Iliamna Lake samples. He cautions that the sample size is extremely small and that questions regarding the patterns of kinship among the collected samples remain unresolved (i.e., if some of the samples were from related individuals, then the data could be skewed and not representative of a random sampling of the population), and indicates that genetic differentiation may be enhanced in small populations when there is a rapid rate of genetic drift, even when there is continued gene flow. Although the 13 genetic samples from seals in Iliamna Lake were collected between 1996 and 2012, most samples were collected during months when seasonal migrants would not be expected to be in the lake, thus the power to detect seasonal migrants may be low. Conversely, the timing of the samples may be benficial for considering if the resident seals in the lake are discrete from their marine counterparts because for most samples seasonal migrants would not be expected to be present in the lake. O'Corry-Crowe (2013) also provides recommendations for future genetic research to resolve lingering issues, including analyzing 20 microsatellite loci (only 9-11 loci were analyzed) and updating the techniques used for the analyses to newer technologies, which would increase the power to resolve genetic questions. We also note that the tests for genetic differentiation compared the Iliamna Lake samples solely against samples collected from the Egegik and Ugashik regions of eastern Bristol Bay. Thus, the samples used for the comparison group may not be representative of all the seals that could migrate to Iliamna Lake.

    The genetic data available suggest the harbor seals sampled in Iliamna Lake have low mtDNA diversity, possess the most common mtDNA haplotype found in Bristol Bay harbor seals, and are genetically differentiated from harbor seals sampled in the Egegik and Ugashik regions of eastern Bristol Bay. Given the concerns about the limited nature of the available genetic information previously discussed here and by O'Corry-Crowe (2013), ambiguity remains regarding the degree of separation, and hence discreteness, of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake. However, in the absence of more samples collected from a greater number of seals in Iliamna Lake and the Kvichak River, to include the potential migration season, and/or completion of additional tests such as those recommended by O'Corry-Crowe (2013), we consider the existing genetic results to be the best available data upon which to base our determination. These genetic results support a decision that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are markedly separated from harbor seals in eastern Bristol Bay, and by assumption, from the remainder of the taxon.

    Discreteness Conclusion

    We find the available evidence for discreteness based on physical, physiological, or ecological factors to be unconvincing. The available evidence based on behavioral factors is not conclusive, but the selection of pupping locations distant from other known pupping locations could be construed as a behavior and indicate marked separation as a result of the selection of pupping sites limiting the potential for interbreeding. The strongest evidence for discreteness derives from 13 genetic samples collected from seals in Iliamna Lake. Analyses of these samples strongly indicate the seals from Iliamna Lake are genetically differentiated from seals sampled in two locations within Bristol Bay (Ugashik and Egegik), the nearest concentration of seals to Iliamna Lake with genetic data available. Genetic comparisons of samples for the entire taxon do not exist, but this region within Bristol Bay was expected to provide the most stringent comparison for discreteness if there is breeding dispersal between the two regions. The BRT was in strong agreement that the genetic data reflect marked separation, although the BRT acknowledged that the mechanism of such separation is unknown and the data are limited. It is possible that the limited available genetic data may accurately represent the situation in both Iliamna Lake and all of Bristol Bay, or that additional genetic analysis from P. v. richardii animals sampled from elsewhere in their range or from additional seals in Iliamna Lake, could result in a different conclusion. Nonetheless, the best available genetic information leads us to conclude that some portion, and perhaps all, of the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake likely constitute a resident population that is genetically differentiated from harbor seals in eastern Bristol Bay, and thus meet the criteria for consideration as a discrete entity per our DPS policy (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996).

    Significance

    Having determined that resident seals from Iliamna Lake are likely discrete, at least from harbor seals in the Egegik and Ugashik regions of nearby Bristol Bay, we next sought to determine whether they are significant to the P. v. richardii subspecies.

    In carrying out the significance examination per our DPS policy (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996), we are to consider available scientific evidence of the population's importance to the taxon to which it belongs. This consideration may include, but is not limited to, the following: (1) Persistence of the discrete population segment in an ecological setting unusual or unique for the taxon; (2) evidence that loss of the discrete population segment would result in a significant gap in the range of the taxon; (3) evidence that the discrete population segment represents the only surviving natural occurrence of a taxon that may be more abundant elsewhere as an introduced population outside its historic range; or (4) evidence that the discrete population segment differs markedly from other populations of the species in its genetic characteristics.

    This determination, however, is highly fact specific and may consider factors besides those enumerated above. Further, significance of the discrete population segment is not necessarily determined by existence of one of these classes of information standing alone. Information analyzed under these and any other applicable considerations is evaluated relative to the biological and ecological importance of the discrete population to the taxon as a whole. Accordingly, all relevant and available biological and ecological information is analyzed. As we explained in the DPS policy, “the principal significance to be considered in a potential DPS will be the significance to the taxon to which it belongs” (61 FR 4722, 4724; February 7, 1996). Finally,we assessed the biological and ecological significance of the seals in Iliamna Lake to the P. v. richardii (the eastern North Pacific harbor seal) taxon in light of Congressional guidance that the authority to list DPSs be used “sparingly” while conserving the genetic diversity of the species (see Senate Report 151, 96th Congress, 1st Session).

    Persistence in an Unusual or Unique Ecological Setting: In assessing the “persistence of the discrete population segment in an ecological setting unusual or unique for the taxon,” we considered whether specific characteristics of the Iliamna Lake environment are unusual or unique; whether persistence in the Iliamna Lake environment is unusual or unique; and whether there are adaptations as a result of persistence in an unusual or unique environment which would result in the discrete population being biologically or ecologically significant to the taxon P. v. richardii.

    The diet of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake is consistent with what we would expect for the species occupying a freshwater system dominated by anadromous salmon. Hauser et al. (2008) indicate that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake consumed large amounts of sockeye salmon when they were seasonally abundant, and also fed on trout, char, graylings, lampreys, smelts, sculpins, whitefishes, sticklebacks, and other unidentified prey items. Burns et al. (2013) examined eight harbor seal stomachs collected from seals harvested from Iliamna Lake in 2011 and 2012; only three had identifiable prey items and the remaining five stomach were either empty, only had worms, or had unidentifiable contents. An examination of the identifiable prey items found that these seals had consumed small or young salmonids (salmon and/or trout), threespine stickleback, and Arctic grayling or lake whitefish (Burns et al., 2013). The variety and types of prey items in the diet of these sampled seals in Iliamna Lake reflects harbor seals being opportunistic feeders (Carretta et al., 2015), and the available data suggest no unusual or unique prey for the habitat occupied.

    We also considered whether the habitat available for use by seals in Iliamna Lake is unusual or unique. Harbor seals commonly use reefs, sand and gravel beaches, sand and mud bars, island beaches, and ice (glacial ice, pan ice, sea ice, or icebergs) as haul-out sites. Harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are known to haul-out on rocky and sandy substrates, sand bars, small islands, and ice near pressure cracks or polynas (Burns et al., 2011; Burns et al., 2012). None of these haul-out substrates are unique or unusual for harbor seals. Harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are reported to pup both on ice (Burns et al. 2013) and other haul-outs in the absence of ice. There is no evidence of seals in Iliamna Lake pupping in air pockets beneath the ice, which would be unusual. Such use has been hypothesized for the harbor seals in the Lacs des Loups Marins (Consortium Gilles Shooner & Associes et al. 1991 as cited in Smith 1997; DFO 2016). According to LTK, pupping in Iliamna Lake likely occurs at island beaches or sandbars in the northeastern portion of the lake, which is consistent with the types of substrates upon which aerial surveys documented pups (i.e., on low-lying islands and sand spits; Burns et al., 2013). Nothing suggests that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake display unusual or unique pupping behaviors (including habitat usage).

    Smith and Horonowitsch (1987) studied the ice at one location within the Lacs des Loups Marins and documented what they refer to as “shoreline ice-steps” which they speculated could be used as breathing chambers for over-wintering seals in the lake. LTK suggests the presence and use of similar under-ice haul-outs in Iliamna Lake (Burns et al., 2013). While this would represent unusual habitat use for harbor seals in general, and unique habitat for harbor seals of P. v. richardii, it would be consistent with the general observation that harbor seals exhibit wide variation in habitat use, rather than being indicative of an adaptation by seals in Iliamna Lake that would be significant to the P. v. richardii taxon as a whole (see further discussion of habitat adaptation below).

    Harbor seals have the broadest distribution and occur in more different habitats than any other pinniped species (Burns 2002; COSEWIC 2007), and are frequently and commonly observed in freshwater systems (Burns 2002). Mansfield (1967) provides information about sightings of harbor seals in rivers and lakes in Arctic Canada (referencing Doutt 1942 and Harper 1961 for detailed summaries of Arctic harbor seals' freshwater distribution), indicating that harbor seals have “a strong liking for fresh water” and are often found in estuaries and freshwater habitats “far from the sea.” Beck et al., (1970) report harbor seals in the Thlewiaza River system and associated lakes west of Hudson Bay. Smith et al. (1994) and Smith (1997) provide an extensive list of reports of harbor seals documented in freshwater systems. Smith et al. (1996) conducted analyses involving both the Lacs des Loups Marins harbor seals as well as a second group of “lacustrine” harbor seals from Kasegalik Lake in Canada's Northwest Territory. Middlemas et al. (2006) provide documentation of harbor seals in a Scottish river system. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) reports that harbor seals occasionally ascend the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes (COSEWIC 2007). In the Bristol Bay region, harbor seals have been observed in other lakes in addition to Iliamna Lake, such as Lake Becharof and Naknek Lake (Mathisen and Kline 1992). Thus, the presence of harbor seals in freshwater systems or lakes, including Iliamna Lake, is not unusual or unique for the species.

    Year-round persistence of harbor seals in a lake is less common. Besides the unknown number of harbor seals occupying Iliamna Lake through the winter, the Lacs des Loups Marins harbor seals are the only other documented instance of harbor seals persisting in freshwater systems year-round. However, a review of available literature suggests the possibility this scenario may be more prevalent than just these two groups of harbor seals. For example, Mansfield (1967) states that the population of freshwater harbor seals in the Upper and Lower Seal Lakes east of Hudson Bay (a.k.a. the Lacs des Loups Marins) is not unique given reports of harbor seals found in other freshwater systems of Canada. Beck et al. (1970) postulated that harbor seals may live in the Thlewiaza River and associated lakes year-round, and documented a pup in the Edehon Lake, leading them to conclude that harbor seal reproduction is successful in that freshwater habitat. Beck et al. (1970) also concluded that individual seals in those lakes may be born and spend most or all of their lives in freshwater, but there was no reason to believe they were an isolated population. In Alaska, winter aerial surveys led Savarese and Burns (2010) to suggest that harbor seals are present year-round in Vitus Lake, a tidally-influenced lake near the Bering Glacier. No pups were documented during that study and diet and genetic data indicated seals from various stocks moved into Vitus Lake to take advantage of local salmon runs (Savarese and Burns 2010). These reports of potential year-round presence of harbor seals in various freshwater systems are sporadic, and do not confirm self-sustaining populations exist in those other freshwater systems. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the year-round persistence of a discrete population of harbor seals in the freshwater environment of Iliamna Lake is at least unusual, if not unique, to the P. v. richardii harbor seal taxon.

    The BRT considered whether the persistence of the population of harbor seals in this setting is important to the taxon as a whole (see discussion in Boveng et al., 2016). Specifically, the BRT considered whether harbor seals in Iliamna Lake exhibit any adaptations to the environment which would be biologically or ecologically significant to the P. v. richardii harbor seal taxon. The evidence of such adaptations is not necessarily required to demonstrate significance; however, the BRT examined such evidence here in light of harbor seals' widespread and diverse habitat and diet. The BRT considered the physiology of the seals in Iliamna Lake as well as their over-wintering strategy as possible indicators of adaptations of potential importance for the taxon.

    As previously discussed, some local residents of the Iliamna Lake region have suggested they think the harbor seals harvested from Iliamna Lake taste, look, or feel different (e.g., seals are fatter; pelage is softer) from those harvested in the marine environment (Burns et al., 2013). There was, however, a lack of consensus regarding the perceived differences (e.g., some say seals from Iliamna Lake are darker than marine counterparts, others say the seals are lighter) among the local residents interviewed. Moreover, attributes such as fatness and softness of the coat, or the way the seals taste when consumed, are not necessarily inherited traits and could be acquired during time spent in the lake. Unlike other lake seal species, there are no data available to document whether morphological (e.g., craniometric) differences exist; if such morphological differences are present, they are not distinct enough to be generally recognized in traditional knowledge of Alaska Native residents in the area (see discussion in Boveng et al., 2016). There is no evidence to suggest these reported physical differences in fatness, softness, or taste are adaptations that would convey significance of these seals to the taxon.

    The use of air gaps under the ice in winter is a potential adaptation to freshwater life in sub-Arctic regions, and is only documented among harbor seals in one location (P. v. mellonae of Lacs des Loups Marins). Whether the use of under-ice shelters would be a true adaptation to a freshwater environment which freezes over, or would simply be a response to habitat conditions that may be used by any harbor seal exposed to those conditions, remains uncertain. On the importance of this particular behavior relative to significance of seals in Iliamna Lake to the P. v. richardii subspecies, the BRT concluded any assessment would “be in the realm of judgment or even speculation” (Boveng et al.,2016). Even though harbor seals in Iliamna Lake cope with the extensive ice cover in winter, there is no indication they have adapted or modified their breeding, whelping, or pup-rearing behaviors in a manner unusual for, or of significance to, the taxon.

    The BRT members were in strong agreement that harbor seals persisting year-round and breeding in a freshwater lake that freezes over almost completely nearly every year is unique for the subspecies P. v. richardii, and unusual for the harbor seal species. However, there was a lack of consensus amongst BRT members whether the available evidence reflects physical, life-history, or other adaptations as a result of persisting in an unusual or unique ecological setting which would make the harbor seal population in Iliamna Lake biologically or ecologically significant to the broader taxon. The discrepancies in opinion stemmed from “differences in assessing the weights of several lines of qualitative and indirect evidence” (Boveng et al., 2016). The BRT also concluded (1) seals from the marine population would be able to persist in the Iliamna Lake setting, and (2) even if seals from the marine population were unable to persist in Iliamna Lake, the “lack of `ecological exchangeability’ is not important to the persistence of the taxon as a whole” (Boveng et al., 2016). Ultimately, the BRT's assessment favored “a conclusion that the evidence does not support significance” (Boveng et al., 2016). We agree that persistence of a population of harbor seals in the unusual or unique ecological setting of Iliamna Lake in and of itself does not confer significance of that population to the taxon. The absence of evidence suggesting the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake have adaptations to their environment which would benefit the taxon to which they belong leads us to determine that the persistence of a population of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake is not significant to the subspecies P. v. richardii.

    Evidence That Loss Would Result in Significant Gap in Range: Eastern North Pacific harbor seals range from Mexico northward along the coastlines of the continental U.S. and Canada and much of Alaska. In Alaska, harbor seals of this subspecies are distributed almost continuously throughout the southern coastal waters in the region surrounding Iliamna Lake. In assessing whether the loss of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake would result in a significant gap in the range, we considered a scenario whereby all the seals in the lake were extirpated and there was no migration into the lake, either because there is no migration currently occurring or because a future physical barrier prevents migration. Given the extensive and continuous range of the eastern North Pacific harbor seals, the loss of the small proportion of habitat in Iliamna Lake would not result in a significant gap in the range. Furthermore, the evidence indicating possible seasonal movement of some harbor seals from Bristol Bay to Iliamna Lake suggests that the habitat in this portion of the range could be reoccupied.

    The loss of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake would not have a detrimental impact to other harbor seal populations that comprise the subspecies P. v. richardii, as this is not an interstitial population of harbor seals whose loss would isolate another population from the main group. Additionally, there are only an estimated 400 harbor seals in Iliamna Lake (Boveng et al., 2016), so this population represents a minute fraction of the total population ofeastern North Pacific harbor seals, estimated at 360,000 (DFO 2010).

    The BRT was in strong agreement that the evidence is clear that the loss of the Iliamna Lake segment would not result in a significant gap in the range of the taxon, and we agree.

    Evidence of Only Surviving Natural Occurrence: Harbor seals in taxon P. v. richardii are currently found throughout their historic range along the coasts from Baja California, Mexico, northward to Alaska, and west through the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands, and in the Bering Sea north to Cape Newenham and the Pribilof Islands. There are no known introductions of this species to any place outside its historic range, thus it is naturally occurring wherever it occurs. The BRT was unanimous in its assessment that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not the only surviving natural occurrence of the taxon. We concur in that determination.

    Evidence of Marked Difference in Genetic Characteristics: As discussed above, the limited genetic data available from seals in Iliamna Lake indicate 11 of 13 (2 samples did not yield results) sampled seals had the same mtDNA haplotype, an indication of possible low genetic diversity (O'Corry-Crowe 2013). Unlike the Lacs des Loups Marins harbor seals, which exhibit mtDNA haplotypes that are only found in seals from the Lacs des Loups Marins (Smith 1997), the single mtDNA haplotype exhibited in the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake is not unique to Iliamna Lake. Rather, it is the most common mtDNA haplotype found in samples from harbor seals in Bristol Bay (O'Corry-Crowe 2013; Van Lanen et al., 2013). One plausible explanation for the single haplotype found in all the harbor seal samples from Iliamna Lake is that these seals are simply a genetic subset of seals from Bristol Bay, and have lost rather than gained substantial amounts of genetic diversity since isolation. An alternative explanation is the seals in Iliamna Lake have been isolated a long time, during which they may have accumulated genetic differences at other loci (not currently examined) via mutation, especially for loci under selective pressure (i.e., adaptation). However, as previously discussed, only a small number of genetic loci were tested and the sample size was small, so the reason for a single mtDNA haplotype is undeterminable at this time. We conclude that the best scientific and commercial data available, a single mtDNA haplotype which is commonly found in other populations of the taxon and the data used to assess discreteness of the population, do not indicate that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake have novel genes which could be significant to the taxon as a whole.

    There is no strong evidence to indicate the existence of phenotypic differences between harbor seals in Iliamna Lake and those in other portions of the taxon's range. Although there have been some LTK reports that the seals in Iliamna Lake may taste different or have pelage of varying appearance from seals in Bristol Bay, there have been no studies assessing whether these perceived differences are the result of significant differences in genetics. The BRT members did not reach consensus regarding this issue, with a slight preponderance of opinion favoring the conclusion that the genetic characteristics of seals in Iliamna Lake did not convey significance to these seals in regards to P. v. richardii. Some members considered the data available as mostly insufficient for drawing a conclusion regarding significance, and some considered the evidence against significance slightly more persuasive than the evidence for significance. Accordingly, we find that the genetic characteristics (i.e., mtDNA haplotype) found in seals from Iliamna Lake do not differ markedly from those found in Bristol Bay and therefore determine that the best available genetic data, albeit limited, supports a conclusion that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake do not have genetic characteristics that are significant to the taxon as a whole.

    Overall Significance to the Taxon: We considered several factors that could indicate whether harbor seals in Iliamna Lake may be biologically and ecologically significant to the taxon as a whole. Of the four factors delinated in the 1996 DPS policy, we conclude that there is evidence of only one: The population persists in an unusual or unique setting for the taxon. As we explained in our policy, “occurrence in an unusual ecological setting is potentially an indication that a population segment represents a significant resource of the kind sought to be conserved by the” ESA and in “any actual case of a DPS recognized in part on this basis, the Services will describe in detail the nature of this significance when accepting a petition or proposing a rule” (61 FR at 4724). While year-round persistence in the freshwater environment of Iliamna Lake is unique to the taxon P. v. richardii and unusual for the entire species, we agree with the BRT (Boveng et al., 2016) that the best scientific and commercial data available are limited and suggest that the persistence of the seals in Iliamna Lake is not significant to the taxon as a whole. The loss of the Iliamna Lake segment would not result in a gap in the range of the taxon, and the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not the only surviving natural occurrence of the taxon; thus harbor seals in Iliamna Lake do not demonstrate significance to the taxon based on these factors. Further, available genetic data suggest that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not significant to the larger taxon. Although the best available genetic data indicate that at least some of the seals in Iliamna Lake are distinct from harbor seals in the eastern regions of nearby Bristol Bay, the genetic characteristics (e.g., the single mtDNA observed in samples from seals in Iliamna Lake is the most common haplotype found in seals frim Bristol Bay) do not appear to differ in ways that would convey significance to the P. v. richardii subspecies.

    Individual BRT members were not in agreement regarding the degree of scientific support overall for or against the significance of seals in Iliamna Lake to the P. v. richardii subspecies, but stated “the slight majority judgment against significance of the population segment . . . summarized a diversity of views about how much weight to place on the various lines of mostly weak and qualitative evidence” and that “the evidence itself must be characterized as mostly indirect, qualitative rather than quantitative, and equivocal for the purpose of demonstrating biological or ecological importance to the broader taxon” (Boveng et al., 2016). Taking into consideration the totality of all the information discussed above regarding the possible significance of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake to the P. v. richardii taxon, including the qualitative and equivocal nature of the available information, along with the guidance from legislative history to identify DPSs “sparingly,” we find that the available evidence supports a conclusion that the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not significant to the remainder of the taxon.

    DPS Conclusion

    Based on the best scientific and commercial data available, we find the evidence for marked separation of harbor seals in Iliamna Lake from the remainder of the taxon based on physical, physiological, ecological or behavioral factors to be unconvincing or weak. The strongest support for marked separation comes from the best available genetic data which, although limited and preliminary, support a conclusion that at least some of the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are likely isolated from harbor seals in the Egegik and Ugashik regions of eastern Bristol Bay. Thus, we conclude that the harbor seal population in Iliamna Lake is separated from other populations of the taxon and meet the discreteness criterion of our DPS policy (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996).

    Per the second component of our DPS Policy, we are to consider available scientific evidence of the discrete population's importance to the taxon to which it belongs (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996). Our review of the best available information suggests the only characteristic which may make this population of harbor seals unique within its taxon is the fact that they persist year-round in a freshwater system which freezes over to some degree in most winters. While that characteristic is unique within the subspecies P. v. richardii, we determined such persistence is not biologically or ecologically important to the taxon as a whole. Furthermore, the information available supports a conclusion that loss of this population would not be detrimental to the persistence of the taxon or constitute a gap in the range of the taxon; this population is not the only natural surviving population; and there are no unique genetic characteristics conveying significance of this population to the taxon. After reviewing the best available data as they apply to the significance criterion, we conclude that the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake are not significant to the taxon P. v. richardii.

    Under our DPS Policy, both the discreteness and significance elements must be met to qualify as a DPS. Our review has determined that the seals persisting year-round in Iliamna Lake are discrete but not significant; therefore, the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake do not qualify as a DPS and are not a listable entity under the ESA.

    Finding

    In assessing whether the actions in the petition are warranted, we reviewed the best available scientific and commercial information available, including the BRT report, the petition and literature cited in the petition, published and grey literature relevant to the topic, correspondence with experts in academic and government institutions, documentation of LTK, and public comments. On the basis of this review, we have determined that harbor seals in Iliamna Lake meet the criteria for discreteness but do not meet the criteria for significance. As such, the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake do not meet all the criteria necessary to constitute a DPS, and thus are not a listable entity under the ESA. Therefore, we find that the petitioned actions to list the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA, and to designate critical habitat, are not warranted.

    In our 90-day finding (78 FR 29098; May 17, 2013), we indicated we were commencing a status review of the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake. To assist our evaluation of whether the seals in Iliamna Lake constitute a DPS, the BRT prepared a report which compiled background information about the harbor seals in Iliamna Lake and evaluated the scientific information relevant to the DPS criteria (Boveng et al., 2016). Upon our determination that the DPS criteria were not met and the seals in Iliamna Lake are not a “species” under the ESA, there is no need to complete the status review by conducting a threats assessment or extinction risk assessment in light of the factors in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA.

    In some instances, where we find a petitioned action is not warranted because the petitioned population does not constitute a “species” under the ESA, we have initiated a status review of a related or larger population (e.g., the 12-month determination that the petitioned action to list Lynn Canal Pacific herring was not warranted, followed by a status review of the Southeast Alaska population of Pacific herring; 73 FR 19824; April 11, 2008). Here, the scope of the petition was limited to the seals in Iliamna Lake, and since the most recent abundance data for the Bristol Bay harbor seal stock (the stock that includes seals in Iliamna Lake) indicates this stock increased from an estimated 18,577 seals in 2005 to an estimated 32,350 seals in 2011 (Allen and Angliss 2014; Muto and Angliss 2015), we are not initiating a status review of the Bristol Bay harbor seal stock at this time.

    References

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon request (see ADDRESSES).

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: November 10, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27690 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [CPSC Docket No. 17-C0001] PetSmart, Inc., Provisional Acceptance of a Settlement Agreement and Order AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    It is the policy of the Commission to publish settlements which it provisionally accepts under the Consumer Product Safety Act in the Federal Register in accordance with the terms of the Consumer Product Safety Commission's regulations. Published below is a provisionally-accepted Settlement Agreement with PetSmart, Inc., containing a civil penalty in the amount of four million, two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($4,250,000) within thirty (30) days of service of the Commission's final Order accepting the Settlement Agreement.

    DATES:

    Any interested person may ask the Commission not to accept this agreement or otherwise comment on its contents by filing a written request with the Office of the Secretary by December 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Persons wishing to comment on this Settlement Agreement should send written comments to the Comment 17-C0001, Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Room 820, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4408.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Philip Z. Brown, Trial Attorney, Division of Compliance, Office of the General Counsel, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4408; telephone (301) 504-7645.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The text of the Agreement and Order appears below.1

    1 The Commission voted (4-1) to provisionally accept the Settlement Agreement and Order regarding PetSmart, Inc. Chairman Kaye, Commissioner Adler, Commissioner Robinson and Commissioner Mohorovic voted to provisionally accept the Settlement Agreement and Order. Commissioner Buerkle voted to reject the Settlement Agreement and Order.

    Dated: November 14, 2016. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION In the Matter of: PETSMART, INC. CPSC Docket No.: 17-C0001 SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

    1. In accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 2051−2089 (“CPSA”) and 16 CFR 1118.20, PetSmart, Inc. (“PetSmart”), and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission”), through its staff, hereby enter into this Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”). The Agreement and the incorporated attached Order resolve staff's charges set forth below.

    THE PARTIES

    2. The Commission is an independent federal regulatory agency, established pursuant to, and responsible for, the enforcement of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2051−2089. By executing the Agreement, staff is acting on behalf of the Commission, pursuant to 16 CFR 1118.20(b). The Commission issues the Order under the provisions of the CPSA.

    3. PetSmart is a corporation, organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business in Phoenix, AZ.

    STAFF CHARGES

    4. Between April 2009 and September 2013, PetSmart imported and offered for sale in the United States, approximately 127,444 “Great Choice” or “Top Fin” brand 1.75 gallon, brandy snifter-style glass fish bowls (“Fish Bowls” or “Subject Products”) .

    5. The Fish Bowls are a “consumer product,” “distribut[ed] in commerce,” as those terms are defined or used in sections 3(a)(5) and (8) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2052(a)(5) and (8). PetSmart is an “importer,” “manufacturer” and “retailer” of the Fish Bowls, as such terms are defined in sections 3(a)(11) and (13) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2052(a)(11) and (13).

    Violation of CPSA Section 19(a)(4)

    6. The Fish Bowls contain a defect which could create a substantial product hazard and create an unreasonable risk of serious injury because they can crack, shatter, or break during normal use, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.

    7. Between August 2011 and January 2014, PetSmart received at least 19 incident reports of Fish Bowls cracking, breaking, or shattering during normal use, which, in at least 12 instances, resulted in serious injuries, including deep lacerations requiring stitches and severed tendons necessitating surgery.

    8. PetSmart received at least three reports of consumers sustaining serious injuries during normal use of the Fish Bowls between August 2011 and September 2011 but neither initiated an investigation into the Subject Products in response to these reports of serious injury nor immediately reported to the Commission.

    9. In May 2013, after receiving additional reports, including two reports of serious injuries to consumers, PetSmart initiated an investigation and evaluation of the defect and risk associated with the Fish Bowls. That investigation, which concluded in July 2013, identified deficiencies in the thickness and distribution of the glass in the Fish Bowls. During its investigation, PetSmart continued to receive reports of serious injury caused by the Fish Bowls. Firms may conduct a reasonably expeditious investigation, not normally exceeding 10 days, to evaluate their reporting obligations. See 16 CFR 1115.14(d). PetSmart's investigation took over two months to complete.

    10. PetSmart stopped sale of the Fish Bowls in September 2013. At the time PetSmart stopped sale of the Fish Bowls, PetSmart had received at least 12 reports of consumers being injured during normal use of the Subject Products.

    11. PetSmart did not file a Full Report with the Commission until January 31, 2014, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2064(b). PetSmart and the Commission jointly announced a recall of 10,200 Fish Bowls on April 24, 2014.

    12. PetSmart's Full Report contained information on only 10,211 Fish Bowls imported and sold between February 2013 and September 2013. However, information produced by PetSmart during staff's civil penalty investigation revealed that PetSmart had actually sold a total of 91,500 Fish Bowls between March 2010 and September 2013 that posed the same laceration hazard. PetSmart and the Commission jointly announced an expanded recall of 91,500 Fish Bowls on November 17, 2015.

    13. By the date of the expanded recall, PetSmart received at least 32 reports of Fish Bowls cracking, breaking or shattering during normal use, including 18 reports of injury. PetSmart received at least six of these reports of injury after the first recall.

    14. Despite having information that the Fish Bowls contained a defect and created an unreasonable risk of serious injury, PetSmart did not notify the Commission immediately of such defect or risk, as required by sections 15(b)(3) and (4) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2064(b)(3) and (4), in violation of section 19(a)(4) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2068(a)(4).

    15. Because the information in PetSmart's possession constituted actual and presumed knowledge, PetSmart knowingly violated section 19(a)(4) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2068(a)(4), as the term “knowingly” is defined in section 20(d) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2069(d).

    16. Pursuant to Section 20 of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2069, PetSmart is subject to civil penalties for its knowing violation of section 19(a)(4) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2068(a)(4).

    Violation of CPSA Section 19(a)(13)

    17. PetSmart's January 31, 2014 Full Report identified the Subject Products as 10,211 Fish Bowls, sold between February 2013 and September 2013, which posed a laceration hazard to consumers. The Full Report did not identify an additional 81,300 units of Subject Products that were sold prior to February 2013 that posed the same hazard and had been the subject of incident and injury reports received by PetSmart.

    18. By failing to identify the correct amount and distribution dates of the Subject Products in PetSmart's Full Report, PetSmart knowingly misrepresented the scope of consumer products subject to an action required under section 15 of the CPSA. As a result of PetSmart's misrepresentation, the April 24, 2014 CPSC press release announcing the recall inaccurately stated that “[a]bout 10,200” Fish Bowls were affected by the hazard posed by the Fish Bowls. An expansion of the recall was announced on November 17, 2015.

    19. By knowingly misrepresenting the scope of consumer products subject to an action under section 15 of the CPSA, PetSmart knowingly violated section 19(a)(13) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2068(a)(13), as the term “knowingly” is defined in section 20(d) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2069(d).

    20. Pursuant to section 20 of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2069, PetSmart is subject to civil penalties for its knowing violation of section 19(a)(13) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2068(a)(13).

    RESPONSE OF PETSMART

    21. PetSmart's settlement of this matter does not constitute an admission of staff's charges in paragraphs 4 through 20 above.

    22. Between November 2013 and January 2014, PetSmart corresponded with CPSC staff regarding certain Fish Bowl incidents. In this correspondence, PetSmart clearly stated that it first began selling the Fish Bowls in 2009. PetSmart also stated that it believed any product issues were limited to Fish Bowls manufactured for sale in 2013. CPSC staff did not ask PetSmart anything further regarding PetSmart's determination that the issues were limited to Fish Bowls sold between February 2013 and September 2013.

    23. Following this correspondence, in January 2014, PetSmart provided the Commission with its report under section 15(b) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2064(b) concerning PetSmart's receipt of complaints and incident reports about the Fish Bowls. PetSmart's report provided information related only to Fish Bowls manufactured for sale in 2013, consistent with its communications to CPSC staff. CPSC staff did not ask PetSmart anything further regarding Fish Bowls sold prior to 2013.

    24. On April 24, 2014, in conjunction with the Commission, PetSmart voluntarily announced a recall of Fish Bowls sold at PetSmart between February 2013 and September 2013.

    25. PetSmart conducted the April 24, 2014, voluntary recall of the Fish Bowls, as well as the section 15(b) reporting, out of an abundance of caution and without PetSmart having concluded that the Fish Bowls contained a defect, posed a substantial product hazard, or created an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.

    26. On November 17, 2015, in conjunction with the Commission, PetSmart voluntarily expanded the recall of Fish Bowls to include units sold at PetSmart between March 2010 and February 2013. PetSmart disputes Staff's allegation that PetSmart had information that the Fish Bowls manufactured prior to 2013 contained a defect and created an unreasonable risk of serious injury.

    27. PetSmart denies Staff's allegations that PetSmart knowingly misrepresented the scope of consumer products subject to an action under section 15 of the CPSA and that PetSmart knowingly violated section 19(a)(13).

    AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES

    28. Under the CPSA, the Commission has jurisdiction over the matter involving the Fish Bowls and over PetSmart.

    29. The parties enter into the Agreement for settlement purposes only. The Agreement does not constitute an admission by PetSmart or a determination by the Commission that PetSmart violated the CPSA's reporting requirements.

    30. In settlement of staff's charges, and to avoid the cost, distraction, delay, uncertainty, and inconvenience of protracted litigation or other proceedings, PetSmart shall pay a civil penalty in the amount of four million, two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($4,250,000) within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving service of the Commission's final Order accepting the Agreement. All payments to be made under the Agreement shall constitute debts owing to the United States and shall be made by electronic wire transfer to the United States via: http://www.pay.gov, for allocation to, and credit against, the payment obligations of PetSmart under this Agreement. Failure to make such payment by the date specified in the Commission's final Order shall constitute Default.

    31. All unpaid amounts, if any, due and owing under the Agreement, shall constitute a debt due and immediately owing by PetSmart to the United States, and interest shall accrue and be paid by PetSmart at the federal legal rate of interest set forth at 28 U.S.C. 1961(a) and (b) from the date of Default, until all amounts due have been paid in full (hereinafter “Default Payment Amount” and “Default Interest Balance”). PetSmart shall consent to a Consent Judgment in the amount of the Default Payment Amount and Default Interest Balance, and the United States, at its sole option, may collect the entire Default Payment Amount and Default Interest Balance, or exercise any other rights granted by law or in equity, including, but not limited to, referring such matters for private collection, and PetSmart agrees not to contest, and hereby waives and discharges any defenses to, any collection action undertaken by the United States, or its agents or contractors, pursuant to this paragraph. PetSmart shall pay the United States all reasonable costs of collection and enforcement under this paragraph, respectively, including reasonable attorney's fees and expenses.

    32. After staff receives this Agreement executed on behalf of PetSmart, staff shall promptly submit the Agreement to the Commission for provisional acceptance. Promptly following provisional acceptance of the Agreement by the Commission, the Agreement shall be placed on the public record and published in the Federal Register, in accordance with the procedures set forth in 16 CFR 1118.20(e). If the Commission does not receive any written request not to accept the Agreement within fifteen (15) calendar days, the Agreement shall be deemed finally accepted on the 16th calendar day after the date the Agreement is published in the Federal Register, in accordance with 16 CFR 1118.20(f).

    33. This Agreement is conditioned upon, and subject to, the Commission's final acceptance, as set forth above, and it is subject to the provisions of 16 CFR 1118.20(h). Upon the later of: (i) Commission's final acceptance of this Agreement and service of the accepted Agreement upon PetSmart, and (ii) the date of issuance of the final Order, this Agreement shall be in full force and effect, and shall be binding upon the parties.

    34. Effective upon the later of: (i) the Commission's final acceptance of the Agreement and service of the accepted Agreement upon PetSmart, and (ii) and the date of issuance of the final Order, for good and valuable consideration, PetSmart hereby expressly and irrevocably waives and agrees not to assert any past, present, or future rights to the following, in connection with the matter described in this Agreement: (i) an administrative or judicial hearing; (ii) judicial review or other challenge or contest of the Commission's actions; (iii) a determination by the Commission of whether PetSmart failed to comply with the CPSA and the underlying regulations; (iv) a statement of findings of fact and conclusions of law; and (v) any claims under the Equal Access to Justice Act.

    35. PetSmart represents and agrees that it has enhanced its compliance program to ensure compliance with the CPSA with respect to any consumer product imported, manufactured, distributed or sold by the Firm and will maintain said compliance program. PetSmart represents that the ongoing compliance program contains: (i) written standards, policies and procedures including those designed to ensure that information that may relate to or impact CPSA compliance (including information obtained by quality control personnel) is conveyed effectively to personnel responsible for CPSA compliance, whether or not an injury is referenced; (ii) a mechanism for confidential employee reporting of compliance-related questions or concerns to either a compliance officer or to another senior manager with authority to act as necessary; (iii) effective communication of company compliance-related policies and procedures regarding the CPSA to all applicable employees through training programs or otherwise; (iv) management oversight of and responsibility for compliance; and (v) retention of all CPSA compliance-related records for at least five (5) years, and availability of such records to staff upon reasonable request.

    36. PetSmart represents and agrees that it has designed and implemented internal controls and procedures designed to ensure that, with respect to all consumer products imported, manufactured, distributed or sold by PetSmart: (i) information required to be disclosed by PetSmart to the Commission is recorded, processed and reported in accordance with applicable law; (ii) all reporting made to the Commission is timely, truthful, complete, accurate and in accordance with applicable law; and (iii) prompt disclosure is made to PetSmart's management of any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in the design or operation of such internal controls that are reasonably likely to affect adversely, in any material respect, PetSmart's ability to record, process and report to the Commission in accordance with applicable law.

    37. Upon reasonable request of staff, PetSmart shall provide written documentation of its internal controls and procedures, including, but not limited to, the effective dates of the procedures and improvements thereto. PetSmart shall cooperate fully and truthfully with staff and shall, upon reasonable notice make available all non-privileged information and materials, and personnel with direct involvement in such procedures and deemed necessary by staff to evaluate PetSmart's compliance with the terms of the Agreement.

    38. The parties acknowledge and agree that the Commission may publicize the terms of the Agreement and the Order.

    39. PetSmart represents that the Agreement: (i) is entered into freely and voluntarily, without any degree of duress or compulsion whatsoever; (ii) has been duly authorized; and (iii) constitutes the valid and binding obligation of PetSmart, enforceable against PetSmart in accordance with its terms. PetSmart will not directly or indirectly receive any reimbursement, indemnification, insurance related payment, or other payment in connection with the civil penalty to be paid by PetSmart pursuant to the Agreement and Order. The individuals signing the Agreement on behalf of PetSmart represent and warrant that they are duly authorized by PetSmart to execute the Agreement.

    40. The signatories represent that they are authorized to execute this Agreement.

    41. The Agreement is governed by the laws of the United States.

    42. The Agreement and the Order shall apply to, and be binding upon, PetSmart and each of its successors, transferees, and assigns; and a violation of the Agreement or Order may subject PetSmart, and each of its successors, transferees, and assigns, to appropriate legal action.

    43. The Agreement and the Order constitute the complete agreement between the parties on the subject matter contained therein.

    44. The Agreement may be used in interpreting the Order. Understandings, agreements, representations, or interpretations apart from those contained in the Agreement and the Order may not be used to vary or contradict their terms. For purposes of construction, the Agreement shall be deemed to have been drafted by both of the parties and shall not, therefore, be construed against any party, for that reason, in any subsequent dispute.

    45. The Agreement may not be waived, amended, modified, or otherwise altered, except as in accordance with the provisions of 16 CFR 1118.20(h). The Agreement may be executed in counterparts.

    46. If any provision of the Agreement or the Order is held to be illegal, invalid, or unenforceable under present or future laws effective during the terms of the Agreement and the Order, such provision shall be fully severable. The balance of the Agreement and the Order shall remain in full force and effect, unless the Commission and PetSmart agree in writing that severing the provision materially affects the purpose of the Agreement and the Order.

    PETSMART, INC. Dated: October 28, 2016 By: Michael J. Massey President and Chief Executive Officer PetSmart, Inc. Dated: October 28, 2016 By: Jeffrey B. Margulies, Esq. Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP Counsel to PetSmart, Inc. U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION Mary T. Boyle General Counsel Mary B. Murphy Assistant General Counsel Dated: October 27, 2016 By: Philip Z. Brown Trial Attorney Division of Compliance Office of the General Counsel UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION In the Matter of: PETSMART, INC. CPSC Docket No.: 17-C0001 ORDER

    Upon consideration of the Settlement Agreement entered into between PetSmart, Inc. (“PetSmart”), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission”), and the Commission having jurisdiction over the subject matter and over PetSmart, and it appearing that the Settlement Agreement and the Order are in the public interest, it is:

    ORDERED that the Settlement Agreement be, and is, hereby, accepted; and it is

    FURTHER ORDERED that PetSmart shall comply with the terms of the Settlement Agreement and shall pay a civil penalty in the amount of four million, two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($4,250,000), within thirty (30) days after service of the Commission's final Order accepting the Settlement Agreement. The payment shall be made by electronic wire transfer to the Commission via: http://www.pay.gov. Upon the failure of PetSmart to make the foregoing payment when due, interest on the unpaid amount shall accrue and be paid by PetSmart at the federal legal rate of interest set forth at 28 U.S.C. 1961(a) and (b). If PetSmart fails to make such payment or to comply in full with any other provision of the Settlement Agreement, such conduct will be considered a violation of the Settlement Agreement and Order.

    Provisionally accepted and provisional Order issued on the 14th day of November, 2016.

    BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSION: Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    [FR Doc. 2016-27644 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14795-001] Shell Energy North America (US), L.P.; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application and Request to Use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    b. Project No.: 14795-001.

    c. Date Filed: October 3, 2016.

    d. Submitted By: Shell Energy North America (US), L.P.

    e. Name of Project: Hydro Battery Pearl Hill Project.

    f. Location: On the Columbia River and Rufus Woods Lake, near Bridgeport, Douglas County, Washington. The project would be located on state lands and the lower reservoir and power generation and pumping equipment would be located on Rufus Woods Lake, a reservoir operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 5.3 of the Commission's regulations.

    h. Potential Applicant Contact: Mr. Brian Johansen, Vice President Power Trading West, Shell Energy North America (US), L.P., 601 W. 1st Ave., Suite 1700, Spokane, Washington 99201; phone: (509) 688-6000.

    i. FERC Contact: Ryan Hansen at (202) 502-8074; or email at [email protected].

    j. Shell Energy North America (US), L.P. (Shell Energy) filed its request to use the Traditional Licensing Process on October 3, 2016. Shell Energy provided public notice of its request on October 13, 2016. In a letter dated November 9, 2016, the Director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing approved Shell Energy's request to use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    k. With this notice, we are designating Shell Energy as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and consultation pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    l. Shell Energy filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule) with the Commission, pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    m. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov), using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

    n. Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: November 9, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27619 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project Nos. 2593-031; 2823-020] Algonquin Power (Beaver Falls), LLC; Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping Comments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric applications have been filed with the Commission and are available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent Licenses.

    b. Project Nos.: 2593-031 and 2823-020.

    c. Date filed: December 30, 2015.

    d. Applicant: Algonquin Power (Beaver Falls), LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Upper Beaver Falls Hydroelectric Project and Lower Beaver Falls Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Beaver River in Lewis County, New York. The projects are not located on federal lands.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Robert A. Gates, Executive Vice President, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, 116 N. State Street, P.O. Box 167, Neshkoro, WI 54960-0167; (973) 998-8403; [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Andy Bernick, (202) 502-8660 or [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing scoping comments: January 12, 2017.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file scoping comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket numbers P-2593-031 and P-2823-020.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure require all interveners filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. These applications are not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. The existing project works are as follows:

    The Upper Beaver Falls Project consists of: (1) A 328-foot-long, 25-foot-high concrete gravity dam with an uncontrolled overflow spillway; (2) a 48-acre reservoir with a storage capacity of 800 acre-feet at elevation 799.4 feet North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88); (3) a 17-foot-high, 26.5-foot-wide, 27.5-foot-long intake structure with a steel trash rack with 2 5/8-inch clear spacing; (4) a 90-foot-long, 16-foot-wide, 8-foot-high concrete penstock; (5) a powerhouse containing one turbine-generator with a nameplate rating of 1,500 kilowatts (kW); (6) a tailrace excavated in the riverbed; (7) a 2,120-foot-long, 2.4-kilovolt (kV) overhead and underground transmission line connecting to an existing substation; and (8) other appurtenances. The project generates about 8,685 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually.

    The Lower Beaver Falls Hydroelectric Project consists of: (1) A 400-foot-long concrete gravity dam with a maximum height of 14 feet, including: (i) A 240-foot-long non-overflow section containing an 8-foot-wide spillway topped with flashboards ranging from 6 to 8 inches in height and (ii) a 160-foot-long overflow section with an ice sluice opening; (2) a 4-acre reservoir with a storage capacity of 27.9 acre-feet at a normal elevation of 769.6 feet NAVD 88; (3) an intake structure with a steel trash rack with 1 3/4-inch clear spacing, integral with a powerhouse containing two 500-kW turbine and generator units; (4) a tailrace; (5) a 505-foot-long, 2.4-kV transmission line connected to the Upper Beaver Falls powerhouse; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The project generates about 5,617 MWh annually.

    The Lower Beaver Falls Project is located approximately 600 feet downstream of the Upper Beaver Falls Project. The dams and existing project facilities for both projects are owned by the applicant. The applicant proposes no new project facilities or operational changes, but proposes that both projects be combined under a single license.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Scoping Process: The Commission intends to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) on the projects in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA will consider both site-specific and cumulative environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.

    Scoping Meetings

    FERC staff will conduct one agency scoping meeting and one public meeting. The agency scoping meeting will focus on resource agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) concerns, while the public scoping meeting is primarily for public input. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend one or both of the meetings, and to assist the staff in identifying the scope of the environmental issues that should be analyzed in the EA. The times and locations of these meetings are as follows:

    Agency Scoping Meeting

    Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2016.

    Time: 9:00 a.m.

    Place: Croghan Volunteer Fire Department.

    Address: 6860 Fire Hall Street, Croghan, New York.

    Public Scoping Meeting

    Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2016.

    Time: 7:00 p.m.

    Place: Croghan Volunteer Fire Department.

    Address: 6860 Fire Hall Street, Croghan, New York.

    Copies of the Scoping Document (SD1) outlining the subject areas to be addressed in the EA were distributed to the parties on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of the SD1 will be available at the scoping meeting or may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link (see item m above).

    Environmental Site Review

    The Applicant and FERC staff will conduct a project Environmental Site Review beginning at 1:00 p.m. on December 13, 2016. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend. All participants should meet at the Upper Beaver Falls Project facility, located at 9692 New York State Route 126, Castorland, New York. All participants are responsible for their own transportation to the site and during the site visit. Anyone with questions about the Environmental Site Review should contact Mr. Jeff Kirch, Northern New York Regional Operator for Algonquin Power (Beaver Falls) LLC, at 315-783-5854 or [email protected]

    Objectives

    At the scoping meetings, the staff will: (1) Summarize the environmental issues tentatively identified for analysis in the EA; (2) solicit from the meeting participants all available information, especially quantifiable data, on the resources at issue; (3) encourage statements from experts and the public on issues that should be analyzed in the EA, including viewpoints in opposition to, or in support of, the staff's preliminary views; (4) determine the resource issues to be addressed in the EA; and (5) identify those issues that require a detailed analysis, as well as those issues that do not require a detailed analysis.

    Procedures

    The meetings are recorded by a stenographer and become part of the formal record of the Commission proceeding on the projects.

    Individuals, organizations, and agencies with environmental expertise and concerns are encouraged to attend the meeting and to assist the staff in defining and clarifying the issues to be addressed in the EA.

    Dated: November 9, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27618 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-472-000] Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project, proposed by Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern) in the above-referenced docket. Northern requests authorization to construct, operate, and maintain new natural gas facilities in Sherburne, Isanti, and Rice counties, Minnesota, to provide for approximately 76,000 dekatherms per day to serve increased markets for industrial, commercial, and residential uses.

    The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    The Northern Lights 2017 Expansion Project includes the following facilities:

    • Approximately 2 miles of 8-inch-diameter pipeline loop 1 in Sherburne County;

    1 A pipeline “loop” is a segment of pipe installed adjacent to an existing pipeline and connected to the existing pipeline at both ends.

    • approximately 2.8 miles of 12-inch-diameter pipeline loop in Isanti County; and

    • an additional 15,900-horsepower compression unit at Northern's existing Faribault Compressor Station in Rice County.

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the EA to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; and newspapers and libraries in the project area. In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important that we receive your comments in Washington, DC on or before on or before Friday, December 9, 2016.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (CP16-472-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can also file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).2 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    2 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Additional information about the proposed project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP16-472). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: November 9, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27614 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2335-039-ME] Brookfield White Pine Hydro LLC; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations, 18 CFR part 380 (Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897), the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for a new license for the Williams Hydroelectric Project, located on the Kennebec River in Somerset County, Maine, and has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA). The project does not occupy any federal land.

    The EA contains the staff's analysis of the potential impacts of the project and concludes that licensing the project, with appropriate environmental protective measures, would not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

    A copy of the EA is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field, to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], at (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY).

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this project or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Any comments should be filed within 30 days from the date of this notice. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support. In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2335-039.

    For further information, contact Amy Chang at (202) 502-8250 or [email protected]

    Dated: November 9, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27617 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-6-000] Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on October 28, 2016, Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern), 5400 Westheimer Court, Houston, Texas 77056, filed an application pursuant to section 7(b) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 157 of the Commission's Regulations requesting authority to abandon a total of approximately 165 miles of its Line 1 pipeline that has been previously removed from active gas service, along with other associated facilities, in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Texas Eastern states that the facilities proposed for abandonment are not required to meet current firm service obligations and that their abandonment will eliminate the need for future operating and maintenance expenditures.

    The filing may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application should be directed to Lisa A. Connolly, General Manager, Rates and Certificates, Texas Eastern Transmission, LP, P.O. Box 1642, Houston, Texas 77251, phone: (713) 627-4102, Fax: (713) 627-5947 or email: [email protected]

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding, or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 5 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenters will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 7 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on November 30, 2016.

    Dated: November 9, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27615 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-8-000] Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on October 31, 2016, Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC (FGT), 1300 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002, filed in Docket No. CP17-8-000 an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) for authorization to construct and operate: (i) 13.17 miles of 12-inch-diameter pipeline and a meter station in Matagorda and Wharton Counties, Texas; (ii) 11.01 miles of 16-inch-diameter pipeline and a meter station in Jefferson County, Texas; (iii) 0.5 miles of pipeline and a meter station in Acadia Parish, Louisiana; (iv) a meter station in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana; and (v) to modify station piping at Compressor Station 6 in Orange County, Texas (East-West Project). The East-West Project is designed to deliver 275 million British thermal units per day of firm service. The estimated cost of the proposed project is approximately $68.9 million, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to Stephen T. Veatch, Senior Director of Certificates & Reporting, Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC, 1300 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002, by telephone at (713) 989-2024, by fax at (713) 989-1205, or by email at [email protected]

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit seven copies of filings made in the proceeding with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 7 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time November 30, 2016.

    Dated: November 9, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27616 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0435; FRL-9954-31-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Notification of Chemical Exports—TSCA Section 12(b) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has submitted the following information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA): “Notification of Chemical Exports—TSCA Section 12(b)” and identified by EPA ICR No. 0795.15 and OMB Control No. 2070-0030. The ICR, which is available in the docket along with other related materials, provides a detailed explanation of the collection activities and the burden estimate that is only briefly summarized in this document. EPA has addressed the comments received in response to the previously provided public review opportunity issued in the Federal Register on October 28, 2015 (80 FR 66000). With this submission, EPA is providing an additional 30 days for public review.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0435, to both EPA and OMB as follows:

    • To EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method) or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    • To 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 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. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colby Lintner, Environmental Assistance Division (7408M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Docket: Supporting documents, including the ICR that explains in detail the information collection activities and the related burden and cost estimates that are summarized in this document, are available in the docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 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.

    ICR Status: OMB approval for this ICR expired on September 1, 2016, due to administrative error. This action is a request to reinstate OMB approval for the information collection activities outlined in this document.

    Under PRA, 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 currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers for certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9.

    Abstract: Section 12(b) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires any person who exports or intends to export a chemical substance or mixture that is regulated under TSCA sections 4, 5, 6 and/or 7 to notify EPA of such export or intent to export. This requirement is described in more detail in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 40 CFR part 707, subpart D. Upon receipt of notification, EPA advises the government of the importing country of the U.S. regulatory action that required the notification with respect to that substance. EPA uses the information obtained from the submitter via this collection to advise the government of the importing country. This information collection addresses the burden associated with industry reporting of export notifications.

    EPA will disclose information that is covered by a claim of confidentiality only to the extent permitted by, and in accordance with, the procedures in TSCA section 14 and 40 CFR part 2.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Entities potentially affected by this ICR are companies that export chemical substances or mixtures from the United States to foreign countries.

    Respondent's Obligation To Respond: Responses to the collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR part 707, subpart D). Respondents may claim all or part of a notice confidential.

    Estimated Total Number of Potential Respondents: 240.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Estimated Total Burden: 4,032 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Estimated Total Costs: $278,118 (per year), includes no annualized capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of seven hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR previously approved by OMB. This increase reflects EPA's correction of arithmetic errors in the previous submission. This change is an adjustment.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27580 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0339; FRL-9954-00-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Boat Manufacturing (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Boat Manufacturing (40 CFR part 63, subpart VVVV) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1966.06, OMB Control No. 2060-0546), 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 November 30, 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 December 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0339, 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 recordkeeping requirements for the General Provisions (40 CFR part 63, subpart A), as well as for the standards at 40 CFR part 63, subpart VVVV. This includes submittal 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 systems is inoperative. These reports are used by EPA to determine compliance with the standards.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Boat manufacturing facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart VVVV).

    Estimated number of respondents: 144 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 23,500 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $2,430,000 (per year), includes $800 in annualized capital/startup and/or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is no change in the labor hours in this ICR compared to the previous ICR. This is due to two considerations. First, the regulations have not changed over the past three years and are not anticipated to change over the next three years. Secondly, the growth rate for the industry is very low, negative or non-existent, so there is no significant change in the overall burden. However, there is an adjustment increase in the respondent burden costs due to an increase in labor rates. This ICR uses updated labor rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate burden costs. This ICR also rounds all calculated total values to 3 significant figures.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27578 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0714; FRL-9955-26-OW] Notice of a Public Meeting of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting, new Designated Federal Officer and NDWAC membership.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a meeting of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWC), as authorized under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The meeting is scheduled for December 6 and 7, 2016. EPA is also announcing Ms. Tracey Ward as EPA's new Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the NDWAC, Ms. Carrie Lewis as the NDWAC Chairperson, and Ms. June Anne Swallow, P.E., as a new member of NDWAC. The NDWAC typically considers issues associated with drinking water protection and public drinking water systems. During this meeting, the NDWAC will focus discussions on developing recommendations for the EPA Administrator on the Lead and Copper National Primary Drinking Water Regulation—Long Term Revisions.

    DATES:

    The meeting on December 6, 2016, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., eastern time; and December 7, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, eastern time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held in the City of Washington, District of Columbia. The exact location of the meeting will be noticed in the Federal Register no later than the week before the meeting, posted at http://water.epa.gov/drink/ndwac/ and posted at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0714.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For more information about this meeting or to request written materials, contact Tracey M. Ward of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by phone at (202) 564-3796 or by email at [email protected] For additional information about the NDWAC meeting, please visit http://water.epa.gov/drink/ndwac/ or www.regulations.gov (search for Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0714).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Details about Participating in the Meeting: Teleconferencing will be available during the meeting. The number of teleconference connections available for the meeting is limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The teleconference number is (1) 866-299-3188; when prompted, enter conference code (202) 564-3796.

    To ensure adequate time for public involvement, individuals or organizations interested in presenting an oral statement should notify Tracey M. Ward by November 22, 2016, by email at [email protected] or by phone at (202) 564-3796. The NDWAC will allocate 45 minutes for the public's input (from 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., eastern time) at the meeting on December 7, 2016. Oral statements will be limited to three minutes at the meeting. It is preferred that only one person present a statement on behalf of a group or organization. Any person who wishes to file a written statement can do so before or after the NDWAC meeting. Written statements intended for the meeting must be received before November 22, 2016, to be distributed to all members of the NDWAC before any final discussion or vote is completed. Any statement received on or after the date specified will become part of the permanent file for the meeting and will be forwarded to the NDWAC members for their information.

    National Drinking Water Advisory Council: The NDWAC was created by Congress on December 16, 1974, as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974, Public Law 93-523, 42 U.S.C. 300j-5, and is operated in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2. The NDWAC was established under the SDWA to provide practical and independent advice, consultation and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the activities, functions, policies and regulations required by the SDWA.

    Special Accommodations: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Tracey Ward at (202) 564-3796 or by email at [email protected] To request an accommodation for a disability, please contact Tracey Ward at least 10 days prior to the meeting to give the hosting facility as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: November 9, 2016. Jennifer McLain, Acting Director, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27671 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9955-30-OEI] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Office of Environmental Information, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of amended Privacy Act system of records final.

    SUMMARY:

    The FOIA Request and Appeal File system of records is being amended to include all information and data elements that are being collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and participating agencies as it relates to FOIA requests, appeals and responses. This information is being removed from the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) system of records and being added to the FOIA Request and Appeal File (EPA-9) system of records. The FOIA Request and Appeal File system of records is also being amended to provide an additional routine use for the system. The additional routine use being added to this system of records, will allow the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), and the EPA to share information in the FOIA Request and Appeal File system in order to mediate and resolve disputes between requesters and administrative agencies without delay. OGIS will work directly with each agency using FOIAonline to access case level information that is not publically available in order to perform mediation services.

    Records are stored in a secure, password protected electronic system that utilizes security hardware and software to include multiple firewalls, active intruder detection and role-based accessed controls. Additional safeguards vary by participating agencies. EPA also has records from the period prior to its use of the FOIAonline system which are stored in file folders in lockable file cabinets. The FOIA Request and Appeal File system is maintained under the authority of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    DATES:

    Persons wishing to comment on this system or records notice must do so by December 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OEI-2015-0758, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 202-566-1752.

    Mail: OEI Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    Hand Delivery: OEI Docket, EPA/DC, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OEI-2015-0758. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information for which disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about the EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information for which disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OEI Docket, EPA/DC, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OEI Docket is (202) 566-1752.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Larry Gottesman, FOIA, Library and Accessibility Division, Office of Environmental Information, Office, (202) 566-2162, U.S. EPA, Office of Environmental Information, MC 2282T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request and Appeal File (EPA-9) system contains a copy of each FOIA request and appeal received by the EPA and a copy of all correspondence related to the request, including name, affiliation address, telephone numbers, and other information about a requester. FOIAonline is managed and used by the EPA and other agencies to process, track and respond to FOIA requests and appeals. The FOIAonline system provides the EPA and partner agencies with a secure, password protected Web site to electronically receive, process, track and store requests from the public for federal records; post responsive records to a Web site; collect data for annual reporting requirements to the Department of Justice and manage internal FOIA administration activities. In addition, the FOIA system allows the public to submit and track FOIA requests and appeals; access requests and responsive records online and obtain the status of requests filed with the EPA and partner agencies. FOIAonline is a software application used by the EPA and other agencies. Social security numbers and other types of personally identifiable information may be provided in requests or in responsive documents. In some cases, agencies may require this information to fulfill a request. All participating agencies will ensure that sensitive PII is not made publicly available. The name of a FOIA requester may be publicly available and searchable by the public based on an agency's policies. With the exception of a requester's name, any other personally identifiable information provided by a requester during the process of completing the online request form or creating an online account (e.g., home addresses, email address and contact information) will not be posted to the Web site, nor will it be searchable by the public. Personally identifiable information determined to be publicly releasable and contained in documents released to the public under FOIA (e.g., the names and official contact information of government employees or the names of agency correspondents) will be publicly available and searchable by the public if posted by a participating agency. Individuals accessing the system are FOIA Officers, FOIA coordinators, subject matter experts and members of the public. Computer records are maintained in a secure, password protected computer system that operates in compliance with Federal Security Information Modernization Act (FISMA) moderate level requirements located at EPA's National Computer Center located at 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Durham, NC 27709. All records are maintained in secure, access-controlled areas or buildings. The system is maintained in the EPA's Office of Environmental Information, Headquarter Program Offices, Regional Offices and the Office of General Counsel.

    Dated: October 21, 2016. Ann Dunkin, Chief Information Officer. EPA-9 SYSTEM NAME AND NUMBER:

    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request and Appeal File.

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    EPA's National Computer Center located at 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Durham, NC 27709.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    PURPOSE(S):

    To provide the public a single location to submit and track FOIA requests and appeals filed with the EPA and participating agencies, to manage internal FOIA administration activities and to collect data for annual reporting requirements to the Department of Justice.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    All persons requesting information or filing appeals under the Freedom of Information Act.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    A copy of each Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request received by the EPA and other participating agencies and a copy of all correspondence related to the request, including individuals' names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, alias(es) used by the requester, alien numbers assigned to travelers crossing national borders, requesters' parents' names, user names and passwords for registered users, FOIA tracking numbers, dates requests are submitted and received, related appeals and agency responses. Records also include communications with requesters, internal FOIA administrative documents (e.g., billing invoices) and responsive records.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    General routine uses A, E, F, G, H, K, and L apply to this system. Records may also be disclosed to:

    1. Another federal agency (a) with an interest in the record in connection with a referral of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to that agency for its views or decision on disclosure, or (b) in order to obtain advice and recommendations concerning matters on which the agency has specialized experience or particular competence that may be useful to an agency in making required determinations under the FOIA.

    2. To the National Archives and Records Administration, Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), to the extent necessary to fulfill its responsibilities in 5 U.S.C. 552(h), to review administrative agency policies, procedures and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and to facilitate OGIS' offering of mediation services to resolve disputes between persons making FOIA requests and administrative agencies.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORAGE OF RECORDS:

    Records are stored in file folders in lockable file cabinets. Records are also stored in a secure, password protected electronic system that utilizes security hardware and software to include multiple firewalls, active intruder detection and role-based accessed controls. Additional safeguards vary by participating agencies.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETRIEVABILITY OF RECORDS:

    Requests are retrieved from the system by numerous data elements and key word searches, including name, agency, dates, subject, FOIA tracking number and other information retrievable with full-text searching capability.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS:

    Each federal agency handles its records in accordance with its records schedule as approved by NARA. FOIA records are covered under NARA General Record Schedule 14—Information Services Records unless a participating agency's records are managed under other record schedules approved by NARA.

    PHYSICAL, PROCEDURAL, AND ADMINISTRATIVE SAFEGUARDS:

    Computer records are maintained in a secure, password protected computer system. Paper records are maintained in lockable file cabinets. All records are maintained in secure, access-controlled areas or buildings.

    SYSTEM MANAGER(S):

    Tim Crawford, [email protected], U.S. EPA, Office of Environmental Information, MC 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:

    Individuals seeking access to their own personal information in this system of records is required to provide adequate identification (e.g., driver's license, military identification card, employee badge or identification card). Additional identity verification procedures may be required as warranted. Requests must meet the requirements of EPA regulations at 40 CFR part 16.

    CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

    Requests for correction or amendment must identify the record to be changed and the corrective action sought. Requests must be submitted to the agency contact indicated on the initial document for which the related contested record was submitted.

    NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

    Any individual who wants to know whether this system of records contains a record about him or her, should make a written request to the EPA Privacy Officer, MC 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    EXEMPTIONS PROMULGATED FOR THE SYSTEM:

    None.

    [FR Doc. 2016-27669 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0318; FRL—9952-07-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Magnetic Tape Coating Facilities (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NSPS for Magnetic Tape Coating Facilities (40 CFR part 60, subpart SSS) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1135.12, OMB Control No. 2060-0171), 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 November 30, 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 December 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0318, 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 affected facilities are required to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements for the General Provisions (40 CFR part 60, subpart A), as well as for the specific requirements at 40 CFR part 60, subpart SSS. This includes submitting initial notification reports, 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: Magnetic tape coating facilities constructed or modified after January 22, 1986.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 60, subpart SSS).

    Estimated number of respondents: 6 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, quarterly and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 2,030 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $295,000 (per year), includes which $86,400 in annualized capital/startup and operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an adjustment increase in the respondent labor hours as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. This increase is not due to any program changes. Instead, the change in labor hour and cost estimates occurred because of a change in assumption. This ICR assumes all existing sources will have to re-familiarize with the regulatory requirements each year.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27576 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OW-2012-0217; FRL-9955-27-OW] Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4—Final AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is publishing a final list of contaminants that are currently not subject to any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking water regulation. These contaminants are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and may require regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This list is the Fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4) published by EPA since the SDWA amendments of 1996. This Final CCL 4 includes 97 chemicals or chemical groups and 12 microbial contaminants.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on chemical contaminants contact Meredith Russell, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Standards and Risk Management Division, at (202) 564-0814 or email [email protected] For information on microbial contaminants contact Hannah Holsinger, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Standards and Risk Management Division, at (202) 564-0403 or email [email protected] For general information contact the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791. The Safe Drinking Water Hotline is open Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. eastern time.

    Abbreviations and Acronyms CASRN—Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number CCL—Contaminant Candidate List CCL 1—EPA's First Contaminant Candidate List CCL 2—EPA's Second Contaminant Candidate List CCL 3—EPA's Third Contaminant Candidate List CCL 4—EPA's Fourth Contaminant Candidate List CFR—Code of Federal Regulations CIS—Contaminant Information Sheet DWC—Drinking Water Committee EPA—United States Environmental Protection Agency ESA—Ethanesulfonic acid FR—Federal Register HPC—Heterotrophic Plate Count HRL—Health Reference Level MCL—Maximum Contaminant Level MCLG—Maximum Contaminant Level Goal MRL— Minimum Reporting Level NAWQA—National Water-Quality Assessment NDEA—N-Nitrosodiethylamine NDMA—N-nitrosodimethylamine NDPA—N-Nitroso-di-n-propylamine NDPhA—N-Nitrosodiphenylamine NDWAC—National Drinking Water Advisory Council NIRS—National Inorganics and Radionuclides Survey NRC—National Academy of Science's National Research Council NPDWR—National Primary Drinking Water Regulation NPYR—N-nitrosopyrrolidine PCCL 4—Preliminary Contaminant Candidate List 4 PFOA—Perfluorooctanoic Acid PFOS—Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid PWS—Public Water System RD—Regulatory Determination RD 1—Regulatory Determination 1 RD 2—Regulatory Determination 2 RD 3—Regulatory Determination 3 SAB—Science Advisory Board SDWA—Safe Drinking Water Act SS—Screening Survey TRI—Toxics Release Inventory UCMR 1—First Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule UCMR 2—Second Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule UCMR 3—Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule USGS—United States Geological Survey WBDO—Waterborne Disease Outbreaks
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information? 1. Docket 2. Electronic Access C. What is the purpose of this action? D. Statutory Requirements for CCL, Regulatory Determination and Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring 1. Interrelationship of the CCL, Regulatory Determination and Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring 2. Contaminant Candidate List 3. Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring 4. Regulatory Determinations E. Where can I find information on previous CCLs and Regulatory Determinations? 1. Summary of Previous CCLs and Regulatory Determinations 2. Summary of the CCL 3 3. Summary of the Regulatory Determination 3 II. What is on EPA's Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4? The Final CCL 4 and a Cross-Walk of Contaminants Between the CCL 4, Regulatory Determination 3, and UCMRs III. Summary of the Approach Used To Identify and Evaluate Candidates for the Draft CCL 4 A. Carry Forward of CCL 3 Contaminants B. Summary and Evaluation of CCL 4 nominated contaminants 1. CCL 4 Nominations Summary 2. How Nominated Contaminants Were Evaluated for the Draft CCL 4 C. Evaluation of Previous Negative Regulatory Determinations IV. What comments did EPA receive on the Draft CCL 4 and how did the Agency respond? A. Recommendations From the EPA Science Advisory Board B. Public Comments 1. General Comments on CCL 4 2. Chemical Contaminants a. Contaminants With Release Data b. Cyanotoxins c. Perfluorinated Compounds (PFOA and PFOS) d. Pesticides e. Manganese f. Nonylphenol 3. Microbial Contaminants a. Overall Process Comments b. Pathogens for Inclusion c. Pathogens for Exclusion V. Data Needs for CCL 4 Contaminants Categorization of Contaminants A. Health Effects B. Occurrence C. Analytical Methods VI. Next Steps and Future Contaminant Candidate Lists VII. References I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    The Final CCL 4 will not impose any requirements on anyone. Instead, this action notifies interested parties of the EPA's Final CCL 4 of unregulated drinking water contaminants and provides a summary of the major comments received on the February 4, 2015, Draft CCL 4 Federal Register notice and EPA's responses (80 FR 6076 (USEPA, 2015a)).

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information? 1. Docket

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2012-0217. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Water Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the EPA Docket Center is (202) 566-2426.

    2. Electronic Access

    You may access this Federal Register document electronically from the Government Publishing Office under the Federal Register listings at FDsys (http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR).

    C. What is the purpose of this action?

    The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1996, requires EPA to publish a list every five years of currently unregulated contaminants that may pose risks for drinking water (referred to as the Contaminant Candidate List, or CCL). This list is subsequently used to make regulatory determinations on whether or not to regulate at least five contaminants from the CCL with national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWRs) ((SDWA section 1412(b)(1)). The purpose of today's action is to present EPA's final list of contaminants on the CCL 4, a summary of the major public comments received on the Draft CCL 4 and EPA's responses. Today's action only addresses the Final CCL 4. Regulatory Determination (RD) for contaminants on the CCL is a separate agency action.

    D. Statutory Requirements for CCL, Regulatory Determination and Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring 1. Interrelationship of the CCL, Regulatory Determination and Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring

    Under the 1996 amendments to SDWA, Congress established a risk-based approach for determining which contaminants would become subject to drinking water standards. The approach includes three components, the CCL, the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR), and RD. In preparing the CCL, EPA screens and evaluates unregulated contaminants to identify those that may require future drinking water regulations. Inclusion on the CCL does not mean that any particular contaminant will necessarily be regulated in the future. The UCMR provides a mechanism to obtain nationally representative occurrence data for unregulated contaminants. The data provided by UCMR is one of the primary sources of occurrence information used to evaluate contaminants in the RD process.

    Under the RD process, EPA evaluates UCMR and other occurrence data along with health effects data for contaminants on the CCL to see which ones present the greatest public health concern and have sufficient information for the agency to make a regulatory determination. EPA must make regulatory determinations for at least five contaminants listed on the CCL every five years. Today's action addresses only the CCL 4 and not the UCMR or RD stages of the SDWA contaminant regulatory development process.

    2. Contaminant Candidate List

    Section 1412(b)(1) of the SDWA, as amended in 1996, requires EPA to publish the CCL every five years. The SDWA specifies that the list must include contaminants that are not subject to any proposed or promulgated NPDWRs, are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems (PWSs), and may require regulation under the SDWA. The unregulated contaminants considered for listing shall include, but not be limited to, hazardous substances identified in section 101(14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, and substances registered as pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

    The SDWA directs the agency to consider the health effects and occurrence information for unregulated contaminants to identify those contaminants that present the greatest public health concern related to exposure from drinking water. The statute further directs the agency to take into consideration the effect of contaminants upon subgroups that comprise a meaningful portion of the general population (such as infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and individuals with a history of serious illness or other subpopulations) that are identifiable as being at greater risk of adverse health effects due to exposure to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Additionally, EPA's 1995 Policy on Evaluating Health Risks to Children states that the agency will consider the risks to infants and children consistently and explicitly as a part of risk assessments generated during its decision-making process, including the setting of standards to protect public health (USEPA, 1995a). EPA considers age-related subgroups as “lifestages” in reference to a distinguishable time frame in an individual's life, characterized by unique and relatively stable behavioral and/or physiological characteristics that are associated with development and growth. Thus, childhood is viewed as a sequence of lifestages, from conception through fetal development, infancy and adolescence (see http://www.epa.gov/children/early-life-stages).

    3. Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring

    Section 1445(a)(2) of the SDWA mandates that EPA promulgate regulations (known as the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule or UCMR) to establish criteria for a monitoring program for unregulated contaminants. This section, as amended in 1996, requires that once every five years, EPA issue a list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by PWSs. SDWA requires that EPA enter the monitoring data into the agency's publicly available National Contaminant Occurrence Database. EPA's UCMR program must ensure that systems serving a population larger than 10,000 people, as well as a nationally representative sample of PWSs serving 10,000 or fewer people, are required to monitor.

    4. Regulatory Determination

    Section 1412(b)(1)(B)(ii) of the SDWA, as amended in 1996, requires EPA at five year intervals, to make determinations of whether or not to regulate no fewer than five contaminants from the CCL. EPA evaluates the CCL contaminants with sufficient health effects and occurrence information to determine whether a regulation is required or not required. The 1996 SDWA Amendments specify three criteria to determine whether a contaminant may require regulation:

    • The contaminant may have an adverse effect on the health of persons;

    • the contaminant is known to occur or there is a substantial likelihood that the contaminant will occur in PWSs with a frequency and at levels of public health concern; and

    • in the sole judgment of the Administrator, regulation of such contaminant presents a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by PWSs.

    If EPA determines that these three statutory criteria are met and makes a final determination to regulate a contaminant, the agency has 24 months to publish a proposed maximum contaminant level goal 1 (MCLG) and NPDWR.2 After the proposal, the agency has 18 months to publish and promulgate a final MCLG and NPDWR (SDWA section 1412(b)(1)(E)).3 For those contaminants without sufficient information to allow the agency to make a regulatory determination, EPA encourages research to provide the information needed to determine whether to regulate the contaminant.

    1 The MCLG is the “maximum level of a contaminant in drinking water at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons would occur, and which allows an adequate margin of safety. MCLGs are non-enforceable health goals.” (40 CFR 141.2; 42 U.S.C. 300g-1)

    2 An NPDWR is a legally enforceable standard that applies to public water systems. An NPDWR sets a legal limit (called a maximum contaminant level or MCL) or specifies a certain treatment technique for public water systems for a specific contaminant or group of contaminants. The MCL is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water and is set as close to the MCLG as feasible, using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration.

    3 The statute authorizes a nine month extension of this promulgation date.

    E. Where can I find information on previous CCLs, UCMRs, and Regulatory Determinations 1. Summary of previous CCLs, UCMRs, and Regulatory Determinations

    A brief summary of CCL 1, CCL 2, Regulatory Determination 1 (RD 1) and Regulatory Determination 2 (RD 2) was published in the Federal Register for the Draft CCL 4 notice (80 FR 6076, February 4, 2015 (USEPA, 2015a)). Information on previous UCMRs, can be found at the following Web site: https://www.epa.gov/dwucmr.

    2. Summary of the CCL 3

    The CCL 3 included 104 chemicals or chemical groups and 12 microbiological contaminants. In developing the CCL 3, EPA implemented an improved process from the process used for CCL 1 and CCL 2. This new process built on evaluations used for previous CCLs and was based on substantial expert input and recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council (NRC) and the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC). EPA used a multi-step CCL process to identify contaminants for inclusion on the Final CCL 3. The key steps included:

    • Identifying a broad universe of potential drinking water contaminants (called the CCL 3 Universe). EPA initially considered approximately 7,500 potential chemical and microbial contaminants (more information on the identification of the CCL 3 Universe can be found in USEPA, 2009a and USEPA, 2009b).

    • Applying screening criteria to the universe, EPA identified almost 600 of those contaminants that should be further evaluated (the preliminary CCL or PCCL) based on a contaminant's potential to occur in PWSs and the potential for public health concern (more information on the CCL 3 screening process can be found in USEPA, 2009c and USEPA, 2009d).

    • Selecting the final list of 116 contaminants from the PCCL to include on the CCL based on more detailed evaluation of occurrence and health effects and expert judgment as well as public input (this step of the CCL 3 process is called the classification process and more information can be found in USEPA, 2009e and USEPA, 2009f).

    The CCL 3 interpreted the criterion that contaminants are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems broadly. In evaluating this criterion, EPA considered not only public water system monitoring data, but also data on concentrations in ambient surface and ground waters, releases to the environment (e.g., Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)), and production. While such data may not establish conclusively that contaminants are known to occur in public water systems, EPA believes these data are sufficient to anticipate that contaminants may occur in public water systems and support their inclusion on the CCL. The agency considered adverse health effects that may pose a greater risk to life stages and other sensitive groups which represent a meaningful portion of the population. Adverse health effects associated with infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with a history of serious illness were evaluated as part of the screening and classification processes. A detailed summary of the CCL 3 process can be found in the Draft CCL 3 (73 FR 9628, February 21, 2008 (USEPA, 2008a) and Final CCL 3 (74 FR 51850, October 8, 2009 (USEPA, 2009a)) Federal Register notices.

    3. Summary of the Regulatory Determination 3

    EPA published the Announcement of Final Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on CCL 3 in the Federal Register on January 4, 2016 (81 FR 13 (USEPA, 2016a)). The agency made final determinations not to regulate four contaminants: 1, 3-dinitrobenzene; dimethoate; terbufos; and terbufos sulfone. The agency delayed the final regulatory determination for strontium in order to consider additional data and decide whether there is a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction by regulating strontium in drinking water. These five contaminants are not included on the Final CCL 4.

    This section provides an overview of the process used for the Third Regulatory Determination (RD 3). A summary of the process can be found in the Federal Register notice announcing the preliminary regulatory determinations (79 FR 62716, October 24, 2014 (USEPA, 2014a)), and a detailed explanation of this process can be found in the “Protocol for the Regulatory Determination 3” support document (USEPA, 2014b). This overview of the RD process is provided to give an understanding of how contaminants have previously been evaluated after they have been listed on past CCLs. The RD 4 process may continue to follow this process although it is possible that some modifications may be made to this process. The RD process occurs subsequent to a Final CCL, and is a separate agency action. The RD 3 process, was divided into three phases: (1) The Data Availability Phase, (2) the Data Evaluation Phase and (3) the Regulatory Determination Assessment Phase.

    The purpose of the first phase, the Data Availability Phase, was to determine if the agency may have sufficient data to characterize the potential health effects and known or likely occurrence in drinking water. With regard to sufficient health effects data used to identify potential adverse health effect(s), the agency considered whether a peer reviewed health risk assessment was available or in process from an EPA or a comparable non-EPA source. In regard to sufficient occurrence data, the agency considered the availability of nationally representative finished water data and whether other finished water data were available that indicated known and/or likely occurrence in PWSs. After conducting the health and occurrence data availability assessments, the agency identified those contaminants and contaminant groups that meet the following Phase 1 data availability criteria:

    (a) A peer reviewed health assessment is available or in process, and

    (b) A widely available analytical method for monitoring exists, and

    (c) Either nationally representative finished water occurrence data are available, or other finished water occurrence data shows occurrence at levels greater than one-half of the CCL 3 health reference level (HRL).

    If a contaminant met these three criteria, it was placed on a “short list” and proceeded to Phase 2. From the 116 CCL 3 contaminants, the agency identified a short list of 37 contaminants (35 CCL 3 contaminants and two non-CCL 3 contaminants 4 ) to further evaluate in the second phase.

    4 The non-CCL 3 contaminants, N-Nitroso-di-n-butylamine (NDBA) and N-Nitrosomethylethylamine (NMEA), were included because they are part of a larger group (nitrosamines) that also includes a number of CCL 3 contaminants.

    During the second phase, the Data Evaluation Phase, the agency further evaluated each of the 37 contaminants on the short list to identify those that had sufficient data (or were expected to have sufficient data) for EPA to assess the three statutory criteria listed in section I.D.4 of this notice.

    To identify the contaminants that present the greatest public health concern, the agency specifically focused its efforts on identifying those contaminants or contaminant groups that are occurring or have substantial likelihood to occur at levels and frequencies of public health concern, based on the best available peer reviewed data. In addition to health and occurrence information data assessed in Phase 1, the agency collected additional health and occurrence data and more thoroughly evaluated this information to identify a list of contaminants that should proceed to Phase 3. If the agency found that sufficient data were not available or not likely to be available to evaluate the three statutory criteria during the first and second phases, then the contaminant was not considered a candidate for making a regulatory determination during the current cycle, and the agency will conduct research, collect information or find other avenues to fill the data and information gaps. For these contaminants, additional data that becomes available in the future may be considered for future CCLs and RDs.

    If sufficient data were available for a contaminant to characterize the potential health effects and known or likely occurrence in drinking water, the contaminant was evaluated against the three statutory criteria (listed in section I.D.4) in the third phase of the process, the Regulatory Determination Assessment Phase.

    II. What is on EPA's Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4? The Final CCL 4 and a Cross-Walk of Contaminants Between the CCL 4, Regulatory Determination 3, and UCMRs

    The Final CCL 4 includes 97 chemicals or chemical groups and 12 microbes listed in Exhibit 1. Exhibit 1 also shows chemical abstract service registry numbers (CASRNs) of the contaminants on the Final CCL 4 and their status across other EPA programs related to CCL (i.e., RD and UCMR). The list of contaminants is presented by CASRN when available, common name, or by aggregate groupings (e.g., cyanotoxins). Further data and information for the contaminants included on the CCL 4 are available in the technical support documents and Contaminant Information Sheets available on EPA's CCL 4 Web site and in the docket for this action (EPA-HQ-OW-2012-0217). All contaminants listed on the Final CCL 4 were also included on CCL 3, with the exception of manganese and nonylphenol, which were nominated by the public and added to the CCL 4. Twenty-eight CCL 4 chemicals that were carried forward from CCL 3 had been further analyzed and evaluated under the RD 3 process and included on the RD 3 Short List (further described in section I.E.3. of this notice). The RD 3 process also included an evaluation of occurrence data from the UCMR 2 for 13 CCL 4 chemicals. Twenty-one CCL 4 contaminants were monitored under UCMR 3 (19 chemicals and 2 microbes). The UCMR data will be used to further evaluate CCL 4 contaminants during the RD 4 process. In addition, EPA has proposed gathering occurrence data for 16 individual CCL 4 chemicals and several cyanotoxins, including anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, nodularin, total microcystin and several microcystin congeners under the proposed UCMR 4.

    Exhibit 1—Contaminants on the Final CCL 4, Regulatory Determination 3, UCMR 2, UCMR 3 and Proposed UCMR 4 CASRN Chemical or chemical group CCL 4
  • nomination
  • RD 3 short list UCMR 2 UCMR 3 Proposed
  • UCMR 4 a
  • 630-20-6 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane X 75-34-3 1,1-Dichloroethane X 96-18-4 1,2,3-Trichloropropane X X 106-99-0 1,3-Butadiene X 123-91-1 1,4-Dioxane X X 57-91-0 17 alpha-Estradiol 71-36-3 1-Butanol X 109-86-4 2-Methoxyethanol X 107-18-6 2-Propen-1-ol X 16655-82-6 3-Hydroxycarbofuran 101-77-9 4,4′-Methylenedianiline 30560-19-1 Acephate X 75-07-0 Acetaldehyde 60-35-5 Acetamide 34256-82-1 Acetochlor X X 187022-11-3 Acetochlor ethanesulfonic acid (ESA) X X 194992-44-4 Acetochlor oxanilic acid (OA) X X 107-02-8 Acrolein 142363-53-9 Alachlor ethanesulfonic acid (ESA) X X 171262-17-2 Alachlor oxanilic acid (OA) X X 319-84-6 alpha-Hexachlorocyclohexane X X 62-53-3 Aniline 741-58-2 Bensulide 100-44-7 Benzyl chloride 25013-16-5 Butylated hydroxyanisole X 133-06-2 Captan 14866-68-3 Chlorate X X 74-87-3 Chloromethane (Methyl chloride) X 110429-62-4 Clethodim 7440-48-4 Cobalt X X 80-15-9 Cumene hydroperoxide N/A Cyanotoxins a X X 141-66-2 Dicrotophos 55290-64-7 Dimethipin X 330-54-1 Diuron X 517-09-9 Equilenin 474-86-2 Equilin X 114-07-8 Erythromycin 50-28-2 Estradiol (17-beta estradiol) X 50-27-1 Estriol X 53-16-7 Estrone X 57-63-6 Ethinyl Estradiol (17-alpha ethynyl estradiol) X 13194-48-4 Ethoprop X 107-21-1 Ethylene glycol 75-21-8 Ethylene Oxide 96-45-7 Ethylene thiourea 50-00-0 Formaldehyde 7440-56-4 Germanium X 74-97-5 Halon 1011 (bromochloromethane) X 75-45-6 HCFC-22 X 110-54-3 Hexane 302-01-2 Hydrazine 7439-96-5 Manganese X X 72-33-3 Mestranol 10265-92-6 Methamidophos 67-56-1 Methanol 74-83-9 Methyl bromide (Bromomethane) X X 1634-04-4 Methyl tert-butyl ether X X 51218-45-2 Metolachlor X X 171118-09-5 Metolachlor ethanesulfonic acid (ESA) X X 152019-73-3 Metolachlor oxanilic acid (OA) X X 7439-98-7 Molybdenum X X 98-95-3 Nitrobenzene X 55-63-0 Nitroglycerin 872-50-4 N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone 55-18-5 N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) X X 62-75-9 N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) X X 621-64-7 N-Nitroso-di-n-propylamine (NDPA) X X 86-30-6 N-Nitrosodiphenylamine X 930-55-2 N-Nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR) X X 25154-52-3 b Nonylphenol X 68-22-4 Norethindrone (19-Norethisterone) 103-65-1 n-Propylbenzene 95-53-4 o-Toluidine X 75-56-9 Oxirane, methyl- 301-12-2 Oxydemeton-methyl 42874-03-3 Oxyfluorfen X 1763-23-1 Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) X X 335-67-1 Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) X X X 52645-53-1 Permethrin X X 41198-08-7 Profenofos X 91-22-5 Quinoline X 121-82-4 RDX X X 135-98-8 sec-Butylbenzene 107534-96-3 Tebuconazole X 112410-23-8 Tebufenozide 13494-80-9 Tellurium 59669-26-0 Thiodicarb 23564-05-8 Thiophanate-methyl 26471-62-5 Toluene diisocyanate 78-48-8 Tribufos X 121-44-8 Triethylamine 76-87-9 Triphenyltin hydroxide (TPTH) 51-79-6 Urethane 7440-62-2 Vanadium X X 50471-44-8 Vinclozolin 137-30-4 Ziram a Anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, nodularin, total microcystin and several microcystin congeners are proposed for monitoring under UCMR 4. b The organization that nominated “nonylphenol” for CCL 4 provided the CASRN of 25451-52-3. The name “nonylphenol” does not allow for a definitive identification of chemical structure since nonylphenol can exhibit two forms of isomerism. There are at least five CASRNs known to be associated with “nonylphenol”: In addition to 25154-52-3 (which represents n-nonylphenol with the ortho-, meta-, or para-substitution unspecified), other CASRNs include: 104-40-5 (4-n-nonylphenol); 84852-15-3 (4-nonylphenol, branched); 91672-41-2 (2-nonylphenol, branched); and 139-84-4 (3-n-nonylphenol). None of these five CASRNs is adequately general enough to represent both forms of isomerism. For the sake of consistency, the CASRN provided by the nominator was selected and the additional possible CASRNs and structures are delineated here.
    Microbe * CCL 4
  • nomination
  • UCMR 3
    Adenovirus X Caliciviruses X Campylobacter jejuni Enterovirus X Escherichia coli (O157) Helicobacter pylori Hepatitis A virus Legionella pneumophila Mycobacterium avium Naegleria fowleri X Salmonella enterica Shigella sonnei * There were no CCL 4 microbes monitored under UCMR 2, and none are proposed for monitoring under UCMR 4. The UCMR 4 Candidate Contaminants Information Compendium (USEPA, 2015b) provides a rationale for why contaminants, including microbes, were not included in the proposed UCMR 4. No CCL 4 microbes were included in the RD 3 Short List. Norovirus, a member of the calicivirus family, was included on UCMR 3 pre-screen testing.
    III. Summary of the Approach Used To Identify and Evaluate Candidates for the Draft CCL 4

    The Draft CCL 4 was published in the Federal Register on February 4, 2015 (80 FR 6076 (USEPA, 2015a)). EPA used a three step evaluation and selection process to identify candidates for the Draft CCL 4: (1) Carry forward CCL 3 contaminants (except those with regulatory determinations), (2) seek and evaluate nominations from the public for additional contaminants to consider, (3) evaluate any new data for those contaminants with previous negative regulatory determinations from CCL 1 or CCL 2 for potential inclusion on the CCL 4. The CCL 3 process is summarized in section I.E.2. A brief summary of steps 1-3 that were used to develop the Draft CCL 4 is provided in the section that follows, and a more detailed summary is provided in the Draft CCL 4 Federal Register notice (80 FR 6076 (USEPA, 2015a)). A summary of the public comments on the Draft CCL 4 and EPA's responses can be found in section IV.

    A. Carry Forward of CCL 3 Contaminants to the Draft CCL 4

    EPA carried forward all contaminants listed on CCL 3 to the Draft CCL 4 with the exception of perchlorate, for which the agency made a positive regulatory determination, and the five CCL 3 contaminants with preliminary regulatory determinations at that time, pending their final regulatory determinations. This carry forward process is consistent with that previously used in CCL 2. The agency took this approach based on the following considerations: (1) In developing the CCL 3, the agency implemented a robust process recommended by the NRC and the NDWAC to screen and score the universe of potential contaminants; (2) EPA used the best available, peer reviewed data and information to evaluate contaminants for CCL 3; and (3) Carrying forward CCL 3 contaminants allowed the agency to focus resources on evaluating contaminants nominated by the public for CCL 4 and review new data for CCL 1 or CCL 2 contaminants with previous negative regulatory determinations (68 FR 42897, July 18, 2003 (USEPA, 2003); 73 FR 44251, July 30, 2008 (USEPA, 2008b)). Carrying forward CCL 3 contaminants also allowed EPA to focus resources on UCMR 3 monitoring and analysis and RD 3 analyses.

    B. Summary and Evaluation of CCL 4 Nominated Contaminants 1. CCL 4 Nominations Summary

    EPA sought public nominations in a Federal Register notice on May 8, 2012 (77 FR 27057), for contaminants to be considered for possible inclusion in the CCL 4 (USEPA, 2012)). EPA received nominations for 59 unique contaminants for the CCL 4, including 54 chemical and five microbial contaminants. After carefully reviewing and evaluating the information and data for the nominated contaminants, EPA added two of the nominated chemicals (manganese and nonylphenol) to the Draft CCL 4. Detailed information on the nominations is contained in the “Summary of Nominations for the Fourth Contaminant Candidate List” support document (USEPA, 2016b).

    2. How Nominated Contaminants Were Evaluated for the Draft CCL 4

    Four nominated contaminants were already covered by a proposed or existing NPDWR and were not eligible for the CCL 4 since the SDWA specifies that the CCL only include those contaminants without any proposed or promulgated NPDWRs. Seven of the nominated contaminants were on CCL 3 and were carried forward to the Draft CCL 4. EPA reviewed the nominations and supporting information to determine if any new data were provided that had not been previously evaluated for CCL 3. The agency also collected and evaluated additional data for the nominated contaminants, when it was available, including the seven nominated contaminants carried forward from CCL 3. The additional data was obtained from both updated CCL 3 data sources and from new data sources that were not available at the time the agency finalized CCL 3. These data sources are listed in the “Data Sources for the Contaminant Candidate List 4” support document (USEPA, 2016c).

    Nominated contaminants with new data were screened and scored using the same process used in CCL 3. Through this analysis, EPA added manganese and nonylphenol to the Draft CCL 4 because, as discussed in more detail in the Draft CCL 4 Federal Register notice (80 FR 6076 (USEPA, 2015a)), EPA determined that the new and updated health effects information and additional occurrence data merited listing the contaminants. Detailed information on the data used to screen the nominated contaminants to determine whether or not they were included in the PCCL 4 is available in the “Screening Document for the PCCL 4 Nominated Contaminants” (USEPA, 2016d). More detailed information on the process and the data used to evaluate nominated contaminants for listing on the CCL 4 can be found in the “Contaminants Information Sheets (CISs) for the Final Contaminant Candidate List 4 (CCL 4)” support documents (USEPA, 2016e).

    C. Evaluation of Previous Negative Regulatory Determinations for the Draft CCL 4

    EPA evaluated the 20 contaminants from CCL 1 and CCL 2 for which the agency made negative regulatory determinations. EPA collected and evaluated new or updated data for the previous negative regulatory determination chemicals. Since RD 3 was recently published using the best available data, EPA did not include the RD 3 negative regulatory determinations in this evaluation. The agency concluded there was not sufficient new information for 19 of the 20 contaminants with previous negative regulatory determinations to justify including them on the Draft CCL 4. Because commenters also did not identify such information, EPA has not included these contaminants on the Final CCL 4. EPA added manganese, a previous negative regulatory determination from RD 1, to the Draft and Final CCL 4 as previously discussed in section III.B.

    IV. What comments did EPA receive on the Draft CCL 4 and how did the Agency respond?

    EPA requested comment on the Draft CCL 4 and how to further improve upon the selection process developed for CCL 3 as a tool for future CCLs. The agency received 27 public comment letters on the Draft CCL 4. EPA considered all public comments and evaluated the data and information provided by commenters in selecting the Final CCL 4. EPA used the same process used in the CCL 3 to screen and score any contaminants with new data or information provided by commenters. EPA prepared responses to all public comments that are in the “Comment Response Document for the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (Categorized Public Comments)” document, which is available in the docket for this action (USEPA, 2016f).

    Based on the analyses conducted as a result of public comments, EPA determined not to list three cancelled pesticides (disulfoton, fenamiphos, and molinate) on the Final CCL 4 that were included on the Draft CCL 4 because, as discussed more fully in the following sections, these chemicals are not known or anticipated to occur in PWSs and are not anticipated to require regulation. With the exception of these three pesticides, all of the contaminants listed on the Draft CCL 4 are listed on the Final CCL 4.

    A summary of some of the key public comments received, recommendations from EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) on the CCL 4, and EPA's responses are provided in this section. Data used to evaluate the contaminants for the CCL 4 can be found in the Contaminant Information Sheets (CISs) for the Final Fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4) (USEPA, 2016e), which can be found in the docket for this action available at www.regulations.gov by searching for docket EPA-HQ-OW-2012-0217.

    A. Recommendations From the EPA Science Advisory Board

    The EPA SAB and its Drinking Water Committee (DWC) reviewed the Draft CCL 4 and provided recommendations to the Administrator on January 11, 2016, in their report “Review of the EPA's Draft Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4) (USEPA, 2016g). On April 29-30, 2015, the SAB DWC held a public meeting to discuss responses to EPA charge questions. During this meeting, EPA provided an overview of the process used to develop the Draft CCL 4 and answered questions from the Committee.

    The SAB's recommendations and comments on the overall CCL 4 process and documentation are summarized in the following bullet points:

    • The SAB stated that the general protocol used to evaluate contaminants on the CCL 4 is well described and conceptually clear. They concluded the transparency and clarity of the process has improved since CCL 3 was finalized.

    • The SAB said that the documentation for CCL 4 lacked specific information necessary in order to follow the decision-making process for listing an individual contaminant on the Draft CCL 4. Specific suggestions to improve transparency and clarity of the support documents include:

    ○ Develop a summary table that consolidates summary information on all carried forward and nominated contaminants.

    ○ Display results of the CCL 4 screening and classification process in a manner that explicitly outlines the scoring schemes used and the scientific rationale in applying the selection criteria.

    ○ Provide examples for both microbial and chemical contaminants that display the process of how contaminants were included on or eliminated from the Draft CCL 4.

    ○ Clearly describe and improve the process for removing contaminants from prior CCLs, where appropriate, when such lists serve as the basis for a new CCL.

    ○ Explain the evaluation of CCL contaminants during the RD process.

    • The SAB recommended that EPA should utilize data from UCMR 3 monitoring as it becomes available.

    • The SAB stated that the CCL 4 list includes a number of contaminants carried forward from the CCL 3 without providing a sense of the relative priority of the listed chemicals. The SAB recommended EPA prioritize the list to inform future regulatory decision-making and to help researchers focus their efforts.

    EPA Response: EPA has provided a more detailed response to the SAB in the document, “Response to SAB recommendations on the Draft CCL 4” (USEPA, 2016h), which can be found in the docket for this action available at www.regulations.gov by searching for docket EPA-HQ-OW-2012-0217. This section summarizes EPA's response to some of the key SAB recommendations.

    The agency has updated the technical support documents for the CCL 4 to increase the transparency of its decisions relative to the contaminants included on the Final CCL 4. For instance, the CIS support document provides examples showing the criteria and process for including or excluding chemical and microbial contaminants from the CCL 4. Additionally, a summary table in the same support document presents factors used to determine how the CCL 4 contaminants were selected. The agency also summarizes the process used to evaluate contaminants under RD 3 in section I.E.3 of this notice.

    While EPA agrees with the SAB about the importance of using UCMR data to inform the CCL, the agency does not believe it is appropriate to use preliminary UCMR 3 data to make final CCL 4 decisions. The UCMR 3 data set was not finalized within the timeframe for use and analysis under CCL 4. The UCMR 3 monitoring period ended in December 2015 and results are reported to EPA through 2016. After the monitoring period is completed, the results undergo review for quality assurance and are subject to change following further review by the analytical laboratory, the PWS, the State and EPA. The agency will perform further analysis of both the health effects and occurrence of contaminants monitored under UCMR 3 during the RD 4 and CCL 5 development process.

    EPA identified the current occurrence, health effects and analytical methods data needs of CCL 4 contaminants for RD 4 evaluations in section V of this notice. This data needs table is presented to provide a sense of relative priority for listed contaminants by identifying those contaminants likely to have sufficient data for further evaluation under the next RD and those that have research needs. As the agency continues to evaluate contaminants on the CCL 4, EPA will work with agency and non-EPA scientists to develop and collect the best available science to support decision-making for future determinations.

    B. Public Comments 1. General Comments on CCL 4

    EPA received comments, both in support of and against the carry forward of contaminants from the CCL 3 to the Draft CCL 4. One commenter asked for more information on the decision to carry forward CCL 3 contaminants to the Draft CCL 4. Commenters not in support of the carry forward of CCL 3 contaminants thought EPA should reassess the science on all the CCL 3 contaminants. One commenter also thought EPA should limit the number of contaminants on the CCL so that research for the contaminants could be completed between one CCL and the next. One commenter supported the carry forward approach because the CCL 3 contaminants already have data available that shows there may be a potential public health impact. They also suggested that EPA should continue to evaluate these contaminants until enough data are collected to support a regulatory determination.

    EPA response: The reasons for carrying forward contaminants from the CCL 3 to the CCL 4 are presented in section III.A of this notice. EPA has continued to collect data and further evaluate the science for many of the contaminants that were carried forward from the CCL 3 to the CCL 4. For example, since the listing of contaminants on CCL 3, EPA has monitored and collected occurrence data for several CCL contaminants through the UCMR program. EPA has also further analyzed and evaluated many of the CCL 3 contaminants that were carried forward to CCL 4 under the RD 3 process. Exhibit 1 in section II.A of this notice lists CCL 4 contaminants that were evaluated under these other agency efforts. Although EPA carried forward contaminants from the CCL 3 to the CCL 4, EPA intends to collect new data and conduct further evaluations of unregulated contaminants for CCL 5.

    EPA does not agree that the CCL should be limited to a certain number of contaminants. The CCL identifies contaminants that are “known, or anticipated to occur in PWSs,” and is the first step in identifying contaminants that may require regulation. Some of the contaminants on the list may have sufficient information to make regulatory determinations in the near term and some of the contaminants on the list need additional data in order to determine the appropriate agency action. While the SDWA does not limit the CCL to a particular number of contaminants, the agency recognizes the need to communicate data needs for contaminants included on the Final CCL 4. Therefore, EPA has provided a summary of the current data needs for RD 4 evaluations in section V of this notice. The agency will continue to evaluate data needs through the RD 4 process and will continue to work with internal and external researchers to discuss research needs and priorities.

    2. Chemical Contaminants a. Contaminants With Release Data

    EPA received comments that several contaminants listed based on environmental release data for evaluating occurrence (e.g., ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, and toluene diisocyanate) should not be on the CCL 4 because one or more of their intrinsic physical or chemical properties would result in limited occurrence in water. Commenters cited the hydrolysis and biodegradation rate, or quick volatilization from water as reasons these chemicals should be removed from the Final CCL 4. Additionally, commenters noted that some of these contaminants have relatively short half-lives in water or may not be long-lived in the environment and thus should not be listed on the Final CCL 4.

    EPA Response: EPA is including ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, and toluene diisocyanate on the Final CCL 4 because these contaminants may be anticipated to occur in PWSs and may require regulation. Although no occurrence information in finished or ambient water is available for these contaminants, to be consistent with the CCL 4 protocol, EPA used total environmental release data reported in the TRI to evaluate and score the occurrence attributes. In response to comments citing that EPA should consider physical and chemical properties, EPA conducted additional analyses that considers physical and chemical properties and environmental fate parameters to provide an alternate score for the magnitude attribute. For this additional analysis on the specific contaminants commented on (e.g., ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, and toluene diisocyanate), EPA used the persistence and mobility scoring protocol (which is the protocol used for those chemicals with only production data) as the basis for scoring the magnitude attribute as described in the Final CCL 3: Classification of the PCCL to the CCL (USEPA, 2009e), available in the docket for this action. The model results for these contaminants using this alternate magnitude score still indicated that the contaminants should be listed (for a summary of how the classification model results were used to select contaminants for CCL 4, please see USEPA, 2016e, available in the docket for this action). These additional analyses are further described in the “Comment Response Document for the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (Categorized Public Comments)” document, which is available in the docket for this action (USEPA, 2016f). Additionally, as the SAB (USEPA, 2016h) noted, “contaminants with a half-life in drinking water sources of days to weeks may still pose a public health concern.”

    Considering the comments received on the Draft CCL 4, in future CCLs, EPA may refine analyses to consider if physical and chemical properties can be incorporated into the evaluations of contaminants listed based on environmental release data for occurrence.

    b. Cyanotoxins

    EPA received comments supporting the inclusion of cyanotoxins on the CCL 4. Some comments requested that cyanotoxins be listed by individual toxins rather than including cyanotoxins as a group on the Final CCL 4 in order to prioritize research on health effects, analytical methods, occurrence and treatment. Comments specifically requested listing the key variants of microcystins, cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin-a, saxitoxin and euglenophycin.

    EPA Response: EPA agrees that cyanotoxins should be included on the CCL 4, and has included cyanotoxins as a group on the Final CCL 4. The group of cyanotoxins includes all toxins produced by cyanobacteria including but not limited to microcystins, cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin-a and saxitoxin. EPA has provided CIS sheets for microcystin-LR, cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin-a and saxitoxin. Under CCL 3, cyanotoxins were listed as a group and EPA released CIS sheets for microcystin-LR, cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a. Based on data submitted in public comments, EPA updated previous CIS sheets and developed a CIS sheet for saxitoxin. EPA was unable to develop a CIS sheet for euglenophycin due to insufficient information on health and occurrence. EPA acknowledges the comments to list specific cyanotoxin compounds on the CCL instead of listing cyanotoxins as a group. However, because of the similar sources of cyanotoxins (i.e., cyanobacteria) their management may be similar. Furthermore, due to significant information gaps for some cyanotoxins (e.g., euglenophycin and nodularin and many microcystin congeners), EPA has determined it most appropriate to continue to list cyanotoxins as a group at this time. EPA agrees that microcystins, cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin-a and saxitoxin can be of concern for drinking water supplies. EPA acknowledges associated data gaps for euglenophycin as well as those for other cyanotoxins. EPA included total microcystins and six microcystin congeners (-LA, -LF, -LR, -LY, -RR, and -YR), cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin-a and nodularin on the proposed UCMR 4 for monitoring by PWSs. The occurrence information collected under the UCMR 4 will be used to further evaluate the appropriate agency regulatory determination and research actions.

    c. Perfluorinated Compounds (PFOA and PFOS)

    EPA received a comment supporting the inclusion of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) on the CCL 4. EPA also received comments that PFOS and/or PFOA should not be listed on the Final CCL 4. The commenter supporting inclusion of these chemicals on the CCL 4 cited their persistence in the environment and toxicological effects as reasons to include them on the Final CCL 4, and encouraged EPA to consider these chemicals for drinking water regulation. Commenters supporting removal of PFOA and/or PFOS from the CCL 4 cited the low frequency of detections of PFOA and/or PFOS under the UCMR 3 monitoring as of January 2015. Additional reasons cited by commenters that these chemicals should not be listed on the Final CCL 4 are the voluntary efforts by manufacturers to reduce emissions and work towards elimination of these chemicals from products.

    EPA Response: EPA is including PFOA and PFOS on the Final CCL 4 because these contaminants are known to occur in drinking water, are persistent in the environment and in the human body, have shown to be toxic in animal studies and may require regulation.

    As discussed in the summary of EPA responses to the SAB in this section (IV.A) of the notice, EPA did not use preliminary UCMR 3 monitoring results for the CCL 4.

    EPA acknowledges the industry commitments to voluntarily reduce the use and production of PFOA and PFOS; however, there are still a limited number of ongoing uses of PFOA and PFOS. Additionally, these chemicals are persistent in the environment and in the human body, which indicates they may be present in water or migrate to drinking water sources even after uses and production have been reduced or ceased, and therefore potential exposure may still be of concern.

    In May 2016, EPA released lifetime health advisories for PFOA and PFOS (USEPA, 2016i, available in the docket for today's action) and Health Effects Support Documents based on the agency's assessment of the latest peer reviewed science. The health advisories provide federal, state, tribal and local officials with information on the health risks of these chemicals, occurrence, analytical methods and treatment technologies so that they can determine what actions to take to protect consumers.

    In accordance with the SDWA, EPA will consider the occurrence data from the final UCMR 3 data set, along with the peer reviewed health effects assessments supporting the May 2016 PFOA and PFOS Health Advisories, to make a regulatory determination whether or not PFOA and PFOS require NPDWRs.

    d. Pesticides

    Several public commenters requested that specific pesticides be removed from the Final CCL 4. EPA agrees with commenters that three of these pesticides (disulfoton, fenamiphos, and molinate) should not be listed on the Final CCL 4; therefore, EPA is removing them from the Final CCL 4. The evaluation of these three pesticides is summarized in the following paragraphs.

    (i) Disulfoton

    EPA received a comment from the public that disulfoton should not be included on the Final CCL 4. The commenter noted that disulfoton had zero or very few detections nationally on any previous round of UCMR monitoring and therefore does not warrant national regulation.

    EPA Response: EPA agrees with the commenter that disulfoton should not be included on the Final CCL 4. Disulfoton sales and distribution were cancelled in the U.S., effective December 31, 2010, with remaining product stocks to be used until depleted (74 FR 48551, September 23, 2009 (USEPA, 2009g)). The UCMR 1 finished water screening survey (SS) found no detections of disulfoton in 2,300 samples from 295 PWSs. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has detected disulfoton infrequently in ambient water. During the 1992-2001 USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program monitoring, disulfoton was detected in only 17 sites out of 7,118 ambient water sites sampled (see the CIS for this contaminant (USEPA, 2016e)). Out of the 17 sites with detections, only two sites had detects at levels greater than the health reference level of potential concern for drinking water. Given that disulfoton was detected in those two sites prior to its cancellation, the agency expects that any potential disulfoton occurrence in water will likely continue to decrease in the future. Although persistent environmental contaminants may occur in a PWS after its uses are cancelled, based on its physical and chemical properties, disulfoton has low to moderate mobility in water and it is only moderately persistent in the environment (see the CIS for this contaminant (USEPA, 2016e), which can be found in the docket for this action). Therefore its occurrence is expected to decrease over time.

    EPA is not including disulfoton on the Final CCL 4 because it is not known or anticipated to occur in drinking water. Disulfoton likely has low potential for public health concern based on its cancellation status, zero detections in PWSs (from UCMR 1 data), and very few detections in ambient water from a large number of sites sampled (by the USGS NAWQA program).

    (ii) Fenamiphos

    EPA received a comment from the public that fenamiphos should not be included on the Final CCL 4. The commenter stated that the registrant for fenamiphos agreed to cancel all uses, and all existing stocks are to be used by October 6, 2017. The commenter stated that very limited uses remain of products containing fenamiphos in the U.S. and use will be discontinued after 2017.

    EPA Response: EPA agrees with the commenter that fenamiphos should not be included on the Final CCL 4 because it is not anticipated to occur in drinking water and is not likely to require regulation. Fenamiphos product registrations were cancelled, and the sale and distribution of fenamiphos by the registrant was prohibited on May 31, 2007. This cancellation followed a five- year phase-out period, beginning in 2003, intended to limit and reduce production of fenamiphos. The sale and distribution of any remaining stocks will be prohibited after October 6, 2017 (79 FR 59262, October 1, 2014; USEPA, 2014c). Fenamiphos was not monitored under UCMR, thus no national scale monitoring has been conducted in PWSs. While fenamiphos was not included in the USGS NAWQA national-scale ambient water monitoring (1992-2001), based on the USGS Pesticide National Synthesis Project (USGS, 2012), fenamiphos use is estimated to have steadily declined. The USGS estimated a usage level of approximately 1.0 million pounds/year of widespread use in certain regions per year in 1992, which declined to an estimated 0.2 million pounds/year in 2002 and further declined to an estimated 0.03 million pounds/year of limited regional uses in 2012. EPA expects fenamiphos occurrence in water will likely continue to decrease due to the declining trend in usage for many years and the prohibition on usage of existing stocks in the U.S. effective after October 6, 2017.

    In summary, due to its registration cancellation status, significant decline in usage (based on estimated data from 1992-2013), moderate persistence in the environment, and the prohibition of existing stocks (effective after October 6, 2017), EPA does not anticipate fenamiphos to occur in PWSs or to require regulation, therefore, it is not included on the Final CCL 4.

    (iii) Molinate

    EPA received a comment from the public that molinate should not be included on the Final CCL 4. The commenter noted that molinate had zero or very few detections nationally on any previous round of UCMR monitoring and therefore does not warrant national regulation.

    EPA Response: EPA agrees with the commenter that molinate should not be included on the Final CCL 4. The UCMR 1 finished water assessment monitoring found only one sample with a detection of molinate out of 33,799 samples taken from 3,873 PWSs. The single sample detection was below the health reference level of potential concern for molinate in drinking water. Further, molinate sales and distribution were cancelled in the U.S. effective July 1, 2009, with remaining stocks required to be used by August 31, 2009, (73 FR 44261, July 30, 2008 (USEPA, 2008c)). This cancellation action concluded a six-year scheduled phaseout of molinate. The agency is not including molinate on the Final CCL 4 because it is not anticipated to occur in PWSs at levels of public health concern. The agency expects the potential for molinate to occur in water will likely continue to decrease due to the prohibition on product use in the U.S. since 2009.

    e. Manganese

    EPA received four comments that support the inclusion of manganese and two comments that do not support the inclusion of manganese on CCL 4. Commenters supporting the inclusion of manganese on CCL 4 cited recent studies that showed neurological effects in children and infants exposed to excess manganese via drinking water. Commenters also noted manganese frequently occurs in water and should be included on CCL 4 so that national occurrence data can be obtained through UCMR monitoring. Commenters who did not support the inclusion of manganese on the CCL 4 cited that the primary route of human exposure to manganese is through food, not drinking water. Also, commenters question the link between the consumption of drinking water and developmental neurotoxicity from manganese exposure to warrant inclusion on the CCL 4.

    EPA Response: EPA agrees with the commenters that support manganese inclusion on the CCL 4, and is including manganese on the Final CCL 4 because it is known to occur in PWSs and may require regulation. The evidence from the studies provided by commenters indicate that exposure to excess manganese may present a substantial health threat to children and infants. EPA is continuing to evaluate the potential risks to children and infants based on over 30 recent studies cited by the public during the nomination and comment period including those by Bouchard et al. (2011), Oulhote et al. (2014) and Kern and colleagues (2010, 2011), whom have indicated neurological effects stemming from the exposure to excess manganese.

    EPA also agrees with the commenters assertion that manganese is known to occur in PWSs. EPA has included the occurrence data used to evaluate manganese in the CIS for this contaminant. This data includes USGS monitoring of ambient water, as well as drinking water data from several states. The data indicates that manganese is known to occur in public drinking water supply wells and supports the previous information from the National Inorganics and Radionuclides Survey (NIRS). EPA has proposed to monitor manganese under UCMR 4.

    EPA has reviewed all of the current data submitted by commenters on the manganese health effects and found that the existing 2004 Health Advisory could warrant an update. Since manganese is not a regulated contaminant in drinking water, the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.05 mg/L is not mandatory and does not require monitoring. The current IRIS assessment for manganese dates to 1995 (USEPA, 1995b) and the Health Advisory to 2004. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 2012 Toxicological Profile did not establish guidelines that applied to oral exposures and the Institute of Medicine (2001) provides Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for developmental lifestages and adults. The database of health effects studies for oral manganese exposures has expanded considerably since the last EPA assessment, therefore manganese is a good candidate for re-evaluation. EPA intends to evaluate the new toxicological findings and UCMR 4 monitoring data and will use this information in future regulatory decision-making, and to revise the current Health Advisory, if appropriate. More detailed evaluations of the routes of exposure usually occur in the regulatory determination and regulatory development processes.

    f. Nonylphenol

    EPA received two comments supporting the inclusion of nonylphenol and three comments that nonylphenol should not be included on the Final CCL 4. The commenters supporting inclusion of nonylphenol on the CCL 4 cited new health effects and occurrence data as reasons to include them on the Final CCL 4 and stated that EPA has adequate justification to include nonylphenol on the CCL based on this information. The commenters requesting that nonylphenol not be included on the Final CCL 4 cited a surface water monitoring study from 2002 and industry efforts to reduce surfactant usage as reasons nonylphenol should not be listed on the Final CCL 4. The main use of nonylphenol is in the manufacture of nonylphenol ethoxylates, which have been used in a wide range of industrial applications and consumer products including laundry detergents, cleaners, degreasers, paints and coatings and other uses (79 FR 59186, October 1, 2014 (USEPA, 2014d)).

    EPA Response: EPA is including nonylphenol on the Final CCL 4 as proposed because it is anticipated to occur in drinking water, has potential adverse health effects (Bontje et al., 2005), and may require regulation. EPA evaluated the 2002 USGS reconnaissance study (Kolpin et al., 2002) identified by the commenter and used it to evaluate the occurrence of nonylphenol. While there were more recent finished water studies available, EPA considers the 2002 USGS study as the most appropriate study to evaluate the occurrence of nonylphenol for CCL 4 given the greater number of samples and larger geographic scale. Additionally, more recent studies indicate that nonylphenol has been detected in drinking water. While EPA appreciates the information from commenters on reduced usage of nonylphenol, we believe measured occurrence data from water sources are preferred over production or usage information when evaluating the likelihood of occurrence in drinking water.

    3. Microbial Contaminants a. Overall Process Comments

    EPA received comments arguing that the follow-through on the microbes listed in previous CCLs has been inadequate, that EPA should identify high priority pathogens on the CCL 4 and identify information gaps and barriers to obtaining information associated with each pathogen. EPA received comments requesting an open process for prioritizing and collecting information, to adopt a collaborative method development process and to rank microbes by treatability. EPA also received comments to focus priorities on distribution and plumbing system biofilm concerns and to evaluate microbial contaminants in the context of diverse water supplies such as drinking water sources from water reuse treatment facilities.

    EPA Response: EPA's criteria for evaluating and prioritizing pathogens for inclusion in the CCL 3 included health effects, waterborne disease outbreaks (WBDO) and occurrence information (73 FR 9628 (USEPA, 2008a)). EPA developed and implemented a systematic strategy and set of criteria for selecting the pathogens for CCL 3. This is the screening and scoring process described in detail in the support documents in the docket of the Final CCL 3 (e.g., see the Final Contaminant Candidate List 3 Microbes: PCCL to CCL Process for more information on all of the scores). The CCL 3 and CCL 4 processes provided multiple opportunities for public input (e.g., nominations, public comment) to allow for an open process. In order to provide additional clarity to the scoring process, EPA is including an example schematic describing the process of evaluating a pathogen for inclusion on the list and a pathogen for exclusion from the list. This schematic can be found in the CIS's for the Final Fourth Contaminant Candidate List (USEPA, 2016e). EPA acknowledges the request to identify information gaps; therefore, data needs are described in section V of this Federal Register notice.

    The EPA's Office of Water coordinates with EPA's Office of Research and Development to discuss research needs and priorities. Research on distribution system and premise plumbing biofilm concerns has been incorporated into EPA's strategic research plan. EPA acknowledges the comments on diverse water supplies and method development and will consider these comments as it develops future research priorities.

    b. Pathogens for Inclusion

    EPA received comments supporting the proposed inclusion of Mycobacterium avium, Legionella pneumophila, Naegleria fowleri, enteroviruses and Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC). EPA also received comments requesting recommendations for Legionella pneumophila management.

    EPA Response: EPA included Mycobacterium avium, Legionella pneumophila, Naegleria fowleri, and enteroviruses on the Final CCL 3 and were therefore carried forward to the draft and Final CCL 4. While the broader issue of the management of Legionella pneumophila is outside the scope of today's action, the agency agrees it is of great importance and Legionella remains a risk to building water systems. In September 2016, EPA released a document reviewing the available technology to treat Legionella titled Technologies for Legionella Control in Premise Plumbing Systems: Scientific Literature Review (USEPA, 2016j). This document provides information to state and local decision-makers about how they might utilize treatment as part of their efforts to manage Legionella risks in building water systems.

    EPA disagrees that HPC should be included on CCL 4. The group of HPC usually includes a diverse group of microorganisms that are part of the natural environment in water. Available epidemiological evidence shows no relationship between gastrointestinal illness and HPC bacteria in drinking water (Calderon, 1988; Calderon and Mood, 1991; Payment et al., 1997; Bartram J et al., 2003). Thus, EPA considers the potential health risk of HPC bacteria in drinking water as likely negligible and is not including HPC on the Final CCL 4. In addition, HPC bacteria are addressed under the Surface Water Treatment Rule as a treatment technique where they can be monitored in lieu of a disinfectant residual because HPC is an alternative method of determining disinfectant residual levels.

    c. Pathogens for Exclusion

    EPA received comments not supporting the proposed inclusion of Escherichia coli O157 and Helicobacter pylori, noting these pathogens were unlikely to occur in treated drinking water.

    EPA Response: EPA's criteria for evaluating and prioritizing pathogens for inclusion in the Draft CCL 3 Federal Register notice, included health effects, WBDO and occurrence information (73 FR 9628 (USEPA, 2008a)). Treatability was not part of the scoring criteria considered for CCL 3 inclusion. Although some of the microbes listed in the Draft CCL 4 may be well controlled by drinking water treatment (i.e., disinfection), not all PWSs in the U.S. are required to treat. For example, approximately thirty percent of the 40,000 community ground water systems do not have disinfection treatment (USEPA, 2013). For the reasons discussed in detail in the Draft CCL 3 Federal Register notice (73 FR 9628 ((USEPA, 2008a)), EPA did not preclude pathogens from CCL 3 and CCL 4 based on their potential to be controlled by existing treatment technique regulations.

    V. Data Needs for CCL 4 Contaminants

    After the listing process, the CCL 4 contaminants will be further evaluated in a separate action called Regulatory Determination 4 (RD 4). The process used to previously evaluate CCL 3 contaminants under RD 3 is described in section I.E.3 of this notice. EPA anticipates using a similar process to evaluate CCL 4 contaminants under RD 4, although it is possible that some modifications may be made to this process. In the initial phases of this process, EPA determines if sufficient data are available to meet the three RD criteria set forth in SDWA section 1412(b)(1) and previously outlined in section I.D.4 of this notice. If sufficient data are available to meet all three statutory criteria, a regulatory determination may be made. As discussed in section I.D.4, SDWA requires EPA to make regulatory determinations every five years on at least five CCL contaminants.

    The SAB and other commenters have recommended additional prioritization of the CCL 4 contaminants to communicate research needs, help focus efforts for researchers, and inform future regulatory decision-making. EPA acknowledges that many contaminants on the CCL 4 have substantial data and information needs to fulfill in order for the agency to make a regulatory determination in accordance with SDWA 1412 (b)(1)(A). These current data needs are described in the following section, and are presented in Exhibit 2. By identifying those contaminants that need additional research and information, EPA is communicating to stakeholders both research priorities and gaps for these contaminants.

    Categorization of Contaminants

    EPA assessed the data and information gathered on the CCL 4 contaminants and generated a table (Exhibit 2) to help identify data/information needs for further evaluation under RD 4. To develop this table, EPA began with the information contained in the data availability/Phase 1 table included in Appendix D of the Protocol for the RD 3 (USEPA, 2014b), which describes the status of the best available occurrence data and health effects assessments for CCL 3 contaminants. EPA updated the occurrence data needs for CCL 4 contaminants by including which contaminants were monitored on the UCMR 3, and updated the health effects data needs based on available EPA or other non-EPA peer reviewed assessments as of May 2016. Since manganese and nonylphenol were nominated and added to the CCL 4 (not carried forward from CCL 3), data collected under CCL 4 was included in the Contaminant Information Sheets (USEPA, 2016e) for these contaminants and was used to assess the data needs. EPA characterized each chemical contaminant included on the Final CCL 4 based on their health effects, occurrence and analytical methods data needs.

    EPA then categorized contaminants into six categories depending upon the availability of their occurrence data and health assessment. Contaminants in Group A have nationally representative finished drinking water data and a peer reviewed health assessment and are likely to have sufficient data available to be placed on a short list for further assessment under RD 4. Contaminants in Group B have finished drinking water data that is not nationally representative and peer reviewed health assessments. These contaminants may have sufficient data to be placed on a short list for further assessment under RD 4, particularly if the non-nationally representative occurrence data shows detections at levels of public health concern. Contaminants in groups C, D, E, and F of Exhibit 2 that lack either a peer reviewed health assessment or finished water data have more substantial data needs and are unlikely to have sufficient information to allow further assessment under the RD 4. For these contaminants, EPA plans to identify them as research priorities and work to fill their research needs such as evaluating the potential for monitoring under the UCMR or identifying those contaminants as priorities for health effects research. The health effects and occurrence data sources used to classify data needs are featured in Appendix 6 of the CISs for the Final Fourth CCL in the docket (USEPA, 2016e). The following sections describe the types of data or information gaps outlined in Exhibit 2 and provide examples.

    A. Health Effects

    Under the RD process, EPA relies on external peer-reviewed health assessments to determine if and at what level a contaminant “may have an adverse effect on the health of persons.” Health effects data sources evaluated for RD 3 included EPA health assessments, or peer reviewed health assessments developed by other organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, World Health Organization, the California EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, and/or supplemental data from a single study, if the health assessment is peer reviewed and uses comparable methods, standards and guidelines to an EPA health assessment.

    As shown in Exhibit 2, EPA categorized the health effects data needs in the following way:

    1. If a peer reviewed health assessment is available or is in the process of being revised, the contaminant is considered to have health effects data available.

    2. If a peer reviewed health assessment is not available, then the contaminant is considered to not have health effects data currently available.

    B. Occurrence

    For RD evaluations, the occurrence data availability assessment is used to identify contaminants that may have sufficient data and information to characterize their status as known or likely to occur in PWSs. EPA uses data from many sources to evaluate occurrence for contaminants considered for RD (see Appendix C of USEPA, 2014b for occurrence data sources evaluated under RD 3). For this evaluation, EPA prefers to have nationally representative finished drinking water occurrence data, but finished drinking water data that are not nationally representative may also be used to determine if the contaminant occurs frequently at levels of public health concern. In addition, the agency evaluates supplemental sources of information (e.g., ambient/source water occurrence, production/use and environmental release data). For the purposes of identifying current data needs for RD 4, as shown in Exhibit 2, EPA categorized the occurrence data needs in the following way:

    • Finished drinking water occurrence data that are nationally representative are available.

    ○ Data sources may include UCMRs (i.e., UCMR 1, UCMR 2 and UCMR 3), the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program (Round 1 and Round 2) and NIRS.

    • Finished drinking water occurrence data that are not nationally representative are available. These data may include:

    ○ Finished water assessments by federal agencies (e.g., EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and USGS). These may include assessments that are geographically distributed across the nation but are not intended to be statistically representative of the nation (e.g., the Disinfection By-Product Rule Information Collection Request).

    ○ State-level finished water monitoring data.

    ○ Research performed by institutions and universities (e.g., scientific literature), including targeted or local monitoring studies.

    ○ Various reports from the Centers for Disease Control and the scientific literature for microbes.

    • Finished drinking water occurrence data are not available.

    ○ The best available data sources may include environmental release data (such as TRI data or pesticide application data) or ambient water data.

    EPA has also indicated with a footnote in the occurrence data column, highlighting which contaminants are proposed for monitoring under the UCMR 4 from 2018-2020. Therefore, although some of the contaminants that may be monitored under UCMR 4 are shown in this table as currently having data gaps for occurrence (e.g., they only have drinking water data that is not nationally representative or release data), EPA has proposed to fill those occurrence data needs for future RD evaluations.

    C. Analytical Methods

    To conduct nationally representative drinking water occurrence studies that could support a regulatory determination, EPA needs to have an analytical method that is suitable for the drinking water matrix and is robust enough to be used by many laboratories to conduct national studies and/or compliance monitoring. For the purpose of CCL 4, EPA assessed the status of the development of analytical methods for drinking water and determined estimated reporting levels for each contaminant. EPA also assessed method sensitivity with respect to the HRL for the chemical contaminants. Method sensitivity is measured by using method specific reporting levels, lowest concentration minimum reporting levels, and promulgated minimum reporting level. While there are many methods for monitoring the CCL 4 pathogens available from scientific papers and consensus organizations, not all of them may be appropriate for use in drinking water or for a national monitoring effort. Of the CCL 4 pathogens, only enterovirus and caliciviruses have an EPA-approved method for drinking water. The status of drinking water analytical methods for the CCL chemical contaminants, as of May 2016, is presented in Exhibit 2. EPA categorized the analytical method needs in the following way:

    • An EPA drinking water method, with estimated reporting levels that are adequate for analysis relative to the current HRL or health assessment is available.

    • An EPA drinking water method is available but the minimum reporting level (MRL) does not allow for quantitation of the contaminant at a concentration below the current HRL. These methods are denoted in Exhibit 2 by “(MRL>HRL)”.

    • An EPA drinking water method is currently being developed.

    • An EPA drinking water method is not available.

    Although not shown in Exhibit 2, EPA also considers other government and consensus methods (e.g., Standard Methods and ASTM, International) when considering analytical methods that may be used or modified for UCMR monitoring.

    Exhibit 2—Regulatory Determination Data/Information Needs for CCL 4 Contaminants CASRN Common name What is the best available occurrence data? Is a health assessment available? Is an EPA analytical method available? (A) Contaminants with Nationally Representative Finished Water Occurrence Data and Peer Reviewed Health Assessments 630-20-6 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane National Yes a Yes. 96-18-4 1,2,3-Trichloropropane National Yes Yes (MRL > HRL). 123-91-1 1,4-Dioxane National Yes Yes. 16655-82-6 3-Hydroxycarbofuran National Yes b Yes. 34256-82-1 Acetochlor National Yes Yes. 187022-11-3 Acetochlor ethanesulfonic acid (ESA) National Yes b Yes. 194992-44-4 Acetochlor oxanilic acid (OA) National Yes b Yes. 142363-53-9 Alachlor ethanesulfonic acid (ESA) National Yes Yes. 171262-17-2 Alachlor oxanilic acid (OA) National Yes b Yes (MRL > HRL). 14866-68-3 Chlorate National Yes Yes. 7440-48-4 Cobalt National Yes a Yes. NA Enterovirus National Yes Yes. 7439-96-5 Manganese National  c In Development Yes. 74-83-9 Methyl bromide (Bromomethane) National Yes a Yes. 51218-45-2 Metolachlor National Yes Yes. 171118-09-5 Metolachlor ethanesulfonic acid (ESA) National Yes Yes. 152019-73-3 Metolachlor oxanilic acid (OA) National Yes Yes. 7439-98-7 Molybdenum National In Development Yes. 98-95-3 Nitrobenzene National Yes Yes. 55-18-5 N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) National Yes Yes (MRL > HRL). 62-75-9 N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) National Yes a Yes (MRL > HRL). 621-64-7 N-Nitroso-di-n-propylamine (NDPA) National Yes Yes (MRL > HRL). 930-55-2 N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR) National Yes a Yes. 1763-23-1 Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) National Yes Yes. 335-67-1 Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) National Yes Yes. 121-82-4 RDX National In Development Yes. 7440-62-2 Vanadium National Yes a Yes. (B) Contaminants With Non-Nationally Representative Finished Water Occurrence Data and Peer Reviewed Health Assessments 71-36-3 1-Butanol Non-National c In Development Yes. 30560-19-1 Acephate Non-National Yes Yes. 107-02-8 Acrolein Non-National Yes a No. NA Adenovirus Non-National Yes No. 319-84-6 alpha-Hexachlorocyclohexane Non-National c Yes Yes (MRL > HRL). 741-58-2 Bensulide Non-National Yes Yes. 100-44-7 Benzyl chloride Non-National Yes a No. NA Caliciviruses Non-National Yes Yes. 133-06-2 Captan Non-National Yes No. NA Cyanotoxins Non-National d Yes for microcystins and cylindrospermopsin, no for other cyanotoxins Yes. 141-66-2 Dicrotophos Non-National Yes Yes. 330-54-1 Diuron Non-National Yes Yes. 13194-48-4 Ethoprop Non-National c Yes Yes. 107-21-1 Ethylene glycol Non-National Yes No. 96-45-7 Ethylene thiourea Non-National Yes No. 50-00-0 Formaldehyde Non-National Yes Yes. NA Legionella pneumophila Non-National Yes In Development. 10265-92-6 Methamidophos Non-National Yes Yes. NA Mycobacterium avium Non-National Yes In Development. 86-30-6 N-Nitrosodiphenylamine (NDPhA) Non-National Yes a No. 301-12-2 Oxydemeton-methyl Non-National Yes Yes. 42874-03-3 Oxyfluorfen Non-National c Yes Yes. 52645-53-1 Permethrin Non-National c Yes Yes. 41198-08-7 Profenofos Non-National c Yes Yes. 107534-96-3 Tebuconazole Non-National c Yes Yes. 78-48-8 Tribufos Non-National c Yes Yes. 50471-44-8 Vinclozolin Non-National Yes Yes. 137-30-4 Ziram Non-National Yes No. (C) Contaminants With Nationally Representative Finished Water Occurrence Data Lacking Peer Reviewed Health Assessments 75-34-3 1,1-Dichloroethane National No a Yes. 106-99-0 1,3-Butadiene National No Yes (MRL > HRL). 74-87-3 Chloromethane (Methyl chloride) National No Yes. 474-86-2 Equilin National No Yes. 50-28-2 Estradiol (17-beta estradiol) National No Yes. 50-27-1 Estriol National No Yes. 53-16-7 Estrone National No Yes. 57-63-6 Ethinyl Estradiol (17-alpha ethynyl estradiol) National No Yes. 7440-56-4 Germanium National c No Yes. 74-97-5 Halon 1011 (bromochloromethane) National No Yes. 75-45-6 HCFC-22 National No Yes. 1634-04-4 Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) National No Yes. 103-65-1 n-Propylbenzene National No a Yes. 135-98-8 sec-Butylbenzene National No a Yes. 13494-80-9 Tellurium National No No. (D) Contaminants With Non-Nationally Representative Finished Water Occurrence Data Lacking Peer Reviewed Health Assessments 57-91-0 17alpha-estradiol Non-National No In Development. 75-07-0 Acetaldehyde Non-National No Yes. 62-53-3 Aniline Non-National No a No. 25013-16-5 Butylated hydroxyanisole Non-National c No Yes. 517-09-9 Equilenin Non-National No In Development. 114-07-8 Erythromycin Non-National No In Development. 110-54-3 Hexane Non-National No a No. 72-33-3 Mestranol Non-National No No. NA Naegleria fowleri Non-National No No. 25154-52-3 Nonylphenol Non-National No No. 68-22-4 Norethindrone (19-Norethisterone) Non-National No In Development. (E) Contaminants With Peer Reviewed Health Assessments Lacking Finished Water Occurrence Data 107-18-6 2-Propen-1-ol Release c Yes a Yes. 110429-62-4 Clethodim Release Yes No. 55290-64-7 Dimethipin Release c Yes Yes. NA Escherichia coli (O157) No Data Yes No. NA Helicobacter pylorie No Data Yes No. NA Hepatitis A virus No Data Yes No. 302-01-2 Hydrazine Release Yes a No. 67-56-1 Methanol Release Yes No. 55-63-0 Nitroglycerin Release Yes a No. 872-50-4 N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone Release Yes No. 75-56-9 Oxirane, methyl- Release Yes No. 91-22-5 Quinoline Release c Yes Yes (MRL > HRL). 112410-23-8 Tebufenozide Release Yes Yes. 59669-26-0 Thiodicarb Release Yes No. 23564-05-8 Thiophanate-methyl Release Yes No. 76-87-9 Triphenyltin hydroxide (TPTH) Release Yes No. (F) Contaminants Lacking Finished Water Occurrence Data and Current, Peer Reviewed Health Assessments 109-86-4 2-Methoxyethanol Release c No a Yes. 101-77-9 4,4′-Methylenedianiline Release No No. 60-35-5 Acetamide Release No No. NA Campylobacter jejuni No Data No No. 80-15-9 Cumene hydroperoxide Release No No. 75-21-8 Ethylene oxide Release No No. 95-53-4 o-Toluidine Release c No a Yes. NA Salmonella enteric No Data No No. NA Shigella sonnei No Data No No. 26471-62-5 Toluene diisocyanate Release No No. 121-44-8 Triethylamine Release No No. 51-79-6 Urethane Release No No. Key to Exhibit: National = Finished drinking water occurrence data that are nationally representative are available. Non-National = Finished drinking water occurrence data that are not nationally representative are available. In Development = Revised health assessment or analytical method is currently being developed. a Provisional Peer Reviewed Toxicity Value (PPRTV) in the form of chronic, oral RfD subchronic, oral RfD, cancer weight evidence, or cancer slope factor available. b The parent health assessment was used for the metabolite. There is no independent health assessment available for the metabolite. c Proposed for UCMR 4. d Evaluations of occurrence data availability for cyanotoxins in this table are based on anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, and microcystin-LR. Cyanotoxins proposed for UCMR 4 monitoring include total microcystins (MC), MC-LA, MC-LF, MC-LR, MC-LY, MC-RR, MC-YR, nodularin, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin. VI. Next Steps and Future Contaminant Candidate Lists

    The CCL process is critical to shaping the future direction of the drinking water program. The agency will continue to gather information and evaluate contaminants on the CCL 4 to make regulatory determinations for at least five contaminants. The agency will also continue to refine the CCL process and gather more data to identify contaminants for CCL 5. EPA will continue to work to prioritize contaminants on the CCL 4, both for RD and for additional research and data collection.

    References Bartram, J., Cotruvo, J., Exner, M., Fricker, C. and Glasmacher, A. 2003. Heterotrophic plate count measurement in drinking water safety. WHO Emerging issues in Water and Infectious Disease Series, IWA Publishing, London, pp. 119-122. Bontje, D., Hermens, J., Vermeire, T. and Damstra, T. 2005. Integrated risk assessment: Nonylphenol case study. Report prepared for the WHO/UNEP/ILO International programme on chemical safety. Bouchard, M.F., Sauvé, S., Barbeau, B., Legrand, M., Brodeur, M.È., Bouffard, T., Limoges, E., Bellinger, D.C. and Mergler, D. 2011. Intellectual impairment in school-age children exposed to manganese from drinking water. Environmental health perspectives, 119(1), p. 138. Calderon, R.L. 1988. Bacteria colonizing point-of-entry granular activated carbon filters and their relationship to human health. EPA CR-813978-01-0, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Calderon, R.L. and Mood, E.W. 1991. Bacteria colonizing point-of-use granular activated carbon filters and their relationship to human health. EPA CR 811904-01-0, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Kern, C.H., Stanwood, G.D. and Smith, D.R. 2010. Preweaning manganese exposure causes hyperactivity, disinhibition, and spatial learning and memory deficits associated with altered dopamine receptor and transporter levels. Synapse, 64(5), pp. 363-378. Kern, C.H. and Smith, D.R. 2011. Preweaning Mn exposure leads to prolonged astrocyte activation and lasting effects on the dopaminergic system in adult male rats. Synapse, 65(6), pp. 532-544. Kolpin, D.W., Furlong, E.T., Meyer, M.T., Thurman, E.M., Zaugg, S.D., Barber, L.B. and Buxton, H.T. 2002. Pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, 1999-2000: A national reconnaissance. Environmental science & technology, 36(6), pp. 1202-1211. Oulhote, Youssef, Donna Mergler, Benoit Barbeau, David C. Bellinger, Thérèse Bouffard, Marie-Ève Brodeur, Dave Saint-Amour, Melissa Legrand, Sébastien Sauvé, and Maryse F. Bouchard. 2014. “Neurobehavioral function in school-age children exposed to manganese in drinking water.” Environmental Health Perspectives 122(12): 1343-1350. Payment, P., Siemiatycki, J., Richardson, L., Renaud, G., Franco, E. and Prevost, M. 1997. A prospective epidemiological study of gastrointestinal health effects due to the consumption of drinking water. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 7(1), pp. 5-31. USEPA. 1995a. EPA's Policy on Evaluating Risk to Children. Available online at: https://www.epa.gov/children/epas-policy-evaluating-risk-children. USEPA. 1995b. Manganese; CASRN 7439-96-5. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), Chemical Assessment Summary. Available online at: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iris/iris_documents/documents/subst/0373_summary.pdf. Accessed July 27, 2016. USEPA. 2003. Announcement of Regulatory Determinations for Priority Contaminants on the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List; Notice. Federal Register. Vol. 68, No. 138, p. 42898. July 18, 2003. USEPA. 2008a. Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 3—Draft. Federal Register. Vol. 73, No. 35. p. 9628. February 21, 2008. USEPA. 2008b. Drinking Water: Regulatory Determinations Regarding Contaminants on the Second Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List—Final Determinations. Federal Register. Vol. 73, No. 147, p. 44251. July 30, 2008. USEPA. 2008c. Molinate; Product Cancellation Order and Amendment to Terminate Uses. Federal Register. Vol. 73 No. 147. p. 44261. July 30, 2008. USEPA. 2009a. Final Contaminant Candidate List 3 Chemicals: Identifying the Universe. EPA 815-R09-006. August 2009. USEPA. 2009b. Final Contaminant Candidate List 3 Microbes: Identifying the Universe. EPA 815-R09-004. August 2009. USEPA. 2009c. Final Contaminant Candidate List 3 Chemicals: Screening to a PCCL. EPA 815-R-09-007. August 2009. USEPA. 2009d. Final Contaminant Candidate List 3 Microbes: Screening to the PCCL. EPA 815-R-09-005. August 2009. USEPA. 2009e. Final Contaminant Candidate List 3 Chemicals: Classification of the PCCL to CCL. EPA 815-R-09-008. August 2009. USEPA. 2009f. Final Contaminant Candidate List 3 Microbes: Classification of the PCCL to CCL. EPA 815-R-09-009. August 2009. USEPA. 2009g. Disulfoton and Methamidophos; Product Cancellation Order. Federal Register. Volume 74. No. 183. p. 48551. September 23, 2009. USEPA. 2012. Request for Nominations of Drinking Water Contaminants for the Fourth Contaminant Candidate List. Federal Register. Vol. 77, No. 89. p. 27057. May 8, 2012. USEPA. 2013. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Revisions to the Total Coliform Rule. Federal Register. Volume 78. No. 30. p. 10306. February 13, 2013. USEPA. 2014a. Announcement of Preliminary Regulatory Determination for Contaminants on the Third Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List. Federal Register. Vol. 79, No. 202, p. 62715. October 20, 2014. USEPA. 2014b. Protocol for the Regulatory Determinations 3. Including Appendices A-F. EPA- 815-R-14-005. April 2014. USEPA. 2014c. Fenamiphos; Amendment to Existing Stocks Provision of Use Deletion and Product Cancellation Order. Federal Register. Vol. 79, No. 190, p. 59261. October 1, 2014. USEPA. 2014d. Certain Nonylphenols and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates; Significant New Use Rule Federal Register. Vol. 79, No. 190, p. 59186. October 1, 2014. USEPA. 2015a. Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4—Draft Notice. Federal Register. Volume 80, No. 23 p. 6076. February 4, 2015. USEPA. 2015b. UCMR 4 Candidate Contaminants—Information Compendium. EPA 815-B-15-005. November 2015. USEPA. 2016a. Announcement of Final Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Third Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List. Federal Register. Vol. 81, No. 1, p. 13. January 4, 2016. USEPA. 2016b. Summary of Nominations for the Fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4). EPA 815-R-16-006. November 2016. USEPA. 2016c. Data Sources for the Fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4). EPA 815-R-16-007. November 2016. USEPA. 2016d. Screening Document for the Fourth Preliminary Contaminant Candidate List (PCCL 4). EPA 815-R-16-008. November 2016. USEPA. 2016e. Contaminant Information Sheets (CISs) for the Final Fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4). EPA 815-R-16-003. November 2016. USEPA. 2016f. Comment Response Document for the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (Categorized Public Comments). EPA 815-R-16-004. November 2016. USEPA. 2016g. Review of the EPA's Draft Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4). EPA-SAB-16-002. January 11, 2016. USEPA. 2016h. Response to the Science Advisory Board's Recommendations on the Draft Fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4). EPA 815-R-16-005. November 2016. USEPA. 2016i. Lifetime Health Advisories and Health Effects Support Documents for Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate. Federal Register. Vol. 81, No. 101, p. 33250. May 25, 2016. USEPA. 2016j. Technologies for Legionella Control in Premise Plumbing Systems: Scientific Literature Review. EPA 810-R-16-001. September 2016. USGS. 2012. National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, Pesticide National Synthesis Project. Available on the Internet at: https://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/usage/maps/show_map.php?year=2012&map=FENAMIPHOS&hilo=L. Dated: November 9, 2016. Joel Beauvais, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27667 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0334; FRL-9953-08-OEI] NSPS for Secondary Brass and Bronze Production, Primary Copper Smelters, Primary Zinc Smelters, Primary Lead Smelters, Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants, and Ferroalloy Production Facilities (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NSPS for Secondary Brass and Bronze Production (40 CFR part 60, subpart M), Primary Copper Smelters (40 CFR part 60, subpart P), Primary Zinc Smelters (40 CFR part 60, subpart Q), Primary Lead Smelters (40 CFR part 60, subpart R), Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants (40 CFR part 60, subpart S), and Ferroalloy Production Facilities (40 CFR part 60, subpart Z) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1604.11, OMB Control No. 2060-0110), 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 November 30, 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 December 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0334, 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:

    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 secondary brass and bronze production, primary copper smelters, primary zinc smelters, primary lead smelters, primary aluminum reduction plants, and ferroalloy production facilities are required to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements for the General Provisions (40 CFR part 60, subpart A), as well as for the applicable standards in 40 CFR part 60, subparts M, P, Q, R, S, and Z, respectively. 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: Secondary brass and bronze production, primary copper smelters, primary zinc smelters, primary lead smelters, primary aluminum reduction plants, and ferroalloy production facilities.

    Respondent's Obligation to Respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 60 Subparts M, P, Q, R, S, and Z).

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 18 (total).

    Frequency of Response: Initially, monthly, semiannually and annually.

    Total Estimated Burden: 3,880 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total Estimated Cost: $527,000 (per year), which includes $127,000 in either annualized capital/startup or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an overall decrease in the respondent labor hours and costs compared to the estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. This decrease is not due to any program changes, but is a result of corrections. First, the previous ICR assumed all five secondary brass and bronze production sources subject to Subpart M would comply with the opacity standard using the Reference Method 9 performance test instead of continuous opacity monitoring (COM), and that the sources are not using any other continuous monitoring systems (CMS). However, the ICR included burden estimates for monitoring emissions and system performance associated with CMS and COM. Correcting this error consequently reduced the total labor hours for Subpart M.

    Second, the previous ICR incorrectly estimated that all four primary aluminum reduction plants subject to Subpart S would need to submit performance test results every month. This estimate is incorrect because only two out of four sources are required to perform monthly performance tests, and the other two sources are allowed to perform an annual performance test. Therefore, the requirement to submit performance test results was reduced to once per year for two sources, which consequently reduced the total labor hours for Subpart S.

    There is, however, a small adjustment increase in the total labor hours for Subparts P, Q, R, and Z due to a change in assumption; this ICR assumes all existing sources will need to re-familiarize with the regulation each year, even when the burden for Subpart R is now zero due to Doe Run no longer being a primary lead smelter.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27577 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0345; FRL-9953-00-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Metal Can Manufacturing Surface Coating (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Metal Can Manufacturing Surface Coating (40 CFR part 63, subpart KKKK) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 2079.06, OMB Control No. 2060-0541), 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 November 30, 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 December 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0345, 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 affected entities are subject to the General Provisions of the NESHAP for Metal Can Manufacturing Surface Coating (40 CFR part 63, subpart A), and any changes, or additions, to the Provisions are specified at 40 CFR part 63, subpart KKKK. 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: Metal can manufacturing facilities that use 1,500 gallons or more of surface coatings.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart KKKK).

    Estimated number of respondents: 5 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 1,940 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $206,000 (per year), which includes $6,000 in annualized capital/startup or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is a small adjustment increase of 2 respondent labor hours due to rounding of all total calculated values to three significant digits. The increase is not due to any program change.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27579 Filed 11-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION Privacy Act of 1974; Publication of Notices of Systems of Records and Proposed New Systems of Records AGENCY:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice; publication of notices of systems of records, and proposed new systems of records.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice proposes one new system of records, changes to a number of existing systems of records, and removes obsolete systems of records. This notice republishes all of EEOC's notices for its systems of records subject to the Privacy Act in one issue of the Federal Register so that an accurate and complete text of the notices is available for use by individuals and by agency Privacy Act officers.

    DATES:

    The changes to the existing systems of records are effective on November 17, 2016. The proposed new system of records will become effective, without further notice, on January 17, 2017 unless comments dictate otherwise.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on this notice may be submitted to the EEOC in three ways; please use only one.

    • Comments and attachments may be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments. Comments received here will be posted publicly on the same portal without change, including any personal information you provide. However, the EEOC reserves the right to refrain from posting comments: That contain obscene, indecent, or profane language; that contain threats or defamatory statements; that contain hate speech directed at race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, or disability; or that promote or endorse services or products.

    • Hard copy comments may be submitted to Bernadette Wilson, Acting Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507.

    • The Executive Secretariat also will accept documents totaling six or fewer pages by facsimile (“fax”) machine. This limitation is necessary to assure access to the equipment. The telephone number of the fax receiver is (202) 663-4114. (This is not a toll-free number.) Receipt of fax transmittals will not be acknowledged, except that the sender may request confirmation of receipt by calling the Executive Secretariat staff at (202) 663-4070 (voice) or (202) 663-4074 (TTY). (These are not toll-free telephone numbers.)

    Subject to the conditions noted above, the EEOC will post online at http://www.regulations.gov all comments submitted in hard copy or by fax with the Executive Secretariat. The EEOC Headquarters' library also will make available hard copies of all comments, by advance appointment only, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. To schedule an appointment to inspect the comments at the EEOC's library, contact the library staff at (202) 663-4630 (voice) or (202) 663-4641 (TTY). (These are not toll-free numbers.)

    Copies of this notice are available in the following alternate formats: Large print, braille, electronic file on computer disk, and audio-tape. Copies may be obtained from the Publications Center by calling 1-800-699-3362.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas J. Schlageter, Assistant Legal Counsel, (202) 663-4668 (voice), Kathleen Oram, Senior Attorney (202) 663-4681 (voice), or Savannah Marion, (202) 663-4909 or (202) 663-7026 (TDD).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last published its Privacy Act systems notices in 2002. The Commission proposes one new system of records to cover Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act records. EEOC previously covered these records in its general correspondence system of records. The Commission is deleting EEOC-6 Employee Assistance Program records and EEOC-14 Employee Parking records because it no longer collects and keeps those records and is replacing EEOC-6 with the new Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Records system. The Employee Assistance Program records are now maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, and Employee Parking records are maintained by a private building management company. In addition, the Commission is amending a number of its systems to recognize more widespread electronic storage, and remove requirements that persons submit social security numbers when requesting records. The Commission is adding a statement of general routine uses to include two new routine uses permitting disclosure of records from all of its systems of records for suspected or confirmed breach notification and response. The Commission is removing three obsolete routine uses from its Claims Collection Records notice and one routine use from its Internal Harassment Inquires Records notice. EEOC is adding a new routine use to its two Discrimination Case Files systems of records, a new routine use to its Internal Harassment Inquiries system of records, and one new routine use to its Office of Inspector General system of records. Finally, the Commission has amended several system notices to reflect current office names and has amended Appendix A to reflect current addresses of Commission offices. To ensure that users will have a copy of the current text of each of its system notices, the Commission is publishing the complete text of all of its systems notices.

    A brief description of the major changes follows:

    Universal Routine Uses: EEOC proposes to add two routine uses applicable to all systems of records. One would permit EEOC to disclose records reasonably necessary to respond to a suspected or confirmed breach of the system of records where EEOC determines there may be a risk of harm to individuals, EEOC, or the Federal government. The second proposed routine use would allow EEOC to disclose records to other Federal agencies to assist in their efforts to respond to a suspected or confirmed breach.

    EEOC-1 Age and Equal Pay Act Discrimination Case Files and EEOC-3 Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Discrimination Case Files: A routine use that permits disclosure to other federal agencies in accordance with Memoranda of Understanding or similar agreements between EEOC and other agencies that provide for coordination and cooperation in EEOC's employment discrimination enforcement efforts is proposed. The retention and disposal sections are updated.

    EEOC-3 Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Discrimination Case Files: The system was updated to add Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) files. A routine use that permits disclosure to other federal agencies in accordance with Memoranda of Understanding or similar agreements between EEOC and other agencies that provide for coordination and cooperation in EEOC's employment discrimination enforcement efforts is proposed.

    EEOC 6 Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Records: This new system of records replaces the obsolete Employee Assistance Program Records system and covers all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act requests, administrative appeals, responses, and related records. These records were previously included in EEOC-5 Correspondence and Communications. Nine routine uses are proposed for the system.

    EEOC-9 Claims Collection Records: Three obsolete routine uses are removed, as is an obsolete reference to consumer reporting agencies.

    EEOC-14 Reserved: We have removed the Employee Parking Records system because those records are no longer collected by EEOC, but are collected by the private building management company at EEOC's headquarters building.

    EEOC-15 Internal Harassment Inquiries: We have removed routine use (h) as unnecessary since disclosures could be made under the “need to know” exception. We propose to add a new routine use (h) to permit disclosures to the alleged harasser in the event of a disciplinary proceeding.

    EEOC-16 Office of Inspector General Investigative Files: We propose a new routine use permitting disclosures during peer reviews.

    EEOC-17 Defensive Litigation Files: The system is updated to reflect that internal defensive litigation files are maintained in the Office of General Counsel and external defensive litigation files are maintained in the Office of Legal Counsel.

    EEOC-18 Reasonable Accommodation Records: We added notification procedures, record access procedures, contesting records procedures, and record source categories.

    The proposed universal routine uses, the routine uses in the one new system of records noted above and the proposed new routine uses in two existing systems meet the compatibility criteria since the information involved is collected for the purpose of the applicable routine uses. We anticipate that any disclosure pursuant to these routine uses will not result in any unwarranted adverse effects on personal privacy.

    A complete list of all EEOC systems of records is published below. The complete text of the notices follows.

    For the Commission.

    Jenny R. Yang, Chair.
    EEOC Systems of Records

    Universal Routine Uses.

    EEOC-1 Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, and Section 304 of the Government Employee Rights Act Discrimination Case Files.

    EEOC-2 Attorney Referral List.

    EEOC-3 Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

    EEOC-4 Biographical Files.

    EEOC-5 Correspondence and Communications.

    EEOC-6 Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Records

    EEOC-7 Employee Pay and Leave Records.

    EEOC-8 Employee Travel and Reimbursement Records.

    EEOC-9 Claims Collection Records.

    EEOC-10 Grievance Records.

    EEOC-11 Adverse Actions Against Nonpreference Eligibles in the Excepted Service Records

    EEOC-12 Telephone Call Detail Records.

    EEOC-13 Employee Identification Cards.

    EEOC-14 Reserved

    EEOC-15 Internal Harassment Investigation Files.

    EEOC-16 Office of Inspector General Investigative Files.

    EEOC-17 Defensive Litigation Files.

    EEOC-18 Reasonable Accommodation Records.

    EEOC-19 Revolving Fund Registrations.

    EEOC-20 RESOLVE Program Records.

    EEOC-21 Emergency Management Records.

    EEOC-22 EEOC Personnel Security Records.

    EEOC/GOVT-1 Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government Complaint and Appeal Records.

    Universal Routine Uses: The following routine uses of the records apply to and are incorporated by reference into each system of records published below:

    a. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when: (1) EEOC suspects or has confirmed that there has been a breach of the system of records; (2) EEOC has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed breach there is a risk of harm to individuals, the agency (including its information systems, programs, and operations), or the Federal government; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with EEOC's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed breach or to prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    b. To another Federal agency or Federal entity when information from this system of records is reasonably necessary to assist the recipient agency or entity in (1) responding to a suspected or confirmed breach or (2) preventing, minimizing, or remedying the risk of harm to individuals, the agency (including its information systems, programs, and operations), or the Federal government.

    EEOC-1 SYSTEM NAME:

    Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, and Section 304 of the Government Employee Rights Act Discrimination Case Files.

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    Field Office where the charge or complaint of discrimination was filed (see Appendix A). Records of complaints filed under section 321 of the Government Employees Rights Act of 1991 are located in the Office of Federal Operations 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507, after a hearing has been requested.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    Persons other than federal employees and applicants who file charges or complaints with EEOC alleging that an employer, employment agency or labor organization has violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 or the Equal Pay Act of 1963, or who file complaints under section 304 of the Government Employees Rights Act of 1991.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    This system contains the records compiled during the investigation of age and equal pay discrimination cases and during the investigation and hearing of complaints filed under section 304 of the Government Employees Rights Act of 1991. These records include:

    a. Documents submitted by charging party or complainant such as charge of discrimination, personal interview statement, and correspondence.

    b. Documents submitted by employer such as statement of position, correspondence, statements of witnesses, documentary evidence such as personnel files, records of earnings, employee benefit plans, seniority list, job titles and descriptions, applicant data, organizational charts, collective bargaining agreements, and petitions to revoke or modify subpoenas.

    c. Records gathered and generated by EEOC in the course of its investigation and, in complaints filed under section 304 of the Government Employees Rights Act of 1991, during the hearing, such as letters of referral to state fair employment practices agencies, correspondence with state fair employment practices agencies, witness statements, investigator's notes, investigative plan, report of initial and exit interview, investigator's analyses of evidence and charge, subpoenas, decisions and letters of determination, conciliation agreements, correspondence and any additional evidence gathered during the course of the investigation.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 29 U.S.C. 209, 211, 623, 626; 42 U.S.C. 2000e-16c; 44 U.S.C. 3101; 2 U.S.C. 1220.

    PURPOSE:

    This system is maintained for the purpose of enforcing the prohibitions against employment discrimination contained in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act and section 304 of the Government Employees Rights Act of 1991.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    These records and information in these records may be used:

    a. To disclose pertinent information to a federal, state, or local agency or third party as may be appropriate or necessary to perform the Commission's functions under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, or section 304 of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991.

    b. To disclose information contained in these records to state and local agencies administering state or local fair employment practices laws.

    c. To disclose non-confidential and non-privileged information from closed ADEA/EPA case files (a file is closed when the Commission has terminated its investigation and has decided not to sue) to the employer where a lawsuit has been filed against the employer involving that information, to other employees of the same employer who have been notified by the Commission of their right under 29 U.S.C. 216 to file a lawsuit on their own behalf, and their representatives.

    d. To provide information to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of a party to the charge.

    e. To disclose pertinent information to the appropriate federal, state, or local agency responsible for investigating, prosecuting, enforcing, or implementing a statute, rule, regulation, or order, where the EEOC becomes aware of an indication of a violation or potential violation of civil or criminal law or regulation.

    f. To disclose information to another federal agency, to a court, or to a party in litigation before a court or in an administrative proceeding being conducted by a federal agency when the government is a party to the judicial or administrative proceeding.

    g. To disclose information to officials of state or local bar associations or disciplinary boards or committees when they are investigating complaints against attorneys in connection with their representation of a party before EEOC.

    h. To disclose to a Federal agency in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of government, in response to its request for information in connection with the hiring of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the conducting of a security or suitability investigation of an individual, the classifying of jobs, or the lawful statutory, administrative, or investigative purpose of the agency to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision.

    i. To disclose information to other federal agencies in accordance with Memoranda of Understanding or similar agreements between EEOC and other agencies that provide for coordination, cooperation, and confidentiality of documents in EEOC's employment discrimination enforcement efforts.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: STORAGE:

    These records are maintained in file folders and electronically.

    RETRIEVABILITY:

    These records are retrievable by charging party name, employer name, and charge number.

    SAFEGUARDS:

    Paper records are maintained in a secured area to which only authorized personnel have access. Access to and use of these records is limited to those persons whose official duties require such access. The premises are locked when authorized personnel are not on duty. Access to electronic records is limited, through use of usernames and passwords, to those whose official duties require access.

    RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

    All private sector charge files not designated for permanent retention will be retained for three years following the fiscal year in which they were closed. (For example, if a charge was closed on March 31, 2014, in FY 2014, the three-year retention period would begin on October 1, 2014, which is the first day of FY 2015.) These non-permanent files will be retained for one year in the EEOC field office where the charge of discrimination was filed. Afterwards, the non-permanent files will be transferred to the Federal Records Center (FRC). The FRC will destroy the files after the three-year retention period is met. Permanent files will be retained in the field office for three years and then transferred to FRC. FRC will transfer the files to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for permanent retention when eligible.

    Closed non-permanent private sector charge files that are the subject of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are retained for six years after the FOIA response is provided. The files will be transferred to FRC one year after completion of all actions taken under FOIA/Privacy Act. Alternatively, the files may be included as part of the permanent files retained by the EEOC field office.

    Closed private sector charge files that are the subject of a Section 83 request are retained for six years after the Section 83 response is provided. The files will be transferred to FRC one year after completion of all actions taken under FOIA. Alternatively, the files may be included as part of the permanent files retained by the EEOC field office.

    SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

    Director of the office in the field where the charge was filed (see Appendix A). Director of the Office of Field Programs, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507. Director of the Office of Federal Operations, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507 (only for complaints filed under section 321 of the Government Employees Right Act of 1991).

    SYSTEM EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

    This system is exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I) and (f) of the Act.

    EEOC-2 SYSTEM NAME:

    Attorney Referral List.

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    All District Offices (see Appendix A).

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    Attorneys who represent plaintiffs in employment discrimination litigation.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    This system contains attorneys' names, business addresses and telephone numbers, the nature and amount of their civil rights litigation experience; their state and federal bar admissions; whether the attorneys have the capacity and desire to handle class actions; whether the attorneys charge consultation fees (and how much); whether the attorneys will waive the consultation fee; the types of fee arrangements the attorneys will accept; and whether the attorney speaks a foreign language fluently.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    42 U.S.C. 2000e-4(g); 44 U.S.C. 3101.

    PURPOSE:

    This system is maintained for the purpose of providing charging parties, upon their request, with information about local attorneys who represent plaintiffs in employment discrimination litigation.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    These records and information in these records may be used:

    a. To refer charging parties to attorneys who handle litigation of employment discrimination lawsuits.

    b. To provide information to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of the individual.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: STORAGE:

    Stored on prepared forms, on index cards and electronically.

    RETRIEVABILITY:

    Indexed alphabetically by names of the attorneys.

    SAFEGUARDS:

    Access to this system of records is restricted to EEOC personnel who have a legitimate use for the information. This system is stored in filing cabinets. Access to electronic records is limited, through use of access codes and entry logs, to those whose official duties require access.

    RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

    Files are reviewed and updated annually.

    SYSTEM MANAGERS AND ADDRESS:

    Regional Attorney at each District Office (see Appendix A).

    NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

    Inquiries concerning this system of records should be addressed to the appropriate system manager. It is necessary to furnish the following information: (1) Full name of the individual whose records are requested; (2) mailing address to which the reply should be sent.

    RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:

    Same as above.

    CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

    Same as above.

    RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    The individual on whom the record is maintained.

    EEOC-3 SYSTEM NAME:

    Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Discrimination Case Files.

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    Field Office where the charge of discrimination was filed (see Appendix A).

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    Persons, other than federal employees and applicants, who file charges alleging that an employer, employment agency, labor organization or joint labor-management apprenticeship committee has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), or any combination of the three.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    This system contains records compiled during the investigation of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and genetic information discrimination cases. These records include:

    a. Documents submitted by charging party, such as a charge of discrimination, a personal interview statement, medical records, and correspondence.

    b. Documents submitted by employer such as position statement, correspondence, statements of witnesses, documentary evidence such as personnel files, records of earnings, EEO data, employee benefit plans, seniority lists, job titles and descriptions, applicant data, organizational charts, collective bargaining agreements, and petition to revoke or modify subpoenas.

    c. Records gathered and generated by EEOC in the course of its investigation such as letters to state or local fair employment practice agencies, correspondence with state fair employment practice agencies, witness statements, investigator's notes, investigative plan, investigator's analysis of the evidence and charge, report of initial and exit interviews, copy of deferral to state, subpoenas, decisions and letters of determination, analysis of deferral agency action, conciliation agreements, correspondence, and any additional evidence gathered during the course of the investigation.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5, -8 and -9; 42 U.S.C. 12117; 44 U.S.C. 3101, 42 U.S.C. 2000ff-10.

    PURPOSE:

    This system is maintained for the purpose of enforcing the prohibitions against employment discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    These records and information in these records may be used:

    a. To disclose pertinent information to a federal, state, or local agency or third party as may be appropriate or necessary to perform the Commission's functions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

    b. To disclose information contained in these records to state and local agencies administering state or local fair employment practices laws.

    c. To disclose non-confidential or non-privileged information contained in these records to the following persons after a notice of right to sue has been issued:

    1. Aggrieved persons and their attorneys in case files involving Commissioner Charges provided that such persons have been notified of their status as aggrieved persons;

    2. Persons or organizations filing on behalf of an aggrieved person provided that the aggrieved person has given written authorization to the person who filed on his or her behalf to act as the aggrieved person's agent for this purpose, and their attorneys;

    3. Employers and their attorneys, provided that the charging party or aggrieved person has filed suit under Title VII,