Federal Register Vol. 81, No.227,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 227 (November 25, 2016)

Page Range85105-85399
FR Document

81_FR_227
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 85268 - Regular Board of Directors Meeting; Sunshine ActPDF
81 FR 85205 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 85267 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 85209 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
81 FR 85276 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 85246 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting SystemPDF
81 FR 85248 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: The Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee Membership ApplicationPDF
81 FR 85248 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Multifamily Project Construction ChangePDF
81 FR 85208 - Marine Fisheries Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 85330 - Proposed Collection of Information: Application for Recognition as Natural Guardian of a Minor Not Under Legal Guardianship and for Disposition of Minor's Interest in Registered SecuritiesPDF
81 FR 85302 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Abdelilah Himich, aka Abu Suleyman al-Faransi, aka Abu Suleyman al-Firansi, aka Abu Sulaiyman al Fransi, aka Abu Sulaiyman, aka Abu Suleyman, aka Abou Souleiman Al-Firansi, aka Abu Sulayman al-Faransi, aka Abu Souleymane, aka Abu Souleymane al-Faransi, aka Abu Souleymane the Frenchman, aka Abu Suleiman as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
81 FR 85221 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 85157 - Anchorage Grounds; Delaware Bay and River, Philadelphia, PAPDF
81 FR 85302 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Basil Hassan as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
81 FR 85204 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United StatesPDF
81 FR 85303 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Victor Quispe Palomino, aka Comrade Jose as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
81 FR 85210 - Eligibility Designations and Applications for Waiver of Eligibility Requirements; Programs Under Parts A and F of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended (HEA), and Programs Under Title V of the HEAPDF
81 FR 85138 - Rotorcraft External-Load Operations; Technical AmendmentPDF
81 FR 85302 - Notice of Meeting of Advisory Committee on International LawPDF
81 FR 85331 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 85210 - Charter Amendment of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
81 FR 85321 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 85222 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Revision of Information Collection; National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households; Comment Request (3064-0167)PDF
81 FR 85210 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 85332 - Cooperative Studies Scientific Evaluation Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 85332 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 85209 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request-Proposal To Amend Collection 3038-0005: Instructions to CFTC Form CPO-PQRPDF
81 FR 85147 - Commodity Pool Operator Financial ReportsPDF
81 FR 85225 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 85225 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 85225 - Draft Guideline Update-CDC Recommendations on Use of Chlorhexidine-Impregnated Dressings for Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related InfectionsPDF
81 FR 85205 - Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards BoardPDF
81 FR 85267 - Investigative HearingPDF
81 FR 85255 - Freedom of Information Act; Notice of LawsuitPDF
81 FR 85206 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 126-Reno, Nevada; Authorization of Production Activity; Tesla Motors, Inc.; Subzone 126D (Lithium-Ion Batteries, Electric Motors and Stationary Energy Storage Systems); Sparks, NevadaPDF
81 FR 85206 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 148-Knoxville, Tennessee; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; CoLinx, LLC; (Bearing Units) Crossville, TennesseePDF
81 FR 85274 - In the Matter of International CyclotronPDF
81 FR 85276 - Tennessee Valley Authority Combined License Application for Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, Units 3 and 4PDF
81 FR 85268 - Armed Forces Radiobiology Research InstitutePDF
81 FR 85259 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; National Park Service Common Learning PortalPDF
81 FR 85317 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; DiabetesPDF
81 FR 85312 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
81 FR 85206 - Monosodium Glutamate from Indonesia: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 85208 - Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Poland: Postponement of Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value InvestigationsPDF
81 FR 85201 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Youngs Bay, Astoria, ORPDF
81 FR 85263 - Certain Computing or Graphics Systems, Components Thereof, and Vehicles Containing Same; Notice of Termination of the InvestigationPDF
81 FR 85236 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 85238 - Florida; Amendment No. 7 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 85237 - Minnesota; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 85303 - Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; TxDOT Audit #3 ReportPDF
81 FR 85237 - South Carolina; Amendment No. 7 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 85236 - South Carolina; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
81 FR 85238 - Virginia; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 85214 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application for Approval To Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid ProgramsPDF
81 FR 85237 - Kansas; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 85238 - Virginia; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 85254 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Permit ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 85233 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 85223 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Information Collection Revision; Comment Request (3064-0189)PDF
81 FR 85239 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 85260 - Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract ActionsPDF
81 FR 85262 - Change in Discount Rate for Water Resources PlanningPDF
81 FR 85250 - Proposed Oil & Gas Coalition Multi-State Habitat Conservation Plan for Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West VirginiaPDF
81 FR 85229 - Bioequivalence Recommendations for Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride; Revised Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 85156 - Uniform Compliance Date for Food Labeling RegulationsPDF
81 FR 85226 - Submission of Quality Metrics Data; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability; Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 85160 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Northeast Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NCPDF
81 FR 85221 - PJM Interconnection LLC; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 85216 - EcoEléctrica, L.P.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the LNG Terminal Sendout Capacity Increase ProjectPDF
81 FR 85217 - Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group MeetingPDF
81 FR 85215 - Rio Bravo Solar II, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 85217 - Rio Bravo Solar I, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 85216 - Pumpjack Solar I, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 85220 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 85176 - Essential Reliability Services and the Evolving Bulk-Power System-Primary Frequency ResponsePDF
81 FR 85283 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; International Securities Exchange, LLC; ISE Gemini, LLC; ISE Mercury, LLC; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Boston Stock Exchange Clearing Corporation; Stock Clearing Corporation of Philadelphia; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of the Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Amending Bylaws of Nasdaq, Inc. To Implement Proxy AccessPDF
81 FR 85162 - Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2016 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Territory of GuamPDF
81 FR 85257 - Notice of Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board AppointmentsPDF
81 FR 85264 - Enforcement and Rescission Proceeding; Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same; Notice of Institution of Rescission ProceedingPDF
81 FR 85266 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Disclosure Requirements Associated With the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), as Implemented by Regulation Z; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 85299 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Accommodate Shorter Standard Settlement Cycle and Make Other ChangesPDF
81 FR 85291 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change Adopting Maximum Fees Member Organizations May Charge in Connection With the Distribution of Investment Company Shareholder Reports Pursuant to Any Electronic Delivery Rules Adopted by the Securities and Exchange CommissionPDF
81 FR 85295 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Mercury, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Reduce the Response Times in the Block Mechanism, Facilitation Mechanism, Solicited Order Mechanism and Price Improvement MechanismPDF
81 FR 85280 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Gemini, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Reduce the Response Times in the Block Mechanism, Facilitation Mechanism, Solicited Order Mechanism and Price Improvement MechanismPDF
81 FR 85277 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Reduce the Response Times in the Block Mechanism, Facilitation Mechanism, Solicited Order Mechanism and Price Improvement MechanismPDF
81 FR 85295 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change Relating to Processing of Transactions in Money Market InstrumentsPDF
81 FR 85231 - Request for Nominations on the Blood Products Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 85232 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 85232 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 85232 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 85241 - Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) MeetingPDF
81 FR 85243 - Intent To Request Extension From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Sensitive Security Information Threat AssessmentsPDF
81 FR 85171 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Willows, CAPDF
81 FR 85106 - Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-015 LeadTrac System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 85105 - Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-022 Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 85303 - Sixteenth Meeting of the RTCA Tactical Operations CommitteePDF
81 FR 85319 - Environmental Impact Statement for the Baltimore-Washington Superconducting Maglev (SCMAGLEV) Project, Between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DCPDF
81 FR 85135 - Amendment of Amendment of Class D and E Airspace for the Following Texas Towns; Georgetown, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Gainesville, TX; Graford, TX; Hebbronville, TX; and Jasper, TXPDF
81 FR 85267 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
81 FR 85330 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act and Executive Order 12978PDF
81 FR 85215 - President's Council of Advisors on Science and TechnologyPDF
81 FR 85244 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Verification of Naturalization, Form N-25; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 85245 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement of Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Form I-612; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.PDF
81 FR 85133 - Establishment of Class E Airspace, Silver Springs, NVPDF
81 FR 85203 - Air Plan Approval: AK; Permitting Fees RevisionPDF
81 FR 85265 - Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health: Subcommittee on Industrial Hygienists (IH) & Contract Medical Consultants (CMC) and Their ReportsPDF
81 FR 85160 - Air Plan Approval: AK; Permitting Fees RevisionPDF
81 FR 85167 - Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Continuance ReferendumPDF
81 FR 85107 - Olives Grown in California; Suspension and Revision of Incoming Size-Grade RequirementsPDF
81 FR 85164 - U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and Walnuts in the ShellPDF
81 FR 85108 - Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Modification of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 2PDF
81 FR 85110 - Community Development Revolving Loan FundPDF
81 FR 85266 - Sunshine Act Meeting of the National Museum and Library Services BoardPDF
81 FR 85196 - Production of Official Records or Disclosure of Official Information in Proceedings Before Federal, State or Local Governmental Entities of Competent JurisdictionPDF
81 FR 85218 - Establishing the Length of License Terms for Hydroelectric ProjectsPDF
81 FR 85173 - Annual Charges for Use of Government Lands in AlaskaPDF
81 FR 85249 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
81 FR 85323 - Reflex & Allen USA, Incorporated, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
81 FR 85118 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 85116 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 85138 - Commerce Control List: Removal of Certain Nuclear Nonproliferation (NP) Column 2 ControlsPDF
81 FR 85190 - Update to Minimum Present Value Requirements for Defined Benefit Plan DistributionsPDF
81 FR 85124 - Airworthiness Directives; Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation HelicoptersPDF
81 FR 85325 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
81 FR 85329 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
81 FR 85327 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
81 FR 85328 - Hazardous Materials-Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
81 FR 85121 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 85113 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 85168 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) HelicoptersPDF
81 FR 85126 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) HelicoptersPDF
81 FR 85169 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) AirplanesPDF
81 FR 85334 - Regulation Automated TradingPDF
81 FR 85129 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF

Issue

81 227 Friday, November 25, 2016 Contents Administrative Administrative Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United States, 85204 2016-28402 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Quality and Handling Requirements: Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Area No. 2, 85108-85110 2016-28252 Suspensions and Revisions: Incoming Size-Grade Requirements Olives Grown in California, 85107-85108 2016-28254 PROPOSED RULES Continuance Referendum: Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington, 85167 2016-28256 Grade Standards: United States Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and Walnuts in the Shell, 85164-85167 2016-28253 NOTICES Meetings: National Organic Standards Board, 85205 2016-28383 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 85210 2016-28392 Broadcasting Broadcasting Board of Governors NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 85205-85206 2016-28574 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Recommendations on Use of Chlorhexidine-Impregnated Dressings for Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections, 85225-85226 2016-28385 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Anchorage Grounds: Delaware Bay and River, Philadelphia, PA, 85157-85160 2016-28405 Drawbridge Operations: Northeast Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NC, 85160 2016-28331 PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations: Youngs Bay, Astoria, OR, 85201-85203 2016-28359 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission RULES Commodity Pool Operator Financial Reports, 85147-85156 2016-28388 PROPOSED RULES Regulation Automated Trading, 85334-85399 2016-27250 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 85209-85210 2016-28389 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 85209 2016-28522 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

PROPOSED RULES Production of Official Records or Disclosure of Official Information in Proceedings before Federal, State or Local Governmental Entities of Competent Jurisdiction, 85196-85201 2016-28221 NOTICES Charter Amendments, Establishments or Renewals: Federal Advisory Committees, 85210 2016-28395
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs, 85214-85215 2016-28349 Eligibility Designations and Applications for Waivers: Programs under Parts A and F of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 85210-85214 2016-28400 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 85215 2016-28281
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alaska; Permitting Fees Revision, 85160-85162 2016-28272 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alaska; Permitting Fees Revision, 85203 2016-28276 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.; Weekly Receipts, 85221-85222 2016-28407 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) Helicopters, 85126-85129 2016-27638 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 85116-85118, 85121-85124 2016-27643 2016-28054 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Helicopters, 85124-85126 2016-27771 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 85113-85116, 85118-85121, 85129-85133 2016-26809 2016-27640 2016-28059 Class D and E Airspace; Amendments: Georgetown, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Gainesville, TX; Graford, TX; Hebbronville, TX; and Jasper, TX, 85135-85137 2016-28284 Class E Airspace; Establishments: Silver Springs, NV, 85133-85134 2016-28277 Rotorcraft External-Load Operations; Technical Amendment, 85138 2016-28399 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes, 85169-85171 2016-27307 Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) Helicopters, 85168-85169 2016-27639 Class E Airspace; Amendments Willows, CA, 85171-85173 2016-28292 NOTICES Meetings: Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics Tactical Operations Committee, 85303 2016-28286 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 85223-85225 2016-28344 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, 85222-85223 2016-28393 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Emergency and Related Determinations: South Carolina; Amendment No. 1, 85236 2016-28351 Flood Hazard Determinations, 85236, 85239-85241 2016-28343 2016-28357 Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 85233-85235 2016-28345 Major Disaster Declarations: Florida; Amendment No. 7, 85238 2016-28356 Kansas; Amendment No. 1, 85237 2016-28348 South Carolina; Amendment No. 7, 85237-85238 2016-28352 Virginia; Amendment No. 1, 85238 2016-28347 Major Disasters and Related Determinations: Minnesota, 85237 2016-28354 Virginia, 85238-85239 2016-28350 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Annual Charges for Use of Government Lands: Alaska, 85173-85176 2016-28193 Essential Reliability Services and the Evolving Bulk-Power System—Primary Frequency Response, 85176-85190 2016-28321 NOTICES Combined Filings, 85220-85221 2016-28323 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: EcoElectrica, L.P., Liquid Natural Gas Terminal Sendout Capacity Increase Project; Environmental Review, 85216 2016-28329 Establishing the Length of License Terms: Hydroelectric Projects, 85218-85220 2016-28195 Filings: PJM Interconnection L.L.C., 85221 2016-28330 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Pumpjack Solar I, LLC, 85216-85217 2016-28324 Rio Bravo Solar I, LLC, 85217 2016-28326 Rio Bravo Solar II, LLC, 85215-85216 2016-28327 Meetings: Electric Quarterly Report Users Group, 85217-85218 2016-28328 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program: TxDOT Audit Report, 85303-85311 2016-28353 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes, 85317-85319 2016-28369 Diabetes Mellitus, 85312-85317 2016-28368 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 85321-85323 2016-28394 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Baltimore-Washington Superconducting Maglev Project between Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC, 85319-85321 2016-28285 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 85225 2016-28386 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 85225 2016-28387 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Recognition as Natural Guardian of a Minor Not under Legal Guardianship and for Disposition of Minor's Interest in Registered Securities, 85330 2016-28412 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Permit Applications, 85254-85255 2016-28346 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Oil and Gas Coalition Multi-State Habitat Conservation Plan for Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia; Scoping Meetings, 85250-85254 2016-28336 Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit, 85255-85257 2016-28379 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Food Labeling: Uniform Compliance Date, 85156-85157 2016-28333 NOTICES Guidance: Bioequivalence Recommendations for Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochlorid, 85229-85231 2016-28334 Submission of Quality Metrics Data, 85226-85229 2016-28332 Request for Nominations: Blood Products Advisory Committee, 85231-85232 2016-28306 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 85330-85331 2016-28282 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: CoLinx, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 148, Knoxville, TN, 85206 2016-28376 Tesla Motors, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 126, Reno, NV, 85206 2016-28378 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

RULES Privacy Act; Implementation of Exemptions, 85105-85107 2016-28288 2016-28289
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting System, 85246-85248 2016-28447 Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee Membership Application, 85248-85249 2016-28444 Multifamily Project Construction Change, 85248 2016-28441 Federal Property Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 85249-85250 2016-28133 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Commerce Control List: Removal of Certain Nuclear Nonproliferation Column 2 Controls, 85138-85147 2016-28039 Institute of Museum and Library Services Institute of Museum and Library Services NOTICES Meetings: National Museum and Library Services Board, 85266 2016-28223 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

NOTICES Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board Appointments, 85257-85259 2016-28315
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Minimum Present Value Requirements for Defined Benefit Plan Distributions, 85190-85196 2016-27907 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Monosodium Glutamate from Indonesia, 85206-85208 2016-28366 Determinations of Sales at Less than Fair Value: Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Poland, 85208 2016-28365 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same, 85264-85265 2016-28314 Certain Computing or Graphics Systems, Components Thereof, and Vehicles Containing Same, 85263-85264 2016-28358 Labor Department Labor Department See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, 85110-85113 2016-28229 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Disclosure Requirements Associated with the Truth in Lending Act, 85266 2016-28313 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

Institute of Museum and Library Services

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petitions for Decisions of Inconsequential Noncompliance: Reflex and Allen USA, Inc., 85323-85325 2016-28119 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 85232-85233 2016-28302 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 85232 2016-28301 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 85232 2016-28303 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries: U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Territory of Guam; Valid Specified Fishing Agreement, 85162-85163 2016-28317 NOTICES Meetings: Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, 85208 2016-28421 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Park Service Common Learning Portal, 85259-85260 2016-28370 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Permit Applications: Antarctic Conservation Act, 85267 2016-28283 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board NOTICES Investigative Hearings, 85267-85268 2016-28382 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 85267 2016-28540 Neighborhood Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 85268 2016-28595 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined License Applications: Tennessee Valley Authority; Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, Units 3 and 4; Withdrawal, 85276-85277 2016-28373 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, 85268-85274 2016-28372 Imposition Orders: International Cyclotron, 85274-85276 2016-28374 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 85276 2016-28495 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Special Permit Applications, 2016-27724 2016-27725 2016-27726 85325-85329 2016-27727 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Change in Discount Rate for Water Resources Planning, 85262-85263 2016-28339 Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract Actions, 85260-85262 2016-28342 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: International Securities Exchange, LLC, 85277-85280 2016-28308 ISE Gemini, LLC, 85280-85283 2016-28309 ISE Mercury, LLC, 85295-85299 2016-28310 National Securities Clearing Corp., 85299-85302 2016-28312 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 85291-85295 2016-28311 The Depository Trust Co., 85295 2016-28307 The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, et al., 85283-85291 2016-28319 State Department State Department NOTICES Global Terrorist Designations: Abdelilah Himich, aka Abu Suleyman al-Faransi, aka Abu Suleyman al-Firansi, et al., 85302-85303 2016-28408 Basil Hassan, 85302 2016-28404 Victor Quispe Palomino, aka Comrade Jose, 85303 2016-28401 Meetings: Advisory Committee on International Law, 85302 2016-28398 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Sensitive Security Information Threat Assessments, 85243-85244 2016-28294 Meetings: Aviation Security Advisory Committee, 85241-85243 2016-28299 Treasury Treasury Department See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2016-28390 85331-85332 2016-28397
U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 85245 2016-28278 Request for Verification of Naturalization, 85244-85245 2016-28279 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Cooperative Studies Scientific Evaluation Committee, 85332 2016-28391 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health: Subcommittee on Industrial Hygienists and Contract Medical Consultants and Their Reports, 85265 2016-28273 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 85334-85399 2016-27250 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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81 227 Friday, November 25, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Office of the Secretary 6 CFR Part 5 [Docket No. DHS-2016-0085] Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-022 Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) System of Records AGENCY:

Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Homeland Security is issuing a final rule to amend its regulations to exempt portions of a newly established system of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection (DHS/CBP)-022 Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) System of Records” from certain provisions of the Privacy Act. Specifically, the Department exempts portions of the “Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-022 Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) System of Records” from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements.

DATES:

This final rule is effective November 25, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For general questions please contact: Debra L. Danisek (202-344-1610), CBP Privacy Officer, Privacy and Diversity Office, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20229. For privacy issues please contact: Jonathan R. Cantor (202-343-1717), Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (81 FR 60297, September 1, 2016) proposing to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements. DHS issued the “DHS/CBP-022 Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) System of Records” in the Federal Register at 81 FR 60371 on September 1, 2016, to provide notice to the public that DHS/CBP will collect and maintain records on nonimmigrant aliens who hold a passport that was issued by an identified country approved for inclusion in the EVUS program and have been issued a U.S. nonimmigrant visa of a designated category seeking to travel to the United States. The system of records will also cover records of other persons, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, whose names are provided to DHS as part of a nonimmigrant alien's EVUS enrollment. Requiring aliens holding passports of identified countries containing U.S. nonimmigrant visas of a designated category with multiple year validity will allow DHS/CBP to collect updated information. The system is used to ensure a visa holder's information remains current. The information is also used to separately determine whether any admissibility issues may need to be addressed outside the EVUS enrollment process by vetting the information against selected security and law enforcement databases at DHS, including the use of CBP's TECS (not an acronym) (DHS/CBP-011 U.S. Customs and Border Protection TECS, December 19, 2008, 73 FR 77778) and the Automated Targeting System (ATS) (DHS/CBP-006 Automated Targeting System, May 22, 2012, 77 FR 30297).

DHS/CBP invited comments on both the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and System of Records Notice (SORN).

II. Public Comments

DHS received no comments on the NPRM and one positive comment on the SORN for the DHS/CBP-022 EVUS System of Records. After consideration of the public comment, DHS will implement the rulemaking as proposed.

List of Subjects in 6 CFR Part 5

Freedom of information, Privacy.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, DHS amends chapter I of title 6, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 5—DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 5 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135; (6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.); 5 U.S.C. 301. Subpart A also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552. Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a.

2. Amend appendix C to part 5 by adding paragraph 74 to read as follows: Appendix C to Part 5—DHS Systems of Records Exempt From the Privacy Act

74. The DHS/CBP-022 Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) System of Records consists of electronic and paper records and will be used by DHS and its components. EVUS is a repository of information held by DHS/CBP in connection with its several and varied missions and functions, including, but not limited to the enforcement of civil and criminal laws; investigations, inquiries, and proceedings there under; and national security and intelligence activities. EVUS contains information that is collected by, on behalf of, in support of, or in cooperation with DHS and its components and may contain personally identifiable information collected by other federal, state, local, tribal, foreign, or international government agencies. The Secretary of Homeland Security, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), has exempted this system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (e)(8), and (g). Additionally, the Secretary of Homeland Security, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) has exempted this system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3). Exemptions from these particular subsections are justified, on a case-by-case basis to be determined at the time a request is made, for the following reasons:

(a) From subsection (c)(3) (Accounting for Disclosures) because release of the accounting of disclosures could alert the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of DHS as well as the recipient agency. Disclosure of the accounting would therefore present a serious impediment to law enforcement efforts and/or efforts to preserve national security. Disclosure of the accounting would also permit the individual who is the subject of a record to impede the investigation, to tamper with witnesses or evidence, and to avoid detection or apprehension, which would undermine the entire investigative process.

(b) From subsection (e)(8) (Notice on Individuals) because compliance would interfere with DHS's ability to obtain, serve, and issue subpoenas, warrants, and other law enforcement mechanisms that may be filed under seal and could result in disclosure of investigative techniques, procedures, and evidence.

(c) From subsection (g) (Civil Remedies) to the extent that the system is exempt from other specific subsections of the Privacy Act.

Dated: November 17, 2016. Jonathan R. Cantor, Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2016-28288 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Office of the Secretary 6 CFR Part 5 [Docket No. DHS-2016-0087] Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-015 LeadTrac System of Records AGENCY:

Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Homeland Security is issuing a final rule to amend its regulations to exempt portions of a newly established system of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-015 LeadTrac System of Records” from certain provisions of the Privacy Act. Specifically, the Department exempts portions of the “DHS/ICE-015 LeadTrac System of Records” from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements.

DATES:

This final rule is effective November 25, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For general questions, please contact: Amber Smith, Privacy Officer, (202-732-3300), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 500 12th Street SW., Mail Stop 5004, Washington, DC 20536, email: [email protected] For privacy issues, please contact: Jonathan R. Cantor (202-1717), Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

DHS/ICE published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register, 81 FR 153, August 9, 2016, proposing to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements. The system of records is the DHS/ICE-015 LeadTrac System of Records. The DHS/ICE-015 LeadTrac System of Records Notice was published concurrently in the Federal Register, 81 FR 153, August 9, 2016, and comments were invited on both the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and System of Records Notice (SORN).

Public Comments

DHS received no comments on the NPRM and no comments on the SORN.

Because DHS received no public comments, the Department will implement the rulemaking as proposed.

List of Subjects in 6 CFR Part 5

Freedom of information, Privacy.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, DHS proposes to amend chapter I of title 6, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 5—DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 5 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135; (6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.); 5 U.S.C. 301. Subpart A also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552. Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a.

2. Add paragraph 75 to appendix C to part 5 to read as follows: Appendix C to Part 5—DHS Systems of Records Exempt From the Privacy Act

75. The DHS/ICE-015 LeadTrac System of Records consists of electronic and paper records and will be used by ICE investigative and homeland security personnel. The DHS/ICE-015 LeadTrac System of Records is a repository of information held by ICE for analytical and investigative purposes. The system is used to conduct research supporting the production of law enforcement activities; provide lead information for investigative inquiry and follow-up; assist in the conduct of ICE criminal and administrative investigations; assist in the disruption of terrorist or other criminal activity; and discover previously unknown connections among existing ICE investigations. The DHS/ICE-015 LeadTrac System of Records contains aggregated data from ICE and DHS law enforcement and homeland security IT systems, as well as data uploaded by ICE personnel for analysis from various public, private, and commercial sources during the course of an investigation or analytical project. The Secretary of Homeland Security, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), has exempted this system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (c)(4); (d); (e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(3), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), (e)(5), (e)(8); (f); and (g). Additionally, the Secretary of Homeland Security, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), has exempted this system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (c)(4); (d); (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I); and (f). When a record received from another system has been exempted in that source system under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) or (k)(2), DHS will claim the same exemptions for those records that are claimed for the original primary systems of records from which they originated and claims any additional exemptions set forth here.

Exemptions from these particular subsections are justified, on a case-by-case basis to be determined at the time a request is made, for the following reasons:

(a) From subsection (c)(3) and (4) (Accounting for Disclosures) because release of the accounting of disclosures could alert the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of DHS as well as the recipient agency. Disclosure of the accounting would therefore present a serious impediment to law enforcement efforts and/or efforts to preserve national security. Disclosure of the accounting would also permit the individual who is the subject of a record to impede the investigation, to tamper with witnesses or evidence, and to avoid detection or apprehension, which would undermine the entire investigative process. Disclosure of corrections or notations of dispute may impede investigations by requiring DHS to inform each witness or individual contacted during the investigation of each correction or notation pertaining to information provided them during the investigation.

(b) From subsection (d) (Access to Records) because access to the records contained in this system of records could inform the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of DHS or another agency. Access to the records could permit the individual who is the subject of a record to impede the investigation, to tamper with witnesses or evidence, and to avoid detection or apprehension. Amendment of the records could interfere with ongoing investigations and law enforcement activities and would impose an unreasonable administrative burden by requiring investigations to be continually reinvestigated. In addition, permitting access and amendment to such information could disclose classified and other security-sensitive information that could be detrimental to homeland security.

(c) From subsection (e)(1) (Relevancy and Necessity of Information) because in the course of investigations into potential violations of federal law, the accuracy of information obtained or introduced occasionally may be unclear, or the information may not be strictly relevant or necessary to a specific investigation. In the interests of effective law enforcement, it is appropriate to retain all information that may aid in establishing patterns of unlawful activity.

(d) From subsection (e)(2) (Collection of Information from Individuals) because requiring that information be collected from the subject of an investigation would alert the subject to the nature or existence of the investigation, thereby interfering with that investigation and related law enforcement activities.

(e) From subsection (e)(3) (Notice to Subjects) because providing such detailed information could impede law enforcement by compromising the existence of a confidential investigation or reveal the identity of witnesses or confidential informants.

(f) From subsections (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), and (e)(4)(I) (Agency Requirements) and (f) (Agency Rules), because portions of this system are exempt from the individual access provisions of subsection (d) for the reasons noted above, and therefore DHS is not required to establish requirements, rules, or procedures with respect to such access. Providing notice to individuals with respect to existence of records pertaining to them in the system of records or otherwise establishing procedures pursuant to which individuals may access and view records pertaining to themselves in the system would undermine investigative efforts and reveal the identities of witnesses, potential witnesses, and confidential informants.

(g) From subsection (e)(5) (Collection of Information) because with the collection of information for law enforcement purposes, it is impossible to determine in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete. Compliance with subsection (e)(5) would preclude DHS agents from using their investigative training and exercise of good judgment to both conduct and report on investigations.

(h) From subsection (e)(8) (Notice on Individuals) because compliance would interfere with DHS's ability to obtain, serve, and issue subpoenas, warrants, and other law enforcement mechanisms that may be filed under seal and could result in disclosure of investigative techniques, procedures, and evidence.

(i) From subsection (g)(1) (Civil Remedies) to the extent that the system is exempt from other specific subsections of the Privacy Act.

Dated: November 17, 2016. Jonathan Cantor, Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2016-28289 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-28-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 932 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-16-0031; SC16-932-1 FIR] Olives Grown in California; Suspension and Revision of Incoming Size-Grade Requirements AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that suspended the incoming size-grade authority under the California olive marketing order, which regulates the handling of olives in California. The rule, which was recommended by the California Olive Committee (Committee), also made conforming changes to the corresponding size-grade requirements in the order's rules and regulations and two Committee forms. The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of olives operating within the area of production. The interim rule suspended the incoming size-grade authority of the marketing order and revised the corresponding size-grade requirements in the order's rules and regulations. The change is expected to benefit handlers because the current size-grading requirements hinder handler operations and flexibility, increase costs, and diminish their competitiveness.

DATES:

Effective November 28, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Peter Sommers, Marketing Specialist, or Jeffrey Smutny, Regional Director, California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (559) 487-5901, Fax: (559) 487-5906, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Small businesses may obtain information on complying with this and other marketing order and agreement regulations by viewing a guide at the following Web site: http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses; or by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule is issued under Marketing Agreement and Marketing Order No. 932, both as amended (7 CFR part 905), regulating the handling of olives grown in California, hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13175.

Prior to this change, the size requirements were based on count ranges, mid-points and average counts per pound, while new technology sizes olives using mass and volume. Thus, the size-grading requirements and the more advanced sizing technology available now are incompatible and hinder handler operations and flexibility, increase costs, and diminish handler competitiveness. Suspending the incoming size-grading requirements will provide an opportunity for the industry to develop new requirements applicable both to currently-available technology and future needs.

In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2016, and effective on July 19, 2016, (81 FR 46567, Doc. No. AMS-SC-16-0031, SC16-932-1 IR), paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) through (a)(5) in § 932.51 were suspended indefinitely. In addition, the rule revised language in § 932.151, bringing that section into conformity with the intent of the rule, and necessitated minor conforming changes to two Committee forms, the Weight & Grade Report (COC-3c) and Report of Limited and Undersize and Cull Olives Inspection and Disposition (COC-5).

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.

The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

There are two California olive handlers subject to regulation under the marketing order and about 1,000 olive producers in the production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,500,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201). Based upon information from the Committee and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the average producer price for the 2013-14 crop year (the last year information was available) was $1,150 per ton of canning-size olives and $385 per ton for limited-use size olives. The total assessable volume was 85,668 tons. Canning sizes represented 88 percent of the assessable olive volume, while limited-use sizes represented 12 percent of the assessable olive volume. Based on production, producer prices, and the total number of California olive producers, the average annual producer revenue is less than $750,000. Thus, the majority of olive producers may be classified as small entities. Both of the handlers may be classified as large entities.

This rule continues in effect the suspension of the incoming size-grading regulations in § 932.51, beginning with the 2016-17 crop year. It also continues in effect the revision of regulations in § 932.151, bringing the rules and regulations into conformity with the rule and its intent. In addition, the rule continues in effect conforming changes made to the Committee forms, COC-3c and COC-5.

This action is expected to result in increased handler flexibility and competitiveness, while reducing some of the costs associated with size-grading. In addition, this action will allow the Committee time to develop new requirements that address advancing technology and equipment.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB No. 0581-0178. Minor conforming changes to those requirements were necessary as a result of this action. AMS submitted a request to OMB to make minor conforming changes to forms COC-3c and COC-5.

This rule will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large olive handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. In addition, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap or conflict with this rule.

Further, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the California olive industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations. Like all Committee meetings, the February 17, 2016, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express their views on this issue.

Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or before September 16, 2016. No comments were received. Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule, without change.

To view the interim rule, go to: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-07-18/pdf/2016-16704.pdf.

This action also affirms information contained in the interim rule concerning Executive Orders 12866, 12988, 13175, and 13563; the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35); and the E-Gov Act (44 U.S.C. 101).

After consideration of all relevant material presented, it is found that finalizing the interim rule, without change, as published in the Federal Register (81 FR 46567, July 18, 2016) will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 932

Marketing agreements, Olives, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, the interim rule that amended 7 CFR part 932 and that was published at 81 FR 46567 on July 18, 2016, is adopted as a final rule, without change. Dated: November 18, 2016. Bruce Summers, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-28254 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 948 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-16-0042; SC16-948-1 FR] Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Modification of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 2 AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule implements a recommendation from the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 2 (Committee) to revise the grade requirement currently prescribed for 11/2-inch minimum to 21/4-inch maximum diameter (Size B) potatoes under the Colorado potato marketing order (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of potatoes operating within the area of production. This rule relaxes the current minimum grade requirement for Size B red potatoes from U.S. Commercial grade or better to U.S. No. 2 grade or better. Relaxing this grade requirement will allow area handlers to supply new markets with U.S. No. 2 grade Size B red potatoes and is expected to benefit producers, handlers, and consumers.

DATES:

Effective November 28, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sue Coleman, Marketing Specialist, or Gary D. Olson, Regional Director, Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-2724, Fax: (503) 326-7440, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This final rule is issued under Marketing Agreement No. 97 and Marketing Order No. 948, both as amended (7 CFR part 948), regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Colorado, hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13175.

This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have retroactive effect.

The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

This final rule revises the grade requirement currently prescribed for Size B potatoes under the order. This rule relaxes the current minimum grade requirement for Size B red potatoes from U.S. Commercial grade to U.S. No. 2 grade. This change was unanimously recommended by the Committee at a meeting held on March 17, 2016.

Section 948.22 of the order authorizes the issuance of grade, size, quality, maturity, pack, and container regulations for potatoes grown in the order's production area. Section 948.21 authorizes the modification, suspension, or termination of regulations issued pursuant to § 948.22.

Under the Colorado potato marketing order, the State of Colorado is divided into three areas of regulation for marketing order purposes. These include: Area 1, commonly known as the Western Slope; Area 2, commonly known as San Luis Valley; and Area 3, which consists of the remaining producing areas within the State of Colorado not included in the definitions of Area 1 or Area 2. Currently, the order only regulates the handling of potatoes produced in Area 2 and Area 3. Regulation for Area 1 has been suspended.

The grade, size, and maturity requirements specific to the handling of potatoes grown in Area 2 are contained in § 948.386 of the order. The current handling regulation requires that, for all varieties, Size B potatoes (11/2-inch minimum to 21/4-inch maximum diameter, as designated in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Potatoes) may be handled under the order, if such potatoes meet or exceed the requirements of the U.S. Commercial grade.

At the March 17, 2016, Committee meeting, industry participants indicated to the Committee that there is demand in several markets, including the food service market, for Size B, U.S. No. 2 grade red potatoes. They further stated that the order's current grade requirement for Size B potatoes (U.S. Commercial grade or better) precludes handlers from supplying this growing and profitable market. Relaxing the grade requirement for Size B red potatoes will allow area handlers to compete with other domestic potato producing regions. This change will effectively lower the allowable grade for red varieties of Size B potatoes from U.S. Commercial grade or better to U.S. No. 2 grade or better.

Relaxing the grade requirement to allow shipments of U.S. No. 2 grade Size B red potatoes should make more potatoes available to consumers and should allow Area 2 handlers to move more of the area's potato production into the fresh market. This change is expected to benefit producers, handlers, and consumers of potatoes.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.

The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

There are approximately 66 handlers of Colorado Area No. 2 potatoes subject to regulation under the order and approximately 150 producers in the regulated production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,500,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201).

During the 2014-2015 marketing year, the most recent full marketing year for which statistics are available, 14,075,876 hundredweight of Colorado Area No. 2 potatoes were inspected under the order and sold into the fresh market. Based on information reported by USDA's Market News Service, the average f.o.b. shipping point price for the 2014-2015 Colorado potato crop was $8.60 per hundredweight. Multiplying $8.60 by the shipment quantity of 14,075,876 hundredweight yields an annual crop revenue estimate of $121,052,534. The average annual fresh potato revenue for each of the 66 handlers is therefore calculated to be $1,834,129 ($121,052,534 divided by 66), which is less than the SBA threshold of $7,500,000. Consequently, on average, most of the Colorado Area No. 2 potato handlers may be classified as small entities.

In addition, based on information provided by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the average producer price for the 2014 Colorado fall potato crop was $8.25 per hundredweight. Multiplying $8.25 by the shipment quantity of 14,075,876 hundredweight yields an annual crop revenue estimate of $116,125,977. The average annual fresh potato revenue for each of the 150 Colorado Area No. 2 potato producers is therefore calculated to be approximately $774,173 ($116,125,977 divided by 150), which is greater than the SBA threshold of $750,000. Consequently, on average, many of the Area No. 2 Colorado potato producers may not be classified as small entities.

This final rule relaxes the minimum grade requirement prescribed for 11/2-inch minimum diameter to 21/4-inch maximum diameter (Size B) red potatoes under the order. Currently, the handling of Size B potatoes is allowed if the potatoes otherwise meet or exceed the requirements of the U.S. Commercial grade standard. This change will effectively lower the minimum grade requirement for Size B red potatoes from U.S. Commercial grade or better to U.S. No. 2 grade or better. Relaxing the grade requirement will allow Colorado Area 2 handlers to supply markets with U.S. No. 2 grade Size B red potatoes and enable them to better compete with the other domestic potato producing regions. This change in the handling regulations is expected to benefit producers, handlers, and consumers. All other requirements in the order's handling regulations would remain unchanged. Authority for this action is contained in §§ 948.21 and 948.22 of the order.

This relaxation is expected to benefit producers, handlers, and consumers of Colorado Area 2 potatoes by allowing a greater quantity of potatoes from the production area to enter the fresh market. The anticipated increase in volume is expected to translate into greater returns for handlers and producers, and more purchasing options for consumers.

After discussing possible alternatives to this change, the Committee determined that a relaxation in the grade requirement for Size B red potatoes should meet the industry's current needs while maintaining the integrity of the order's quality objectives. During its deliberations, the Committee considered making no changes to the handling regulation, as well as relaxing the grade requirement for all Size B potatoes. The Committee believes that a relaxation in the handling regulation for Size B red potatoes is necessary to allow handlers to pursue new markets, but lowering the grade requirement for all other types and varieties of Size B potatoes to U.S. No. 2 grade or better could erode the quality reputation of the area's production. Therefore, the Committee found that there were no other viable alternatives to the proposal as recommended.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB No. 0581-0178, (Generic Vegetable and Specialty Crops). No changes in those requirements as a result of this action are necessary. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.

This final rule relaxes the minimum grade requirements under the Colorado Area 2 potato marketing order. Accordingly, this action will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large potato handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies.

As noted in the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap or conflict with this final rule.

AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, 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.

In addition, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the Colorado potato industry, and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the March 17, 2016, meeting was a public meeting, and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue.

A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50406). Copies of the rule were made available to all interested Colorado potato producers and handlers. Finally, the rule was made available through the internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period ending September 30, 2016, was provided to allow interested persons to respond to the proposal. No comments were received.

A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

After consideration of all relevant matter presented, including the information and recommendation submitted by the Committee and other available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

It is further found that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 553) because handlers are already shipping potatoes from the 2016 crop, and handlers want to take advantage of the relaxation as soon as possible. Further, handlers are aware of this rule, which was recommended at a public meeting. Also, a 60-day comment period was provided for in the proposed rule.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 948

Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 948 is amended as follows:

PART 948—IRISH POTATOES GROWN IN COLORADO 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 948 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 601-674.

2. In § 948.386, paragraph (a)(3) is revised to read as follows:
§ 948.386 Handling regulation.

(a) * * *

(3) 11/2-inch minimum to 21/4-inch maximum diameter (Size B). U.S. Commercial grade or better, except that red varieties may be U.S. No. 2 grade or better.

Dated: November 18, 2016. Bruce Summers, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-28252 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 705 RIN 3133-AE58 Community Development Revolving Loan Fund AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The NCUA Board (Board) is finalizing a rule to make several technical amendments to NCUA's rule governing the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF). The amendments will make the rule more succinct and improve its transparency, organization, and ease of use by credit unions.

DATES:

This rule is effective December 27, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Geetha Valiyil, Manager, Grants and Loans, Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, or Justin Anderson, Senior Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 or telephone (703) 518-6645 (Ms. Valiyil) or (703) 518-6540 (Mr. Anderson).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

In June 2016, the Board issued a proposed rule to amend NCUA's CDRLF rule.1 The proposed amendments were largely technical in nature or clarified NCUA's practices with respect to disbursing money from the CDRLF.

1 81 FR 40197 (June 21, 2016).

B. Summary of Comments

NCUA received three comments on the proposed rule, all of which were generally supportive of the rule. One commenter, however, did request additional changes and clarifications. These comments are addressed in the section-by-section analysis below.

C. Section-by-Section Analysis

As the Board did not receive any comments on the amendments to §§ 705.1, 705.6, and 705.9, which relate to the authority and purpose of the part, terms for grants, and reporting, the Board is finalizing these amendments as proposed.

§ 705.2 Definitions. This section provides definitions used throughout the rule. The proposed rule removed unnecessary and duplicative definitions. One commenter requested that the Board reconsider the removal of the definition of “Fund.” The commenter stated that this term is specifically relevant to the CDRLF rule and should remain. As noted in the preamble, this term is already defined in § 705.1. The Board continues to believe a second definition of “Fund” is unnecessary and is, therefore, finalizing the amendments to this section as proposed.

§ 705.5. Terms and Conditions. This section outlines the terms and conditions for CDRLF loans. Currently, this section has an aggregate loan limit of $300,000, which prevents NCUA from making loans that exceed this amount. As noted in the proposal, the Board sought to remove this limit to allow NCUA to grant loans in excess of $300,000 and to provide more flexibility for the agency to meet changing loan demands. One commenter believed that the proposed removal of the aggregate loan limit from the rule could lead to NCUA instituting lower aggregate limits, which could harm credit unions. This commenter suggested including language in the rule that explicitly instructs that there is no aggregate limit for loans or technical assistance grants.

As noted in the preamble to the proposed rule, the Board proposed eliminating the aggregate loan limit to help credit unions. As the current aggregate loan limit is an upper limit, NCUA is currently free to set a lower amount for CDRLF loans but cannot offer a higher amount. The proposed removal of this limit will allow NCUA to offer higher loan amounts. As the proposed removal of the limit will help, rather than harm credit unions, the Board is adopting this change as proposed. Further, as there is currently no aggregate limit for technical assistance grants and the grant amounts vary each year, the Board does not believe it is necessary to add the additional language suggested by this commenter.

This commenter also requested more substantive terms and conditions for technical assistance grants. While the commenter did not specify what additional terms and conditions the Board should add, the commenter did suggest that the terms and conditions for grants are “scarce in comparison” to those for loans. The Board notes that as grants are not required to be repaid, unlike loans made under the CDRLF program, there is no need for more comprehensive terms and conditions. Further, the Board's goal in proposing amendments to the CDRLF rule was to make the rule more user friendly and simpler; adding additional terms and conditions where they are not needed would frustrate that purpose. Finally, as noted in the proposed rule, any additional terms and conditions for loans or grants will be specified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and not in the regulatory text.

Current § 705.6. Application and award processes. This section specifies the procedures a credit union must follow to apply for a loan or grant from the CDRLF. The Board sought to make this section clearer and more accurate by proposing amendments that made this section easier to follow and more reflective of NCUA's current practices. One commenter requested clarification on whether a credit union is required to obtain approval from the applicable regional director before submitting an application. NCUA has never required such prior approval in the past, and the Board clarifies it is not doing so now.

§ 705.10. Appeals. The Board proposed to add this new section to contain all applicable appeals language in one section, which would make the rule more user friendly. One commenter requested clarification on the appeal rights in proposed § 705.10(a). Specifically, this commenter believes that this section could be interpreted as only applying to loans and not to grants. In relevant portion, proposed § 705.10(a) reads as follows: “Appeals of Non-Qualification. A Qualifying Credit Union whose application for a loan or technical assistance grant has been denied, under § 705.7(f) of this part, for failure of a qualification may appeal that decision to the NCUA Board in accordance with the following . . .”

The Board believes this section clearly applies to both loans and technical assistance grants. Conversely subsection (b) of this proposed section states that it only applies to technical assistance grants. The Board is adopting the amendments to this section as proposed.

Regulatory Procedures Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires NCUA to prepare an analysis to describe any significant economic impact any proposed regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities. NCUA considers credit unions having less than $100 million in assets to be small for purposes of RFA. The revisions to part 705 are designed to update and streamline the rule, thereby reducing the burden for credit unions that are seeking financial awards, whether in the form of a technical assistance grant or a loan. NCUA has determined and certifies that this rule, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions. Accordingly, the NCUA has determined that an RFA analysis is not required.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency by rule creates a new paperwork burden or increases an existing burden. For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of a reporting or recordkeeping requirement, both referred to as information collections. The changes in this rule are technical in nature and will not create new paperwork burdens or modify any existing paperwork burdens.

Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. In adherence to fundamental federalism principles, NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order. This rulemaking will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the connection between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. NCUA has determined that this rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999—Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

The NCUA has determined that this rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999, Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 705

Community programs, Credit unions, Grants, Loans, Low income, Revolving fund.

By the National Credit Union Administration Board on November 17, 2016.

Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

For the reasons stated above, NCUA amends 12 CFR part 705 as follows:

PART 705—COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT REVOLVING LOAN FUND FOR CREDIT UNIONS 1. The authority citation for part 705 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1756, 1757(5)(D), and (7)(I), 1766, 1782, 1784, 1785 and 1786.

2. Amend § 705.1 by revising paragraphs (c) through (e) to read as follows:
§ 705.1 Authority, purpose, and scope.

(c) NCUA's policy is to revolve the loan funds to credit unions as often as practical in order to achieve maximum economic impact on as many credit unions as possible.

(d) The financial awards provided to credit unions through the Fund will better enable them to support the communities in which they operate; provide basic financial services to low-income residents of these communities, and result in more opportunities for the residents of those communities to improve their financial circumstances.

(e) The Fund is intended to support the efforts of credit unions through loans and technical assistance grants needed for:

(1) Providing basic financial and related services to residents in their communities;

(2) Enhancing their capacity to better serve their members and the communities in which they operate; and

(3) Responding to emergencies.

3. Revise § 705.2 to read as follows:
§ 705.2 Definitions.

For purposes of this part, the following terms shall have the meanings assigned to them in this section.

Application means a form supplied by the NCUA by which a Qualifying Credit Union may apply for a loan or a technical assistance grant from the Fund.

Loan is an award in the form of an extension of credit from the Fund to a Participating Credit Union that must be repaid, with interest.

Low-income Members are those members defined in § 701.34 of this chapter.

Notice of Funding Opportunity means the Notice NCUA publishes describing one or more loan or technical assistance grant programs or initiatives currently being supported by the Fund and inviting Qualifying Credit Unions to submit applications to participate in the program(s) or initiatives(s).

Participating Credit Union refers to a Qualifying Credit Union that has submitted an application for a loan or a technical assistance grant from the Fund which has been approved by NCUA. A Participating Credit Union shall not be deemed to be an agency, department, or instrumentality of the United States because of its receipt of a financial award from the Fund.

Program means the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund Program under which NCUA makes loans and technical assistance grants available to credit unions.

Qualifying Credit Union means a credit union that may be, or has agreed to be, examined by NCUA, with a current low-income designation pursuant to § 701.34(a)(1) or § 741.204 of this chapter or, in the case of a non-federally insured, state-chartered credit union, a low-income designation from a state regulator, made under appropriate state standards with the concurrence of NCUA. Services to low-income members must include, at a minimum, offering share accounts and loans.

Technical Assistance Grant means an award of money from the Fund to a Participating Credit Union that does not have to be repaid.

4. Amend § 705.5 as follows: a. Revise the section heading. b. Revise paragraph (b). c. Amend paragraph (h) by adding the words “security agreements (if any),” between the words “repayment obligations,” and “and covenants,”.

The revisions read as follows:

§ 705.5 Terms and conditions for loans.

(b) Funding Limits. NCUA will publish any applicable loan funding limits in the applicable Notice of Funding Opportunity.

§ 705.8 [Removed]
5. Remove § 705.8.
§§ 705.6 and 705.7 [Redesignated as §§ 705.7 and 705.8]
6. Redesignate §§ 705.6 and 705.7 as §§ 705.7 and 705.8, respectively; 7. Add new § 705.6 to read as follows:
§ 705.6 Terms and conditions for technical assistance grants.

(a) Participating Credit Unions must comply with the terms and conditions for technical assistance grants specified for each funding opportunity offered under a Notice of Funding Opportunity.

(b) NCUA will establish applicable funding limits for technical assistance grants in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

8. Amend redesignated § 705.7 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (a). b. Revise paragraph (c)(4). c. Revise paragraphs (f) and (g).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 705.7 Application and award processes.

(a) Notice of Funding Opportunity. NCUA will publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity in the Federal Register and on its Web site. The Notice of Funding Opportunity will describe the loan and technical assistance grant programs for the period in which funds are available. It also will announce special initiatives, the amount of funds available, funding priorities, permissible uses of funds, funding limits, deadlines, and other pertinent details. The Notice of Funding Opportunity will also advise potential applicants on how to obtain an Application and related materials. NCUA may supplement the information contained in the Notice of Funding Opportunity through such other media as it determines appropriate, including Letters to Credit Unions, press releases, direct notices to Qualifying Credit Unions, and announcements on its Web site.

(c) * * *

(4) Examination Information and Applicable Concurrence. In evaluating a Qualifying Credit Union, NCUA will consider all information provided by NCUA staff or state supervisory authority staff that performed the Qualifying Credit Union's most recent examination. In addition:

(i) NCUA will only provide a loan to a qualifying federal credit union with the concurrence of that credit union's supervising Regional Director; and

(ii) NCUA will only provide a loan to a qualifying state-charted credit union with the written concurrence of the applicable Regional Director and the credit union's state supervisory authority. A qualifying state-chartered credit union should notify its state supervisory authority that it is applying for a loan from the Fund before submitting its application to NCUA. However, a qualifying state-chartered credit union is not required to obtain concurrence before applying for a loan. NCUA will obtain the concurrence directly from the state supervisory authority rather than through the qualifying state-chartered credit union. Additionally, before NCUA will provide a loan to a qualifying state-charted credit union the credit union must make copies of its state examination reports available to NCUA and agree to examination by NCUA.

(f) Notice of Award. NCUA will determine whether an application meets NCUA's standards established by this part and the related Notice of Funding Opportunity. NCUA will provide written notice to a Qualifying Credit Union as to whether or not it has qualified for a loan or technical assistance grant under this part. A Qualifying Credit Union whose application has been denied for failure of a qualification may appeal that decision in accordance with § 705.10 of this part.

(g) Disbursement—(1) Loans. Before NCUA will disburse a loan, the Participating Credit Union must sign the loan agreement, promissory note, and any other loan related documents. NCUA may, in its discretion, choose not to disburse the entire amount of the loan at once.

(2) Technical Assistance Grants. NCUA will disburse technical assistance grants in such amounts, and in accordance with such terms and conditions, as NCUA may establish. In general, technical assistance grants are provided on a reimbursement basis, to cover expenditures approved in advance by NCUA and supported by receipts evidencing payment by the Participating Credit Union.

9. Revise § 705.9(b) to read as follows:
§ 705.9 Reporting and monitoring.

(b) Reporting—(1) Reporting to NCUA. A Participating Credit Union must complete and submit to NCUA all required reports, at such times and in such formats as NCUA will direct. Such reports must describe how the Participating Credit Union has used the loan or technical assistance grant proceeds and the results it has obtained, in relation to the programs, policies, or initiatives identified by the Participating Credit Union in its application. NCUA may request additional information as it determines appropriate.

(2) Reporting to Members—(i) Loans. A Participating Credit Union that receives a loan under this part must report on the progress of providing needed community services to the Participating Credit Union's members once a year, either at the annual meeting or in a written report sent to all members. The Participating Credit Union must also submit to NCUA the written report or a summary of the report provided to members.

(ii) Technical Assistance Grants. A Participating Credit Union that receives a technical assistance grant under this part should report on the progress of providing needed community services to the Participating Credit Union's members once a year, either at the annual meeting or in a written report sent to all members.

10. Revise § 705.10 to read as follows:
§ 705.10 Appeals.

(a) Appeals of non-qualification. A Qualifying Credit Union whose application for a loan or technical assistance grant has been denied, under § 705.7(f), for failure of a qualification may appeal that decision to the NCUA Board in accordance with the following:

(1) Within thirty days of its receipt of a notice of non-qualification, a credit union may appeal the decision to the NCUA Board. The scope of the NCUA Board's review is limited to the threshold question of qualification and not the issue of whether, among qualified applicants, a particular loan or technical assistance grant is funded.

(2) The foregoing procedure shall apply only with respect to Applications received by NCUA during an open period in which funds are available and NCUA has called for Applications. Any Application submitted by an applicant during a period in which NCUA has not called for Applications will be rejected, except for those Applications submitted under § 705.8. Any such rejection shall not be subject to appeal or review by the NCUA Board.

(b) Appeals of technical assistance grant reimbursement denials. Pursuant to NCUA Interpretative Ruling and Policy Statement 11-1, any Participating Credit Union may appeal a denial of a technical assistance grant reimbursement to NCUA's Supervisory Review Committee. All appeals of technical assistance grant reimbursements must be submitted to the Supervisory Review Committee within 30 days from the date of the denial. The decisions of the Supervisory Review Committee are final and may not be appealed to the NCUA Board.

[FR Doc. 2016-28229 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5597; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-009-AD; Amendment 39-18715; AD 2016-23-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 737-400 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks in the upper chord of the overwing stub beams at body station (STA) 578 emanating from the rivet location common to the crease beam inner chord and the overwing stub beam upper chord. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; 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. 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-2016-5597.

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-2016-5597; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5324; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company Model 737-400 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2016 (81 FR 25360) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracks in the upper chord of the overwing stub beams at STA 578 emanating from the rivet location common to the crease beam inner chord and the overwing stub beam upper chord. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections for cracking, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Replacement of the overwing stub beam terminates the repetitive inspections for cracking at the replacement location only, and post-replacement inspections are required if the replacement is done. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the upper chord of the overwing stub beam caused by high flight-cycle fatigue stresses from both pressurization and maneuver loads. Cracking of the overwing stub beam could adversely affect the fuselage structural integrity and result in possible decompression of the airplane.

Comments

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

Request To Clarify Unsafe Condition Statement in the “Discussion” Section

Boeing requested that, in the “Discussion” section of the NPRM, that we clarify the cause of cracking in the overwing stub beams is from high flight-cycle fatigue stresses. Boeing submitted suggested wording.

We agree to clarify the unsafe condition. The unsafe condition statement in the SUMMARY section of the NPRM and paragraph (e) of the proposed AD already specified that the cracking in the upper chord of the overwing stub beam is caused by high flight-cycle fatigue stresses from both pressurization and maneuver loads. However, the “Discussion” section of the NPRM is not restated in this final rule. Therefore, we have not revised this final rule in this regard.

Request To Revise Paragraph (i) of the NPRM

Boeing requested that we revise paragraph (i) of the proposed AD to specify that the actions in that paragraph are required on airplanes that have had an overwing stub beam replaced at STA 578 as specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1347, Original Issue, dated December 9, 2015 (“ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue”), and not replaced with any other method. Boeing stated that the post-replacement inspection requirements specified in table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue are applicable only to a STA 578 stub beam replacement accomplished as specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue.

We agree with Boeing's request. We have revised paragraph (i) of this AD accordingly.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

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

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

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue. The service information describes procedures for doing a surface high frequency eddy current inspection for cracking in the overwing stub beam upper chord at STA 559, STA 578, and STA 601, and repairs and replacement. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 93 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 per inspection cycle $0 $2,040 per inspection cycle $189,720 per inspection cycle.

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary inspections/replacements that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these inspections/replacements:

On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Related investigative inspection 9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765 per side $0 $765 per side. STA 578 Replacement 41 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,485 per side $41,500 per side $44,985 per side. STA 578 Post-replacement inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per side $0 $85 per side.

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-23-08 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18715; Docket No. FAA-2016-5597; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-009-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all the Boeing Company Model 737-400 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of cracks in the upper chord of the overwing stub beams at body station (STA) 578 emanating from the rivet location common to the crease beam inner chord and the overwing stub beam upper chord. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the upper chord of the overwing stub beam caused by high flight-cycle fatigue stresses from both pressurization and maneuver loads. Cracking of the overwing stub beam could adversely affect the fuselage structural integrity and result in possible decompression of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspections, Related Investigative Actions, and Corrective Actions

At the applicable time specified in table 1 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1347, Original Issue, dated December 9, 2015 (“ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue”), except as required by paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD: Do a surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for any cracking in the overwing stub beam upper chord at STA 559, STA 578, and STA 601; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue, except as specified in paragraph (j)(3) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the HFEC inspection thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue.

Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

Deviation from the actions specified in ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue may affect compliance with the fuel tank ignition prevention requirements specified in Critical Design Configuration Control Limitation 28-AWL-11 of Document D6-38278-CMR.

(h) Terminating Action

Replacement of the overwing stub beam, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue, terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD at the STA 578 replacement location only. The post-replacement inspections required by paragraph (i) of this AD are still required at the STA 578 replacement location.

(i) Post-Replacement Inspections and Corrective Action

For airplanes on which an overwing stub beam has been replaced at STA 578, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue: At the applicable time specified in table 2 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue, do a surface HFEC inspection for any cracking in the overwing stub beam upper chord at STA 578, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue. Repeat the HFEC inspection thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, repair the cracking using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(3) of this AD.

(j) Exceptions to Service Information

(1) Where ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue, specifies a compliance time after the “original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

(2) The Condition column of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue, refers to airplanes with specified total flight-cycles “at the original issue date of this service bulletin.” This AD, however, applies to the airplanes with the specified total flight-cycles as of the effective date of this AD.

(3) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this AD, and ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair the cracking or replace the stub beam, using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

(k) No Economic Inspection Required

This AD does not require the “Recommended Economic Inspection” specified in paragraph 3.B.3. of the Accomplishment Instructions of ASB 737-53A1347 Original Issue.

(l) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Los Angeles 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 (m) 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, Los Angeles 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) Except as required by paragraph (j)(3) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (l)(4)(i) and (l)(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.

(m) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5324; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

(n) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1347, Original Issue, dated December 9, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For Boeing 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 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

(4) 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.

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 8, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-27640 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5044; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-166-AD; Amendment 39-18718; AD 2016-24-01] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-102, -103, and -106 airplanes; and Model DHC-8-200 and -300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of heat damage found on a nacelle firewall after an unsuccessful engine ground start and several events of heat damage found on direct current starter/generator terminal block assemblies. This AD requires an inspection to detect damage on the nacelle firewalls and the terminal block assemblies and to make sure the insulating sleeves are installed and have no damage, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5044.

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-2016-5044; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Assata Dessaline, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Flight Test Branch, ANE-172, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7301; fax 516-794-5531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-102, -103, and -106 airplanes; and Model DHC-8-200 and -300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 12, 2016 (81 FR 21495) (“the NPRM”).

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-03R1, dated July 24, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-102, -103, and -106 airplanes; and Model DHC-8-200 and -300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

There has been one in-service report of heat damage on a nacelle firewall found after an unsuccessful engine ground start. There have also been several reports of heat damage found on Direct Current Starter/Generator terminal block assemblies, part number (P/N) 82450075-001.

The investigation determined that in all cases, the heat damage was caused by arcing between the firewall and terminal blocks with missing insulating sleeves on the conductive bushings. The insulating sleeves may have been inadvertently omitted during the incorporation of Modsum 8/1926, or during the installation of terminal blocks P/N 82450075-001.

Arcing with the firewall becomes an ignition source, creating a potential fire hazard when combined with a fuel or hydraulic fluid leak.

The original issue of this [Canadian] AD mandated the [detailed visual] inspection [for damage to the nacelle firewalls and to make sure the insulating sleeves are installed and have no damage] and rectification [corrective actions such as installing or replacing insulating sleeves, or replacing a terminal block], as required, of the nacelle firewall and terminal block assembly P/N 82450075-001 installed with Modsum 8/1926.

Revision 1 of this [Canadian] AD is issued to revise the Applicability to ensure that the terminal blocks have the insulating sleeves installed.

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-2016-5044.

Comments

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

Request To Reduce the Compliance Time

The Air Line Pilots Association, International requested that, due to the nature of the AD, the proposed 14-month compliance time be reduced to 10 months.

We do not agree to reduce the compliance time. The 14-month compliance time was developed by TCCA in coordination with Bombardier, Inc., and we concur that it is an appropriate compliance time. However, if we receive data to justify a shorter compliance time, we may consider further rulemaking on this issue. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-24-92, Revision A, dated April 11, 2014. The service information describes procedures for an inspection to detect damage on the nacelle firewalls and the terminal block assemblies and to make sure the insulating sleeves are installed and have no damage, and corrective action. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 75 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $12,750, or $170 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 1 work-hour and require parts costing $551, for a cost of $636 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

2. Is not a “significant rule” under 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.

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-24-01 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18718; Docket No. FAA-2016-5044; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-166-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, serial numbers 003 through 672 inclusive, on which terminal block part number 82450075-001 is installed.

(1) Model DHC-8-102, -103, and -106 airplanes.

(2) Model DHC-8-201 and -202 airplanes.

(3) Model DHC-8-301, -311, and -315 airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 24, Electrical Power.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of heat damage found on a nacelle firewall after an unsuccessful engine ground start and several events of heat damage found on direct current starter/generator terminal block assemblies. We are issuing this AD to prevent arcing between the firewall and terminal blocks that are missing insulating sleeves on the conductive bushings, which could, in combination with a fuel or hydraulic fluid leak, be an ignition source for a fire.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection and Corrective Action

Within 2,500 flight cycles or 14 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, perform a detailed visual inspection of the right-hand side and left-hand side nacelle firewalls and terminal block assemblies, as defined in Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-24-92, Revision A, dated April 11, 2014, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-24-92, Revision A, dated April 11, 2014.

(1) If the inspection finds no damage on the engine firewalls and the terminal blocks, and that undamaged insulating sleeves are installed on both terminal blocks, no further action is required by this AD.

(2) If the inspection finds that no insulating sleeves are installed, or the existing sleeves are damaged, and there is no damage to the nacelle firewall and terminal block, before further flight, install the replacement insulating sleeves, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-24-92, Revision A, dated April 11, 2014.

(3) If the inspection finds that no insulating sleeves are installed, or any existing sleeve is damaged, and there is no damage to the nacelle firewall, but there is damage to the terminal block, before further flight, replace the terminal block assembly (which includes insulating sleeves), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-24-92, Revision A, dated April 11, 2014.

(4) If the inspection finds that no insulating sleeves are installed and there is damage to the nacelle firewall and the terminal block, repair the damage using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, Engine and Propeller Directorate, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-24-92, dated September 25, 2013.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, Engine and Propeller Directorate, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO. If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(j) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-03R1, dated July 24, 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-2016-5044.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (k)(3) and (k)(4) of this AD.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-24-92, Revision A, dated April 11, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

(4) 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.

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 10, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-28054 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5041; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-102-AD; Amendment 39-18719; AD 2016-24-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that static strength analysis has shown that the aluminum transmission aft bearing plate assemblies have inadequate structural strength for one or more of the required load cases. This AD requires removing aluminum transmission aft bearing plate assemblies from the flap track and installing titanium transmission aft bearing plate assemblies to the flap track. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5041.

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-2016-5041; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2016 (81 FR 19514) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report that static strength analysis has shown that the aluminum transmission aft bearing plate assemblies have inadequate structural strength for one or more of the required load cases, including cases for drive system jam, flap skew, and structural damage tolerance. Inadequate structural strength can result in damage to the transmission aft bearing plate assemblies. The NPRM proposed to require removing aluminum transmission aft bearing plate assemblies from the flap track and installing titanium transmission aft bearing plate assemblies to the flap track. We are issuing this AD to prevent inadequate structural strength of transmission aft bearing plate assemblies. This condition could result in damaged transmission aft bearing plate assemblies, which could result in incorrect operation and departure of the flap from the airplane and consequent loss of controllability of the airplane.

Comments

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

Request To Use the Latest Service Information

Boeing requested that we revise the NPRM to refer to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016. Boeing stated that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, dated June 12, 2015, erroneously included three airplanes, line numbers 1435, 1506, and 1509, which were delivered with the terminating action already incorporated. Boeing stated that the airplane effectivity in paragraph 1.A.1. of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016, is listed correctly; however, airplane line numbers 1435, 1506, and 1509 were still erroneously included in the table that lists the airplane groups by line numbers. Boeing noted that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016, also contains corrections to the access requirements, part quantities, and part numbers.

We agree with the commenter's request for the reasons provided. We have updated this final rule accordingly. Since the table in paragraph 1.A.1. of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016, is not accurate, we have also revised paragraph (c) of this AD to state that the AD is applicable to Model 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes, except for line numbers 1435, 1506, and 1509, which were delivered with the terminating action already incorporated. We have also added a new paragraph (h) to this AD, which provides credit for actions completed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, dated June 12, 2015. We have redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

Request To Revise the Costs of Compliance

Boeing requested that we update the Costs of Compliance section of the NPRM with the latest information in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016. Boeing stated that the work hours and parts costs have been updated with the new service information.

We agree with the commenter's request for the reason provided. We have updated this final rule accordingly.

Request for Credit for Previous Actions

Boeing requested that we add a statement to the NPRM to indicate that no further work is required on airplanes that have completed the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, dated June 12, 2015. Boeing stated that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016, has no effect on airplanes that have incorporated Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, dated June 12, 2015.

We agree with the commenter's request for the reason provided. As stated previously, we have revised this AD to provide credit for actions completed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, dated June 12, 2015.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

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

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

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016. The service information describes procedures for removing the aluminum transmission aft bearing plate assembly from the flap track and installing a new titanium transmission aft bearing plate assembly to the flap track. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 11 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Replacement 136 work-hours × $85 per hour = $11,560 $43,787 $55,347 $608,817

    According to the manufacturer, all of the costs of this 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-24-02 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18719; Docket No. FAA-2016-5041; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-102-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016; except for line numbers 1435, 1506, and 1509, which were delivered with the terminating action already incorporated and are not affected by this AD.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that static strength analysis has shown that the aluminum transmission aft bearing plate assemblies have inadequate structural strength for one or more of the required load cases, including cases for drive system jam, flap skew, and structural damage tolerance. Inadequate structural strength can result in damage to the transmission aft bearing plate assemblies. We are issuing this AD to prevent inadequate structural strength of transmission aft bearing plate assemblies. This condition could result in damaged transmission aft bearing plate assemblies, which could result in incorrect operation and departure of the flap from the airplane and consequent loss of controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Replacement

    Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD: Remove aluminum transmission aft bearing plate assemblies from the flap track and install new titanium transmission aft bearing plate assemblies to the flap track, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, dated June 12, 2015.

    (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 Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (k)(3) and (k)(4) of this AD.

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2348, Revision 1, dated February 26, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

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

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 10, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28059 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-7427; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-041-AD; Amendment 39-18714; AD 2016-23-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-02-08 for all Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. AD 2013-02-08 required inspection of the trunnions and upper and lower pins of the horizontal stabilizer trim actuator (HSTA), and replacement or re-identification if necessary; and revision of the maintenance program to include safe life limits and inspection requirements for the HSTA. This new AD requires certain actions related to the trunnions and pins for the HSTA, revising the maintenance or inspection program, and removing certain airplanes from the applicability. This AD was prompted by a determination that not all affected attachment pins and trunnions were included in the inspections required by AD 2016-02-08, and that incorrect attachment hardware may have been used in replacements on certain airplanes. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of December 30, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-7427.

    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-2016-7427; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-7318; fax (516) 794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2013-02-08, Amendment 39-17329 (78 FR 7647, February 4, 2013) (“AD 2013-02-08”). AD 2013-02-08 applied to all Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2016 (81 FR 45992). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that not all affected attachment pins and trunnions were included in the required inspections. In addition, for certain airplanes on which the replacement in AD 2013-02-08 was done, incorrect attachment hardware may have been used. The NPRM proposed to require measuring the diameter of certain bolts and attach holes, and, as applicable, measuring the diameter of the attach holes in the trunnions and pins; doing detailed visual inspections of the trunnions, pins, and spacers; doing corrective actions; and re-identifying trunnions and pins. The NPRM also proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program, and to remove certain airplanes from the applicability. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the attachment pins and trunnions of the HSTA. This condition could result in separation of the horizontal stabilizer, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-08, effective March 30, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    After the issuance of [Canadian] AD CF-2011-45, it was discovered that the [Canadian] AD did not address all affected Horizontal Stabilizer Tim Actuator (HSTA) attachment pins and trunnions. In addition, it is possible that aeroplanes having incorporated the Initial issue or Revision A, of Bombardier Service Bulletin (SB) 601R-27-160 used incorrect attachment hardware to re-install the HSTA attachment pins or trunnions.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the inspection and rectification, as required, and the re-identification, as required, of the HSTA pins and trunnions and incorporation of a revised Airworthiness Limitation task.

    The required actions include measuring the diameter of certain bolts and attach holes, and, as applicable, measuring the diameter of the attach holes in the trunnions and pins; doing detailed visual inspections of the trunnions, pins, and spacers; doing corrective actions; and re-identifying trunnions and pins. Corrective actions include replacing bolts, trunnions, pins, and spacers; increasing the diameter of the attach holes; and repairing trunnions and pins.

    The required actions also include revising the maintenance or inspection program.

    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-2016-7427.

    Comments

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

    Request for Acknowledgement of Previously Approved Method for Part Marking

    Air Wisconsin Airlines (Air Wisconsin) requested that the previously approved alternative method of compliance (AMOC) for part marking (re-identifying trunnions and pins) be acknowledged and approved for accomplishing the proposed re-identification of trunnions and pins. Air Wisconsin indicated that it has already performed the inspection and part marking on the parts as required by AD 2013-02-08 and marked the parts using a method approved by an AMOC.

    We do not agree with the request. This AD does not retain the requirements of AD 2013-02-08 and instead requires new actions (measurements, inspections, corrective actions, and re-identification of parts). The new actions address all affected HSTA pins and trunnions and ensure that the correct attachment hardware is used for the re-installation of pins and trunnions. Existing AMOCs, including those that have part marking procedures, might not be acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD. We have made no changes to this final rule regarding this issue. However, under the provisions of paragraph (l)(1) of this AD, we may approve requests for alternative procedures if data are submitted to substantiate that those procedures would provide an acceptable level of safety.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following service information:

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision D, dated October 22, 2015. The service information describes procedures for measuring the diameter of certain bolts and attach holes, and, as applicable, measuring the diameter of the attach holes in the trunnions and pins; doing detailed visual inspections of the trunnions, pins, and spacers; doing corrective actions; and re-identifying trunnions and pins.

    • Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Airworthiness Requirements Temporary Revision 2B-2245, dated September 16, 2014. The service information describes safe life limits for the HSTA trunnion support and attaching hardware.

    • Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Airworthiness Requirements Temporary Revision 2B-2186, dated August 8, 2011. The service information describes an inspection of the upper and lower installation pins of the horizontal stabilizer pitch trim actuator.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 489 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate that it takes about 8 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $332,520, or $680 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions take about 20 work-hours and require parts costing $4,391, for a cost of $6,091 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

    2. Is not a “significant rule” under 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.

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-02-08, Amendment 39-17329 (78 FR 7647, February 4, 2013), and adding the following new AD: 2016-23-07 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18714; Docket No. FAA-2016-7427; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-041-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 30, 2016

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2013-02-08, Amendment 39-17329 (78 FR 7647, February 4, 2013) (“AD 2013-02-08”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 7003 through 8113 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27: Flight controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that not all affected attachment pins and trunnions were included in the inspections required by AD 2013-02-08, and that incorrect attachment hardware may have been used in replacements on certain airplanes. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the attachment pins and trunnions of the horizontal stabilizer trim actuator (HSTA), which could result in separation of the horizontal stabilizer, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    (1) For airplanes on which the detailed inspection specified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, dated September 29, 2011; or Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision A, dated October 3, 2012; has not been done as of the effective date of this AD: At the earliest of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), and (g)(1)(iii) of this AD, measure the diameter of the bolts that attach the trunnions and pins; measure the diameter of the attach holes in the airplane structure, and, as applicable, measure the diameter of the attach holes in the trunnions and pins; do detailed visual inspections for gouges, scratches, and corrosion of the trunnions and pins; do detailed visual inspections for damage of the spacers; do corrective actions; and re-identify trunnions and pins; in accordance with Part A of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision D, dated October 22, 2015; except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (i) Within 5,000 flight hours after March 11, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-02-08).

    (ii) Within 60 months after March 11, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-02-08).

    (iii) Before the accumulation of 40,000 total flight cycles, or within 60 days after March 11, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-02-08), whichever occurs later.

    (2) For airplanes on which the detailed inspection specified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, dated September 29, 2011; or Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision A, dated October 3, 2012; has been done as of the effective date of this AD: Within 9,600 flight hours or 60 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, measure the diameter of the bolts that attach the trunnions and pins; measure the diameter of the attach holes in the airplane structure, and, as applicable, measure the diameter of the attach holes in the trunnions and pins; do detailed visual inspections for gouges, scratches, and corrosion of the trunnions and pins; do detailed visual inspections for damage of the spacers; do corrective actions; and re-identify trunnions and pins; in accordance with Part B of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision D, dated October 22, 2015, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) Exception to Service Information

    Where Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision D, dated October 22, 2015, specifies to contact Bombardier for disposition, before further flight, repair in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (l)(2) of this AD.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information identified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision B, dated February 20, 2015.

    (2) Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision C, dated May 3, 2015.

    (j) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

    (1) Within 30 days after March 11, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-02-08), revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Airworthiness Requirements Temporary Revision 2B-2186, dated August 8, 2011. The compliance time for doing the initial inspection of the upper and lower installation pins of the horizontal stabilizer pitch trim actuator is before the accumulation of 40,000 landings or within 60 days after March 11, 2013, whichever occurs later.

    (2) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Airworthiness Requirements Temporary Revision 2B-2245, dated September 16, 2014. The compliance time for doing the initial replacement for the HSTA trunnion support and attaching hardware is before the accumulation of 80,000 landings or within 60 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (k) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (j) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, Engine and Propeller Directorate, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-08, effective March 30, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-7427.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (n)(3) and (n)(4) of this AD.

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-160, Revision D, dated October 22, 2015.

    (ii) Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Airworthiness Requirements Temporary Revision 2B-2245, dated September 16, 2014.

    (iii) Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Airworthiness Requirements Temporary Revision 2B-2186, dated August 8, 2011.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

    (4) 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.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 8, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27643 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9281; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-033-AD; Amendment 39-18717; AD 2016-23-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Model S-76D helicopters. This AD requires revising the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) to prohibit Barometric Altitude Hold (ALT) mode beyond a certain rate of climb or descent. This AD is prompted by a report of the autopilot being unable to maintain level flight during certain flight conditions. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent a significant pilot workload increase, pilot disorientation, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective December 12, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of December 12, 2016.

    We must receive comments on this AD by January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9281; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Customer Service Engineering, 124 Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611; telephone 1-800-Winged-S or 203-416-4299; email: [email protected] You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9281.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Coffey, Flight Test Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, Engine & Propeller Directorate, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781) 238-7173; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

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

    Discussion

    We are adopting a new AD for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Model S-76D helicopters. This AD requires revising the “Automatic Flight Control System” section of the RFM Limitations by inserting a limitation prohibiting the use of the ALT mode during a rate of climb or descent greater than 1,000 feet/minute (fpm). This AD is prompted by a report of the autopilot being unable to maintain level flight in certain flight conditions. To explore the report further, the FAA conducted additional flight tests, which revealed that when the helicopter is at density altitudes greater than 13,000 feet and the autopilot is commanding either a climb or descent at rates greater than 1,000 fpm, and the ALT HOLD mode is then engaged, the autopilot is unable to maintain level flight when large collective inputs are applied. These conditions saturate the stability augmentation system (SAS) actuators, subsequently providing insufficient control response during the collective input. As a result, the helicopter may experience a dynamic response with roll excursions greater than 50 degrees of bank angle and yaw excursions greater than 70 degrees of heading. This condition could result in a significant increase in pilot workload, pilot disorientation, and loss of control of the helicopter.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Sikorsky issued S-76D RFM SA S76D-RFM-000, Temporary Revision No. 7, approved May 19, 2016, which revises the Limitations section by prohibiting ALT mode during a rate of climb or descent greater than 1,000 fpm.

    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.

    AD Requirements

    This AD requires, within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS), revising the Limitations section of the RFM by inserting a limitation stating that ALT mode shall not be engaged with a rate of climb or descent greater than 1,000 fpm.

    Interim Action

    We consider this AD to be an interim action. The design approval holder is planning to develop a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 12 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, revising the RFM will require 0.5 work-hour, for cost of about $43 per helicopter and $516 for the U.S. fleet.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we find that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to the adoption of this rule because the unsafe condition can adversely affect control of the helicopter, and the required corrective actions must be accomplished within 10 hours TIS.

    Since an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-23-10 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation: Amendment 39-18717; Docket No. FAA-2016-9281; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-033-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model S-76D helicopters, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as an inability of the autopilot to maintain level flight. This condition could result in a significant increase in pilot workload, pilot disorientation, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective December 12, 2016.

    (d) Compliance

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

    (e) Required Actions

    Within 10 hours time-in-service, revise Section 1 Limitations, “Automatic Flight Control System” section, of the Rotorcraft Flight Manual by one of the following methods:

    (1) Insert Sikorsky S-76D SA S76D-RFM-000, Temporary Revision No. 7, approved May 19, 2016; or

    (2) Insert a copy of this AD; or

    (3) Make pen-and-ink changes to add the information in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD.

    ER25NO16.000 (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: John Coffey, Flight Test Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, Engine & Propeller Directorate, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781) 238-7173; email [email protected]

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

    (g) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2210, Autopilot System.

    (h) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Sikorsky S-76D SA S76D-RFM-000, Temporary Revision No. 7, approved May 19, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Sikorsky service information identified in this AD, contact Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Customer Service Engineering, 124 Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611; telephone 1-800-Winged-S or 203-416-4299; email: [email protected]

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

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

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 4, 2016. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27771 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9396; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-034-AD; Amendment 39-18712; AD 2016-23-05] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) Helicopters AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2007-25-08 for Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, SA-366G1, EC 155B, and EC155B1 helicopters. AD 2007-25-08 required checking the tail rotor gearbox (TGB) oil, inspecting the magnetic plug, and either replacing the TGB or performing additional inspections. This AD was prompted by reports of new occurrences of loss of yaw control due to failure of the control rod bearing. This AD requires checking the TGB oil level and replacing the bearing with a new part-numbered bearing. These actions are intended to detect and prevent damage to the bearing resulting in end play, loss of tail rotor pitch control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective December 12, 2016.

    We must receive comments on this AD by January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9396; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, Texas 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5116; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

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

    Discussion

    On November 27, 2007, we issued AD 2007-25-08, Amendment 39-15290 (72 FR 69604, December 10, 2007) for Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365 N1, AS-365 N2, AS 365 N3, SA-366G1, EC 155B, and EC155B1 helicopters. AD 2007-25-08 required repetitively checking the TGB oil level to ensure it is at the maximum level. AD 2007-25-08 also required repetitively inspecting the magnetic plug for chips, and depending on the quantity of chips found, either replacing the TGB or further inspecting for axial play in the spider. If axial play is found in the spider, AD 2007-25-08 required replacing the bearing. AD 2007-25-08 was prompted by AD No. 2006-0258R1-E, dated August 29, 2006, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, as well as the finding that metal chips were not detected on the magnetic plug due to insufficient oil flow because the oil in the TGB was being maintained at the minimum level. The actions of AD 2007-25-08 were intended to detect metal chips on the magnetic plug and to prevent damage to the bearing resulting in end play, loss of tail rotor pitch control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    Actions Since AD 2007-25-08 Was Issued

    After we issued AD 2007-25-08, we received reports of new occurrences of loss of yaw control due to failure of the control rod bearing and EASA superseded AD No. 2006-0258R1-E with several ADs, including AD No. 2012-0170R2, dated June 20, 2014, to correct an unsafe condition for these model helicopters. Therefore, we issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by removing AD 2007-25-08 and adding a new AD. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53024). The NPRM proposed to retain the pilot checks of the TGB oil level and the magnetic plug inspections of AD 2007-25-08. The NPRM also proposed to revise the inspections for play in the double bearing to improve the detection of play, require replacing the TGB control shaft guide bushes, clarify the criteria concerning particle detection, and change the inspection for play in the double bearing after the guide bushes have been replaced.

    On May 23, 2016, EASA issued Emergency AD No. 2016-0097-E, which superseded AD No. 2012 0170R2. EASA Emergency AD No. 2016-0097-E was subsequently revised by EASA AD No. 2016-0097R1, dated May 25, 2016, to correct a paragraph reference. EASA AD No. 2016-0097R1 advises that after AD No. 2012-0170R2 was issued, a technical investigation of an AS 365 N3 accident revealed a damaged TGB bearing. EASA further states that the affected control rod had been repetitively inspected as required by EASA AD 2012-0170R2, and that the investigation is still ongoing to determine the root cause of the damage and why the damage was not discovered during previous inspections. EASA AD No. 2016-0097R1 requires repetitive inspections of the TGB oil level and magnetic chip detector. EASA AD No. 2016-0097R1 also requires replacing bearing part number (P/N) 704A33-651-093 or P/N 704A33-651-104, with an improved bearing, P/N 704A33-651-245 or 704A33-651-246, which is terminating action for the repetitive inspections of the magnetic chip detector but not of the oil level. The EASA AD also describes an alternative repetitive inspection for play that would defer replacing the bearing for an additional 110 hours TIS. Lastly, the EASA AD requires that helicopters with an improved bearing P/N 704A33-651-245 or 704A33-651-246 (identified as post-modification 07 65B57 configuration) replace the bearing at intervals not to exceed 500 hours TIS.

    In light of EASA AD No. 2016-0097R1 and the corrective actions required by this final rule, we are issuing a separate action to withdraw the NPRM (80 FR 53024, September 2, 2015).

    FAA's Determination

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

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS365-01.00.67, Revision 0, dated May 4, 2016, for FAA type-certificated Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters and for non-FAA type-certificated Model AS365F, Fi, and K helicopters; ASB No. EC155-04A014, Revision 0, dated May 4, 2016, for FAA type-certificated Model EC 155B and EC155B1 helicopters; and ASB No. SA366-01.29, Revision 0, dated May 4, 2016, for FAA type-certificated Model SA-366G1 and non-FAA type-certificated Model SA-366GA helicopters. Each ASB describes procedures for ensuring the TGB oil level is at maximum capacity; reducing the inspection interval for the TGB magnetic plug pending initial replacement of the bearing; removing the control rod assembly to inspect the bearing; and periodically replacing the bearing.

    AD Requirements

    This AD applies to the affected model helicopters with bearing P/N 704A33-651-093 or P/N 704A33-651-104 and requires:

    • Checking the TGB oil level at specified intervals. An owner/operator (pilot) may perform this visual check and must enter compliance into the helicopter maintenance records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform this check because it involves only a visual check for the oil level in the TGB and can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. This check is an exception to our standard maintenance regulations.

    • Replacing the bearing part number (P/N) 704A33-651-093 or P/N 704A33-651-104 with a bearing, P/N 704A33-651-245 or 704A33-651-246.

    This AD also prohibits installing bearing P/N 704A33-651-093 or P/N 704A33-651-104 on any helicopter.

    Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD requires replacing bearing P/N 704A33-651-093 and P/N 704A33-651-104 that have 335 or more hours TIS within 15 hours TIS; this AD requires replacing these bearings within 15 hours TIS regardless of the amount of time the bearing has accumulated. The EASA AD requires a repetitive TGB magnetic chip detector inspection, while this AD does not. The EASA AD allows an alternative repetitive inspection for play to defer replacing the bearing for an additional 110 hours TIS, while this AD does not. Lastly, the EASA AD requires replacing the improved bearing at intervals of 500 hours TIS; an AD for this action is not necessary because it is specified in the manufacturer's Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, and therefore mandated by other regulatory requirements.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 43 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. At an average labor rate of $85, checking the TGB oil level will require about 0.5 work-hour, for a cost per helicopter of $43 and a total cost of $1,849 for the fleet, per inspection cycle. Replacing the bearing will require 16 work-hours and parts costing $1,125, for a total cost of $2,485 per helicopter and $106,855 for the fleet.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we find that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to the adoption of this rule because the initial inspections required by this AD must be accomplished before further flight, and the bearings must be replaced within 15 hours TIS, a very short interval for these model helicopters.

    Since an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2007-25-08, Amendment 39-15290 (72 FR 69604, December 10, 2007), and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-23-05 Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France): Amendment 39-18712; Docket No. FAA-2016-9396; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-034-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, SA-366G1, EC 155B, and EC155B1 helicopters with a tail rotor gearbox (TGB) pitch control rod assembly double bearing (bearing) part number (P/N) 704A33-651-093 or P/N 704A33-651-104 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as damage to the bearing, which could result in end play, loss of tail rotor pitch control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2007-25-08, Amendment 39-15290 (72 FR 69604, December 10, 2007).

    (d) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective December 12, 2016.

    (e) Compliance

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

    (f) Required Actions

    (1) Before further flight and thereafter at the following intervals, check the TGB oil level:

    (i) For Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters, at intervals not to exceed 10 hours time-in-service (TIS).

    (ii) For Model SA366G1 helicopters, before the first flight of each day.

    (iii) For Model EC 155B and EC155B1 helicopters, at intervals not to exceed 15 hours TIS.

    (iv) The actions required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9 (a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439.

    (2) If the oil level is not at maximum, before further flight, a qualified mechanic must fill it to the maximum level.

    (3) Within 15 hours TIS, replace the bearing P/N 704A33-651-093 or P/N 704A33-651-104 with a bearing P/N 704A33-651-245 or P/N 704A33-651-246.

    (4) Do not install bearing P/N 704A33-651-093 or P/N 704A33-651-104 on any helicopter.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5116; email [email protected]

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

    (h) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS365-01.00.67, No. EC155-04A014, and No. SA366-01.29, each Revision 0 and dated May 4, 2016, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this final rule. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0097R1, dated May 25, 2016. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2016-9396.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6520 Tail Rotor Gearbox.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 2, 2016. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27638 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-5809; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-055-AD; Amendment 39-18709; AD 2016-23-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2006-19-12 for certain The Boeing Company Model 777-200 and -300 series airplanes. AD 2006-19-12 required inspecting the lower web of the aft fairing of the engine struts for any discoloration, and doing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary; inspecting the heat shield castings for any damage and doing corrective action if necessary; installing gap cover strips; and replacing insulation blankets with new insulation blankets. This new AD retains those requirements and also requires, depending on airplane configuration, one-time or repetitive detailed inspections for cracking and deformation, as applicable, of the aft fairing lower structure, and one-time or repetitive conductivity inspections of the aft fairing lower structure, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This new AD also adds airplanes to the applicability. This AD was prompted by a report that an aft fairing lower spar web exceeded the allowable conductivity limits. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of December 30, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of October 30, 2006 (71 FR 55727, September 25, 2006).

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-5809.

    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-2015-5809; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sue Lucier, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-917-6438; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2006-19-12, Amendment 39-14769 (71 FR 55727, September 25, 2006) (“AD 2006-19-12”). AD 2006-19-12 applied to certain Boeing Model 777-200 and -300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 20, 2015 (80 FR 72621) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report that an aft fairing lower spar web exceeded the allowable conductivity limits. The NPRM proposed to continue to require inspecting the lower web of the aft fairing of the engine struts for any discoloration, and doing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary; inspecting the heat shield castings for any damage and doing corrective action if necessary; installing gap cover strips; and replacing insulation blankets with new insulation blankets. The NPRM also proposed to require, depending on airplane configuration, one-time or repetitive detailed inspections for cracking and deformation, as applicable, of the aft fairing lower structure; one-time or repetitive conductivity inspections of the aft fairing lower structure; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. The NPRM also added airplanes to the applicability. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct degradation of the aft fairing lower web, which could lead to cracking of the web and could allow flammable fluids to leak into the heat shield pan castings, and increase the risk of an uncontained fire and subsequent structural damage.

    Comments

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

    Request To Exclude a Certain Line Number From the Applicability

    Boeing requested that we exclude line number (L/N) 940 from the applicability of the proposed AD. Boeing stated that the effectivity of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012; and Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015; erroneously included L/N 940.

    Boeing commented that a modification (installation of new gap cover strip fillers, new Velcro strips, and improved aft fairing insulation blankets) was introduced in production starting on L/N 940. Boeing noted that Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012, which is an optional terminating action in the proposed AD, specifies procedures for that modification. Boeing stated that, therefore, the proposed AD would mandate that the service information be accomplished for L/N 940 even though the optional terminating action was already incorporated in production. Boeing commented that since the terminating action was incorporated in production for L/N 940, the unsafe condition stated in the proposed AD does not exist and the one-time inspection using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015, is not required for that airplane.

    We agree with the commenter's request. Since L/N 940 already has the terminating action incorporated during the airplane's production, we have excluded L/N 940 from the applicability in paragraph (c) of this AD.

    Request To Change the Compliance Time

    Boeing requested that we change the compliance time in paragraph (j) of the proposed AD from “24 months after the effective date of this AD” to “750 days after the effective date of this AD.” Boeing stated that the compliance time of 750 days aligns with the proposed compliance time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015.

    We disagree with the commenter's request. The compliance time is expressed in months for ease of compliance time awareness. We converted days to months, and 750 days is equivalent to 24 months. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Revise Inspection Language for Clarity

    Boeing requested that we revise paragraph (j) of the proposed AD to clarify that the detailed inspections of the aft fairing lower structure are intended to detect cracks and deformation, and the conductivity inspections of the aft fairing lower structure are intended to detect thermal degradation of the structure.

    We agree with the commenter's request. We have revised paragraph (j) of this AD accordingly.

    Request To Address and Clarify Compliance for Certain Airplane Groups

    Air New Zealand requested that we clearly address compliance for certain airplane groups. Air New Zealand commented that we have not clearly addressed compliance in the proposed AD for Group 1, Configurations 2 and 4, airplanes; and Group 2, Configuration 2, airplanes. Air New Zealand stated it has airplanes that have accomplished the actions in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, dated March 29, 2011; and Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 1, dated August 23, 2011; but have yet to accomplish the actions in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015. Air New Zealand stated that if Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, dated March 29, 2011; Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 1, dated August 23, 2011; or Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012; have been accomplished, the terminating action in paragraph (k) of the proposed AD is achieved by accomplishing Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015.

    We partially agree with the commenter. We agree to clarify the airplane configurations to make the compliance requirements in paragraphs (j) and (k) of this AD easier to understand and follow.

    Although paragraph (j) of the proposed AD did not explicitly state the various configurations and groups for the initial inspection, it was intended that the initial inspection would be done for all airplanes and that the repetitive inspections would apply only to the configurations identified in paragraph (j) of the proposed AD in the sentence that specifies to do repetitive inspections.

    In paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, we have specified that the initial detailed inspections must be done for all configurations, including associated groups, within 24 months after the effective date of this AD. In paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, we have specified that repetitive inspections must be done (until the terminating action specified in paragraph (k) of this AD is done) for airplanes that belong to Group 1, Configurations l and 3, and for Group 2, Configuration 1, airplanes identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015.

    For Group 1, Configurations 2 and 4, airplanes, and Group 2, Configuration 2, airplanes identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015, operators do not need to do the repetitive inspections on those airplanes. For those airplanes, the actions specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026 would have already been done and only the initial inspection required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD would need to done. Note that those airplanes are listed in table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015, which does not specify repetitive inspections.

    We have modified paragraph (j) of this AD to clarify the airplane configurations by identifying which groups are affected. We have also modified paragraph (k) of this AD to accommodate the changes in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    Request To Use Boeing Information Notice

    Air New Zealand requested that we add Boeing Information Notice (IN) 777-54-0038, IN 01, dated December 10, 2015 (“Boeing IN 777-54-0038”), to paragraph (j) of the proposed AD. Air New Zealand stated that the information notice shows the required parts needed to accomplish Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015.

    We acknowledge the intent of the commenter's request. However, the parts identified in Boeing IN 777-54-0038 do not affect the unsafe condition or the requirements of this AD as Boeing IN 777-54-0038 contains interchangeability information and the alternate parts are not required. Therefore, operators can comply with paragraph (j) of this AD by accomplishing the actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015. In addition, it is not appropriate to cite Boeing INs as sources of service information in ADs because INs are not FAA-approved documents. We have not changed this final rule in this regard.

    Request To Clarify Required Actions

    Air New Zealand requested that we clarify the required actions in the proposed AD. Air New Zealand stated that it has airplanes on which the actions in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, dated March 29, 2011; Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 1, dated August 23. 2011; or Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012; has been accomplished, but the actions in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015, have not been accomplished. Air New Zealand stated that it thinks if Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026 has been previously complied with, terminating action is achieved once Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015, is accomplished.

    We agree to clarify the actions in this AD. We infer Air New Zealand is requesting credit for having done Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, dated March 29, 2011; or Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 1, dated August 23. 2011. Paragraph (k) of this AD describes terminating action for paragraph (j)(2) of this AD and refers to Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012. We have added a new paragraph (l) to this AD to give credit for prior accomplishment of the actions in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, dated March 29, 2011; and Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 1, dated August 23, 2011. We have redesignated the subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

    Request To Clarify the Word “New” in the Proposed AD

    Boeing requested that we revise the Related Service Information under 1 CFR part 51 paragraph of the NPRM and paragraph (k) of the proposed AD to replace the words “new aft fairing insulation blankets” with “improved aft fairing insulation blankets with new batting material.” Boeing stated that the insulation blankets specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012, have improved thermal protection properties to the insulation blankets, as specified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0021, Revision 1, dated March 16, 2006, due to being made from different materials. Boeing stated that, therefore, to avoid confusion between paragraphs (g)(4) and (k) of the proposed AD when referring to “new” insulation blankets, the distinction needs to be made.

    We agree with the commenter's request. We have changed this final rule accordingly.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously, and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

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

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

    We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012. The service information describes procedures for a detailed inspection of the gap cover strips and heat shield pan castings for damage, corrective actions, and installation of new gap cover strip fillers, new Velcro strips, and improved aft fairing insulation blankets with new batting material.

    We also reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015. The service information describes procedures for one-time and repetitive detailed inspections for any cracking and deformation, as applicable, of the aft fairing lower structure; conductivity inspections of the aft fairing lower structure; and related investigative 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.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 99 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection and other actions [retained actions from AD 2006-19-12] Up to 11 work-hours × $85 per hour = $935, depending on airplane configuration Up to $16,179, depending on airplane configuration Up to $17,114, depending on airplane configuration Up to $1,694,286, depending on airplane configuration. Inspections [new action] Up to 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040, depending on airplane configuration $0 Up to $2,040, depending on airplane configuration Up to $201,960, depending on airplane configuration.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary related investigative and corrective actions that will be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these inspections and replacements:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Related investigative actions Up to 36 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,060, depending on airplane configuration $0 Up to $3,060, depending on airplane configuration. Corrective actions Up to 38 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,230, depending on airplane configuration $0 Up to $3,230, depending on airplane configuration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2006-19-12, Amendment 39-14769 (71 FR 55727, September 25, 2006), and adding the following new AD: 2016-23-02 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18709; Docket No. FAA-2015-5809; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-055-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 30, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2006-19-12, Amendment 39-14769 (71 FR 55727, September 25, 2006) (“AD 2006-19-12”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series airplanes, certified in any category, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015; except for line number 940.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 54, Nacelles/pylons.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that an aft fairing lower spar web exceeded the allowable conductivity limits. An investigation concluded that wear to the pan casting and gap cover strips allowed increased heat into the aft fairing heat shield cavity. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct degradation of the aft fairing lower web, which could lead to cracking of the web and could allow flammable fluids to leak into the heat shield pan castings, and increase the risk of an uncontained fire and subsequent structural damage.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspection, Installation, and Replacement Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (f) of AD 2006-19-12, with no changes. For Model 777-200 and -300 series airplanes identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0021, Revision 1, dated March 16, 2006: Except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD, within 12 months after October 30, 2006 (the effective date of AD 2006-19-12), do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), and (g)(4) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0021, Revision 1, dated March 16, 2006.

    (1) Do a general visual inspection of the lower web of the aft fairing for any discoloration and do any related investigative action.

    (2) Do a general visual inspection of the heat shield castings for any damage (crack(s), dent(s), gouge(s), warpage, fretting, or missing/loose nutplates).

    (3) Install gap cover strips on the heat shield pans.

    (4) Replace insulation blankets on the heat shield pans with new insulation blankets.

    (h) Retained Repair Instructions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (g) of AD 2006-19-12, with no changes. If any damage, discoloration, heat damage, or crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, or in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0021, Revision 1, dated March 16, 2006.

    (i) Retained Credit for Previous Actions, With Revised Format

    This paragraph restates the credit provided by paragraph (h) of AD 2006-19-12, with a revised format. This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before October 30, 2006 (the effective date of AD 2006-19-12), using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0021, dated June 23, 2005, except where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0021, dated June 23, 2005, does not provide an international annealed copper standard (IACS) value for determining the results of the inspection for heat damage, the maximum acceptable IACS value is 42 percent.

    (j) New Requirements: Detailed and Conductivity Inspections and Related Investigative and Corrective Actions (Repetitive Inspections for Certain Airplanes)

    (1) For Group 1, Configurations 1, 2, 3, and 4, airplanes; and Group 2, Configurations 1 and 2, airplanes; identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection of the aft fairing lower structure for any cracking and deformation, and do a conductivity inspection of the aft fairing lower structure for the IACS value (thermal degradation indication), as applicable, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

    (2) For Group 1, Configurations 1 and 3, airplanes, and Group 2, Configuration 1, airplanes, identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015: Repeat the inspections specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed 24 months until the terminating action specified in paragraph (k) of this AD is done.

    (k) Optional Terminating Action

    Accomplishing a detailed inspection of the gap cover strips and heat shield pan castings for damage and applicable corrective actions, and installation of new gap cover strip fillers, new Velcro strips, and improved aft fairing insulation blankets with new batting material, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012, prior to or concurrently with accomplishing detailed and conductivity inspections and all applicable related investigative and corrective actions required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, terminates the repetitive inspections specified in paragraph (j)(2) of this AD; except, where Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012, specifies to contact the manufacturer, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (l) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (k) of this AD that are identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, dated March 29, 2011; or Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 1, dated August 23, 2011.

    (m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle 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 (n)(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 required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2006-19-12 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD.

    (5) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (m)(5)(i) and (m)(5)(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.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Sue Lucier, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-917-6438; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (o)(5) and (o)(6) of this AD.

    (o) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on December 30, 2016.

    (i) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-54-0026, Revision 2, dated January 5, 2012.

    (ii) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0038, dated March 6, 2015.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 30, 2006, Amendment 39-14769 (71 FR 55727, September 25, 2006).

    (i) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-54-0021, Revision 1, dated March 16, 2006.

    (ii) Reserved.

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

    (6) You may view this service information at 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.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 28, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26809 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6413; Airspace Docket No. 16-AWP-11] Establishment of Class E Airspace, Silver Springs, NV AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Silver Springs Airport, Silver Springs, NV. The FAA found establishment of airspace necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations under new Area Navigation (RNAV) Standard Instrument Approach Procedures at the airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, March 2, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    On August 25, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Silver Springs Municipal Airport, Silver Springs, NV (81 FR 58416) Docket No. FAA-2016-6413. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 2-mile radius of Silver Springs Airport, Silver Springs, NV, with segments extending from the 2-mile radius to 9 miles northeast, and 7.5 miles northeast of the airport. This airspace is established to accommodate new RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures developed for the airport.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth AWP NV E5 Silver Springs, NV [New] Silver Springs Airport, NV (Lat. 39°24′11″ N., long. 119°15′04″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 2-mile radius of Silver Springs Airport, and that airspace 2 miles either side of the 69° bearing from the 2-mile radius to 9 miles northeast of the airport, and that airspace 1.5 miles either side of the 60° bearing from the 2-mile radius to 7.5 miles northeast of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on November 16, 2016. Tracey Johnson, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28277 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-8827; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-12] Amendment of Amendment of Class D and E Airspace for the Following Texas Towns; Georgetown, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Gainesville, TX; Graford, TX; Hebbronville, TX; and Jasper, TX AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class D airspace at Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, TX, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Rockport Aransas County Airport, Corpus Christi, TX; Lancaster Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Gainesville Municipal Airport, Gainesville, TX; Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, TX; (Hebbronville, TX) O.S. Wyatt Airport, Realitos, TX; and Jasper County-Bell Field, Jasper, TX. Decommissioning of non-directional radio beacons (NDB), cancellation of NDB approaches, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) procedures have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the above airports. This action also updates the geographic coordinates for Corpus Christi International Airport; the Corpus Christi VORTAC; Aransas County Airport, Rockport, TX; Nueces County Airport, Robstown, TX; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; McKinney National Airport, McKinney, TX; Lancaster Airport; Bourland Field Airport, Fort Worth, TX; Jasper County-Bell Field; and Alfred C. `Bubba' Thomas (formerly San Patricio County Airport), Sinton, TX, to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. Also, the names of McCampbell-Porter Airport (formerly T.P. McCampbell Airport); McKinney National Airport (formerly Collin County Regional Airport); Ralph M. Hall/Rockwall Municipal Airport (formerly Rockwall Municipal Airport); and Alfred C. `Bubba' Thomas (formerly San Patricio County Airport) are being updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, March 2, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies Class D airspace at Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, TX; and modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Rockport Aransas County Airport, Corpus Christi, TX; Lancaster Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Gainesville Municipal Airport, Gainesville, TX; Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, TX; O.S. Wyatt Airport, Realitos, TX; Jasper County-Bell Field, Jasper, TX.

    History

    On September 8, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), (81 FR 62041) Docket No. FAA-2016-8827, to modify Class D airspace at Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, TX; and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Rockport Aransas County Airport, Corpus Christi, TX; Lancaster Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Gainesville Municipal Airport, Gainesville, TX; Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, TX; O.S. Wyatt Airport, Realitos, TX; Jasper County-Bell Field, Jasper, TX.

    Subsequent to publication, the FAA discovered that the geographic coordinates for and name of San Patricio County Airport, Sinton, TX, were updated to Alfred C. `Bubba' Thomas Airport, Sinton, TX. Also updated subsequent to publication were the geographic coordinates for Corpus Christi International Airport, Corpus Christi, TX. These have been updated in this action to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6003, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11A, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies:

    Class D airspace within a 4.1-mile radius (reduced from a 5-mile radius) of Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, TX; Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Corpus Christi, TX; Within a 6.6-mile radius (reduced from a 7.6-mile radius) of Aransas County Airport, Rockport, TX, with extensions to the north of the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 10 miles, to the southeast of the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 10 miles, to the south of the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 10 miles, and to the northwest of the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 10 miles, and updating the geographic coordinates of Corpus Christi International Airport (also located in Class E extension airspace), Nueces County Airport, Robstown, TX, and the name of McCampbell-Porter Airport (formerly T.P. McCampbell Airport) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. The geographic coordinates for the Corpus Christi VORTAC, and the geographic coordinates and name of Alfred C. `Bubba' Thomas (formerly San Patricio County Airport), listed for Sinton, TX, are also updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Within a 6.6-mile radius (increased from a 6.5-mile radius) of the Lancaster Airport, Lancaster, TX, with an extension southeast of the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 9.2 miles and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport; By updating the geographic coordinates of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, McKinney National Airport, and Bourland Field Airport, and the names of McKinney National Airport (formerly Collin County Regional Airport) and Ralph M. Hall/Rockwall Municipal Airport (formerly Rockwall Municipal Airport) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; By removing the 10.4-mile segment extending from the 6.6-mile radius of Gainesville Municipal Airport, Gainesville, TX; Within a 6.6-mile radius (increased from a 6.5-mile radius) of Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, TX, with extensions to the northwest of the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 9.8 miles, and to the north of the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 10.4 miles. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Hebbronville, TX; Within a 6.5-mile radius (reduced from a 6.9-mile radius) of O.S. Wyatt Airport, Realitos, TX; And within a 6.6-mile radius (increased from a 6.5-mile radius) of Jasper County-Bell Field, Jasper, TX, with an extension to the north of the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 6.7 miles, and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace ASW TX D  Georgetown, TX [Amended] Georgetown Municipal Airport, Texas (Lat. 30°40′44″ N., long. 97°40′46″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,300 feet MSL within a 4.1-mile radius of Georgetown Municipal Airport. This Class D airspace is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ASW TX E2 Rockport, TX [Amended] Aransas County Airport, TX (Lat. 28°05′10″ N., long. 97°02′37″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 4.1-mile radius of Aransas County Airport.

    Paragraph 6003 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension. ASW TX E3 Corpus Christi, TX [Amended] Corpus Christi International Airport, TX (Lat. 27°46′20″ N., long. 97°30′09″ W.) Corpus Christi VORTAC (Lat. 27°54′14″ N., long. 97°26′42″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within 1.3 miles each side of the 200° radial of the Corpus Christi VORTAC extending from a 5-mile radius of Corpus Christi International Airport to 6.4 miles north of the airport.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW TX E5 Corpus Christi, TX [Amended] Corpus Christi International Airport, TX (Lat. 27°46′20″ N., long. 97°30′09″ W.) Corpus Christi NAS/Truax Field, TX (Lat. 27°41′34″ N., long. 97°17′25″ W.) Port Aransas, Mustang Beach Airport, TX (Lat. 27°48′43″ N., long. 97°05′20″ W.) Rockport, San Jose Island Airport, TX (Lat. 27°56′40″ N., long. 96°59′06″ W.) Rockport, Aransas County Airport, TX (Lat. 28°05′10″ N., long. 97°02′37″ W.) Ingleside, McCampbell-Porter Airport, TX (Lat. 27°54′47″ N., long. 97°12′41″ W.) Robstown, Nueces County Airport, TX (Lat. 27°46′41″ N., long. 97°41′24″ W.) Corpus Christi VORTAC, TX (Lat. 27°54′14″ N., long. 97°26′42″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.5-mile radius of Corpus Christi International Airport and within 1.4 miles each side of the 200° radial of the Corpus Christi VORTAC extending from the 7.5-mile radius to 8.5 miles north of the airport, and within 1.5 miles each side of the 316° bearing from Corpus Christi International Airport extending from the 7.5-mile radius to 10.1 miles northwest of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 179° bearing from Corpus Christi International Airport extending from the 7.5-mile radius to 14 miles south of the airport, and within an 8.8-mile radius of Corpus Christi NAS/Truax Field, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Mustang Beach Airport, and within a 6.4-mile radius of McCampbell-Porter Airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Nueces County Airport, and within a 6.6-mile radius of Aransas County Airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 010° bearing from the Aransas County Airport extending from the 6.6-mile radius to 10 miles north of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 145° bearing from the Aransas County Airport extending from the 6.6-mile radius to 10 miles southeast of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 190° bearing from the Aransas County Airport extending from the 6.6-mile radius to 10 miles south of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 325° bearing from the Aransas County Airport extending from the 6.6-mile radius to 10 miles northwest of the airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of San Jose Island Airport, and within 8 miles west and 4 miles east of the 327° bearing from the San Jose Island Airport extending from the airport to 20 miles northwest of the airport, and within 8 miles east and 4 miles west of the 147° bearing from San Jose Island Airport extending from the airport to 16 miles southeast of the airport, excluding that portion more than 12 miles from and parallel to the shoreline.

    ASW TX E5 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX [Amended] Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, TX (Lat. 32°53′50″ N., long. 97°02′16″ W.) McKinney, McKinney National Airport, TX (Lat. 33°10′37″ N., long. 96°35′20″ W.) Rockwall, Ralph M. Hall/Rockwall Municipal Airport, TX (Lat. 32°55′50″ N., long. 96°26′08″ W.) Mesquite, Mesquite Metro Airport, TX (Lat. 32°44′49″ N., long. 96°31′50″ W.) Mesquite NDB (Lat. 32°48′34″ N., long. 96°31′45″ W.) Mesquite Metro ILS Localizer (Lat. 32°44′03″ N., long. 96°31′50″ W.) Lancaster, Lancaster Airport, TX (Lat. 32°34′39″ N., long. 96°43′03″ W.) Point of Origin (Lat. 32°51′57″ N., long. 97°01′41″ W.) Fort Worth, Fort Worth Spinks Airport, TX (Lat. 32°33′55″ N., long. 97°18′29″ W.) Cleburne, Cleburne Regional Airport, TX (Lat. 32°21′14″ N., long. 97°26′02″ W.) Fort Worth, Bourland Field Airport, TX (Lat. 32°34′55″ N., long. 97°35′27″ W.) Granbury, Granbury Regional Airport, TX (Lat. 32°26′40″ N., long. 97°49′01″ W.) Weatherford, Parker County Airport, TX (Lat. 32°44′47″ N., long. 97°40′57″ W.) Bridgeport, Bridgeport Municipal Airport, TX (Lat. 33°10′31″ N., long. 97°49′42″ W.) Decatur, Decatur Municipal Airport, TX (Lat. 33°15′15″ N., long. 97°34′50″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 30-mile radius of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and within a 6.6-mile radius of McKinney National Airport, and within 1.8 miles each side of the 002° bearing from McKinney National Airport extending from the 6.6-mile radius to 9.2 miles north of the airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Ralph M. Hall/Rockwall Municipal Airport, and within 1.6 miles each side of the 010° bearing from Ralph M. Hall/Rockwall Municipal Airport extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 10.8 miles north of the airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of Mesquite Metro Airport, and within 8 miles east and 4 miles west of the 001° bearing from Mesquite NDB extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 19.7 miles north of the airport, and within 1.7 miles each side of the Mesquite Metro ILS Localizer south course extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 11.1 miles south of the airport, and within a 6.6-mile radius of Lancaster Airport, and within 1.9 miles each side of the 140° bearing from Lancaster Airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 9.2 miles southeast of the airport, and within 8 miles northeast and 4 miles southwest of the 144° bearing from the Point of Origin extending from the 30-mile radius of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to 35 miles southeast of the Point of Origin, and within a 6.5-mile radius of Fort Worth Spinks Airport, and within 8 miles east and 4 miles west of the 178° bearing from Fort Worth Spinks Airport extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 21 miles south of the airport, and within a 6.9-mile radius of Cleburne Regional Airport, and within 3.6 miles each side of the 292° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.9-mile radius to 12.2 miles northwest of Cleburne Regional Airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of Fort Worth's Bourland Field Airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Granbury Regional Airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Weatherford's Parker County Airport, and within 8 miles east and 4 miles west of the 177° bearing from Parker County Airport extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 21.4 miles south of the airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Bridgeport Municipal Airport, and within 1.6 miles each side of the 040° bearing from Bridgeport Municipal Airport extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 10.6 miles northeast of the airport, and within 4 miles each side of the 001° bearing from Bridgeport Municipal Airport extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 10.7 miles north of the airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Decatur Municipal Airport, and within 1.5 miles each side of the 263° bearing from Decatur Municipal Airport extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 9.2 miles west of the airport.

    ASW TX E5 Gainesville, TX [Amended] Gainesville Municipal Airport, TX (Lat. 33°39′08″ N., long. 97°11′50″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Gainesville Municipal Airport.

    ASW TX E5 Georgetown, TX [Amended] Georgetown Municipal Airport, TX (Lat. 30°40′44″ N., long. 97°40′46″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Georgetown Municipal Airport, and within 2.0 miles each side of the 301° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.6-mile radius to 9.8 miles northwest of the airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 004° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.6-mile radius to 10.4 miles north of the airport.

    ASW TX E5 Hebbronville, TX [Amended] Hebbronville, Jim Hogg County Airport, TX (Lat. 27°20′58″ N., long. 98°44′13″ W.) Realitos, O.S. Wyatt Airport, TX (Lat. 27°25′18″ N., long. 98°36′16″ W.) Hebbronville NDB (Lat. 27°21′14″ N., long. 98°44′39″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Jim Hogg County Airport and within 2.5 miles each side of the 325° bearing from the Hebbronville NDB extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 7.5 miles northwest of the airport and within a 6.5-mile radius of O.S. Wyatt Airport.

    ASW TX E5 Jasper, TX [Amended] Jasper, Jasper County-Bell Field, TX (Lat. 30°53′09″ N., long. 94°02′06″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Jasper County-Bell Field and within 1.6 miles each side of the 001° bearing from the airport from the 6.6-mile radius to 6.7 miles north of the airport.

    ASW TX E5 Sinton, TX [Amended] Alfred C. `Bubba' Thomas Airport, TX (Lat. 28°02′19″ N., long. 97°32′33″ W.) Corpus Christi VORTAC (Lat. 27°54′14″ N., long. 97°26′42″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Alfred C. `Bubba' Thomas Airport and within 1.3 miles each side of the 328° radial of the Corpus Christi VORTAC extending from the 6.4-mile radius to 9.6 miles southeast of the airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 16, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28284 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 133 [Docket No. 1529; Amdt. No. 133-9A] Rotorcraft External-Load Operations; Technical Amendment AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; technical amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA is correcting two regulatory cross-references. The pertinent section was not amended to reflect changes that were implemented in the final rule dated November 7, 1986 (Doc. No. 24550, 51 FR 40692, 40708).

    DATES:

    This action becomes effective on November 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Raymond T. Plessinger, General Aviation and Commercial Divisions, AFS-820, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-1100; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Good Cause for Immediate Adoption Without Prior Notice

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency for “good cause” finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking.

    Section 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act requires that agencies publish a rule not less than 30 days before its effective date, except as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.

    This document is correcting an error that is in 14 CFR part 133. This correction will not impose any additional restrictions on the persons affected by these regulations. Furthermore, any additional delay in making the regulations correct would be contrary to the public interest. Accordingly, the FAA finds that (i) public comment on these standards prior to promulgation is unnecessary, and (ii) good cause exists to make this rule effective in less than 30 days.

    Background

    On November 7, 1986, the FAA published a final rule (Doc. No. 24550, 51 FR 40692, 40708) that amended and updated the operations and maintenance requirements pertaining to rotorcraft and established a new Class D rotorcraft-load combination. The final rule created a new § 133.35, Carriage of persons. With the creation of § 133.35, the occupancy limitations cross-referenced in § 133.49(a) were moved from § 133.45(a) to § 133.35(a). The cross-reference in § 133.49(a) was not amended to reflect this change.

    The final rule also amended § 133.45, Operating limitations, by removing paragraph (a). This resulted in paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e) to be redesignated as paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d), respectively. The cross-reference in § 133.49(b) was not amended to reflect these changes. In this final rule, the FAA failed to update the regulatory cross-references in § 133.49(a) and (b), based on the changes previously described. This technical amendment updates the cross-references in § 133.49(a) and (b), based on the 1986 final rule.

    Technical Amendment

    This technical amendment will correct the noted cross-references currently in § 133.49(a) and (b). Because this action results in no substantive change to part 133, we find good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this technical amendment effective in less than 30 days and upon its publication in the Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 133

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    The Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 133—ROTORCRAFT EXTERNAL-LOAD OPERATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 133 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702.

    2. Revise § 133.49 to read as follows:
    § 133.49 Markings and placards.

    The following markings and placards must be displayed conspicuously and must be such that they cannot be easily erased, disfigured, or obscured:

    (a) A placard (displayed in the cockpit or cabin) stating the class of rotorcraft-load combination for which the rotorcraft has been approved and the occupancy limitation prescribed in § 133.35(a).

    (b) A placard, marking, or instruction (displayed next to the external-load attaching means) stating the maximum external load prescribed as an operating limitation in § 133.45(b).

    Issued under authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702 in Washington, DC, on November 16, 2016. Dale Bouffiou, Acting Director, Office of Rulemaking.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28399 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Parts 738, 742, 744, 748, and 774 [Docket No. 160718621-6621-01] RIN 0694-AH04 Commerce Control List: Removal of Certain Nuclear Nonproliferation (NP) Column 2 Controls AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) publishes this final rule to amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to remove nuclear nonproliferation (NP) Column 2 license requirements from certain pressure tubes, pipes, fittings, pipe valves, pumps, numerically controlled machine tools, oscilloscopes, and transient recorders on the Commerce Control List (CCL). These changes are intended to revise the EAR controls on these items by making them more consistent with the export controls of other countries that manufacture these items and that, together with the United States, are participating countries in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). As a result of the changes made by this rule, some of these items are no longer listed under an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) on the CCL. However, such items remain subject to the EAR under the designation EAR99. This rule also creates four new ECCNs to maintain anti-terrorism (AT) controls on certain affected commodities and related “software” and “technology.” All items subject to the EAR, regardless of whether they are listed on the CCL, may require a license for reasons described elsewhere in the EAR (e.g., license requirements based on end-user/end-use controls, embargoes, or other special controls).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 25, 2016. However, “software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items previously controlled under ECCN 3A292 will continue to be classified and licensed by BIS under the designation EAR99 through January 31, 2017. As of February 1, 2017, such “software” will be classified and licensed by BIS under ECCN 3D991.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Clagett, Director, Nuclear and Missile Technology Controls Division, Office of Nonproliferation and Treaty Compliance, Bureau of Industry and Security, Telephone: (202) 482-1641.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to make the controls that apply to certain pressure tubes, pipes, fittings, pipe valves, pumps, numerically controlled machine tools, oscilloscopes, and transient recorders on the Commerce Control List (CCL) (Supplement No. 1 to part 774 of the EAR) more consistent with the export controls of other supplier countries that, together with the United States, are participating countries in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The NSG is a multilateral export control forum that currently consists of 48 participating countries. The NSG maintains a list of dual-use items that could be used for nuclear proliferation activities. The list is maintained in the Annex to the NSG's “Guidelines for Transfers of Nuclear Related Dual-Use Equipment, Materials, Software, and Related Technology” (hereinafter the “NSG Annex”). NSG participating countries share a commitment to prevent nuclear proliferation and the development of nuclear-related weapons of mass destruction. In furtherance of that commitment, they have agreed to impose export controls on listed items. The NSG Guidelines and the Annex thereto are designed to ensure that nuclear trade for peaceful purposes does not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons or related proliferation activities.

    The amendments made by this final rule are based on a review by BIS of items controlled for nuclear nonproliferation (NP) reasons to destinations indicated under NP Column 2 on the Commerce Country Chart (Supplement No. 1 to part 738 of the EAR). These amendments are designed to revise the NP controls in the EAR to be more consistent with the controls maintained by other NSG participating countries, in accordance with the NSG Guidelines and the Annex thereto. As a result of the amendments made by this rule, exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) of the following items no longer require a license for NP reasons to destinations indicated under NP Column 2 on the Commerce Country Chart: (1) Pressure tubes, pipes, fittings, and pipe valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292; (2) pumps previously controlled under ECCN 2A293; (3) numerically controlled machine tools previously controlled under ECCN 2B290; and (4) oscilloscopes and transient recorders previously controlled under ECCN 3A292. The removal of NP controls from these items by BIS is consistent with the nuclear nonproliferation requirements of other NSG participating countries, none of which currently require a license for such items (for nuclear nonproliferation reasons), because the items are not listed in the NSG Annex.

    Certain items continue to require a license for NP reasons to destinations indicated under NP Column 2 on the Commerce Country Chart (e.g., items controlled under ECCN 1A290, 1C298, 2A290 and 2A291, including related “software” and “technology” controls described elsewhere on the CCL). BIS believes that retaining NP Column 2 controls on these items is helpful in maintaining our commitments with respect to NSG Trigger List items and in clarifying questions of licensing jurisdiction with respect to the export controls administered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Furthermore, BIS intends to periodically review the controls on these items to ensure that, to the extent practicable (i.e., within the limitations of U.S. foreign policy and nonproliferation objectives), they are consistent with the controls maintained by other NSG participating countries.

    Removal of ECCNs 2A292, 2A293, 2B290, and 3A292 From the CCL

    This final rule amends the EAR to reflect the controls currently described in the NSG Annex by removing ECCNs 2A292, 2A293, 2B290, and 3A292 from the CCL. Certain items previously controlled under ECCN 2B290 are no longer listed on the CCL and are designated as EAR99 (i.e., subject to the EAR, as described in Section 734.3(a), but not listed on the CCL). However, most of the items previously controlled by these ECCNs continue to be listed on the CCL under ECCNs that require a license for anti-terrorism (AT) reasons and, in one instance, for chemical/biological (CB) reasons, as well. Specifically, valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g are now controlled under ECCN 2B350. These valves continue to require a license for CB reasons to destinations indicated under CB Column 2 on the Commerce Country Chart and for AT reasons to destinations indicated under AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart. All other items previously controlled under ECCN 2A292 and all items previously controlled under ECCN 2A293 are now controlled under new ECCN 2A992 or 2A993, respectively, for AT reasons and continue to require a license to destinations indicated under AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart.

    Turning machines or combination turning/milling machines previously controlled under ECCN 2B290 that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B991.d.1 are now controlled under ECCN 2B991 and continue to require a license for AT reasons to destinations indicated under AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart. All other items previously controlled under ECCN 2B290 are now designated as EAR99 and, as such, no longer require a license for NP or AT reasons. However, any item that is subject to the EAR, whether or not it is listed on the CCL, may require a license for reasons described elsewhere in the EAR (e.g., the end-user/end-use controls described in part 744 of the EAR or the embargoes and other special controls described in part 746 of the EAR).

    Oscilloscopes and transient recorders previously controlled under ECCN 3A292 are now controlled under new paragraphs .d through .g in ECCN 3A992. Although these items no longer require a license for NP reasons, they continue to require a license for AT reasons to destinations indicated under AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart.

    Prior to the removal of ECCNs 2A292, 2A293, 2B290 and 3A292 from the CCL, the items controlled thereunder required a license for NP and/or AT reasons to nine countries (i.e., Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, and Syria). Currently, in addition to the license requirements that apply to most of these items under ECCN 2A992, 2A993, 2B350.g, 2B991.d.1, or 3A992 (as described above), a license from BIS continues to be required for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) involving any of these items to Cuba, North Korea, or Syria (see the embargoes and other special controls in part 746 of the EAR; also see Section 742.9 of the EAR with respect to AT controls on Syria). A license from BIS also continues to be required for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) involving any of these items that are not designated as EAR99 to Iran (see Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the EAR) or Sudan (see Section 742.10 of the EAR with respect to AT controls on Sudan). In addition, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers comprehensive trade and investment embargoes against Iran, Sudan, and Syria that include prohibitions on exports and certain reexport transactions involving these countries. Therefore, as a practical matter, the amendments made by this rule are likely to have a significant impact on license requirements only with respect to exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) of items previously controlled under ECCN 2B290 and now classified as EAR99, or items now controlled on the CCL under new ECCN 2A992, new ECCN 2A993, ECCN 2B991, or ECCN 3A992 for AT reasons only, that involve the following destinations: Iraq, Israel, Libya, or Pakistan. In this regard, note that the EAR require a license to export or reexport to Iraq, or to transfer within Iraq, any item subject to the EAR if, at the time of the export, reexport or transfer, you know, have reason to know, or have been informed by BIS that the item will be, or is intended to be, used for a “military end-use” or by a “military end-user” (see Section 746.3(a)(4) of the EAR). Furthermore, as indicated above, a license is required under the EAR whenever a transaction is subject to any of the end-user/end-use controls described in part 744 of the EAR.

    Conforming Amendments to the CCL

    This final rule also amends the EAR to make several conforming changes to the CCL consistent with the removal of ECCNs 2A292, 2A293, 2B290 and 3A292, as described above. Specifically, this rule revises the Related Controls paragraph in ECCN 2A226 to reflect the removal of ECCN 2A292 from the CCL. This rule also revises the Technical Notes heading under CCL Category 2 subheading B (“Test,” “Inspection” and “Production Equipment”) and the Related Controls paragraphs in ECCNs 2B001, 2B201, and 2B991 to reflect the removal of ECCN 2B290 from the CCL. In addition, ECCN 2B350 is amended by revising the ECCN heading to reflect the removal of ECCN 2A292 from the CCL and by revising the Related Controls paragraph in ECCN 2B350 to reflect the removal of ECCNs 2A292 and 2A293 from the CCL (i.e., by removing the references to ECCN 2A292 and 2A293 and referencing new ECCNs 2A992 and 2A993, respectively). As indicated above, the effect of removing the reference to ECCN 2A292 from the heading of ECCN 2B350, in conjunction with the removal of ECCN 2A292 from the CCL, is that valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g are now controlled under ECCN 2B350 and are subject to the license requirements described therein (i.e., although NP controls no longer apply, a license continues to be required for these valves to destinations indicated under CB Column 2 and/or AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart). Consistent with these changes, new ECCN 2A992 controls all items previously controlled by ECCN 2A292, except for valves that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g, which are specifically excluded from control under ECCN 2A992.b.

    This rule also revises the heading of ECCN 2D290 by removing the references to ECCNs 2A292, 2A293 and 2B290 to reflect the removal of these ECCNs from the CCL. However, ECCN 2D290 continues to control “software” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items controlled by ECCN 2A290 or 2A291. As result of these changes, new ECCN 2D993 controls “software” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items that were previously controlled by ECCN 2A292 (except for valves that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g) or by ECCN 2A293 (these items are now controlled by new ECCNs 2A992 and 2A993, respectively). New ECCN 2D993 requires a license for AT reasons, only, to destinations indicated under AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart. “Software” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b, but now controlled under ECCN 2B350.g, is designated as EAR99. In addition, “software” “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items previously controlled by ECCN 2B290 is now designated as EAR99, except for “software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of turning machines or combination turning/milling machines previously controlled under ECCN 2B290.a that meet or exceed the technical parameters in 2B991.d.1. The latter is now controlled under ECCN 2D991 and continues to require a license to destinations indicated under AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart.

    This rule also revises the NP Column 2 and CB Column 2 controls paragraphs in the License Requirements sections of ECCNs 2E001 and 2E002 by removing the references to ECCNs 2A292, 2A293, and 2B290 from the NP Column 2 controls paragraph and the reference to ECCN 2A292 from the CB Column 2 controls paragraph, to reflect the removal of ECCNs 2A292, 2A293, and 2B290 from the CCL. The effect of these changes, coupled with the addition of new ECCNs 2A992 and 2A993 to control items previously controlled under ECCN 2A292 or 2A293, respectively (except for valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that are now controlled under ECCN 2B350.g), is that “technology” for the “development” (ECCN 2E001) or “production” (ECCN 2E002) of equipment previously controlled under ECCN 2A292 or 2A293 continues to be controlled under ECCN 2E001 or 2E002, but for AT reasons only (i.e., NP reasons for control no longer apply to this “technology”). “Technology” for the “development” or “production” of valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g continues to be controlled under ECCNs 2E001 and 2E002, respectively, for CB and AT reasons, but NP reasons for control no longer apply. In addition, “technology” for the “development” of “software” previously controlled by ECCN 2D290 that is “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items previously controlled by ECCN 2A292 or 2A293 (and now controlled by new ECCN 2A992 or 2A993, except for certain valves, as specified above) continues to be controlled under ECCN 2E001, but for AT reasons only (i.e., NP reasons for control no longer apply to this “technology”).

    As a result of the aforementioned amendments to ECCNs 2E001 and 2E002, “technology” for the “development” (ECCN 2E001) or “production” (ECCN 2E002) of equipment previously controlled under ECCN 2B290 is now designated as EAR99. In addition, “technology” for the “development” of “software” previously controlled by ECCN 2D290 that is “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items previously controlled by ECCN 2B290 is now designated as EAR99.

    ECCN 2E001 continues to control “technology” for the “development” of ECCN 2D290 “software” that is “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items controlled by ECCN 2A290 or 2A291, as well as “technology” for the “development” of equipment controlled by ECCN 2A290 or 2A291. In addition, ECCN 2E002 continues to control “technology” for the “production” of equipment controlled by ECCN 2A290 or 2A291. This ECCN 2E001 and 2E002 “technology” continues to require a license to destinations indicated under NP Column 2 and/or AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart.

    This rule amends ECCN 2E290 by revising the heading of the ECCN to remove the references to ECCNs 2A292, 2A293 and 2B290 to reflect the removal of these ECCNs from the CCL and by revising the License Requirements section of the ECCN to remove the CB Column 2 controls paragraph that applied to valves controlled under former ECCN 2A292 that met or exceeded the technical parameters in ECCN 2B350.g. The effect of these changes, coupled with the addition of new ECCNs 2A992 and 2A993 to control items previously controlled under ECCN 2A292 or 2A293, respectively (except for valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that are now controlled under ECCN 2B350.g), is that “technology” for the “use” of equipment previously controlled under ECCN 2A292 or 2A293 is now controlled under new ECCN 2E993 for AT reasons only (i.e., NP reasons for control no longer apply to this “technology”). “Technology” for the “use” of valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g is now controlled under ECCN 2E301 and requires a license to destinations indicated under CB Column 2 or AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart.

    As a result of the aforementioned amendments to ECCN 2E290, “technology” for the “use” of equipment previously controlled by ECCN 2B290 is now designated as EAR99, except for “technology” for the “use” of turning machines or combination turning/milling machines previously controlled under ECCN 2B290.a that meet or exceed the parameters in ECCN 2B991.d.1, which is now controlled under ECCN 2E991 and requires a license to destinations indicated under AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart.

    ECCN 2E290 continues to control “technology” for the “use” of equipment controlled by ECCN 2A290 or 2A291. This ECCN 2E290 “technology” continues to require a license to destinations indicated under NP Column 2 and/or AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart.

    This rule also makes certain conforming changes in CCL Category 3 (Electronics) to reflect the removal from the CCL of ECCN 3A292 (oscilloscopes and transient recorders other than those controlled by ECCN 3A002.a.7 or .h), as described above. Specifically, this rule revises the Related Controls paragraph in ECCN 3A002 by removing the reference to ECCN 3A292 to reflect the removal of this ECCN from the CCL. The Related Controls paragraph in ECCN 3A002 continues to reference ECCN 3A992, which is amended by this rule to add new paragraphs .d through .g to control oscilloscopes and transient recorders previously controlled under ECCN 3A292.a through .d, respectively.

    This rule also amends the heading of ECCN 3E001 by removing the reference to ECCN 3A292 (which is removed from the CCL by this rule) from the parenthetical list of CCL Category 3A ECCNs that are excluded from the scope of the “technology” controls described in ECCN 3E001. This change does not affect the scope of the controls described in ECCN 3E001, because ECCN 3A992, which is amended by adding new paragraphs .d through .g to control the oscilloscopes and transient recorders previously controlled under ECCN 3A292, continues to be excluded from the scope of ECCN 3E001 (CCL Category 3A ECCNs that are excluded from the “technology” controls in ECCN 3E001 are identified in the parenthetical immediately following the reference to Category 3A in the heading of ECCN 3E001).

    Prior to the publication of this rule, “technology” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of equipment controlled by ECCN 3A292 was controlled under ECCN 3E292. This rule removes ECCN 3E292 from the CCL, thereby eliminating the NP Column 2 license requirements that previously applied to the “technology” controlled under this ECCN. However, because this rule amends ECCN 3A992 by adding the oscilloscopes and transient recorders previously controlled under ECCN 3A292 in new paragraphs 3A992.d through .g (as described above), “technology” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of the items described in new 3A992.d through .g is now controlled under ECCN 3E991. Therefore, although NP Column 2 license requirements no longer apply to such “technology,” it continues to require a license for AT Column 1 reasons under ECCN 3E991.

    Another consequence of the amendment of ECCN 3A992 to add certain oscilloscopes and transient recorders under new paragraphs 3A992.d through .g, is that ECCN 3D991, which includes certain “software” for general purpose electronic equipment described in ECCN 3A992, will also control “software” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of oscilloscopes and transient recorders described in new 3A992.d through .g. However, such “software” will continue to be classified and licensed by BIS under the designation EAR99 through January 31, 2017. Effective February 1, 2017, such “software” will be classified and licensed by BIS under ECCN 3D991 and will require a license to destinations indicated under AT Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart. This pending modification in the application of foreign policy controls under the EAR will be addressed in BIS's “2017 Report on Foreign Policy-Based Export Controls,” which will be submitted to the Congress in January 2017.

    The following table identifies the items (i.e., commodities, “software,” and “technology”) and the corresponding ECCNs on the CCL (where applicable) that were affected by the amendments contained in this final rule, as described above. The removal of several ECCNs by this rule resulted in the designation of certain items as EAR99 (i.e., subject to the EAR, but not listed on the CCL). In addition, other items were moved from ECCNs having both NP and AT controls to ECCNs controlled for AT reasons only. Items that previously were subject to both CB and AT controls, as well as NP controls, continue to be controlled on the CCL for both CB and AT reasons, but are no longer subject to NP controls. In one instance noted above, and in the table below, certain “software” previously designated as EAR99 will become subject to AT controls.

    Items affected by this Rule Previous EAR designation Current EAR designation Pressure tube, pipe, and fittings of 200 mm or more inside diameter suitable for operation at pressures of 3.4 MPa or greater ECCN 2A292.a ECCN 2A992. Pipe valves: (1) Having a pipe size connection of 200 mm or more inside diameter; and (2) rated at 10.3 MPa ECCN 2A292.b ECCN 2B350.g—Valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g. ECCN 2A992—Valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that do not meet or exceed the parameters in 2B350.g. Pumps designed to move molten metals by electromagnetic forces ECCN 2A293 ECCN 2A993. Turning machines or combination turning/milling machines, not controlled by 2B001 or 2B201, capable of machining diameters greater than 2.5 meters ECCN 2B290.a ECCN 2B991.d.1—Turning machines or combination turning/milling machines previously controlled under ECCN 2B290.a that meet or exceed the parameters in ECCN 2B991.d.1. EAR99—Turning machines or combination turning/milling machines previously controlled under ECCN 2B290.a that do not meet or exceed the parameters in 2B991.d.1. “Software” “specially designed” or modified for “development,” “production,” or “use” of items controlled by 2A292, 2A293, or 2B290 ECCN 2D290 ECCN 2D290—“Software” “specially designed” or modified for “development,” “production,” or “use” of items controlled by 2A290 or 2A291 continues to be controlled under this ECCN. ECCN 2D991—“Software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of turning machines or combination turning/milling machines previously controlled under ECCN 2B290.a that meet or exceed the parameters in ECCN 2B991.d.1. ECCN 2D993—“Software” “specially designed” or modified for “development,” “production,” or “use” of items previously controlled by 2A292 or 2A293 (now controlled by 2A992 and 2A993, respectively), except “software” for valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g, as indicated below. EAR99—“Software” “specially designed” or modified for “development,” “production,” or “use” of the following: (1) Valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b, and now controlled under ECCN 2B350, that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g; (2) Items previously controlled by 2B290 (except as specified above for former 2B290.a machines that meet or exceed the parameters in ECCN 2B991.d.1). “Technology” for the “development” of equipment controlled by 2A292, 2A293, or 2B290 or “software” controlled by 2D290 ECCN 2E001 ECCN 2E001—“Technology” for the “development” of the following: (1) Valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g; (2) Other equipment previously controlled by 2A292 or 2A293 (now controlled by 2A992 or 2A993, respectively); (3) Equipment controlled by 2A290 or 2A291; (4) 2D290 “software” “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items controlled by 2A290 or 2A291; (5) 2D993 “software” “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items previously controlled by 2A292 or 2A293 (now controlled by 2A992 or 2A993, respectively). EAR99—“Technology” for the “development” of the following: (1) Equipment previously controlled by 2B290; (2) “Software” previously controlled by 2D290 “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items controlled by 2B290. “Technology” for the “production” of equipment controlled by 2A292, 2A293, or 2B290 ECCN 2E002 ECCN 2E002—“Technology” for the “production” of the following: (1) Valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g; (2) Other equipment previously controlled by 2A292 or 2A293 (now controlled by 2A992 or 2A993, respectively). EAR99—“Technology” for the “production” of equipment previously controlled by 2B290. “Technology” for the “use” of equipment controlled by 2A292, 2A293, or 2B290 ECCN 2E290 ECCN 2E290—“Technology” for the “use” of items controlled by 2A290 or 2A291 continues to be controlled under this ECCN. ECCN 2E301—“Technology” for the “use” of valves previously controlled under ECCN 2A292.b that meet or exceed the technical parameters described in ECCN 2B350.g. ECCN 2E991—“Technology” for the “use” of turning machines or combination turning/milling machines previously controlled under ECCN 2B290.a that meet or exceed the parameters in ECCN 2B991.d.1. ECCN 2E993—“Technology” for the “use” of equipment previously controlled by 2A292 or 2A293 and now controlled by 2A992 or 2A993, respectively (except as specified above for certain former 2A292.b valves). EAR99—“Technology” for the “use” of equipment previously controlled by 2B290 (except as specified above for certain former 2B290.a turning machines or combination turning/milling machines). Oscilloscopes and transient recorders other than those controlled by 3A002.a.7 or 3A002.h ECCN 3A292 3A992.d through .g—Equipment previously controlled by 3A292. “Software” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of equipment previously controlled under ECCN 3A292 EAR99 ECCN 3D991—“Software” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of equipment previously controlled under 3A292 (now controlled under 3A992.d through .g, as described above). “Technology” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of equipment controlled by 3A292 ECCN 3E292 3E991—“Technology” for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of equipment previously controlled under 3A292 (now controlled under 3A992.d through .g, as described above). Conforming Amendments Elsewhere in the EAR

    In addition to the conforming amendments to the CCL described above, this rule makes conforming amendments to other EAR provisions to reflect the removal of ECCNs 2A292, 2A293, 2B290, and 3A292. In Section 738.2 (Commerce Control List Structure), this rule amends the parenthetical in the third sentence of paragraph (d)(1)(ii) by removing the reference to ECCN 2A292 and replacing it with a reference to ECCN 2A290. This rule also amends Section 738.2 by removing the reference to ECCN 3A292 from the fourth sentence of paragraph (d)(2)(iv)(C)(3). In Section 742.2 (Chemical/Biological License Requirements), this rule removes references to ECCN 2A292 from paragraphs (a)(2)(vi), (a)(2)(x)(B), and (a)(2)(xi). This rule amends Supplement No. 2 to part 744 (List of Items Subject to the Military End-Use Requirement in § 744.17) by removing the references to ECCN 3A292.d from paragraphs (3)(i) and (3)(iii) and replacing them with references to ECCN 3A992.g. In addition, the reference to ECCN 3E292 in paragraph (3)(iii) of the Supplement is replaced with a reference to ECCN 3E991. These changes maintain the continuity of the EAR military end-use controls on the digital oscilloscopes and transient recorders affected by the amendments contained in this rule.

    Finally, this rule amends Supplement No. 7 to part 748 (Validated End-User List) by removing two references to ECCN 2A292 from the People's Republic of China entry for Intel Semiconductor (Dalian) Ltd.

    Effect of This Rule on the Scope of Certain EAR Controls

    The changes made by this rule only marginally affect the scope of the EAR controls on the items previously controlled under ECCN 2A292, 2A293, 2B290, or 3A292 (and any related “software” and “technology” therefor), as described above. Prior to the publication of this rule, these items required a license for NP and/or AT reasons to nine countries (i.e., Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, and Syria). However, as indicated above, license requirements continue to apply to most of these items under ECCN 2A992 or 2A993 (AT Column 1 destinations), ECCN 2B350.g (CB Column 1 and AT Column 1 destinations) or under ECCN 2B991.d.1 or 3A992.d through .g (AT Column 1 destinations). Also, a license from BIS continues to be required for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) involving any of these items to Cuba, North Korea, or Syria or any of these items that are not classified as EAR99 to Iran or Sudan. In addition to these EAR license requirements, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers comprehensive trade and investment embargoes against Iran, Sudan, and Syria that include prohibitions on exports and certain reexport transactions involving these countries.

    Therefore, as a result of the controls described above, the amendments made by this rule are likely to have a noticeable impact on license requirements only with respect to exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) of those items previously controlled under ECCN 2A292, 2A293, 2B290 or 3A292 (and any related “software” and “technology” therefor) that are now classified as EAR99, or are currently controlled on the CCL for AT reasons only (i.e., under ECCN 2A992, 2A993, 2B991, 2D991, 2D993, 2E991, 2E993, 3A992, 3D991, or 3E991), and involve the following destinations: Iraq, Israel, Libya, or Pakistan. In this regard, note that the EAR maintain license requirements on exports or reexports to Iraq, or transfers within Iraq, of items subject to the EAR (including EAR99 items, as well as items listed on the CCL) that are destined for a military end-user and/or a military end-use. In addition, a license is required under the EAR if a transaction is subject to any of the end-user/end-use controls described in part 744 of the EAR.

    In light of the above, this rule is expected to have the most significant impact with respect to exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) of certain digital oscilloscopes to Israel. The effect of this rule on exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) of any of these items to other destinations is expected to be insignificant.

    Export Administration Act

    Although the Export Administration Act expired on August 20, 2001, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013), and as extended by the Notice of August 4, 2016 (81 FR 52587 (Aug. 8, 2016)), has continued the Export Administration Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.). BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222 as amended by Executive Order 13637.

    Rulemaking Requirements

    1. 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, 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 rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, consistent with Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This rule contains a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA. This collection has been approved by OMB under Control Number 0694-0088 (Multi-Purpose Application), which carries a burden hour estimate of 58 minutes to prepare and submit form BIS-748. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet Seehra, Office of Management and Budget, by email to [email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285; and to the Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, 14th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 2705, Washington, DC 20230 or by email to [email protected]

    3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    4. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, the opportunity for public participation, and a delay in effective date, are inapplicable because this regulation involves a military and foreign affairs function of the United States (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). Immediate implementation of these amendments is non-discretionary and fulfills the United States' international obligation to administer controls on specified items consistent with the Guidelines, and the Annex thereto, maintained by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The NSG contributes to international security and regional stability through the harmonization of export controls and seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of nuclear weapons. The NSG consists of 48 member countries that act on a consensus basis and the amendments set forth in this rule revise the scope of nuclear nonproliferation controls in the EAR to more fully reflect the controls implemented by other NSG participating countries, in accordance with the NSG Guidelines and the Annex thereto. Because the United States is a significant exporter of the items addressed in this rule, immediate implementation of these regulatory provisions is necessary in order for the NSG to continue to meet its objectives. Any delay in implementation will create a disruption in the movement of affected items globally because of disharmony between the export controls maintained by the United States and the export control measures implemented by other NSG members, resulting in tension between member countries. Export controls work best when all countries implement the same export controls in a timely and coordinated manner.

    Further, no other law requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment be given for this final rule. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule under the Administrative Procedure Act or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable. Therefore, this regulation is issued in final form.

    List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 738

    Exports.

    15 CFR Part 742

    Administrative practice and procedure, Chemicals, Exports, Foreign trade, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 744

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Terrorism.

    15 CFR Part 748

    Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 774

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, parts 738, 742, 744, 748, and 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) are amended as follows:

    PART 738—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 738 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 22 U.S.C. 287c; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 30 U.S.C. 185(s), 185(u); 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 43 U.S.C. 1354; 15 U.S.C. 1824a; 50 U.S.C. 4305; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    § 738.2 [Amended]
    2. Section 738.2 is amended: a. By removing “2A292” from the parenthetical in the third sentence of paragraph (d)(1)(ii) and adding “2A290” in its place; and b. By removing “3A292,” from the fourth sentence of paragraph (d)(2)(iv)(C)(3). PART 742—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 742 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; Sec. 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Presidential Determination 2003-23, 68 FR 26459, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p. 320; Notice of November 12, 2015, 80 FR 70667 (November 13, 2015); Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    § 742.2 [Amended]
    4. Section 742.2 is amended: a. By removing the phrase “or ECCN 2A292” from paragraph (a)(2)(vi); b. By removing the phrase “or 2A292” from paragraph (a)(2)(x)(B); and c. By removing the phrase “or 2A292” from paragraph (a)(2)(xi). PART 744—[AMENDED] 5. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 744 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 12947, 60 FR 5079, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 356; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13099, 63 FR 45167, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 208; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13224, 66 FR 49079, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 786; Notice of September 18, 2015, 80 FR 57281 (September 22, 2015); Notice of November 12, 2015, 80 FR 70667 (November 13, 2015); Notice of January 20, 2016, 81 FR 3937 (January 22, 2016); Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    Supplement No. 2 to Part 744—[Amended] 6. Supplement No. 2 to part 744 is amended: a. By removing “3A292.d” from paragraph (3)(i) and paragraph (3)(iii) and adding “3A992.g” in its place; and b. By removing “3E292” from paragraph (3)(iii) and adding “3E991” in its place. PART 748—[AMENDED] 7. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 748 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    Supplement No. 7 to Part 748—[Amended] 8. Supplement No. 7 to part 748 is amended under the China (People's Republic of) Validated End-User entry for Intel Semiconductor (Dalian) Ltd.: a. By removing “2A292,” wherever it appears; and c. By adding “81 FR [INSERT Federal Register PAGE NUMBER], November 25, 2016” in chronological order, under the column heading “Federal Register citation”, for this Validated End-User entry. PART 774—[AMENDED] 9. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 774 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 22 U.S.C. 287c, 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 30 U.S.C. 185(s), 185(u); 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 43 U.S.C. 1354; 15 U.S.C. 1824a; 50 U.S.C. 4305; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    Supplement No. 1 to Part 774—[Amended] 10. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2A226 is amended, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, by removing “2A292,” from the second entry of the “Related Controls” paragraph and adding “2A992,” in its place. 11. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCNs 2A292 and 2A293 are removed. 12. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, add ECCNs 2A992 and 2A993 between ECCNs 2A991 and 2A994 to read as follows: 2A992 Piping, fittings and valves made of, or lined with stainless, copper-nickel alloy or other alloy steel containing 10% or more nickel and/or chromium. License Requirements Reason for Control: AT Control(s) Country chart
  • (see supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1
    List Based License Exceptions (See part 740 for a Description of All License Exceptions) LVS: N/A GBS: N/A CIV: N/A List of Items Controlled Related Controls: (1) See ECCN 2D993 for software for items controlled under this entry. (2) See ECCNs 2E001 (“development”), 2E002 (“production”), and 2E993 (“use”) for technology for items controlled under this entry. (3) Also see ECCNs 2A226, 2B350 and 2B999. Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    a. Pressure tube, pipe, and fittings of 200 mm (8 in.) or more inside diameter, and suitable for operation at pressures of 3.4 MPa (500 psi) or greater;

    b. Pipe valves having all of the following characteristics that are not controlled by ECCN 2B350.g:

    b.1. A pipe size connection of 200 mm (8 in.) or more inside diameter; and

    b.2. Rated at 10.3 MPa (1,500 psi) or more.

    2A993 Pumps designed to move molten metals by electromagnetic forces. License Requirements Reason for Control: AT Control(s) Country chart
  • (see supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1
    List Based License Exceptions (See part 740 for a description of all license exceptions) LVS: N/A GBS: N/A CIV: N/A List of Items Controlled Related Controls: (1) See ECCN 2D993 for software for items controlled under this entry. (2) See ECCNs 2E001 (“development”), 2E002 (“production”), and 2E993 (“use”) for technology for items controlled under this entry. (3) Pumps for use in liquid-metal-cooled reactors are subject to the export licensing authority of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (see 10 CFR part 110). Related Definitions: N/A Items: The list of items controlled is contained in the ECCN heading.
    13. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, immediately following the Category 2 subheading B that applies to “Test,” “Inspection” and “Production Equipment,” revise the “Technical Notes” heading to read as follows: B. “Test,” “Inspection” and “Production Equipment” Technical Notes for 2B001 to 2B009, 2B201, and 2B991 to 2B999: * * * 14. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2B001 is amended, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, by removing the phrase “2B201, 2B290, and 2B991” from the fourth entry of the “Related Controls” paragraph and adding the phrase “2B201 and 2B991” in its place. 15. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2B201 is amended, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, by removing the phrase “2B001, 2B290, and 2B991” from the third entry of the “Related Controls” paragraph and adding the phrase “2B001 and 2B991” in its place. 16. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2B290 is removed. 17. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2B350 is amended by revising the ECCN heading and by revising the “Related Controls” paragraph, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, to read as follows: 2B350 Chemical manufacturing facilities and equipment, except valves controlled by 2A226, as follows (see List of Items Controlled). List of Items Controlled Related Controls: See also ECCNs 2A226, 2A992, 2A993, 2B231, and 2B999. 18. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2B991 is amended by revising the “Related Controls” paragraph, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, to read as follows: 2B991 Numerical control units for machine tools and “numerically controlled” machine tools, n.e.s. (see List of Items Controlled). List of Items Controlled Related Controls: See also ECCNs 2B001 and 2B201. 19. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2B999 is amended, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, by removing “2A293,” from the first entry of the “Related Controls” paragraph and adding “2A992, 2A993,” in its place. 20. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2D290 is amended by revising the ECCN heading to read as follows: 2D290 “Software” “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items controlled by 2A290 or 2A291. 21. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, add ECCN 2D993 between ECCNs 2D992 and 2D994 to read as follows: 2D993 “Software” “specially designed” or modified for the “development,” “production,” or “use” of items controlled by 2A992 or 2A993. License Requirements Reason for Control: AT Control(s) Country chart
  • (see supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1
    List Based License Exceptions (See part 740 for a Description of All License Exceptions) CIV: N/A TSR: N/A List of Items Controlled Related Controls: See ECCN 2E001 (“development”) for “technology” for “software” controlled under this entry. Related Definitions: N/A Items: The list of items controlled is contained in the ECCN heading.
    22. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2E001 is amended by revising, in the License Requirements section, the fourth and fifth entries in the table (which contain the Control(s) language for Country Chart NP Column 2 and Country Chart CB Column 2, respectively) to read as follows: 2E001 “Technology” according to the General Technology Note for the “development” of equipment or “software” controlled by 2A (except 2A983, 2A984, 2A991, or 2A994), 2B (except 2B991, 2B993, 2B996, 2B997, 2B998, or 2B999), or 2D (except 2D983, 2D984, 2D991, 2D992, or 2D994). License Requirements Reason for Control: * * * Control(s) Country chart
  • (see supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • *    *    *    *    * NP applies to “technology” for items controlled by 2A290, 2A291, or 2D290 for NP reasons NP Column 2 CB applies to “technology” for equipment controlled by 2B350 to 2B352, valves controlled by 2A226 having the characteristics of those controlled by 2B350.g, and software controlled by 2D351 CB Column 2 *    *    *    *    *
    23. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2E002 is amended by revising, in the License Requirements section, the fourth and fifth entries in the table (which contain the Control(s) language for Country Chart NP Column 2 and Country Chart CB Column 2, respectively), to read as follows: 2E002 “Technology” according to the General Technology Note for the “production” of equipment controlled by 2A (except 2A983, 2A984, 2A991, or 2A994) or 2B (except 2B991, 2B993, 2B996, 2B997, 2B998, or 2B999). License Requirements Reason for Control: * * * Control(s) Country chart
  • (see supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • *    *    *    *    * NP applies to “technology” for equipment controlled by 2A290 or 2A291 for NP reasons NP Column 2 CB applies to “technology” for equipment controlled by 2B350 to 2B352 and for valves controlled by 2A226 having the characteristics of those controlled by 2B350.g CB Column 2 *    *    *    *    *
    24. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2E290 is amended by revising the ECCN heading and by revising the License Requirements section to read as follows: 2E290 “Technology” according to the General Technology Note for the “use” of equipment controlled by 2A290 or 2A291. License Requirements Reason for Control: NP, AT Control(s) Country chart
  • (see supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • NP applies to entire entry NP Column 2 AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1
    25. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, add ECCN 2E993 between ECCNs 2E991 and 2E994 to read as follows: 2E993 “Technology” according to the General Technology Note for the “use” of equipment controlled by 2A992 or 2A993. License Requirements Reason for Control: AT Control(s) Country chart
  • (see supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1
    List Based License Exceptions (See part 740 for a Description of All License Exceptions) CIV: N/A TSR: N/A List of Items Controlled Related Controls: N/A Related Definitions: N/A Items: The list of items controlled is contained in the ECCN heading.
    26. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 3—Electronics, ECCN 3A002 is amended by revising the “Related Controls” paragraph, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, to read as follows: 3A002 General purpose “electronic assemblies,” modules and equipment, as follows (see List of Items Controlled). List of Items Controlled Related Controls: See Category XV(e)(9) of the USML for certain “space-qualified” atomic frequency standards “subject to the ITAR” (see 22 CFR parts 120 through 130). See also 3A101, 3A992 and 9A515.x. 27. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 3—Electronics, ECCN 3A292 is removed. 28. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 3—Electronics, ECCN 3A992 is amended in the “Items” paragraph, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, by adding paragraphs .d through .g and by adding a Note at the end of ECCN to read as follows: 3A992 General purpose electronic equipment not controlled by 3A002. List of Items Controlled Items:

    d. Non-modular analog oscilloscopes having a bandwidth of 1 GHz or greater;

    e. Modular analog oscilloscope systems having either of the following characteristics:

    e.1. A mainframe with a bandwidth of 1 GHz or greater; or

    e.2. Plug-in modules with an individual bandwidth of 4 GHz or greater;

    f. Analog sampling oscilloscopes for the analysis of recurring phenomena with an effective bandwidth greater than 4 GHz;

    g. Digital oscilloscopes and transient recorders, using analog-to-digital conversion techniques, capable of storing transients by sequentially sampling single-shot inputs at successive intervals of less than 1 ns (greater than 1 giga-sample per second), digitizing to 8 bits or greater resolution and storing 256 or more samples.

    Note:

    This ECCN controls the following “specially designed” “parts” and “components” for analog oscilloscopes:

    1. Plug-in units;

    2. External amplifiers;

    3. Pre-amplifiers;

    4. Sampling devices;

    5. Cathode ray tubes.

    29. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 3E001 is amended by revising the ECCN heading to read as follows: 3E001 “Technology” according to the General Technology Note for the “development” or “production” of equipment or materials controlled by 3A (except 3A980, 3A981, 3A991 3A992, or 3A999), 3B (except 3B991 or 3B992) or 3C (except 3C992). 30. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 3—Electronics, ECCN 3E292 is removed. Dated: November 15, 2016. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28039 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 4 RIN 3038-AE47 Commodity Pool Operator Financial Reports AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rules.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) is amending certain of its regulations applicable to the financial reports that each person registered or required to be registered as a commodity pool operator (CPO) must provide for each commodity pool that it operates. These amendments: Permit the use of additional alternative generally accepted accounting principles, standards or practices; provide relief from the Annual Report audit requirement under certain circumstances; and make clear that an audited Annual Report must be distributed and submitted at least once during the life of a pool.

    DATES:

    Effective December 27, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher W. Cummings, Special Counsel, 202-418-5445, [email protected], or Barbara S. Gold, Associate Director, 202-418-5441, [email protected], Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background A. Part 4 of the Commission's Regulations

    Part 4 of the Commission's regulations governs the operations and activities of CPOs.1 It requires each CPO registered or required to be registered with the Commission: To deliver to each participant in its commodity pool a Disclosure Document for the pool containing specified information (Regulations 4.21, 4.24, 4.25 and 4.26); to distribute to each participant periodic unaudited Account Statements for the pool (Regulation 4.22(a)) and an audited Annual Report for the pool (Regulation 4.22(c)); to file certain additional financial reports for the pool (Regulation 4.27); and to make and keep specified books and records (Regulation 4.23). Additionally, part 4 prohibits certain activities on the part of all CPOs (Regulations 4.20 and 4.41) and provides for various CPO definitional exclusions (Regulation 4.5), CPO registration exemptions (Regulation 4.13), and compliance exemptions from otherwise applicable CPO requirements (Regulations 4.7, 4.12(b), and 4.12(c)).

    1 Section 1a(11) of the Commodity Exchange Act (Act or CEA) defines the term “commodity pool operator” and CEA Section 4m(1) generally requires each person who comes within the CPO definition to register as a CPO with the Commission. The Act is found at 7 U.S.C. 1 et seq. (2012). The Commission's regulations are found at 17 CFR Ch. I (2016). Both the Act and the Commission's regulations are accessible through the Commission's Web site, http://www.cftc.gov.

    B. The Proposal and the Amendments

    Over the years, and pursuant to authority delegated to it by Regulation 140.93, Commission staff has provided exemptive relief from specific part 4 requirements on a case-by-case basis.2 On August 5, 2016, the Commission proposed to codify certain of these exemptions as applicable to the Annual Report (Proposal).3 In response to the comments received, the Commission is adopting as proposed certain amendments to its regulations applicable to the Annual Report audit requirement. Additionally, in response to the comments, the Commission is adopting various other amendments to its regulations applicable to the Annual Report and other CPO financial reports. Each of these amendments (collectively, the Amendments), is intended to provide relief to CPOs, under specified standards, from otherwise applicable requirements.

    2 These letters were issued by the Commission's Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) and its predecessors, the Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight and the Division of Trading and Markets.

    Regulation 140.93 currently delegates to the Director of DSIO “all functions reserved to the Commission” in Regulation 4.12(a)—which provides that the Commission may exempt any person or any class or classes of persons from any provision of part 4 if it finds that the exemption is not contrary to the public interest and the purposes of the provisions from which the exemption is sought and, further, that the Commission may grant the exemption subject to such terms and conditions as it may find appropriate.

    3 81 FR 51828. Part 4 contains many similar provisions applicable to commodity trading advisors (CTAs). The Proposal did not also pertain to CTAs, however, because CPOs are required to distribute Annual Reports and CTAs are not subject to any such requirement.

    As is discussed more fully below, these Amendments provide for the use of certain additional alternative generally accepted accounting principles, practices or standards (each an Additional Alternative GAAP) in Annual Reports and periodic Account Statements—whether distributed pursuant to Regulation 4.22 or Regulation 4.7—and in Form CPO-PQR. The Amendments provide for relief from the Annual Report audit requirement where: (1) The pool's first fiscal year is four months or less, as measured by the date on which the CPO first receives funds, securities or other property from a person who is not a pool “insider;” (2) no more than 15 participants in the pool during its first fiscal year are persons who are not pool insiders, and their aggregate gross capital contributions to the pool during that time do not exceed $3 million; (3) a pool insider includes, among others, the pool's CPO, the pool's CTA, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the CPO or CTA, and any principal of the foregoing; (4) the CPO obtains from each participant other than the insiders listed in (3) above a waiver of their right to timely receive an audited Annual Report for the pool's first fiscal year (which waiver the CPO may obtain in advance from a pool participant by including the waiver in the pool's subscription agreement or other agreement between the participant and the pool, and which waiver must be in a form substantially as set forth in the applicable regulation); and (5) the CPO distributes an audited Annual Report for the combined time period of the short first fiscal year plus the subsequent first twelve-month fiscal year. Additionally, the Amendments provide that a CPO is not required to distribute an audited Annual Report for any year where the pool had as participants only the insiders listed in (3) above, provided the CPO obtains a waiver of their right to receive an audited Annual Report from each such insider participant. Finally, and notwithstanding the availability of any of the foregoing relief from the audit requirement of the Annual Report, the Amendments make clear that regardless of the situation—i.e., whether the pool is comprised solely of insiders who have a close relationship with the CPO, it has other insiders as participants, or it has one or more participants who are not an insider—and regardless of whether the CPO has previously qualified for relief from the Annual Report audit requirement, the CPO must distribute an audited Annual Report at least once during the life of the pool.

    C. Additional Relief

    In adopting the standards set forth in these amendments, the Commission has endeavored to balance the needs of pool participants—particularly those who are not closely involved with the pool's operation—for accurate and reliable financial information with the expense of converting non-United States (U.S.) financial statements to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) or the expense of obtaining an audit of an Annual Report by an independent public accountant for a relatively short period of time. Thus, although CPOs may continue to request from staff exemptive relief from financial reporting requirements, the Commission intends that staff restrict the issuance of any such relief from the standards it is adopting today to exceptional circumstances involving unique situations.4

    4 Regulation 140.99 governs requests for staff exemptive, no-action and interpretative letters.

    II. Comments and Responses A. In General

    The Commission received five comment letters on the Proposal, as follows: One from a person registered as a CTA and an investment adviser; one from a registered futures association; two from organizations that represent the global alternative investment industry; and one from a law firm that represents CPOs and CTAs.5 On the whole, the commenters supported the Proposal. Additionally, commenters recommended further relief from Annual Report requirements, and from other CPO financial reporting requirements.6 For the reasons provided below, the Commission has included certain of these recommendations in the amendments being published today but has declined to include certain other recommendations.

    5See, respectively, the following: Letter dated September 19, 2016, from Ellen Needham, President, SSGA Funds Management, Inc. (SSGA); Letter dated September 20, 2016, from Thomas W. Sexton III, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, National Futures Association (NFA); Letter dated September 16, 2016, from Stuart J. Kaswell, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, General Counsel, Managed Funds Association (MFA); Letter dated September 20, 2016, from Jiri Krol, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Global Head of Government Affairs, Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA); and Letter dated September 20, 2016, from Rita M. Molesworth, Esq., Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Willkie Farr). These comment letters currently are available on the Commission's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1725.

    The Proposal as initially published required comments to be received by the Commission on or before September 6, 2016. The Commission subsequently extended the comment period to September 20, 2016. See 81 FR 61147 (Sep. 6, 2016).

    6 Moreover, one of the commenters recommended including in the regulations at issue various amendments relative to fund of funds' operations and to situations where a pool invests in illiquid assets—for example, providing additional time for the CPO of a fund of funds to distribute periodic Account Statements. See Willkie Farr comment letter. However, comments relative to fund of funds' operations or to situations where a pool invests in illiquid assets are outside the scope of this rulemaking, and as such, the Commission is not addressing them in this rulemaking.

    B. Regulation 4.22(d)(2): Use of Additional Alternative Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Practices or Standards 1. In General

    The Commission proposed to amend Regulation 4.22(d)(2) to permit the CPO of a pool organized outside the U.S. in a jurisdiction that uses the accounting principles, standards or practices followed in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Luxembourg or Canada to present and compute the financial statements in the Annual Report for the CPO's pool in accordance with the accounting principles, standards or practices of the jurisdiction in which the pool was organized. The proposed provision was an expansion of the provision in Regulation 4.22(d)(2) pursuant to which a CPO of a pool organized outside the U.S. could use International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). As the Commission explained, this proposed amendment was supported by its staff's experience in providing relief to use an Additional Alternative GAAP on a case-by-case basis.7 The Commission received fully supportive comments on this proposed amendment to Regulation 4.22(d)(2) 8 and, accordingly, is adopting the amendment as proposed.

    7See 81 FR at 51829.

    8See MFA and SSGA comment letters.

    2. Use of an Additional Alternative GAAP in Other Required CPO Financial Reports

    The Commission also received several comments urging that the Additional Alternative GAAPs be available for use in other CPO financial reports,9 specifically, in Regulation 4.7(b)(2) account statements and in Form CPO-PQR. Regulation 4.7 provides certain relief to the CPO of a commodity pool in which the participants are exclusively “qualified eligible persons,” as that term is defined in the regulation. For example, Regulation 4.7(b)(2) provides relief from certain of the requirements of Regulations 4.22(a) and (b) regarding periodic Account Statements and Regulation 4.7(b)(3) provides relief from certain of the requirements of Regulation 4.22(c) regarding Annual Reports. One of the persons commenting on the Proposal recommended that the Commission amend Regulation 4.7(b)(2) so as to permit a CPO that has elected an Additional Alternative GAAP to be able to use that Additional Alternative GAAP in presenting and computing the periodic statements of a pool for which a CPO has claimed relief under Regulation 4.7(b).10 As this commenter noted, Regulation 4.7(b)(2) requires the use of U.S. GAAP in presenting and computing periodic statements, and Regulation 4.7(b)(2)(v) specifically permits a CPO that has elected pursuant to Regulation 4.22(d)(2) to use IFRS for its Annual Report to present and compute periodic statements in accordance with IFRS. Accordingly, absent the requested amendment, a CPO that had claimed relief under Regulation 4.7 and that also elected to use an Additional Alternative GAAP would not be able to prepare and compute the financial statements in its pool's Annual Report and its pool's periodic statements in a consistent manner (the Annual Report would be in accordance with an Additional Alternative GAAP, while the periodic statements could only be in accordance with U.S. GAAP or IFRS).11 The Commission agrees with this recommendation, because it will enable CPOs to maintain consistent books and records and should facilitate review of the pool's operations by both participants and regulators. Accordingly, the Commission, has amended Regulation 4.7(b)(2)(v) to permit the use of an Additional Alternative GAAP for periodic financial statements prepared and distributed for a pool for which the CPO has claimed relief under Regulation 4.7(b). In this regard, the Commission notes that Regulation 4.22(d)(2)(i) permits the CPO of a pool that meets the criteria specified therein to use IFRS (and following adoption of the amendments to Regulation 4.22(d)(2), any Additional Alternative GAAP) to present and compute the pool's Annual Report, whether the CPO is distributing the Annual Report pursuant to Regulation 4.22(c) or Regulation 4.7(b)(3). Accordingly, it has not been necessary to amend Regulation 4.7 to permit a CPO claiming relief under Regulation 4.7 and under Regulation 4.22(d)(2) to use an Additional Alternative GAAP to present and compute Annual Reports.

    9See MFA, NFA and Willkie Farr comment letters.

    10See NFA comment letter.

    11 Where, however, a CPO has not claimed exemption under Regulation 4.7, Regulation 4.22(a)(6) already provides that if the CPO meets the conditions of Regulation 4.22(d)(2)(i) and files the required notice, the CPO may follow the same accounting treatment with respect to the computation and presentation of the account statement. Accordingly, the issue raised by the commenter only arises in the context of Regulation 4.7.

    The same commenter and two other commenters recommended that a CPO electing to use an Additional Alternative GAAP should be able to also use that Additional Alternative GAAP in connection with the preparation of the CPO's Form CPO-PQR (Quarterly Report for Commodity Pool Operators).12 The Commission also agrees with this recommendation, as it similarly will facilitate computation of, and comparison among, CPO financial reports. Accordingly, the Commission is amending Regulation 4.27(c)(2) to provide that a CPO who has elected to use Alternative Additional GAAP for its pool's Annual Report may also use that Alternative Additional GAAP in connection with reporting financial information on Form CPO-PQR.13

    12See NFA, MFA and Willkie Farr comment letters.

    13 Form CPO-PQR currently provides at Item 9 of the Instructions that All financial statements in this Report must be presented and computed in accordance with U.S. GAAP consistently applied. The Commission intends to begin the process of amending Form CPO-PQR and its instructions upon publication of this Federal Register release. In this regard, and as amended, Regulation 4.27(c)(2) provides that notwithstanding anything in the Form CPO-PQR or its instructions to the contrary, a CPO that meets the conditions to use an Additional Alternative GAAP and has filed notice to use it may use that Additional Alternative GAAP in its Form CPO-PQR.

    C. Regulation 4.22(g)(2): Audit Requirement for a Pool's First Fiscal Year 1. In General

    The Commission proposed to amend Regulation 4.22(g)(2) by making an exemption from the requirement to have the first fiscal year Annual Report audited available thereunder for the CPO of a pool for which the first fiscal year was three months or less and where the participants and their contributions meet certain limits, discussed below. Referencing prior staff relief, the Commission explained that “where there are a limited number of participants in the pool and a limited amount of funds have been committed . . . the cost of an audit for the short period of time of the pool's operation would likely be unduly burdensome.” 14 As proposed, an unaudited Annual Report for the short first fiscal year would be distributed, and the subsequent audited Annual Report for the first twelve-month fiscal year would also cover that first short fiscal year. Most of the comments that the Commission received on the Proposal addressed this provision, and though generally favorable, some raised additional issues. In response to these comments, the Commission is adopting the amendments to Regulation 4.22(g)(2) it proposed, with certain modifications.

    14See 81 FR at 51829. The Commission notes that none of the commenters on the Proposal offered any empirical data regarding the cost of an audit for a three-month fiscal year or the difference, if any, in the cost for other partial-year periods.

    2. Stub Period

    The Commission proposed to measure the pool's first fiscal year, for purposes of determining whether it met the proposed three-month criterion, from the date of formation of the pool (the stub period).15 The Commission explained that it had proposed this date “to ensure that all CPOs and their pool participants are on a level playing field with respect to both what information the Annual Report must contain for the pool's first fiscal year, and the requirement that such information be audited.” 16

    15 Regulation 4.22(g)(1) provides that a pool is deemed to be formed as of the date the pool operator first receives funds, securities or other property for the purchase of an interest in the pool.

    16See 81 FR at 51830.

    One commenter asked the Commission to consider whether using this date would unduly restrict a CPO's ability to avail itself of the relief.17 Another commenter stated that the stub period should be expanded to six months, and that it be measured from the day that the pool began trading.18 Still another commenter recommended either measuring the stub period from the day the pool began trading or expanding the stub period to six months from the date on which the pool first received subscription amounts from non-insiders (i.e., from those persons whose participation and capital contributions would be counted for purposes of determining eligibility for the exemption).19 The Commission believes that pool participants should have access to audited financial information about the pool as promptly as practical, but that insiders such as the CPO, the pool's CTA and their principals and affiliates (who may have direct access to the pool's books and trading records) have less pressing need for audited financial statements or to have them quickly. Moreover, a pool may hold participant money for a substantial period of time before it enters its first trade, and its participants should be able to know to what use their money has, in the meantime, been put. Thus, in response to the foregoing comments, the Commission has decided to adopt a four-month stub period and to calculate the stub period from the day on which the CPO first receives funds, securities or other property from a person who is not a pool insider.

    17See NFA comment letter.

    18See AIMA comment letter; see also, NFA comment letter.

    19See MFA comment letter. Pool insiders are discussed below, at Paragraph C.4 of this section.

    3. Size of the Pool

    The Commission had also proposed that in order to be eligible for the audit requirement exemption, the CPO may have accepted no more than $1,500,000 in aggregate gross capital contributions from non-insiders. One commenter urged the Commission to ignore the size of the pool.20 Another recommended that the Commission either ignore the size of the pool, or increase the maximum aggregate gross capital contribution amount to $6 million and require that the pool satisfy either the proposed 15-participant non-insider limit or the $6 million capital contribution amount.21 After considering these comments, the Commission has determined to increase the aggregate gross capital contribution limit from non-insiders to $3 million, and to maintain as proposed the requirement that the pool meet both the participant and the (now $3 million) aggregate gross capital contribution limits (from non-insiders). Based on staff's experience in this area, and in the absence of any data required by the Commission or provided by the commenters regarding capital collected during the first four months of a pool's operation, the Commission believes that this amount ($3 million) strikes a reasonable balance between the amounts advanced in the Proposal and in the comments thereon, and that this amount will satisfy the needs of CPOs for stub period relief in the future.

    20See AIMA comment letter.

    21See MFA comment letter.

    Another commenter asked for clarification as to whether the term “aggregate gross capital contributions” as used in the Proposal has the same meaning as “aggregate gross capital subscriptions” as used in Regulation 4.25(a)(i)(1)(D).22 The Commission confirms that both terms include all capital contributed to the pool, notwithstanding any subsequent withdrawals.

    22See Willkie Farr comment letter.

    4. Insiders

    The Proposal included a list of persons who would not be counted as participants and whose contributions would not be counted in determining whether the aggregate gross capital contributions received by the CPO for the pool would exceed the criteria for eligibility for the proposed audit requirement exemption. As the Commission explained, those insiders were the same persons whose contributions are not counted in determining a CPO's eligibility for the registration exemption for the operator of a family, club or small pool in Regulation 4.13(a)(2).23 Two commenters urged that the list be expanded—for example, to include any entity that controls, is controlled by or is under common control with any of the listed persons.24 One of these commenters further suggested that for an exempt pool under Regulation 4.7, the Commission include among the list of insiders “knowledgeable employees” and certain other qualified eligible persons.25 Upon further consideration of the purpose of this amendment to Regulation 4.22(g), and in response to these comments, the Commission has added to the list of insiders any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool's CPO or CTA, along with any principal of the foregoing. As one of the commenters noted, this augmentation is consistent with the Commission's inclusion of such persons in other Annual Report regulations.26

    23See 81 FR at 51830.

    24See MFA and SSGA comment letters.

    25See MFA comment letter.

    26See MFA comment letter, referring to Regulation 4.22(c)(8).

    5. Waivers

    Under the Proposal, before a CPO could claim relief from the audit requirement for the pool's stub period under Regulation 4.22(g)(2), the CPO would be required to obtain written waivers of the right to receive an audited Annual Report from each participant who would have been entitled to receive an audited Annual Report. One commenter made several recommendations concerning the proposed waiver requirement.27 The first was to permit waivers to be obtained ahead of time by including them in the subscription agreement for the pool or other agreement with the participant. The Commission believes that this is a useful suggestion, and has included it in the regulation as adopted. However, to ensure that the waiver is not obscured or overlooked, the regulation provides that the waiver must constitute a page separate from any other text in the agreement, and that the participant must separately sign and date it. The second recommendation was to eliminate the proposed prescribed language for the waiver, in favor of simply stating the information that must be included. In response to this comment, although the regulation as adopted retains the specified language, it now provides that the written waiver be in a form substantially similar to the text. The third recommendation was to not require a waiver from any person whose participation and contribution were excluded from the limits of the stub period relief. The Commission agrees that a waiver should not be required of those participants who have a particularly close relationship to the pool, and as adopted, Regulation 4.22(g)(2)(ii)(c)(1) provides that waivers need not be obtained from the pool's CPO, the pool's CTA, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool's CPO or the pool's CTA, or any principal of the foregoing.

    27See id.

    6. Case-by-Case Relief

    Finally, two commenters asked the Commission to confirm that the staff will continue to entertain case-by-case requests for relief from the audit requirement with respect to stub period Annual Reports.28 As stated, above, the Commission intends that staff restrict the issuance of any such relief from the standards it is adopting today to exceptional circumstances involving unique situations.

    28See AIMA and MFA comment letters.

    D. Regulation 4.22(c)(7): Unavailability of Audit Requirement Exception

    In order to ensure that an audit is conducted at least once during the life of a commodity pool, the Commission proposed to amend Regulation 4.22(c)(7)(iii) to make the audit requirement exemption for the final report upon liquidation of a pool unavailable where the CPO has not previously distributed an audited Annual Report.29 Thus, if a CPO claimed the stub period relief under amended Regulation 4.22(g)(2), the CPO could not subsequently claim the relief under Regulation 4.22(c)(7)(iii) for the final report upon liquidation unless in the intervening time the CPO had distributed at least one audited Annual Report for the pool. The Commission received one comment on this proposed amendment, urging it to require instead that the required waiver include an acknowledgment that the pool participant will not be receiving any audited Annual Report.30 The Commission has not adopted this recommendation, because it does not believe that the suggested alternative is consistent with the customer protection goal of the Annual Report audit requirement—i.e., to promote greater accuracy in financial statements and provide an independent review of the pool's activities.31

    29See 81 FR at 51830.

    30See MFA comment letter.

    31 44 FR 1918, 1922 (Jan. 8, 1979).

    Additionally, the Commission received comments urging it generally not to require a CPO to obtain waivers from insiders. The Commission believes that such a position would not be inconsistent with the purpose of the Annual Report requirement (stated above). Accordingly, the Commission has determined to amend Regulation 4.22(c)(7) to provide that a CPO seeking to claim relief from the audit requirement with respect to a final report upon liquidation of a pool need not obtain waivers from persons who have a particularly close relationship with the operation of the pool (the pool's CPO, its CTA, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool's CPO or the pool's CTA, or any principal of the foregoing).32

    32 To reflect these amendments, paragraph (c)(7)(iii) of Regulation 4.22 is now divided into subparagraphs (A) and (B).

    As is stated in the preceding paragraph, the CPO must have distributed an audited Annual Report at least once during the life of the pool.

    E. Specific Requests for Comments

    The Commission posed several specific questions in the Proposal seeking public input on particular issues. The following is the only question that elicited a response:

    Should the Commission adopt a provision whereby a CPO could claim relief from the Annual Report audit requirement for a pool in which the only participants were the CPO and one or more other `insiders' (i.e., the persons identified in proposed Regulation 4.22(g)(2)(ii)), regardless of the amount of capital contributed to the pool? What other criteria, if any, should be required? 33

    33 81 FR at 52830. The Commission also asked whether any information that would be included in the Annual Report under U.S. GAAP would not be included under any of the Additional Alternative GAAPs, and if so whether such information should be separately included, or if a reconciliation should be provided. Finally, the Commission asked for any other issues relevant to the Proposal that the Commission should consider. See id.

    The sole commenter responding to this question recommended that the Commission adopt such an exemption, and that the range of insiders include not only the persons listed in proposed Regulation 4.22(g)(2)(ii), but also any entity that wholly owns or is under common ownership with the pool's CPO, the pool's CTA or any principal of the CPO or CTA.34 The commenter further recommended that: Insiders should include trusts beneficially owned and controlled by principals of the CPO or CTA, or their respective parents, spouses, siblings or children; such an exemption should impose no limit on capital contributions or on the number of participants; and the pool's organizational or offering documents should disclose “that no audited annual report will be provided so long as only insiders are permitted investors.” The Commission agrees in part with this commenter's suggestions, and is adopting a further amendment to Regulation 4.22(d)(1) to provide that the requirement that a pool Annual Report be audited does not apply for any fiscal year during which the only participants in the pool are one or more of the following: The pool's CPO; its CTA; any person controlling, controlled by or under common control with the CPO or CTA; or any principal of the foregoing, provided that the CPO: (1) Obtains written waivers from the participants of their right to receive an audited Annual Report for that fiscal year; (2) keeps those waivers as records pursuant to Regulation 4.23; and (3) distributes an audited Annual Report at least once during the life of the pool.

    34See AIMA comment letter.

    III. Related Matters A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires Federal agencies to consider whether the rules they propose will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and, if so, to provide a regulatory flexibility analysis regarding the economic impact on those entities. In the Proposal, the Commission explained that previously it had established certain definitions of “small entities” to be used by the Commission in evaluating the impact of its rules on such entities in accordance with the requirements of the RFA and that, with respect to CPOs, a CPO was a small entity for the purpose of the RFA if it met the criteria for an exemption from registration under Regulation 4.13(a)(2).35 Thus, because the Proposal applied to persons registered or required to be registered as a CPO, the Commission determined that the RFA was not applicable to it.36 The Commission did not receive any comments on this determination.

    35See 81 FR 51828 at 51830.

    36Id.

    The amendments to its regulations that the Commission is publishing today continue to apply solely to CPOs registered or required to be registered with the Commission. Accordingly, the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission, hereby certifies pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that the amendments to its regulations being published by this Federal Register release will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act 1. Overview

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) 37 imposes certain requirements on Federal agencies (including the Commission) in connection with conducting or sponsoring any collection of information as defined by the PRA.

    37 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    As discussed in the Proposal, the Amendments contain collections of information for which the Commission has previously received control numbers from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The title for these collections of information is “Rules Relating to the Operations and Activities of Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors and to Monthly Reporting by Futures Commission Merchants,38 OMB control number 3038-0005.”

    38 Subsequent to the publication of the Proposal, the Commission changed the title of the collection to more accurately reflect the matters covered by the subject collections of information.

    The responses to these collections of information are mandatory. 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 control number issued by OMB.

    The collections of information in the Amendments provide to eligible CPOs: (1) An optional alternative to complying with the requirement to compute and present the financial statements in a pool Annual Report in accordance with U.S. GAAP (or in accordance with IFRS); and (2) an optional alternative to complying with the audit requirement for the Annual Report for a pool's first fiscal year, all as described above. In each case, eligible persons have the option to elect the alternative, but no obligation to do so. For this reason, except to the extent that the Commission has amended the subject OMB control number for PRA purposes to reflect these alternatives, the Amendments are not expected to impose any new burdens on CPOs. Rather, to the extent that the Amendments provide alternative means to comply with existing requirements, and an alternative is elected by a CPO, it is reasonable for the Commission to infer that the alternative is less burdensome to such CPO.

    2. Revisions to Collection 3038-0005

    Collection 3038-0005 is currently in force with its control number having been provided by OMB. As discussed above, the Amendments add a new exemption to permit a CPO to use accounting principles, standards or practices established in the U.K., Ireland, Luxembourg or Canada. In order to qualify for this exemption, an eligible CPO must take the steps stated in the Amendments, including providing appropriate notification in the pool's Disclosure Document and submitting the required notice to NFA. The Amendments further add a new exemption to permit a CPO to distribute and submit an unaudited Annual Report for its pool's first (partial) fiscal year and an audited Annual Report for the combined period covered by the pool's first (partial) fiscal year plus the pool's first twelve-month fiscal year. In order to qualify for this exemption, an eligible CPO must take the steps stated in the Amendments, including obtaining waivers from pool participants, submitting the required notice and certification to NFA, providing appropriate notification in the Annual Report, and maintaining the waivers as records. Requiring such actions on the part of an eligible CPO requires revisions to collection 3038-0005. Therefore, the Commission submitted a request to amend collection 3038-0005 to OMB and invited public comment on its paperwork burdens in the Proposal. In particular, as further described in the Proposal, the Commission estimates that CPOs will submit approximately 10 notices per year to take advantage of the alternative to permit the use of accounting principles, standards or practices established in the U.K., Ireland, Luxembourg or Canada, and that CPOs will submit approximately 12 notices per year to take advantage of the alternative to permit distribution and submission of an unaudited Annual Report for a pool's first (partial) fiscal year. Accordingly, the Commission estimates the additional hour burden for collection 3038-0005 to be 34 hours as calculated below.

    a. Estimated Additional Hour Burden for Collection 3038-0005 Due to Alternative To Complying With Requirement To Present and Compute a Pool's Financial Statements According to U.S. GAAP

    Anticipated number of claimants: 10.

    Frequency of collection: As needed (initial filing and subsequent compliance).

    Estimated annual responses per claimant: 1.

    Estimated aggregate number of annual responses: 10.

    Estimated annual hour burden per registrant: 1 hr.

    Estimated aggregate annual hour burden: 10 (10 claimants × 1 hour per claimant).

    b. Estimated Additional Hour Burden for Collection 3038-0005 Due to Alternative To Complying With Requirement To Distribute and Submit an Audited Annual Report for a Pool's First Fiscal Year

    Number of claimants: 12.

    Frequency of collection: As needed (initial filing and subsequent compliance and recordkeeping).

    Estimated annual responses per claimant: 1.

    Estimated aggregate number of annual responses: 12.

    Estimated annual hour burden per claimant: 2.39

    39 This figure for annual hour burden per claimant includes one hour for reporting and one hour for recordkeeping.

    Estimated aggregate annual hour burden: 24 (12 claimants × 2 hours per claimant).

    3. Information Collection Comments

    In the Proposal, the Commission invited the public and other Federal agencies to comment on any aspect of the information collection requirements discussed above. The Commission did not receive any such comments.

    C. Cost-Benefit Considerations

    Section 15(a) of the Act 40 requires the Commission to consider the costs and benefits of its actions before promulgating a regulation or issuing certain orders under the Act. Section 15(a) further requires the Commission to evaluate the costs and benefits of any such proposed action in light of five specified areas of consideration, discussed below. The baseline against which the Commission compares the costs and benefits of this final rule is Regulations 4.22(c)(7), 4.22(d)(2) and 4.22(g) as they are currently in effect.

    40 7 U.S.C. 19(a).

    1. Background

    As proposed and as adopted, a CPO must make a notice filing in order to be able either to use alternative accounting principles, standards or practices other than U.S. GAAP or IFRS, or to distribute and submit an unaudited Annual Report for its pool's first (partial-year) fiscal year and an audited Annual Report that combines information for the pool's first (partial-year) fiscal year with information for the following, first twelve-month fiscal year. In either case, the required filing is patterned after the notice required by existing Regulation 4.22(d)(2) that a CPO must submit in order to use IFRS. Thus, the notice contains such information as the CPO's name, address and telephone number, the NFA identification numbers of the CPO and the pool, and representations that the CPO complies with the requisite criteria. Additionally, in the second case, the notice includes a certification that the CPO has obtained written waivers from pool participants (other than the pool operator, the pool's commodity trading advisor, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool operator or trading advisor, or any principal of the foregoing) of their right to receive an audited Annual Report for the pool's first (partial-year) fiscal year. A notice filing is not required for relief from the Annual Report audit requirement for a fiscal year in which the pool has no participants other than its CPO, its CTA, any person controlling, controlled by, or controlling the CPO or CTA, or any principal of the foregoing. Finally, and as proposed, the Amendments make unavailable the audit requirement exemption in Regulation 4.22(c)(7) for the final report upon liquidation of a pool where the CPO has not previously distributed an audited Annual Report. Thus, for example, if a CPO has claimed the stub period relief under amended Regulation 4.22(g)(2), the CPO cannot subsequently claim the relief under Regulation 4.22(c)(7)(iii) for the final report upon liquidation unless in the intervening time the CPO has distributed at least one audited Annual Report for the pool.

    2. Costs

    The Commission continues to believe that the differences in the costs of compliance with the Amendments and Regulations 4.22(d)(2) and 4.22(g) as they existed before the Amendments will be small, because the notice filing is designed to mimic the relevant features of existing Regulation 4.22(d)(2). Moreover, the Commission believes that the Amendments will lower costs to CPOs relative to a case-by-case staff-issued exemption, because the Amendments provide a standardized approach to alternative compliance. In addition, due to the unavailability of the audit requirement exemption, there is a cost to the CPO of a pool that is closed without previously having distributed an audited Annual Report, because the CPO now must distribute and submit an audited Annual Report for the pool.

    There may also be some cost savings if the conditions of the exemption are met, because a CPO who operated a pool that met those conditions may distribute to pool participants and submit to NFA an unaudited Annual Report for the pool's first (partial-year) fiscal year and an audited Annual Report that combines information for the pool's first (partial-year) fiscal year with information for the following, first twelve-month fiscal year. These costs savings would be due to the independent public accountant only needing to conduct an audit of the pool once and only issuing one opinion on the pool's financial statements. In the case of audit requirement relief for a pool in which during a given fiscal year the participants are exclusively one or more of the pool's CPO, its CTA, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool's CPO or CTA, or any principal of the foregoing, there would also be a cost saving.

    In the Proposal, the Commission sought comment concerning whether or not the Proposal would reduce costs for CPO relative to existing Regulations 4.22(d)(2) and 4.22(g). One comment letter addressed the request and stated that “the notice filings required under the proposed rules would result in more timely relief being provided [to CPOs] and decrease the cost of obtaining such relief.” 41

    41See MFA comment letter.

    3. Benefits

    As the Commission explained in the Proposal, an advantage of a notice filing over a Commission staff-processed exemption is timeliness. Thus, a CPO that files a notice under the Amendments will not have to wait for Commission staff to process a request for an individual exemption letter. As the Commission further explained, there is also the benefit that pool participants will receive financial statements for the pool's first fiscal year.

    The Commission continues to believe there will be no net benefit from the Amendments as compared to Regulations 4.22(d)(2) and 4.22(g) prior to the Amendments with respect to financial disclosures. By codifying exemptions previously provided by Commission staff on a case-by-case basis, the Amendments continue to assist pool participants by providing them the information necessary to assess the overall trading performance and financial condition of their pool, but with a lower overall burden to certain CPOs. Pool participants are knowledgeable enough to evaluate financial statements prepared under principles, standards or practices established in the U.K., Ireland, Luxembourg or Canada, provided that the relevant accounting principles, standards or practices are properly disclosed to them. While the Commission sought public comment concerning whether or not use of the specified different systems of accounting principles, standards and practices might lead to material differences in financial statements that pool participants might not be able to understand, the Commission did not receive any comments in response. Nor did the Commission receive any comments responding to its belief that, if it were to adopt the Proposal, there would be minimal loss in the level of confidence of pool participants in their pool's financial statements, because an independent public accountant will still have to issue an opinion on an audited Annual Report that combines information for the pool's first (partial-year) fiscal year with information for the following, first twelve-month fiscal year.

    4. Section 15(a) Factors

    As noted above, Section 15(a) of the CEA requires the Commission to consider the costs and benefits of its actions before promulgating a regulation or issuing certain orders. As also noted above, CEA Section 15(a) further specifies that the Commission shall evaluate the costs and benefits of its actions in light of five specific concerns. Those concerns relate to: (i) Protection of market participants and the public; (ii) efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures markets; (iii) price discovery; (iv) sound risk management practices; and (v) other public interest considerations.

    i. Protection of Market Participants and the Public

    The Commission believes that the Amendments will provide the same level of protection to commodity pool participants through the disclosure of financial statements as do existing Regulations 4.22(d)(2) and 4.22(g). The Commission believes that pool participants are knowledgeable enough to evaluate financial statements prepared under accounting principles, standards and practices established in the U.K., Ireland, Luxembourg or Canada, provided that the relevant accounting principles, standards and practices are properly disclosed to them. By codifying exemptions previously provided by Commission staff on a case-by-case basis, the Amendments continue to assist pool participants by providing them the information necessary to assess the overall trading performance and financial condition of their pool, but with a lower overall burden to certain CPOs. Additionally, the Commission believes that there will be minimal loss in the level of confidence of pool participants in their pool's financial statements, because an independent public accountant will still have to issue an opinion on the financial statements included in an Annual Report that combines information for the pool's first (partial-year) fiscal year with information for the following, first twelve-month fiscal year. Relief from the audit requirement where all pool participants are insiders is balanced by the close relationship between those insiders and the operation of the pool.

    ii. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity of Markets

    The Commission does not believe there are any significant impacts that the Amendments will have on efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of markets.

    iii. Price Discovery

    The Commission does not believe there are any significant impacts that the Amendments will have on price discovery.

    iv. Sound Risk Management Practices

    The Commission does not believe there are any significant impacts that the Amendments will have on sound risk management practices.

    v. Other Public Interest Considerations

    The Commission has not identified any impact on any other public interest considerations that the Amendments will have.

    5. Summary of Comments

    The Commission invited public comment on its cost-benefit considerations, including the Section 15(a) factors described above. Commenters were invited to submit with their comment letters any data or other information that they had that quantified or qualified the costs and benefits of the Proposal. None of the persons who commented on the Proposal submitted any data or other information that quantified or qualified the costs and benefits of the Proposal, nor did they otherwise comment on the cost-benefit considerations as stated in the Proposal.

    List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 4

    Advertising, Brokers, Commodity futures, Commodity pool operators, Commodity trading advisors, Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission hereby amends 17 CFR part 4 as follows:

    PART 4—COMMODITY POOL OPERATORS AND COMMODITY TRADING ADVISORS 1. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6(c), 6b, 6c, 6l, 6m, 6n, 6o, 12a, and 23.

    2. Amend § 4.7 by revising paragraph (b)(2)(v) to read as follows:
    § 4.7 Exemption from certain part 4 requirements for commodity pool operators with respect to offerings to qualified eligible persons and for commodity trading advisors with respect to advising qualified eligible persons.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (v) A commodity pool operator of a pool that meets the conditions specified in § 4.22(d)(2)(i) to present and compute the commodity pool's financial statements contained in the Annual Report other than in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and has filed notice pursuant to § 4.22(d)(2)(iii) may also use the alternative accounting principles, standards or practices identified in the notice with respect to the computation and presentation of the account statement.

    3. Amend § 4.22 as follows: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(6), (c)(7)(iii), (d)(1) introductory text, and (d)(2); b. Revise paragraph (g)(2).

    The revisions to read as follows:

    § 4.22 Reporting to pool participants.

    (a) * * *

    (6) A commodity pool operator of a pool that meets the conditions specified in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section and has filed notice pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section may elect to follow the same accounting treatment with respect to the computation and presentation of the account statement.

    (c) * * *

    (7) * * *

    (iii) A report filed pursuant to paragraph (c)(7) of this section that would otherwise be required by paragraph (c) of this section is not required to be audited in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section if the commodity pool operator:

    (A) Obtains a written waiver of their right to receive an audited Annual Report from each participant other than the pool operator, the pool's commodity trading advisor, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool operator or trading advisor, and any principal of the foregoing; and

    (B) At the time of filing the Annual Report with the National Futures Association, certifies that it has received a written waiver from each participant from whom it is required to obtain a waiver to qualify for the relief available under this paragraph (c)(7). The commodity pool operator must maintain the waivers in accordance with § 4.23 and must make the waivers available to the Commission or National Futures Association upon request. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section, the relief made available by this paragraph (c)(7)(iii) will not be available where the commodity pool operator has not previously distributed an audited Annual Report to pool participants and submitted an audited Annual Report to the National Futures Association.

    (d)(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (d)(2) and (g)(2) of this section, the financial statements in the Annual Report required by this section or by § 4.7(b)(3) must be presented and computed in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles consistently applied and must be audited by an independent public accountant; Provided, however, and subject to the exception in paragraph (c)(7)(iii)(B) of this section, that the requirement that the Annual Report be audited by an independent public accountant does not apply for any fiscal year during which the only participants in the pool are one or more of the pool operator, the pool's commodity trading advisor, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool operator or trading advisor, and any principal of the foregoing; and Provided further, that the CPO obtains a written waiver from each such pool participant of their right to receive an audited Annual Report for such fiscal year, maintains such waivers in accordance with § 4.23, and makes such waivers available to the Commission or National Futures Association upon request. The requirements of § 1.16(g) of this chapter shall apply with respect to the engagement of such independent public accountants, except that any related notifications to be made may be made solely to the National Futures Association, and the certification must be in accordance with § 1.16 of this chapter, except that the following requirements of that section shall not apply:

    (2)(i) Where a commodity pool is organized in a jurisdiction other than the United States, the financial statements in the Annual Report required by this section or by § 4.7(b)(3) may be presented and computed in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles, standards or practices followed in such other jurisdiction; Provided, That:

    (A) The other jurisdiction follows accounting principles, standards or practices set forth in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section and the Annual Report presents and computes the financial statements of the pool in accordance with the applicable accounting principles, standards or practices followed by such other jurisdiction;

    (B) The Annual Report includes a condensed schedule of investments, or, if required by the applicable accounting principles, standards or practices followed by such other jurisdiction, a full schedule of investments;

    (C) The Annual Report reports special allocations of ownership equity in accordance with paragraph (e)(2) of this section;

    (D) The Disclosure Document or offering memorandum for the pool identifies the accounting principles, standards or practices of the other jurisdiction pursuant to which the Annual Report presents and computes the financial statements of the pool; and

    (E) Where the accounting principles, standards or practices of the other jurisdiction require consolidated financial statements for the pool, such as a feeder fund consolidating with its master fund, all applicable disclosures required by United States generally accepted accounting principles for the feeder fund must be presented with the reporting pool's consolidated financial statements.

    (ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, the following alternative accounting principles, standards or practices may be employed in the preparation and computation of the financial statements in the Annual Report of the commodity pool; Provided, That any such alternative accounting principles, standards or practices so employed are those followed by the jurisdiction other than the United States in which the commodity pool is organized:

    (A) International Financial Reporting Standards;

    (B) Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in the United Kingdom;

    (C) New Irish Generally Accepted Accounting Practice;

    (D) Luxembourg Generally Accepted Accounting Principles; or

    (E) Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

    (iii) To claim the relief available under this paragraph (d)(2), a commodity pool operator must file a notice with the National Futures Association within 90 calendar days after the end of the pool's first fiscal year.

    (A) The notice must contain: The name, main business address, main telephone number and National Futures Association registration identification number of the commodity pool operator; the name and identification number of the commodity pool for which the pool operator is claiming relief; and the alternative accounting principles, standards or practices pursuant to which the financial statements in the Annual Report will be presented and computed;

    (B) The notice must include a representation that the commodity pool operator complies with each of the conditions specified in paragraphs (d)(2)(i)(A) through (D) of this section and, if applicable, paragraph (d)(2)(i)(E) of this section; and

    (C) The notice must be signed by the commodity pool operator in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section.

    (g) * * *

    (2)(i) If a commodity pool operator elects a fiscal year other than the calendar year, it must give written notice of the election to all participants and must file the notice with the National Futures Association within 90 calendar days after the date of the pool's formation. If this notice is not given, the pool operator will be deemed to have elected the calendar year as the pool's fiscal year.

    (ii) For purposes of this paragraph (g)(2), the time period from the date on which the commodity pool operator first receives funds, securities or other property from a participant in the pool that is not a person listed in paragraphs (g)(2)(ii)(A)(1) through (g)(2)(ii)(A)(5) of this section to the end of the pool's first fiscal year is the stub period of the pool. Where the stub period is four months or less, the first Annual Report for the pool may be unaudited; Provided, however, That:

    (A) Throughout the stub period, the pool had no more than fifteen participants and no more than $3,000,000 in aggregate gross capital contributions. For the purpose of satisfying these criteria, the commodity pool operator may exclude the following persons and their contributions:

    (1) The pool operator, the pool's commodity trading advisor, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool operator or trading advisor, and any principal of the foregoing;

    (2) A child, sibling, or parent of any of these participants;

    (3) The spouse of any participant specified in paragraph (g)(2)(ii)(A)(1) or (2) of this section;

    (4) Any relative of a participant specified in paragraph (g)(2)(ii)(A)(1), (2) or (3) of this section, their spouse or a relative of their spouse, who has the same principal residence as such participant; and

    (5) An entity that is wholly-owned by one or more participants specified in paragraph (g)(2)(ii)(A)(1), (2), (3) or (4) of this section; and

    (B) The next Annual Report for the pool is audited and covers the stub period plus the pool's first 12-month fiscal year.

    (C) To claim the relief available under paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section, a commodity pool operator must:

    (1) Prior to the date upon which it is required to distribute and submit an audited Annual Report for the pool's first fiscal year, obtain a written waiver of the pool participant's right to receive an audited Annual Report for the pool's first fiscal year from each participant other than a participant who is the pool operator, the pool's commodity trading advisor, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool operator or trading advisor, or any principal of the foregoing. The waiver may be included in the subscription agreement for the pool or other agreement with the participant; Provided, however, That the waiver is a separate page in the agreement and the pool operator requires the participant to separately sign and date it. The waiver must be in a form substantially as follows: “[Name of participant], a participant in [Name of pool], voluntarily waives the right under CFTC Regulation 4.22(d) to receive an audited Annual Report for the fiscal year ended [end date of the pool's first fiscal year] and will accept in lieu thereof an unaudited Annual Report covering [the stub period] and an audited Annual Report covering [the start date of the stub period] through [the end date of the pool's first twelve-month fiscal year].”; and

    (2) On or before the date upon which it is required to distribute and submit the Annual Report for the pool's first fiscal year, file a notice with the National Futures Association, along with a certification that it has received the required written waiver from each participant who is not the pool operator, the pool's commodity trading advisor, any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the pool operator or trading advisor, or any principal of the foregoing, and who has been a participant in the pool for its first fiscal year.

    (i) The notice must contain: The name, main business address, main telephone number and National Futures Association registration identification number of the commodity pool operator; the name and identification number of the commodity pool for which the pool operator is claiming relief; and the beginning and end dates of the stub period of the pool;

    (ii) The notice must include a representation that the commodity pool operator meets the criteria of paragraph (g)(2)(ii)(A) of this section and that it will comply with the condition of paragraph (g)(2)(ii)(B) of this section; and

    (iii) The notice must be signed by the commodity pool operator in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section.

    (D)(1) Each unaudited Annual Report for which the relief available under paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section has been claimed must prominently disclose on the cover page thereof: “Pursuant to an exemption from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, this unaudited Annual Report covers the period from [beginning date of the stub period of the pool] to the end of the pool's first fiscal year, a period of [number] months.”

    (2) The next Annual Report for the pool must prominently disclose on the cover page thereof: “Pursuant to an exemption from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, this audited Annual Report covers the period from [beginning date of the stub period of the pool] to the end of the pool's first 12-month fiscal year, a period of [number] months.”

    (E) The commodity pool operator must maintain in accordance with § 4.23 of this chapter each waiver it has obtained to claim the relief available under paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section.

    4. Amend § 4.27 by revising paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 4.27 Additional reporting by advisors of certain commodity pools.

    (c) * * *

    (2) All financial information shall be reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles consistently applied. Notwithstanding the foregoing, or anything in the instructions to appendix A of this part to the contrary, a commodity pool operator of a pool that meets the conditions specified in § 4.22(d)(2)(i) to present and compute the commodity pool's financial statements contained in the Annual Report other than in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles and has filed notice pursuant to § 4.22(d)(2)(iii) may also use the alternative accounting principles, standards or practices identified in the notice in reporting information required to be reported pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 21, 2016, by the Commission. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission. Note:

    The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Appendix to Commodity Pool Operator Financial Reports—Commission Voting Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Massad and Commissioners Bowen and Giancarlo voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative.

    [FR Doc. 2016-28388 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 101 [Docket No. FDA-2000-N-0011] Uniform Compliance Date for Food Labeling Regulations AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is establishing January 1, 2020, as the uniform compliance date for food labeling regulations that are issued between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2018. We periodically announce uniform compliance dates for new food labeling requirements to minimize the economic impact of label changes.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 25, 2016. Submit electronic or written comments by January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov/ will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov/.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2000-N-0011 for “Uniform Compliance Date for Food Labeling Regulations.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov/ or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov/. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov/ and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Philip L. Chao, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-24), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2112.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We periodically issue regulations requiring changes in the labeling of food. If the effective dates of these labeling changes were not coordinated, the cumulative economic impact on the food industry of having to respond separately to each change would be substantial. Therefore, we periodically have announced uniform compliance dates for new food labeling requirements (see, e.g., the Federal Register of October 19, 1984 (49 FR 41019); December 24, 1996 (61 FR 67710); December 27, 1996 (61 FR 68145); December 23, 1998 (63 FR 71015); November 20, 2000 (65 FR 69666); December 31, 2002 (67 FR 79851); December 21, 2006 (71 FR 76599); December 8, 2008 (73 FR 74349); December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78155); November 28, 2012 (77 FR 70885); and December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73201)). Use of a uniform compliance date provides for an orderly and economical industry adjustment to new labeling requirements by allowing sufficient lead time to plan for the use of existing label inventories and the development of new labeling materials.

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

    This final rule contains no collections of information. Therefore, clearance by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 is not required.

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

    The establishment of a uniform compliance date does not in itself lead to costs or benefits. We will assess the costs and benefits of the uniform compliance date in the regulatory impact analyses of the labeling rules that take effect at that date.

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires Agencies to analyze regulatory options that would minimize any significant economic impact of a rule on small entities. Because the final rule does not impose compliance costs on small entities, we certify that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Section 202(a) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires that Agencies prepare a written statement, which includes an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits, before issuing “any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year.” The current threshold after adjustment for inflation is $146 million, using the most current (2015) Implicit Price Deflator for the Gross Domestic Product. We do not expect this final rule to result in any 1-year expenditure that would meet or exceed this amount.

    We have analyzed this final rule in accordance with the principles set forth in Executive Order 13132. We have determined that the rule does not contain policies that have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Accordingly, we have concluded that the rule does not contain policies that have federalism implications as defined in the Executive Order and, consequently, a federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    This action is not intended to change existing requirements for compliance dates contained in final rules published before January 1, 2017. Therefore, all final rules published by FDA in the Federal Register before January 1, 2017, will still go into effect on the date stated in the respective final rule. We generally encourage industry to comply with new labeling regulations as quickly as feasible, however. Thus, when industry members voluntarily change their labels, it is appropriate that they incorporate any new requirements that have been published as final regulations up to that time.

    In rulemaking that began with publication of a proposed rule on April 15, 1996 (61 FR 16422), and ended with a final rule on December 24, 1996, we provided notice and an opportunity for comment on the practice of establishing uniform compliance dates by issuance of a final rule announcing the date. Receiving no comments objecting to this practice, FDA finds any further advance notice and opportunity for comment or delayed effective date unnecessary for establishment of the uniform compliance date. Nonetheless, under 21 CFR 10.40(e)(1), we are providing an opportunity for comment on whether the uniform compliance date established by this final rule should be modified or revoked. Interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on the compliance date for each individual food labeling regulation as part of the rulemaking process for that regulation.

    The new uniform compliance date will apply only to final FDA food labeling regulations that require changes in the labeling of food products and that publish after January 1, 2017, and before December 31, 2018. Those regulations will specifically identify January 1, 2020, as their compliance date. All food products subject to the January 1, 2020, compliance date must comply with the appropriate regulations when initially introduced into interstate commerce on or after January 1, 2020. If any food labeling regulation involves special circumstances that justify a compliance date other than January 1, 2020, we will determine for that regulation an appropriate compliance date, which will be specified when the final regulation is published.

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28333 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 110 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0110] RIN 1625-AA01 Anchorage Grounds; Delaware Bay and River, Philadelphia, PA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is revising the anchorage regulations for the Delaware Bay and River. The Coast Guard conducted a review of the Delaware Bay and River anchorage grounds to support increased traffic and vessel size. The changes to this regulation will eliminate unusable anchorage grounds and provide additional usable grounds to support current and future port demands and enhance the overall navigation safety of this critical component of the maritime transportation system.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective December 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0110 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 Lieutenant Commander Tiffany Johnson, U.S. Coast Guard, Fifth Coast Guard District, Waterways Management Branch, telephone (757) 398-6516, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On July 15, 2016, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled Anchorage Grounds; Delaware Bay and River, Philadelphia, PA (81 FR 46026). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to these anchorage regulations for Delaware Bay and River. During the comment period that ended August 15, 2016, we received two comments.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The purpose of this rule is to eliminate unusable anchorage grounds and maximize usable anchorage grounds within the anchorage boundaries while continuing to safely support current and future port demands.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    As noted above, we received two comments on our NPRM published July 15, 2016. One comment was in favor of the proposed changes. The second comment requested that the Coast Guard define the boundaries of the anchorages using coordinates instead of bearings and distances. As a result, the regulatory text of this rule has been changed to use coordinates to define the anchorages covered by this rule, with the exception of the western boundary of Anchorage 12 between Gloucester and Camden, 33 CFR 110.157(a)(13), for which it is impracticable to define using coordinates.

    This rule makes changes to seven of the Delaware Bay and River anchorages in order to eliminate unusable anchorage grounds and maximize usable anchorage grounds within the anchorage boundaries while continuing to safely support current and future port demands.

    The Delaware Bay and River anchorage grounds are largely used by commercial vessel traffic. General regulations covering the anchorage of vessels in the port are set out in 33 CFR 110.157. In 1992, the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening project was authorized for construction by Public Law 102-580, Section 101 (6) of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 1992; modified by Public Law 106-53, Section 308 of WRDA 1999 and further modified by Public Law 106-541, Section 306 of WRDA 2000. This project includes deepening the existing Delaware River Federal Navigation Channel from 40 to 45 feet from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey to the mouth of the Delaware Bay. The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) along with the non-Federal sponsor, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA), commenced dredging for this project in 2010. This project, once completed, will allow for deeper draft vessels within the port and increase overall traffic, and anchorage usage. Due to this anticipated increase in marine traffic a review of the current Delaware Bay and River anchorage grounds was conducted by the Waterways Management Division Sector Delaware Bay, Philadelphia, PA. Upon review, it was determined that multiple anchorage grounds in 33 CFR 110.157 were unusable for some larger vessels due to lack of depth needed to safely anchor. Other anchorage grounds were deemed unusable because they spanned underneath bridges where it would be impractical for vessels to anchor, and posed an increased and unnecessary safety risk of bridge allision.

    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 rule is not a significant regulatory action because it will not interfere with existing maritime activity on the Delaware River. Rather, it will enhance navigational safety along the Delaware River by providing safer locations for vessels to anchor, improving navigation safety near bridges and reducing the potential for disruption to maritime traffic by anchored vessels potentially within the federal channel. Vessels may navigate in, around, and through the modified anchorages.

    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.

    The rule may affect owners and operators of vessels wishing to anchor in the Delaware Bay and River anchorages. Boundaries of some of the current anchorages have been modified, reduced, or increased depending on the water depth and relation of the anchorage to bridges along the Delaware Bay and River. The impact of the rule will be minimal because the changes increase usable anchorage grounds and enable vessels to safely anchor in the anchorage boundaries.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule will 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 establishing, disestablishing, and modifying anchorage grounds. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(f) 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.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 110

    Anchorage grounds.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 110 as follows:

    PART 110—ANCHORAGE REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 471, 1221 through 1236, 2071; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Amend § 110.157 by revising paragraphs (a)(2), (4), (7), (9), and (12) through (14) to read as follows:
    § 110.157 Delaware Bay and River.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Anchorage 1 off Bombay Hook Point. On the southwest side of the channel along Liston Range, in the waters bounded by a line connecting the following points:

    Latitude Longitude 39°17′14.0″ N 075°22′21.0″ W 39°16′55.2″ N 075°22′50.5″ W 39°20′34.1″ N 075°26′56.8″ W 39°20′53.5″ N 075°26′28.0″ W (DATUM: NAD 83)

    (4) Anchorage 3 southeast of Reedy Point. Southeast of the entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal at Reedy Point, in the waters bounded by a line connecting the following points:

    Latitude Longitude 39°33′09.0″ N 075°32′38.0″ W 39°32′34.6″ N 075°32′38.2″ W 39°31′29.0″ N 075°33′01.0″ W 39°31′31.8″ N 075°33′16.2″ W 39°32′14.6″ N 075°33′08.3″ W 39°33′09.0″ N 075°33′10.0″ W (DATUM: NAD 83)

    (7) Anchorage 6 off Deepwater Point. East of the entrance to Christina River, in the waters bounded by a line connecting the following points:

    Latitude Longitude 39°43′00.0″ N 075°30′20.0″ W 39°42′51.5 ″ N 075°29′44.9″ W 39°42′05.4″ N 075°30′25.2″ W 39°41′47.3″ N 075°30′37.5″ W 39°41′34.7″ N 075°30′39.9″ W 39°41′36.6″ N 075°30′51.1″ W (DATUM: NAD 83)

    (9) Anchorage 8 off Thompson Point. On the south side of the channel along Tinicum Range, between Thompson Point and the east side of Crab Point, in the waters bounded by a line connecting the following points:

    Latitude Longitude 39°50′52.0″ N 075°18′23.0″ W 39°50′51.1″ N 075°17′41.0″ W 39°50′44.5″ N 075°17′41.6″ W 39°50′46.0″ N 075°18′23.0″ W (DATUM: NAD 83)

    (12) Anchorage 11 at Gloucester. (i) East of the channel south of the Walt Whitman Bridge at Gloucester, in the waters bounded by a line connecting the following points:

    Latitude Longitude 39°54′10.0″ N 075°07′45.0″ W 39°54′09.4″ N 075°07′43.0″ W 39°54′03.0″ N 075°07′41.0″ W 39°53′30.5″ N 075°07′57.7″ W 39°53′09.6″ N 075°08′17.0″ W 39°53′36.6″ N 075°08′00.6″ W (DATUM: NAD 83)

    (ii) The area between Pier 124 S and 122 S, along the west side of the Delaware River, is restricted to facilitate vessel movements. The areas adjacent to working piers are restricted to facilitate the movement of vessels to and from these piers. Should the anchorage become so congested that vessels are compelled to anchor in these restricted areas, they must move immediately when another berth is available.

    (13) Anchorage 12 between Gloucester and Camden. (i) East of the channel beginning north of the Walt Whitman Bridge at Gloucester and ending south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at Camden, bounded as follows: Beginning at a point at latitude 39°54′26.0″ N, longitude 75°07′41″ W, bounded on the west by a line perpendicular to the channel, 210 yards from the east edge of the channel, 5,536 yards north to a point at latitude 39°57′05.0″ N, longitude 75°08′04.2″ W, and then bounded by a line connecting the following points, connecting to the point of beginning:

    Latitude Longitude 39°57′04.3″ N 075°07′57.3″ W 39°56′51.7″ N 075°08′01.3″ W 39°56′35.5″ N 075°08′03.1″ W 39°56′02.8″ N 075°08′02.0″ W 39°55′34.7″ N 075°07′54.5″ W 39°54′45.7″ N 075°07′32.5″ W 39°54′33.8″ N 075°07′32.9″ W 39°54′25.2″ N 075°07′36.1″ W (DATUM: NAD 83)

    (ii) The area between No. 2 Broadway pier and No. 1 Broadway pier is restricted to facilitate vessel movements. The areas adjacent to working piers are restricted to facilitate the movement of vessels to and from these piers. Should the anchorage become so congested that vessels are compelled to anchor in these restricted areas, they must move immediately when another berth is available.

    (14) Anchorage 13 at Camden. East of the channel, north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Cooper Point, Camden, NJ, in the waters bounded by a line connecting the following points:

    Latitude Longitude 39°57′17.0″ N 075°07′58.0″ W 39°57′22.3″ N 075°07′55.9″ W 39°57′32.0″ N 075°07′49.4″ W 39°57′39.2″ N 075°07′39.7″ W 39°57′34.9″ N 075°07′34.7″ W 39°57′21.2″ N 075°07′49.8″ W 39°57′15.1″ N 075°07′52.7″ W (DATUM: NAD 83)
    Dated: November 7, 2016. Meredith L. Austin, Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28405 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-1029] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Northeast Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the CSX Hilton Railroad Bridge across the Northeast Cape Fear River, mile 1.5, at Wilmington, NC. This deviation is necessary to manually operate the bridge and perform emergency bridge repairs. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective without actual notice from November 25, 2016 through 6 p.m. on December 9, 2016. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from November 18, 2016 at 3:45 p.m., until November 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-1029] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6222, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CSX Corporation, owner and operator of the CSX Hilton Railroad Bridge across the Northeast Cape Fear River, mile 1.5, in Wilmington, NC, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations due to an electrical casualty to the submarine cable and electrical components caused by Hurricane Matthew. The bridge is limited to manual operation, which requires personnel to manually operate components of the bridge in locations where additional safety measures are required, limiting the bridge to daylight operations. The bridge is a bascule draw bridge and has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 4 feet above mean high water.

    The current operating schedule is set out in 33 CFR 117.829(b). Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will remain in the closed-to-navigation position and open on signal during daylight hours, if at least 3 hours notice is given.

    The Northeast Cape Fear River is used by a variety of vessels including small commercial fishing vessels, recreational vessels and tugs and barges. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with waterway users.

    Vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transit to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28331 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0591; FRL-9955-48-Region 10] Air Plan Approval: AK; Permitting Fees Revision AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Alaska (state) Department of Environmental Conservation on February 1, 2016. The revisions implement changes to permit administration and compliance fees based on the state's fee study results. Changes include: The addition of definitions, restructuring of fee categories, rearranging and renumbering of certain fee rules, and updating cross references to align with the restructured fee rules.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on January 24, 2017, without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comment by December 27, 2016. If the EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0591 at 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:

    Randall Ruddick at (206) 553-1999, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Analysis of Rule Updates III. Final Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    Section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) governs the process by which a state submits air quality requirements to the EPA for approval into the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP is a state's plan to implement, maintain and enforce the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set by the EPA. CAA section 110(a)(2)(L) requires SIPs to contain provisions that require payment of certain fees to the permitting authority for costs associated with permitting as well as implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of permits issued. Alaska's air quality regulations, including provisions addressing the fee requirements in CAA section 110(a)(2)(L), are set forth in Alaska Administrative Code (AAC) Title 18 Environmental Conservation, Chapter 50 Air Quality Control (18 AAC 50) and many of these provisions are incorporated into Alaska's SIP. Alaska routinely submits revisions to the EPA to ensure the SIP reflects current administrative code and statutes in accordance with the CAA. On February 1, 2016, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) submitted such an update to incorporate recently revised portions of 18 AAC 50 dealing with air quality permit administration fees, emission fees, and negotiated service agreements. These regulation changes are based on results of the state's 2014 Fee Study Report.

    II. Analysis of Rule Updates

    Most recently, on September 19, 2014, we approved into the Alaska SIP, portions of 18 AAC 50.400 that relate to the CAA requirements of section 110(a)(2)(L) (79 FR 56268). Specifically, we approved paragraphs (e), (g), (h), (i), and portions of (j)—requiring new source review permit fees and SIP-approved open burning program fees. In the revisions submitted on February 1, 2016, Alaska repealed 18 AAC 50.400 and then updated, reorganized and readopted the provision. The state requests approval of 18 AAC 50.400(d), (e), (f), (g), and (h), in general the provisions that correspond to the fee provisions previously approved in the Alaska SIP. We have reviewed the changes and approve the portions of the readopted version of 18 AAC 50.400 that contain the requirements for sources to pay new source review permit fees and SIP-approved open burning program fees. Alaska also requested approval of revisions to 18 AAC 50.230(c)(1)(I) and 18 AAC 50.260(p). We are approving these revisions because they consist solely of correcting cross references to 18 AAC 50.400 as necessary due to the reorganization and readopting of 18 AAC 50.400 mentioned above.

    III. Final Action

    We are approving, and incorporating by reference, into the Alaska SIP the following revised provisions, state effective September 26, 2015: 18 AAC 50.400 (except (a), (b), (c), and (i)); 18 AAC 50.230(c)(1)(I), and 18 AAC 50.260(p).

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is approving regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are incorporating by reference the provisions described above in Section III. Final Action. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 10 office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by January 24, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that the EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: November 14, 2016. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart C—Alaska 2. In § 52.70, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising entries 18 AAC 50.230, 18 AAC 50.260, and 18 AAC 50.400 to read as follows:
    § 52.70 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Alaska Regulations and Statutes State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanations Alaska Administrative Code Title 18 Environmental Conservation, Chapter 50 Air Quality Control (18 AAC 50) *         *         *         *         *         *         * 18 AAC 50.230 Preapproved Emission Limits 9/26/15; 1/29/05 11/25/16, [Insert Federal Register citation]; 8/14/07, 72 FR 45378 except (d). *         *         *         *         *         *         * 18 AAC 50.260 Guidelines for Best Available Retrofit Technology Under the Regional Haze Rule 9/26/15; 10/6/13 11/25/16, [Insert Federal Register citation]; 5/27/15, 80 FR 30161 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 18 AAC 50.400 Permit Administration Fees 9/26/15 11/25/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] except (a), (b), (c), and (i). *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-28272 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 RIN 0648-XE284 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2016 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Territory of Guam AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Announcement of a valid specified fishing agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces a valid specified fishing agreement that allocates 1,000 mt of the 2016 bigeye tuna limit for the Territory of Guam to U.S. longline fishing vessels. The agreement supports the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands, and fisheries development in Guam.

    DATES:

    November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of a 2015 environmental assessment (EA), a 2016 supplemental EA (2016 SEA), and a finding of no significant impact, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0140, are available from www.regulations.gov, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (Pelagic FEP) are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel. 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or www.wpcouncil.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ariel Jacobs, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5182.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a final rule published on September 14, 2016, NMFS specified a 2016 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for the U.S. Pacific Island territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) (81 FR 63145). Of the 2,000 mt limit, NMFS allows each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt to U.S. longline fishing vessels identified in a valid specified fishing agreement.

    On October 5, 2016, NMFS received from the Council, a completed specified fishing agreement between Guam and Quota Management, Inc. In the transmittal memorandum, the Council's Executive Director noted that the specified fishing agreement was consistent with the criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819(c)(1). NMFS reviewed the agreement and determined that it is consistent with the Pelagic FEP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, implementing regulations, and other applicable laws.

    In accordance with 50 CFR 300.224(d) and 50 CFR 665.819(c)(9), vessels identified in the agreement may retain and land bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean under the Guam limit.

    NMFS will begin attributing bigeye tuna caught by vessels identified in the agreement to Guam starting on November 24, 2016. This date is seven days before December 1, 2016, which is the date NMFS forecasted that the fishery would reach the CNMI bigeye tuna allocation. If NMFS determines the fishery will reach the 1,000 mt Guam bigeye tuna attribution limit, we would restrict the retention of bigeye tuna caught by vessels identified in the agreement, and publish a notification to that effect in the Federal Register.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28317 Filed 11-21-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 227 Friday, November 25, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 51 [Document Number AMS-SC-16-0005, SC-16-331] U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and Walnuts in the Shell AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to revise the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and the U.S. Standards for Grades of Walnuts in the Shell. AMS proposes to include red colored walnuts. In addition, AMS proposes to remove the “Unclassified” section. The changes will modernize the standards, and meet growing consumer demand by providing greater marketing flexibility.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments to the Standardization Branch, Specialty Crops Inspection Division, Specialty Crops Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Training and Development Center, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406; fax: (540) 361-1199, or on the Web at: www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the dates and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection in the above office during regular business hours. All comments submitted in response to this rule will be included in the public record and will be made available to the public and can be viewed as submitted, including any personal information that you provide, on the Internet via http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Contact David G. Horner at the address above, or at phone (540) 361-1120; fax (540) 361-1199; or, email [email protected] Copies of the proposed U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and Walnuts in the Shell are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Copies of the current U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and U.S. Standards for Walnuts in the Shell are available on the Specialty Crops Inspection Division Web site at https://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/nuts.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The proposed changes permit grade certification of the red variety. These revisions also affect the grade requirements under the marketing order, 7 CFR parts 984, issued under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (7 U.S.C. 601-674) and applicable imports.

    Executive Orders 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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Executive Order 13175

    This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not have significant Tribal implications.

    Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. There are no administrative procedures that must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act and Paperwork Reduction Act

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has considered the economic impacts of the revisions to the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts and the U.S. Standards for Grades of Walnuts in the Shell. The purpose of the RFA is to structure regulatory actions such that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

    The current U.S. walnut standards have four color classifications: Extra Light, Light, Light Amber, and Amber. Product that does not meet these color standards cannot be certified to a U.S. grade. AMS proposes to revise these standards to include certification of red color. In addition, AMS proposes eliminating the “Unclassified” section. The proposed revision modernizes the current grading standards by allowing the industry to meet the growing consumer demand for red colored walnuts and by promoting better market information and greater marketing flexibility within the industry.

    The process of grading improves the functioning of a commodity market. Assigning different prices to different product characteristics and levels of quality increases opportunities for profitable trade. Adding red color to the walnut grading standards will facilitate additional market opportunities for walnut producers and other participants in the supply chain. The proposed revision will result in a minor change to the current standards with the only modification being to the color requirements. AMS anticipates that there will be little or no additional cost to implement this revision. The proposed change applies uniformly to all market participants and will not result in disproportionate additional costs being borne by small walnut producers or other small businesses.

    To determine the proportion of walnut producers that would be considered small, AMS conducted the analysis that follows. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.601.

    AMS used crop value per acre to determine the number of bearing acres required to generate annual sales of $750,000 or more, and came to 136 bearing acres. To reach this number, AMS divided the total crop value measured in dollars by the total utilized production measured in tons. Using annual National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data for the years 2010 to 2014, the five-year average crop value was $1,507,478,000; utilized production was 504,800 tons; and grower price was $2,982 per ton. AMS multiplied the price by yield to find the crop value per acre of $5,670 on average over five years. Finally, AMS divided the SBA-defined annual sales threshold of $750,000 by value per acre, which resulted in 136 acres.

    The NASS Agricultural Census is conducted every five years and in 2012 showed that 87 percent of walnut farming operations in the U.S. fell into its Census category of “under 100 bearing acres” of walnuts. AMS estimates that the proportion of walnut growers that qualify as small businesses under the SBA definition is likely to be close to 90 percent, given the probable exclusion in the “under 100 bearing acres” Census category of walnut producers with bearing acreage between 100 and 136. These small growers will not be disproportionately affected by the proposed rule as all changes to the standards will be applied uniformly to all market participants.

    In August 2015, the Grades and Standards Committee of the California Walnut Board and Commission voted unanimously to revise the U.S. walnut standards to include non-amber cultivars such as red colored varieties. More than 99 percent of U.S. walnuts are produced in California. Addition of an expanded color certification grade will encourage greater revenue to flow into the industry due to greater marketing opportunities for red colored nuts. Revising the current grading standards to include red walnuts will come at a minimal cost to the industry. The benefits of modernized grading standards, which include better market information and greater marketing flexibility, exceed the minor costs to market participants of implementing this revision to the U.S. standards for walnuts.

    Background

    The current U.S. walnut standards only permit the following four colors: Extra Light, Light, Light Amber, and Amber. However, consumer demand is growing for red walnuts in the U.S. In China, the Livermore variety (a red colored walnut) is very desirable. U.S. growers and companies expect sales to continue rising domestically and in China, especially once red walnuts are permitted grade certification.

    To address anticipated consumer needs, the Grades and Standards Committee of the California Walnut Board and Commission voted unanimously in August 2015 to revise the U.S. walnut standards to include non-amber cultivars, beginning with the Livermore variety. Later, the California Walnut Board and Commission sent an official letter to the AMS administrator formally requesting the addition of red colored varieties.

    Therefore, AMS proposes to make the following revisions in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Walnuts:

    • § 51.2276 Color chart: Removed and reserved. The information in this section regarding the U.S.D.A. Walnut Color Chart is obsolete.

    • § 51.2277 U.S. No. 1(a): Revised to include red walnuts.

    • § 51.2278 U.S. Commercial (a): Revised to include red walnuts.

    • § 51.2279 Unclassified: Removed and reserved. AMS is removing this section in all standards as they are revised, as it is no longer considered necessary.

    • § 51.2281 Color classifications: The section is reorganized into subparts (a) and (b) to include red walnuts.

    • § 51.2282 Table II: Revised to include red walnuts.

    • § 51.2283 Off color: Revised to include red walnuts.

    In addition, AMS proposes to make the following revisions in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Walnuts in the Shell:

    • § 51.2946 Color chart: Removed and reserved. This section is now redundant and no longer needed.

    • § 51.2948 U.S. No. 1 (a), § 51.2949 U.S. No. 2 (a), and § 51.2950 U.S. No. 3 (a): Subpart (1) was added to subpart (a) in each section to accommodate red walnuts.

    • § 51.2951 Unclassified: Removed and reserved. AMS is removing this section in all standards as they are revised, as it is no longer considered necessary.

    • § 51.2954 Tolerances for grade defects: Revised to include red walnuts.

    The proposed rule provides a 60-day period during which interested parties may comment on the revisions to the standards.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 51

    Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Frozen foods, Fruit juices, Fruits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vegetables.

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 51 is proposed to be amended as follows:

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

    7 U.S.C. 1621-1627.

    § 51.2276 [Removed and Reserved]
    2. In § 51.2276 is removed and reserved: 3. In § 51.2277, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:
    § 51.2277 U.S. No. 1.

    (a) Color shall be specified in connection with this grade in terms of “extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” or “amber” from the USDA Walnut Color Chart or in terms of “red” color. The color classifications in the USDA Walnut Color Chart shall not apply to “red” color. Furthermore, “red” color shall not be mixed with “extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” or “amber” colors. (See § 51.2281 and § 51.2282.)

    4. In § 51.2278, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:
    § 51.2278 U.S. Commercial.

    (a) Color of walnuts based on the USDA Walnut Color Chart shall be not darker than the “amber” classification. There are no color requirements for “red” walnuts. Color may be specified in connection with the grade in terms of one of the color classifications in the USDA Walnut Color Chart or “red” color. “Red” color shall not be mixed with “extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” or “amber” colors. (See § 51.2281 and § 51.2282.)

    § 51.2279 [Removed and Reserved]
    5. In § 51.2279 is removed and reserved: 6. Revise § 51.2281 to read as follows:
    § 51.2281 Color classifications.

    The following classifications are provided to describe the color of any lot:

    (a) “Extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” and “amber:” The portions of kernels in the lot shall be not darker than the darkest color permitted in the specified classification as shown on the USDA Walnut Color Chart.

    (b) “Red:” There are no color requirements.

    7. In § 51.2282, Table II is amended by adding an entry for “Red” to read as follows:
    § 51.2282 Tolerances for color. Table II Color classification Darker than extra light 1 Darker than light 1 Darker than light amber 1 Darker than amber 1 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Red 1 See illustration of this term on USDA Walnut Color Chart.
    8. Revise § 51.2283 to read as follows:
    § 51.2283 Off color.

    The term “off color” is not a color classification, but shall be applied to any lot which fails to meet the requirements of the “amber” classification when applying the color classifications in the USDA Walnut Color Chart. Off color shall not be used for “red” color.

    § 51.2946 [Removed and reserved].
    9. In § 51.2946 is removed and reserved. 10. In § 51.2948, paragraphs (a) is revised to read as follows:
    § 51.2948 U.S. No. 1.

    (a) Kernel color shall be specified in connection with this grade in terms of “extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” or “amber” from the USDA Walnut Color Chart or in terms of “red” color. The color classifications in the USDA Walnut Color Chart shall not apply to “red” color. Furthermore, “red” color shall not be mixed with “extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” or “amber” colors. When kernel color is based on the color classifications from the USDA Walnut Color Chart, at least 70 percent, by count, of the walnuts have kernels which are not darker than “light amber,” and which are free from grade defects: Provided, That at least four-sevenths of the above amount, or 40 percent of the walnuts have kernels which are not darker than “light.” Higher percentages of nuts with kernels not darker than “light amber” which are free from grade defects and/or higher percentages with kernels not darker than “light” which are free from grade defects, may be specified in accordance with the facts. (See § 51.2954 of this part)

    11. In § 51.2949, paragraphs (a) is revised to read as follows:
    § 51.2949 U.S. No. 2.

    (a) Kernel color shall be specified in connection with this grade either in terms of “extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” or “amber” from the USDA Walnut Color Chart or in terms of “red” color. The color classifications in the USDA Walnut Color Chart shall not apply to “red” color. Furthermore, “red” color shall not be mixed with “extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” or “amber” colors. When kernel color is based on the color classifications from the USDA Walnut Color Chart, at least 60 percent, by count, of the walnuts have kernels which are not darker than “light amber,” and which are free from grade defects. Higher percentages of nuts with kernels not darker than “light amber” which are free from grade defects, and/or percentages with kernels not darker than “light” which are free from grade defects, may be specified in accordance with the facts. (See § 51.2954 of this part)

    12. In § 2950, paragraphs (a) is revised to read as follows:
    § 51.2950 U.S. No. 3.

    (a) Kernel color may be specified in connection with this grade either in terms of “light amber” or “light” from the USDA Walnut Color Chart or in terms of “red” color. The color classifications in the USDA Walnut Color Chart shall not apply to “red” color. Furthermore, “red” color shall not be mixed with “extra light,” “light,” “light amber,” or “amber” colors. When kernel color is based on the color classifications from the USDA Walnut Color Chart, there is no requirement in this grade for the percentage of walnuts having kernels which are “light amber” or “light.” However, the percentage, by count, of nuts with kernels not darker than “light amber” which are free from grade defects and/or the percentage with kernels not darker than “light” which are free from grade defects, may be specified in accordance with the facts. (See § 51.2954 of this part)

    § 51.2951 [Removed and reserved].
    13. In § 51.2951 is removed and reserved. 14. In § 51.2954 revise the table to read as follows:
    § 51.2954 Tolerances for Grade Defects. Tolerances for Grade Defects Grade External (shell) defects Internal (kernel) defects Kernel color based on USDA Walnut Color Chart Kernel color based on red U.S. No. 1 10%, by count, for splits. 5%, by count, for other shell defects, including not more than 3% seriously damaged 10% total, by count, including not more than 6% which are damaged by mold or insects or seriously damaged by other means, of which not more than 5/6 or 5% may be damaged by insects, but no part of any tolerance shall be allowed for walnuts containing live insects No tolerance to reduce the required 70% of “light amber” kernels or the required 40% of “light” kernels or any larger percentage of “light amber” or “light” kernels specified U.S. No. 2 10%, by count, for splits. 10%, by count, for other shell defects, including not more than 5%t serious damage by adhering hulls 15% total, by count, including not more than 8% which are damaged by mold or insects or seriously damaged by other means, of which not more than 5/8 or 5% may be damaged by insects, but no part of any tolerance shall be allowed for walnuts containing live insects No tolerance to reduce the required 60% or any specified larger percentage of “light amber” kernels, or any specified percentage of “light” kernels U.S. No. 3 Same as above tolerance for U.S. No. 2 Same as above tolerance for U.S. No. 2 No tolerance to reduce any percentage of “light amber” or “light” kernel specified
    Dated: November 18, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28253 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 927 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-16-0090; SC16-927-1 CR] Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Continuance Referendum AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Referendum order.

    SUMMARY:

    This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible Oregon and Washington pear growers to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order regulating the handling of pears grown in Oregon and Washington.

    DATES:

    The referendum will be conducted from February 15 through March 1, 2017. Only current growers of pears within the designated production area in Oregon and Washington that have grown pears during the period July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, are eligible to vote in this referendum.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the marketing order may be obtained from the Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-2724; the Office of the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; or Internet: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=1aaabcfe0d44b8af50dc165366358d74&mc=true&node=pt7.8.927&rgn=div5.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Teresa Hutchinson or Gary D. Olson, Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-2724, Fax: (503) 326-7440, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Marketing Order No. 927 (7 CFR part 927), hereinafter referred to as the “order,” and the applicable provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act,” it is hereby directed that a referendum be conducted to ascertain whether continuance of the order is favored by growers. The referendum shall be conducted from February 15 through March 1, 2017, among eligible Oregon and Washington pear growers. Only current growers that were also engaged in the production of pears in Oregon or Washington during the period of July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, may participate in the continuance referendum.

    USDA has determined that continuance referenda are an effective means for determining whether growers favor the continuation of marketing order programs. USDA would consider termination of the order if less than two-thirds of the growers voting in the referendum and growers of less than two-thirds of the volume of Oregon and Washington pears represented in the referendum favor continuance of their program. In evaluating the merits of continuance versus termination, USDA will not exclusively consider the results of the continuance referendum. USDA will also consider all other relevant information regarding operation of the order and relative benefits and disadvantages to growers, handlers, and consumers to determine whether continuing the order would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the ballot materials used in the referendum herein ordered have been submitted to and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB No. 0581-0189, Generic Fruit Crops. It has been estimated that it will take an average of 20 minutes for each of the approximately 1600 Oregon-Washington pear growers to cast a ballot. Participation is voluntary. Ballots postmarked after March 1, 2017, will not be included in the vote tabulation.

    Teresa Hutchinson and Gary D. Olson of the Northwest Marketing Field Office, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, are hereby designated as the referendum agents of the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct this referendum. The procedure applicable to the referendum shall be the “Procedure for the Conduct of Referenda in Connection With Marketing Orders for Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended” (7 CFR 900.400-900.407).

    Ballots will be mailed to all growers of record and may also be obtained from the referendum agents or from their appointees.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 927

    Marketing agreements, Pears, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Bruce Summers, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28256 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3657; Directorate Identifier 2012-SW-069-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA is withdrawing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM proposed to supersede airworthiness directive (AD) 2007-25-08 for Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, SA-366G1, EC 155B, and EC155B1 helicopters. The proposed actions were intended to prevent damage to the tail gearbox (TGB) control shaft and rod assembly bearing resulting in end play, loss of tail rotor pitch control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Since we issued the NPRM, we have received reports of new occurrences of loss of yaw control due to failure of the control rod bearing and determined that different actions at shorter time intervals are necessary to correct the unsafe condition. Accordingly, we withdraw the proposed rule.

    DATES:

    As of November 25, 2016, the proposed rule to amend 14 CFR part 39 published September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53024) is withdrawn.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5116; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 21, 2015, the FAA issued an NPRM that proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 to remove AD 2007-25-08 (72 FR 69604, December 10, 2007) and add a new AD for Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) Model SA 365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, SA-366G1, EC 155B, and EC155B1 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53024). The NPRM proposed to require, at specified intervals, checking the TGB oil level and inspecting the TGB magnetic plug for chips at specified intervals. The NPRM also proposed replacing the TGB guide bushes, inspecting the bearing of the TGB control shaft and rod assembly for M50 type particles, and performing measurements of play in the TGB control shaft and rod assembly. Finally, after replacing the guide bush, the NPRM proposed repetitively performing measurements for play in the TGB control shaft and rod assembly. The NPRM did not apply to helicopters with TGB part number (P/N) 365A33-6005-09 installed, which Airbus Helicopters refers to as Modification 07 65B63. At the time the NPRM was published, we had received new reports of loss of yaw control due to failure of the control rod bearing. The proposed actions were intended to prevent damage to the bearing resulting in end play, loss of tail rotor pitch control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM (80 FR 53024, September 2, 2015), EASA issued Emergency AD No. 2016-0097-E, dated May 23, 2016, which was subsequently revised by AD No. 2016-0097R1, dated May 25, 2016, to correct a paragraph reference. EASA AD No. 2016-0097R1 advises that a technical investigation of an AS 365 N3 accident revealed a damaged TGB bearing. EASA further states that the affected control rod had been repetitively inspected as required by a previous AD, EASA AD No. 2012-0170R2, dated June 20, 2014, and that the investigation is still ongoing to determine the root cause of the damage and why the damage was not discovered during the inspections. EASA AD No. 2016-0097R1 requires repetitive inspections of the TGB oil level and magnetic chip detector. EASA AD No. 2016-0097R1 also requires replacing bearing P/N 704A33-651-093 or P/N 704A33-651-104 with an improved bearing P/N 704A33-651-245 or 704A33-651-246, which is terminating action for the repetitive inspections of the magnetic chip detector but not of the oil level. The EASA AD also describes an alternative repetitive inspection for play that would defer replacing the bearing for an additional 110 hours time-in-service.

    In light of this latest information, we are issuing a separate action to supersede AD 2007-25-08 (72 FR 69604, December 10, 2007) with immediately effective requirements. Accordingly, we are withdrawing the NPRM.

    Comments

    After our NPRM (80 FR 53024, September 2, 2015) was published, we received two comments from one commenter.

    Request

    Airbus Helicopters requested that the applicability be changed to exclude helicopters with MOD 07 65B63 (which installs TGB P/N 365A33 6005-09) instead of those with TGB P/N 365A33 6005-09. When asked for additional information to support this comment, Airbus Helicopters stated that by excluding only helicopters with TGB P/N 365A33 6005-09, the NPRM would apply to helicopters with a new (future) TGB P/N that would not be subject to the unsafe condition. If instead the NPRM were to exclude helicopters with MOD 07 65B63, it would also exclude future TGB P/Ns. MOD 07 65B63 would be required before any future MOD that may install a new part-numbered TGB.

    We agree with the commenter's concern. However, because we are withdrawing the NPRM and issuing a separate action with different corrective requirements, the commenter's request is no longer necessary.

    Airbus Helicopters also requested that the compliance intervals for performing the measurements for play include the longer interval allowed for helicopters with MOD 07 65B57.

    We agree that the longer inspection intervals are acceptable for helicopters with MOD 07 65B57. However, because we are withdrawing the NPRM and issuing a separate action with different corrective requirements, the commenter's request is no longer necessary.

    Withdrawal of the NPRM constitutes only such action and does not preclude the agency from issuing another notice in the future nor does it commit the agency to any course of action in the future.

    Since this action only withdraws an NPRM, it is neither a proposed nor a final rule; therefore, it is not covered under Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, or DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979).

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Withdrawal

    Accordingly, the notice of proposed rulemaking, Docket No. FAA-2015-3657; Directorate Identifier 2012-SW-069-AD, published in the Federal Register on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53024), is withdrawn.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 2, 2016. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27639 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9386; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-056-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) 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 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN 235-100, CN 235-200, and CN 235-300 airplanes, and Model C-295 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by leakage of a motorized cross-feed fuel valve. This proposed AD would require an inspection of the affected fuel valves and, depending on findings, applicable corrective action(s). We are proposing this AD to detect and correct leaks in a motorized cross-feed fuel valve, which could lead to failure of the fuel valve and consequent improper fuel system functioning or, in case of the presence of an ignition source, an airplane fire.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 9, 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 Airbus Defense and Space, Services/Engineering Support, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; fax +34 91 585 31 27; email [email protected] 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.

    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-2016-9386; 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:

    Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; 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-2016-9386; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-056-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

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued Airworthiness Directive 2016-0071, dated April 11, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes, and Model C-295 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Leakage of a motorised cross-feed fuel valve Part Number (P/N) 7923227F was reported on a CN-235-100M aeroplane. The leakage was observed through the valve electrical connectors and detected during accomplishment of a functional check in accordance with the CN-235 aeroplane Maintenance Review Board Report (MRB-PV01M), task 28.007. Identical motorised fuel valves are installed on CN-235 and C-295 aeroplanes, corresponding to civil type design, as cross-feed, shut-off and defueling valves, as applicable to aeroplane model and configuration.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of a motorised fuel valve and consequent improper fuel system functioning or, in case of the presence of an ignition source, possibly resulting in an aeroplane fire.

    To address this potentially unsafe condition, Airbus Defense & Space (D&S) issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT)-CN235-28-0001 and AOT-C295-28-0001 to provide inspection instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires an inspection of the affected motorised fuel valves and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s) [(valve replacement)].

    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-2016-9386.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus Defense and Space S.A. has issued AOT-CN235-28-0001, dated February 19, 2016; and AOT-C295-28-0001, dated February 19, 2016. The service information describes procedures for inspecting and replacing the motorized fuel valves. The service information also describes procedures for reporting inspection findings. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models. 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 these same type designs.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 14 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 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $0 $170 $2,380 Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85 1,190

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that might need these replacements:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425 $38,448 $38,873
    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this proposed AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    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): Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.): Docket No. FAA-2016-9386; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-056-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 9, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (formerly known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes, and Model C-295 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by leakage of a motorized cross-feed fuel valve, which was detected during accomplishment of a functional check. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct leaks in a motorized cross-feed fuel valve, which could lead to failure of the fuel valve and consequent improper fuel system functioning or, in case of the presence of an ignition source, an airplane fire.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection of Motorized Fuel Valves

    Within the compliance time defined in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable, do a general visual inspection of each motorized fuel valve having part number (P/N) 7923227F for the presence of fuel on the electrical connectors and inside the receptacles, as specified in, and in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) AOT-CN235-28-0001 or Airbus Defense and Space AOT-C295-28-0001, both dated February 19, 2016, as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes that, as of the effective date of this AD, have accumulated 6,000 flight cycles or more since first flight: Do the inspection within 30 flight cycles or 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (2) For airplanes that, as of the effective date of this AD, have accumulated fewer than 6,000 flight cycles since first flight: Do the inspection within 400 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

    (h) Replacement of Affected Parts

    If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any leaking of a motorized fuel valve having P/N 7923227F is detected: Before the next flight, replace the affected fuel valve with a serviceable part, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space AOT-CN235-28-0001 or Airbus Defense and Space AOT-C295-28-0001, both dated February 19, 2016, as applicable. A serviceable part is defined as a part that is not defective; it could be a used or brand new part.

    (i) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, replacement of a motorized fuel valve having P/N 7923227F with a serviceable used part on an airplane is allowed, provided that, within 30 flight cycles or 30 days, whichever occurs first after installation, the part passes an inspection done in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space AOT-CN235-28-0001 or AOT-C295-28-0001, both dated February 19, 2016, as applicable.

    (j) Reporting Requirement

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD, report the inspection results (both positive and negative) to Airbus DS Technical Assistance Center (AMTAC); telephone +34 91 600 79 99; email [email protected] The report must include the inspection results, a description of any discrepancies found, operator name, the airplane model and serial number, valve part number and serial number, and the number of landings and flight hours on the airplane.

    (1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 60 days after the inspection.

    (2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 60 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (k) 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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; fax 425-227-1149. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (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 Airbus Defense and Space S.A.'s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Airworthiness Directive 2016-0071, dated April 11, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9386.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Defense and Space, Technical Services/Engineering Support, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 55 31 0527; email [email protected] 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 2, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27307 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9138; Airspace Docket No. 16-AWP-13] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Willows, CA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Willows-Glenn County Airport, Willows, CA. Decommissioning of the Maxwell VHF Omni-directional Range/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) navigation aid and cancellation of associated approaches has made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport. The airport's geographic coordinates also would be adjusted to match the current FAA aeronautical database.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1-800-647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-9138; Airspace Docket No. 16-AWP-13, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-9138; Airspace Docket No. 16-AWP-13.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

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

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Willows-Glenn County Airport, Willows, CA. This action would remove the segment extending from the 6.4-mile radius of the airport to 3 miles north of the Maxwell VORTAC as the Maxwell VORTAC navigation aid, was decommissioned and removed from service on May 31, 2016. This modification is necessary to ensure the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport, with a minimum degree of airspace restriction. Additionally, the airport's geographic coordinates would be updated to match the current FAA aeronautical database.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AWP CA E5 Willows, CA [Modified] Willows-Glenn County Airport, CA (Lat. 39°30′57″ N., long. 122°13′02″ W.)

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

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on November 8, 2016. Tracey Johnson, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28292 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 11 [Docket No. RM16-19-000] Annual Charges for Use of Government Lands in Alaska AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Inquiry.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is inviting comments on a narrow question related to its current methodology for calculating annual charges for the use of government lands under Part 11 of the Commission's regulations—whether regional per-acre land values based on data published in the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Census result in reasonably accurate land valuations for hydropower lands in Alaska. This Notice of Inquiry (NOI) will assist the Commission in evaluating an alternative proposal raised in a petition for rulemaking, which requests that the Commission use a statewide average per-acre land value for the purposes of calculating annual charges for use of government lands for hydropower projects in Alaska.

    DATES:

    Comments on this NOI are due January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by Docket No. RM16-19-000 may be filed in the following ways:

    • Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments see the Comment Procedures section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tara DiJohn (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8671, [email protected]. Norman Richardson (Technical Information), Office of the Executive Director, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6219, [email protected]. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. The Federal Power Act (FPA) requires hydropower licensees that use federal lands to compensate the United States for the use, occupancy, and enjoyment of its lands.1 Since 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) has used a fee schedule, based on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) methodology for calculating rental rates for linear rights of way, to calculate annual charges for use of federal lands. The Commission's fee schedule identifies a fee for each county or geographic area, which is the product of four components: A per-acre land value, an encumbrance factor, a rate of return, and an annual adjustment factor. The per-acre land value for a particular county or geographic area is determined using the average per-acre land values published in the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Census.

    1 16 U.S.C. 803(e)(1) (2012).

    2. The Commission is issuing this Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to seek public and agency comment on a narrow question—whether regional per-acre land values based on data published in the NASS Census result in reasonably accurate land valuations for hydropower lands in Alaska. In particular, the Commission is interested in receiving input on whether, for the state of Alaska, the use of a statewide average per-acre land value or the use of regional per-acre land values (as is currently used) would be preferable to the use of county or geographic area land values.

    I. Background

    3. Section 10(e)(1) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) requires Commission hydropower licensees using federal lands to:

    pay to the United States reasonable annual charges in an amount to be fixed by the Commission . . . for recompensing [the United States] for the use, occupancy, and enjoyment of its lands or other property . . . and in fixing such charges the Commission shall seek to avoid increasing the price to the consumers of power by such charges, and any such charges may be adjusted from time to time by the Commission as conditions may require . . . .2

    2 16 U.S.C. 803(e)(1) (2012) (emphasis added). Section 10(e)(1) also requires licensees to reimburse the United States for the costs of administering Part I of the FPA. Those charges are calculated and billed separately from the land use charges, and are not the subject of this NOI.

    In other words, licensees that use and occupy federal lands for project purposes must compensate the United States through payment of an annual fee, to be established by the Commission.3

    3 Pursuant to FPA section 17(a), 16 U.S.C. 810(a) (2012), the fees collected for use of government lands are allocated as follows: 12.5 percent is paid into the Treasury of the United States, 50 percent is paid into the federal reclamation fund, and 37.5 percent is paid into the treasuries of the states in which particular projects are located. No part of the fees discussed in this NOI is used to fund the Commission's operations.

    4. The Commission has adopted various methods over the years to accomplish this statutory directive.4 Currently, the Commission uses a fee schedule method to calculate annual charges for use of government lands. The Commission adopted this approach in a final rule issued on January 12, 2013.5

    4See Annual Charges for Use of Government Lands, Order No. 774, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,341, at PP 3-20 (2013) (cross-referenced at 142 FERC ¶ 61,045) (examining the myriad methodologies the Commission has used or considered for assessing annual charges for the use of government lands since 1937) (Order No. 774).

    5See generally, Order No. 774.

    A. Order No. 774

    5. In Order No. 774, the Commission adopted a new fee schedule method for calculating annual charges for use of government lands, based on BLM's methodology for calculating rental rates for linear rights of way. Pursuant to section 11.2 of our regulations, the Commission publishes a fee schedule annually, which identifies per-acre rental fees by county or geographic area.6 To calculate a licensee's annual charge for use of government lands, the Commission multiplies the applicable county or geographic area fee identified in the fee schedule by the number of federal acres reported by that licensee.

    6 18 CFR 11.2 (2016). The fee schedule is published annually as part of Appendix A to Part 11 of the Commission's regulations.

    6. The fee schedule identifies a per-acre rental fee broken down by county or geographic area. The per-acre rental fee for a particular county or geographic area is calculated by multiplying four components: (1) An adjusted per-acre land value; (2) an encumbrance factor; (3) a rate of return; and (4) an annual adjustment factor.

    1. Per-Acre Land Value

    7. The first component—the adjusted per-acre land value—is based on average per-acre land values published in the NASS Census. Specifically, the per-acre land value is determined by the applicable county or geographic area “land and buildings” category 7 from the NASS Census. This per-acre value is then adjusted downward using a state-specific reduction to remove the value of irrigated lands, plus a seven percent reduction to remove the value of buildings or other improvements. The end result being the adjusted per-acre land value.

    7 The “land and buildings” category is a combination of all land use categories in the NASS Census, including croplands (irrigated and non-irrigated), pastureland/rangeland, woodland, and “other” (roads, ponds, wasteland, and land encumbered by non-commercial/non-residential buildings).

    8. The NASS Census is conducted every five years, with an 18-month delay before NASS publishes the Census data. The Commission incorporates another 18-month delay to account for revisions, consistent with BLM's implementation of its 2008 rule. The Commission's 2011-2015 fee schedules were based on data from the 2007 NASS Census. The Commission's 2016-2020 fee schedules will be based on data from the 2012 NASS Census, the 2021-2025 fee schedules will be based on data from the 2017 NASS Census, the 2026-2030 fee schedules will be based on data from the 2022 NASS Census, and so on. State-specific adjustments to the per-acre land value are performed in the first year that data from a new NASS Census are used, and will remain the same until the subsequent NASS Census data.

    2. Per-Acre Land Values for Alaska

    9. Order No. 774 explained that the final rule would adopt BLM's approach to Alaska per-acre land values by designating lands in Alaska as part of one of the five NASS Census geographic area identifiers: the Aleutian Islands Area, the Anchorage Area, the Fairbanks Area, the Juneau Area, and the Kenai Peninsula Area. Several commenters asserted that a per-acre statewide value, a category also reported by the NASS Census, should be assessed for Alaska lands.

    10. Order No. 774 considered the arguments raised in support of a statewide per-acre value. In particular, several commenters asserted that regional values for Alaska are inappropriate because Alaska does not use county designations, the number of farms surveyed for the NASS Census in the entire state of Alaska is less than the number of farms surveyed in most counties in the lower-48 states, and certain per-acre land values near Anchorage and Juneau are very high, resulting in a substantial increase in annual charges for the use of government lands by hydropower licensees in these areas. However, the Commission ultimately concluded that the commenters had not advanced sufficient explanation for why it was more appropriate to use a statewide value for Alaska, rather than the smallest NASS Census defined area for Alaska—the geographic area identifier. Although the Commission rejected the use of a statewide per-acre land value for Alaska in Order No. 774, the Commission clarified that it would not use the Anchorage Area and the Juneau Area to assess annual charges for the use of government lands “because these high, urban-based rates would not reasonably reflect the value of government lands on which hydropower projects are located.” 8 Instead, for purposes of determining a per-acre land value, the Commission decided to assess the Kenai Peninsula Area per-acre land value for projects located in the Anchorage Area or the Juneau Area.

    8 Order No. 774 at P 45.

    B. Fiscal Year 2016 Fee Schedule

    11. The Commission used the 2012 NASS Census data to calculate its fee schedule for the first time in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. Due to per-acre land value increases in the 2012 NASS Census data, land rates for hydropower projects located in certain geographic areas in Alaska experienced a significant increase when compared to the rates assessed in FY 2015.

    C. Petition for Rulemaking

    12. On June 6, 2016, the Alaska Federal Land Fees Group, comprised of six hydroelectric licensees with projects in Alaska (Alaska Group),9 petitioned the Commission to conduct a rulemaking to revise the Commission's method of calculating federal land use charges for hydropower projects in Alaska.10 The Alaska Group's petition focuses solely on the first component of the Commission's fee schedule—the adjusted per-acre land value—and requests that the Commission: (1) Calculate an adjusted statewide average per-acre land value for Alaska; and (2) apply this adjusted statewide fee to all projects in Alaska, except those located in the Aleutian Islands area.11

    9 Alaska Electric Light and Power, Bradley Lake Project Management Committee (on behalf of licensee Alaska Energy Authority), Chugach Electric Association, the Ketchikan Public Utilities, Copper Valley Electric Association, and Southeast Alaska Power Agency.

    10 The Commission issued its 2016 federal land use bills on April 21, 2016. In accordance with section 11.20 of the Commission's regulations, 18 CFR 11.20 (2016), the members of the Alaska Group paid their bills under protest, and filed a timely appeal. On June 9, 2016, Commission staff denied the appeal. The Alaska Group requested rehearing of the denial. Concurrent with the issuance of this NOI, the Commission is issuing a separate order denying the Alaska Group's rehearing request.

    11 The Alaska Group requests that any project located in the Aleutian Islands Area would continue to be assessed annual charges for use of government lands based on a regional per-acre land value.

    13. In support of this proposal, the Alaska Group states that due to the small number of farms (and associated acreage) that contribute to the data compiled in the NASS Census, there is insufficient data in any individual Alaska area (with the exception of the Aleutian Islands) 12 to produce a fair estimate of land values within that area. Because there are so few farms outside of the Aleutian Islands area, the per-acre land values in the other four areas of Alaska are extremely sensitive to any changes in the voluntary, self-reported farm data compiled by the NASS Census.

    12 The Alaska Group contends that because the Aleutian Islands area contains the greatest amount of farmland in the state (668,016 acres), the NASS Census data for the Aleutian Islands area is “robust, reliable, and an accurate estimate of fair market value.” Alaska Group June 6, 2016 Petition for Rulemaking at 18. Therefore, the Alaska Group requests that the proposed adjusted statewide average be applied to all hydropower projects in Alaska, except those projects located in the Aleutian Islands Area.

    14. For these reasons, the Alaska Group recommends that an adjusted statewide average would better reflect the diverse topography of the state and insulate against land value fluctuations caused by individual changes in farm data, resulting in a more accurate estimate of fair market value of federal lands in Alaska.

    II. Subject of the Notice of Inquiry

    15. The Commission has employed various methodologies over the course of its history to determine annual charges for the use of government lands by hydropower projects. As we previously explained, the touchstone has been to find an administratively practical methodology, which results in reasonably accurate land valuations. In seeking this goal, the methodology has been modified on occasion in response to concerns such as the cost of administering the methodology (e.g., rejecting individual appraisals), the administrative burden on the Commission (e.g., rejecting creation of our own index), and the accurate collection of fair market value (e.g., implementing updates in response to the contention that Commission had been under-collecting). As noted, the Commission currently calculates annual federal land use charges based on a fee schedule that uses per-acre land values published in the NASS Census. By doing so, the Commission avoids the extreme administrative burden of creating its own index of county and geographic area per-acre land values.

    16. In response to the petition for rulemaking, the Commission is seeking input on a narrow question related to its current methodology for calculating annual charges for the use of government lands—whether regional per-acre land values based on data published in the NASS Census “land and buildings category” result in reasonably accurate land valuations for hydropower lands in Alaska. Specifically, the Commission seeks comments on the alternative proposal advanced in the Alaska Group's petition for rulemaking by posing the following questions: (1) For the purposes of calculating an adjusted per-acre value for lands in Alaska, should the Commission use a statewide average per-acre land value rather than a regional per-acre land value; (2) if a statewide average per-acre value is preferred, should the statewide value be applied to (i) all projects in Alaska, or (ii) all projects in Alaska except those located in the Aleutian Islands Area; and (3) based on the response to question (2), which of the five geographic regions of Alaska (the Aleutian Islands Area, the Anchorage Area, the Fairbanks Area, the Juneau Area, and the Kenai Peninsula Area) should be included in the calculation of the adjusted statewide average. Finally, commenters may also submit alternative proposals for determining a reasonably accurate per-acre value for hydropower lands in Alaska for our consideration, as long as the proposed calculation is based on data published in the NASS Census.

    17. In addition to the views of entities subject to annual charge assessments, and other interested stakeholders, the Commission invites comments by the federal agencies that manage the lands at issue as to how they would view reductions in annual charges for lands that they administer.

    18. During the notice and comment rulemaking that culminated in Order No. 774, the Commission outlined several major objectives that guided our consideration of a new annual charges methodology. These objectives, albeit narrowed in scope to only those hydropower projects in Alaska, continue to guide our consideration during this process.

    A. Uniform Applicability

    19. Any proposed methodology should be uniformly applicable to all hydropower licensees. This means that the Executive Director should be able to take the information in the Commission's files showing federal acreage occupied by individual projects, apply the adopted methodology, and create an annual charge for the use of government lands for each licensed project.

    B. Cost of Administering Collection of Annual Charges

    20. The administration of any proposed methodology must not impose exorbitant costs on the Commission. Collection of annual charges and application of the ultimate methodology should be an annual, routine ministerial process that requires reasonable, but not overly burdensome, staff effort.

    C. Methodology Not Subject to Review on an Individual Basis

    21. Any proposed methodology, once adopted, should not be subject to review on an individual case-by-case basis. Licensees will have the opportunity to challenge computational errors by the Executive Director in calculating the annual charge or the relevant county land acreage, but case-by-case challenges to the methodology would add significantly to the administrative cost and burden of collecting annual charges.

    D. Fair Market Value

    22. At times in the Commission's history, it has been determined that the Commission had not been collecting fair market value for the use of government lands, which resulted in a substantial under-collection.13 To ensure that the Commission recovers “reasonable annual charges,” any proposed methodology must reflect reasonably accurate land valuations.

    13See Assessment of Charges under the Hydroelectric Program, DOE/IG Report No. 0219 (September 3, 1986); see also More Efforts Needed to Recover Costs and Increase Hydropower Charges, U.S. General Accounting Office Report No. RCED-87-12 (November 1986).

    E. Avoid Increasing Price to Consumers of Power

    23. In fixing annual charges, we must seek to avoid increasing the price to consumers of power by such charges. Therefore, any proposed methodology should provide reasonable, but not excessive, compensation to the United States for the use of its lands.

    III. Comment Procedures

    24. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments and other information on the matters, issues, and specific questions identified in this notice, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due January 24, 2017. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM16-19-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization it represents, if applicable, and its address.

    25. To facilitate the Commission's review of the comments, commenters are requested to provide an executive summary of their position. Commenters are requested to identify each specific question posed by the Notice of Inquiry that their discussion addresses and to use appropriate headings. Additional issues the commenters wish to raise should be identified separately. The commenters should double-space their comments.

    26. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    27. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    28. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    IV. Document Availability

    29. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    30. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number (excluding the last three digits) in the docket number field.

    31. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202)502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: November 17, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28193 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 35 [Docket No. RM16-6-000] Essential Reliability Services and the Evolving Bulk-Power System—Primary Frequency Response AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes to revise its regulations to require all newly interconnecting large and small generating facilities, both synchronous and non-synchronous, to install and enable primary frequency response capability as a condition of interconnection. To implement these requirements, the Commission proposes to revise the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) and the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA). The proposed changes are designed to address the increasing impact of the evolving generation resource mix and to ensure that the relevant provisions of the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA are just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential. The Commission also seeks comment on whether its proposals in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are sufficient at this time to ensure adequate levels of primary frequency response, or whether additional reforms are needed.

    DATES:

    Comments are due January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways:

    • Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures Section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jomo Richardson (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6281, [email protected] Mark Bennett (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8524, [email protected] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes to modify the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) and the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA), pursuant to its authority under section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) to ensure that rates, terms and conditions of jurisdictional service remain just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.1 The proposed modifications would require all new large and small generating facilities, including both synchronous and non-synchronous, interconnecting with a LGIA or SGIA to install, maintain and operate equipment capable of providing primary frequency response as a condition of interconnection. The Commission also proposes to establish certain operating requirements, including maximum droop and deadband parameters in the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA. The Commission does not propose to apply these requirements to generating facilities regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In addition, the Commission does not propose in these reforms to impose a headroom requirement for new generating facilities. The Commission also does not propose to mandate that new generating facilities receive any compensation for complying with the proposed requirements in this NOPR.

    1 16 U.S.C. 824e (2012).

    2. The proposed revisions address the Commission's concerns that the existing pro forma LGIA contains limited primary frequency response requirements that apply only to synchronous generating facilities and do not account for recent technological advancements that have enabled new non-synchronous generating facilities to now have primary frequency response capabilities. Further, the Commission believes that it may be unduly discriminatory or preferential to impose primary frequency response requirements only on new large generating facilities but not on new small generating facilities, and the reforms proposed here would impose comparable primary frequency response requirements on both new large and small generating facilities.

    3. In addition, and as discussed below in paragraph 57, the Commission also seeks comment on whether its proposals in this NOPR are sufficient at this time to ensure adequate levels of primary frequency response, or whether additional reforms are needed.

    4. The Commission seeks comment on the proposed reforms and requests for comment sixty (60) days after publication of this NOPR in the Federal Register.

    I. Background A. Frequency Response

    5. Reliable operation of an Interconnection 2 depends on maintaining frequency within predetermined boundaries above and below a scheduled value, which is 60 Hertz (Hz) in North America. Changes in frequency are caused by changes in the balance between load and generation, such as the sudden loss of a large generator or a large amount of load. If frequency deviates too far above or below its scheduled value, it could potentially result in under frequency load shedding (UFLS), generation tripping, or cascading outages.3

    2 An Interconnection is a geographic area in which the operation of the electric system is synchronized. In the continental United States, there are three Interconnections, namely the Eastern, Texas, and Western Interconnections.

    3 UFLS is designed for use in extreme conditions to stabilize the balance between generation and load. Under frequency protection schemes are drastic measures employed if system frequency falls below a specified value. See Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding and Load Shedding Plans Reliability Standards, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 32,682, at PP 4-10 (2011) (Order No. 763 NOPR) at PP 4-10.

    6. Mitigation of frequency deviations after the sudden loss of generation or load is driven by three primary factors: inertial response, primary frequency response, and secondary frequency response.4 Primary frequency response actions begin within seconds after system frequency changes and are mostly provided by the automatic and autonomous actions (i.e., outside of system operator control) of turbine-governors, while some response is provided by frequency responsive loads.5 Primary frequency response actions are intended to arrest abnormal frequency deviations and ensure that system frequency remains within acceptable bounds. An important goal for system planners and operators is for the frequency nadir,6 during large disturbances, to remain above the first stage of UFLS set points within an Interconnection.

    4 In the Notice of Inquiry issued in Docket No. RM16-6-000 on Feb. 8, 2016, the Commission provided detailed discussion of how inertia, primary frequency response, and secondary frequency response interact to mitigate frequency deviations. Essential Reliability Services and the Evolving Bulk-Power System—Primary Frequency Response, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117, at PP 3-7 (2016) (NOI). See also Use of Frequency Response Metrics to Assess the Planning and Operating Requirements for Reliable Integration of Variable Renewable Generation, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, at 13-14 (Dec. 2010), http://energy.lbl.gov/ea/certs/pdf/lbnl-4142e.pdf (LBNL 2010 Report).

    5 NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at P 6. The Commission also noted that regulation service is different than primary frequency response because generating facilities that provide regulation respond to automatic generation control signals and regulation service is centrally coordinated by the system operator, whereas primary frequency response service, in contrast, is autonomous and is not centrally coordinated. Schedule 3 of the pro forma Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) bundles these different services together, despite their differences. See Id. n.66.

    6 The point at which the frequency decline is arrested (following the sudden loss of generation) is called the frequency nadir, and represents the point at which the net primary frequency response (real power) output from all generating units and the decrease in power consumed by the load within an Interconnection matches the net initial loss of generation (in megawatts (MW)).

    7. Frequency response is a measure of an Interconnection's ability to arrest and stabilize frequency deviations following the sudden loss of generation or load, and is affected by the collective responses of generation and load throughout the Interconnection. When considered in aggregate, the primary frequency response provided by generators within an Interconnection has a significant impact on the overall frequency response. NERC Reliability Standard BAL-003-1.1 defines the amount of frequency response needed from balancing authorities 7 to maintain Interconnection frequency within predefined bounds and includes requirements for the measurement and provision of frequency response.8 While NERC Reliability Standard BAL-003-1.1 establishes requirements for balancing authorities, it does not include any requirements for individual generator owners or operators.9

    7 NERC's Glossary of Terms defines a balancing authority as “(t)he responsible entity that integrates resource plans ahead of time, maintains load-interchange-generation balance within a balancing authority area, and supports Interconnection frequency in real time.”

    8Frequency Response and Frequency Bias Setting Reliability Standard, Order No. 794, 146 FERC ¶ 61,024 (2014).

    9 The Commission has also accepted Regional Reliability Standard BAL-001-TRE-01 (Primary Frequency Response in the ERCOT Region) as mandatory and enforceable, which does establish requirements for generator owners and operators with respect to governor control settings and the provision of primary frequency response within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region. North American Electric Reliability Corporation, 146 FERC ¶ 61,025 (2014).

    8. Unless otherwise required by tariffs or interconnection agreements, generator owners and operators can independently decide whether units are configured to provide primary frequency response.10 The magnitude and duration of a generator's response to frequency deviations is generally determined by the settings of the unit's governor 11 (or equivalent controls) and other plant level (e.g., “outer-loop”) control systems. In particular, the governor's droop and deadband settings have a significant impact on the unit's provision of primary frequency response. In addition, plant-level or “outer-loop” controls, unless properly configured, can override or nullify a generator's governor response and return the unit to operate at a scheduled pre-disturbance megawatt set-point.12 In 2010, NERC conducted a survey of generator owners and operators and found that only approximately 30 percent of generators in the Eastern Interconnection provided primary frequency response, and that only approximately 10 percent of generators provided sustained primary frequency response.13 This suggests that many generators within the Interconnection disable or otherwise set their governors or outer-loop controls such that they provide little to no primary frequency response.14

    10See NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at PP 18-19.

    11 A governor is an electronic or mechanical device that implements primary frequency response on a generator via a droop parameter. Droop refers to the variation in real power (MW) output due to variations in system frequency and is typically expressed as a percentage (e.g., 5 percent droop). Droop reflects the amount of frequency change from nominal (e.g., 5 percent of 60 Hz is 3 Hz) that is necessary to cause the main prime mover control mechanism of a generating facility to move from fully closed to fully open. A governor also has a deadband parameter which establishes a minimum frequency deviation (e.g., ±0.036 Hz) from nominal that must be exceeded in order for the governor to act.

    12 For more discussion on “premature withdrawal” of primary frequency response, see NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at PP 49-50.

    13See NERC Frequency Response Initiative Report: The Reliability Role of Frequency Response (Oct. 2012), http://www.nerc.com/docs/pc/FRI_Report_10-30-12_Master_w-appendices.pdf (NERC Frequency Response Initiative Report) at 95.

    14 However, as noted below, some commenters note that nuclear generating units are restricted by their U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission operating licenses regarding the provision of primary frequency response.

    9. Declining frequency response performance has been an industry concern for many years. NERC, in conjunction with EPRI, initiated its first examination of declining frequency response and governor response in 1991.15 More recently, as noted in the NOI, while the three U.S. Interconnections currently exhibit adequate frequency response performance above their Interconnection Frequency Response Obligations,16 there has been a significant decline in the frequency response performance of the Western and Eastern Interconnections.17

    15 NERC Frequency Response Initiative Report at 22.

    16 The Interconnection Frequency Response Obligations are established by NERC and are designed to require sufficient frequency response for each Interconnection (i.e., the Eastern, ERCOT, Quebec and Western Interconnections) to arrest frequency declines even for severe, but possible, contingencies.

    17 NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at P 20.

    B. Prior Commission Actions

    10. In Order Nos. 2003 18 and 2006,19 the Commission adopted standard procedures for the interconnection of large and small generating facilities, including the development of standardized pro forma generator interconnection agreements and procedures. The Commission required public utility transmission providers 20 to file revised OATTs containing these standardized provisions, and use the LGIA and SGIA to provide non-discriminatory interconnection service to Large Generators (i.e., generating facilities having a capacity of more than 20 MW) and Small Generators (i.e., generators having a capacity of no more than 20 MW). The pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA have since been revised through various subsequent proceedings.21

    18Standardization of Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 2003, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,146 (2003), order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,160, order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,171 (2004), order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-C, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,190 (2005), aff'd sub nom. Nat'l Ass'n of Regulatory Util. Comm'rs v. FERC, 475 F.3d 1277 (D.C. Cir. 2007), cert. denied, 552 U.S. 1230 (2008).

    19Standardization of Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 2006, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,180, order on reh'g, Order No. 2006-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,196 (2005), order granting clarification, Order No. 2006-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,221 (2006).

    20 A public utility is a utility that owns, controls, or operates facilities used for transmitting electric energy in interstate commerce, as defined by the FPA. See 16 U.S.C. 824(e) (2012). A non-public utility that seeks voluntary compliance with the reciprocity condition of an OATT may satisfy that condition by filing an OATT, which includes a LGIA and SGIA. See Order No. 2003, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,146, at PP 840-845.

    21E.g., Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 792, 145 FERC ¶ 61,159 (2013), clarifying, Order No. 792-A, 146 FERC ¶ 61,214 (2014); Reactive Power Requirements for Non-Synchronous Generation, Order No. 827, 81 FR 40,793 (Jun. 23, 2016), 155 FERC ¶ 61,277 (2016); Requirements for Frequency and Voltage Ride Through Capability of Small Generating Facilities, Order No. 828, 81 FR 50,290 (Aug. 1, 2016), 156 FERC ¶ 61,062 (2016).

    11. As relevant here, the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA are largely silent on any requirements with respect to primary frequency response. In particular, the only requirement in the pro forma LGIA or pro forma SGIA related to primary frequency response is contained within current Article 9.6.2.1 of the pro forma LGIA (Governors and Regulators), which provides that if speed governors are installed, they should be operated in automatic mode.22 A speed governor implements the primary frequency response provided by a synchronous generating facility; however, Article 9.6.2.1 does not address governor settings or plant-level controls, which also affect the ability of a generating facility to provide primary frequency response. In addition, Article 9.6.2.1 does not require the installation of the necessary equipment for frequency response capability (i.e., governors or equivalent controls). Finally, the pro forma SGIA does not contain any provisions related to primary frequency response.

    22 Article 9.6.2.1 of the pro forma LGIA.

    C. Efforts To Evaluate the Impacts of the Changing Resource Mix

    12. The Commission's pro forma generator interconnection agreements and procedures were developed at a time when traditional synchronous generating facilities with standard governor controls and large rotational inertia were the predominant sources of electricity generation. However, the nation's resource mix has undergone significant change since the issuance of Order Nos. 2003 and 2006. This transformation has been characterized by the retirement of baseload, synchronous generating facilities and the integration of more distributed generation, demand response, and natural gas generating facilities, and the rapid expansion of non-synchronous variable energy resources (VERs) such as wind and solar.23 For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has observed that the U.S. added approximately 13 gigawatts (GW) of wind, 6.2 GW of utility scale solar photovoltaic (PV), and 3.6 GW of distributed solar PV generating facilities in 2014 and 2015.24 Conversely, NERC has reported 25 that almost 42 GW of synchronous generating facilities (e.g., coal, nuclear, and natural gas) have retired between 2011 and 2014, and the EIA recently reported that nearly 14 GW of coal and 3 GW of natural gas generating facilities retired in 2015.26

    23 The term VER is defined as a device for the production of electricity that is characterized by an energy source that: (1) Is renewable; (2) cannot be stored by the facility owner or operator; and (3) has variability that is beyond the control of the facility owner or operator. See, e.g., Integration of Variable Energy Resources, Order No. 764, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,331, at P 210 (2012).

    24See, U.S. electric generation capacity additions, 2015 vs. 2014, EIA (March 2016), https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25492.

    25See NERC 2015 LTRA (Dec. 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/2015LTRA%20-%20Final%20Report.pdf.

    26See Electricity generating capacity retired in 2015 by fuel and technology, EIA (May 2016), http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25272.

    13. While technological advancements have enabled wind and solar generating facilities to now have the ability to provide primary frequency response, this functionality has not historically been a standard feature that was included and enabled on non-synchronous generating facilities. Moreover, wind and solar generating facilities typically operate at their maximum operating output, leaving no capacity (or “headroom”) 27 to provide primary frequency response during under-frequency conditions.

    27 Headroom refers to the difference between the current operating point of a generator and its maximum operating capability, and represents the potential amount of additional energy that can be provided by the generating facility in real-time.

    14. Given the changes in the resource mix and concerns about the significant decline in frequency response for the Eastern and Western Interconnections,28 NERC has undertaken several initiatives to evaluate the impacts of the changing resource mix, particularly with respect to primary frequency response. For example, in 2014, NERC initiated the Essential Reliability Services Task Force (Task Force) to analyze and better understand the impacts of the changing resource mix and develop technical assessments of essential reliability services.29 The Task Force focused on three essential reliability services: Frequency support, ramping capability, and voltage support.30 The Task Force considered the seven ancillary services 31 adopted by the Commission in Order Nos. 888 32 and 890 33 as a subset of the essential reliability services that may need to be augmented by additional services as the Bulk-Power System 34 characteristics change.

    28See NERC Frequency Response Initiative Industry Advisory—Generator Governor Frequency Response, at slide 10 (Apr. 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/rrm/Webinars%20DL/Generator_Governor_Frequency_Response_Webinar_April_2015.pdf. (NERC 2015 Frequency Response Webinar). See also LBNL 2010 Report at pp xiv-xv.

    29 Essential reliability services are referred to as elemental reliability building blocks from resources (generation and load) that are necessary to maintain the reliability of the Bulk-Power System. See Essential Reliability Services Task Force Scope Document, at 1 (Apr. 2014), http://www.nerc.com/comm/Other/essntlrlbltysrvcstskfrcDL/Scope_ERSTF_Final.pdf.

    30 Essential Reliability Services Task Force Measures Report, at 22 (Dec. 2015), http://www.nerc.com/comm/Other/essntlrlbltysrvcstskfrcDL/ERSTF%20Framework%20Report%20-%20Final.pdf.

    31 The seven pro forma ancillary services set forth in Order Nos. 888 and 890 are: (1) Scheduling, System Control and Dispatch Service; (2) Reactive Supply and Voltage Control from Generation Sources Service; (3) Regulation and Frequency Response Service; (4) Energy Imbalance Service; (5) Operating Reserve—Spinning Reserve Service; (6) Operating Reserve—Supplemental Reserve Service; and (7) Generator Imbalance Service.

    32Promoting Wholesale Competition Through Open Access Non-Discriminatory Transmission Services by Public Utilities; Recovery of Stranded Costs by Public Utilities and Transmitting Utilities, Order No. 888, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,036 (1996), order on reh'g, Order No. 888-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,048, order on reh'g, Order No. 888-B, 81 FERC ¶ 61,248 (1997), order on reh'g, Order No. 888-C, 82 FERC ¶ 61,046 (1998), aff'd in relevant part sub nom. Transmission Access Policy Study Group v. FERC, 225 F.3d 667 (D.C. Cir. 2000), aff'd sub nom. New York v. FERC, 535 U.S. 1 (2002).

    33Preventing Undue Discrimination and Preference in Transmission Service, Order No. 890, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,241, order on reh'g, Order No. 890-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,261 (2007), order on reh'g, Order No. 890-B, 123 FERC ¶ 61,299 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 890-C, 126 FERC ¶ 61,228, order on clarification, Order No. 890-D, 129 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2009).

    34 Section 215(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824o(a)(1) (2012) defines “Bulk-Power System” as those “facilities and control systems necessary for operating an interconnected electric energy transmission network (or any portion thereof) [and] electric energy from generating facilities needed to maintain transmission system reliability.” The term does not include facilities used in the local distribution of electric energy. See also Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242 at P 76, order on reh'g, Order No. 693-A, 120 FERC ¶ 61,053 (2007).

    15. The Task Force did not recommend new reliability standards or specific actions to alter the existing suite of ancillary services; however, it did make certain conclusions with regard to primary frequency response. Specifically, the Task Force concluded that it is prudent and necessary to ensure that primary frequency response capabilities are present in the future generation resource mix, and recommended that all new generators support the capability to manage frequency.35

    35 Essential Reliability Services Task Force Measures Report at vi.

    16. In addition, as part of its ongoing analysis of primary frequency response concerns, NERC observed in a 2012 report that a number of generators implemented deadband settings that were so wide as to effectively defeat the ability to provide primary frequency response.36 The report also notes that many generators provide frequency response in the wrong direction during a disturbance.37 Additionally, in February 2015, NERC issued an Industry Advisory that determined that a significant portion of generators within the Eastern Interconnection use deadbands or governor control settings that either inhibit or prevent the provision of primary frequency response.38 Moreover, as noted in the NOI, NERC observed in 2015 that in many conventional steam plants, deadband settings exceed ±0.036 Hz, resulting in primary frequency response that is not sustained, and that the vast majority of the gas turbine fleet is not frequency responsive.39 In response to these issues and other concerns, NERC's Operating Committee approved a voluntary Primary Frequency Control Guideline that contains recommended settings for generator governors and other plant control systems, and encourages generators within the three U.S. Interconnections to provide sustained and effective primary frequency response.40 NERC's Guideline recommends maximum 5 percent droop and ±0.036 Hz deadband settings for most generating facilities.41

    36 NERC Frequency Response Initiative Report at 92.

    37 NERC Frequency Response Initiative Report at 96-97.

    38 NERC Generator Governor Frequency Response Industry Advisory (Feb. 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/rrm/bpsa/Alerts%20DL/2015%20Alerts/NERC%20Alert%20A-2015-02-05-01%20Generator%20Governor%20Frequency%20Response.pdf.

    39 NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at P 50 (citing to NERC 2015 Frequency Response Webinar at 1).

    40See NERC Primary Frequency Control Guideline Final Draft (Dec. 2015), http://www.nerc.com/comm/OC/Reliability%20Guideline%20DL/Primary_Frequency_Control_final.pdf (NERC Primary Frequency Control Guideline). See also NERC Operating Committee Meeting Minutes (Jan. 2016), http://www.nerc.com/comm/OC/AgendasHighlightsMinutes/Operating%20Committee%20Minutes%20-%20Dec%2015-16%202015-Final.pdf.

    41See NERC Primary Frequency Control Guideline at 7-9.

    D. Initiatives by Individual Transmission Providers

    17. While the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA do not provide specific requirements related to frequency response, some public utility transmission providers have included provisions related to primary frequency response in their LGIA, SGIA, OATTs, and/or business practice manuals.

    18. For example, ISO New England Inc. (ISO-NE) and New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO) have adopted provisions to their LGIAs that establish more specific requirements for governor operation.42 In particular, ISO-NE requires each generator within its region with a capability of 10 MW or more, including VERs, to operate with a functioning governor with specified droop and deadband settings, i.e., maximum 5 percent droop and ±0.036 Hz deadband, and to also ensure that the provision of primary frequency response is not inhibited by the effects of outer-loop controls.43

    42See ISO-NE, Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff, Schedule 22 Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (9.0.0), Appendix 6, 9.6.2.2; NYISO, NYISO Tariffs, NYISO OATT, 30.14 OATT Att. X Appendices (8.0.0), Appendix 6, 9.5.4.

    43See ISO-NE's Operating Procedure No. 14 I (Governor Control), http://www.iso-ne.com/rules_proceds/operating/isone/op14/op14_rto_final.pdf.

    19. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) has implemented governor droop and deadband requirements, i.e., maximum 5 percent droop and ±0.036 Hz deadband, for all generating facilities excluding nuclear facilities with a gross plant/facility aggregate nameplate rating greater than 75 MVA.44 PJM also recently added new interconnection requirements requiring new non-synchronous generators to interconnect with “enhanced inverters” that have various capabilities including, among other things, the ability to provide primary frequency response.45

    44 PJM's pro forma interconnection agreements obligate interconnection customers within its region to abide by all PJM rules and procedures, including rules set forth in PJM's Manuals (See PJM Tariff, Attachment O 8.0). See also PJM Manual 14D 7.1.1 (Generator Real-Power Control), http://www.pjm.com/~/media/documents/manuals/m14d.ashx.

    45PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., 151 FERC ¶ 61,097, at n.58 (2015).

    20. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) requires governor operation as a condition for providing regulating reserve but does not require specific settings.46 Also, the Commission recently accepted tariff provisions proposed by the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) to require governor operation, specified droop and deadband settings, i.e., maximum 5 percent droop and ±0.036 Hz deadband, and provisions for sustained primary frequency response for its participating generators that have traditional governor controls.47

    46See MISO, FERC Electric Tariff, Module C, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets 39.2.1B (34.0.0) (“All Regulation Qualified Resources in the Day-Ahead Energy and Operating Reserve Market must be capable of automatically responding to and alleviating frequency deviations through a speed governor or similar device in accordance with the Applicable Reliability Standards.”).

    47CAISO, 156 FERC ¶ 61,182, at PP 10-12 and 17 (2016).

    E. Notice of Inquiry 1. Summary

    21. On February 18, 2016, the Commission issued the NOI to explore issues regarding essential reliability services and the evolving Bulk-Power System.48 In particular, the Commission asked a broad range of questions on the need for reform of its rules and regulations regarding the provision of and compensation for primary frequency response. The Commission explained that there is a significant risk that, as conventional synchronous generating facilities retire or are displaced by increased numbers of VERs that do not typically contribute to system inertia or have primary frequency response capabilities, the net amount of frequency responsive generation online will be reduced.49 The Commission also explained that these developments and their potential impacts could challenge system operators in maintaining reliability.50 Further, the Commission explained that NERC Reliability Standard BAL-003-1.1 and the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA do not specifically address a generator's ability to provide frequency response.51 The Commission noted, however, that while in previous years many non-synchronous generating facilities were not designed with primary frequency response capabilities, the technology now exists for new non-synchronous generating facilities to install primary frequency response capability.52

    48 NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117.

    49Id. P 12.

    50Id. P 14.

    51Id. P 41.

    52Id. P 43.

    22. Accordingly, the Commission requested comments on three main sets of issues. First, the Commission sought comment on whether amendments to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA are warranted to require all new generating facilities, both synchronous and non-synchronous, to have primary frequency response capabilities as a precondition of interconnection.53 Second, the Commission sought comment on the performance of existing generating facilities and whether primary frequency response requirements for these facilities are warranted.54 Finally, the Commission sought comment on compensation for primary frequency response.55

    53Id. PP 2 and 44-45.

    54Id. PP 2, 46, and 52.

    55Id. PP 2, 53-54.

    2. Comments on Modifying the Pro Forma LGIA and Pro Forma SGIA

    23. The Commission received a robust response from industry, with 47 entities collectively submitting nearly 700 pages of comments that provided responses to some or all of the questions posed by the NOI.56 Relevant to the proposed revisions considered in this NOPR, the Commission received numerous comments on whether the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA should be revised to include requirements for all newly interconnecting generating facilities, whether synchronous or non-synchronous, to install primary frequency response capability.57

    56 The Appendix lists the entities that submitted comments and the shortened names that are used throughout this NOPR.

    57 NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at P 45.

    a. Comments in Support of Modifying the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA

    24. Most commenters support, or are not opposed to, revising the pro forma LGIA and SGIA to impose primary frequency response capability requirements on all new generating facilities as suggested in the NOI.58 Several commenters indicate that the nation's changing resource mix could create reliability concerns related to the provision of primary frequency response. For example, PJM Utilities Coalition states that while newer generating facilities are not installing frequency response capability, the existing generating facilities that do provide this essential reliability service have more limited capability, due to the cost of operation and planned retirements, placing the grid at further risk.59 Peak Reliability, the reliability coordinator for the Western Interconnection, states that as baseload generation retires, the number of generators providing primary frequency response is reduced and may present reliability challenges for system operators, as fewer options are available to reduce frequency deviations following an unexpected loss of generation or load.60 CAISO asserts that due to the increased proportion of renewable generating facilities operating in CAISO's balancing authority area, there may not be sufficient frequency responsive capacity online when the system has high renewable output and low load levels.61 Bonneville states that the trend of declining frequency response capability will continue with a changing resource mix, unless provisions are put in place to assure that adequate inertial and primary frequency response capability are available in the future.62 NERC states that the rapidly changing resource mix may reduce the level of available frequency capability.63

    58 APPA, et al. Comments at 6; Bonneville Comments at 6; CAISO Comments at 2; California Cities Comments at 2; ELCON Comments at 5; EEI Comments at 12; EPSA, et al. Comments at 8; Howard F. Illian Comments at 43; Idaho Power Comments at 1; IEEE-PES Comments at 1; Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 3; ITC, et al. Comments at 1; MISO Comments at 4; MISO TOs Comments at 6; NARUC Comments at 3; NERC Comments at 17; North American Generator Forum Comments at 2; Peak Reliability Comments at 4; PG&E Comments at 2; SoCal Edison Comments at 4; Southern Company Comments at 2; Tri-State Generation Comments at 3; WIRAB Comments at 3.

    59 PJM Utilities Coalition Comments at 3.

    60 Peak Reliability Comments at 4.

    61 CAISO Comments at 2.

    62 Bonneville Comments at 2.

    63 NERC Comments at 17.

    25. Numerous commenters assert that they recognize the benefits of revising the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA to require primary frequency response capabilities for new generators. NERC, for example, asserts that new primary frequency response requirements for generators will improve operator flexibility for system restoration and island capability and help balancing authorities meet their frequency response obligations.64 NERC also asserts that revisions to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA would result in measurable, clear requirements applicable to all new generating facilities in a fair and equitable manner.65 NERC points out, however, that primary frequency response capability, by itself, would not require a resource to respond if called upon to help a balancing authority meet its frequency response obligation, and that, as a result, it is important to have mechanisms to ensure that sufficient frequency response capability is not only available but ready to respond at all times.66 CASIO, Indicated ISOs/RTOs, MISO, and a number of trade associations also support modifications to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA for new generating facilities to install primary frequency response capability.67 PJM Utilities Coalition states that, with all new generating facilities (both synchronous and non-synchronous) being fully capable of providing primary frequency response, requiring this capability will ensure that system operators have the ability to reliably operate the grid of the future.68 Peak Reliability states that it supports modifications to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA and that requiring generating facilities to install or provide frequency response in the initial stages of the interconnection process will ensure that the grid is able to maintain this essential service even as the resource mix changes.69

    64Id.

    65Id.

    66Id. at 18.

    67 APPA, et al. Comments at 2; CAISO Comments at 2; EEI Comments at 3; EPSA, et al. Comments at 8; Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 3; MISO Comments at 4; North American Generator Forum Comments at 2.

    68 PJM Utilities Coalition Comments at 4-5.

    69 Peak Reliability Comments at 4-5.

    26. Other commenters also express support for revising the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA. Bonneville points out that selling primary frequency response capability would not provide sufficient incentive for new generating facilities to invest in such capability, and argues that the only way to ensure that there is enough primary frequency response capability is to require new generators to install it.70 WIRAB advises that while current studies do not indicate that there is a shortage of primary frequency response in the Western Interconnection and that all generators do not need to provide primary frequency response all of the time, the Commission should, however, require that all new generator owners install primary frequency response capability because of the changing resource mix in the Western Interconnection and the associated uncertainty regarding the future provision of primary frequency response.71

    70 Bonneville Comments at 21.

    71 WIRAB Comments at 5-6.

    27. Several commenters that generally support revising the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA also express certain concerns. For example, Southern Company expresses support for revising the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA, but caveats its support by arguing that new regulations for primary frequency response should include an “opt-out” provision that would allow balancing authorities that do not anticipate frequency response shortfalls to delay the implementation of the new pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA requirements until these needs are actually anticipated in their regions in order to avoid higher costs.72 EPSA, et al. state that while they do not fully oppose amending the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA, they recommend that the Commission explore more effective and cost efficient ways to address the range of issues posed in the NOI and consider a measured approach before mandating governors for all prospective interconnecting generation.73

    72 Southern Company Comments at 2-3.

    73 EPSA, et al. Comments at 8-9.

    28. Some commenters that support modifying the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA also assert that the costs of implementing primary frequency response capability for new generating facilities are low.74 For example, APPA, et al. state that the capability for providing primary frequency response is almost always installed in synchronous generation, and that the inclusion of this additional control for new non-synchronous generating facilities would likely add only nominal costs.75 EEI asserts that all new generating facilities coming online can be fully capable of providing primary frequency response and that the associated cost of installing such capability during initial manufacturing or construction of a new VER is small when considering the overall cost of the new generating facility.76

    74 APPA, et al. Comments at 6; Bonneville Comments at 8; California Cities Comments at 2; EEI Comments at 13; Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 5; MISO Comments at 4; SoCal Edison Comments at 2.

    75 APPA, et al. Comments at 6.

    76 EEI Comments at 13.

    29. In contrast to new generating facilities, some entities, however, explain that the costs of retrofitting existing generating facilities with primary frequency response capability could be significant in some cases.77 For example, WIRAB states that the high cost of retrofitting existing generators to install the necessary control equipment supports limiting the requirement to new generators and taking early action now.78

    77 APPA, et al. Comments at 6; Bonneville Comments at 8; California Cities Comments at 8; EEI Comments at 14; Idaho Power Comments at 4; WIRAB Comments at 6.

    78 WIRAB Comments at 6.

    30. In regards to nuclear generating facilities, some commenters indicate that nuclear plants have separate licensing requirements under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and should not be required to provide primary frequency response. For example, the Nuclear Energy Institute asserts that while nearly all new generating facilities should be able to provide primary frequency response, nuclear plants are not well-suited to provide primary frequency response due to restrictions by their operating licenses issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.79 The Nuclear Energy Institute also asserts that turbine controls on most nuclear units are designed to maintain the internal steam pressure and are not intended to react to changes in the grid.80 Similarly, the MISO TOs assert that requiring nuclear units to have primary frequency response capability would be contrary to Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing requirements, and could have a detrimental effect on the safety of the nuclear fleet.81

    79 Nuclear Energy Institute Comments at 1 and 4.

    80 Nuclear Energy Institute Comments at 4.

    81 MISO TOs Comments at 7.

    31. In the NOI, the Commission also sought comment on whether it would be appropriate to include recommended governor settings contained within NERC's Primary Frequency Control Guideline in the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA.82 Numerous commenters express support for including NERC's recommended governor control settings in the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA.83 Some commenters note that NERC's Guideline is consistent with existing regulations or practices in certain regions.84 Indicated ISOs/RTOs point out that common primary frequency response settings for generators in an Interconnection will enhance reliability by reducing maneuvering by individual generators.85 MISO asserts that NERC's Guideline provides a sound baseline.86 NERC notes that its Guideline was developed by technical committees with expertise and judgment of the electric industry, and accordingly, the Guideline is the “most advanced set of nation-wide best practices and information currently available to support frequency response capability.” 87

    82 NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at P 45.

    83See e.g., Bonneville Comments at 7; IEEE-PES Comments at 1; Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 4; California Cities Comments at 2; WIRAB Comments at 7.

    84 Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 4; SoCal Edison Comments at 4; Peak Reliability Comments at 7; Manitoba Comments at 8.

    85 Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 5.

    86 MISO Comments at 4.

    87 NERC Comments at 12.

    32. However, not all entities that support modifying the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA endorse the inclusion of NERC's recommended governor settings. For example, EEI states that it does not support including prescriptive performance requirements for governor control settings or other performance indicators in the pro forma LGIA or pro forma SGIA due to the physical, technical, or operational limitations of new generating facilities to provide primary frequency response.88 Similarly, APPA, et al. state that they do not support revising the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA to include the recommended settings contained within NERC's Guideline at this time.89 MISO TOs state that some transmission owners in MISO believe that NERC's recommended governor settings are appropriate for traditional synchronous generating facilities, but recommend additional consideration for other generation technologies.90 On the other hand, MISO TOs state that other transmission owners in MISO request flexibility and assert that specified governor settings should not be “hard-wired” or dictated in the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA.91

    88 EEI Comments at 15-17.

    89 APPA, et al. Comments at 8.

    90 MISO TOs Comments at 8.

    91 MISO TOs Comments at 8.

    b. Comments Opposed To Modifying the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA

    33. Other commenters contend that the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA should not be modified to require primary frequency response capability from new generating facilities.92 Some commenters argue that requiring all new generating facilities to have primary frequency response capability will result in extra costs above those necessary to ensure reliability.93 For example, APS argues that a global mandate to provide primary frequency response or to require generating facilities to be primary frequency response capable would result in significantly increased costs while providing a disproportionately minor impact on improving reliability.94 Powerex asserts that modifying the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA to include minimum primary frequency response requirements will increase the cost of entry for new generators, particularly VERs, which typically are not designed with such capability.95 Several commenters note that there would be a significant opportunity cost for certain generating facilities to reserve headroom for the provision of primary frequency response.96

    92 AES Companies Comments at 6; Apex Comments at 6; APS Comments at 6; AWEA Comments at 12; Chelan County Comments at 2; ESA Comments at 2; Grid Storage Consulting Comments at 2; Microgrids Resources Coalition Comments at 3; NRECA Comments at 9; Powerex Comments at 5; SDG&E Comments at 3; SolarCity Comments at 1; TVA Comments at 2.

    93 Apex Comments at 5-6; APS Comments at 6; AWEA Comments at 12; Chelan County Comments at 2; Powerex Comments at 5; Solar City Comments at 1.

    94 APS Comments at 6. It is unclear whether the increased costs referenced by APS refer only to the costs for the necessary equipment to provide primary frequency response or the costs associated with maintaining the headroom necessary to provide primary frequency response.

    95 Powerex Comments at 5.

    96 Apex Comments at 7; Solar City Comments at 1; AWEA Comments at 6.

    34. Some of the commenters that are opposed to modifying the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA assert that they prefer a market-based approach instead of a requirement for new generating facilities to install primary frequency response capability.97 For example, AWEA asserts that, initially, the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA should not be revised to require new generating facilities to have primary frequency response capability, and only if market-based steps do not satisfactorily address the need for primary frequency response, then the Commission could consider an additional requirement for new generating facilities to have such capability as a final step.98

    97 Apex Comments at 6; AWEA Comments at 12; Chelan County Comments at 2; ESA Comments at 2; SDG&E Comments at 3.

    98 AWEA Comments at 12.

    35. Other commenters oppose mandatory requirements and prefer a voluntary approach to improving primary frequency response performance.99 For example, TVA asserts that if current voluntary actions fail to show improvement in primary frequency response, then the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA could be revised to contain a general primary frequency response requirement, similar to reactive power, but that NERC should be directed to establish governor settings and performance requirements through the NERC Standards Development Process instead of the Commission including such requirements in the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA.100 Some commenters assert that governor control details are better left to individual balancing authorities.101 For example, APS argues that the Commission should allow balancing authorities to determine the type and magnitude of generating facilities within its balancing authority area that are frequency-response enabled.102 APS also points out that any need to install frequency response capability or otherwise support frequency response performance can and should be evaluated and agreed upon between a generating facility and the transmission provider during the interconnection study process.103

    99 APS Comments at 8; NRECA Comments at 6; TVA Comments at 2.

    100 TVA Comments at 2-3 and 5.

    101 APS Comments at 8; AES Companies Comments at 8.

    102 APS Comments at 8.

    103Id. at 15.

    II. Discussion A. Primary Frequency Response Requirements 1. The Need for Reform

    36. Pursuant to FPA section 206, the Commission preliminarily finds that conditions have changed since the issuance of Order Nos. 2003 and 2006 and certain aspects of the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA may now be unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory, or preferential.104 Specifically, as discussed above, the record indicates that while the frequency response performance of the Eastern and Western Interconnections is currently adequate, the frequency response performance of both Interconnections has significantly declined from historic values.105 Furthermore, the record shows that there is an ongoing evolution of the nation's generation resource mix, including significant retirements of baseload generation and an increasing proportion of VERs interconnecting to the electric grid.106 Several commenters point out that there is significant risk that the rapidly changing resource mix may reduce the level of available frequency response capability online.107 This is in part because, as noted in the NOI, VERs have not been consistently designed with primary frequency response capabilities.108 The record suggests, however, that VER manufacturers have made significant technological advancements in recent years to develop primary frequency response capability for VERs.109 In addition, NERC, in conjunction with various industry stakeholders, has developed more robust technical guidance for the operation of governors or equivalent controls.110 As a result of the evolving resource mix and the potential for adverse impacts on primary frequency response, the Commission is concerned that there may be potential reliability impacts if it does not undertake the reforms proposed in this NOPR. Moreover, the Commission is concerned that certain aspects of the existing pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA may no longer be just and reasonable.

    104 The Commission routinely evaluates the effectiveness of its regulations and policies in light of changing industry conditions to determine if changes are necessary. See, e.g., Order No. 764, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,331.

    105See NERC 2015 Frequency Response Webinar at 10, NERC Frequency Response Initiative Report at 22, and LBNL 2010 Report at pp xiv-xv.

    106See, e.g., P 12, supra (describing recent and ongoing changes in the nation's generation mix).

    107See, e.g., Bonneville Comments at 2; CAISO Comments at 2; NERC Comments at 17; Peak Reliability Comments at 4; PJM Utilities Coalition Comments at 3.

    108 NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at PP 42-43.

    109See, e.g., PJM Utilities Comments at 4-5; EEI Comments at 13. See also PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Docket No. ER15-1193-000 (March 6, 2015) Transmittal Letter at 11. See also NERC 2014 LTRA, at 27 (Nov. 2014), http://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/2014LTRA_ERATTA.pdf.

    110See P 16, supra.

    37. First, the current requirements for governor controls in the pro forma LGIA do not reflect advances in technology or the latest recommended operating practices. Specifically, current Article 9.6.2.1 states that “speed governors,” if installed, must be operated in automatic mode. However, many of the new generating facilities interconnecting to the grid, such as wind and solar, do not utilize traditional speed governors; instead they utilize enhanced inverters and other plant supervisory control technology that can be designed to include primary frequency response capability.111 Therefore, due to advancements in technology, the Commission preliminarily finds that the existing references to “speed governors” in Article 9.6.2.1 that apply only to synchronous resources are outdated, and therefore may no longer be just and reasonable.

    111See Electric Power Research Institute, Recommended Settings for Voltage and Frequency Ride Through of Distributed Energy Resources (May 2015) at 27, http://www.epri.com/abstracts/Pages/ProductAbstract.aspx?ProductId=000000003002006203. See also National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL), Advanced Grid-Friendly Controls Demonstration Project for Utility-Scale PV Power Plants, at 1-2 (Jan. 2016), http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/65368.pdf.

    38. Second, since the issuance of Order No. 2003 and the establishment of the pro forma LGIA, NERC, in conjunction with industry stakeholders, has amassed a significant body of knowledge in regards to the operation of generator governors and plant control systems. For example, as noted above, NERC observed in 2012 that a number of generators implemented deadband settings that were so wide as to effectively defeat the ability to provide primary frequency response, and that many generators provide frequency response in the wrong direction during a disturbance.112 Additionally, as noted above, NERC observed in 2015 that in many conventional steam plants, deadband settings exceed a ±0.036 Hz dead band, resulting in primary frequency response that is not sustained, and that the vast majority of the gas turbine fleet is not frequency responsive.113

    112See P 16, supra.

    113Id.

    39. The record here suggests that the actual governor and plant control system settings that are being implemented by some generator owners and/or operators may be defeating the intent of Article 9.6.2.1 of the pro forma LGIA. In response to these issues, NERC, through the work of its various task forces, subcommittees, and initiatives, has developed a voluntary Guideline that includes recommended droop and deadband settings based on significant investigation.114 However, the pro forma LGIA does not currently reflect these updated recommended practices for governor and plant control system settings of generating facilities.

    114See NERC Primary Frequency Control Guideline.

    40. Third, given the nation's evolving resource mix and the potential adverse impacts on primary frequency response as noted in the NOI and pointed out by several commenters, the Commission believes that changes to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA may be necessary to provide for the continued reliable operation of the power system. As noted above, the Task Force concluded that all new generating facilities should be required to be capable of providing primary frequency response.115 However, the pro forma LGIA does not currently require large generating facilities to install such capability; rather, it only requires governor operation in “automatic mode” if a “speed governor” is installed.116

    115See P 15, supra.

    116 Article 9.6.2.1 of the pro forma LGIA.

    41. In addition, the Commission is concerned that the current pro forma SGIA may be unduly discriminatory or preferential because it does not establish any specific requirements with respect to the installation or operation of governors or equivalent frequency control equipment. In particular, the pro forma SGIA does not have a similar provision to Article 9.6.2.1 of the pro forma LGIA. The Commission has previously acted under FPA section 206 to remove inconsistencies between the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA when there is no economic or technical basis for treating large and small generating facilities differently.117 Similarly, in this instance, the record developed from the NOI appears to suggest that small generating facilities are capable of installing and enabling governors at low cost in a manner comparable to large generating facilities.118 As discussed above, the record indicates that there have been significant advances in technology, as well as the development of more robust technical guidance for the operation of governors or equivalent controls for both large and small generating facilities.119 In particular, the IEEE-P1547 Working Group noted that its new IEEE-1547 standard for interconnecting distributed generation will likely include certain requirements for providing primary frequency response.120 Given these low-cost technological advances, the Commission does not anticipate that these additional requirements added in the pro forma SGIA will present a barrier to entry for small generating facilities. And, given the need for additional primary frequency response capability and an increasingly large market penetration of small generating facilities, the Commission believes that there is a need to add these requirements to the pro forma SGIA to help ensure adequate primary frequency response capability.

    117See Requirements for Frequency and Voltage Ride Through Capability of Small Generating Facilities, Order No. 828, 81 FR 50,290 (Aug. 1, 2016), 156 FERC ¶ 61,062 (2016), (The Final Rule revised the pro forma SGIA such that small generating facilities have frequency and voltage ride through requirements comparable to large generating facilities).

    118 IEEE-P1547 Working Group Comments at 1, 5, and 7. Moreover, the Commission notes that other commenters stated costs of installing primary frequency response capability are generally low, but did not differentiate between small and large generating facilities. See, e.g., APPA, et al. Comments at 6; California Cities Comments at 2; EEI Comments at 13; Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 3-5; SoCal Edison Comments at 2.

    119See PP 13, 36, supra.

    120 IEEE-P1547 Working Group Comments at 1, 5, and 7.

    42. Moreover, as noted above, a number of commenters assert that costs for new generating facilities to install the capability of providing primary frequency response are low, suggesting that there is not a financial barrier to small generating facilities installing the capability to provide frequency response.121 PJM's recent changes to require both small and large non-synchronous generating facilities to use enhanced inverters, which include primary frequency response capability, among other functions, further support this notion.122

    121See, e.g., APPA, et al. Comments at 2; EEI Comments at 13; Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 5; SoCal Edison Comments at 2.

    122PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., 151 FERC ¶ 61,097 at P 28 (the Commission stated that it “find[s] that PJM's proposal will not present a barrier to non-synchronous resources.”).

    2. Commission Proposal

    43. To remedy the potentially unjust, unreasonable, and unduly discriminatory or preferential practices described above, the Commission preliminarily finds that revisions to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA are appropriate. The Commission believes that revising the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA to require all new generating facilities to install, maintain, and operate a functioning governor or equivalent controls, consistent with the proposed requirements described below, will help to ensure adequate primary frequency response capability as the resource mix continues to evolve, ensure fair and consistent treatment for all types of generating facilities, help balancing authorities meet their frequency response obligations pursuant to NERC Reliability Standard BAL-003-1.1, and help improve reliability during system restoration and islanding situations.123

    123See NERC Comments at 17. See also NERC Essential Reliability Services Task Force Measures Framework Report at iv.

    44. In particular, the Commission proposes to revise the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA to include the following: (1) Requirements for new large and small generating facilities, both synchronous and non-synchronous, to install, maintain, and operate equipment capable of providing primary frequency response as a condition of interconnection; (2) requirements for governor or equivalent controls to be operated, at a minimum, with maximum 5 percent droop and ±0.036 Hz deadband settings; (3) requirements to ensure the timely and sustained response to frequency deviations, including provisions to prevent plant-level (i.e., outer-loop) control equipment from inhibiting primary frequency response and resulting in premature withdrawal; and (4) a requirement for droop parameters to be based on nameplate capability with a linear operating range of 59 to 61 Hz. Additionally, as informed by NOI commenters, the Commission believes that it is not necessary to impose a generic headroom requirement or subject newly interconnecting nuclear generating facilities to the new requirements. The Commission does not propose to mandate any separate compensation related to the proposed requirements. The Commission seeks comment on the proposed reforms, as discussed more fully below.

    45. Specifically, the Commission proposes to revise existing sections 9.6 and 9.6.2.1 of the pro forma LGIA and to include proposed new sections 9.6.4, 9.6.4.1, 9.6.4.2, and 9.6.4.3. Similarly, the Commission proposes to revise existing section 1.8 of the pro forma SGIA and add proposed new sections 1.8.4, 1.8.4.1, 1.8.4.1.1, 1.8.4.1.2, and 1.8.4.1.3.124

    124 The specific proposed modifications and additions to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA are set forth at PP 52-53, below.

    46. The Commission's proposed revisions to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA would apply to new generating facilities that execute or request the unexecuted filing of interconnection agreements on or after the effective date of any Final Rule issued in Docket No. RM16-6-000. The Commission also proposes to apply the requirements to any large or small generating facility that has an executed or has requested the filing of an unexecuted LGIA or SGIA as of the effective date of any Final Rule in Docket No. RM16-6-000, but that takes any action that requires the submission of a new interconnection request that results in the filing of an executed or unexecuted interconnection agreement on or after the effective date of any Final Rule in Docket No. RM16-6-000.

    47. In particular, the proposed revisions to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA would require new large and small generating facilities to install, maintain, and operate a functioning governor or equivalent controls, which the Commission proposes to define as the required hardware and/or software that provides frequency responsive real power control with the ability to sense changes in system frequency and autonomously adjust the generating facility's real power output in accordance with the proposed maximum droop and deadband parameters and in the direction needed to correct frequency deviations. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    48. The Commission also proposes to require new large and small generating facilities to install, maintain and operate governor or equivalent controls with the ability to operate with a maximum 5 percent droop and ±0.036 Hz deadband parameter, consistent with NERC's recommended guidance. As noted above, the Commission sought comment in the NOI on whether NERC's recommended guidance for governor settings related to droop and deadband should be included in the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA, and numerous commenters agreed stating that NERC's Guideline provides a sound baseline.125 Therefore, the Commission preliminarily finds that a maximum droop setting of 5 percent and deadband setting of ±0.036 Hz are appropriate to include in the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA as interconnection requirements for new generating facilities. The Commission notes that these proposed requirements are minimum requirements; therefore, if a new generating facility elects, in coordination with its transmission provider, to operate in a more responsive mode by using lower droop or tighter deadband settings, nothing in these requirements would prohibit it from doing so.126 The Commission seeks comment on these proposed requirements for droop and deadband settings.

    125See e.g., Bonneville Comments at 7; California Cities Comments at 2; IEEE-PES Comments at 2; Indicated ISOs/RTOs Comments at 4; MISO Comments at 4; WIRAB Comments at 7.

    126 Moreover, the Commission proposes that nothing in these requirements would prohibit the implementation of asymmetrical droop settings (i.e., different droop settings for under-frequency and over-frequency conditions), provided that each segment has a droop value of no more than 5 percent.

    49. The Commission also proposes to prohibit all new large and small generating facilities from taking any action that would inhibit the provision of primary frequency response, except under certain conditions as discussed below. The lack of coordination between governor and plant-level control systems can result in premature withdrawal of primary frequency response by allowing additional plant control systems to reverse the action of the governor to return the unit to operating at a pre-selected target set-point.127 NERC's Guideline explains that “in order to provide sustained primary frequency response, it is essential that the prime mover governor, plant controls and remote plant controls are coordinated.” 128 Accordingly, the Commission proposes to require new generating facilities that respond to frequency deviations to not inhibit primary frequency response, such as by coordinating plant-level, outer-loop control equipment with the governor or equivalent controls, except under certain operational constraints including, but not limited to, ambient temperature limitations, outages of mechanical equipment, or regulatory requirements. The Commission also proposes to require new generating facilities to respond to frequency deviations without undue delay and to sustain the response until at least system frequency returns to a stable value within the governor's deadband setting. The Commission believes this proposed requirement for sustained response is consistent with the current requirements of PJM and ISO-NE as well as similar OATT revisions recently implemented by CAISO.129 The Commission seeks comment on the proposed requirements for sustained response. In particular, the Commission seeks comment on whether these provisions will be sufficient to prevent plant-level (i.e., outer-loop) controls from inhibiting primary frequency response.

    127 NERC Frequency Response Initiative Report at 31. See also NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at P 49 (stating that primary frequency response withdrawal “has the potential to degrade the overall response of the Interconnection and result in a frequency that declines below the original nadir”).

    128 NERC Primary Frequency Control Guideline at 4.

    129See, e.g., ISO-NE Operating Procedure OP-14 and PJM Manual 14D. See also CAISO, 156 FERC ¶ 61,182 at PP 10-12 and 17.

    50. Regarding droop settings, in its comments to the NOI, MISO proposed that a linear droop should be available between 59 to 61 Hz.130 The Commission believes that this is reasonable because it would allow for new generating facilities that remain connected during frequency deviations to provide a proportional response within this range of frequencies. Accordingly, the Commission proposes to require the droop parameter to be based on the nameplate capability of the unit and linear in operating range between 59 to 61 Hz. The Commission seeks comment on these proposed requirements for droop settings.

    130 MISO Comments at 4.

    51. Several NOI commenters expressed concern about possible generic headroom requirements 131 that could result in significant opportunity costs.132 The Commission clarifies that nothing in these proposed reforms will impose a generic headroom requirement for new generating facilities or affect the unit commitment and dispatch decisions of balancing authorities. Therefore, if a generating facility that is subject to these proposed requirements has been dispatched by its balancing authority to a set-point at which there is no available operating range to increase or decrease its output in response to frequency deviations, it would not be in violation of the proposed requirements in regards to providing sustained response. The Commission believes that the reliability benefits from the proposed modifications to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA do not require imposing additional costs that would result from a generic headroom requirement. The Commission also agrees with NOI commenters regarding the unique operating characteristics and regulatory requirements of nuclear generating facilities regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and therefore proposes to exempt such generating facilities from the proposed reforms.133 The Commission seeks comment on the proposal to not impose a generic headroom requirement and to not apply the new requirements to nuclear generating facilities.

    131 A generic headroom requirement would require generating facilities to operate below maximum output at all times to ensure sufficient ability to increase their real power output in response to under-frequency conditions.

    132See, e.g., Apex Comments at 7; Solar City Comments at 1; AWEA Comments at 6.

    133See, e.g., Nuclear Energy Institute Comments at 1, 4; MISO TOs Comments at 7.

    52. In light of the above discussion, the Commission proposes to modify sections 9.6 and 9.6.2.1 of the pro forma LGIA and add new sections 9.6.4, 9.6.4.1, 9.6.4.2, and 9.6.4.3 as follows:

    9.6 Reactive Power and Primary Frequency Response

    9.6.2.1 Voltage Regulators. Whenever the Large Generating Facility is operated in parallel with the Transmission System and voltage regulators are capable of operation, Interconnection Customer shall operate the Large Generating Facility with its voltage regulators in automatic operation. If the Large Generating Facility's voltage regulators are not capable of such automatic operation, Interconnection Customer shall immediately notify Transmission Provider's system operator, or its designated representative, and ensure that such Large Generating Facility's reactive power production or absorption (measured in MVARs) are within the design capability of the Large Generating Facility's generating unit(s) and steady state stability limits. Interconnection Customer shall not cause its Large Generating Facility to disconnect automatically or instantaneously from the Transmission System or trip any generating unit comprising the Large Generating Facility for an under or over frequency condition unless the abnormal frequency condition persists for a time period beyond the limits set forth in ANSI/IEEE Standard C37.106, or such other standard as applied to other generators in the Control Area on a comparable basis.

    9.6.4 Primary Frequency Response. Interconnection Customer shall ensure the primary frequency response capability of its Large Generating Facility by installing, maintaining, and operating a functioning governor or equivalent controls. The term “functioning governor or equivalent controls” as used herein shall mean the required hardware and/or software that provides frequency responsive real power control with the ability to sense changes in system frequency and autonomously adjust the Large Generating Facility's real power output in accordance with the droop and deadband parameters and in the direction needed to correct frequency deviations. Interconnection Customer is required to install a governor or equivalent controls with the capability of operating with a maximum 5 percent droop and ±0.036 Hz deadband. The droop characteristic shall be based on the nameplate capacity of the Large Generating Facility, and shall be linear in the range of 59 to 61 Hz. The deadband parameter shall be the range of frequencies above and below nominal (60 Hz) in which the governor or equivalent controls is not expected to adjust the Large Generating Facility's real power output in response to frequency deviations. Interconnection Customer shall notify Transmission Provider that the primary frequency response capability of the Large Generating Facility has been tested and confirmed during commissioning. Once Interconnection Customer has synchronized the Large Generating Facility with the Transmission System, Interconnection Customer shall operate the Large Generating Facility consistent with provisions specified in Sections 9.6.4.1 and 9.6.4.2 of this Agreement. The primary frequency response requirements contained herein shall apply to both synchronous and non-synchronous Large Generating Facilities. Nothing in Sections 9.6.4, 9.6.4.1 and 9.6.4.2 shall require the Large Generating Facility to operate above its minimum operating limit or below its maximum operating limit, or otherwise alter its dispatch to have headroom to provide primary frequency response.

    9.6.4.1 Governor or Equivalent Controls. Whenever the Large Generating Facility is operated in parallel with the Transmission System, Interconnection Customer shall operate the Large Generating Facility with its governor or equivalent controls in service and responsive to frequency. Interconnection Customer shall, in coordination with Transmission Provider, set the deadband parameter to a maximum of ±0.036 Hz and set the droop parameter to a maximum of 5 percent. Interconnection Customer shall be required to provide the status and settings of the governor or equivalent controls to Transmission Provider upon request. If Interconnection Customer needs to operate the Large Generating Facility with its governor or equivalent controls not in service, Interconnection Customer shall immediately notify Transmission Provider's system operator, or its designated representative. Interconnection Customer shall make Reasonable Efforts to return its governor or equivalent controls into service as soon as practicable.

    9.6.4.2 Sustained Response. Interconnection Customer shall ensure that the Large Generating Facility's real power response to sustained frequency deviations outside of the deadband setting is provided without undue delay, and ensure that the response is not inhibited, except under certain operational constraints including, but not limited to, ambient temperature limitations, outages of mechanical equipment, or regulatory requirements. The Large Generating Facility shall sustain the real power response at least until system frequency returns to a stable value within the deadband setting of the governor or equivalent controls.

    9.6.4.3 Exemptions. Large Generating Facilities that are regulated by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall be exempt from Sections 9.6.4, 9.6.4.1, and 9.6.4.2 of this Agreement.

    53. Similarly, the Commission proposes to modify section 1.8 of the pro forma SGIA and add new sections 1.8.4, 1.8.4.1, 1.8.4.2 and 1.8.4.3 as follows:

    1.8 Reactive Power and Primary Frequency Response

    1.8.4 Primary Frequency Response. Interconnection Customer shall ensure the primary frequency response capability of its Small Generating Facility by installing, maintaining, and operating a functioning governor or equivalent controls. The term “functioning governor or equivalent controls” as used herein shall mean the required hardware and/or software that provides frequency responsive real power control with the ability to sense changes in system frequency and autonomously adjust the Small Generating Facility's real power output in accordance with the droop and deadband parameters and in the direction needed to correct frequency deviations. Interconnection Customer is required to install a governor or equivalent controls with the capability of operating with a maximum 5 percent droop and ±0.036 Hz deadband. The droop characteristic shall be based on the nameplate capacity of the Small Generating Facility, and shall be linear in the range of 59 to 61 Hz. The deadband parameter shall be the range of frequencies above and below nominal (60 Hz) in which the governor or equivalent controls is not expected to adjust the Small Generating Facility's real power output in response to frequency deviations. Interconnection Customer shall notify Transmission Provider that the primary frequency response capability of the Small Generating Facility has been tested and confirmed during commissioning. Once Interconnection Customer has synchronized the Small Generating Facility with the Transmission System, Interconnection Customer shall operate the Small Generating Facility consistent with the provisions specified in Sections 1.8.4.1 and 1.8.4.2 of this Agreement. The primary frequency response requirements contained herein shall apply to both synchronous and non-synchronous Small Generating Facilities. Nothing in Sections 1.8.4, 1.8.4.1 and 1.8.4.2 shall require the Small Generating Facility to operate above its minimum operating limit, below its maximum operating limit, or otherwise alter its dispatch to have headroom to provide primary frequency response.

    1.8.4.1 Governor or Equivalent Controls. Whenever the Small Generating Facility is operated in parallel with the Transmission System, Interconnection Customer shall operate the Small Generating Facility with its governor or equivalent controls in service and responsive to frequency. Interconnection Customer shall, in coordination with Transmission Provider, set the deadband parameter to a maximum of ±0.036 Hz and set the droop parameter to a maximum of 5 percent. Interconnection Customer shall be required to provide the status and settings of the governor or equivalent controls to Transmission Provider upon request. If Interconnection Customer needs to operate the Small Generating facility with its governor or equivalent controls not in service, Interconnection Customer shall immediately notify Transmission Provider's system operator, or its designated representative. Interconnection Customer shall make Reasonable Efforts to return its governor or equivalent controls into service as soon as practicable.

    1.8.4.2 Sustained Response. Interconnection Customer shall ensure that the Small Generating Facility's real power response to sustained frequency deviations outside of the deadband setting is provided without undue delay, and ensure that the response is not inhibited, except under certain operational constraints including, but not limited to, ambient temperature limitations, outages of mechanical equipment, or regulatory requirements. The Small Generating Facility shall sustain the real power response at least until system frequency returns to a stable value within the deadband setting of the governor or equivalent controls.

    1.8.4.3 Exemptions. Small Generating Facilities that are regulated by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall be exempt from Sections 1.8.4, 1.8.4.1, 1.8.4.2 of this Agreement.

    54. The Commission proposes to apply the primary frequency response requirements to any new large or small generating facility that executes or requests the unexecuted filing of a LGIA or SGIA on or after the effective date of any Final Rule issued in this proceeding. In addition, the Commission proposes to apply the requirements to any large or small generating facility that has an executed or has requested the filing of an unexecuted LGIA or SGIA as of the effective date of any Final Rule in Docket No. RM16-6-000, but that takes any action that requires the submission of a new interconnection request that results in the filing of an executed or unexecuted interconnection agreement on or after the effective date of any Final Rule in Docket No. RM16-6-000. The Commission seeks comment on the proposed effective date including whether applying these requirements to existing generating facilities that take any action that requires the submission of a new interconnection request that results in the filing of an executed or unexecuted interconnection agreement on or after the effective date of any Final Rule in Docket No. RM16-6-000 would be unduly burdensome.

    55. The Commission does not propose in this NOPR to require that the interconnection customer receive any compensation for these proposed requirements. The Commission has previously accepted changes to transmission provider tariffs that similarly required interconnection customers to install primary frequency response capability or that established specified governor settings, without requiring any accompanying compensation.134 While the Commission has not required compensation for similar requirements in the past, it clarifies that nothing in this NOPR is meant to prohibit a public utility from filing a proposal for primary frequency response compensation under FPA section 205, if it so chooses.135

    134PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., 151 FERC ¶ 61,097, at n.58 (2015); CAISO, 156 FERC ¶ 61,182, at PP 10-12 and 17 (2016); New England Power Pool, 109 FERC ¶ 61,155 (2004), order on reh'g, 110 FERC ¶ 61,335 (2005).

    135 16 U.S.C. 824d (2012).

    B. Request for Comment

    56. The Commission seeks comment on the proposed: (1) Requirements for new large and small generating facilities to install, maintain, and operate a governor or equivalent controls; (2) requirements for droop and deadband settings of 5 percent and ±0.036 Hz, respectively; (3) requirements for timely and sustained response; (4) requirement for droop parameters to be based on nameplate capability with a linear operating range of 59 to 61 Hz; (5) exemptions for new nuclear units; and (6) effective dates as discussed above. The Commission also seeks comment on its proposal to not impose a generic headroom requirement or mandate compensation related to the proposed reforms.

    57. In the NOI, the Commission also sought comment on the performance of existing resources and whether primary frequency response requirements for these resources are warranted.136 At this time, the Commission proposes only to adopt the reforms included in this NOPR regarding newly interconnecting large and small generating facilities. However, the Commission seeks comment regarding whether the reforms proposed in this NOPR are sufficient to ensure adequate levels of primary frequency response, or whether additional reforms are needed. In particular, the Commission seeks comment on whether additional primary frequency response performance or capability requirements for existing resources are needed, and if so, whether the Commission should impose those requirements by: (1) Directing the development or modification of a reliability standard pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA; or (2) acting pursuant to section 206 of the FPA to require changes to the pro forma OATT.

    136 NOI, 154 FERC ¶ 61,117 at PP 2, 46-52.

    C. Proposed Compliance Procedures

    58. The Commission proposes to require all public utility transmission providers to adopt the requirements of any Final Rule in Docket No. RM16-6-000 as revisions to the LGIA and SGIA in their OATTs within 60 days after the publication of the Final Rule in the Federal Register.

    59. Some public utility transmission providers may have provisions in their existing LGIAs and SGIAs that the Commission has found to be consistent with or superior to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA. Where these provisions would be modified by the Final Rule, public utility transmission providers must either comply with the Final Rule or demonstrate that these previously-approved variations continue to be consistent with or superior to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA as modified by the Final Rule. The Commission also proposes to permit appropriate entities to seek “independent entity variations” from the proposed revisions to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA.137

    137See, e.g., Order No. 2003, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,146 at P 827.

    60. The Commission would assess whether each compliance filing satisfies the proposed requirements stated above and issue additional orders as necessary to ensure that each public utility transmission provider meets the requirements of the subsequent Final Rule.

    61. The Commission also proposes that transmission providers that are not public utilities would have to adopt the requirements of this proposal and subsequent Final Rule as a condition of maintaining the status of their safe harbor tariff or otherwise satisfying the reciprocity requirement of Order No. 888.138

    138 Order No. 888, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,036 at 31,760-63.

    III. Information Collection Statement

    62. The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 139 requires each federal agency to seek and obtain Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval before undertaking a collection of information directed to ten or more persons, or contained in a rule of general applicability. OMB's regulations require the approval of certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rules.140 Upon approval of a collection of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of this proposal will not be penalized for failing to respond to this collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid OMB control number. Transmission providers are subject to the proposed revisions to the pro forma LGIA and SGIA.

    139 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520 (2012).

    140 5 CFR 1320.11 (2016).

    63. In this NOPR, the Commission proposes to amend its pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA in accordance with section 35.28(f)(1) of its regulations.141 The proposed revisions to the pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA would require new large and small generating facilities to install, maintain, and operate a functioning governor or equivalent controls which the Commission proposes to define as the required hardware and/or software that provides frequency responsive real power control with the ability to sense changes in system frequency and autonomously adjust the generating facility's real power output in accordance with the proposed maximum droop and dead band parameters and in the direction needed to correct frequency deviations. The NOPR proposes to require each public utility transmission provider to amend its pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA to require that all newly interconnecting large and small generating facilities, as well as all existing large and small generating facilities that take any action that requires the submission of a new interconnection request that results in the filing of an executed or unexecuted interconnection agreement, to adhere to the proposed requirements, on or after the effective date of any Final Rule issued in this proceeding.

    141 18 CFR 35.28(f)(1) (2016).

    64. The reforms in this NOPR would require filings of pro forma LGIAs and pro forma SGIAs with the Commission. The Commission anticipates the proposed reforms, once implemented, would not significantly change currently existing burdens on an ongoing basis. With regard to those public utility transmission providers that believe that they already comply with the proposed reforms in this NOPR, they could demonstrate their compliance in the filing required 60 days after publication of the Final Rule in the Federal Register. The Commission will submit the proposed reporting requirements to OMB for its review and approval under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act.142 The Commission will use FERC-516B as a temporary “placeholder” information collection number.143

    142 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) (2012).

    143 The reporting requirements in this NOPR would normally be included under FERC-516 (OMB Control No. 1902-0096). However, FERC-516 is pending review at OMB in an unrelated action. Because only one item per OMB Control No. can be pending OMB review at a time, the Commission is temporarily using the information collection number FERC-516B (OMB Control No. 1902-0286) to ensure timely submittal of this NOPR to OMB.

    Burden Estimate:144 The Commission believes that the burden estimates below are representative of the average burden on respondents. The estimated burden and cost for the requirements contained in this NOPR follow.145

    144 Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency, including: The time, effort, and financial resources necessary to comply with a collection of information that would be incurred by persons in the normal course of their activities (e.g., in compiling and maintaining business records) will be excluded from the “burden” if the agency demonstrates that the reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure activities needed to comply are usual and customary.

    145 For this information collection, the Commission staff estimates that industry is similarly situated in terms of hourly cost (wages plus benefits). Based on the Commission's average cost (wages plus benefits) for 2016, the Commission is using $74.50/hour.

    FERC 516B, in NOPR in RM16-6 Number of
  • respondents 146
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden (hours) & cost ($) per response Total annual burden hours & total annual cost ($)
    (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) LGIA & SGIA changes/revisions 74 1 74 10 hours; $745.00 740 hours; $55,130.00. Total 74 740 hours; $55,130.00.

    There are no maintenance cost, installation cost or any additional cost or requirements after year 1.

    146 The NERC Compliance Registry lists 80 entities that administer a transmission tariff and provide transmission service. The Commission identifies only 74 as being subject to the proposed requirements because 6 are Canadian entities and are not under the Commission's jurisdiction.

    Title: FERC-516B, Electric Rate Schedules and Tariff Filings.

    Action: Revision of currently approved collection of information.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0286.

    Respondents for this Rulemaking: Businesses or other for profit and/or not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency of Information: One-time during year 1.

    Necessity of Information: The Commission proposes to revise its regulations to require all newly interconnecting large and small generating facilities, both synchronous and non-synchronous, to install, maintain, and operate equipment capable of providing primary frequency response as a condition of interconnection. To implement these requirements, the Commission proposes to revise the pro forma LGIA and the pro forma SGIA.

    Internal Review: The Commission has reviewed the proposed changes and has determined that the changes are necessary. These requirements conform to the Commission's need for efficient information collection, communication, and management within the energy industry. The Commission has assured itself, by means of internal review, that there is specific, objective support for the burden estimates associated with the information collection requirements.

    65. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director], email: [email protected], Phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873.

    66. Comments on the collection of information and the associated burden estimate in the proposed rule should be sent to the Commission in this docket and may also be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission], at the following email address: [email protected] Please refer to OMB Control No. 1902-0286 in your submission.

    IV. Environmental Analysis

    67. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.147 The Commission concludes that neither an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement is required for proposed revisions under section 380.4(a)(15) of the Commission's regulations, which provides a categorical exemption for approval of actions under sections 205 and 206 of the FPA relating to the filing of schedules containing all rates and charges for the transmission or sale of electric energy subject to the Commission's jurisdiction, plus the classification, practices, contracts and regulations that affect rates, charges, classifications, and services.148 The revisions proposed in this NOPR update and clarify the application of the Commission's standard interconnection requirements to synchronous and non-synchronous generators. Therefore, this NOPR falls within the categorical exemptions provided in the Commission's regulations, and therefore neither an Environmental Assessment nor an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

    147 Order No. 486, Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs. Preambles 1986-1990 ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    148 18 CFR 380.4(a)(15) (2015).

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    68. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 149 generally requires a description and analysis of proposed rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA does not mandate any particular outcome in a rulemaking. It only requires consideration of alternatives that are less burdensome to small entities and an agency explanation of why alternatives were rejected.

    149 5 U.S.C. 601-612 (2012).

    69. The Small Business Administration (SBA) revised its size standards (effective January 22, 2014) for electric utilities from a standard based on megawatt hours to a standard based on the number of employees, including affiliates. Under SBA's standards, some transmission owners will fall under the following category and associated size threshold: Electric bulk power transmission and control, at 500 employees.150

    150 13 CFR 121.201, Sector 22 (Utilities), NAICS code 221121 (Electric Bulk Power Transmission and Control).

    70. The Commission estimates that the total number of transmission providers, both public and non-public, affected by this NOPR is 74.151 Of these, the Commission estimates that approximately 27.5 percent are small entities. The Commission estimates the average total cost to each of these entities will be minimal, requiring on average 10 hours, or $745.00. According to SBA guidance, the determination of significance of impact “should be seen as relative to the size of the business, the size of the competitor's business, and the impact the regulation has on larger competitors.” 152 The Commission does not consider the estimated burden to be a significant economic impact. As a result, the Commission believes this NOPR would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    151 The NERC Compliance Registry lists 80 entities that administer a transmission tariff and provide transmission service. The Commission identifies only 74 as being subject to the proposed requirements because 6 are Canadian entities and are not under the Commission's jurisdiction.

    152 U.S. Small Business Administration, A Guide for Government Agencies: How to Comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, at 18 (May 2012), https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/rfaguide_0512_0.pdf.

    71. The Commission estimates that the total annual number of new non-synchronous interconnections per year for the first few years of potential implementation under this NOPR would be approximately 200, representing approximately 5,000 MW of installed capacity. Of these, the Commission estimates that the majority are small entities. The Commission estimates the average total cost to each of these entities will be minimal, requiring on average approximately $3,300 per MW of installed capacity. According to SBA guidance, the determination of significance of impact “should be seen as relative to the size of the business, the size of the competitor's business, and the impact the regulation has on larger competitors.” The Commission does not consider the estimated burden to be a significant economic impact on these entities because the cost is relatively minimal compared to the average capital cost per MW for wind and solar PV generation.153 Additionally, the Commission does not believe that there will be substantial additional costs for new synchronous generators because synchronous generators already come equipped with governors that provide the capability to provide primary frequency response. Accordingly, the Commission believes that this NOPR would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    153 LBNL estimates that capital cost per MW of installed wind capacity is $1,690,000. See LBNL 2015 Wind Market Report (Aug. 2016), https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/2015-windtechreport.final_.pdf). NREL estimates that the capital cost per MW of installed solar PV capacity is $1,770,000. See NREL U.S. Photovoltaic Prices and Cost Breakdowns (Sep. 2015), http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/64746.pdf.

    VI. Comment Procedures

    72. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due January 24, 2017. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM16-6-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    73. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    74. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    75. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VII. Document Availability

    76. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    77. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    78. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202)502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: November 17, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    Appendix

    List of Commenters (Docket No. RM16-6-000) AES Companies AES Corporation/AES Energy Storage/Dayton Power and Light Company/Indianapolis Power and Light Company. APPA, et al American Public Power Association/Large Public Power Council/Transmission Access Policy Study Group. AWEA American Wind Energy Association. Apex Apex Compressed Air Energy Storage. APS Arizona Public Service Company. Bonneville Bonneville Power Administration. CAISO California Independent System Operator. Chelan County Chelan County Public Utility District. California Cities City of Anaheim/City of Azusa/City of Banning/City of Colton/City of Pasadena/City of Riverside. EEI Edison Electric Institute. EDP EDP Renewables North America. EPRI Electric Power Research Institute. EPSA, et al Electric Power Supply Association/Independent Power Producers of New York/New England Power Generators Association/Western Power Trading Forum. ELCON Electricity Consumers Resource Council. ESA Energy Storage Association. Grid Storage Consulting Grid Storage Consulting. Howard F. Illian Howard F. Illian Idaho Power Idaho Power Company. Indicated ISOs/RTOs Independent Electricity System Operator/ISO New England/New York Independent System Operator/PJM Interconnection/Southwest Power Pool. IEEE-P1547 Working Group Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) P1547 Standards Working Group. IEEE-PES IEEE Power and Energy Society Technical Council. ITC, et al International Transmission Company/Michigan Electric Transmission Company/ITC Great Plains/ITC Midwest. Manitoba Manitoba Hydro. Microgrids Resources Coalition Microgrids Resources Coalition. MISO Midcontinent Independent System Operator. MISO TOs Midcontinent Independent System Operator Transmission Owners. NARUC National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. NRECA National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. NERC North American Electric Reliability Corporation. North American Generator Forum North American Generator Forum. Nuclear Energy Institute Nuclear Energy Institute. PG&E Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Peak Reliability Peak Reliability. PJM Utilities Coalition PJM Utilities Coalition. Powerex Powerex Corp. Public Interest Organizations Public Interest Organizations. Ralph D. Masiello Ralph D. Masiello. SDG&E San Diego Gas & Electric Company. Solar City Solar City Corporation. SoCal Edison Southern California Edison Company. Southern Company Southern Company. Steel Producers Steel Producers. Tacoma Power Tacoma Power. TVA Tennessee Valley Authority. Tri-State Generation Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Union of Concerned Scientists Union of Concerned Scientists. WIRAB Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body. [FR Doc. 2016-28321 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-107424-12] RIN 1545-BK95 Update to Minimum Present Value Requirements for Defined Benefit Plan Distributions AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations providing guidance relating to the minimum present value requirements applicable to certain defined benefit pension plans. These proposed regulations would provide guidance on changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and would provide other modifications to these rules as well. These regulations would affect participants, beneficiaries, sponsors, and administrators of defined benefit pension plans. This document also provides a notice of a public hearing on these proposed regulations.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments must be received by February 23, 2017. Outlines of topics to be discussed at the public hearing scheduled for March 7, 2017, must be received by February 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-107424-12), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-107424-12), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-107424-12). The public hearing will be held in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the regulations, Neil S. Sandhu or Linda S.F. Marshall at (202) 317-6700; concerning submissions of comments, the hearing, and/or being placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, Oluwafunmilayo (Funmi) Taylor at (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 401(a)(11) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) provides that, in order for a defined benefit plan to qualify under section 401(a), except as provided under section 417, in the case of a vested participant who does not die before the annuity starting date, the accrued benefit payable to such participant must be provided in the form of a qualified joint and survivor annuity. In the case of a vested participant who dies before the annuity starting date and who has a surviving spouse, a defined benefit plan must provide a qualified preretirement survivor annuity to the surviving spouse of such participant, except as provided under section 417.

    Section 411(d)(6)(B) provides that a plan amendment that has the effect of eliminating or reducing an early retirement benefit or a retirement-type subsidy, or eliminating an optional form of benefit, with respect to benefits attributable to service before the amendment is treated as impermissibly reducing accrued benefits. However, the last sentence of section 411(d)(6)(B) provides that the Secretary may by regulations provide that section 411(d)(6)(B) does not apply to a plan amendment that eliminates an optional form of benefit (other than a plan amendment that has the effect of eliminating or reducing an early retirement benefit or a retirement-type subsidy).

    Section 417(e)(1) provides that a plan may provide that the present value of a qualified joint and survivor annuity or a qualified preretirement survivor annuity will be immediately distributed if that present value does not exceed the amount that can be distributed without the participant's consent under section 411(a)(11). Section 417(e)(2) provides that, if the present value of the qualified joint and survivor annuity or the qualified preretirement survivor annuity exceeds the amount that can be distributed without the participant's consent under section 411(a)(11), then a plan may immediately distribute the present value of a qualified joint and survivor annuity or the qualified preretirement survivor annuity only if the participant and the spouse of the participant (or where the participant has died, the surviving spouse) consent in writing to the distribution.

    Section 417(e)(3)(A) provides that the present value shall not be less than the present value calculated by using the applicable mortality table and the applicable interest rate.1

    1 Under section 411(a)(11)(B), the same applicable mortality table and applicable interest rate are used for purposes of determining whether the present value of a participant's nonforfeitable accrued benefit exceeds the maximum amount that can be immediately distributed without the participant's consent.

    Section 417(e)(3)(B) of the Code, as amended by section 302 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA '06), Public Law 109-280, 120 Stat. 780 (2006), provides that the term “applicable mortality table” means a mortality table, modified as appropriate by the Secretary, based on the mortality table specified for the plan year under section 430(h)(3)(A) (without regard to section 430(h)(3)(C) or (3)(D)).

    Section 417(e)(3)(C) of the Code, as amended by section 302 of PPA `06, provides that the term “applicable interest rate” means the adjusted first, second, and third segment rates applied under rules similar to the rules of section 430(h)(2)(C) of the Code for the month before the date of the distribution or such other time as the Secretary may prescribe by regulations. However, for purposes of section 417(e)(3), these rates are to be determined without regard to the segment rate stabilization rules of section 430(h)(2)(C)(iv). In addition, under section 417(e)(3)(D), these rates are to be determined using the average yields for a month, rather than the 24-month average used under section 430(h)(2)(D).

    Section 411(a)(13) of the Code, as added by section 701(b) of PPA `06, provides that an “applicable defined benefit plan,” as defined by section 411(a)(13)(C), is not treated as failing to meet the requirements of section 417(e) with respect to accrued benefits derived from employer contributions solely because the present value of a participant's accrued benefit (or any portion thereof) may be, under the terms of the plan, equal to the amount expressed as the hypothetical account balance or as an accumulated percentage of such participant's final average compensation.

    Section 1107(a)(2) of PPA '06 provides that a pension plan does not fail to meet the requirements of section 411(d)(6) by reason of a plan amendment to which section 1107 applies, except as provided by the Secretary of the Treasury. Section 1107 of PPA '06 applies to plan amendments made pursuant to the provisions of PPA '06 or regulations issued thereunder that are adopted no later than a specified date, generally the last day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2009.

    Final regulations under section 417 relating to the qualified joint and survivor and qualified preretirement survivor annuity requirements have not been amended to reflect PPA '06. The regulations, which were issued on August 22, 1988, were amended on April 3, 1998, to reflect changes enacted by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, Public Law 103-465 (GATT).

    Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(1) provides that a defined benefit plan generally must provide that the present value of any accrued benefit and the amount of any distribution, including a single sum, must not be less than the amount calculated using the specified applicable interest rate and the specified applicable mortality table. The present value of any optional form of benefit cannot be less than the present value of the accrued benefit determined in accordance with the preceding sentence.

    Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(6) provides an exception from the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e) and § 1.417(e)-1(d). This exception applies to the amount of a distribution paid in the form of an annual benefit that either does not decrease during the life of the participant (or, in the case of a qualified preretirement survivor annuity, the life of the participant's spouse), or that decreases during the life of the participant merely because of the death of the survivor annuitant (but only if the reduction is to a level not below 50 percent of the annual benefit payable before the death of such survivor annuitant) or the cessation or reduction of Social Security supplements or qualified disability benefits.

    Notice 2007-81, 2007-2 CB 899 (see 26 CFR 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b)), provides guidance on the applicable interest rate. Rev. Rul. 2007-67, 2007-2 CB 1047 (see 26 CFR 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b)), provides guidance on the applicable mortality table 2 and the timing rules that apply to the determination of the applicable interest rate and the applicable mortality table.

    2 Notice 2008-85, 2008-2 CB 905, Notice 2013-49, 2013-32 IRB 127, Notice 2015-53, 2015-33 IRB 190, and Notice 2016-50, 2016-38 IRB 371, set forth the section 417(e)(3) applicable mortality tables for 2009 through 2017.

    The Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008, Public Law 109-280 (120 Stat. 780), amended section 415(b)(2)(E)(v) to provide that the applicable mortality table under section 417(e)(3)(B) applies for purposes of adjusting a benefit or limitation pursuant to section 415(b)(2)(B), (C), or (D).

    Sections 205(g), 203(e), and 204(g) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) contain rules that are parallel to Code sections 417(e), 411(a)(11), and 411(d)(6), respectively. Under section 101 of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978 (43 FR 47713), the Secretary of the Treasury has interpretive jurisdiction over the subject matter addressed in these regulations for purposes of ERISA, as well as the Code. Thus, these regulations apply for purposes of the Code and the corresponding provisions of ERISA.

    In West v. AK Steel Corporation Retirement Accumulation Pension Plan, 484 F.3d 395 (6th Cir. 2007), the court held that a preretirement mortality discount could not be used in the computation of the present value of a participant's single-sum distribution under a cash balance plan if the death benefit under the plan was equal in value to the participant's accrued benefit under the plan. The court found that, if a participant's beneficiary is entitled to the participant's entire accrued benefit upon the participant's death before attainment of normal retirement age, the use of a mortality discount for the period before normal retirement age would result in a partial forfeiture of benefits in violation of the ERISA vesting rules that correspond to the rules of section 411(a). See also Berger v. Xerox Corporation Retirement Income Guarantee Plan, 338 F.3d 755 (7th Cir. 2003); Crosby v. Bowater, Inc. Ret. Plan, 212 FRD. 350 (W.D. Mich. 2002), rev'd on other grounds, 382 F.3d 587 (6th Cir. 2004) (accrued benefits include not only retirement benefits themselves, but also death benefits which are directly related to the value of the retirement benefits). In Stewart v. AT&T Inc., 354 Fed. Appx. 111 (5th Cir. 2009), however, the court held that a preretirement mortality discount was appropriately applied to determine a single-sum distribution under a traditional defined benefit plan. The court distinguished AK Steel and Berger on the basis that the plans at issue in those cases did not provide for a forfeiture of the accrued benefit on the death of the participant before retirement, whereas the plan at issue in Stewart provided for such a forfeiture.

    Final regulations (TD 9783) under section 417(e) that permit defined benefit plans to simplify the treatment of certain optional forms of benefit that are paid partly in the form of an annuity and partly in a more accelerated form were published by the Treasury Department and the IRS in the Federal Register on September 9, 2016 (81 FR 62359).

    Explanation of Provisions Overview

    These proposed regulations would amend the current final regulations under section 417(e) regarding the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) in several areas. Specifically, the proposed regulations would update the regulations for changes made by PPA '06 and to eliminate certain obsolete provisions. The proposed regulations also contain a few other clarifying changes.

    Updates To Reflect Statutory and Regulatory Changes

    The proposed regulations would update the existing regulatory provisions to reflect the statutory changes made by PPA '06, including the new interest rates and mortality tables set forth in section 417(e)(3) and the exception from the valuation rules for certain applicable defined benefit plans set forth in section 411(a)(13). The proposed regulations clarify that the interest rates that are published by the Commissioner pursuant to the provisions as modified by PPA '06 are to be used without further adjustment. In addition, the proposed regulations would eliminate obsolete provisions of the regulations relating to the transition from pre-1995 law to the interest rates and mortality assumptions provided by GATT. Furthermore, the proposed regulations make conforming changes to reflect the final regulations under section 417(e) that permit defined benefit plans to simplify the treatment of certain optional forms of benefit that are paid partly in the form of an annuity and partly in a more accelerated form.

    Other Clarifying Changes A. Treatment of Preretirement Mortality

    The proposed regulations would include rules relating to the treatment of preretirement mortality discounts in determining the minimum present value of accrued benefits under the regulations to address the issue raised by AK Steel and Berger of whether a plan that provides a death benefit equal in value to the accrued benefit may apply a preretirement mortality discount for the probability of death when determining the amount of a single-sum distribution.

    Section 411(a) generally prohibits forfeitures of accrued benefits. Under section 411(a)(1), an employee's rights in his accrued benefit derived from employee contributions must be nonforfeitable, and under section 411(a)(2), an employee's rights in his accrued benefit derived from employer contributions must become nonforfeitable in accordance with a vesting schedule that is specified in the statute. Section 411(a)(3)(A) provides that a right to an accrued benefit derived from employer contributions is not treated as forfeitable solely because the plan provides that it is not payable if the participant dies (except in the case of a survivor annuity which is payable as provided in section 401(a)(11)).

    Section 411(a)(7)(A)(i) defines a participant's accrued benefit under a defined benefit plan as the employee's accrued benefit determined under the plan and, except as provided in section 411(c)(3), expressed in the form of an annual benefit commencing at normal retirement age. Section 1.411(a)-7(a)(1) defines a participant's accrued benefit under a defined benefit plan as the annual benefit commencing at normal retirement age if the plan provides an accrued benefit in that form. If a defined benefit plan does not provide an accrued benefit in the form of an annual benefit commencing at normal retirement age, § 1.411(a)-7(a)(1)(ii) defines the accrued benefit as an annual benefit commencing at normal retirement age which is the actuarial equivalent of the accrued benefit determined under the plan. The regulation further clarifies that the term “accrued benefits” refers only to pension or retirement benefits. Consequently, accrued benefits do not include ancillary benefits not directly related to retirement benefits, such as incidental death benefits.

    Section 411(d)(6)(A) prohibits a plan amendment that decreases a participant's accrued benefit. Section 411(d)(6)(B) provides that a plan amendment that has the effect of eliminating or reducing an early retirement benefit or retirement-type subsidy or eliminating an optional form of benefit with respect to benefits attributable to service before the amendment is treated as reducing accrued benefits for this purpose. Section 1.411(d)-3(g)(2)(v) provides that a death benefit under a defined benefit plan other than a death benefit that is part of an optional form of benefit is an ancillary benefit. Section 1.411(d)-3(g)(6)(ii)(B) describes death benefits payable after the annuity starting date that are considered part of an optional form of benefit. Pursuant to § 1.411(d)-3(g)(14) and (15), section 411(d)(6) protected benefits do not include a death benefit under a defined benefit plan that is an ancillary benefit and not part of an optional form of benefit.

    A death benefit under a defined benefit plan that is payable when the participant dies before attaining normal retirement age and before benefits commence is not part of the participant's accrued benefit within the meaning of section 411(a)(7). Accordingly, the anti-forfeiture rules of section 411(a) do not apply to such a death benefit. This is the case even if the amount of the death benefit is the same as the amount the participant would have received had the participant separated from service and elected to receive a distribution immediately before death. Moreover, such a death benefit is an ancillary benefit within the meaning of § 1.411(d)-3(g)(2)(v)—rather than a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit—and therefore can be eliminated by plan amendment (provided that a qualified preretirement survivor annuity for a surviving spouse is preserved, pursuant to section 401(a)(11)).

    The minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) do not take into account the value of ancillary benefits that are not part of the participant's accrued benefit under the plan. Consistent with this, § 1.417(e)-1(d)(1)(i) does not require ancillary death benefits to be taken into account in the required minimum present value calculation. Because questions have arisen regarding this rule, the proposed regulations would clarify that the probability of death under the applicable mortality table is generally taken into account for purposes of determining the present value under section 417(e)(3), without regard to the death benefits provided under the plan other than a death benefit that is part of the normal form of benefit or part of another optional form of benefit (as described in § 1.411(d)-3(g)(6)(ii)(B)) for which present value is determined.

    However, a different rule applies with respect to whether the probability of death under the applicable mortality table is taken into account for purposes of determining the present value with respect to the accrued benefit derived from contributions made by an employee. This is because an employee's rights in the accrued benefit derived from the employee's own contributions are nonforfeitable under section 411(a)(1), and the exception for death under section 411(a)(3)(A) to the nonforfeitability of accrued benefits does not apply to the accrued benefit derived from employee contributions. As a result, for purposes of determining the present value under section 417(e)(3) with respect to the accrued benefit derived from contributions made by an employee (that is computed in accordance with the requirements of section 411(c)(3)), the probability of death during the assumed deferral period, if any, is not taken into account. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the assumed deferral period is the period between the date of the present value determination and the assumed commencement date for the annuity attributable to contributions made by an employee.

    The proposed regulations include an example to illustrate the application of the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) in the case of a single-sum distribution of a participant's entire accrued benefit that consists both of an accrued benefit derived from employee contributions and an employer-provided accrued benefit. Consistent with the rules in these proposed regulations, the example illustrates that a single-sum distribution of the participant's entire accrued benefit in such a case must equal the sum of the minimum present value of the accrued benefit derived from employee contributions, determined under section 417(e)(3) (applying the special rules set forth in the preceding paragraph), and the minimum present value of the employer-provided accrued benefit, determined under section 417(e)(3). Note that Rev. Rul. 89-60, 1989-1 CB 113 (1989) suggests that it is sufficient for a single-sum distribution in such a case to merely equal the greater of the minimum present value of the accrued benefit derived from employee contributions and the minimum present value of the participant's entire accrued benefit. To the extent the guidance under Rev. Rul. 89-60 is inconsistent with the final regulations that adopt these proposed regulations, the regulations would supersede the guidance in Rev. Rul. 89-60.

    B. Social Security Level Income Options

    Questions have arisen regarding whether the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) apply to a social security level income option. As noted above, § 1.417(e)-1(d)(6) provides that the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) do not apply to the amount of a distribution paid in the form of an annual benefit that does not decrease during the life of the participant, or that decreases during the life of the participant merely because of the death of the survivor annuitant or the cessation or reduction of social security supplements or qualified disability benefits.

    A social security supplement is defined in § 1.411(a)-7(c)(4) as a benefit for plan participants that commences before and terminates before the age when participants are entitled to old-age insurance benefits, unreduced on account of age, under title II of the Social Security Act, and does not exceed such old-age insurance benefit. A social security supplement (other than a QSUPP as defined in § 1.401(a)(4)-12) is an ancillary benefit that is not a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit.

    A social security level income option is an optional form of benefit (protected under section 411(d)(6)) under which a participant's accrued benefit is paid in the form of an annuity with larger payments in earlier years, before an assumed social security commencement age, to provide the participant with approximately level retirement income when the assumed social security payments are taken into account. It is appropriate to subject a social security level income option to the rules of section 417(e)(3) because, when a participant's accrued benefit is paid as a social security level income option, a portion of the participant's accrued benefit (which may be substantial) is accelerated and paid over a short period of time until social security retirement age. Because the periodic payments under a social security level income option decrease during the lifetime of the participant and the decrease is not the result of the cessation of an ancillary social security supplement, § 1.417(e)-1(d)(6) does not provide an exception from the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) for such a distribution. These proposed regulations contain an example that illustrates this point.

    C. Application of Required Assumptions to the Accrued Benefit

    The proposed regulations would clarify the scope of the rule of § 1.417(e)-1(d)(1) under which the present value of any optional form of benefit cannot be less than the present value of the normal retirement benefit (with both values determined using the applicable interest rate and the applicable mortality table). The proposed regulations would require that the present value of any optional form of benefit cannot be less than the present value of the accrued benefit payable at normal retirement age, and would provide an exception for an optional form of benefit payable after normal retirement age to the extent that a suspension of benefits applies pursuant to section 411(a)(3)(B).

    Effective/Applicability Dates

    The changes under the proposed regulations are proposed to apply to distributions with annuity starting dates in plan years beginning on or after the date regulations that finalize these proposed regulations are published in the Federal Register. Prior to this applicability date, taxpayers must continue to apply existing regulations relating to section 417(e), modified to reflect the relevant statutory provisions during the applicable period (and guidance of general applicability relating to those statutory provisions, such as Rev. Rul. 2007-67).

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because the proposed regulation does not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this notice of proposed rulemaking has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

    Comments and Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any written (a signed original and eight (8) copies) or electronic comments that are submitted timely to the IRS. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects of these proposed regulations. In addition, the Treasury Department and the IRS specifically request comments on whether, in the case of a plan that provides a subsidized annuity payable upon early retirement and determines a single-sum distribution as the present value of the early retirement annuity, the present-value determination should be required to be calculated using the applicable interest rate and the applicable mortality table applied to the early retirement annuity (or whether the requirement to have a minimum present value that is equal to the present value of the annuity payable at normal retirement age determined in accordance with section 417(e)(3) provides the level of protection for the participant that is required by section 417(e)(3)). See Rybarczyk v. TRW, 235 F.3d 975 (6th Cir. 2000).

    All comments will be available at www.regulations.gov or upon request. A public hearing has been scheduled for March 7, 2017, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter at the Constitution Avenue entrance. In addition, all visitors must present photo identification to enter the building. Because of access restrictions, visitors will not be admitted beyond the immediate entrance area more than 30 minutes before the hearing starts. For information about having your name placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

    The rules of 26 CFR 601.601(a)(3) apply to the hearing. Persons who wish to present oral comments at the hearing must submit written or electronic comments by February 23, 2017, and an outline of topics to be discussed and the amount of time to be devoted to each topic (a signed original and eight (8) copies) by February 23, 2017. A period of 10 minutes will be allotted to each person for making comments. An agenda showing the scheduling of the speakers will be prepared after the deadline for receiving outlines has passed. Copies of the agenda will be available free of charge at the hearing.

    Drafting Information

    The principal authors of these regulations are Neil S. Sandhu and Linda S.F. Marshall, Office of Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in the development of these regulations.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

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

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.417(e)-1 is amended by: 1. Revising paragraphs (d)(1)(i), (d)(2), (d)(3), (d)(4), and (d)(6). 2. Adding paragraph (d)(8)(vi). 3. Revising paragraph (d)(9). 4. Removing paragraph (d)(10).

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 1.417(e)-1 Restrictions and valuations of distributions from plans subject to sections 401(a)(11) and 417.

    (d) Present value requirement—(1) General rule—(i) Defined benefit plans—(A) In general. A defined benefit plan must provide that the present value of any accrued benefit and the amount (subject to sections 411(c)(3) and 415) of any distribution, including a single sum, must not be less than the amount calculated using the applicable mortality table described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section and the applicable interest rate described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, as determined for the month described in paragraph (d)(4) of this section. The present value of any optional form of benefit, determined in accordance with the preceding sentence, cannot be less than the present value of the accrued benefit payable at normal retirement age, except to the extent that, for an optional form of benefit payable after normal retirement age, the requirements for suspension of benefits under section 411(a)(3)(B) are satisfied. The same rules used for the plan under this paragraph (d) must also be used to compute the present value of the benefit for purposes of determining whether consent for a distribution is required under paragraph (b) of this section.

    (B) Payment of a portion of a participant's benefit. The rules of this paragraph (d)(1) apply with respect to a payment of only a portion of the accrued benefit in the same manner as these rules would apply to a distribution of the entire accrued benefit. See paragraph (d)(7) of this section.

    (C) Special rules for applicable defined benefit plans. See section 411(a)(13) and the regulations thereunder for an exception from the rules of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d) that applies to certain distributions from certain applicable defined benefit plans.

    (2) Applicable mortality table—(i) In general. The applicable mortality table for a calendar year is the mortality table that is prescribed by the Commissioner in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. See § 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter. This mortality table is to be based on the table specified under section 430(h)(3)(A), but without regard to section 430(h)(3)(C) or (D).

    (ii) Mortality discounts—(A) In general. Except as provided under paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(B) of this section, the probability of death under the applicable mortality table is taken into account for purposes of determining the present value under this paragraph (d) without regard to the death benefits provided under the plan (other than a death benefit that is part of the normal form of benefit or part of another optional form of benefit, as described in § 1.411(d)-3(g)(6)(ii)(B), for which present value is determined).

    (B) Special rule for employee-provided benefit. For purposes of determining the present value under this paragraph (d) with respect to the accrued benefit derived from employee contributions (that is determined in accordance with the requirements of section 411(c)(3)), the probability of death during the assumed deferral period, if any, is not taken into account. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the assumed deferral period is the period between the date of the present value determination and the assumed commencement date for the annuity attributable to contributions made by an employee.

    (3) Applicable interest rate—(i) In general. The applicable interest rate for a month is determined using the first, second, and third segment rates for that month under section 430(h)(2)(C), as modified pursuant to section 417(e)(3)(D) (and without regard to the segment rate stabilization rules of section 430(h)(2)(C)(iv)). The applicable interest rate is specified by the Commissioner in revenue rulings, notices, or other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, and is applied under rules similar to the rules under § 1.430(h)(2)-1(b). Thus, for example, in determining the present value of a straight life annuity, the first segment is applied with respect to payments expected to be made during the 5-year period beginning on the annuity starting date, the second segment rate is applied with respect to payments expected to be made during the 15-year period following the end of that 5-year period, and the third segment rate is applied with respect to payments expected to be made after the end of that 15-year period. The interest rates that are published by the Commissioner are to be used for this purpose without further adjustment.

    (ii) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section.

    Example 1.

    (i) Plan A is a non-contributory single-employer defined benefit plan with a calendar-year plan year, a one-year stability period coinciding with the calendar year, and a two-month lookback used for determining the applicable interest rate. The normal retirement age is 65, and all participant elections are made with proper spousal consent. Plan A provides for optional single sum payments equal to the present value of the participant's accrued benefit. Plan A provides that the applicable interest rates are the segment rates as specified by the Commissioner for the second full calendar month preceding the calendar year that contains the annuity starting date. The applicable mortality table is the table specified by the Commissioner for the calendar year that contains the annuity starting date.

    (ii) Participant P retires in May 2017 at age 60 and elects (with spousal consent) to receive a single-sum payment. P has an accrued benefit of $2,000 per month payable as a life annuity beginning at the plan's normal retirement age of 65. The applicable mortality rates for 2017 apply. The applicable interest rates published by the Commissioner for November 2016 are 1.57%, 3.45%, and 4.39% for the first, second, and third segment rates, respectively. The deferred annuity factor calculated based on these interest rates and the applicable mortality table for 2017 is 10.931 for a participant age 60. To satisfy the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d), the single-sum payment received by P cannot be less than $262,344 (that is, $2,000 × 12 × 10.931).

    Example 2.

    (i) The facts are the same as for Example 1 of this paragraph (d)(3)(ii), except that Plan A provides for mandatory employee contributions. Participant Q retires in May 2017 at age 60 and elects (with spousal consent) to receive a single-sum payment of Q's entire accrued benefit. Q has an accrued benefit of $2,000 per month payable as a life annuity beginning at Plan A's normal retirement age of 65, consisting of an accrued benefit derived from employee contributions determined in accordance with section 411(c)(2) (Q's employee-provided accrued benefit) of $500 per month and an accrued benefit derived from employer contributions (Q's employer-provided accrued benefit) of $1,500 per month.

    (ii) Pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(B) of this section, the single-sum payment used to settle Q's employee-provided accrued benefit cannot be less than the present value of that portion of Q's accrued benefit determined using the applicable interest and mortality rates described in paragraphs (d)(3)(i) and (d)(2)(ii) of this section, determined without taking the probability of death during the assumed deferral period into account. The deferred annuity factor calculated based on the interest and mortality rates specified in Example 1 of this paragraph (d)(3)(ii) (taking the probability of death only after age 65 into account) is 11.266 for a participant age 60. To satisfy the requirement of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d), the single-sum payment received by Q with respect to the employee-provided portion of the accrued benefit cannot be less than the minimum present value of $67,596 (that is, $500 × 12 × 11.266).

    (iii) The single-sum payment used to settle Q's employer-provided accrued benefit cannot be less than the present value of that portion of Q's accrued benefit determined using the applicable interest and mortality rates. However, for this purpose, Plan A is permitted to take the probability of death during the assumed deferral period into account. The single-sum payment received by Q with respect to the employer-provided portion of the accrued benefit cannot be less than $196,758 (that is, $1,500 × 12 × 10.931).

    (iv) The total single-sum payment received by Q cannot be less than the sum of the minimum present value of Q's employee- and employer-provided accrued benefits, or $264,354 ($67,596 + $196,758).

    (4) Time for determining interest rate and mortality table—(i) Interest rate general rule. Except as provided in paragraph (d)(4)(v) or (vi) of this section, the applicable interest rate to be used for a distribution is the applicable interest rate determined under paragraph (d)(3) of this section for the applicable lookback month. The applicable lookback month for a distribution is the lookback month (as described in paragraph (d)(4)(iv) of this section) for the stability period (as described in paragraph (d)(4)(iii) of this section) that contains the annuity starting date for the distribution. The time and method for determining the applicable interest rate for each participant's distribution must be determined in a consistent manner that is applied uniformly to all participants in the plan.

    (ii) Mortality table general rule. The applicable mortality table to be used for a distribution is the mortality table that is published for the calendar year during which the stability period containing the annuity starting date begins.

    (iii) Stability period. A plan must specify the period for which the applicable interest rate remains constant (the stability period). This stability period may be one calendar month, one plan quarter, one calendar quarter, one plan year, or one calendar year. This same stability period also applies to the applicable mortality table.

    (iv) Lookback month. A plan must specify the lookback month that is used to determine the applicable interest rate with respect to a stability period. The lookback month may be the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth full calendar month preceding the first day of the stability period.

    (v) Permitted average interest rate. A plan may apply the rules of paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section by substituting a permitted average applicable interest rate with respect to the plan's stability period for the applicable interest rate determined under paragraph (d)(3) of this section for the applicable lookback month for the stability period. For this purpose, a permitted average applicable interest rate with respect to a stability period is the applicable interest rate that is computed by averaging the applicable interest rates determined under paragraph (d)(3) of this section for two or more consecutive months from among the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth calendar months preceding the first day of the stability period. For this paragraph (d)(4)(v) to apply, a plan must specify the manner in which the permitted average interest rate is computed.

    (vi) Additional determination dates. The Commissioner may prescribe, in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, other times that a plan may provide for determining the applicable interest rate.

    (vii) Example. The following example illustrates the rules of this paragraph (d)(4):

    Example.

    (i) The facts are the same as Example 1 of paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section, except that Plan A provides that the applicable interest rates are the rates for the third full calendar month preceding the beginning of the plan quarter that contains the annuity starting date. Plan A also provides that the applicable mortality table is the table specified by the Commissioner for the calendar year that contains the beginning of the stability period.

    (ii) The segment interest rates that apply for annuity starting dates during the period beginning April 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2017 are the segment rates for January 2017. This plan design permits the applicable interest rate to be fixed for each plan quarter and for the applicable interest rate for all distributions made during each plan quarter to be determined before the beginning of the plan quarter.

    (6) Exceptions—(i) In general. This paragraph (d) (other than the provisions relating to section 411(d)(6) requirements in paragraph (d)(9) of this section) does not apply to the amount of a distribution paid in the form of an annual benefit that—

    (A) Does not decrease during the life of the participant, or, in the case of a QPSA, the life of the participant's spouse; or

    (B) Decreases during the life of the participant merely because of—

    (1) The death of the survivor annuitant (but only if the reduction is to a level not below 50 percent of the annual benefit payable before the death of the survivor annuitant): or

    (2) The cessation or reduction of a social security supplement or qualified disability benefit (as defined in section 411(a)(9)).

    (ii) Example. The following example illustrates the rules of this paragraph (d)(6).

    Example.

    (i) The facts are the same as Example 1 of paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section. Plan A also provides an optional distribution in the form of a Social Security level income option. Under this provision, the participant's benefit is adjusted so that a larger amount is payable until age 65, at which time it is reduced to provide a level income in combination with the participant's estimated social security benefit beginning at age 65. Participant R's reduced early retirement benefit payable as a straight life annuity benefit commencing at age 60 is $1,300 per month (which is less than the actuarially equivalent benefit that would have been determined using the applicable interest and mortality rates under section 417(e)(3)) and R's estimated social security benefit is $1,000 per month beginning at age 65.

    (ii) Because the benefit payable under the social security level income option decreases at age 65 and the decrease is not on account of the death of the participant or a beneficiary or the cessation or reduction of social security supplements or qualified disability benefits, the benefits payable under the social security level income option are subject to the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3). As illustrated in Example 1 of paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section, the minimum present value of Participant R's benefits under section 417(e)(3) is $262,344, which is based on the present value of R's accrued benefit, not R's benefit that would be payable as a straight life annuity at the annuity starting date.

    (iii) The deferred annuity factor for a participant age 60 with lifetime benefits commencing at age 65, based on the November 2016 segment rates and the applicable mortality table for 2017, is 10.931. The corresponding temporary annuity factor to age 65 is 4.752. The minimum benefits payable to Participant R in the form of a social security level income option (with a decrease of $1,000—equal to the participant's estimated social security benefit—occurring at age 65) are $2,090.99 per month until age 65 and $1,090.99 per month thereafter. Any amounts less than this would have a present value smaller than the required amount of $262,344, and thus would fail to satisfy the minimum present value requirement of section 417(e)(3).

    (8) * * *

    (vi) Applicability date for provisions reflecting PPA '06 updates and other rules. Paragraphs (d)(1) through (4) of this section apply to distributions with annuity starting dates in plan years beginning on or after the date regulations that finalize these proposed regulations are published in the Federal Register. Prior to this applicability date, taxpayers must continue to apply the provisions of § 1.417(e)-1(d) as contained in 26 CFR part 1 as in effect immediately before publication of those final regulations, except to the extent superseded by statutory changes and guidance of general applicability relating to those statutory changes.

    (9) Relationship with section 411(d)(6)—(i) In general. A plan amendment that changes the interest rate or the mortality assumptions used for the purposes described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section (including a plan amendment that changes the time for determining those assumptions) is generally subject to section 411(d)(6). However, for certain exceptions to the rule in the preceding sentence, see paragraph (d)(7)(iv) of this section, § 1.411(d)-4, Q&A-2(b)(2)(v) (with respect to plan amendments relating to involuntary distributions), and section 1107(a)(2) of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, Public Law 109-280, 120 Stat. 780 (2006) (PPA '06) (with respect to certain plan amendments that were made pursuant to a change to the Internal Revenue Code by PPA '06 or regulations issued thereunder).

    (ii) Section 411(d)(6) relief for change in time for determining interest rate and mortality table. Notwithstanding the general rule of paragraph (d)(9)(i) of this section, if a plan amendment changes the time for determining the applicable interest rate (and, if the amendment changes the stability period described in paragraph (d)(4)(iii) of this section, the time for determining the applicable mortality table), including an indirect change as a result of a change in plan year, the amendment will not be treated as reducing accrued benefits in violation of section 411(d)(6) merely on account of this change if the conditions of this paragraph (d)(9)(ii) are satisfied. If the plan amendment is effective on or after the date the amendment is adopted, any distribution for which the annuity starting date occurs in the one-year period commencing at the time the amendment is effective must be determined using the interest rate and mortality table provided under the plan determined at either the date for determining the interest rate and mortality table before the amendment or the date for determining the interest rate and mortality table after the amendment, whichever results in the larger distribution. If the plan amendment is adopted retroactively (that is, the amendment is effective prior to the adoption date), the plan must use the interest rate and mortality table determination dates resulting in the larger distribution for distributions with annuity starting dates occurring during the period beginning with the effective date and ending one year after the adoption date.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2016-27907 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 267 [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0079] RIN 0790-AJ51 Production of Official Records or Disclosure of Official Information in Proceedings Before Federal, State or Local Governmental Entities of Competent Jurisdiction AGENCY:

    National Reconnaissance Office, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule sets forth procedures for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) personnel to follow for the release of official information by NRO personnel in legal proceedings, through testimony, production of documents, or otherwise.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Miller, (703) 808-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Pursuant to DoD Directive 5105.23, “National Reconnaissance Office (NRO),” effective October 29, 2015 (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/510523p.pdf), the NRO was designated as a Defense Agency. This proposed regulation aligns with comparable regulations for other defense agencies. This rulemaking discusses procedures for NRO personnel to follow when asked to provide official testimony in a legal proceeding. It also informs members of the public of the procedures for official NRO documents, files, records or information or official testimony which could include:

    (1) Any material contained in the files of the NRO;

    (2) Any information relating to, or based upon, material contained in the files of the NRO, including but not limited to summaries of such information or material, or opinions based on such information or material; or

    (3) Any information acquired by any person while such person was performing official duties while detailed to the NRO, assigned to the NRO, or due to that person's official status or association with the NRO. These procedures also apply to subpoenas duces tecum for any document within the NRO's possession and to requests for official certification of copies of any documents.

    These procedures discussed in this proposed rule apply to information requests associated with:

    (1) State court proceedings, to include grand jury proceedings.

    (2) Federal civil proceedings where the United States, NRO, or any other Federal Agency is not a party to the case; and

    (3) State and local legislative and administrative proceedings.

    Authority

    The authority for promulgation of this regulatory action is 50 U.S.C. 3003(4)(f) and 10 U.S.C. 424(b)(2), and Executive Order 12333, “United States Intelligence Activities”, as amended, with particular reference to Section 1.4 (f) and (g) and Section 1.6 (d), (e) and (h).

    Congress, when enacting the National Security Act of 1947 (“the Act”), intended to provide a comprehensive program for the future security of the United States, and provide for the establishment of integrated policies and procedures for the departments, agencies, and functions of the Government relating to the national security. The Act was designed to provide a Department of Defense, including the three military Departments of the Army, the Navy (including naval aviation and the United States Marine Corps), and the Air Force under the direction, authority, and control of the Secretary of Defense. The Act also provided for the establishment of unified or specified combatant commands. The National Reconnaissance Office is identified as an “intelligence agency” under the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, (50 U.S.C. 3003(4)(f)).

    An exemption for specified intelligence agencies from the disclosure of organizational and personnel information is provided in 10 U.S.C. 424(b)(2). This exemption provides that, except as required by the President, no provision of law shall be construed to require the disclosure of: (1) The organization or any function of an organization of the Department of Defense (specifically the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency); or (2) the number of persons employed by, or assigned or detailed to, any such organization or the name, official title, occupational series, grade, or salary of any such person.

    Costs and Benefits

    This proposed rule would benefit the public and the United States Government by providing clear procedures for members of the public and Government employees to follow when official testimony or official documents, records, files or information are sought from NRO or from NRO personnel in connection with legal proceedings.

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

    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, 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 proposed rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant because the rulemaking does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. Ch. 25)

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1532) requires agencies to 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 2016, that threshold is approximately $146 million. This rulemaking would 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. Ch. 6)

    The Department of Defense certifies that this proposed rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. Ch. 6) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule would provide clarity to U.S. Government personnel and outside counsel on the proper rules and procedures to serve process on U.S. Government officials in their official capacity and to obtain official U.S. Government testimony or documents for use in legal proceedings. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

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

    It has been determined that this rulemaking does not impose reporting or record keeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    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 rulemaking would not have a substantial effect on the States; the relationship between the National Government and the States; or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of Government.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 267

    Legal proceedings, Testimony, Documentation.

    Accordingly, 32 CFR part 267 is proposed to be added to read as follows:

    PART 267—PRODUCTION OF OFFICIAL RECORDS OR DISCLOSURE OF OFFICIAL INFORMATION IN PROCEEDINGS BEFORE FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION Sec. 267.1 Scope and purpose. 267.2 Definitions. 267.3 Policy. 267.4 Procedures. 267.5 Service of process. 267.6 Fees. Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 3003(4)(f) and 10 U.S.C. 424(b)(2).

    § 267.1 Scope and purpose.

    (a) This part establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes mandatory procedures governing the release of official information by National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) personnel in legal proceedings, through testimony, production of documents, or otherwise. This part sets forth procedures for NRO personnel to follow if they are subpoenaed to produce or disclose, or to testify with respect to:

    (1) Any material contained in the files of the NRO;

    (2) Any information relating to, or based upon, material contained in the files of the NRO, including but not limited to summaries of such information or material, or opinions based on such information or material; or

    (3) Any information acquired by any person while such person was performing official duties while detailed to the NRO, assigned to the NRO, or due to that person's official status or association with the NRO. These procedures also apply to subpoenas duces tecum for any document within the NRO's possession and to requests for official certification of copies of any documents.

    (b) These procedures apply to information requests associated with:

    (1) State court proceedings, to include grand jury proceedings.

    (2) Federal civil proceedings where the United States, NRO, or any other Federal Agency is not a party to the case; and

    (3) State and local legislative and administrative proceedings.

    (c) These procedures do not apply to:

    (1) Congressional requests or subpoenas for testimony or documents; and

    (2) Release of official information or testimony by NRO personnel in the following situations, authorized:

    (i) Before courts-martial convened by the authority of the Military Departments or in any administrative meetings conducted by a DoD component;

    (ii) Pursuant to administrative proceedings conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management (EEO&DM) Office;

    (iii) In response to requests for records or information from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) or other federal government counsel representing the United States or the interests of the United States in litigation;

    (iv) Pursuant to the disclosure of any information to Federal, State, or local prosecuting or law enforcement authorities in conjunction with an investigation conducted by a DoD criminal investigative organization.

    (d) This part is intended to provide guidance for the internal operation of the NRO and to ensure the orderly execution of NRO's mission, not to impede any legal proceeding.

    § 267.2 Definitions.

    For the purpose of this part:

    Demand. Any subpoena, order, or other legal summons (except garnishment orders) that is issued by a federal, state, or local governmental entity of competent jurisdiction with the authority to require the production, disclosure, or release of official NRO information or for the appearance and testimony of NRO personnel as witnesses.

    Employee or NRO employee. When used herein refers to NRO personnel, current or former.

    General Counsel. The NRO General Counsel, to include the Principal Deputy General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, or Acting General Counsel.

    Litigation. All pretrial, trial, and post-trial stages of all existing or reasonably anticipated judicial or administrative actions, hearings, investigations, or similar proceedings before civilian courts, commissions, boards or other tribunals, foreign and domestic. This term includes responses to discovery requests, depositions, and other pretrial proceedings, as well as responses to formal or informal requests by attorneys or others in situations involving litigation.

    NRO personnel. Present and former civilian employees assigned or detailed to NRO, or employed by NRO, and present and former military personnel assigned or detailed to NRO, or employed by NRO. The definition of NRO personnel also includes individuals hired through contractual agreements by or on behalf of NRO.

    Official Information. All information of any kind, in any storage medium, whether or not classified or protected from disclosure that:

    (1) Is in the custody and control of the NRO; or

    (2) Relates to information in the custody and control of the NRO; or

    (3) Was acquired by NRO personnel as part of their official duties or because of their official status within NRO.

    Production or Produce. The disclosure of:

    (1) Any material contained in the files of NRO; or

    (2) Any information relating to, or based upon, material contained in the files of the NRO, including but not limited to summaries of such information or material, or opinions based on such information or material; or

    (3) Any information acquired by any person while such person was performing official duties as detailed to the NRO, assigned to the NRO, or due to that person's official status or association with the NRO.

    These procedures also apply to subpoenas duces tecum for any document within the NRO's possession and to requests for certification of copies of any documents.

    Service of Process. The delivery of a summons and complaint, or other document the purpose of which is to give notice of a proceeding or to establish the jurisdiction of a court or administrative proceeding, in the manner prescribed by Rule 4, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to an officer or agency of the United States named in court or administrative proceedings.

    § 267.3 Policy.

    (a) No employee shall produce any materials or information in response to a demand without prior authorization as set forth in this part. This part applies to current and to former employees and contractors, in accordance with applicable nondisclosure agreements.

    (b) This part is intended only to provide procedures for responding to a demand for production of documents or information, and is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against the United States.

    (c) Except as permitted by paragraph (d) of this section, no NRO personnel may provide testimony or produce documents in any proceeding referenced in § 267.1(b) of this part concerning information acquired in the course of performing official NRO duties or because of the person's official relationship with NRO, except as specifically authorized by the General Counsel.

    (d) With the approval of the General Counsel, on behalf of the Director of NRO, NRO personnel may testify at the request of another Federal agency, or, where it is in the interests of the NRO, at the request of a State or local government or State legislative committee, subject to applicable nondisclosure agreements and in accordance with procedures set forth in this part.

    (e) Official information that is not classified or privileged may be made available for use in Federal and State courts, at the discretion of the General Counsel, who may deny requested information or testimony under the procedures set forth in this part, or as otherwise authorized and warranted under applicable law.

    § 267.4 Procedures.

    (a) If official information is sought, through testimony or otherwise, by a litigation demand, the individual seeking such release or testimony must set forth, in writing and with as much specificity as possible, the nature and relevance of the official information sought, and shall send such demand to NRO Office of General Counsel (OGC), National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, VA 20151.

    (b) Any NRO personnel in receipt of a litigation request or demand for official NRO information or the testimony of NRO personnel as witnesses shall immediately notify the NRO OGC, National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, VA 20151 (703/808-1060), and shall provide a copy of the request or demand to the OGC, which shall follow the procedures set forth in this section.

    (c) NRO personnel shall not produce, disclose, release, comment upon, or testify concerning any official information during litigation except as expressly authorized in writing by the General Counsel. In exigent circumstances, the General Counsel may issue oral approval, but a written record of such approval will be made and retained in the OGC.

    (d) The NRO OGC and senior NRO officials with responsibility for the information sought in the demand shall determine whether any information, materials, or testimony may properly be produced in response to the demand, provided that the OGC may assert any and all legal defenses and objections to the demand available to NRO prior to the start of any search for information responsive to the demand. NRO may, in its sole discretion, decline to begin any search for information responsive to the demand until a final and non-appealable disposition of any such defenses and objections raised by NRO has been made by the entity or person that issued the demand.

    (e) In deciding whether to authorize the release of official NRO information or the testimony of NRO personnel concerning official information (hereafter referred to as “production”) pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, OGC shall consider the following factors, among any other pertinent considerations:

    (1) Whether production would be unduly burdensome or otherwise inappropriate under the applicable rules of discovery or the rules of procedure governing the case or matter in which the demand arose;

    (2) Whether production would violate a statute, executive order, regulation, or directive;

    (3) Whether production would reveal NRO organization, functions, or personnel information protected from disclosure by statute;

    (4) Whether production would reveal information properly classified in the interest of national security;

    (5) Whether production would interfere with ongoing enforcement proceedings, compromise constitutional rights, reveal the identity of an intelligence source or confidential informant, disclose trade secrets or similarly confidential commercial or financial information without the owner's consent, or otherwise be inappropriate under the circumstances;

    (6) Whether the disclosure would have an adverse effect on performance by the NRO of its official mission and duties, to include:

    (i) The need to conserve the time of NRO personnel for the conduct of official business;

    (ii) The need to avoid spending the time and money of the United States to serve private purposes;

    (iii) The need to avoid involving the NRO in contested issues not related to its official mission.

    (f) The NRO OGC is responsible for notifying the appropriate NRO employees and other persons of all decisions regarding responses to demands and providing advice and counsel as to the implementation of such decisions.

    (g) If, after NRO personnel have received a litigation request or demand and have in turn notified the OGC in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, a response to the request or demand is required before instructions from the OGC are received, an attorney from the OGC, or, as appropriate, an attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) representing the NRO, shall appear before and furnish the court or other competent authority with a copy of this part; shall inform the requestor or the court or other authority that the request or demand is being reviewed, and shall respectfully seek a stay of the request or demand pending a final determination by NRO OGC.

    (h) If the court of competent jurisdiction or other appropriate authority declines to stay the effect of the request or demand in response to action taken pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section, or if such court or other authority orders that the request or demand must be complied with notwithstanding the final decision of the General Counsel, the NRO personnel upon whom the request or demand was made shall notify the General Counsel of such ruling or order. If the General Counsel determines that no further legal review of or challenge to the ruling or order will be sought, the affected NRO personnel shall comply with the demand or order. If directed by the General Counsel not to comply with the demand, however, the affected NRO personnel shall respectfully decline to comply with the demand. See United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951). In that circumstance, the NRO personnel shall state the following to the Court: “I must respectfully advise the Court that under instructions given to me by the General Counsel of the National Reconnaissance Office, in accordance with Department of Defense Directive 5405.2 and [this part, (32 CFR part 267), I must respectfully decline to [produce/disclose] that information.”

    (i) In the event NRO personnel receive a litigation demand for official information originated by another U.S. Government component, the General Counsel shall forward the appropriate portions of the request to the OGC for the other component. The General Counsel shall notify the requestor, court, or other authority of the referral, unless providing such notice would itself disclose classified information. To protect classified information, the General Counsel, in such cases, shall notify the requestor of the referral of the request, or positions thereof, to another government agency without specifying the identity of such agency. The General Counsel shall assist in coordinating responses by the unidentified agency to the request to the extent necessary to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure.

    § 267.5 Service of process.

    (a) Service of Process Upon the NRO or NRO Personnel Accepted in an Official Capacity Only. This section sets forth mandatory procedures for accomplishing valid service of process by registered or certified mail upon NRO or upon NRO personnel sued or summoned in an official capacity.

    (b) Accepting service of process upon NRO personnel in their individual capacities at the workplace is not a function of NRO. Acceptance of service of process in a person's individual capacity is the responsibility of that individual. Consistent with 10 U.S.C. 424, NRO will not provide the name or address of any current or former employee of NRO to individuals or entities seeking to serve process on such employee solely in his or her individual capacity, even where the matter is related to NRO activities.

    (c) Service of a summons or complaint upon NRO or service of process upon NRO personnel for official information or testimony must be made by: serving the United States Attorney for the district in which the action is brought, and sending copies of the summons and complaint by registered or certified mail to the Attorney General of the United States and to the General Counsel of the National Reconnaissance Office, 15675 Lee Road, Chantilly, VA 20151-1715. The envelope shall be conspicuously marked “Copy of Summons and Complaint Enclosed.” Parties may call the OGC at (703) 808-1060 for guidance.

    (d) Only the General Counsel or designee is authorized to accept the copies of the summons or complaint on behalf of NRO. Individual NRO personnel sued or summoned to provide information or testimony in an official capacity are not authorized to accept service of process. If the General Counsel accepts service of process on behalf of NRO or NRO personnel, in accordance with this paragraph, the documents for which service is accepted shall be stamped: “Service accepted on behalf of the organization in official capacity only.”

    (1) NRO personnel who receive or who have reason to expect to receive service of process in any capacity concerning a matter that may involve testimony or the furnishing of documents that could reasonably be expected to involve official NRO information shall notify the NRO OGC, (703) 808-1060 before accepting service and before providing the requestor, counsel or other representative of the party who sent the demand with any official NRO information in response to the demand.

    (2) If service is sought in an official capacity upon an individual who is alleged to work at NRO Headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia, the process server should call OGC at (703) 808-1060 for guidance.

    (i) To protect classified NRO employment associations and/or classified contracts, the Office of General Counsel shall refuse to confirm or deny the existence or the nonexistence of an employment relationship with the specific individual sued or summoned in an official capacity (other than publicly acknowledged senior agency officials of NRO).

    (ii) OGC shall direct the process server to follow the procedures set forth in this part to serve process upon the United States Attorney for the judicial district in which the action is brought and to send a copy of such process to NRO OGC by certified or registered mail.

    (iii) OGC will notify the person summoned and the appropriate NRO Security Officer of the legal demand.

    (e) NRO does not accept personal service of process upon NRO personnel at NRO facilities or on NRO premises, unless expressly directed otherwise by the General Counsel. Process servers will not be allowed to enter NRO facilities for the purpose of serving process upon any NRO personnel solely in his or her individual capacity. The General Counsel, on behalf of the Director of NRO, has sole discretion to authorize acceptance of personal service of process upon the NRO or NRO personnel served in their official capacities, or served upon NRO personnel in an combined individual and official capacity, and may exercise this discretion in circumstances where serving process on NRO personnel by registered or certified mail is not authorized by law or where, in particular circumstances, the General Counsel determines that acceptance of personal service of process serves the best organizational interests of the NRO.

    (1) A process server who arrives at NRO during duty hours without first having contacted the NRO OGC will be referred to the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is not authorized to and shall not accept service of process upon NRO or on behalf of any alleged NRO personnel. The Visitor Center shall contact OGC.

    (i) The General Counsel or designee shall review the service of process at the Visitor Center to assess whether the NRO person is sued or summoned in an official or in an individual capacity. If the person is sued or summoned in an individual capacity, the General Counsel shall refuse to accept service on that basis.

    (ii) If the General Counsel determines that service is sought upon NRO or upon an alleged employee of NRO in an official capacity, or if the General Counsel is concerned that official NRO information or documents may be relevant to the subject matter of the proceeding, the General Counsel shall direct the process server to follow the procedures set forth in this part and shall refuse to accept service on the basis of failure to comply with applicable regulations, unless, as an exercise of discretion, OGC determines that acceptance of personal service of process best serves the organizational interests of the NRO.

    (iii) If the General Counsel exercises discretion to accept service of process upon NRO or upon NRO personnel in an official capacity, in accordance with this paragraph, the documents for which service is accepted shall be stamped: “Service accepted on behalf of the organization in official capacity only.”

    (iv) OGC will notify the person summoned and the appropriate NRO Security Officer of the legal demand.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (f) Litigants may attempt to serve process upon NRO personnel in their official capacities at their residences or other places. Because NRO personnel are not authorized to accept such service of process, such service is not effective under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. NRO personnel should refuse to accept service. However, NRO personnel may find it difficult to determine whether they are being sued or summoned in their private or official capacity. Therefore, NRO personnel shall notify NRO OGC as soon as possible if they receive any summons or complaint that appears to relate to actions in connection with their official duties and shall direct such summons or complaint to the General Counsel so that the General Counsel can determine the scope of service.

    (g) The Commander or Chief of Facility at NRO facilities other than NRO Headquarters may accept copies of service of process for himself or herself or for NRO personnel assigned to the installation who are sued or summoned in their official capacities, without officially confirming or denying the existence or nonexistence of an employment or contract relationship with the summoned individual. The Commander or Chief of Facility will accept any such service of process by noting on the return of service form: “Service accepted on behalf of the organization in official capacity only.” The Commander or Chief of Facility will then immediately refer the matter to the General Counsel.

    (1) No individual will officially confirm or deny that the person sued or summoned is affiliated with NRO as an employee or contractor unless OGC, in coordination with the Commander or Chief of Facility, has first determined both that the individual's association with NRO is unclassified and that such association may be officially and publicly acknowledged in connection with the legal proceeding. If the NRO person's association with NRO is classified, service of process shall not be accepted unless, as an exercise of discretion, OGC determines that acceptance of service of process under the circumstances best serves the organizational interests of the NRO and can be accomplished without officially confirming or denying the classified association at issue. Any such service if accepted must be stamped on the return of service form “Service accepted on behalf of the organization in official capacity only.”

    (2) Whether service is accepted or refused, the General Counsel will coordinate with NRO security personnel, other federal agencies, or other US Government personnel and contact DOJ for guidance on how to provide information responsive to legal process while protecting classified information from unauthorized disclosure in accordance with legal requirements. If OGC or the Commander or Chief of Facility accepts service “on behalf of the organization in official capacity only” and that service was directed toward an individual whose association with NRO is or was classified, OGC will work with the party who made the litigation demand and/or the court and DOJ to identify an individual who can provide responsive information or testimony while protecting classified information in accordance with legal requirements, or will move for other appropriate relief as necessary to protect classified information.

    (h) If any NRO person is sued or summoned in a foreign court, that person shall provide full documentation of the matter securely to the cognizant Commander or Chief of Facility. The Commander or Chief of Facility will immediately email a scanned copy of the service of process to OGC, and shall send the document securely via an information system approved to handle classified information, marking the email to indicate attorney-client privilege protections as applicable. The person sued or summoned will not complete any return of service forms for the foreign court without first obtaining approval from NRO OGC to the cognizant Commander or Chief of Facility in writing, and shall follow instructions from OGC regarding how to complete the return of service form. OGC will coordinate with DOJ to determine whether service is effective and whether the NRO person is entitled to be represented at Government expense.

    (i) The Commander or Chief of Facility will establish procedures at the NRO facility, including a provision for liaison with local staff judge advocates, if any, to ensure that service of process on persons in their individual capacities is accomplished in accordance with local law, relevant treaties, and Status of Forces Agreements. Such procedures must be approved by the General Counsel. Commanders or Chiefs of Facility will designate a point of contact to conduct liaison with the OGC.

    (j) Acceptance of service of any summons or complaint by OGC “on behalf of the organization in official capacity only” shall not constitute an official acknowledgement or confirmation by NRO that any individual named in the summons or complaint is, in fact, a current or former employee of NRO. Acceptance of service of process shall not constitute waiver with respect to jurisdiction, propriety or validity of service, improper venue, or any other defense in law or equity available under the laws or rules applicable to the service of process.

    § 267.6 Fees.

    (a) Consistent with the guidelines in DoD 7000.14-R, Vol. 11A, Chap. 4, “User Fees” (available at http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/Volume_11a.pdf), NRO may charge reasonable fees, as established by regulation and to the extent not prohibited by law, to parties seeking, by request or demand, official information not otherwise available under the DoD Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552. Such fees are calculated to reimburse the Government for the expense of providing such information, and may include:

    (1) The costs of time expended by NRO personnel to process and respond to the request or demand;

    (2) Attorney time for reviewing the request or demand and any information located in response thereto, and for related legal work in connection with the request or demand; and

    (3) Expenses generated by materials and equipment used to search for, produce, and copy the responsive information See Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340 (1978).

    (b) [Reserved]

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28221 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0968] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Youngs Bay, Astoria, OR AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to change the operating schedule that governs the Oregon State highway bridge across Youngs Bay foot of Fifth Street (Old Youngs Bay Bridge), mile 2.4, at Astoria, OR. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is proposing to change the operating schedule of the Old Youngs Bay Bridge for several months while work is performed on the north bascule lift. This change would allow ODOT to operate the double bascule draw in single leaf mode, one lift at a time, and reduce the vertical clearance of the non-operable half of the span by five feet.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before December 27, 2016. The Coast Guard anticipates that this proposed rule will be effective from 7 a.m. on March 1, 2017 to 5 p.m. on October 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0968 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District Bridge Program Office, telephone 206-220-7282; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code ODOT Oregon State Department of Transportation II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    ODOT owns and operates the Old Youngs Bay Bridge, and proposes a temporary change to the existing operating regulation. The Coast Guard approved a temporary rule change authorizing ODOT to operate the Old Youngs Bay Bridge in single leaf mode from May 2016 through October 2016, document citation 81 FR 28018. No negative impacts were observed during that rule change. The subject proposed regulation will allow the drawtender to open half the draw span in single leaf mode, from 7 a.m. on March 1, 2017 to 5 p.m. on October 31, 2017. ODOT's proposal would allow the construction workers to utilize a containment system that reduces the non-opening half of the bridge's vertical clearance by five feet. Marine traffic on Youngs Bay consists of vessels ranging from small pleasure craft, sailboats, small tribal fishing boats, and commercial tug and tow, and mega yachts.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would temporarily amend 33 CFR 117.899 by adding the south lift only to open in single leaf mode, and suspend a full opening. This proposed rule is necessary to accommodate extensive maintenance and restoration efforts on the Old Youngs Bay Bridge. This bridge provides a vertical clearance approximately 19 feet above mean high water when in the closed-to-navigation position. One half of the double bascule bridge will have a containment system installed on the north half of the span, which will reduce the vertical clearance by 5 feet from 19 feet above mean high water to 14 feet above mean high water. Adjusting the existing drawbridge regulation will allow construction workers to complete bridge and highway upgrades before winter of 2017, while having minimal impact on maritime navigation, and no alternate routes are on this part of Youngs Bay into Youngs River.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive order (s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and Executive order (s), and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    E.O. 12866 and E.O. 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. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This regulatory action determination is based on the ability for the Old Youngs Bay Bridge to open half the span on signal, and not delay passage of any mariner. Vessels not requiring an opening may pass under the bridge at any time. The north lift vertical clearance will be reduced as explained in paragraph III. No alternate routes are available on this part of Youngs Bay.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. 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 certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    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 proposed 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, above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

    A rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 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 proposed 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 proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would 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 proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    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 proposed rule will not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this proposed rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32) (e), of the Instruction.

    Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32) (e), of the Instruction, an environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are not required for this rule. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed 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.

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this notice and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. In § 117.899, from 7 a.m. on March 1, 2017 through 5 p.m. on October 31, 2017, suspend paragraph (b) and add paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 117.899 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Youngs Bay, Astoria, OR

    (d) The draw of the Oregon State (Old Youngs Bay) Highway Bridge, mile 2.4, across Youngs Bay foot of Fifth Street, shall open the south half of the double bascule span on signal for the passage of vessels, if at least one half-hour notice is given to the drawtender, at the Lewis and Clark River Bridge by marine radio, telephone, or other suitable means from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from March 1, 2017 to October 31, 2017. At all other times, including all Federal holidays, but Columbus Day, at least a two-hour notice by telephone is required. The opening signal is two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast.

    Dated: November 16, 2016. Brendan McPherson, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28359 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0591; FRL-9955-47-Region 10] Air Plan Approval: AK; Permitting Fees Revision AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Alaska (state) Department of Environmental Conservation on February 1, 2016. The revisions implement changes to permit administration and compliance fees based on the state's fee study results. Changes include: The addition of definitions, restructuring of fee categories, rearranging and renumbering of certain fee rules, and updating cross references to align with the restructured fee rules.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before December 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0591 at 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:

    Randall Ruddick at (206) 553-1999, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA. For further information, please see the direct final action, of the same title, which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register. The EPA is approving the State's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the EPA views this as a noncontroversial SIP revision and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the preamble to the direct final rule. If the EPA receives no adverse comments, the EPA will not take further action on this proposed rule.

    If the EPA receives adverse comments, the EPA will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. The EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The 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 we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    Dated: November 14, 2016. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28276 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    81 227 Friday, November 25, 2016 Notices ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES Notice of Public Meeting of the Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United States AGENCY:

    Administrative Conference of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United States will hold a meeting to consider four proposed recommendations and to conduct other business. This meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The meeting may adjourn early if all business is finished.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581 (Main Conference Room).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shawne McGibbon, General Counsel (Designated Federal Officer), Administrative Conference of the United States, Suite 706 South, 1120 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036; Telephone 202-480-2088; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Administrative Conference of the United States makes recommendations to federal agencies, the President, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States regarding the improvement of administrative procedures (5 U.S.C. 594). The membership of the Conference, when meeting in plenary session, constitutes the Assembly of the Conference (5 U.S.C. 595).

    Agenda: The Assembly will consider four proposed recommendations as described below:

    Social Security Administration Federal Courts Analysis. This proposed recommendation encourages the Judicial Conference of the United States to develop a uniform set of procedural rules for social security cases commenced in federal court that involve claims for benefits arising under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. It also highlights areas in which such rules should be adopted and sets forth criteria for the promulgation of additional rules.

    Informal Agency Adjudication. This proposed recommendation offers best practices to agencies for structuring evidentiary hearings that are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act. It suggests ways to ensure the integrity of the decisionmaking process; sets forth recommended pre-hearing, hearing, and post-hearing practices; and urges agencies to describe their practices in a publicly accessible document and seek periodic feedback on those practices.

    The Ombudsman in Federal Agencies. This proposed recommendation takes account of the broad array of federal agency ombudsman offices that have been established since the Administrative Conference's adoption in 1990 of Recommendation 90-2 on the same subject, https://www.acus.gov/recommendation/ombudsman-federal-agencies. The new recommendation continues to urge both agencies and Congress to consider creating additional ombudsman offices that provide an opportunity for individuals to raise issues confidentially and receive assistance in resolving them without fear of retribution. The recommendation emphasizes the importance of adherence to the three core standards of independence, confidentiality, and impartiality, and identifies best practices for the operation, staffing, and evaluation of federal agency ombudsman offices.

    Self-Represented Parties in Administrative Hearings. This proposed recommendation offers best practices for agencies dealing with self-represented parties in administrative hearings. Recommendations include the use of triage and diagnostic tools, development of a continuum of services to aid parties, and re-evaluation and simplification of existing hearing practices, where possible. The project builds on the activity of a working group on Self-Represented Parties in Administrative Hearings that is co-led by the Administrative Conference and the Department of Justice's Office for Access to Justice.

    Additional information about the proposed recommendations and the order of the agenda, as well as other materials related to the meeting, can be found at the 66th Plenary Session page on the Conference's Web site: https://www.acus.gov/meetings-and-events/plenary-meeting/66th-plenary-session.

    Public Participation: The Conference welcomes the attendance of the public at the meeting, subject to space limitations, and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities or special needs. Members of the public who wish to attend in person are asked to RSVP online at the 66th Plenary Session Web page listed above, no later than Friday, December 9, 2016, in order to facilitate entry. Members of the public who attend the meeting may be permitted to speak only with the consent of the Chairman and the unanimous approval of the members of the Assembly. If you need special accommodations due to disability, please inform the Designated Federal Officer noted above no later than Tuesday, December 6, 2016. The public may also view the meeting through a live webcast, which will be available at: https://livestream.com/ACUS/66thPlenary.

    Written Comments: Persons who wish to comment on any of the proposed recommendations may do so by submitting a written statement either online by clicking “Submit a Comment” on the 66th Plenary Session Web page listed above or by mail addressed to: December 2016 Plenary Session Comments, Administrative Conference of the United States, Suite 706 South, 1120 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036. Written submissions must be received no later than 10:00 a.m. (EST), Wednesday, December 7, to assure consideration by the Assembly.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Shawne McGibbon, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28402 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6110-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Document Number AMS-NOP-16-0100; NOP-16-11] Notice of Meeting of the National Organic Standards Board AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to assist the USDA in the development of standards for substances to be used in organic production and to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on any other aspects of the implementation of Organic Foods Production Act.

    DATES:

    The Board will receive public comments via webinar on April 13, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). A face-to-face meeting will be held April 19-21, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 6:00 p.m. ET. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comment at either the webinar or face-to-face meeting is 11:59 p.m. ET, March 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The April 13, 2017 webinar is virtual and will be accessed via the internet and/or phone. Access information will be available on the AMS Web site prior to the webinar. The April 19-21, 2017 meeting will take place at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1550 Court Pl., Denver, CO 80202, United States. Detailed information pertaining to the webinar and face-to-face meeting, including instructions about providing written and oral comments can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/NOSBMeetings.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Michelle Arsenault, Advisory Committee Specialist, National Organic Standards Board, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2642-S, Mail Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268; Phone: (202) 720-3252; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NOSB makes recommendations to the Department of Agriculture about whether substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic production and/or handling, assists in the development of standards for organic production, and advises the Secretary on other aspects of the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522). The public meeting allows the NOSB to discuss and vote on proposed recommendations to the USDA, receive updates from the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) on issues pertaining to organic agriculture, and receive comments from the organic community. The meeting is open to the public. All meeting documents, including the meeting agenda, NOSB proposals and discussion documents, instructions for submitting and viewing public comments, and instructions for requesting time for oral comments will be available on the AMS Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/NOSBMeetings. Please check the Web site periodically for updates. Meeting topics will encompass a wide range of issues, including: Substances petitioned for addition to or deletion from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), substances on the National List that require NOSB review before their 2019 sunset dates, and guidance on organic policies. Participants and attendees may take photos and video at the meeting, but not in a manner that disturbs the proceedings.

    Public Comments: Comments should address specific topics noted on the meeting agenda.

    Written Comments: Written public comments will be accepted on or before 11:59 p.m. ET March 30, 2017 via http://www.regulations.gov. Comments submitted after this date will be provided to the NOSB, but Board members may not have adequate time to consider those comments prior to making recommendations. The NOP strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically; however, written comments may also be submitted (i.e. postmarked) by the deadline, via mail to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Oral Comments: The NOSB is providing the public multiple dates and opportunities to provide oral comments and will accommodate as many individuals and organizations as time permits. Persons or organizations wishing to make oral comments must pre-register by 11:59 p.m. ET, March 30, 2017, and can only register for one speaking slot: Either during the webinar, April 13, 2017, or at the face-to-face meeting, April 19-21, 2017. Once the schedule is full, individuals will be added to a waiting list. Instructions for registering and participating in the webinar can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/NOSBMeetings.

    Meeting Accommodations: The meeting hotel is ADA Compliant, and the USDA provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this public meeting, please notify the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Determinations for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28383 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice DATE AND TIME:

    Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 11:30 a.m. EST.

    PLACE:

    Cohen Building, Room 3321, 330 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20237.

    SUBJECT:

    Notice of Meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

    SUMMARY:

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors (Board) will be meeting at the time and location listed above. The Board will vote on a consent agenda consisting of the minutes of its September 28, 2016 meeting and a resolution for BBG Meeting Dates in 2017. The Board will receive a report from the Chief Executive Officer and Director of BBG.

    This meeting will be available for public observation via streamed webcast, both live and on-demand, on the agency's public Web site at www.bbg.gov. Information regarding this meeting, including any updates or adjustments to its starting time, can also be found on the agency's public Web site.

    The public may also attend this meeting in person at the address listed above as seating capacity permits. Members of the public seeking to attend the meeting in person must register at https://bbgboardmeetingnov2016.eventbrite.com by 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on November 29. For more information, please contact BBG Public Affairs at (202) 203-4400 or by email at [email protected].

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Persons interested in obtaining more information should contact Oanh Tran at (202) 203-4545.

    Oanh Tran, Director of Board Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28574 Filed 11-22-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 8610-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-80-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 148—Knoxville, Tennessee; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; CoLinx, LLC; (Bearing Units) Crossville, Tennessee

    CoLinx, LLC (CoLinx) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facilities in Crossville, Tennessee within FTZ 148. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on November 17, 2016.

    CoLinx already has authority to produce kits of bearing products within Sites 2, 6, 8 and 9 of FTZ 148. The current request would add foreign status materials/components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt CoLinx from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, CoLinx would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to mounted unit roller assemblies (housed, spherical roller bearing units) and mounted unit ball assemblies (housed ball bearing units) (duty rate 4.5%) for the foreign-status materials/components noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: Single-row, radial ball bearings (Y-bearings); bearings housings for ball bearings; and, corrugated paperboard boxes (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 5.8%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is January 4, 2017.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28376 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-51-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 126—Reno, Nevada; Authorization of Production Activity; Tesla Motors, Inc.; Subzone 126D (Lithium-Ion Batteries, Electric Motors and Stationary Energy Storage Systems); Sparks, Nevada

    On July 20, 2016, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, grantee of FTZ 126, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Tesla Motors, Inc., operator of Subzone 126D, for its facility located in Sparks, Nevada.

    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 52824, August 10, 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.

    Dated: November 17, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28378 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-560-826] Monosodium Glutamate from Indonesia: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on monosodium glutamate (MSG) from Indonesia. The period of review (POR) is May 8, 2014 through October 31, 2015. The review covers a single mandatory respondent, PT Cheil Jedang Indonesia (CJI). The Department preliminarily determines that the respondent has not made sales of subject merchandise below normal value (NV). We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective November 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Lindgren or Joseph Traw, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3870 or (202) 482-6079, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 7, 2016, the Department initiated this administrative review on MSG from Indonesia covering one company, CJI. The events that have occurred between initiation and these preliminary results are discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1

    1See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Monosodium Glutamate from Indonesia, 2014-2015,” dated November 18, 2016 (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is monosodium glutamate (MSG), whether or not blended or in solution with other products. The product is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheading 2922.42.10.00. Merchandise covered by this order may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 2922.42.50.00, 2103.90.72.00, 2103.90.74.00, 2103.90.78.00, 2103.90.80.00, and 2103.90.90.91. These tariff classifications are provided for convenience and customs purposes; however, the written product description, available in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, remains dispositive.2

    2 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. NV is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we calculated a de minimis dumping margin for CJI for the period May 8, 2014 through October 31, 2015.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to the parties the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of this notice.3 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(ii), the Department will issue a case brief schedule at a later date in the proceeding, notifying interested parties of the deadlines for submitting case and rebuttal briefs. When the case brief schedule is issued, parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.4 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.5 In order to be properly filed, ACCESS must successfully receive an electronically-filed document in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the established deadline.

    3See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    5See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs.

    6See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless extended, the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). If CJI's weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales and the total entered value of the sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis. Where the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by the respondent for which it did not know that its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for the company under review will be the rate established in the final results of this review, except, if the rate is zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), no cash deposit will be required; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters is 6.19 percent, the all-others rate established in the investigation.7 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    7See Monosodium Glutamate From the Republic of Indonesia: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value 79 FR 58329 (September 29, 2014).

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: November 17, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix

    List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Comparisons to Normal Value V. Product Comparisons VI. Date of Sale VII. Constructed Export Price VIII. Normal Value IX. Currency Conversion X. Recommendation [FR Doc. 2016-28366 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-351-849, A-580-890, A-201-848, A-455-805] Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Poland: Postponement of Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective November 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Drew Jackson at (202) 482-4406 (Brazil); Carrie Bethea at (202) 482-1491 (the Republic of Korea (Korea)); Julia Hancock at (202) 482-1394 (Mexico); and Stephen Bailey at (202) 482-0193 (Poland), Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations

    On August 10, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated the antidumping duty investigations of imports of emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB Rubber) from Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and Poland.1 The notice of initiation stated that, in accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), we would issue our preliminary determinations no later than 140 days after the date of initiation, unless postponed. Currently, the preliminary determinations in these investigations are due no later than December 28, 2016.

    1See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Poland: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 81 FR 55438 (August 19, 2016).

    On November 7, 2016, Lion Elastomers and East West Copolymer (Petitioners), made a timely request, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(e), for postponement of the preliminary determinations, in order to facilitate the Department's analysis of respondents' questionnaire responses in each investigation. Because there are no compelling reasons to deny the request, pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determinations by 50 days.2

    2See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Petitioners entitled “Request to Extend the Preliminary Determinations,” dated November 7, 2016.

    For the reasons stated above, the Department, in accordance with section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determinations to no later than 190 days after the date on which the Department initiated these investigations. Therefore, the new deadline for the preliminary determinations is February 16, 2017. In accordance with section 735(a)(1) of the Act, the deadline for the final determination of this investigation will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination, unless postponed at a later date.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 733(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: November 16, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28365 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF057 Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of open public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on the NOAA Fisheries Draft National Bycatch Reduction Strategy.

    DATES:

    The meeting is scheduled for December 14, 2016, 2-4 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Public access is available at 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public wishing to participate may contact Heidi Lovett, (301) 427-8034; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The MAFAC was established by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), and, since 1971, advises the Secretary on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The charter and other information are located online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/.

    Matters To Be Considered

    The Committee is convening to discuss and finalize their recommendations on fisheries and living marine resource issues and priorities that should be addressed by the incoming Administration. Other administrative matters may be considered. This date, time, and agenda are subject to change.

    Time and Date

    The meeting is scheduled for December 14, 2016, 2-4 p.m., Eastern Standard Time by conference call. Conference call information for the public will be posted at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/ by December 7, 2016.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Heidi Lovett, 301-427-8034 by December 7, 2016.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Jennifer Lukens, Director for the Office of Policy, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28421 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, December 2, 2016.

    PLACE:

    Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room.

    STATUS:

    Closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Surveillance, enforcement, and examinations matters. In the event that the time, date, or location of this meeting changes, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date, and/or place of the meeting will be posted on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202-418-5964.

    Natise Allen, Executive Assistant.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28522 Filed 11-22-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request—Proposal To Amend Collection 3038-0005: Instructions to CFTC Form CPO-PQR AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed amendment to the collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment. This notice solicits comments on the proposed amendment of the instructions to CFTC Form CPO-PQR to permit commodity pool operators (CPOs) to use specified alternative accounting principles, standards or practices in presenting and calculating financial information in Form CPO-PQR to the same extent that CPOs are permitted to use such alternative accounting principles, standards or practices pursuant to CFTC Regulation 4.22(d)(2) to present and compute financial statements in pool Annual Reports.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by “Form CPO-PQR Instructions,” or “OMB Control No. 3038-0005” by any of the following methods:

    • The Agency's Web site, at http://comments.cftc.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail above.

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

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Cummings, Special Counsel, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5445; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA, Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of Information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3 and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, the CFTC is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information listed below.

    Title: Rules Relating to the Operations and Activities of Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity trading Advisors and to Monthly Reporting by Futures Commission Merchants (OMB Control No. 3038-0005). This is a request for comment on a proposed amendment to a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The CFTC has amended Regulation 4.22(d) to permit a CPO that meets certain requirements to present and compute required Annual Reports in accordance with specified accounting principles, standards or practices other than United States generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP). At the same time, the CFTC amended Regulation 4.27(c)(2) to permit a CPO that claims relief under Regulation 4.22(d) as amended to use the same alternative accounting principles, standards or practices in presenting and computing the financial information that the CPO is required to report on a quarterly basis to the CFTC in Form CPO-PQR. The instructions to Form CPO-PQR, however, specify that all financial information in the form must be presented and computed in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Accordingly, the CFTC is proposing to amend the instructions to Form CPO-PQR to permit use of alternative accounting principles, standards or practices by CPOs that claim relief under Regulation 4.22(d), as amended.

    With respect to the collection of information, the CFTC invites comments on whether the proposed amendment to Collection 3038-0005 is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the CFTC, including whether the information will have a practical use, and whether the proposed amendment will increase the burden on CPOs who are required to file Form CPO-PQR.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1

    1 17 CFR 145.9.

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the Information Collection Request will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Burden Statement: The CFTC is not revising its estimate of the burden for this collection as a result of the amendment to the instructions to Form CPO-PQR because the requirement to provide the financial information remains substantively unchanged. There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    (Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) Dated: November 21, 2016. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28389 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force [Docket ID: USAF-2016-HQ-0008] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Department of the Air Force, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to delete a system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Air Force proposes to delete one system of record notice from its inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before December 27, 2016. This proposed action will be effective on the day following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. LaDonne L. White, Department of the Air Force Privacy Office, Air Force Privacy Act Office, Office of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information officer, ATTN: SAF/CIO A6, 1800 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330-1800, or by phone at (571) 256-2515.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of the Air Force systems of records notices subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at the Defense Privacy, Civil Liberties and Transparency Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The Department of the Air Force proposes to delete one system of records notice from its inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended. The proposed deletion is not within the purview of subsection (r) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, which requires the submission of a new or altered system report.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. Deletion: F036 SAFAA A System name:

    Civilian Personnel Files (April 14, 1999, 64 FR 18406).

    Reason:

    Civilian Personnel Files are covered by OPM/GOVT-1 General Personnel Records (December 11, 2012, 77 FR 73694). OPM/GOVT-1 is a government-wide SORN that covers the existing Air Force Records collection.

    There is no OMB control number associated to this collection.

    [FR Doc. 2016-28392 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Amendment of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Amendment of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that it is amending the charter for the Defense Innovation Board.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee's charter is being amended in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d). The amended charter and contact information for the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be obtained at http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    The DoD is amending the charter for the Defense Innovation Board previously announced in the Federal Register on April 1, 2016 (81 FR 18842) and August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50485). Specifically, the DoD is amending the charter to update the estimated annual operating costs and estimated personnel costs of the Defense Innovation Board.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28395 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Eligibility Designations and Applications for Waiver of Eligibility Requirements; Programs Under Parts A and F of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended (HEA), and Programs Under Title V of the HEA AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education (Department).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:

    Notice announcing process for designation of eligible institutions, and inviting applications for waiver of eligibility requirements for fiscal year (FY) 2017.

    This notice applies to the following programs:

    1. Programs authorized under Part A, Title III of the HEA: Strengthening Institutions Program (Part A SIP), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (Part A ANNH), Predominantly Black Institutions (Part A PBI), Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (Part A NASNTI), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (Part A AANAPISI).

    2. Programs authorized under Part F, Title III of the HEA: Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM and Articulation (Part F, HSI STEM and Articulation), Predominantly Black Institutions (Part F PBI), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (Part F ANNH), Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (Part F NASNTI), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (Part F AANAPISI).

    3. Programs authorized under Title V of the HEA: Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) and Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA).

    DATES:

    Applications Available: December 1, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 9, 2017.

    Special Note: Section 312 of the HEA and 34 CFR 607.2-607.5 include most of the basic eligibility requirements for grant programs authorized under Titles III and V of the HEA. Section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA provides that, to be eligible for these programs, an institution of higher education's (IHE's or institution's) average “educational and general expenditures” (E&G) per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student must be less than the average E&G expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction in that year.

    Since 2004, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) has calculated Core Expenses per FTE of institutions, a statistic similar to E&G per FTE. Both E&G per FTE and Core Expenses per FTE are based on regular operational expenditures of institutions (excluding auxiliary enterprises, independent operations, and hospital expenses). They differ only in that E&G per FTE is based on fall undergraduate enrollment, while Core Expenses per FTE is based on 12-month undergraduate enrollment for the academic year.

    To avoid inconsistency in the data submitted to, and produced by, the Department, for the purpose of section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA, E&G per FTE is calculated using the same methodology as Core Expenses per FTE. Accordingly, with regard to this and future notices inviting applications for waivers of eligibility requirements, to calculate E&G per FTE for the purpose of determining institutional eligibility for programs under Title V and Part A and Part F of Title III of the HEA, the Department will apply the NCES methodology for calculating Core Expenses per FTE. Institutions requesting an eligibility waiver determination must use the Core Expenses per FTE data reported to NCES' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for the most currently available academic year, in this case academic year 2014-2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Programs:

    The Part A SIP, Part A ANNH, Part A PBI, Part A NASNTI, and Part A AANAPISI programs are authorized under Title III, Part A, of the HEA. The HSI and PPOHA programs are authorized under Title V of the HEA. The Part F, HSI STEM and Articulation, Part F PBI, Part F AANAPISI, Part F ANNH, and Part F NASNTI programs are authorized under Title III, Part F of the HEA. Please note that certain programs in this notice have the same or similar names as other programs that are authorized under a different statutory authority. For this reason, we specify the statutory authority as part of the acronym for certain programs.

    Under the programs discussed above, institutions are eligible to apply for grants if they meet specific statutory and regulatory eligibility requirements. An IHE that is designated as an eligible institution may also receive a waiver of certain non-Federal cost-sharing requirements for one year under the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program authorized by Part A, Title IV of the HEA and the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program authorized by section 443 of the HEA. Qualified institutions may receive the FSEOG and FWS waivers for one year even if they do not receive a grant under the Title III or Title V programs. An applicant that receives a grant from the Student Support Services (SSS) program that is authorized under section 402D of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1070a-14, may receive a waiver of the required non-Federal cost share for institutions for the duration of the grant. An applicant that receives a grant from the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program that is authorized under section 604 of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1124, may receive a waiver or reduction of the required non-Federal cost share for institutions for the duration of the grant.

    Special Note: To qualify as an eligible institution under the grant programs listed in this notice, your institution must satisfy several criteria. For most of these programs, these criteria include those that relate to the enrollment of needy students and to Core Expenses per FTE student count for a specified base year. The most recent data available in IPEDS for Core Expenses per FTE are for base year 2014-2015. In order to award FY 2017 grants in a timely manner, we will use these data to evaluate eligibility.

    Accordingly, all institutions interested in either applying for a new grant under the Title III or Title V programs addressed in this notice, or requesting a waiver of the non-Federal cost share, must be designated as an eligible institution for FY 2017. Under the HEA, any IHE interested in applying for a grant under any of these programs must first be designated as an eligible institution. (34 CFR 606.5 and 607.5).

    Eligible Applicants:

    The eligibility requirements for the programs authorized under Part A of Title III of the HEA are in sections 312 and 317-320 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058, 1059d-1059g) and in 34 CFR 607.2 through 607.5. The regulations may be accessed at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2001-title34-vol3/xml/CFR-2001-title34-vol3-part607.xml.

    The eligibility requirements for the programs authorized by Part F of Title III of the HEA are in section 371 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1067q). There are currently no specific regulations for these programs.

    The eligibility requirements for the Title V HSI program are in Part A of Title V of the HEA and in 34 CFR 606.2 through 34 CFR 606.5. The regulations may be accessed at:www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2001-title34-vol3/xml/CFR-2001-title34-vol3-part606.xml.

    The requirements for the PPOHA program are in Part B of Title V of the HEA and in the notice of final requirements published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2010 (75 FR 44055), and in 34 CFR 606.2(a) and (b), and 606.3 through 606.5.

    The Department has instituted a process known as the Eligibility Matrix (EM), under which we will use information submitted by IHEs to IPEDS to determine which institutions meet the basic eligibility requirements for the programs authorized by Title III or Title V of the HEA listed above. We will use enrollment and fiscal data for the 2014-2015 year submitted by institutions to IPEDS to make eligibility determinations for FY 2017. Beginning December 1, 2016, an institution will be able to review the Department's decision on whether it is eligible for Title III or Title V grant programs through this process by examining its entry in the EM linked through the Department's Institutional Service Eligibility Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/eligibility.html.

    The EM is a read-only worksheet that lists all potentially eligible postsecondary institutions, as determined by the Department using the data described above. If the entry for your institution in the EM shows that your institution is eligible to apply for a grant for a particular program, and you plan to submit an application for a grant in that program, you will not need to apply for eligibility or for a waiver through the process described in this notice. Rather, you may print out the eligibility certification directly. However, if the EM does not show that your institution is eligible for a program in which you plan to apply for a grant, you must submit a waiver request as discussed in this notice.

    You may search the EM by institution name, IPEDS unit ID number, or OPE ID number. If you are inquiring about general eligibility, look up your institution's name under the SIP column. If you are inquiring about specific program eligibility, look under that program's column.

    If the EM does not show that your institution is eligible for a program, or if your institution does not appear in the EM, or if you disagree with the eligibility determination in the EM, you can apply for a waiver or reconsideration through the process described in this notice. The waiver application process is the same as in previous years; you will choose the waiver option on the Web site at http://opeweb.ed.gov/title3and5/ and submit your institution's waiver request.

    Enrollment of Needy Students: For the Title III and V programs (excluding the PBI programs), an institution is considered to have an enrollment of needy students if: (1) At least 50 percent of its degree students received financial assistance under the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, FWS, or the Federal Perkins Loan programs; or (2) the percentage of its undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and received Federal Pell Grants exceeded the median percentage of undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and received Federal Pell Grants at comparable institutions that offer similar instruction.

    To qualify under this latter criterion, an institution's Federal Pell Grant percentage for base year 2014-2015 must be more than the median for its category of comparable institutions provided in the 2014-2015 Median Pell Grant and Core Expenses per FTE Student table in this notice. If your institution qualifies under the first criterion, under which at least 50 percent of its degree students received financial assistance under one of several Federal student aid programs (the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, FWS, or the Federal Perkins Loan programs), but not the second criterion, under which an institution's Federal Pell Grant percentage for base year 2014-2015 must be more than the median for its category of comparable institutions provided in the 2014-2015 Median Pell Grant and Core Expenses per FTE Student table in this notice, you must submit a waiver request including the requested data, which is not available in IPEDS.

    For the definition of “Enrollment of Needy Students” for purposes of the Part A PBI program, see section 318(b)(2) of the HEA, and for purposes of the Part F PBI program see section 371(c)(9)of the HEA.

    Core Expenses per FTE Student: For the Title III, Part A SIP; Part A ANNH; Part A PBI; Part A NASNTI; Part A AANAPISI; Title III, Part F HSI STEM and Articulation; Part F PBI; Part F AANAPISI; Part F ANNH; Part F NASNTI; Title V, Part A HIS, and Title V, Part B PPOHA programs, an institution should compare its base year 2014-2015 Core Expenses per FTE student to the average Core Expenses per FTE student for its category of comparable institutions in the base year 2014-2015 Median Pell Grant and Average Core Expenses per FTE Student Table in this notice. The institution meets this eligibility requirement under these programs if its Core Expenses for the 2014-2015 base year are less than the average for its category of comparable institutions.

    Core Expenses are defined as the total expenses for the essential education activities of the institution. Core Expenses for public institutions reporting under the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) requirements include expenses for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, scholarships and fellowships excluding discounts and allowances, and other operating and non-operating expenses. Core Expenses for institutions reporting under the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards (primarily private, not-for-profit, and for-profit) include expenses for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, net grant aid to students (excluding discounts and allowances), and other expenses. For both FASB and GASB institutions, core expenses exclude expenses for auxiliary enterprises (e.g., bookstores, dormitories), hospitals, and independent operations. The following table identifies the relevant median Federal Pell Grant percentages for the base year 2014-2015 and the relevant Core Expenses per FTE student for the base year 2014-2015 for the four categories of comparable institutions:

    Type of institution Base year
  • 2014-2015
  • median Pell Grant
  • percentage
  • Base year
  • 2014-2015
  • average core expenses per FTE student
  • Two-year Public Institutions 41 $12,333 Two-year Non-profit Private Institutions 59 14,151 Four-year Public Institutions 39 29,192 Four-year Non-profit Private Institutions 41 36,629

    Waiver Information: IHEs that do not meet the needy student enrollment requirement or the Core Expenses per FTE requirement may apply to the Secretary for a waiver of these requirements, as described in sections 392 and 522 of the HEA, and the implementing regulations at 34 CFR 606.3(b), 606.4(c) and (d), 607.3(b), and 607.4(c) and (d).

    IHEs requesting a waiver of the needy student enrollment requirement or the Core Expenses per FTE requirement must include in their application detailed information supporting the waiver request, as described in the instructions for completing the application.

    The regulations governing the Secretary's authority to waive the needy student requirement, 34 CFR 606.3(b)(2) and (3) and 607.3(b)(2) and (3), refer to “low-income” students or families. The regulations at 34 CFR 606.3(c) and 607.3(c) define “low-income” as an amount that does not exceed 150 percent of the amount equal to the poverty level, as established by the U.S. Census Bureau.

    For the purposes of this waiver provision, the following table sets forth the low-income levels for various sizes of families:

    2015 Annual Low-Income Levels Size of family unit Family income for the 48
  • contiguous
  • states, DC, and outlying jurisdictions
  • Family income for Alaska Family income for Hawaii
    1 $11,770 $14,720 $13,550 2 15,930 19,920 18,330 3 20,090 25,120 23,110 4 24,250 30,320 27,890 5 28,410 35,520 32,670 6 32,570 40,720 37,450 7 36,730 45,920 42,230 8 40,890 51,120 47,010

    Note: We use the 2015 annual low-income levels because those are the amounts that apply to the family income reported by students enrolled for the fall 2014 semester. For family units with more than eight members, add the following amount for each additional family member: $4,160 for the contiguous 48 States, the District of Columbia, and outlying jurisdictions; $5,200 for Alaska; and $4,780 for Hawaii.

    The figures shown under family income represent amounts equal to 150 percent of the family income levels established by the U.S. Census Bureau for determining poverty status. The poverty guidelines were published on January 22, 2015, in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (80 FR 3236).

    Information about “metropolitan statistical areas” referenced in 34 CFR 606.3(b)(4) and 607.3(b)(4) may be obtained at: www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/10smadb/appendixc.pdf and www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/07ccdb/appd.pdf.

    Electronic Submission of Waiver Applications:

    If your institution does not appear in the EM as one that is eligible for the program under which you plan to apply for a grant, you must submit an application for a waiver of the eligibility requirements. To request a waiver, you must upload a waiver narrative at: http://opeweb.ed.gov/title3and5/.

    Exception to the Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format if you are unable to submit an application electronically because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload documents to the Web site;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the waiver application deadline date (14 calendar days; or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application. If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Mail or fax your statement to: Christopher Smith or Jason Cottrell, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C146, Washington, DC 20202. Fax: (202) 401-8466.

    Your paper waiver application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: Christopher Smith, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C146, Washington, DC 20202.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    We will not consider waiver applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

    Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: Christopher Smith, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C146, Washington, DC 20202.

    Hand delivered applications will be accepted daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for certain Title III programs in 34 CFR part 607, and for the HSI program in 34 CFR part 606. (e) The notice of final requirements for the PPOHA program, published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2010 (75 FR 44055).

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

    Note:

    There are no program-specific regulations for the Part A AANAPISI, Part A NASNTI, and Part A PBI programs or any of the Part F, Title III programs. Also, there have been amendments to the HEA since the Department last issued regulations for the programs established under Titles III and V of the statute. Accordingly, we encourage each potential applicant to read the applicable sections of the HEA in order to fully understand the eligibility requirements for the program for which they are applying.

    For Applications and Further Information Contact: Christopher Smith, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C146, Request for Eligibility Designation, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-7946, or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, audio tape, or compact disc) on request to one of the contact persons listed in this section.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Lynn B. Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation, Delegated the Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28400 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0094] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application for Approval To Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs AGENCY:

    Department of Education (ED), Federal Student Aid (FSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0094. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-347, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Veronica Pickett, 202-377-4232.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Application for Approval to Participate in Federal Student Financial Aid Programs.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0012.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 7,286.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 24,352.

    Abstract: Section 487(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) requires that the Secretary of Education prescribe regulations to ensure that any funds postsecondary institutions receive under the HEA are used solely for the purposes specified in, and in accordance with, the provision of the applicable programs. The Institutional Eligibility regulations govern the initial and continuing eligibility of postsecondary educational institutions participating in the student financial assistance program authorized by Title IV of the HEA. An institution must use this Application to apply for approval to be determined to be eligible and if the institution wishes, to participate; to expand its eligibility; or to continue to participate in the Title IV programs. An institution must also use the application to report certain required data as part of its recordkeeping requirements contained in the regulations under 34 CFR part 600 (Institutional Eligibility under the HEA). The Department uses the information reported on the Application in its determination of whether an institution meets the statutory and regulatory requirements.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28349 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open teleconference.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and summary agenda for a conference call of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and describes the functions of the Council. The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    December 12, 2016 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    To receive the call-in information, attendees should register for the conference call on the PCAST Web site, http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast, no later than 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Monday, December 12, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information regarding the meeting agenda, time, location, and how to register for the meeting is available on the PCAST Web site at: http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast. Questions about the meeting should be directed to Ms. Jennifer Michael at email: [email protected] or phone: (202) 456-4444.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the nation's leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House, cabinet departments, and other Federal agencies. See the Executive Order at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast. PCAST is consulted about and provides analyses and recommendations concerning a wide range of issues where understandings from the domains of science, technology, and innovation may bear on the policy choices before the President. PCAST is co-chaired by Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, The White House; and Dr. Eric S. Lander, President, Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.

    Type of Meeting: Open.

    Proposed Schedule and Agenda: The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is scheduled to hold a public conference call on December 12, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Open Portion of Meeting: During this open meeting, PCAST is scheduled to discuss its semiconductor, national nanotechnology initiative, and science and technology for safe drinking water studies. Additional information and the agenda, including any changes that arise, will be posted at the PCAST Web site at: http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast.

    Public Comments: It is the policy of the PCAST to accept written public comments of any length, and to accommodate oral public comments whenever possible. The PCAST expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted oral or written statements.

    The public comment period for this meeting will take place on December 12, 2016 at a time specified in the meeting agenda posted on the PCAST Web site at http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast. This public comment period is designed only for substantive commentary on PCAST's work, not for business marketing purposes.

    Oral Comments: To be considered for the public speaker list at the meeting, interested parties should register to speak at http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast, no later than 1:00 p.m. (ET) on December 9, 2016. Phone or email reservations will not be accepted. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per person, with a total public comment period of up to 10 minutes. If more speakers register than there is space available on the agenda, PCAST will randomly select speakers from among those who applied. Those not selected to present oral comments may always file written comments with the committee.

    Written Comments: Although written comments are accepted continuously, written comments should be submitted to PCAST no later than 1:00 p.m. (ET) on December 9, 2016, so that the comments may be made available to the PCAST members prior to this meeting for their consideration. Information regarding how to submit comments and documents to PCAST is available at http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast in the section entitled “Connect with PCAST.”

    Please note that because PCAST operates under the provisions of FACA, all public comments and/or presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including being posted on the PCAST Web site.

    Meeting Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodation to access this public meeting should contact Ms. Jennifer Michael at least ten business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Issued in Washington, DC on November 18, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28281 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-362-000] Rio Bravo Solar II, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding Rio Bravo Solar II, LLC`s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is December 7, 2016.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: November 17, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28327 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-492-000] EcoEléctrica, L.P.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the LNG Terminal Sendout Capacity Increase Project

    On August 11, 2016, EcoEléctrica, L.P. (EcoEléctrica) filed an application in Docket No. CP16-492-000 requesting a limited amendment under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act to operate certain liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. The proposed project is known as the LNG Terminal Sendout Capacity Increase Project (Project), and would increase the vaporization send out capacity at EcoEléctrica's existing LNG terminal in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico to supply the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority with an additional 93 million cubic feet per day.

    On August 25, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review

    Issuance of EA, April 12, 2017.

    90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline, July 11, 2017.

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    EcoEléctrica proposes to modify its current operations to use a spare vaporizer at its existing LNG terminal in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico. No changes would be made to the design of the existing LNG vaporization system, the existing LNG storage tank, or in-tank LNG sendout pumps as part of the Project. The Project would not include any construction activities and no ground disturbance would be required for construction or operation.

    Background

    On November 1, 2016, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed LNG Terminal Sendout Capacity Increase Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. The scoping period identified in the NOI will end on December 1, 2016.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. 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.

    Additional information about the 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, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and “Docket Number” excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-492), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28329 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-361-000] Pumpjack Solar I, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding Pumpjack Solar I, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is December 8, 2016.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28324 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-360-000] Rio Bravo Solar I, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding Rio Bravo Solar I, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is December 7, 2016.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: November 17, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28326 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group Meeting Docket Nos. Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements RM01-8-000 Electricity Market Transparency Provisions of Section 220 of the Federal Power Act RM10-12-000 Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process RM12-3-000 Electric Quarterly Reports ER02-2001-000

    Take notice that on December 8, 2016, the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) will hold an Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) Users Group meeting. The meeting will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST), in the Commission Meeting Room at 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. All interested persons are invited to attend. For those unable to attend in person, access to the meeting will be available by webcast.

    This meeting will provide a forum for dialogue between Commission staff and EQR users and such meetings will also be held in the future on a periodic basis. During the meeting, Commission staff and EQR users will discuss potential improvements to the EQR program and the EQR filing process, including: (1) The EQR Test Submission System (Sandbox); (2) revisions to the EQR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), EQR Users Guide, EQR Data Dictionary, and allowable entries for Hub and Balancing Authority Areas; and (3) best practices for data submission, regarding filing best available data, standardizing Price and Quantity, reporting contract rate information, reviewing RTO or ISO reports, reporting Point of Delivery Specific Location (PODSL), and possible new transaction products. Please note that matters pending before the Commission and subject to ex parte limitations cannot be discussed at this meeting. An agenda of the meeting is attached.

    Due to the nature of the discussion, those interested in actively participating in the discussion are encouraged to attend in person. All interested persons (whether attending in person or via webcast) are asked to register online at https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/12-08-16-form.asp. There is no registration fee.

    Those who would like to participate in the discussion by telephone during the meeting should send a request for a telephone line to [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, December 1, 2016 with the subject line: EQR Users Group Meeting Teleconference Request.

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations, please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1-866-208-3372 (voice) or 202-208-1659 (TTY), or send a FAX to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about the EQR Users Group meeting, please contact Don Callow of the Commission's Office of Enforcement at (202) 502-8838, or send an email to [email protected]

    Dated: November 17, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28328 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RM17-4-000] Establishing the Length of License Terms for Hydroelectric Projects AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Inquiry.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is inviting comments on what changes, if any, the Commission should make to its policy for establishing the length of original and new license terms for hydroelectric projects.

    DATES:

    Comments are due January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways:

    • Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments, see the Comment Procedures section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nick Jayjack, (Technical Information), Office of Energy Projects, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6073. Carolyn Clarkin, (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel—Energy Projects, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8563.
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. In this Notice of Inquiry, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) seeks comment on whether, and, if so, how the Commission should revise its policy for establishing the length of original and new licenses it issues for hydroelectric projects.

    I. Background

    2. Section 6 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) 1 provides that hydropower licenses shall be issued for a term not to exceed 50 years. There is no minimum license term for original licenses. FPA section 15(e) 2 provides that any new license (i.e., relicense) shall be for a term that the Commission determines to be in the public interest, but not less than 30 years or more than 50 years.

    1 16 U.S.C. 799 (2012).

    2 16 U.S.C. 808(e) (2012).

    3. It is current Commission policy to set a 50-year term for licenses issued for projects located at federal dams.3 For projects located at non-federal dams, the Commission's current policy is to set a 30-year term where there is little or no authorized redevelopment, new construction, or environmental mitigation and enhancement; a 40-year term for a license involving a moderate amount of these activities; and a 50-year term where there is an extensive amount of such activity.4 The purpose of this policy is to ease the economic impact of new costs, promote balanced and comprehensive development of renewable power generating resources, and encourage licensees to be better environmental stewards.5

    3See City of Danville, Virginia, 58 FERC ¶ 61,318, at 62,020 (1992).

    4See id. (addressing original licenses); Consumers Power Co., 68 FERC ¶ 61,077, at 61,384 (1994) (addressing relicenses).

    5Consumers Power Co., 68 FERC ¶ 61,077 at 61,384.

    4. Determining whether the measures required under a license are minimal, moderate, or extensive is highly case-sensitive and largely based on a qualitative analysis of the record before the Commission. In establishing the appropriate license term, staff initially examines the nature and extent of the required measures in the context of the project at issue,6 and then uses the cost of measures as a check on a qualitative conclusion that measures required under a relicense are minimal, moderate, or extensive. Further, the Commission's policy is to take a forward-looking approach, such that measures adopted under a previous license term are not considered.7 It has also been the Commission's policy to set license terms that coordinate, to the extent feasible, the license terms for projects in the same river basin to maximize future consideration of cumulative impacts at the same time the projects are due to be relicensed.8

    6 For example, one type of fishway may be more expensive than another, and a fishway type that might be considered extensive for a small project could be seen as minimal for a larger one.

    7See, e.g., Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Duke Energy), 156 FERC ¶ 61,010, at P 19 (2016); Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County, Washington (Chelan PUD), 127 FERC ¶ 61,152, at PP 12-14 (2009); Ford Motor Co., 110 FERC ¶ 61,236, at PP 6-8 (2005).

    8See, e.g., 18 CFR 2.23 (2016); Chelan PUD, 127 FERC ¶ 61,152 at P 18.

    5. The length of an original license has not been contested on rehearing for some time. The length of a new license, however, has recently been contested in several relicensing proceedings. The arguments raised in these cases include that the Commission, when establishing the license term, should have considered, or given more weight to: Capacity-related investments or environmental enhancements made by the licensee during the current license and before issuance of the new license; 9 total cost of the relicensing process; 10 losses in generation value related to environmental measures; 11 the license terms of projects that the licensee states are similarly situated to its project; 12 and the license term provided for in settlement agreements.13 In each circumstance, the Commission declined to deviate from its current policy to extend the length of the license.

    9See, e.g., Duke Energy, 156 FERC ¶ 61,010 at PP 9-26; Alabama Power Co., 155 FERC ¶ 61,080, at P 72 (2016); Public Utility District No. 1 of Douglas County, Washington (Douglas PUD), 143 FERC ¶ 61,130, at PP 12-14 (2013); Chelan PUD, 127 FERC ¶ 61,152 at PP 12-14; Georgia Power Co., 111 FERC ¶ 61,183, at PP 10-15 (2005); Ford Motor Co., 110 FERC ¶ 61,236 at PP 6-8.

    10See, e.g., Duke Energy, 156 FERC ¶ 61,010 at P 14.

    11See, e.g., id. P 12.

    12See, e.g., Duke Energy, 156 FERC ¶ 61,010 at PP 20-23; Alabama Power Co., 155 FERC ¶ 61,080 at PP 71, 75; Duke Energy Progress, Inc., 153 FERC ¶ 61,056, at PP 39, 42 (2015); Douglas PUD, 143 FERC ¶ 61,130 at P 15.

    13See, e.g., Duke Energy Progress, Inc., 153 FERC ¶ 61,056 at PP 40, 44; Douglas PUD, 143 FERC ¶ 61,130 at PP 18-19; Chelan PUD, 127 FERC ¶ 61,152 at PP 16-17.

    II. Subject of the Notice of Inquiry

    6. The Commission seeks comments on whether, and, if so, how the Commission should revise its policy for establishing license terms for projects located at non-federal dams. Below, we outline five potential options that Commission staff has identified for establishing license terms: (1) Retain the existing license term policy; (2) add to the existing license term policy the consideration of measures implemented under the prior license; (3) replace the existing license term policy with a 50-year default license term unless the Commission determines that a lesser license term would be in the public interest (for example, to better coordinate, to the extent feasible, the license terms for projects in the same river basin for future consideration of cumulative impacts); (4) add a more quantitative cost-based analysis to the existing license term policy; and (5) alter current policy to accept the longer license term agreed upon in an applicable settlement agreement, when appropriate. We encourage comments on these options, as well as the suggestion of any other alternatives. While the Commission will consider comments filed, the Commission may not, and is not required to, take further action.

    A. Retain Existing License Term Policy

    7. The Commission could retain its current policy to set a 30-year term where there is little or no authorized redevelopment, new construction, or environmental mitigation and enhancement; a 40-year term where there is a moderate amount of these activities; and a 50-year term where there is an extensive amount of such activity. The Commission seeks comment on whether it should retain its current license term policy and on the following questions:

    i. What challenges does the Commission's current license term policy pose?

    ii. Does the Commission's current license term policy discourage licensees from investing in environmental and recreational enhancements or in development improvements (e.g., efficiency upgrades or project expansions) before relicensing? How so? What other factors affect whether and when a licensee makes such project enhancements or improvements?

    iii. Does a license term affect a licensee's ability to finance its project, and if so, how?

    iv. Does the Commission's license term policy affect the likelihood of parties reaching settlement agreements? How so?

    v. Does the current license term policy have benefits for stakeholders and affected resources? If so, please describe these benefits.

    B. Consider Measures Implemented During a Prior License Term

    8. In addition to considering measures required under the new license, the Commission could, when establishing the license term, consider measures implemented under the prior license.14 The Commission would have to determine which measures to consider (i.e., the timing and type of measures), and whether the considered measures justify a 30-, 40-, or 50-year license term. The Commission seeks comment on this policy option and on the following questions:

    14 “Early” measures could include: measures that the licensee implemented through an amendment of its existing license where such amendment did not extend the existing license term, and measures implemented by a licensee that were permissible under but not required by the existing license.

    i. Why should the Commission consider early measures when establishing a license term?

    ii. What measures should be considered under “early measures” and why? Should the Commission consider all early measures, including developmental, environmental, recreation, and maintenance activities? Are there certain types of measures that the Commission should not consider?

    iii. How would the Commission's consideration of early measures affect whether and when licensees make non-developmental and developmental improvements?

    iv. How should the Commission limit the scope of early measures considered? Should the Commission only consider activities conducted within a certain number of years of relicensing?

    C. 50-Year Default License Term

    9. The Commission could establish 50 years as the default license term. A lesser license term could be set to coordinate, to the extent feasible, the license terms for projects in the same river basin for future consideration of cumulative impacts or for other appropriate reasons. Under the 50-year default option, parties other than the licensee would bear the burden of arguing that the license term should be less than 50 years. The Commission seeks comment on establishing a 50-year default license term and on the following questions:

    i. What would be the benefit(s) of the Commission establishing a 50-year default license term?

    ii. What factors, other than the coordination of license terms for projects in the same river basin, would weigh against the presumption of a 50-year default license term?

    iii. How would the default term affect license settlements and negotiations?

    D. Quantitative Cost-Based Analysis

    10. The Commission could include a more quantitative cost-based analysis that factors-in project size and capacity into its license term policy. The Commission seeks comment on using a more quantitative cost-based analysis to establish a license term and on the following questions:

    i. What costs should the Commission consider in a quantitative analysis?

    ii. How should cost be calculated? Should cost be calculated on a total cost or a on a cost per megawatt basis?

    iii. What weight should the Commission give to costs when establishing the license term?

    iv. The Commission licenses an array of small and large projects. How could the Commission account for project size and capacity when considering project costs?

    v. Commission staff relies on the cost information provided by the licensees. How could the Commission ensure the reliability of the cost information and to what extent would consideration of this type of information affect the licensing process?

    E. Agreed-Upon Settlement Term

    11. The Commission could establish the license term based on the term negotiated in a settlement agreement when appropriate. The Commission seeks comment on this policy option and on the following questions:

    i. How would establishing the license term based on the term agreed upon in a settlement agreement affect settlement negotiations?

    ii. When should the Commission not defer to the license term agreed upon in a settlement agreement?

    III. Comment Procedures

    12. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments and other information on the matters, issues, and specific questions identified in this notice, and any alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due January 24, 2017. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM17-4-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address.

    13. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    14. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    15. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    IV. Document Availability

    16. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    17. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    18. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected].

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: November 17, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28195 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC17-35-000.

    Applicants: Calpine Energy Services Holdco LLC, North American Power Business, LLC, North American Power and Gas, LLC.

    Description: Joint Application of Calpine Energy Services Holdco LLC, et al. for Approval Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Action.

    Filed Date: 11/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161117-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/8/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG17-30-000.

    Applicants: Niles Valley Energy LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status for Niles Valley Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161116-5138.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: EG17-31-000.

    Applicants: IMG Midstream LLC.

    Description: Self-Certification of EWG of Wolf Run Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161116-5139.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: EG17-32-000.

    Applicants: SR South Loving LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of SR South Loving LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5042.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-1350-006.

    Applicants: Entergy Services, Inc.

    Description: Entergy Services, Inc. submits Refund Report.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5070.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2564-006; ER10-2289-006; ER10-2600-006.

    Applicants: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Tucson Electric Power Company, UNS Electric, Inc., UniSource Energy Development Company.

    Description: Amendment and Third Supplement to December 31, 2015 Triennial Market Power Update for the Southwest Region of the Fortis, Inc. subsidiaries.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1973-001.

    Applicants: Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch B LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch B LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 6/22/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5047.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2298-003.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: DEK Errata to Supplemental Revised Filing RS No. 14 to be effective 10/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5127.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2730-001.

    Applicants: LSC Communications US, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: LSCC MBRA App Supplement to be effective 10/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-157-001.

    Applicants: Moapa Southern Paiute Solar, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Supplement to Application for Order Accepting Initial Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 10/22/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-263-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Substitute Original Service Agreement No. 4573, Queue No. NQ139 to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 11/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161117-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/8/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-297-001.

    Applicants: Ampex Energy, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amend MBR Application to be effective 11/15/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161117-5116.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/8/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-355-000.

    Applicants: ITC Midwest LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Errata to Filing of CIAC Agreement with Northern States Power to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 11/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161117-5134.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/8/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-381-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to OATT Schedule 12—Appdx A re RTEP Approved by the Board in Oct 2016 to be effective 2/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 11/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20161117-5164.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/8/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-382-000.

    Applicants: CED Ducor Solar 1, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Market-Based Rates Tariff to be effective 11/19/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5067.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-383-000.

    Applicants: CED Ducor Solar 2, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Market-Based Rates Tariff to be effective 11/19/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5069.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-384-000.

    Applicants: CED Ducor Solar 3, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Market-Based Rates Tariff to be effective 11/19/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5071.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-385-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of ICSA No. 3409 Queue Position #T107, X3-004 & Y2-019 to be effective 7/20/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5096.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-386-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: NYISO tariff revision—ICAP Demand Curve Reset to be effective 1/17/2017.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-387-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-11-18 Revisions to Attachment FF-6 to address cost allocation gap to be effective 1/18/2017.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-389-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-11-18 SA 2872 Montana Dakota-Montana Dakota 1st Rev. GIA (J405) to be effective 11/19/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5115.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-390-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., ITC Midwest LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-11-18_SA 2728 MidAmerican-ITCM 2nd Rev. FSA (H021) to be effective 11/18/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20161118-5117.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric reliability filings:

    Docket Numbers: RD17-1-000.

    Applicants: North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

    Description: Petition of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation for Retirement of Reliability Standard BAL-004-0.

    Filed Date: 11/10/16.

    Accession Number: 20161110-5240.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/19/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28323 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-6-003] PJM Interconnection LLC; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on November 14, 2016, PJM Interconnection L.L.C. submitted tariff filing per: Compliance Filing to be effective February 1, 2017, pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Order issued on September 15, 2016 Order.1

    1PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., et al., 156 FERC 61,180 (2016).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 5, 2016.

    Dated: November 17, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28330 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9030-4] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www.epa.gov/nepa

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements Filed 11/14/2016 Through 11/18/2016 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9. Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/nepa/eisdata.html.

    EIS No. 20160273, Final, FHWA, FL, SR 87 Connector, Contact: Joseph Sullivan 850-553-2248.

    Under 49 U.S.C. 304a(b), FHWA has issued a Final EIS and ROD. Therefore, the 30-day wait/review period under NEPA does not apply to this action.

    EIS No. 20160274, Draft, FHWA, NY, NYS Route 198 (Scajaquada Expressway) Corridor Project, Comment Period Ends: 01/25/2017, Contact: Peter Osborn 518-431-4127. EIS No. 20160275, Draft Supplement, USFS, WA, Pack and Saddle Stock Outfitter-Guide Special Use Permit Issuance, Comment Period Ends: 01/09/2017, Contact: Jennifer Zbyszewski 509-996-4021. EIS No. 20160276, Final, FRA, MD, Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel, Review Period Ends: 12/27/2016, Contact: Brandon Bratcher 202-493-0844. EIS No. 20160277, Final, USCG, LA, Port Delfin Project Deepwater Port Application, Review Period Ends: 01/12/2017, Contact: Roddy C. Bachman 202-372-1451. EIS No. 20160278, Final, BLM, OR, Proposed Land use Plan Amendment for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project, Review Period Ends: 12/25/2016, Contact: Tamara Gertsch 307-775-6115 EIS No. 20160279, Final, BOEM, LA, Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2017-2022, Review Period Ends: 12/27/2016, Contact: Dr. Jill Lewandowski 703-787-1703 EIS No. 20160280, Adoption, USFWS, NAT, ADOPTION—Programmatic—Habitat Restoration Activities Implemented Throughout the Coastal United States, Review Period Ends: 12/27/2016, Contact: Peter Barlow 703-358-2119

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service is adopting the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency's Final EIS #20150171, filed with EPA on 06/11/2015. The USFWS was not a cooperating agency. Therefore, recirculation of the EIS is necessary under Section 1506.3(b) of the CEQ Regulations.

    EIS No. 20160281, Draft, USFS, CO, Snowmass Multi-Season Recreation Projects, Comment Period Ends: 01/11/2017, Contact: Roger Poirier 970-945-3245 EIS No. 20160282, Final Supplement, USFWS, HI, Na Pua Makani Wind Project and Habitat Conservation Plan, Review Period Ends: 01/03/2017, Contact: Jodi Charrier 808-792-9400 Amended Notices EIS No. 20160256, Draft Supplement, USACE, MO, Mississippi River between the Ohio and Missouri Rivers (Regulating Works), Comment Period Ends: 01/18/2017, Contact: Kip Runyon 314-331-8396, Revision to the FR Notice Published 11/04/2016, Extending the Comment Period from 12/19/2016 to 01/18/2017. Dated: November 21, 2016. Dawn Roberts, Management Analyst, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28407 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Revision of Information Collection; National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households; Comment Request (3064-0167) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the survey collection instrument for its fourth National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households (Household Survey), currently approved under OMB Control No. 3064-0167, scheduled to be conducted in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau as a supplement to its June 2017 Current Population Survey (CPS). The survey seeks to estimate the proportions of unbanked and underbanked households in the U.S. and to identify the factors that inhibit the participation of these households in the mainstream banking system, and opportunities to expand the use of banking services among underserved consumers. The results of these ongoing surveys will help policymakers and bankers understand the issues and challenges underserved households perceive when deciding how and where to conduct financial transactions.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    http://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal/notices.html.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Manny Cabeza (202-898-3767), Counsel, MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to OMB control number 3064-0167. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manny Cabeza, at the FDIC address above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FDIC is considering possible revisions to the following collection of information:

    Title: National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households.

    OMB Number: 3064-0167.

    Frequency of Response: Once.

    Affected Public: U.S. Households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 50,000.

    Average Time per Response: 10 minutes (0.16 hours) per respondent.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 0.16 hours × 50,000 respondents = 8,334 hours.

    General Description of Collection: The FDIC recognizes that public confidence in the banking system is strengthened when banks effectively serve the broadest possible set of consumers. As a result, the agency is committed to increasing the participation of unbanked and underbanked households in the financial mainstream by ensuring that all Americans have access to safe, secure, and affordable banking services. The National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is one contribution to this end.

    The National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is also a key component of the FDIC's efforts to comply with a Congressional mandate contained in section 7 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Conforming Amendments Act of 2005 (“Reform Act”) (Pub. L. 109-173), which calls for the FDIC to conduct ongoing surveys “on efforts by insured depository institutions to bring those individuals and families who have rarely, if ever, held a checking account, a savings account or other type of transaction or check cashing account at an insured depository institution (hereafter in this section referred to as the `unbanked') into the conventional finance system.” Section 7 further instructs the FDIC to consider several factors in its conduct of the surveys, including: (1) “what cultural, language and identification issues as well as transaction costs appear to most prevent `unbanked' individuals from establishing conventional accounts”; and (2) “what is a fair estimate of the size and worth of the “unbanked” market in the United States.” The National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is designed to address these factors and provide a factual basis on the proportions of unbanked households. Such a factual basis is necessary to adequately assess banks' efforts to serve these households as required by the statutory mandate.

    To obtain this information, the FDIC partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau, which administered the Household Survey supplement (“FDIC Supplement') to households that participated in the January 2009, June 2011, June 2013 and June 2015 CPS. The results of these surveys were released to the public in December 2009, September 2012, October 2014, and October 2016, respectively.

    The FDIC supplement has yielded nationally-representative data, not otherwise available, on the size and characteristics of the population that is unbanked or underbanked, the use by this population of alternative financial services, and the reasons why some households do not make greater use of mainstream banking services. The National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is the only population-representative survey conducted at the national level that provides state-level estimates of the size and characteristics of unbanked and underbanked households for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. An executive summary of the results of the first three Household Surveys, the full reports, and the survey instruments can be accessed through the following link: http://www.economicinclusion.gov/surveys/.

    Consistent with the statutory mandate to conduct the surveys on an ongoing basis, the FDIC already has in place arrangements for conducting the fourth Household Survey as a supplement to the June 2017 CPS. However, prior to finalizing the next survey questionnaire, the FDIC seeks to solicit public comment on whether changes to the existing instrument are desirable and, if so, to what extent. It should be noted that, as a supplement of the CPS survey, the Household Survey needs to adhere to specific parameters that include limits in the length and sensitivity of the questions that can be asked of CPS respondents. Specifically, there is a strict limitation on the number of questions permitted and the average time required to complete the survey.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collections, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 21st day of November 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28393 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Information Collection Revision; Comment Request (3064-0189) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on a revision of a continuing information collection, titled, “Company-Run Annual Stress Test Reporting Template and Documentation for Covered Institutions with Total Consolidated Assets of $50 Billion or More under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” (3064-0189), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal/notices.html. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include “Annual Stress Test Reporting Template and Documentation for Covered Institutions with Total Consolidated Assets of $50 Billion or More” on the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Manny Cabeza (202-898-3767), Counsel, MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Guard station at the rear of the 550 17th Street Building (located on F Street) on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    Public Inspection: All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/ including any personal information provided.

    Additionally, you may send a copy of your comments: By mail to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., #10235, Washington, DC 20503 or by facsimile to 202.395.6974, Attention: Federal Banking Agency Desk Officer.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    You can request additional information from Manny Cabeza, 202.898.3767, Legal Division, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., MB-3016 Washington, DC 20429. In addition, copies of the templates referenced in this notice can be found on the FDIC's Web site (http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FDIC is requesting comment on the following changes to the information collection:

    Title: Company-Run Annual Stress Test Reporting Template and Documentation for Covered Institutions with Total Consolidated Assets of $50 Billion or More under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    OMB Control Number: 3064-0189.

    Description: Section 165(i)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 1 (“Dodd-Frank Act”) requires certain financial companies, including state nonmember banks and state savings associations, to conduct annual stress tests 2 and requires the primary financial regulatory agency 3 of those financial companies to issue regulations implementing the stress test requirements.4 A state nonmember bank or state savings association is a “covered bank” and therefore subject to the stress test requirements if its total consolidated assets are more than $10 billion. Under section 165(i)(2), a covered bank is required to submit to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”) and to its primary financial regulatory agency a report at such time, in such form, and containing such information as the primary financial regulatory agency shall require.5

    1 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (July 21, 2010).

    2 12 U.S.C. 5365(i)(2)(A).

    3 12 U.S.C. 5301(12).

    4 12 U.S.C. 5365(i)(2)(C).

    5 12 U.S.C. 5365(i)(2)(B).

    On October 15, 2012, the FDIC published in the Federal Register a final rule implementing the section 165(i)(2) annual stress test requirement.6 The final rule requires covered banks to meet specific reporting requirements under section 165(i)(2). In 2012, the FDIC first implemented the reporting templates for covered banks with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more and provided instructions for completing the reports.7 This information collection notice describes revisions by the FDIC to the relevant reporting templates and related instructions, as well as required information. The information contained in these information collections may be given confidential treatment to the extent allowed by law (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)).

    6 77 FR 62417(October 15, 2012).

    7 77 FR 52719 (August 30, 2012) and 77 FR 70435 (November 26, 2012). The most recent revisions to the reporting templates and related instructions were made in 2014. See 79 FR 58780 (September 30, 2014) and 79 FR 75152 (December 17, 2014)

    Consistent with past practice, the FDIC intends to use the data collected to assess the reasonableness of the stress test results of covered banks and to provide forward-looking information to the FDIC regarding a covered institution's capital adequacy. The FDIC also may use the results of the stress tests to determine whether additional analytical techniques and exercises could be appropriate to identify, measure, and monitor risks at the covered bank. The stress test results are expected to support ongoing improvement in a covered bank's stress testing practices with respect to its internal assessments of capital adequacy and overall capital planning.

    The FDIC recognizes that many covered banks with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more are required to submit reports using the Board's Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (“CCAR”) reporting form, FR Y-14A. The FDIC also recognizes the Board has modified the FR Y-14A, and the FDIC will keep its reporting requirements as similar as possible with the Board's FR Y-14A in order to minimize burden on affected institutions. Therefore, the FDIC is revising its reporting requirements to remain consistent with the Board's FR Y-14A for covered banks with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more.

    Proposed Revisions to Reporting Templates for Institutions With $50 Billion or More in Assets

    The proposed revisions to the DFAST-14A reporting templates consist of clarifying instructions, adding and removing schedules, adding, deleting, and modifying existing data items, and altering the as-of dates. These proposed changes would increase consistency between the DFAST-14A with the FR Y-14A and CALL Report,

    Summary Schedule, Standardized RWA Worksheet

    The proposed revision includes multiple line items changes intended to promote consistency with the FR Y-14A and ensure the collection of accurate information.

    Summary Schedule, Capital Worksheet

    Covered institutions would be required to estimate their supplementary leverage ratio for the planning horizon beginning on January 1, 2018. The FDIC proposes adding two items to the Summary Schedule: Supplementary Leverage Ratio Exposure (SLR Exposure) and Supplementary Leverage Ratio (the SLR). The SLR would be a derived field.

    In addition, to collect more precise information regarding deferred tax assets (DTAs), the FDIC proposes modifying one existing item on the Capital—DFAST worksheet of the Summary schedule as-of December 31, 2016. The FDIC proposes changing existing item 112 on the Capital—DFAST worksheet of the Summary schedule, “Deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences that could not be realized through net operating loss carrybacks, net of DTLs, but before related valuation allowances”, to “Deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences, net of DTLs.” A covered institution in a net deferred tax liability (DTL) position would report this item as a negative number. This modification would provide more specific information about the components of the “DTAs arising from temporary differences that could not be realized through net operating loss carrybacks, net of related valuation allowances and net of DTLs” subject to the common equity tier 1 capital deduction threshold.

    The proposed revisions would also remove certain items that pertained to the capital regulations in place before the adoption of the Basel III final rule.

    Summary Schedule, Counterparty Worksheet

    The FDIC proposes adding the item “Other counterparty losses” to the counterparty worksheet of the Summary schedule.

    Regulatory Capital Instruments Schedule

    The FDIC proposes to remove the Regulatory Capital Instruments Schedule.

    Regulatory Capital Transitions Schedule

    The FDIC proposes to remove the Regulatory Capital Transitions Schedule.

    Operational Risk Schedule

    The FDIC proposes to remove the Operational Risk Schedule.

    Burden Estimates

    The FDIC estimates that the proposed revisions will not affect the burden estimates of this information collection which will remain as follows:

    Number of Respondents: 4.

    Annual Burden per Respondent: 1,114.

    Total Annual Burden: 4,456.

    The FDIC recognizes that the Board requires bank holding companies to prepare the Summary, Macro scenario, Operational risk, Regulatory capital transitions, and Regulatory capital instruments for the FR Y-14A. The FDIC believes that the systems covered institutions use to prepare the FR Y-14A reporting templates will also be used to prepare the reporting templates described in this notice. Comments continue to be invited on:

    (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the FDIC, including whether the information has practical utility;

    (b) The accuracy of the FDIC's estimate of the burden of the collection of information;

    (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

    (e) Estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 21st day of November. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28344 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than December 9, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Mike Weis and Valerie Weis, Norwalk, Iowa, individually and as controlling shareholders of Interstate Enterprises, Ltd. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Interstate Telephone Company, Truro, Iowa, and as a group acting in concert with: Paul Cain, Van Meter, Iowa; Kelly Cain, Van Meter, Iowa; David Cain, Van Meter, Iowa; Meghan E. Cain, Van Meter, Iowa; Stephen Cain, Winterset, Iowa; Marvin A. Eivins, Winterset, Iowa; Lillian K. Eivins, Winterset, Iowa; Susan Eivins Brakhane, Winterset, Iowa; James W. Mease, Winterset, Iowa; Sue A. Mease, Winterset, Iowa; Justin J. Mease, Ankeny, Iowa; April S. Schaefer, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Shane K. Pashek, Winterset, Iowa; Ann Pashek, Winterset, Iowa; Taylor E. Pashek, Winterset, Iowa; S. James Smith, Winterset, Iowa; Linda J. Smith, Earlham, Iowa; Kari L. Brett, Altoona, Iowa; Ellen D. Wade, Beacon, New York; M. Randall Townsend, Winterset, Iowa; Kimberly A. Townsend, Winterset, Iowa; Megan A. Townsend, Winterset, Iowa; David E. Trask, Winterset, Iowa; Judith A. Trask, Winterset, Iowa; and Kristin Elizabeth Weis, Winterset, Iowa; to acquire control voting shares of Farmers and Merchants Bancorp, Winterset, Iowa, and thereby indirectly control Farmers & Merchants State Bank, Winterset, Iowa.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 21, 2016. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28386 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than December 21, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (David L. Hubbard, Senior Manager) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Lonoke Bancshares, Inc., Lonoke, Arkansas; to indirectly acquire 100 percent of Pinnacle Bancshares, Inc., Rogers, Arkansas, and thereby indirectly acquire Pinnacle Bank, Rogers, Arkansas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 21, 2016. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28387 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Docket No. CDC-2016-0110] Draft Guideline Update—CDC Recommendations on Use of Chlorhexidine-Impregnated Dressings for Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the opening of a docket to obtain public comment on the Draft Update of CDC Recommendations on Use of Chlorhexidine-Impregnated Dressings for Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections (Draft Recommendation Update). The Draft Recommendation Update addresses new and updated strategies for the prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections in healthcare settings. CDC is providing a supporting appendix in the docket that includes primary evidence, study evaluation, and data evaluation tables that were used in developing the Draft Recommendation Update.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0110 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-A07, Atlanta, GA 30329, Attn: Docket No. CDC-2016-0110.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Written materials identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0110, will be available for public inspection Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays, 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, at CDC Library, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30329. Please call ahead to (404) 639-1717 and request a Library representative to schedule your visit. All public comments will be reviewed and considered prior to finalizing the Draft Recommendation Update.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Contact Erin Stone, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop A-31, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; Telephone: (404) 639-4000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Since 2014 CDC has collaborated with national partners, academicians, public and private health professionals, and other partners to create this Draft Recommendation Update. CDC received input from the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) throughout the development of the Draft Recommendation Update. HICPAC includes representatives from public health, infectious diseases, regulatory and other federal agencies, professional societies, and other stakeholders. This Draft Recommendation Update is not a federal rule or regulation.

    The Draft Recommendation Update is designed for use by infection prevention staff, healthcare epidemiologists, administrators, nurses, and personnel responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating infection prevention and control programs for healthcare settings across the continuum of care. The recommendations contained in the Draft Recommendation Update are based on a targeted systematic review of the best available evidence for a specific topic related to the prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Sandra Cashman, Executive Secretary, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-28385 Filed 11-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-2537] Submission of Quality Metrics Data; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability; Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a revised draft guidance for industry entitled “Submission of Quality Metrics Data.” In order to help develop compliance and inspection policies and practices, improve the Agency's ability to predict, and therefore possibly mitigate, future drug shortages, and to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to implement state-of-the-art, innovative quality management systems for pharmaceutical manufacturing, FDA intends to initiate a quality metrics reporting program. The revised draft guidance describes FDA's plans for an initial, voluntary phase of this program. FDA expects that this voluntary phase will allow the Agency to learn more about a limited set of quality metrics and associated analytics, and to help inform future FDA decisionmaking about its quality metrics program. This revised draft also provides an opportunity to gain additional perspectives from industry participants on the future use of quality metrics data.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by January 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov/ will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov/.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2015-D-2537 for “Submission of Quality Metrics Data.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov/ or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov/. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov/ and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002 or to the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tara Gooen Bizjak, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 2109, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3257; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a revised draft guidance for industry entitled “Submission of Quality Metrics Data.” More than a decade ago, FDA launched an initiative to encourage the implementation of a modern, risk-based pharmaceutical quality assessment system. As part of this initiative, and in recognition of the increasing complexity of pharmaceutical manufacturing, FDA developed a 21st century vision for manufacturing and product quality with input from academia and industry. FDA articulated its vision as “a maximally efficient, agile, flexible pharmaceutical manufacturing sector that reliably produces high-quality drug products without extensive regulatory oversight.”

    Significant progress toward achieving this vision has occurred in the intervening years, as evidenced by programs and guidance from FDA around major initiatives such as pharmaceutical development and quality by design, quality risk management and pharmaceutical quality systems, process validation, and process analytical technology, among others. These programs and guidances are intended to promote effective use of the most current pharmaceutical science and engineering principles, and knowledge throughout a product's life cycle.

    Despite these achievements, however, we have not fully realized our 21st century vision for manufacturing and quality, and indicators of serious product quality defects persist. The Agency has found that the majority of drug shortages stem from quality issues—the discovery of substandard manufacturing facilities or processes, or identification of significant quality defects in finished products, necessitating remediation efforts, which in turn, may interrupt production, and cause a shortage of drugs. Taking action to reduce drug shortages remains a top priority for FDA.

    The continued existence of product quality issues may point to increased complexities in the supply chain, limited innovation in manufacturing, inadequate adoption of modern manufacturing technologies and robust quality management systems, or other factors. As described in the revised draft guidance, FDA is proposing a voluntary phase of a quality metrics reporting program to learn more about a limited set of quality metrics and associated analytics. Under this program, beginning in early 2018, FDA anticipates accepting the voluntary submission of data from owners and operators of certain human drugs establishments, especially manufacturers of covered drug products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) used in covered drug products. A covered drug product is: (1) Subject to an approved application under section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 355) or under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (the PHS Act) (42 U.S.C. 262); (2) marketed pursuant to an over-the-counter (OTC) monograph, or (3) a marketed unapproved finished drug product. Other types of establishments may also choose to submit quality metrics data as explained in the revised draft guidance. FDA expects to use information about participating establishments in our risk-based decisionmaking, and to evaluate our planned analytics as we further develop the quality metrics program as a subject of future rulemaking.

    Under Title VII section 706 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) (Pub. L. 112-144), FDA may require the submission of any records or other information that FDA may inspect under section 704 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 374), in advance or in lieu of an inspection by requesting the records or information from a person that owns or operates an establishment that is engaged in the manufacture, preparation, propagation, compounding, or processing of a drug. The quality metrics data described in the revised draft guidance is information of the type that FDA may inspect under section 704 of the FD&C Act. However, FDA does not intend to require the submission of information pursuant to section 704(a)(4) of the FD&C Act in implementing the voluntary phase of the quality metrics reporting program. FDA does not intend to take enforcement action based on errors in a quality metrics data submission made to this voluntary phase of the reporting program, provided the submission is made in good faith.

    Current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) for human drugs requires manufacturers to have an ongoing program to maintain and evaluate product and process data that relate to product quality (21 CFR 211.180(e) and 21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B)). Manufacturers are expected to use a quality program to support process validation, and manufacturers may include the metrics described in this guidance in their quality program. As discussed in the revised draft guidance, FDA encourages manufacturers to routinely use additional quality metrics beyond the metrics described in this guidance in performing product and establishment specific evaluations.

    FDA envisions information collected from a fully implemented quality metrics reporting program will be an important factor in further focusing the use of FDA resources on the areas of highest risk to public health, which may include: (1) Establishing a signal detection program as one factor in identifying establishments and products that may pose significant risk to consumers; (2) identifying situations in which there may be a risk for drug supply disruption; (3) improving the effectiveness of establishment inspections; and (4) improving FDA's evaluation of drug manufacturing and control operations.

    FDA has engaged with stakeholders in several ways to develop mutually useful and objective quality metrics. On July 28, 2015, FDA published a draft guidance entitled “Request for Quality Metrics” (80 FR 44973). On August 24, 2015, FDA conducted a public meeting to discuss the draft guidance at the Agency's campus in Silver Spring, MD. FDA has also consulted stakeholders at various trade and professional association meetings, and published a prior request for comment in the Federal Register on February 12, 2013 (78 FR 9928), that concerned manufacturing quality metrics as they relate to drug shortages. These efforts identified several categories of quality-related information that CDER and CBER considered in developing the quality metrics discussed in the guidance. The revised draft guidance announced in this notice replaces the currently published draft guidance.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on the submission of quality metrics data. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Revisions to the 2015 Draft Guidance

    On July 28, 2015, FDA announced the availability of the draft guidance entitled “Request for Quality Metrics” (80 FR 44973). The revised draft guidance includes the following changes from the earlier draft guidance: Adoption of a phased-in (voluntary) approach, reduction in the number of data elements requested (i.e., reduction in reporting burden), support for both product reports and site reports, modifications to the quality metrics data definitions, addition of clarifying examples for the definitions, addition of comment fields, and clarification of special considerations for non-application and OTC product reporting. FDA recognizes that a voluntary phase of the program would give participants an opportunity to demonstrate transparency and a willingness to proactively engage with the Agency in pursuit of the goals described in the revised draft guidance. FDA also expects that it will be able to use information submitted during a voluntary phase of the program to inform risk-based decisionmaking, and to help evaluate our planned analytics as we further develop the quality metrics reporting program as a subject of future rulemaking.

    A voluntary program would also allow all types of drug manufacturing establishments to report information. For example, active ingredient manufacturers, including those manufacturing atypical active ingredients, and excipient manufacturers, may participate in the voluntary phase of the reporting program. While the program is geared towards finished drug products and API manufacturing, all manufacturers may report quality metrics data. FDA may not be able to accomplish the overall goals of an FDA quality metrics reporting program, as described in the draft guidance, from voluntary reporting alone. If FDA does not receive a large body of data from reporting establishments, the ways in which the Agency can use the information may be limited. For example, the data received may not constitute a representative sample of the industry. Further, a self-selection bias may increase the risk of signaling an outlier where none exists. For these reasons, we expect to use the information collected during this voluntary phase of the program to specifically focus on: (1) Working with establishments towards early resolution of potential quality problems and to reduce the likelihood that the establishment's operations will be disrupted and impact the drug supply, (2) helping to prepare for and direct our inspections, and (3) use of the calculated metrics as an element of the post-approval manufacturing change reporting program with an emphasis on encouraging lifecycle manufacturing improvement.

    We intend to include the reporting of quality metrics as a factor in our surveillance inspection risk-based model, publish a list of reporters who provide a certain amount of information, share publicly the measured impact on inspection frequency reduction, and provide an opportunity for participants to submit feedback.

    In the revised draft guidance, FDA has reduced the proposed footprint of the program from four primary metrics and three optional metrics to three primary metric areas (i.e., lot acceptance rate, invalidated out-of-specification rate, and product quality complaint rate). FDA continues to recognize the importance of measuring an establishment's pharmaceutical quality system robustness and quality culture (e.g., senior management engagement, Corrective Action and Preventive Action effectiveness and continual improvement, and process capability/performance). Furthermore, these areas continue to be covered on FDA drug establishment manufacturing inspections, and concomitant metrics may be added as the program matures.

    FDA revised the guidance to clarify the technical definitions and provide illustrative examples for specific scenarios (see Appendix B of the revised draft guidance). FDA revised the draft guidance to contemplate submission of either product reports segmented by site, or site reports segmented by product. FDA intends to publicly recognize both product reporting and site reporting establishments on a quality metrics reporters list. The Agency intends to encourage product reporting because it demonstrates a certain level of oversight and controls over the manufacturing of drug products across the supply chain. In addition, we believe that a product report is better suited to identify potential drug supply disruptions. As described in the revised draft guidance, FDA intends to publish a quality metrics reporters list that includes product reporters that provide a list of the establishments in their product supply chain and some or all of the quality metrics data identifying them as “Product Reporter Top Tier” or “Product Reporter Mid Tier”, respectively. The proposed quality metrics reporter list would also identify reporters who provide only the list of the establishments in their product supply chain.

    In the approach described in the revised draft guidance, site reporting establishments would also be included on the quality metrics reporters list, as there may be scenarios where product reporting establishments do not have access to this information or may choose not to report for covered establishments. FDA intends to provide an opportunity for both types of establishments to benefit from this incentive.

    In order to implement a phased-in approach, FDA intends to begin collecting quality metrics data as part of a voluntary phase of the program. The first phase of the quality metrics program outlined in the revised draft guidance would be fully voluntary. After evaluating the results of the voluntary phase of the quality metrics program in 2018, FDA intends to initiate notice and comment rulemaking under existing statutory authority to develop a mandatory quality metrics reporting program.

    FDA carefully considered supporting flexible data collection timeframes for the purposes of reporting. In the context of a program that required product-based reporting, such flexibility would be feasible. However, in the context of the voluntary phase of the reporting program, FDA is proposing a common timeframe to facilitate publication of the quality metrics reporters list, and given the need to identify duplicate data if both the product reporting establishment and site reporting establishment submit data.

    A Technical Specifications Document entitled “Quality Metrics Technical Conformance Guide, Version 1.0” was published on June 27, 2016 (81 FR 41545). This guide provides technical recommendations for the submission of quality metrics data. It is intended to serve as the technical reference for implementation of the quality metrics program. FDA intends to publish Version 2.0 of the Technical Conformance Guide soon after publication of the revised draft guidance. We anticipate that the electronic submission platform will be available to test in 2017.

    Reporting establishments will be able to submit 300 word text comments to provide an explanation of submitted data or report plans for improvement. FDA may refer to the comments if unusual data or trends are identified or as preparation for an onsite inspection. The submission of comments is optional. In the future, FDA may consider establishing a set of codes to standardize the comments.

    FDA also revised the draft guidance to address the special complexities for grouping non-application drug products. Defining a “product” for the purpose of grouping non-application drugs for the submission of quality metrics data proved challenging without an application number. Using one segment to group products, such as active pharmaceutical ingredient(s), manufacturing process, minor formulation changes, or stock-keeping unit, is an imperfect solution. For the purpose of this revised draft guidance, FDA has defined a product family for finished drug products as any combination of National Drug Code (NDC) product code segments where the active pharmaceutical ingredient and dose form is the same (i.e., a product family could be