Federal Register Vol. 81, No.237,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 237 (December 9, 2016)

Page Range88973-89356
FR Document

81_FR_237
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 89355 - National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2016PDF
81 FR 89102 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 89086 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
81 FR 88973 - Suspension of Limitations Under the Jerusalem Embassy ActPDF
81 FR 89023 - Request for Public Comment on Draft “Release to One, Release to All” PresumptionPDF
81 FR 89102 - Sunshine Act; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 89155 - Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health: Subcommittee on the Site Exposure Matrices (SEM)PDF
81 FR 89182 - Designation and Determination Under the Foreign Missions ActPDF
81 FR 89066 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Breakwater Replacement Project in Eastport, MainePDF
81 FR 89024 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Imperial County Air Pollution Control DistrictPDF
81 FR 89096 - Announcement of the Board of Directors for the National Environmental Education FoundationPDF
81 FR 89107 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89109 - Final Assessment of the Program for Enhanced Review Transparency and Communication; Public Meeting and Establishment of DocketPDF
81 FR 89112 - Drug Supply Chain Security Act Implementation: Identification of Suspect Product and Notification; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 89110 - Preparation of Food Contact Notifications for Food Contact Substances in Contact With Infant Formula and/or Human Milk; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 89007 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Removal of Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Requirements for Gasoline Dispensing Facilities; Withdrawal of Direct Final RulePDF
81 FR 89008 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Oklahoma; Infrastructure for the Lead, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 89104 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89108 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects:PDF
81 FR 89094 - Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen SuitPDF
81 FR 89036 - Receipt of Several Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various CommoditiesPDF
81 FR 89092 - Nominations to the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals; Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 89095 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 89086 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionsPDF
81 FR 89085 - Procurement List; Additions and DeletionsPDF
81 FR 89065 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Approved Monitoring Service ProvidersPDF
81 FR 89010 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota TransferPDF
81 FR 89057 - Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Intent To Rescind the Review in Part; 2014PDF
81 FR 89053 - Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From Mexico: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 89056 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014PDF
81 FR 89050 - Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of the 21st Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 89055 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) From Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 89101 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 89099 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 89100 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
81 FR 89062 - Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 89091 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 89092 - Notice of Procedures for Submitting Reactive Power FilingsPDF
81 FR 89091 - Savage, Jeffrey S.; Van Abel, Brian J.; Mahling, Wendy B.; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 89089 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89139 - Announcement of Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 88975 - Releasing Information; Availability of Records of the Farm Credit Administration; FOIA FeesPDF
81 FR 89007 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, Gloucester, MAPDF
81 FR 89145 - Notice of the 2017 Meeting Schedule for the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park Advisory CommissionPDF
81 FR 89142 - Notice of an Open Public Meeting for the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Subsistence Resource CommissionPDF
81 FR 89148 - Notice of the 2017 Meeting Schedule of the Acadia National Park Advisory CommissionPDF
81 FR 89147 - Meeting Schedule of the Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee January Through June 2017PDF
81 FR 89128 - Record of Decision for the Move and Occupancy of the St. Elizabeths West CampusPDF
81 FR 89184 - MyVA Federal Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 89047 - Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico; Preliminary Results, Preliminary Determination of No Shipments, and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 89059 - Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 89045 - Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 89061 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From the United Arab Emirates: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 89125 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89124 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89126 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89147 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Eugene, ORPDF
81 FR 89139 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, WI, and Lawrence University, Appleton, WIPDF
81 FR 89146 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Fowler Museum at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CAPDF
81 FR 89141 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Fowler Museum at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CAPDF
81 FR 89181 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Birth AffidavitPDF
81 FR 89101 - Notice of Termination of the Receivership of 10505, GreenChoice Bank, FSB, Chicago, IllinoisPDF
81 FR 89122 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89149 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New Collection: Leadership Engagement SurveyPDF
81 FR 89142 - Final Environmental Impact Statement Dog Management Plan for Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 89143 - 15-Day Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment on Planned Additions to the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List and Proposed Future U.S. Nominations to the World Heritage ListPDF
81 FR 89156 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; RenewalPDF
81 FR 89043 - Information Collection Request; Discharge and Delivery Survey Summary and Rate Schedule FormsPDF
81 FR 89150 - Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC)PDF
81 FR 89153 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Job Corps Enrollee Allotment DeterminationPDF
81 FR 89151 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Job Corps Health QuestionnairePDF
81 FR 89152 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Job Corps Placement and Assistance RecordPDF
81 FR 89138 - Lower Klamath, Clear Lake, Tule Lake, Upper Klamath, and Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuges, Klamath County, OR; Siskiyou and Modoc Counties, CA: Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan/Environmental Impact StatementPDF
81 FR 89156 - Arts Advisory Panel MeetingsPDF
81 FR 89087 - Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Short-Term Projects and Real Property Master Plan Update for Fort Belvoir, VirginiaPDF
81 FR 89087 - Intent To Grant an Exclusive License of U.S. Government-Owned PatentsPDF
81 FR 89089 - Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for LicensingPDF
81 FR 89090 - Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for LicensingPDF
81 FR 89066 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 89088 - Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for LicensingPDF
81 FR 89090 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89182 - Notice of Request for Revisions of an Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 89115 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Organ Procurement and Transplantation NetworkPDF
81 FR 89114 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Payment Program Application and Full-Time Equivalent Resident Assessment FormsPDF
81 FR 89042 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89088 - Reserve Forces Policy Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 89183 - Pipeline Safety: Safeguarding and Securing Pipelines From Unauthorized AccessPDF
81 FR 89113 - Council on Graduate Medical EducationPDF
81 FR 89154 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Eligibility Data Form: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and Veterans' PreferencePDF
81 FR 89099 - Regular MeetingPDF
81 FR 89014 - Payments Pursuant to Court Decree or Court-Approved Property SettlementPDF
81 FR 89165 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89106 - Zika Health Care Services ProgramPDF
81 FR 89022 - Disclosures of Return Information Reflected on Returns to Officers and Employees of the Department of Commerce for Certain Statistical Purposes and Related ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 89020 - Electronic Filing of the Report of Health Insurance Provider InformationPDF
81 FR 89004 - Disclosures of Return Information Reflected on Returns to Officers and Employees of the Department of Commerce for Certain Statistical Purposes and Related ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 89017 - Health Insurance Providers FeePDF
81 FR 88999 - Issue Price Definition for Tax-Exempt BondsPDF
81 FR 89011 - Power Reactors in Extended ShutdownsPDF
81 FR 89064 - National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building BlockPDF
81 FR 89149 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Application for Registration of Firearms Acquired by Certain Government Entities; ATF F 10 (5320.10)PDF
81 FR 89044 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 89127 - Accreditation and Approval of Saybolt LP As a Commercial Gauger and LaboratoryPDF
81 FR 89159 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 89157 - Product Change-First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 89157 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 89157 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 89160 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 89159 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 89171 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 6.40 To Expand the Risk Limitation Mechanism to All Orders, Including Complex OrdersPDF
81 FR 89160 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule To Expand the Risk Limitation Mechanism to All Orders, Including Complex OrdersPDF
81 FR 89176 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to BZX Rule 11.23, Auctions, To Amend How the Official Auction Prices Are Calculated and Add Additional Specificity Regarding the Handling of RHO Orders During an Opening Auction for a BZX Listed SecurityPDF
81 FR 89166 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Its Rules Governing Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery PlanningPDF
81 FR 89167 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the PRISM Price Improvement Auction in BX Chapter VI, Section 9 and To Make Pilot Program PermanentPDF
81 FR 89044 - Notice of Proposed New Fee SitePDF
81 FR 89122 - National Institute of Nursing Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 89119 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 88998 - Tennessee Valley Authority ProceduresPDF
81 FR 89103 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial reviewPDF
81 FR 89102 - The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)/Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
81 FR 89103 - Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (BSC, NCEH/ATSDR)PDF
81 FR 89103 - Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis: Notice of Charter AmendmentPDF
81 FR 89117 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89118 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 89132 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Section 811 Project Rental Assistance for Persons With DisabilitiesPDF
81 FR 89128 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information: Semi-Annual Labor Standards Enforcement Report; Local Contracting Agencies (HUD Programs)PDF
81 FR 89038 - NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Award TermPDF
81 FR 89035 - Allocations of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Allowances From New Unit Set-Asides for 2016 Control PeriodsPDF
81 FR 89097 - Second External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides-Health CriteriaPDF
81 FR 89119 - Announcement of Requirements and Registration for “A Wearable Alcohol Biosensor: A Second Challenge”PDF
81 FR 89012 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Grand Chenier, LAPDF
81 FR 89133 - Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Phase I Wind Energy ProjectPDF
81 FR 88975 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Seafood Import Monitoring ProgramPDF
81 FR 89015 - Traders With IndiansPDF
81 FR 89026 - Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production Risk and Technology ReviewPDF
81 FR 89129 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
81 FR 89276 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Commercial Packaged BoilersPDF
81 FR 89135 - Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Amendment to the 1997 Washington State Department of Natural Resources Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit for the Long-Term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled MurreletPDF
81 FR 89188 - 2015 Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Data Elements Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting RulePDF
81 FR 89320 - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System General Permit Remand RulePDF

Issue

81 237 Friday, December 9, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Farm Service Agency

See

Forest Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89042-89043 2016-29458 2016-29502
Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Registration of Firearms Acquired by Certain Government Entities, 89149 2016-29481 Army Army Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Short-Term Projects and Real Property Master Plan Update for Fort Belvoir, Virginia, 89087 2016-29516 Exclusive Patent Licenses: Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., 89087-89088 2016-29514 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Charter Amendments: Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis, 89103 2016-29453 Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment, 89102 2016-29455 Meetings: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 89103 2016-29454 Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 89103-89104 2016-29456 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89104-89106 2016-29584 Zika Health Care Services Program, 89106-89107 2016-29492 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89108-89109 2016-29583 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Provision of Child Support Services in IV-D Cases Under the Hague Child Support Convention; Federally Approved Forms, 89107-89108 2016-29590 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, Gloucester, MA, 89007 2016-29554 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Development Administration

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 89085-89086 2016-29576 2016-29577 Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Discharge and Delivery Survey Summary and Rate Schedule Forms, 89043-89044 2016-29526 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 89086-89087 2016-29753 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

NOTICES Meetings: Reserve Forces Policy Board, 89088 2016-29501
Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Petitions, 89044-89045 2016-29480 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Job Corps Enrollee Allotment Determination, 89153-89154 2016-29524 Job Corps Health Questionnaire, 89151-89152 2016-29522 Job Corps Placement and Assistance Record, 89152-89153 2016-29521 Meetings: Workforce Information Advisory Council, 89150-89151 2016-29525 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Energy Conservation Programs: Test Procedure for Commercial Packaged Boilers, 89276-89317 2016-29081
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Oklahoma; Infrastructure for the Lead, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 89008-89010 2016-29585 Virginia; Removal of Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Requirements for Gasoline Dispensing Facilities, 89007-89008 2016-29586 Data Elements Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule; Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations, 89188-89274 2016-28564 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System: Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, 89320-89352 2016-28426 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Imperial County Air Pollution Control District, 89024-89026 2016-29594 Allocations of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Allowances From New Unit Set-Asides for 2016 Control Periods, 89035-89036 2016-29441 National Emissions Standards: Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production; Risk and Technology Review, 89026-89034 2016-29236 Pesticide Petitions: Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various Commodities, 89036-89038 2016-29580 NOTICES Board of Directors for the National Environmental Education Foundation, 89096-89097 2016-29591 Consent Decrees: Clean Air Act Citizen Suit, 89094-89095 2016-29581 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, 89095-89096 2016-29578 Requests for Nominations: Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals, 89092-89094 2016-29579 Second External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides—Health Criteria, 89097-89098 2016-29438 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration RULES Releasing Information: Availability of Records of the Farm Credit Administration; FOIA Fees, 88975 2016-29555 Farm Credit System Insurance Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation NOTICES Meetings: Farm Credit System Insurance Corp. Board, 89099 2016-29497 Farm Service Farm Service Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Discharge and Delivery Survey Summary and Rate Schedule Forms, 89043-89044 2016-29526 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Class E Airspace; Establishments: Grand Chenier, LA, 89012-89014 2016-29430 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89101 2016-29567 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: 10505, GreenChoice Bank, FSB, Chicago, IL, 89101 2016-29532 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 89102 2016-29662 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 89091-89092 2016-29560 Filings: Jeffrey S. Savage, Brian J. Van Abel, and Wendy B. Mahling, 89091 2016-29558 Procedures for Submitting Reactive Power Filings, 89092 2016-29559 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 89102 2016-29779 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 89102 2016-29680 2016-29681 2016-29682 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89182-89183 2016-29505 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Amendment to the 1997 Washington State Department of Natural Resources Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit for the Long-Term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet, 89135-89138 2016-29062 Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Phase I Wind Energy Project, 89133-89135 2016-29333 Lower Klamath, Clear Lake, Tule Lake, Upper Klamath, and Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuges, Klamath County, OR; Siskiyou and Modoc Counties, CA; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan, 89138-89139 2016-29518 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Drug Supply Chain Security Act Implementation—Identification of Suspect Product and Notification, 89112-89113 2016-29588 Preparation of Food Contact Notifications for Food Contact Substances in Contact With Infant Formula and/or Human Milk, 89110-89112 2016-29587 Meetings: Final Assessment of the Program for Enhanced Review Transparency and Communication; Establishment of Docket, 89109-89110 2016-29589 Forest Forest Service NOTICES New Fee Sites: Sardine Lookout, 89044 2016-29462 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Meetings: Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee, 89139 2016-29556 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89117-89119 2016-29451 2016-29452
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Payment Program Application and Full-Time Equivalent Resident Assessment Forms, 89114-89115 2016-29503 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, 89115-89117 2016-29504 Charter Renewals: Council on Graduate Medical Education, 89113-89114 2016-29499 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NOTICES Records of Decision: Move and Occupancy of the St. Elizabeths West Campus, 89128 2016-29548
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Section 811 Project Rental Assistance for Persons with Disabilities, 89132-89133 2016-29449 Semi-Annual Labor Standards Enforcement Report Local Contracting Agencies, 89128-89129 2016-29445 Federal Properties Suitable as Facilities To Assist the Homeless, 89129-89132 2016-29207 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau PROPOSED RULES Traders With Indians, 89015-89017 2016-29253 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Disclosures of Return Information Reflected on Returns to Officers and Employees of the Department of Commerce for Certain Statistical Purposes and Related Activities, 89004-89007 2016-29488 Issue Price Definition for Tax-Exempt Bonds, 88999-89004 2016-29486 PROPOSED RULES Disclosures of Return Information Reflected on Returns to Officers and Employees of the Department of Commerce for Certain Statistical Purposes and Related Activities, 89022-89023 2016-29490 Electronic Filing of the Report of Health Insurance Provider Information, 89020-89022 2016-29489 Health Insurance Providers Fee, 89017-89019 2016-29487 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico, 89047-89050 2016-29544 Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea, 89059-89061 2016-29543 Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China—Preliminary Results of Administrative Review; 2014-2015, 89045-89047 2016-29542 Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China; Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of the 21st Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015, 89050-89053 2016-29569 Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China, 89062-89064 2016-29564 Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) From Taiwan; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015, 89055-89056 2016-29568 Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India; Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014, 89056-89057 2016-29570 Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From the United Arab Emirates, 89061-89062 2016-29541 Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From Mexico, 89053-89054 2016-29571 Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From the Republic of Turkey, 89057-89059 2016-29572 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

PROPOSED RULES Release to One, Release to All Presumption, 89023 2016-29727 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Leadership Engagement Survey, 89149-89150 2016-29530
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Eligibility Data Form—Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and Veterans' Preference, 89154-89155 2016-29498
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Award Term, 89038-89041 2016-29443 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Meetings: Arts Advisory Panel, 89156 2016-29517 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block, 89064-89065 2016-29482 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Challenges: A Wearable Alcohol Biosensor—A Second Challenge; Requirements and Registration Announcements, 89119-89122 2016-29436 Meetings: National Advisory Council for Nursing Research, 89122 2016-29460 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 89119 2016-29459 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer, 89010 2016-29574 Seafood Import Monitoring Program, 88975-88998 2016-29324 NOTICES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Approved Monitoring Service Providers, 89065-89066 2016-29575 Meetings: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 89066 2016-29508 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Breakwater Replacement Project in Eastport, ME, 89066-89085 2016-29597 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Dog Management Plan for Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA, 89142-89143 2016-29529 Inventory Completions: Fowler Museum at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 89141-89142 2016-29534 Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, WI, and Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, 89139-89140 2016-29536 Meetings: Acadia National Park Advisory Commission, 89148 2016-29550 Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee Schedule, January through June 2017, 89147 2016-29549 Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park Advisory Commission, 89145-89146 2016-29552 Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Subsistence Resource Commission, 89142 2016-29551 Planned Additions to the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List and Proposed Future U.S. Nominations to the World Heritage List, 89143-89145 2016-29528 Repatriation of Cultural Items: Fowler Museum at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 89146-89147 2016-29535 University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Eugene, OR, 89147-89148 2016-29537 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89089-89091 2016-29506 2016-29557 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 89088-89090 2016-29507 2016-29510 2016-29512 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Power Reactors in Extended Shutdowns, 89011-89012 2016-29484 NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, 89156 2016-29527 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Pipeline Safety: Safeguarding and Securing Pipelines From Unauthorized Access, 89183-89184 2016-29500 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 89157-89159 2016-29476 Product Changes: First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 89157 2016-29477 Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 89159 2016-29478 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 89157, 89159-89160 2016-29469 2016-29470 2016-29471 2016-29472 2016-29473 2016-29474 2016-29475 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (Proc. 9551), 89353-89356 2016-29808 ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Jerusalem Embassy Act; Suspension of Limitations (Presidential Determination No. 2017-03 of December 1, 2016), 88973 2016-29742 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board PROPOSED RULES Payments Pursuant to Court Decree or Court-Approved Property Settlement, 89014-89015 2016-29496 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89165 2016-29493 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 89176-89181 2016-29465 NASDAQ BX, Inc., 89167-89171 2016-29463 NYSE Arca, Inc., 89166-89167, 89171-89176 2016-29464 2016-29467 NYSE MKT LLC, 89160-89165 2016-29466 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Birth Affidavit, 89181 2016-29533 Designations and Determinations Pursuant to the Foreign Missions Act, 89182 2016-29599 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 89125-89126 2016-29540 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority RULES Tennessee Valley Authority Procedures, 88998-88999 2016-29457 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Commercial Gaugers and Laboratories; Accreditations and Approvals: Saybolt LP, 89127 2016-29479 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: MyVA Advisory Committee, 89184-89185 2016-29546 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health—Subcommittee on the Site Exposure Matrices, Teleconference, 89155-89156 2016-29608 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 89188-89274 2016-28564 Part III Energy Department, 89276-89317 2016-29081 Part IV Environmental Protection Agency, 89320-89352 2016-28426 Part V Presidential Documents, 89353-89356 2016-29808 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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81 237 Friday, December 9, 2016 Rules and Regulations FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 602 RIN 3052-AD18 Releasing Information; Availability of Records of the Farm Credit Administration; FOIA Fees AGENCY:

Farm Credit Administration.

ACTION:

Notice of effective date.

SUMMARY:

The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or Agency) issued a final rule amending its regulations to reflect changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 requires FCA to amend its FOIA regulations to extend the deadline for administrative appeals, to add information on dispute resolution services, and to amend the way FCA charges fees. In accordance with the law, the effective date of the rule is no earlier than 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register during which either or both Houses of Congress are in session.

DATES:

Effective date: Under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 2252, the regulation amending 12 CFR part 602 published on September 15, 2016 (81 FR 63365) is effective December 9, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or Agency) issued a final rule amending its regulations to reflect changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 requires FCA to amend its FOIA regulations to extend the deadline for administrative appeals, to add information on dispute resolution services, and to amend the way FCA charges fees. In accordance with 12 U.S.C. 2252, the effective date of the final rule is no earlier than 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register during which either or both Houses of Congress are in session. Based on the records of the sessions of Congress, the effective date of the regulations is December 9, 2016. (12 U.S.C. 2252(a)(9) and (10))

Dated: December 6, 2016. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board. [FR Doc. 2016-29555 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 15 CFR Part 902 50 CFR Parts 300 and 600 [Docket No. 150507434-6638-02] RIN 0648-BF09 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Seafood Import Monitoring Program AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), this final rule establishes permitting, reporting and recordkeeping procedures relating to the importation of certain fish and fish products, identified as being at particular risk of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing or seafood fraud, in order to implement the MSA's prohibition on the import and trade, in interstate or foreign commerce, of fish taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any foreign law or regulation or in contravention of a treaty or a binding conservation measure of a regional fishery organization to which the United States is a party. Collection of catch and landing documentation for certain fish and fish products will be accomplished through the government-wide International Trade Data System (ITDS) by electronic submission of data through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The information will be collected through the ITDS electronic single window consistent with the Safety and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006 and other applicable statutes. Specifically, this rule revises an existing NMFS requirement for the importer of record to file electronically through ACE data prescribed under certain existing NMFS programs (and to retain records supporting such filings) to also cover the data required to be reported under this rule. This rule requires data to be reported on the harvest of fish and fish products. In addition, this rule requires retention of additional supply chain data by the importer of record and extends an existing NMFS requirement to obtain an annually renewable International Fisheries Trade Permit (IFTP) to the fish and fish products regulated under this rule. The information to be reported and retained, as applicable, under this rule will help authorities verify that the fish or fish products were lawfully acquired by providing information to trace each import shipment back to the initial harvest event(s). The rule will also decrease the incidence of seafood fraud by requiring the reporting of this information to the U.S. Government at import and requiring retention of documentation so that the information reported (e.g., regarding species and harvest location) can be verified.

DATES:

Effective date: This final rule is effective January 9, 2017. Title 50 CFR 300.324(a)(3) is stayed indefinitely. NMFS will publish a document in the Federal Register lifting the stay and announcing the effective date of 50 CFR 300.324(a)(3).

Compliance date: The compliance date for this rule for the species included at 50 CFR 300.324(a)(2) is January 1, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

Applications for the International Fisheries Trade Permit may be completed and submitted at: https://fisheriespermits.noaa.gov/. Copies of the Final Regulatory Impact Review, Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and the information collection request submitted to OMB may be obtained at: http://www.iuufishing.noaa.gov/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher Rogers, Office for International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, NOAA Fisheries (phone 301-427-8350, or email [email protected]).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On June 17, 2014, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum entitled “Establishing a Comprehensive Framework to Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud.” Among other actions, the Memorandum established a Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud (Task Force), co-chaired by the Departments of State and Commerce, with membership including a number of other Federal agency and White House offices. The Task Force provided recommendations to the President through the National Ocean Council, and NMFS requested comments from the public on how to effectively implement the recommendations of the Task Force (79 FR 75536, December 18, 2014). Oversight for implementing the recommendations of the Task Force has been charged to the National Ocean Council Standing Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee).

Of the recommendations advanced to the President, Recommendations 14 and 15 called for the development of a risk-based traceability program (including defining operational standards and the types of information to be collected) as a means to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The multiple steps toward implementation of Recommendations 14 and 15, as set out in the Task Force Action Plan, were described in the preamble to the proposed rule (81 FR 6210, February 5, 2016) and are not repeated here (see also https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0090).

The proposed rule set forth a program of permitting, reporting and recordkeeping applicable to importers of record for imported fish and fish products within the scope of the initial phase of the seafood traceability program. A number of public webinars and meetings were held to explain the proposed rule and to take comments about the potential impacts of the trade reporting and recordkeeping requirements on entities engaged in seafood trade. Written comments that were received through the Federal e-rulemaking portal are available for viewing in the docket for this rulemaking (see https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0122).

Comments and Responses

NMFS received comments on the proposed rule from fishing industry groups, including fish importers, processors, trade organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private citizens, other government agencies, and foreign governments. Comments are summarized by category and NMFS responses are presented. NMFS received more than 67,933 signatures on group comment letters from private citizens through environmental NGOs supporting implementation of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (Program). Comments are summarized by category and NMFS responses are presented.

Several comments received were not germane to this rulemaking and are not addressed in this section. These comments addressed actions outside the scope of the statutory mandate (e.g., sharing information with consumers) or actions covered under other rulemakings (e.g., the International Trade Data System integration or the Marine Mammal Protection Act fish import requirements.) In the following section, NMFS responds to the specific comments applicable to this rulemaking.

General Comments

Comment 1: Many commenters asked the agency to implement a Seafood Inspection Monitoring Program that includes all seafood and traceability from the point of harvest to the point of final sale, and to incorporate consumer labeling.

Response: As indicated in the Task Force's recommendations to the President, it is the goal of the U.S. government “to eventually expand the program to all seafood at first point of sale or import.” The process for expansion will account for, among other factors, consideration of authorities needed for more robust implementation, stakeholder input, and the cost-effectiveness of program expansion. The NOC Committee will issue a report that includes an evaluation of the program as set out in a final rule, as well as recommendations of how and under what timeframe it would be expanded and measures that could be taken to provide traceability information to the consumer.

In recognition of the fact that expansion of the seafood traceability program to include all species will result in the inclusion of species having a lower perceived risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud, NMFS will refer to the species that have been identified as “at-risk” of IUU fishing and seafood fraud as “priority” species in this rulemaking and associated guidance and outreach materials. See response to Comment 14 below for additional discussion on the transition from use of the term “at risk” in the final rule.

Comment 2: NMFS received numerous comments questioning the extent to which the rule, as proposed, meets U.S. obligations to comply with international trade agreements, and in particular with respect to national treatment.

Response: As described in the preamble to the proposed rule, this regulation addresses only the collection of information on imported fish and fish products at the point of entry into U.S. commerce. For U.S. domestic wild capture fisheries, entry into U.S. commerce occurs at the first point of landing or sale or transfer to a dealer or processor in the United States. For U.S. aquaculture products, entry into U.S. commerce is the first sale to a processor or directly to a consumer market.

For the priority species to which this rule applies, equivalent information is already being collected at the point of entry into commerce for the products of U.S. domestic fisheries pursuant to various federal and/or state fishery management and reporting programs. For this reason, this regulation does not duplicate data reporting requirements already in place for products of U.S. domestic fisheries, and instead focuses on accessing the data necessary to establish traceability from point of harvest or production to entry into U.S. commerce for imported fish and fish products.

However, current data collection for U.S. aquacultured shrimp and abalone is not equivalent to the data that would be reported for imports. Consequently, the effective date of this rule for imported shrimp and abalone products is stayed indefinitely.

Comment 3: A number of comments were driven by assumptions that, through this rulemaking, NMFS intended to require that fish and fish products from individual harvest events be segregated throughout the supply chain and identifiable by harvest event at the point of entry into U.S. commerce.

Response: NMFS clarifies that segregation of harvest events through the supply chain was not an intended requirement in the proposed rule and is not a requirement in the final rule. Instead, a product offered for entry may be comprised of products from more than one harvest event. In such instances, an importer of record must provide information on each harvest event relevant to the contents of the shipment offered for entry but does not need to provide specific links between portions of the shipment and particular harvest events. See response to Comment 27 for further discussion. A mass balance calculation will not be applied at the time of entry to determine admissibility of the shipment because all of the product from any single harvest event may not be exported to the U.S. market.

Scope of the Program

Comment 4: Several commenters from the seafood industry expressed their opinion that the Program will not combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud, arguing that limited resources to combat these issues would be most effectively spent on international capacity building.

Response: NMFS and the other agencies contributing to this effort agree that the Program will in fact serve to reduce IUU fishing. On June 17, 2014, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum entitled “Establishing a Comprehensive Framework to Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud” which established and directed the President's Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud to develop a comprehensive framework of integrated programs to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud that emphasizes areas of greatest need. Per the Task Force's recommendations, it is in the national interest to prevent the entry of illegal seafood into U.S. commerce. Creating the Program, an information system that better facilitates data collection, sharing, and analysis among relevant regulators and enforcement authorities is a significant step forward in addressing IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The National Ocean Council Committee on IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud continues to move forward on all of the 15 recommendations of the Task Force, including development of a program for capacity building and assistance as called for in Recommendation 6 of the Task Force action plan. The approach to capacity building will include technical assistance with fisheries governance, monitoring, recordkeeping and enforcement. For more information please visit www.iuufishing.noaa.gov.

Comment 5: NOAA received several comments regarding the inclusion of aquaculture products in the Program, noting that the application of measures to combat IUU fishing to aquaculture products is inappropriate.

Response: NOAA agrees that IUU fishing is not a concern directly related to the aquaculture industry. That said, the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force were intended to combat both IUU fishing and seafood fraud, and the scope of its recommendation to establish a seafood traceability program includes both wild-capture and aquaculture fish and fish products. Specifically, the Program is intended and designed to trace seafood from its entry into commerce back to the point of harvest or production. Inclusion of aquaculture products in the Program addresses several concerns. First, some imported fish products are sourced from both wild capture fisheries and aquaculture operations, yet are indistinguishable in product form. Excluding aquaculture products from the import reporting requirement of the Program presents enforcement issues if shipments are declared to be of aquaculture origin with no information to support such declaration. Additionally, similar to wild capture fisheries, aquaculture operations are likely to be subject to foreign laws or regulations pertaining to licensing and reporting on production and distribution; importation of aquaculture products harvested in violation of those laws would make them subject to the MSA provision under which this rule is promulgated. Finally, evidence exists that aquaculture products have been subject to various types of product misrepresentation, some of which can cause risk to human health. As is the case for wild capture fisheries, collecting information on the origin of aquaculture products supports the determination of conformance with foreign law or regulation, including the determination that the fish products are not fraudulently misrepresented.

Comment 6: NMFS received comment that, with respect to misrepresented products, the Program is redundant to existing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) programs and authorities. A commenter also questioned whether MSA section 307(1)(Q) provided authority to determine if seafood imports were the product of unregulated or unreported fishing.

Response: NMFS disagrees that the Program is redundant with existing programs and authorities. When developing its recommendations to the President, the Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud considered existing rules and authorities and determined that measures to ensure that misrepresented products do not enter the U.S. market should be expanded. The Task Force's evaluation indicated the need to develop and implement a seafood traceability program that placed greater scrutiny of the source of seafood products and on the entire supply chain from point of harvest to entry into U.S. commerce. While existing authorities empower the FDA to enforce the accuracy of seafood labeling and trace food products through the supply chain, it does not currently administer any laws or programs which enable the U.S. government to ensure that seafood products imported into the United States were not taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any foreign law or regulation. For example, the co-mingling of legally harvested and IUU seafood products between the point of harvest and entry into U.S. commerce would not be identified by existing FDA inspections.

MSA section 307(1)(Q) prohibits, among other things, imports of fish “taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any foreign law or regulation or any treaty or in contravention of any binding conservation measures adopted by an international agreement or organization to which the United States is a party.” 16 U.S.C. 1857(1)(Q) (emphasis added). To effectively enforce this section, NMFS is adopting the reporting and recordkeeping requirements set forth in this rule. NMFS has broad discretion under the MSA to promulgate regulations as necessary to carry out provisions of the MSA. Id. 1855(d).

Comment 7: A number of comments were received urging NMFS to establish data collection programs for domestic shrimp and abalone aquaculture production to ensure that shrimp and abalone can be included in the Program when it begins.

Response: As described in the preamble to the proposed rule, gaps exist in the collection of traceability information for domestic aquaculture-raised shrimp and abalone, which is currently largely regulated at the state level. (81 FR 6212, February 5, 2016). Since publication of the proposed rule, NMFS has explored the opportunity to work with its state partners to establish reporting and recordkeeping requirements for aquaculture traceability information that could be shared with NMFS. However, this did not prove to be a viable approach at the present time. NMFS is thus staying the effective date of the rule as it pertains to shrimp and abalone until appropriate reporting and/or recordkeeping requirements for domestic aquaculture production can be established. To that end, NMFS is continuing to work with its Presidential Task Force partner agencies with respect to measures that could be adopted to close the gaps and to ensure comparability between traceability requirements and NMFS' access to traceability information for imported and domestic shrimp and abalone.

For example, FDA, whose parent agency Health & Human Services is also a member of the Presidential Task Force, is currently exploring which of its authorities could fill the gap, including regulations that would require designating high risk foods for certain additional recordkeeping by food processors under the authority of section 204 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (21 U.S.C. 2223), which addresses enhanced tracking and tracing of food through recordkeeping and was passed by Congress in 2011. See, e.g., Designation of High-Risk Foods for Tracing; Request for Comments and Scientific Data and Information (79 FR 6596, February 4, 2014). Such additional recordkeeping requirements to enhance food safety are expected to facilitate FDA's ability to track the origin of and prevent the spread of foodborne illness. FDA is also planning to make revisions to its Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (Seafood HACCP) provisions.

As FDA conducts this work, NMFS, together with the other Presidential Task Force agencies, would assess the extent to which FDA's program, or other changes in state or federal law or regulation, have resulted in closing gaps in traceability requirements between domestic and imported shrimp and abalone. At such time that the domestic reporting and recordkeeping gaps have been closed, NMFS will then publish an action in the Federal Register to lift the stay of the effective date for § 300.324(a)(3) of the rule pertaining to shrimp and abalone. Adequate advance notice to the trade community would be provided in setting the effective date so that producers, processors, exporters and importers will have the opportunity to establish recordkeeping and reporting systems necessary to comply with the program.

Comment 8: One commenter asserted that NMFS only has the authority to trace aquaculture conducted in federal waters.

Response: Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS cannot establish reporting requirements for domestic aquaculture that occurs within state waters or in terrestrially located facilities, which is where most domestic aquaculture occurs.

Comment 9: A number of commenters proposed that NMFS include reporting on production method for aquaculture imports of priority species, as a way to ascertain whether the feed used to raise imported farmed fish may have been illegally harvested.

Response: The Task Force clearly defined traceability for the purpose of the Program as beginning at the point of harvest for wild-capture fisheries, and at the point of production for aquaculture products. Therefore, it is outside the scope of Program to trace feed sources for imported aquaculture seafood, even if those feeds contain priority species.

Comment 10: NMFS received comments questioning the appropriateness of addressing both IUU fishing and seafood fraud through one data collection program.

Response: While IUU fishing and seafood fraud are indeed different issues, both can be effectively addressed through traceability within the scope of the Program (from the point of harvest or production to entry into U.S. commerce) because both are enabled by lack of transparency within the seafood supply chain. Many commenters referred to seafood fraud further down in the supply chain—at the dealer and wholesale level—and NMFS acknowledges these concerns but notes that they are beyond the scope of the Program.

Comment 11: Several groups suggested various reasons and methods for which the Program can and should be used to combat forced labor in the seafood industry.

Response: While NMFS agrees that forced labor and unfair labor practices are important issues in several fisheries and in the fish processing sector, the stated objective of the Program is to trace seafood products from the point of entry into U.S. commerce back to the point of harvest or production for the purpose of ensuring that illegally harvested or falsely represented seafood does not enter U.S. commerce. The data elements captured by the reporting and recordkeeping requirements were chosen to serve this specific objective. Data collected under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act is considered to be confidential and may not be shared publicly. However, subject to the data confidentiality provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1881a (b)), and other federal law, NMFS will provide information regarding entries of seafood product to aid in the investigation or prosecution of labor crimes by one of the U.S. government agencies that has the mandate and authority to do so. NMFS will determine the legal basis to share such information with those government agencies for such enforcement purposes.

Species and Harmonized Tariff Schedule Codes

Comment 12: Several commenters questioned the description of species included in this rulemaking as “at-risk” and suggested that NMFS had failed to provide adequate rationale for inclusion of certain species in the Program. Commenters also recommended that species be added or removed from the initial phase of Program. Species suggested for addition included orange roughy, skates and rays. Species suggested for removal include Atlantic and Pacific cod, shrimp, and blue crab, in some cases on the basis that keeping individual harvest events separated throughout the supply chain would place an unnecessary burden on industry relative to the risk of IUU fishing for these species.

Response: NMFS led a rigorous, interactive public process to identify the priority species for the Program and did not find sufficient new information from commenters to warrant changes to the “at-risk” (now referred to as, “priority”) species list as was included in the proposed rule. The Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud directed development of an initial traceability program for seafood products of particular concern because the species at issue are subject to significant seafood fraud or because they are at significant risk of being caught through IUU fishing.

In developing the seafood traceability program, NMFS requested and received extensive public comment regarding principles for identifying species at particular risk of IUU fishing or seafood fraud and on the application of those principles to a list of candidate species. An interagency expert working group reviewed public comments and confidential enforcement information and developed a draft list of “at-risk” species and once again sought public comment prior to publication of the final list of species to which this rule applies in October 2015 (80 FR 66867, October 30, 2015). In publishing the final list of species, NMFS provided the rationale for inclusion of each species on the list. NMFS considers the list of species to which this rule applies to be accurately and appropriately identified as those species most “at-risk” of IUU fishing or seafood fraud. The issue of reporting burden with respect to the risks applicable to particular species will become less relevant as traceability systems expand in global commerce and industry improves its ability to comply with them in a cost-effective manner. However, the response to Comment 42 below addresses reporting burden issues for this initial phase of the Program.

Comment 13: Several commenters requested that species managed under Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) catch documentation schemes (CDS) be excluded from the scope of this rule.

Response: Bluefin tuna is the only priority species currently managed under an RFMO CDS, and NMFS, in the preamble to the proposed rule, discussed its reasons for inclusion in the Program. Although bluefin tuna species were determined to be at a lower risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud than other tuna species and were not included on the list of at-risk species, the reporting and recordkeeping requirements proposed in this rule apply to HTS codes for fish and fish products of all tuna species including bluefin tuna. NMFS notes that bluefin tuna was historically a target of IUU fishing, and in response, two RFMOs implemented a CDS which together, include two of the three species world-wide. While NMFS continues to view the bluefin tuna to be at considerably lower risk of IUU fishing and seafood fraud than other tuna species and has made no modification to the list of at-risk species published on October 30, 2015, NMFS proposed to cover bluefin tuna in this rule (and has therefore included the HTS codes for bluefin tuna in the list of HTS codes to which this rule applies) in order to establish consistent treatment of tuna species, and avoid possible concerns that one species of tuna may be treated differently than others and therefore affect certain producers less favorably.

Comment 14: NMFS received comments from members of the domestic seafood sector as well as from several national governments expressing the opinion that the determination of “at-risk” was an implicit indictment of the management and biological status of fisheries for those species both in the United States and abroad and expressing concern that the inference will have a negative impact on the consumer's willingness to purchase products from those fisheries.

Response: NMFS has been clear about the fact that identification of priority species has been necessarily broad with respect to both area (it is applied at the species level without distinction of specific fisheries across the geographic range of the species) and principles (species were identified as priority on the basis of IUU-related principles, seafood fraud related principles, or any combination thereof). Records and data from both domestic and international sources were considered by the priority species working group. The process for making these determinations is described at: http://www.iuufishing.NMFS.gov/RecommendationsandActions/RECOMMENDATION1415.aspx.

NMFS has been clear throughout the process that inclusion of any species in the risk-based first phase of implementation of this seafood traceability program should not be considered in any way an indictment, either explicit or implicit, of the management system or biological status of a fishery in the United States or any foreign nation. NMFS believes that the seafood traceability program will ultimately serve to reassure the U.S. seafood consumer that seafood products harvested in, or imported to, the United States are harvested legally and conveyed through a transparent supply chain.

Comment 15: NMFS received a number of comments noting that priority species could be imported under HTS codes not listed in the proposed rule, and that some HTS codes not listed clearly contain priority species (e.g. Shrimp frozen in ATC, canned light meat tuna) while other HTS codes for highly processed products could contain priority species (e.g. Fish NSPF Dried, Marine Fish NSPF Frozen).

Response: NMFS notes that importers are legally obligated under CBP regulations to use the most detailed and descriptive HTS code applicable to the product being entered (see 19 CFR 141.90), and NMFS will monitor shifts in HTS code usage to ensure that importers are not illegally avoiding obligations to provide information pursuant to this rule through the use of less specific codes. While it remains operationally infeasible to apply this rule to all highly-processed products, NMFS will include in the set of HTS codes to which the Program applies all seafood products, including highly processed products, for which the priority species can be accurately determined and tracked from its point of harvest. NMFS will not apply this rule to HTS codes representing products such as fish oil, slurry, sauces, sticks, balls, cakes, puddings, meal and other similar highly processed fish products for which the species of fish comprising the product or the harvesting event(s) or aquaculture operation(s) of the product being entered, cannot be feasibly identified, either through inspection, labeling, or HTS code. NMFS disagrees that the failure to apply the rule to those products would provide sufficient economic incentive for businesses to increase production of highly processed products over traditional product forms in order to circumvent the requirements of the rule.

Comment 16: One commenter noted that a number of duplicate HTS codes were listed in the proposed rule.

Response: NMFS has removed duplicate HTS codes in the associated compliance guide, where HTS codes applicable to this rule will be updated as needed. This approach, which NMFS has used in other recent rulemakings, allows the agency to update the list of applicable HTS codes for priority species as described in the rule in the compliance guide as codes are revised by the U.S. International Trade Commission and published in the Federal Register (see 19 U.S.C. 1202). NMFS, however, wants to be clear that the expansion of the Program through its application to additional species will require new rulemaking with opportunity for public comment.

Comment 17: NMFS received comments expressing concern that importers may resort to the use of generic HTS codes in order to circumvent reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated with the Program and suggesting that those HTS codes should be included in the rule. One commenter identified several HTS codes for priority species products that were not included in the publication of the proposed rule.

Response: NMFS acknowledges the potential risk that an importer seeking to circumvent the requirements of this rule might attempt to utilize a more general HTS code to which the rule is not being applied. As NMFS noted in the response to Comment 15, importers are legally obligated to use the most detailed and descriptive HTS code applicable to the product being entered. Therefore, if a more specific HTS code (to which this rule is applied) is not used for the entry filing, such misspecification would be a violation of customs regulations. NMFS considered applying this rule to generic (non-species specific) HTS codes and requiring a disclaimer from the importer of record that the shipment does not include any of the species to which the Program applies, but decided against doing so as it would expand considerably the universe of importers required to obtain an International Fisheries Trade Permit for the sole purpose of making that disclaimer. NMFS does not consider such an approach to be a reasonable burden on the trade community for the initial phase of the Program. NMFS will monitor for significant increases in the use of generic HTS codes or decreases in the use of HTS codes to which this Program applies.

NMFS has made corrections to the list of HTS codes to which the rule is applied. This list is not included in the regulatory language but will instead be described in the compliance guidance. This will allow for technical corrections and adjustments in the list of HTS codes applicable to the priority species without requiring additional rulemaking.

Comment 18: NMFS received numerous comments regarding the use of various combinations of names and codes for providing species information under this rulemaking.

Response: Per the recommendation of the interagency working group for the Presidential Task Force's Recommendation 10, the proposed rule required that for each entry, the scientific name, the accepted common name, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Information System (ASFIS) 10-digit number and 3-alpha code must be reported. The recommendation and its inclusion in the proposed rule intentionally created redundancies within that data reporting element that would serve as a “cross-check” to reduce unintentional reporting errors.

NOAA agrees that reporting all three (scientific name, common name, and ASFIS code) may represent an unnecessary burden on industry and has, therefore, modified the rule to require only the ASFIS 3-alpha code. NOAA is confident that elimination of the requirement to report the scientific and common name of the fish or fish products while requiring the use of the ASFIS 3-alpha code will not diminish the effectiveness of the Program. If needed, a cross-check can be made between the product description reported to CBP, the HTS code, the product code reported to FDA, and the ASFIS 3-alpha code.

Data Requirements/Elements

Comment 19: A number of comments were received requesting clarity on expectations for the fishing area data element, whether it be FAO area, exclusive economic zone (EEZ), GPS coordinates (as the European Union (EU) requires) or otherwise.

Response: In consideration of comments received regarding area of wild capture, NMFS has described the format and coding for this data element in greater detail in the NMFS Implementation Guide posted by CBP at http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/catair. Several format options are recognized given the many differences in data collection and reporting conventions world-wide. For fisheries conducted in a nation's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or territorial waters, the area of wild capture is the area that the competent authority exercising jurisdiction over the wild capture operation requires to be reported (e.g., sub-area of the harvesting nation's EEZ). If no such reporting requirement exists, then for fishing within the EEZ, the area of wild capture is specified using the relevant International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 2-alpha code. See http://www.fao.org/3/a-az126e.pdf and ftp://ftp.fao.org/FI/STAT/by_FishArea/Fishing_Areas_list.pdf. For fishing beyond national jurisdiction, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Major Fishing Area codes (http://www.fao.org/fishery/cwp/handbook/H/en) should be used. Specific instructions for reporting fishing area are provided in the NMFS Implementation Guide.

Comment 20: A number of commenters suggested that NMFS include transshipment information as a reporting data element.

Response: NMFS acknowledges the value and importance of tracking transshipment information as a tool for combating IUU fishing. As drafted, the rule establishes access to this data by NMFS through audits of chain of custody information for selected entries. During the first year of implementation of the Program, NMFS will consider key chain of custody data elements that could be established as mandatory reporting requirements; as part of that process, the merits of requiring the reporting of transshipment data will be assessed. Any new mandatory reporting requirements for chain of custody data would be promulgated through a rulemaking.

Comment 21: NMFS received several comments regarding the value of using established naming and code conventions for fishing gear.

Response: As with fishing area, in response to comments, NMFS is providing further detail on the format and coding for the fishing gear data element in the NMFS Implementation Guide posted by CBP at http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/catair. The type of fishing gear should be specified per the reporting convention and codes used by the competent authority exercising jurisdiction over the wild capture operation. If no such reporting requirements exist, the FAO fishing gear code should be used. See http://www.fao.org/fishery/cwp/handbook/M/en (providing International Standard Statistical Classification of Fishing Gear).

Comment 22: Several groups commented on the requirement of Automatic Identification Systems and International Maritime Organization numbers for all fishing vessels whose seafood is imported into the United States.

Response: While noting that some entities utilize Automatic Identification System (AIS) for vessel monitoring, the purpose of AIS is to ensure vessel safety at sea and AIS is not an appropriate substitute for a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) as a primary means of vessel monitoring for fisheries. The fifteen Task Force recommendations for combating IUU fishing and seafood fraud represent a broad set of tools and strategies for combating IUU fishing including international engagement, enforcement authorities, partnerships, and supply-chain transparency. Specifically, Recommendation 3 speaks to the enhancement of maritime domain awareness, a goal for which AIS may be, in certain circumstances, an effective tool.

Recommendation 2 of the Task Force Action Plan focuses on efforts to advance the elimination of IUU fishing through Regional Fishery Management Organizations. Within those fora and others, the U.S. government has consistently advocated for use of unique, permanent identifiers in support of a global record. Included in the set of data elements to be reported at the time of entry for wild-capture fish and fish products is the “unique vessel identifier(s)” (if available). For larger scale vessels, this may be a number assigned by the International Maritime Organization, or an identifier assigned by a Regional Fishery Management Organization. Smaller scale vessels may be assigned registration numbers by national or regional governments.

Reporting and Recordkeeping

Comment 23: Numerous commenters provided detailed feedback regarding the significant burden that the Program's data collection requirements would pose to small-scale fisheries. In addition to the substantial number of individual catches that could be contained in a single shipment of seafood, and the burden to industry that reporting each of those harvest events would represent, it was noted that small commercial fishing vessels in some developing countries are not required to have unique vessel identifiers, and in some cases unique identifiers for small vessels are required but not enforced. NMFS was also asked to consider the EU's approach to an aggregated reporting for small-scale fisheries in an effort to reduce the burden to industry.

Response: NMFS agrees that small-scale fisheries should be addressed. To this end, the final rule would exempt an importer from providing vessel- or aquaculture facility-specific information, if the importer provides other required data elements based on an aggregated harvest report. The rule defines aggregated harvest report as a record that covers: (1) Harvests at a single collection point in a single calendar day from small-scale vessels (i.e., twelve meters in length or less or 20 gross tons or less); (2) landing by a vessel to which catches of small-scale vessels were made at sea; or (3) deliveries made to a single collection point (processing facility, broker, or transport) on a single calendar day by aquaculture facilities that each deliver 1,000 kg or less in that day. Even if there is an Aggregated Harvest Report, the importer must still provide all of the information required under § 300.324(b)(2)-(3), (e.g., total quantity and/or weight of the product(s) as landed/delivered, harvest or landing date, fishing area, species).

This provision will substantially reduce the amount of data that is required to be provided by importers of record of seafood originating from small-boat fisheries. NMFS does not consider this provision to negatively impact the effectiveness of the Program. As explained above, in order to invoke the exemption, an importer must provide data based on an aggregated harvest report. That report will record information on aggregated harvests or landings and establish the point to which a trace back would occur. This will enable NMFS to ascertain the jurisdiction/authority whose laws and regulations are relevant to the harvests or landings. NMFS notes that, in its catch certification program design, the European Union established similar provisions to address concerns related to small vessels.

Comment 24: Two commenters noted that the 5-year recordkeeping requirement could be burdensome to industry.

Response: In many federally-managed fisheries, recordkeeping is required for 2 years, and that time frame has proven to be effective for enforcement purposes. In the final rule, NMFS has reduced the record retention period from 5 to 2 years and has accounted for the costs associated with data storage in the final regulatory flexibility analysis. However, importers must take note that CBP recordkeeping requirements may differ from NMFS requirements, depending on the commodity and the circumstances of entry filing.

Comment 25: A number of comments from foreign industry sectors and governments requested decreased reporting or recordkeeping requirements at the national level, similar to the individual national reporting forms for some countries under the EU catch documentation scheme.

Response: NMFS will not offer nation-level treatment differences because, unlike the EU system which requires nation-level certification, the Program does not lend itself to nation-level treatment or considerations. Under the Program, accuracy in recordkeeping and reporting is the responsibility of the IFTP holder for seafood imports from any nation. The basic data about the harvest event are necessary to enable NMFS to ascertain the jurisdiction/authority whose laws and regulations are relevant to harvests or landings.

Comment 26: One commenter suggested that some or all of the harvest and landing data to be reported at the time of entry should be moved to the category of “summary data” that can be provided up to 10 days following the date of entry.

Response: NMFS believes that delayed reporting of key harvest and landing data could undermine its ability to apply risk-based enforcement strategies to identify IUU-sourced and misrepresented seafood and prevent the entry of such seafood into U.S. commerce. While NMFS does not intend to ask that CBP hold all shipments until reported data are verified, it will make that request when intelligence or risk analysis indicates that the source of the entry should be scrutinized. The final rule therefore requires that all data be reported at the time of entry. NMFS will reconsider this comment in the context of the elements and design of a Commerce Trusted Trader Program. See response to Comment 34 for further information.

Comment 27: NMFS received several comments regarding the logistical feasibility of tracking seafood from entry into U.S. commerce back to point of harvest or production, particularly in situations involving complex chains of custody and co-mingling of products from numerous harvest events, fishing areas, and processing facilities.

Response: NMFS points out that complexity of the supply chain was one of the principles established to determine the list of priority species to which this rule will initially apply, and the reporting and recordkeeping requirements of the rule will enhance NMFS' ability to track product from point of harvest to entry into U.S. commerce.

NMFS acknowledges that co-mingling of product is an established and essential practice within the seafood supply chain and does not consider the tracing of like products from each individual harvest event through one or more co-mingling processes to be logistically feasible or necessary for the success of the Program. Under this rule, in cases where product offered for entry is comprised of one or more events of co-mingling of fish (e.g., at the landing point, processor, re-processor, etc.), the importer of record would be required to provide data on all harvest events contributing to the product(s) offered for entry that are made from priority species subject to this rule. The rule does not require, however, that the importer provide data linking each unit (e.g., each fish, fillet, block, etc.) of the product(s) offered for entry to a specific harvest event. This will in some cases result in reported harvest records totaling more than the product weight of the shipment in question, but mass balance is not a criterion for admissibility. Reporting requirements under the Program will enable NMFS to ascertain, among other things, the jurisdiction/authority whose laws and regulations are relevant to harvests or landings.

Comment 28: NMFS received comment that the proposed requirement that importers of record retain chain of custody records for five years creates a significant burden that could be mitigated by allowing suppliers to retain records and provide them to importers as needed.

Response: One of the Program's basic design objectives is that importers devote adequate attention to their supply chain so as to confirm that the fish and fish products that they are importing were legally harvested and are accurately represented. NMFS has therefore maintained a recordkeeping requirement in the final rule, and as noted in response to Comment 24, has reduced the requirement from 5 to 2 years. For purposes of this record keeping, digital records are entirely acceptable.

Comment 29: NMFS received comment stressing that the timeline for expanding the reporting requirements for inclusion of chain of custody information in the ITDS message set should be specified in the final rule.

Response: The preamble to the proposed rule for the Program describes NMFS' intent to consider, during the first year of implementation of the Program, key chain of custody data elements to be reported rather than kept as records as currently proposed. Modifying that requirement of the Program will require additional rulemaking.

NMFS chose to not require the reporting of chain of custody information at this time for three primary reasons: (1) Introduction of data elements that are less similar to those message sets already developed for ITDS implementation of NMFS-administered catch documentation programs would very likely expand and prolong the ITDS programming requirements, resulting in implementation uncertainty; (2) were NMFS to require document images as a means to collect chain of custody data at the time of entry, it would have no way of manipulating and analyzing the data through automated processes as it can with data provided through the ITDS message sets; and (3) chain of custody events represent a broad and diverse universe of potential movements and transactions and cannot, without some analysis of baseline reports, establish standardized chain of custody data elements that will be useful for screening entries and informing risk-based enforcement.

Following implementation of the Program, NMFS intends to evaluate chain of custody information as part of the post-entry auditing process. These evaluations will, over time, inform the Agency as to the types of chain of custody data that can feasibly be collected through the ITDS reporting process and the costs and benefits associated with requiring reporting of the additional data.

Harmonization/Intersection With Other Relevant Programs/Requirements

Comment 30: NMFS received several comments asking that it consider potential interfaces of the Program and third-party traceability and certification entities. One commenter advised that NMFS take care in not expressing an implicit endorsement or requirement for use of, or participation in, any such third-party programs as a condition for compliance with the rule.

Response: The Program neither prevents nor requires the use of third-party certification or traceability systems in support of compliance with its reporting and recordkeeping requirements. NMFS acknowledges that some third-party programs use data similar to that required by the Program. To the extent that third-party traceability systems or certification programs serve as conduits for data elements described in this rule, there is nothing prohibiting the importer of record or their authorized agent from utilizing those data, either manually or electronically, to meet the Program reporting requirements or from using those systems to meet Program recordkeeping requirements. The Program thus affords flexibility in terms of meeting reporting and recordkeeping requirements, but does not endorse, explicitly or implicitly any third party traceability systems. NMFS requested, and will consider, comments regarding the use of third-party certification and traceability systems in the context of the Commerce Trusted Trader Program. See response to Comment 34 for further information.

Comment 31: NMFS received several comments that it should consider, recognize, or adopt the EU's Catch Documentation Program in the design of the U.S. Program.

Response: The Task Force considered the European Union's Catch Documentation Program in developing its recommendation to establish a risk-based traceability program to allow fish and fish product to be tracked from point of harvest or production to entry into U.S. commerce. The United States recognizes and appreciates the European Union's leadership and innovation in establishing its program and fully supports its continued application. While fundamental structural differences exist between the European Union's program and both the domestic and import components of the United States' seafood traceability program, the types of information and actual data elements with respect to harvest and landing information are highly comparable. Furthermore, NMFS looked to the European Union's example in addressing operational challenges for small-boat fleets and structured the small boat provision in the Program to closely resemble that approach. Further consideration will be given to the European Union's Catch Documentation Program in the development of the Commerce Trusted Trader Program. See response to Comment 34 for further information.

Comment 32: NMFS received numerous comments describing the importance of data standardization across other national and RFMO catch documentation and traceability programs and data interoperability in the design of the Program. Commenters also noted the importance of careful integration of the Program and the Tuna Tracking and Verification Program.

Response: NMFS acknowledges the benefit of standardization and interoperability of data and has, in its design of the Program, attempted to balance those values against the specific strategic and operational objectives of the Program. For example, while the EU catch documentation program is essentially a “government-to-government” framework, the Program is designed to shift the responsibility for preventing the import of IUU-sourced and misrepresented seafood to the supply chain itself and stands as a “government-to-business” program. That said, the harvest and landing data elements captured by the two programs are quite similar. In order to minimize the burden of similar, but not identical data and reporting requirements, NMFS designed the Program for maximum flexibility in both the source and format of supporting documentation. Recognizing that harvest and landing data are reported and collected differently in various fisheries and regions of the United States, the Program is intended to accommodate the same diversity of approaches with respect to imported seafood.

With respect to the Tuna Tracking and Verification Program (TTVP), NMFS agrees that the data elements and compliance requirements of the two programs should be as closely aligned as possible given their differences in underlying authorities and regulatory objectives. To that end, NMFS published an interim final rule intended to improve the regulatory framework within which the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act is implemented (81 FR 15444, March 23, 2016). Among other things, this rule would bring the chain of custody recordkeeping requirements for the TTVP in closer alignment with the requirements of the Program, as proposed. For HTS codes to which both the Program and the TTVP apply, ITDS programming will ensure that common data elements are reported no more than once.

Timeframe for Implementation

Comment 33: Many commenters offered feedback on the implementation time frame for this rule. Some recommended a phased-in approach where mandatory reporting would be required earlier for some species than others. Suggested implementation periods ranged from six months to one year, with one commenter suggesting a 3-6 month period when industry could practice submission to the ACE portal. Some countries commented that additional capacity building and clear explanation of compliance guidelines will be necessary to meet a one year implementation time frame.

Response: NMFS agrees with commenters' interests in allowing time for the Program to be implemented smoothly and without disruption to trade. To allow for development of both the ACE software maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, CBP and the industry data submission software, testing data input into ACE, and international capacity building, the Program will be implemented (i.e., required permitting, reporting and recordkeeping will be mandatory) approximately twelve months following the publication of this rule, except for shrimp and abalone. NMFS believes that this implementation schedule will provide adequate time for foreign exporters to establish systems for conveying harvest, landing, and chain of custody information to the U.S. importers of record. The requirements for the U.S. importer to obtain the IFTP, to report harvest event data at entry filing, and to maintain supply chain records for auditing purposes, will be enforced beginning January 1, 2018 (except for shrimp and abalone). However, this means that U.S. importers must work with exporters to obtain harvest and supply chain records for products harvested earlier than January 1, 2018 if these products will be entered into the United States on or after that date. NMFS evaluated the time interval from harvest date to entry date for several fish products currently subject to import monitoring programs (e.g., bluefin tuna, swordfish, toothfish) and determined that in most cases U.S. imports occur within a few months of the harvest event. Some products may be in the supply chain for longer periods due to processing, cold storage and shipping time. U.S. importers should work with their suppliers in advance of the compliance date of January 1, 2018 to ensure that the required information is available. NMFS will publish a document in the Federal Register to establish the effective date of the rule for shrimp and abalone products and, in establishing that date, due consideration will be given to the need for adequate advance notice. See response to Comment 7.

Comment 34: One commenter noted that the timeline for implementation of the Program should not be established until the Commerce Trusted Trader Program is closer to implementation.

Response: NMFS disagrees. The NOC Committee considers the development of a Commerce Trusted Trader Program to be a critical element in the long-term implementation and success of the Program. The Trusted Trader Program would allow NMFS and the trade to segment risk in supply chain management and allow for streamlined entry processing and reduced inspections for entities granted program status. NMFS announced a 60-day public comment period on the elements and design of a Commerce Trusted Trader Program on April 29, 2016 (81 FR 25646). That announcement identifies a variety of issues that will be considered in the development and implementation of a Commerce Trusted Trader Program. It also acknowledges that while NMFS will make every effort to implement the Commerce Trusted Trader Program simultaneously with the Program, rulemaking and implementation requirements remain uncertain, and those factors could preclude simultaneous implementation. NMFS sought comment on the potential impacts and benefits of having the Commerce Trusted Trader Program implemented some weeks or months following implementation of the Program and recommendations for design and implementation of the Commerce Trusted Trader Program as well as measures that can be taken to minimize the cost and burden of those impacts and maximize available benefits. As NMFS considers comments and initiates design of the Trusted Trader Program, the requirements for additional rulemaking will be determined and the time frame for implementation will be clarified.

Comment 35: NMFS received comment that the timing of expansion of the seafood traceability program to all species should be prescribed in the final rule.

Response: NMFS disagrees. The Administration has indicated and described in the Action Plan its goal to expand the Program to all seafood, after consideration of factors including authorities needed, stakeholder input, and cost-effectiveness, which includes a risk-based implementation. The need to evaluate operational successes and challenges before expanding the Program to more, or all, species was clearly recognized by the Task Force as evidenced by its recommendation that the National Ocean Council Committee on IUU fishing and Seafood Fraud publish a report in December of 2016 evaluating the Program as set out in this final rule, identifying hurdles and potential approaches for addressing those hurdles, costs and benefits of expanding the Program, and issues associated with sharing traceability information at the consumer level.

Due to existing operational uncertainties regarding the implementation of this first phase of the Program such as the scheduling of, and time required for, the programming of the ITDS for data reporting by the importer of record, NMFS has established an implementation date for the Program of approximately 12 months following the publication of the final rule. For similar reasons, it would be inadvisable to project a schedule for expansion of the Program at this time. Furthermore, specifying the expansion of the Program to all species in this rulemaking would require that the supporting analyses (Regulatory Impact Review and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis) include in their scope reporting and recordkeeping for all seafood. NMFS does not consider those analyses to be feasible at this time and therefore cannot define a schedule for expansion for inclusion in this rule.

Outreach and Assistance to Industry

Comment 36: Several national governments commented on the importance of outreach and capacity building to support implementation of, and compliance with, the Program implementing regulations.

Response: NMFS recognizes the need for outreach and education in support of implementation of the Program and compliance with its requirements. NMFS noted in the proposed rule the intention to provide assistance to exporting nations to support compliance with the requirements of the program, including by providing assistance to strengthen fisheries governance structures and enforcement bodies to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud and to establish systems to enable export shipments of fish and fish products to be traced back to the point of harvest. However, outreach will not be limited to international engagement. NMFS will work closely with the U.S. seafood trade sector as well to ensure awareness and understanding of the program requirements in support of importers' compliance with the rule. Additionally, NMFS intends to publish compliance guidance as well as a “plain language” description of the final regulation.

Burden to Industry/Regulatory Impact/Alternatives

Comment 37: A number of commenters requested additional detail on how the reported data will be used. Some comments called for the data to be used to support enforcement of other statutes (e.g., Lacey Act), others requested a more robust description of enforcement and auditing procedures.

Response: Historically, much of the enforcement effort to address imports of illegally-harvested or misrepresented seafood has been reactive, working at the border posts and following suspected shipments. The intent of this rulemaking is to enhance the ability of NOAA and its law enforcement partners to detect misrepresented or illegally harvested fish and fish product before it enters U.S. Commerce. The data and records required by this regulation will be used to screen products in an effort to detect and prevent illegally-harvested and misrepresented seafood from entering U.S. commerce.

The National Marine Fisheries Service Seafood Inspection Program (SIP) inspects over two billion pounds of seafood per year for export and domestic consumption. About 20 percent of domestic consumption is examined by SIP. These examinations include checks for proper labeling, proper net weight and proper nomenclature. The NOAA Office of Law Enforcement also conducts inspections of imported fish and fish products. These inspections are conducted in collaboration with our federal and state law enforcement partners to ensure compliance with statutes administered by NOAA, such as the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Lacey Act. The new data and reporting requirements will further enhance the effectiveness of these inspections and provide information that will allow limited enforcement resources to be better targeted at fish and fish products suspected of being misrepresented or illegally harvested.

NOAA has also actively increased collaboration on analysis of U.S. fisheries imports with other law enforcement agencies in an effort to detect and prevent illegally-harvested and misrepresented fish and fish products from entering the U.S. market. To this end, NOAA has entered into information sharing agreements with other law enforcement agencies and is also a partner government agency with CBP in the transition to electronic reporting of trade data through the ITDS, an initiative highlighted in the President's recent Executive Order on streamlining export/import processes.

NOAA has also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Customs and Border Protection to participate as a member agency of its Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC). At the multiagency CTAC facility, members have direct access to a wide array of import processing and law enforcement systems, as well as other member agencies' data systems, to enable collaborative analysis, development and coordination of operational targeting of import shipments for a wide variety of regulatory and enforcement concerns. CTAC member agencies such as NOAA, FDA and CBP are increasing collaboration to target potential seafood fraud in an effort to develop intelligence driven targeting of high risk seafood product imports.

These partnerships, combined with the additional information and records required by this rulemaking will significantly increase the likelihood of detecting illegal seafood products before admission into U.S. commerce, allow more effective use of limited law enforcement resources available to enforce the various federal statutes designed to prevent illegal importation of products into the United States, and reduce the need for random inspections which can slow the entry of legal products into the United States.

Comment 38: NMFS received a number of comments requesting that it remove certain species, in particular Atlantic and Pacific cod, from the initial phase of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program based on a lack of documented foreign illegal fishing activity for the species in question.

Response: Many factors were considered in determining the potential for a species to be susceptible to IUU fishing or seafood fraud, including known foreign or domestic unlawful harvest of the species, susceptibility to mislabeling or species substitution, and presence of international catch documentation schemes among others. While not widespread, there have been reports to NOAA of illegal fishing of both Atlantic and Pacific cod species. Additionally, there are reports of, and significant risk of, species substitution.

We note that a preliminary review of 2015 data, for example, demonstrates that at least 94% of the cod imported by the United States is filleted and/or dried or otherwise processed. The majority of such processed product is imported under tariff codes which are not specific with regard to ocean area of origin (Atlantic, Pacific). Given the use of non-specific tariff codes, there is considerable potential for such generic and ready-to-use cod products to be described, for instance, “Atlantic cod fillets”, even if not of Atlantic origin—the sort of misrepresentation that would be precluded by requiring a report on the harvest event. It is also important to consider that processing into fillets is regarded under international customs convention and implementing national regulations as a “substantial transformation” of the underlying product, and therefore the product acquires a new country of origin with the result that the harvesting nation may no longer be apparent without specific data on the harvest event.

Comment 39: A number of commenters provided input on liability for data accuracy. One commenter saw a lack of clarity in NMFS' definition of the `importer of record' and expressed that this person may not always be the best person to hold responsible for accuracy of the information submitted to ACE. One nation's comments indicated that it would be helpful for NMFS to clarify if there is any liability for nations/flag states under this rule.

Response: Nations or flag states are not expected to certify the accuracy of data. Under the Program, responsibility for accurate reporting is borne by the IFTP holder, which NMFS has referred to as the importer of record as required to be designated on each entry filed with CBP. See response to Comment 49 for further information.

Comment 40: The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) commented that NMFS did not adequately comply with requirements under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and expressed concerns that NMFS did not adequately assess the burden on small businesses.

Response: NMFS has made adjustments to the final rule that reduce the burden on industry without compromising the integrity of the Program. As discussed in the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), all businesses directly affected by this rulemaking are considered small businesses. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) has two main requirements for an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA): (1) “describe the impact” the rule would have on small entities, and (2) discuss alternatives that “minimize any significant economic impact . . . on small entities.” NMFS did both with the information available at the time the proposed rule was published. To assess the impact on small entities, in the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) and IRFA together, NMFS analyzed the costs associated with the proposed rule which included the precise amount of permit fees and an acknowledgement of incremental costs of reporting and recordkeeping. As much of the reporting is either already required or already otherwise undertaken by the impacted entities, NMFS could not definitively provide precise incremental costs and, instead, described the types of incremental costs that regulated entities would face. The RFA specifically acknowledges that costs often cannot be precisely quantified and, thus, allows that “an agency may provide . . . more general descriptive statements if quantification is not practicable or reliable.” 5 U.S.C. 607. NMFS sought comment on these incremental costs to allow small entities the chance to provide relevant quantifiable information. Granting small businesses a voice in the rulemaking process is one of the main purposes of the RFA. See Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, Public Law 96-354 (2)(a)(8).

The commenter incorrectly states that “NMFS asserts that the only new cost will be the industry wide cost of $60,000 due to permitting fees.” The proposed rule did not state that this would be the only cost—it simply stated that “there will be approximately 2,000 new applications for the IFTP, with an estimated industry-wide increase in annual costs to importers of $60,000 in permit fees.” NMFS then later states that “[i]ncremental costs are likely to consist of developing interoperable systems . . .”. NMFS also discusses the issue of incremental costs in the IRFA summary in the proposed rule and section 1.3.2 of the RIR.

The commenter asserted that “the IRFA does not have information about the costs of the reporting requirements”. However, NMFS states that there will not likely be significant additional costs because the industry is otherwise in compliance with the rule. The IRFA stated that “[d]ata sets to be submitted electronically . . . are, to some extent, either already collected by the trade in the course of supply chain management, already required to be collected and submitted . . ., or collected in support of third-party certification schemes voluntarily adopted by the trade.” NMFS acknowledges that there will be incremental costs; it just could not quantify them.

The commenter also stated that the number of required data points increases the economic burden on small entities and encouraged NMFS to reconsider whether all of the data points were necessary to collect from small entities. NMFS notes that the proposed rule explains why each data point is necessary to establish the chain of custody and an effective traceability scheme (81 FR 6210, February 5, 2016). In addition, the third alternative that was analyzed in the IRFA discussed a “reduced data set” and was not selected as the preferred alternative because it would not achieve the objectives of the rule.

Comment 41: Advocacy also requested that NMFS consider “less burdensome alternatives” including the voluntary third party certification, Trusted Trader, and European Union catch certification programs and, if these three programs are not viable alternatives, explain why. Advocacy requested that NMFS analyze and take advantage of opportunities to harmonize the Program requirements with the existing EU catch certification scheme and third party certification to minimize the burden on industry.

Response: The proposed rule noted that NMFS did not have sufficient information to analyze the extent to which voluntary third party certification, Trusted Trader, and European Union Catch Certification programs could minimize burden to industry and whether any of them could achieve the rule's statutory objectives, and specifically sought and received public comment on these programs. NMFS received and took into consideration public comment on these programs. Throughout the Response to Comments section of this final rule, NMFS has noted where changes have been made that minimize the burden on industry without compromising the integrity of the Program and those changes are also reflected in the regulatory text and in the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis accompanying this rule.

Comment 42: NMFS received comments that the Program will impose substantial costs on the international seafood supply chain. Commenters challenged the cost estimated in the Draft Regulatory Impact Review and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, suggesting that the compliance burden for this rulemaking will often be incrementally higher due to multiple harvest events associated with an entry. Commenters also suggested that the total hourly cost to an importer for the labor required to enter traceability data through ITDS is $31.25 per hour. Commenters also identified additional costs not incorporated in the Draft Regulatory Impact Review and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, including the cost of paying harvesters and farmers for traceability data, the cost of auditing suppliers to insure that reported information is accurate and complete, and the cost of insuring themselves against the risk that imported information is erroneous, and the related risk of delayed entry of imported products. Comments suggest that enforcement of the regulations implementing the Program will cause exporters to choose alternative markets to the United States.

Response: NMFS noted in the Draft Regulatory Impact Review and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis the difficulty of estimating certain costs associated with compliance with the rule for a new program, and identified specific issues about which the public was encouraged to comment. NMFS is greatly appreciative of the thoughtful and detailed comments offered in this regard. Commenters affirmed that the operational attributes of some, if not all of the fisheries for species subject to the Program are such that entries of fish or fish products from those fisheries will represent, and require the reporting of data for, more than one harvest event. This was anticipated by NMFS and described in the proposed rule. In response to public comment, NMFS has made some revisions in the final rule. See response to Comment 43 for information on the revisions.

With regard to cost of labor to enter data, NMFS estimated that the average hourly total cost was $15.00 per hour in the Draft Regulatory Impact Review. In light of public comment, NMFS updated the hourly rate to $25.00 per hour in the Final Regulatory Impact Review and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' estimate of total cost to the employer for office and administrative support services in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Commenters apparently assume a linear relationship between the number of harvest events related to an import entry and the amount of time required to provide the traceability data. This would be the case if all data were manually entered. NMFS has consulted with software developers who are in the business of automating the ITDS data-input process for importers and customs brokers. As they point out, many of the data elements will be identical across numerous harvest events, and developers will likely identify “loop-backs” that preclude the need to repeatedly enter the same species, harvest area, address, etc. for a series of harvest events in the same fishery. As well, importers are likely to build databases from which previously reported information can be pulled and entered as appropriate. These efficiencies will create economies of scale such that the actual (average) time needed to complete the harvest information associated with an entry will decrease as the number of harvest events increases.

NMFS does not agree that harvesters and farmers will be in a position to demand payment for traceability data, and commenters did not provide quantitative or qualitative information regarding the likelihood of such risks. There is no indication that the imposition of existing catch documentation systems (e.g., the EU system) resulted in measurable increases in the cost of seafood. The harvest event data required to be provided under the U.S. program aligns very closely with those data on the harvest event required in the European Union catch certification program. Providing this information to U.S. importers subject to the Program should be no more costly or burdensome.

However, we recognize that some businesses and some countries do not currently export to the EU and, for these entities, providing harvest, landing, and chain of custody information to U.S. importers subject to this rule could result in new burdens for these exporters to supply priority species to the U.S. market. There are few affected countries not currently exporting the designated priority species to the E.U. market, suggesting compliance with the U.S. requirements would not pose an inordinate burden on U.S. importers or consumers given the relatively small volume of trade involved. We note, however, that individual businesses located within each country may have different levels of experience with exporting to the EU market. While this analysis assumes minimal incremental regulatory burden for businesses located in countries that ship to the EU, it is possible that some businesses within these countries will incur costs as a consequence of this rule, in particular the chain-of-custody recordkeeping in cases of complex supply chains, that may be either passed through to U.S. consumers or result in a decline in exports to the U.S. market. Both of these responses to the Program could affect prices in the U.S. market. However, evidence indicates that there were not significant effects on supply to the EU seafood market in response to the EU's IUU regulation.

The rule does not require any formal audits by suppliers. Adoption of that practice by an importer would likely be informed by the importer's business model, relationship with suppliers, and perceived risk that the supplier might, whether intentional or not, provide incorrect traceability information to the importer.

Commenters pointed to the cost of insurance indemnifying importers against the cost of civil penalties for failure to comply with the rule. NMFS is not familiar with such insurance but assumes that need for indemnification would also pertain to risks associated with existing other agency regulations on seafood safety and trade documentation.

NMFS disagrees that implementation of the Program will result in exporters choosing alternative markets to the United States. Similar information requirements relative to harvesting authorizations and documentation of processing and transshipment were placed on fisheries exporting to the European Union through the implementation of its catch documentation program. No significant disruptions in European seafood markets were observed. The United States represents an equally attractive international market, access to which is well worth the effort of providing traceability data to exporters.

Comment 43: One commenter developed three scenarios (mahi mahi, blue swimming crab, and Atlantic cod) for the purpose of demonstrating the number of harvest events that may be associated with an import entry of those species. The commenter stated that there is no evidence showing that the Program's data reporting requirements will lead to reduction of either IUU fishing or seafood mislabeling.

Response: NMFS greatly appreciates the detailed information provided. On the basis of those comments as well as similar information from other commenters, NMFS revised the final rule to exempt an importer from having to provide vessel- or aquaculture facility-specific information where certain criteria are met for small-scale vessels and aquaculture facilities, if the importer provides other information required under this rule from an aggregated harvest report. See response to Comment 23 for detailed explanation of the exemption.

A detailed response to each scenario follows. While NMFS does not agree with a number of assumptions and methodologies applied in the comment, the commenter's overall approach to estimating potential harvest events is sound. Below, NMFS applies the commenter's overall estimation approach to the three scenarios adjusting the estimates to reflect the aforementioned provision for aggregating data from small-scale fisheries. These alternative estimates are also provided in the Final Regulatory Impact Review and Final regulatory Flexibility Analysis.

Mahi-Mahi From Ecuador

NMFS finds the general description of the fishery operations in the comment to be consistent with information provided in publicly available peer-reviewed literature. Based on fleet composition data with respect to small “day-boats” and mothership operations described in the same journal publication, NMFS believes that the new aggregated harvest report exemption will significantly reduce the number of harvest events potentially associated with any given entry of product from this fishery. Assuming that the average aggregated harvest amount was only 20,000 pounds (considering both shore-based aggregations not to exceed one day and trip-based aggregations by motherships), a thirty-five percent yield of processed product as described in the comments would result in one “harvest event” accounting for 7,350 pounds of mahi-mahi portions. Following the commenter's methodology, which estimated that a full container of mahi-mahi is 44,000 pounds, there would only be six harvest events that must be reported on entry of that container into the United States.

NMFS agrees that the relationship between yield of specific portions and products included in an entry may impact the actual number of harvest events associated with a shipment. That said, there are many additional variables that could incrementally increase or decrease that number of harvest events.

Blue Crab From Mexico

As noted by the commenter, blue swimming crab is not included in the list of priority species and is therefore outside the scope of this rulemaking. NMFS appreciates these comments, and notes that the new aggregated harvest report exemption will significantly reduce the number of landing events that would need to be reported by the importer of record for species covered under the Program.

Atlantic Cod

Of the major exporters of Atlantic cod products to the United States, Iceland is particularly transparent with respect to trade and fisheries statistics and will be referenced throughout this response due to the public availability of data from that nation. NMFS takes issue with several elements of the commenter's description of the Atlantic Cod fishery. Comments focused solely on minced block and treated that product as an exclusively secondary product, noting a 2.5 percent recovery rate. While minced product may, as stated in the comments, represent 2.5 percent of the catch, that does not equate to using 2.5 percent of each fish out of each harvest event. To the extent that minced product is made from mis-cut fillets or as a primary form of production, recovery per fish could approach 30 percent (FAO lists the yield of skinless cod fillets as 36 percent).

The exclusive focus on minced block product mischaracterizes the nature of U.S. imports of Atlantic cod. From 2013 through 2015, imports of product reported under the tariff schedule code for “GROUNDFISH COD NSPF MINCED FROZEN >6.8KG” made up, on average, 0.6 percent of total cod imports according to NMFS's seafood trade database. During the years 2010 through 2014, Iceland's export of minced cod block ranged from 147 metric tons to 214 metric tons, while its export of fresh and frozen fillet products to the U.S. ranged from 1,799 to 4,779 metric tons. While the use of secondary-product minced cod block as described in the comments may be useful in making an extreme example, it would be inappropriate to extrapolate the results to the entirety of U.S. Atlantic cod imports.

Comments characterize the average catch of small “in shore” boats to be about 400 pounds, or 180 kilograms per day. A review of cod landings by a variety of Icelandic harvesting vessels ranging from small inshore boats (<12 meters) to large trawlers in Iceland's web-based catch reporting system (http://www.fiskistofa.is) indicates that 180 kilogram landings are much more the exception than the rule. While examples of landings less than 1,000 kilograms can be identified, there are many more that can be found in the tens of thousands of kilograms.

To the extent that small cod landings occur, small vessels are likely to be the source of those landings and the final rule exempts importers from providing vessel-specific information from small-scale vessels (i.e., twelve meters in length or less or 20 gross tons or less), if the importer provides other information required under the rule based on an aggregated harvest report. See response to Comment 23 for further detail on the exemption. Under this exemption, the importer of record would be responsible for reporting fewer harvest events at the time of entry into U.S. commerce.

When considering the more common-sized cod landings in Iceland using a conservative example of 25,000 kilograms per landing, a much more probable scenario for reporting requirements emerges. Assuming a 35% yield of processed product for cod fillets, a 50,000 pound container requires 142,900 pounds of round cod, (68,836 kilograms), which results in an estimated minimum of three harvest events that an importer would be required to report upon entry of the container into U.S. commerce.

NMFS points to the recommendations of the Task Force to address the concern that NMFS has not demonstrated that the Program will lead to a decrease in IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Supply chain traceability is one of four thematic approaches identified by the Task Force. Others include international engagement, enforcement capabilities, and partnerships. NMFS considers the sum of the entire suite of recommendations to be an integrated and effective framework for combating IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Additionally, the Program's recordkeeping and reporting requirements are very closely aligned with those used in other catch documentation schemes which share the objective of preventing the entry of illegally harvested and misrepresented fish and fish products into commerce and reflect many of the best practices associated with seafood traceability.

Comment 44: Commenters asserted that NMFS failed to consider costs of audits of the information received from overseas suppliers, training costs, the longer lead time, or additional insurance for inaccurate uploads in development of the IRFA.

Response: NMFS appreciates comments on the cost evaluation presented in the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) accompanying this rule. While NMFS disagrees with the comments on the actual cost of these variables, NMFS has taken all comments into consideration and included new cost estimates in the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.

Comment 45: Two commenters expressed concern that reported information could contain trade secrets that would pose significant business impacts if disclosed to competitors.

Response: NMFS believes industry has or can employ measures to support this transfer of information securely to the IFTP holder. As explained in the proposed rule, data security will be given the highest priority. Information collected via ACE and maintained in CBP systems is highly sensitive commercial, financial and proprietary information, generally exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)) and prohibited from disclosure by the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905). Further, information required to be submitted under the MSA is subject to confidentiality of information requirements at 16 U.S.C. 1881a(b).

Comment 46: A commenter requested clarification on what constitutes a “harvest event” in the case of multi-day trips on large catcher vessels or catcher processors. The commenter pointed out that a “harvest event” could be applied to each set or tow, each day, or to the entire fishing trip in the aggregate.

Response: In response to that comment, NMFS has added a definition of “harvest event” in § 300.321. For trips occurring in more than one harvest area, catch from each harvest area during the trip will be considered a separate harvest event. As discussed in response to Comment 23 and other comments, the final rule includes an exemption related to an aggregated harvest report.

Comment 47: NMFS received comments expressing concern regarding the likely frequency of product inspection and post-entry audits and verification of traceability information provided in accordance with this rule. One commenter noted that inspections and real-time verification of data provided at the time of entry may slow the flow of seafood imports into the United States, having an especially detrimental effect on shippers of fresh (unfrozen) product.

Response: NMFS agrees that frequent or lengthy delays of imported seafood import entries at the U.S. border may be costly to industry. NMFS intends to focus the use of its authority to request holds on incoming shipments primarily when risk indicators or specific intelligence indicate reason to do so. Post-entry audit and verification will be more frequent, but those activities will not impact the flow of trade or speed of entry, provided that all necessary data are provided at the time of entry.

Comment 48: Several commenters expressed concern over NMFS's definition of “importer of record” in the proposed rule, stating that import entry functions and product ownership is handled in a variety of ways across importing companies and in some cases, the proposed definition may not fit the business model.

Response: NMFS believes the Program has been designed to accommodate all of the scenarios described in the comment provided the entity in question is located in the U.S. The determination of who should act as the importer of record is a private, business decision between the parties involved in the importation process. The importer of record is the entity required to be designated on the entry filing and this rule requires that the entity so designated is issued an IFTP. That permit number must be reported to make the entry. In some instances, there may be more than one entity involved in a transaction that holds an IFTP. In that instance, it is again up to the parties involved in the transaction to determine whose permit will be used for the entry and who will therefore be designated as the importer of record on the filing with CBP.

Comment 49: One commenter noted that seafood importers do not have the ability to ground-truth claims by exporters that the product is from legitimate fishing operations.

Response: NMFS disagrees. Per the Magnuson-Stevens Act authority by which this rule is promulgated, it is illegal to import any fish taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any foreign law or regulation. Therefore, NMFS considers it to be the responsibility of seafood importers to determine the source of the product entering the U.S. market, and it is one of the reasons that the National Ocean Council Committee determined that a “government-to-business” model would be most effective in ensuring that the U.S. seafood supply chain is closed to IUU and misrepresented fish and fish products.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

In response to comments received on the proposed rule, NMFS has made a number of changes in the final rule. In addition, certain other changes in the regulatory text are necessary because final rules, promulgated after the proposed rule for the Seafood Traceability Program was published, amended regulatory text that is also amended by this rule.

Redesignation of 50 CFR Part 300 Subpart Q

In publishing the proposed rule for integration of NMFS current trade monitoring programs within the ITDS (see 80 FR 81251, December 29, 2015), NMFS incorrectly numbered the sections of the proposed new subpart R to 50 CFR part 300 such that the section numbers were out of sequence with existing subpart Q. Consequently, the final rule for ITDS integration (81 FR 51126, August 3, 2016) redesignated existing subpart Q as new subpart R and inserted a new subpart Q for the ITDS regulations with sections numbered in the correct order. Because the proposed rule for the Seafood Traceability Program (81 FR 6210, February 5, 2016) would have further revised regulatory text in the proposed subpart R to 50 CFR part 300, this final rule amends regulations that now exist in subpart Q.

Electronic System for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

In a final rule published April 1, 2016 (81 FR 18796), NMFS amended the regulatory text at 50 CFR 300.181 through 300.189 to reflect the implementation of the electronic bluefin tuna catch document program of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). As a contracting party to ICCAT, the United States has implemented the electronic bluefin tuna catch document program and has established simplified entry and export reporting requirements for bluefin tuna accordingly. The simplified ACE reporting requirements for bluefin tuna catches recorded in the ICCAT system are sufficient to meet the requirements of the Program established under this rule. Therefore, this rule does not amend those reporting requirements.

Aggregated Harvest Report Exemption

This final rule has been revised to exempt an importer of record from providing vessel-, farm-, or aquaculture facility-specific information under § 300.324(b)(1), if the importer provides other required information from an Aggregated Harvest Report. Even if there is an Aggregated Harvest Report, the importer is still required to provide harvest information under § 300.324(b)(2)-(3).

Following an approach similar to that of the EU's CDS regarding small-scale vessels, the final rule at § 300.321 defines Aggregated Harvest Report to mean a record made at a single collection point on a single calendar day for aggregated catches by multiple small-scale fishing vessels (20 measured gross tons or less or 12 meters length overall or less) offloaded at that collection point on that day, or for a landing by a vessel to which the catches of one or more small-scale vessels were transferred at sea. A report would include non-vessel specific harvest event information in aggregate for all fish from small-scale vessels received by an entity (e.g., fish receiver) operating at a collection point on a single calendar day. As there may be multiple receivers at a landing point, each fish receiver would generate one or more harvest event reports for their respective aggregate receipts on each day.

Aggregated Harvest Report is also defined at § 300.321 to mean a record made at a single collection point or processing facility on a single calendar day for aggregated deliveries from multiple small-scale aquaculture facilities, where each aquaculture facility delivers 1,000 kg or less to that collection point or processing facility on that day. The entity operating at the collection point or processing facility may record the harvest event information in aggregate for all receipts by that entity or processing facility on that day. As there may be multiple receivers at an intermediate collection point prior to delivery to a processor, each receiver would generate a daily harvest event report for its respective aggregate receipts.

Implementation of Mandatory Reporting and Recordkeeping

This rule establishes a compliance date of January 1, 2018, except for shrimp and abalone for which the effective date is stayed pending further action by NMFS. The requirements for permitting, ACE reporting and recordkeeping will be enforced beginning on that date, though permits would be available for issuance and ACE reporting would be available for testing prior to that date. NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register when ACE programming has been completed to allow testing of the entry reporting. For products harvested prior to the compliance date, U.S. importers should work with their foreign suppliers to ensure that the harvest event and supply chain records are available for any entries made on or after January 1, 2018.

Electronic Filing Instructions

The proposed rule explained that the format for data elements required under this rule would be specified in the following documents: Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements—Appendix PGA, Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements—PGA Message Set, and Automated Broker Interface (ABI) Requirements—Implementation Guide for NMFS. For ease of reference, NMFS has added at § 300.323 references to where import and export electronic filing instructions can be found on the internet.

Information on Fish Species, Product Description and Quantity and/or Weight

Proposed § 300.324(b)(2) required that importers provide information on fish species using the scientific name, acceptable market name, and Aquatic Sciences Fishery Information System (ASFIS) number. In response to comment, the final rule requires reporting of only the ASFIS 3-alpha code and provides a reference to where the codes may be found on the internet. A list of ASFIS 3-Alpha codes as associated with HTS codes is provided in the NMFS Implementation Guide posted by CBP at http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/catair.

Proposed § 300.324(b)(2) required a “product description” data element referring to the product form as it exists at the time it is offered for entry. After reconsidering other data reported at entry and public comments, NMFS has deleted “product description” from the final rule, as this information is reported on transportation manifests and to FDA in prior notice reports as well as part of the entry summary reported to CBP. As in the proposed rule, NMFS will still require information on product form as landed (e.g., whole, headed/gutted). Such information is necessary to interpret the landed weight and ensure that IUU product is not associated with that harvest event if inserted later in the supply chain. If there is an Aggregated Harvest Report, NMFS has added in § 300.324(b)(2) that the importer may provide the total quantity and/or weight of the product(s) as landed/delivered on the date of the report.

Format for Data Elements: Area of Wild Capture and Fishing Gear

Proposed § 300.324(b)(1) and (3) required information on area of wild capture and type of fishing gear used to harvest fish. NMFS has not changed this text in the final rule, but as explained in response to Comments 19 and 21, will provide further information on the format for these data elements in the NMFS Implementation Guide.

Segregation of Individual Harvest Events

The final rule defines a harvest event for the purposes of reporting landings or deliveries, and allows for reporting in the aggregate for small-scale vessels and aquaculture facilities. As explained above, the rule does not require that inbound shipments segregate imported product by each harvesting event. NMFS has clarified in § 300.324(b)(3) that a product offered for entry may be comprised of products from more than one harvest event and each harvest event must be documented. However, specific links between portions of the shipment and particular harvest events are not required.

Record Retention Period

The record retention period for supply chain information required by NMFS is reduced from the proposed five years to two years from the date of import for entries subject to the recordkeeping requirements of this rule.

Requirements for Shrimp and Abalone

As described in the preamble to the proposed rule, gaps exist in the collection of traceability information for domestic aquaculture-raised shrimp and abalone, which is currently largely regulated at the state level. (See 81 FR 6212, February 5, 2016). Since publication of the proposed rule, NMFS has explored the opportunity to work with its state partners to establish reporting and recordkeeping requirements for aquaculture traceability information that could be shared with NMFS. However, this did not prove to be a viable approach at the present time. NMFS is thus staying the effective date of the rule for shrimp and abalone until appropriate reporting and/or recordkeeping requirements for domestic aquaculture production can be established. To that end, NMFS is continuing to work with its Presidential Task Force partner agencies with respect to measures that could be adopted to close the gaps and to ensure comparability between traceability requirements and NMFS' access to traceability information for imported and domestic shrimp and abalone.

For example, FDA, whose parent agency Health & Human Services is also a member of the Presidential Task Force, is currently exploring which of its authorities could fill the gap, including regulations that would require designating high risk foods for certain additional recordkeeping by food processors under the authority of section 204 of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which addresses enhanced tracking and tracing of food through recordkeeping and was passed by Congress in 2011. See, e.g., Designation of High-Risk Foods for Tracing; Request for Comments and Scientific Data and Information (79 FR 6596, Feb. 4, 2014). Such additional recordkeeping requirements to enhance food safety are expected to facilitate FDA's ability to track the origin of and prevent the spread of foodborne illness. FDA is also planning to make revisions to its Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (Seafood HACCP) provisions.

This final rule changes the proposed rule by staying the effective date of the program requirements to imported shrimp and abalone, originating from both wild capture fisheries and aquaculture operations. In addition, the final rule clarifies that for shrimp and abalone, the program consists of two components, reporting of harvest events at the time of entry and permitting and recordkeeping requirements with respect to both harvest events and chain of custody information. (For covered species or species groups other than shrimp and abalone, the program similarly consists of two components, reporting of harvest events and permitting and recordkeeping requirements with respect to both harvest events and chain of custody information.)

NMFS will lift the stay of the effective date as to the reporting and/or recordkeeping components of the program once commensurate reporting and/or recordkeeping requirements have been established for domestic aquaculture-raised shrimp and abalone and will determine and announce an effective date for the rule as to these species. Application of the program's reporting and/or recordkeeping requirements to shrimp and abalone will enable audits of imports to be conducted to determine the origin of the products and confirm that they were lawfully acquired.

Summary of Requirements

Under this rule, importers are subject to permitting, reporting and recording keeping requirements applicable to imports of the designated priority species and species groups. The HTS codes applicable to the products subject to the requirements of this rule may be revised from time to time by the International Trade Commission. Any such changes will be reflected in the NMFS Implementation Guides for ACE that are posted to the internet by CBP. At the time of issuing this final rule, entries of the fish and fish products filed under the following HTS codes are subject to the permitting and recordkeeping requirements of this rule and are designated in ACE as requiring the additional NMFS data set in order to obtain release of the inbound shipment:

HTS code Commodity description 0301940100 TUNA BLUEFIN ATLANTIC, PACIFIC LIVE. 0301950000 TUNA BLUEFIN SOUTHERN LIVE. 0302310000 TUNA ALBACORE FRESH. 0302320000 TUNA YELLOWFIN FRESH. 0302330000 TUNA SKIPJACK FRESH. 0302340000 TUNA BIGEYE FRESH. 0302350100 TUNA BLUEFIN ATLANTIC, PACIFIC FRESH. 0302360000 TUNA BLUEFIN SOUTHERN FRESH. 0302470010 SWORDFISH STEAKS FRESH. 0302470090 SWORDFISH FRESH. 0302510010 GROUNDFISH COD ATLANTIC FRESH. 0302510090 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FRESH. 0302810010 SHARK DOGFISH FRESH. 0302810090 SHARK NSPF FRESH. 0302895058 SNAPPER (LUTJANIDAE SPP.) FRESH. 0302895061 GROUPER FRESH. 0302895072 DOLPHIN FISH FRESH. 0303410000 TUNA ALBACORE FROZEN. 0303420020 TUNA YELLOWFIN WHOLE FROZEN. 0303420040 TUNA YELLOWFIN EVISCERATED HEAD-ON FROZEN. 0303420060 TUNA YELLOWFIN EVISCERATED HEAD-OFF FROZEN. 0303430000 TUNA SKIPJACK FROZEN. 0303440000 TUNA BIGEYE FROZEN. 0303450110 TUNA BLUEFIN ATLANTIC FROZEN. 0303450150 TUNA BLUEFIN PACIFIC FROZEN. 0303460000 TUNA BLUEFIN SOUTHERN FROZEN. 0303490200 TUNA NSPF FROZEN. 0303570010 SWORDFISH STEAKS FROZEN. 0303570090 SWORDFISH FROZEN. 0303630010 GROUNDFISH COD ATLANTIC FROZEN. 0303630090 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FROZEN. 0303810010 SHARK DOGFISH FROZEN. 0303810090 SHARK NSPF FROZEN. 0303890067 SNAPPER (LUTJANIDAE SPP.) FROZEN. 0303890070 GROUPER FROZEN. 0304440010 GROUNDFISH COD ATLANTIC FILLET FRESH. 0304440015 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET FRESH. 0304450000 SWORDFISH FILLET FRESH. 0304530010 GROUNDFISH COD ATLANTIC MEAT FRESH. 0304530010 GROUNDFISH COD ATLANTIC MEAT FRESH. 0304530015 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF MEAT FRESH. 0304530015 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF MEAT FRESH. 0304540000 SWORDFISH MEAT FRESH. 0304711000 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET BLOCKS FROZEN >4.5KG. 0304711000 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET BLOCKS FROZEN >4.5KG. 0304715000 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET FROZEN. 0304715000 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET FROZEN. 0304870000 TUNA NSPF FILLET FROZEN. 0304895055 DOLPHINFISH FILLET FROZEN. 0304895055 DOLPHINFISH FILLET FROZEN. 0304911000 SWORDFISH MEAT FROZEN >6.8KG. 0304919000 SWORDFISH MEAT FROZEN NOT >6.8KG. 0304951010 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF MINCED FROZEN >6.8KG. 0304951010 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF MINCED FROZEN >6.8KG. 0304991190 TUNA NSPF MEAT FROZEN >6.8KG. 0305320010 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET DRIED/SALTED/BRINE. 0305494020 GROUNDFISH COD, CUSK, HADDOCK, HAKE, POLLOCK SMOKED. 0305510000 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF DRIED. 0305620010 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF SALTED MOISTURE CONTENT >50%. 0305620025 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF SALTED MOISTURE CONTENT BET 45-50%. 0305620030 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF SALTED MOISTURE CONTENT BET 43-45%. 0305620045 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF SALTED MOISTURE CONTENT NOT >43%. 0305620050 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET SALTED MOISTURE >50%. 0305620060 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET SALTED MOISTURE CONTENT 45-50%. 0305620070 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET SALTED MOISTURE CONTENT 43-45%. 0305620080 GROUNDFISH COD NSPF FILLET SALTED MOISTURE NOT >43%. 0305710000 SHARK FINS. 0306142000 CRABMEAT NSPF FROZEN. 0306144010 CRAB KING FROZEN. 0306144090 CRAB NSPF FROZEN. 0308110000 SEA CUCUMBERS LIVE/FRESH. 0308190000 SEA CUCUMBERS FROZEN/DRIED/SALTED/BRINE. 1604141010 TUNA NSPF IN ATC (FOIL OR FLEXIBLE) IN OIL. 1604141091 TUNA ALBACORE IN ATC (OTHER) IN OIL. 1604141099 TUNA NSPF IN ATC (OTHER) IN OIL. 1604142251 TUNA ALBACORE IN ATC (FOIL OR FLEXIBLE) NOT IN OIL IN QUOTA. 1604142259 TUNA ALBACORE IN ATC (OTHER) NOT IN OIL IN QUOTA. 1604142291 TUNA NSPF IN ATC (FOIL OR FLEXIBLE) NOT IN OIL IN QUOTA. 1604142299 TUNA NSPF IN ATC (OTHER) NOT IN OIL IN QUOTA. 1604143051 TUNA ALBACORE IN ATC (FOIL/FLEXIBLE) NOT IN OIL OVER QUOTA. 1604143059 TUNA ALBACORE IN ATC (OTHER) NOT IN OIL OVER QUOTA. 1604143091 TUNA NSPF IN ATC (FOIL OR FLEXIBLE) NOT IN OIL OVER QUOTA. 1604143099 TUNA NSPF IN ATC (OTHER) NOT IN OIL OVER QUOTA. 1604144000 TUNA NSPF NOT IN ATC NOT IN OIL >6.8KG. 1604145000 TUNA NSPF NOT IN ATC NOT IN OIL NOT >6.8KG. 1605100510 CRAB PRODUCTS PREPARED DINNERS IN ATC. 1605100590 CRAB PRODUCTS PREPARED DINNERS NOT IN ATC. 1605102010 CRABMEAT KING IN ATC. 1605102051 CRABMEAT SWIMMING (CALLINECTES) IN ATC. 1605104002 CRABMEAT KING FROZEN. 1605104025 CRABMEAT SWIMMING (CALLINECTES) FROZEN. 1605104025 CRABMEAT SWIMMING (CALLINECTES) FROZEN.

Application of this rule to entries of fish and fish products filed under the following HTS codes is stayed pending publication of an action in the Federal Register lifting the stay and announcing an effective date for shrimp and abalone. After the effective date, these HTS codes will be designated in ACE as requiring a NMFS data set in order to obtain release of the inbound shipment:

HTS code Commodity description 0306160003 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN <15. 0306160006 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 15/20. 0306160009 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 21/25. 0306160012 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 26/30. 0306160015 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 31/40. 0306160018 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 41/50. 0306160021 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 51/60. 0306160024 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 61/70. 0306160027 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN >70. 0306160040 SHRIMP COLD-WATER PEELED FROZEN. 0306170003 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN <15. 0306170006 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 15/20. 0306170009 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 21/25. 0306170012 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 26/30. 0306170015 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 31/40. 0306170018 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 41/50. 0306170021 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 51/60. 0306170024 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN 61/70. 0306170027 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FROZEN >70. 0306170040 SHRIMP WARM-WATER PEELED FROZEN. 0306260020 SHRIMP COLD-WATER SHELL-ON FRESH/DRIED/SALTED/BRINE. 0306260040 SHRIMP COLD-WATER PEELED FRESH/DRIED/SALTED/BRINE. 0306270020 SHRIMP WARM-WATER SHELL-ON FRESH/DRIED/SALTED/BRINE. 0306270040 SHRIMP WARM-WATER PEELED FRESH/DRIED/SALTED/BRINE. 1605211000 SHRIMPS AND PRAWNS, NOT IN AIRTIGHT CONTAINERS. 1605291000 SHRIMPS AND PRAWNS, OTHER. 1605570500 ABALONE PRODUCTS PREPARED DINNERS. 1605576000 ABALONE PREPARED/PRESERVED.

When the above listed HTS codes are listed in entry filings, the ASFIS 3-alpha code indicating the scientific name will be required to discern whether the shipment offered for entry is subject to additional data collection under the Program. Highly processed fish products (fish oil, slurry, sauces, sticks, balls, cakes, puddings, and other similar highly processed fish products) for which the species of fish comprising the product or the harvesting event(s) or aquaculture operation(s) of the product cannot be feasibly identified are not subject to the requirements of this rule. Therefore, HTS codes for such fish and fish products have not been included in the lists above. However, importers are advised to determine if other NMFS program requirements (e.g., TTVP) or other agency requirements (e.g., Fish and Wildlife Service, State Department, Food and Drug Administration) have ACE data reporting requirements applicable to HTS codes used for entry filing, whether or not those codes have been identified for the Seafood Traceability Program.

Data for Reporting and Recordkeeping

The NMFS data to be reported at entry would be in addition to the information required by CBP as part of normal entry processing via the ACE portal. After consideration of comments as outlined above, this rule requires that, at the time of entry for species covered by this rule, importers of record would be required to report the following information for each entry (unless the Aggregated Harvest Report exemption under § 300.324(b)(1) is applicable) in addition to any other information that CBP and other agencies, including NMFS, currently require:

• Information on the entity(ies) harvesting or producing the fish (as applicable): Name and flag state of harvesting vessel(s) and evidence of authorization; Unique vessel identifier(s) (if available); Type(s) of fishing gear; Name(s) of farm or aquaculture facility.

• Information on the fish that was harvested and processed, including: Species of fish (ASFIS code); Product form (whole, gilled and gutted, etc.) at point of first landing; Quantity and/or weight of the product(s) as landed/delivered.

• Information on where and when the fish were harvested and landed: Area(s) of wild-capture or aquaculture harvest; Location(s) of aquaculture facility; Point of first landing; Date of first landing or removal from aquaculture facility; Name of entity(ies) (processor, dealer, vessel) to which fish was landed.

• The NMFS IFTP number issued to the importer of record for the entry.

Additional information on each point in the chain of custody regarding the shipment of the fish or fish product to point of entry into U.S. commerce is established as a recordkeeping requirement on the part of the importer of record to ensure that information is readily available to NMFS to allow it to trace the fish or fish product from the point of entry into U.S. commerce back to the point of harvest or production to verify the information that is reported upon entry. Such information could include records regarding each custodian of the fish and fish product, including, as applicable, transshippers, processors, storage facilities, and distributors. The information contained in the records must be provided to NMFS upon request and be sufficient for NMFS to conduct a trace back to verify the veracity of the information that is reported on entry. NMFS expects that typical supply chain records that are kept in the normal course of businesses, including declarations by harvesting/carrier vessels, bills of lading and forms voluntarily used or required under foreign government or international monitoring programs which include such information as the identity of the custodian, the type of processing, and the weight of the product, would provide sufficient information for NMFS to conduct a trace back. In addition to relying on such records, the trade may choose to use model forms that NMFS has developed to track and document chain of custody information through the supply chain.

Reporting Mechanism

As explained above, this rule requires that the importer of record, or entry filer acting on their behalf, report the data required via the ACE portal as part of the CBP entry/entry summary process. To this end, importers of record who make entries under the designated HTS codes are required to report the data electronically through the ACE Partner Government Agency Message Set for NMFS (NMFS Message Set) and/or the Digital Image System (DIS). The format for the NMFS Message Set is designated for each of the affected commodities (by HTS code) and specified in the following documents jointly developed by NMFS and CBP and made available to importers and other entry filers by CBP (http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/catair):

• CBP and Trade Automated Interface Requirements—Appendix PGA • CBP and Trade Automated Interface Requirements—PGA Message Set • Automated Broker Interface (ABI) Requirements—Implementation Guide for NMFS

To obtain the IFTP, U.S. importers of record for designated priority species covered by this rule and seafood products derived from such species must electronically submit their application and fee for the IFTP via the National Permitting System Web site designated by NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The fee charged for the IFTP will be calculated, at least annually, in accordance with procedures set forth in Chapter 9 of the NOAA Finance Handbook for determining the administrative costs for special products and services (http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/finance/Finance%20Handbook.html); the permit fee will not exceed such costs. An importer of record who is required to have an IFTP only needs one IFTP. Separate permits are not required, for example, if the imported species are covered under more than one NMFS import monitoring program or the importer trades in more than one covered species. Note, however, that for some commodities, other agency permits may also be required (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits for products of species listed under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species).

Verification of Entries

To implement this regulation, business rules are programmed into ACE to automatically validate that the importer of record has satisfied all of the NMFS Message Set and document image requirements as applicable to HTS codes subject to this rule and other applicable programs (e.g., all data fields are populated and conform to format and coding specifications, required image files are attached). Absent validation of the NMFS requirements in ACE, the entry filed would be rejected and the entry filer would be notified of the deficiencies that must be addressed in order for the entry to be certified by ACE prior to release by NMFS and CBP.

In addition to automated validation of the data submitted, entries may be subject to verification by NMFS that the supplied data elements are true and can be corroborated via auditing procedures (e.g., vessel was authorized by the flag state, legal catch was landed to an authorized entity, processor receipts correspond to outputs). For shipments selected for verification, if verification of the data cannot be completed by NMFS pre-release, NMFS may request that CBP place a hold on a shipment pending verification by NMFS or allow conditional release, contingent upon timely provision of records by the importer of record to allow data verification. Entries for which timely provision of records is not provided to NMFS or that cannot be verified as lawfully acquired and non-fraudulent by NMFS, will be subject to enforcement or other appropriate action by NMFS in coordination with CBP. Such responses could include, but are not limited to, a re-delivery order for the shipment, exclusion from admission into commerce of the shipment, forfeiture of the fish or fish product, and enforcement action against the entry filer or importer of record.

To select entries for verification, NMFS will work with CBP to develop a specific program within ITDS to screen information for the covered commodities based on risk criteria. For example, risk-based screening and targeting procedures can be programmed to categorize entries by volume and certain attributes (e.g., ocean area of catch, vessel type or gear), and then randomly select entries for verification on a percentage basis within groups of entries defined by the associated attributes. In applying these procedures, NMFS will implement a verification scheme, including levels of inspection sufficient to assure that imports of the priority species are not products of illegal fisheries and are not fraudulently represented. Given the volume of imports, and the perishable nature of seafood, it would not likely be cost-effective for most verifications to be conducted on a pre-release basis. However, the verification scheme may involve targeted operations on a pre-release basis that are focused on particular products or ports of concern.

A verification program as described above will facilitate a determination of whether imported seafood has been lawfully acquired and not misrepresented and deter the infiltration of illegally harvested and misrepresented seafood into the supply chain. In addition to such deterrent effect, there may be price effects in that illegal or would-be fraudulent seafood would be diverted from the U.S. market to lower value markets. Taken together, deterrent and price effects would reduce the incentives for IUU fishing operations and for seafood fraud. Conversely, authorized fisheries stand to benefit from import monitoring programs that aim to identify and exclude products of IUU fishing and seafood fraud, both through enhanced market share and potentially higher prices.

Trusted Trader Program

NMFS received comments on the applicability of trusted trader programs in response to the proposed rule. Additionally, NMFS issued a separate notice (81 FR 25646, April 29, 2016) to specifically request comments on the potential scope of a Commerce Trusted Trader Program and how it could be applied to streamline entry processing for shipments subject to this rule. NMFS is considering the comments received and has determined that separate rulemaking will be required to establish the Commerce Trusted Trader Program and how it would be integrated with the Seafood Traceability Program.

Program Expansion

NMFS received comments on the lead time needed for seafood trade participants to implement potential expansion of this rule, by inclusion of additional species and/or additional data elements. NMFS acknowledges the need for adequate lead time for program expansion and would implement changes to reporting and recordkeeping requirements for species and data elements through notice and comment rulemaking. Future proposed rules would specify the fish and fish products to be covered by the expanded program and any changes to reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The notice of proposed rulemaking would direct potentially affected parties to the pertinent CBP documents (Appendix PGA, PGA Message Set, Implementation Guide for NMFS) that would be developed jointly by NMFS and CBP to provide the implementation details (e.g., species by HTS code, data elements, message set format, DIS requirements).

International Cooperation and Assistance

During the period prior to the effective date of this rule, NMFS will undertake a program of communication and outreach to U.S. importers and foreign exporters to ensure understanding of the requirements of this rule. Subject to the availability of resources, NMFS intends to provide technical assistance to exporting nations to support compliance with the requirements of this proposed rule, including by providing assistance to build capacity to: (1) Undertake effective fisheries management; (2) strengthen fisheries governance structures and enforcement bodies to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud; and (3) establish, maintain, or support systems to enable export shipments of fish and fish products to be traced back to point of harvest.

Intersection With Other Applicable Requirements

The requirements for additional data collection at the time of entry into the United States for imported fish and fish products of, or derived from, the priority species within the scope of this final rule could intersect with data collection requirements applicable to imports of those same species under other authorities, including programs implemented by NMFS and other agencies. Some of these authorities are related to combating IUU fishing, while other authorities are aimed at other concerns such as managing bycatch in commercial fisheries. Through use of the ITDS single window, importers are generally able to meet all applicable requirements through a consolidated entry filing. Importers should consult the compliance guides issued by CBP for NMFS and other agency import monitoring programs (https://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/catair) to determine all requirements that apply to a specific import based on the HTS codes within the scope of the respective monitoring programs.

Classification

This rule implements MSA section 307(1)(Q), which makes it unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any fish taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any foreign law or regulation or any treaty or in contravention of any binding conservation measure adopted by an international agreement or organization to which the United States is a party. See 16 U.S.C. 1857(1)(Q). The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final action is consistent with the provisions of this and other applicable laws.

Executive Order 12866

This rule has been determined to be significant for the purposes of Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 because it may raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in E.O. 12866. NMFS has prepared a final regulatory impact review of this action, which is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). This analysis describes the economic impact this proposed action, if adopted, would have on U.S. businesses and consumers.

The regulatory action, and its legal basis, was described in the preamble of the proposed rule. This rule requires a permit (IFTP) for importers of species within the scope of the program. Additionally, information pertaining to the harvest and landing of the product prior to U.S. import is required at the time of entry into U.S. commerce, and certain records must be retained. NMFS prepared a draft Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) and released it for comment in conjunction with the proposed rule. NMFS received numerous comments, particularly focused on the costs of compliance with the proposed requirements. In consideration of comments received, NMFS revised the RIR. With regard to the possible economic effects of this action, NMFS concludes that U.S. entities would not be significantly affected by this action because it does not directly restrict trade in the designated species and does not pose entirely new burdens with regard to the collection and submission of information necessary to determine product admissibility. Some of the data proposed to be collected at entry or to be subject to recordkeeping requirements is already collected by the seafood industry in order to comply with food safety and product labeling requirements. In addition, the majority of the countries exporting fish and fish products derived from the designated priority species to the U.S. market also export a number of these same fish and fish products to the European Union (EU) market. Consequently, many harvesting states, port states, and intermediary/exporting states that are affected by this rule may already have comparable information collection systems in place to satisfy the requirements of EU regulation on IUU fishing.

NMFS has estimated that this rule would affect 2,000 importers and 600 customs brokers making 215,000 entries per year for the priority species subject to the initial phase of the traceability program. Total costs for permits, software, data entry, recordkeeping and data storage are estimated by NMFS to amount to $7,875,000 in the first year (including one-time broker software acquisition), and $6,075,000 annually thereafter.

However, to obtain an upper-bound on estimated compliance costs, NMFS calculated an alternative estimate using information provided by NFI through the E.O. 12866 regulatory review (http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/viewEO12866Meeting?viewRule=true&rin=0648-BF09&meetingId=2004&acronym=0648-DOC/NOAA) as well as NFI's written comments on the proposed rule (https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0122-0098). Specifically, NMFS used NFI's estimate of cost per year for complex supply chains. In certain instances, NMFS revised the NFI assumptions and resulting estimates where the assumptions were based on an inaccurate understanding of the rule or to account for changes from the proposed rule (e.g., the provision for aggregated harvest reports of landings by small vessels and small-scale aquaculture).

Based on NFI's assumptions as modified by NMFS and the methodology applied to generate a cost estimate suggested by NFI, NMFS estimates an upper-bound estimate of compliance cost for reporting, recordkeeping and supply chain auditing of $17,815,225 per year. A species-by-species breakdown of that cost estimate is provided in Table 11. A total compliance cost for the program must also include an additional $2,500,000 in permit fees, ACE reporting software and data storage costs. Thus, the upper bound estimate for compliance with all program requirements is $20,315,225 for the first year (including software acquisition) and $18,515,225 thereafter. Given the approximate $9 billion annual value of seafood imports into the United States for the priority species subject to the initial phase of the seafood traceability program, the estimated annual compliance costs of about $5.5 to $18.5 million amount to less than one half of one percent of product value. Copies of the final RIR/FRFA are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA described the economic impact this proposed rule will have on small entities and includes a description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action. NMFS received a number of comments on the burden likely to be placed on small businesses should the rule be implemented. The purpose of the RFA is to ameliorate, to the extent possible, small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental entities of burdensome regulations and recordkeeping requirements. Major goals of the RFA are: (1) To increase agency awareness and understanding of the impact of their regulations on small business, (2) to require agencies to communicate and explain their findings to the public, and (3) to encourage agencies to use flexibility where possible to provide regulatory relief to small entities. The RFA emphasizes predicting impacts on small entities as a group distinct from other entities and the consideration of alternatives that may minimize the impacts while still achieving the stated objective of the action. In response to comments on the IRFA, NMFS prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA). Below is a summary of the FRFA for this final rule which was prepared in conjunction with the RIR. Copies of the final RIR/FRFA are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).

The primary objective of the rule is to collect or have access to additional data on imported fish and fish products to determine that they have been lawfully harvested and are not misrepresented as well as to deter illegally caught or misrepresented seafood from entering into U.S. commerce. These data reporting and recordkeeping requirements affect mainly importers of seafood products, many of which are small businesses. Given the level of imports contributing to the annual supply of seafood, collecting and evaluating information about fish and fish products sourced overseas are a part of normal business practices for U.S. seafood dealers. The permitting, electronic reporting and recordkeeping requirements proposed by this rulemaking would build on current business practices (e.g., information systems to facilitate product recalls, to maintain product quality, or to reduce risks of food borne illnesses) and are not estimated to pose significant adverse or long-term economic impacts on small entities.

In implementing the final rule, NMFS estimates there will be approximately 2,000 new applicants for the IFTP, with an estimated industry-wide increase to importers of $60,000 in annual costs for permit fees. Data sets to be submitted electronically to determine product admissibility are, to some extent, either already collected by the trade in the course of supply chain management, already required to be collected and submitted under existing trade monitoring programs (e.g., tuna, swordfish, toothfish), or collected in support of third-party certification schemes voluntarily adopted by the trade. Incremental costs, separate from the permit fees, are likely to consist of developing interoperable systems to ensure that the data are transmitted along with the product to ensure the information is available to the entry filer. NMFS has estimated that the software, data entry and recordkeeping costs would amount to $7,875,000 in the first year (including one-time broker software acquisition), and $6,075,000 annually thereafter for importers to submit data and retain records of imports of the priority species subject to the Program. An alternative approach to estimating compliance costs yields an upper bound estimate of $20,315,225 in the first year and $18,515,225 annually thereafter.

The rule applies to entities authorized to import fish and fish products derived from the designated species within the scope of the Program. This rule has been developed to avoid duplication or conflict with any other Federal rules. To the extent that the requirements of the rule overlap with other reporting requirements applicable to the designated species, this has been taken into account to avoid collecting data more than once or by means other than the single window (ACE portal). Given the large volume of fish and fish product imports to the U.S. market, the number of exporting countries, and the fact that traceability systems are being increasingly used within the seafood industry, it is not expected that this rule will significantly affect the overall volume of trade or alter trade flows in the U.S. market for fish and fish products that are legally harvested and accurately represented.

NMFS considered several alternatives in this rulemaking: The requirements described in the proposed rule, a no-action alternative and various combinations of data reporting and recordkeeping for the supply chain information applicable to the priority species. NMFS believes that the final rule effectively implements the initial phase of a traceability program as envisioned by Recommendations 14 and 15 of the Task Force. In addition, it is consistent with the existing requirement that all applicable U.S. government agencies are required to implement ITDS under the authority of the SAFE Port Act and Executive Order 13659, Streamlining the Export/Import Process (79 FR 10657, February 28, 2014). Also, the Seafood Traceability Program takes into account the burden of data collection from the trade and the government requirements for admissibility determinations and has mitigated that burden to the extent possible by, among other things, implementing the Aggregated Harvest Report exemption as a change to the final rule from the proposed rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

Under NOAA Administrative Order (NAO 216-6), the promulgation of regulations that are procedural and administrative in nature are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an Environmental Assessment. This final regulation to implement a seafood traceability program is procedural and administrative in nature in that they would impose reporting and recordkeeping requirements for ongoing authorized catch and trade activities. There are no further restrictions on fishing activity or trade in seafood products relative to any existing laws or regulations, either foreign or domestic. Given the procedural and administrative nature of this rulemaking, an Environmental Assessment was not prepared.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule contains a collection-of-information requirement subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This requirement has been approved by OMB and has been assigned Control Number 0648-0739. The information collection burden for the requirements under this rule (IFTP, harvest and landing data submitted at entry, image files submitted at entry, recordkeeping and data storage, and provision of records of supply chain information when selected for audit) as applicable to imports of the designated species is estimated to be 367,115 hours. Compliance costs are estimated to total $60,000 for the permit application fees, $1,800,000 for data entry software, and $431,630 for data storage. An upper bound estimate of compliance costs for harvest event data reporting in ACE, recordkeeping and auditing is $11,742,311 annually.

IFTP Requirement: With the requirement to obtain an IFTP under this program, there would be approximately 2,000 respondents who would need approximately 5 minutes to fill out the online IFTP form (estimate consistent with that used for ITDS proposed rule 0648-AX63) resulting in a total annual burden of 167 hours and a cost of $4,175. This estimate of the number of entities that would be required to obtain the permit under the seafood traceability program is in addition to those entities that would be required to obtain the permit under the ITDS rule. However, there may be some overlap in that importers of multiple seafood products that are covered under more than one trade monitoring program would not be required to obtain a separate permit for each program. A single, consolidated permit would suffice for all commodities covered under all programs.

Data Set Submission Requirement: Data sets to be submitted electronically to determine product admissibility are, to some extent, either already collected by the trade in the course of supply chain management, already required to be collected and submitted under existing trade monitoring programs (e.g., tuna, swordfish, toothfish), or collected in support of third party certification schemes voluntarily adopted by the trade. Incremental costs are likely to consist of developing interoperable systems to ensure that the data are transmitted along with the product to ensure the information is available to the entry filer. Initial feedback from one seafood importer indicates, however, that importers may already have arrangements with software developers to update entry filing programs as needed to address required changes so no extra incremental costs may be involved to accommodate this new requirement.

Taking into account differences in fisheries (small and large catch volume), but also the allowance for aggregated harvest reports by small scale vessels, NMFS estimates that the data entry costs for vessel information would average about $10.00 or 24 minutes for each import. In addition to the vessel information to be reported in each entry filing, the NMFS Message Set requires some header records and structural records so that the data are correctly interpreted when loaded into ACE, as well as permit data for the importer. NMFS estimates that the data entry costs for this type of information to be about 12 minutes or $5.00 per import.

Based on 2014 CBP import records of seafood products derived from the priority species subject to the traceability program, it can be expected that approximately 215,000 entries per year would require a NMFS message set reported via ACE. However, in the final rule, NMFS has delayed shrimp and abalone imports from harvest event data reporting due to present concerns about parity with harvest data reporting in the U.S. domestic aquaculture sector. Approximately 70,000 entries of shrimp and abalone products would not immediately require permitting, harvest event data reporting in ACE, or chain-of-custody recordkeeping on the part of the U.S. importer. NMFS will request approval of these information collection requirements at the time that shrimp and abalone imports will be included in the Seafood Traceability Program. This will be dependent on the establishment of reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the domestic aquaculture industry through separate actions by other agencies.

Therefore, excluding these shrimp and abalone entries would incur reporting and recordkeeping costs for approximately 145,000 entries annually. These 145,000 entries would be subject to submission of harvest event data that would require 36 minutes of data entry each. The total increase in hours for the 145,000 responses for the data set submission requirement would therefore total 87,000 hours and labor costs of $2,175,[email protected]$25/hour.

Recordkeeping Requirement: The rule also requires that the harvest event records and the chain-of-custody records be retained by the importer for two years from cargo release. NMFS estimates that organizing and filing the records would require 24 minutes or $10.00 for each entry subject to import reporting. The burden for the NMFS-specific recordkeeping requirements under this rule would amount to 58,000 hours or $1,450,000 in labor costs, excluding shrimp and abalone imports. The burden for the NMFS-specific recordkeeping requirements under this rule would amount to 86,000 hours or $2,150,000 in labor costs, when fully implemented after the compliance date for shrimp and abalone is established.

Alternative Estimate: As an alternative estimate, NMFS considered the NFI comments and modified certain assumptions of NFI to account for changes from the proposed rule. This yielded a burden estimate of 289,769 hours for reporting and recordkeeping, excluding the monitoring of shrimp and abalone. Under this methodology (again excluding shrimp and abalone), the information collection burden attributed to auditing of shipments is an additional 77,188 hours to assemble records requested by NMFS.

Summary of Requirements: Assuming that this rule would affect 2,000 importers and 600 customs brokers making 215,000 entries per year for the priority species subject to the initial phase of the traceability program (once shrimp and abalone imports are included), the total burden estimated by NMFS for permits, data entry, recordkeeping and audits would amount to 189,317 hours, and labor costs of $4,732,925 at $25/hour. However, in consideration of public comments received on the proposed rule, NMFS calculated an alternative estimate for reporting, recordkeeping. Assuming the NFI estimated cost of $32.00 per hour of labor for the data reporting, recordkeeping and auditing, the burden hour estimate derived by applying the NFI methodology as modified by NMFS amounts to 328,913 hours for reporting and recordkeeping and 227,813 hours for auditing, yielding a total burden of 556,726 hours.

Excluding shrimp and abalone imports lowers the NFI adjusted burden estimate to 289,760 hours for reporting and recordkeeping and 77,188 hours for auditing, yielding a total burden of 367,115 hours. NMFS has requested, and OMB has approved, the upper bound (NFI) estimate, excluding shrimp and abalone imports. A revision to the approved information collection burden will be requested of OMB when the program is expanded to include shrimp and abalone.

NMFS received public comment regarding aspects of the information collection, and has responded to those comments (see Comments and Responses). In particular, NMFS revised the model catch certificate and provided instructions for each data element. NMFS concludes that data reporting is necessary for the enforcement of the import restrictions under MSA, that the information collected is of practical utility; that the burden estimate is as accurate as possible pending implementation of the rule; that ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected were considered and addressed; and that ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology have been applied.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. The control number assigned to the information collection contained in this final rule is listed in the table appearing at 15 CFR part 902. In addition, the table is updated to reflect several other information collections previously approved by OMB under separate final rules recently published by NMFS (RIN 0648-AV12, RIN 0648-AX63) that are affected by the revisions to 50 CFR part 300 subpart Q in this rule.

List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 902

Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

50 CFR Part 300

Exports, Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Illegal, Unreported or unregulated fishing, Foreign relations, Imports, International trade permits, Treaties.

50 CFR Part 600

Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Foreign relations, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Statistics.

Dated: December 2, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

For the reasons set out in the preamble, 15 CFR part 902, 50 CFR part 300, subpart Q, and 50 CFR part 600 are amended as follows:

15 CFR Chapter IX—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce PART 902—NOAA INFORMATION COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT: OMB CONTROL NUMBERS 1. The authority citation for part 902 continues to read as follows: Authority:

44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

2. In § 902.1, the table in paragraph (b) under “50 CFR” is amended by removing the entries for “300.13,” “300.14” and “300.17,” and adding, in numerical order, entries for “300.322,” “300.323,” “300.324,” “300.333,” “300.336,” “300.337,” “300.338,” “300.339” and “300.341” to read as follows:
§ 902.1 OMB control numbers assigned pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(b) * * *

CFR part or section where the information collection
  • requirement is located
  • Current OMB
  • control No.
  • (all numbers begin with 0648-)
  • *    *    *    *    * 50 CFR: *    *    *    *    * 300.322 -0732 300.323 -0732 300.324 -0739 300.333 -0304 300.336 -0304 300.337 -0304 300.338 -0304 300.339 -0304 300.341 -0304 *    *    *    *    *
    50 CFR Chapter III—International Fishing and Related Activities PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS 3. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 300 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 951 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 5501 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 2431 et seq., 31 U.S.C. 9701 et seq.

    4. In § 300.321: a. Add, in alphabetical order, a definition for “Aggregated Harvest Report”; b. Revise the definitions of “Catch and Statistical Document/Documentation”, “Documentation and data sets required under this subpart” and “Fish or fish products regulated under this subpart”; and c. Add, in alphabetical order, definitions for “Harvest Event” and “Seafood Traceability Program”.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 300.321 Definitions.

    Aggregated Harvest Report means a record made at a single collection point on a single calendar day for aggregated catches by multiple small-scale fishing vessels (20 measured gross tons or less or 12 meters length overall or less) offloaded at that collection point on that day, or for a landing by a vessel to which the catches of one or more small-scale vessels were transferred at sea. An Aggregated Harvest Report also means a record made at a single collection point or processing facility on a single calendar day for aggregated deliveries from multiple small-scale aquaculture facilities, where each aquaculture facility delivers 1,000 kg or less to that collection point or processing facility on that day. An Aggregated Harvest Report may not be used for information for catches from vessels greater than 20 measured gross tons or 12 meters length overall, and deliveries of more than 1000 kg from aquaculture facilities.

    Catch and Statistical Document/Documentation means a document or documentation, in paper or electronic form, accompanying regulated seafood imports and exports that is submitted by importers and exporters to document compliance with TTVP, AMLR trade program, and HMS ITP trade documentation programs or the Seafood Traceability Program as described in this subpart.

    Documentation and data sets required under this subpart refers to documentation and data that must be submitted by an importer or exporter to NMFS at the time of, or in advance of, import, export, or re-export, as applicable for those seafood products regulated under the TTVP, AMLR trade program, and HMS ITP or the Seafood Traceability Program as described in this subpart. The required data sets and document images to be submitted for specific programs and transactions are posted by CBP as indicated in § 300.323.

    Fish or fish products regulated under this subpart means species and products containing species regulated under this subpart, and the AMLR trade program, the HMS ITP, the TTVP, or the Seafood Traceability Program.

    Harvest Event means, for wild-capture fisheries, the landing of fish in port or offloading of fish from a fishing vessel that caught the fish to a carrier vessel at sea or in port, and for aquaculture production, the delivery of fish from the facility to a consolidator or a processor. For wild-capture fisheries, the harvest event is considered to occur at the fishing trip level, such that the harvest event concludes at the time catch is landed or offloaded from the catching vessel. For fishing trips occurring in more than one area, each area fished during the trip must be identified in the report on the harvest event.

    Seafood Traceability Program means the data reporting and recordkeeping requirements established under § 300.324 and includes the permitting requirements of § 300.322, and the requirements under § 300.323 as they pertain to species or species group subject to the Seafood Traceability Program.

    5. Revise § 300.323 to read as follows:
    § 300.323 Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements.

    (a) Reporting. Any person, including a resident agent for a nonresident entity (see 19 CFR 141.18), who imports as defined in § 300.321, exports, or re-exports fish or fish products regulated under this subpart must file all data sets, reports, and documentation as required under the AMLR program, HMS ITP, TTVP and Seafood Traceability Program, and under other regulations that incorporate by reference the requirements of this subpart. For imports, specific instructions for electronic filing are found in Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR) Appendix PGA (https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/appendix-pga). For exports, specific instructions for electronic filing are found in Automated Export System Trade Interface Requirements (AESTIR) Appendix Q (https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/aestir-draft-appendix-q-pga-record-formats). For fish and fish products regulated under this subpart, an ACE entry filing or AES export filing, as applicable, is required, except in cases where CBP provides alternate means of collecting NMFS-required data and/or document images.

    (b) Recordkeeping. A paper or electronic copy of all documentation and data sets required under this subpart, and all supporting records upon which an entry filing or export declaration is made, must be maintained by the importer of record or the exporting principal party in interest as applicable, and made available for inspection, at the importer's/exporter's place of business for a period of two years from the date of the import, export or re-export.

    § 300.324 [Redesignated as § 300.325]
    6. Redesignate § 300.324 as § 300.325. 7. Add new § 300.324 and immediately stay paragraph (a)(3) indefinitely to read as follows:
    § 300.324 Seafood Traceability Program.

    This section establishes a Seafood Traceability Program which has data reporting requirements at the time of entry for imported fish or fish products and recordkeeping requirements for fish or fish products entered into U.S. commerce. The data reported and retained will facilitate enforcement of section 307(1)(Q) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the exclusion of products from entry into U.S. commerce that are misrepresented or the product of illegal or unreported fishing. The data reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the program enable verification of the supply chain of the product offered for entry back to the harvesting event(s). In addition, the permitting requirements of § 300.322 pertain to importers of products within the scope of the program.

    (a)(1) For species or species groups subject to this Seafood Traceability Program, data is required to be reported and retained under this program for all fish and fish products, whether fresh, frozen, canned, pouched, or otherwise prepared in a manner that allows, including through label or declaration, the identification of the species contained in the product and the harvesting event. Data is not required to be reported or retained under this program for fish oil, slurry, sauces, sticks, balls, cakes, pudding and other similar fish products for which it is not technically or economically feasible to identify the species of fish comprising the product or the harvesting event(s) contributing to the product in the shipment.

    (2) The following species or species groups are subject to this Seafood Traceability Program: Atlantic Cod; Pacific Cod; Blue Crab; Red King Crab; Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi); Grouper; Red Snapper; Sea Cucumber; Sharks; Swordfish; Tunas (Albacore, Bigeye, Skipjack, Yellowfin, and Bluefin). The harmonized tariff schedule (HTS) numbers applicable to these species or species groups are listed in the documents referenced in paragraph (c) of this section. Compliance with the requirements of the Seafood Traceability Program for these species or groups of species is mandatory beginning January 1, 2018.

    (3) The following species or species groups are also subject to this Seafood Traceability Program: Abalone and Shrimp. The harmonized tariff schedule (HTS) numbers applicable to these species or species groups are listed in the documents referenced in paragraph (c) of this section. The Seafood Traceability Program for these species or species groups consists of two components:

    (i) The data reporting requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) and (c) of this section in conjunction with § 300.323(a); and

    (ii) The permit requirements of § 300.322, the IFTP number reporting requirement in paragraph (b)(4) of this section in conjunction with § 300.323(a), and the recordkeeping requirements of § 300.323(b) which includes the recordkeeping of all information specified in paragraphs (b) and (e) of this section.

    (b) In addition to data reporting requirements applicable, pursuant to other authorities and requirements set out elsewhere in U.S. law and regulation (e.g., under other NMFS programs or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirements), to the particular commodity offered for entry, the importer of record is required to provide the following data set in ACE at the time of entry for each entry containing the species or species groups listed under paragraph (a) of this section:

    (1) Information on the entity(ies) harvesting or producing the fish: Name and flag state of harvesting vessel(s) and evidence of fishing authorization; Unique vessel identifier(s) (if available); Type(s) of fishing gear used to harvest the fish; Name(s) of farm or aquaculture facility. Vessel-, farm-, or aquaculture facility-specific information is not required if the importer of record provides information from an Aggregated Harvest Report, unless the product offered for entry is subject to another NMFS program that requires data reporting or documentation at an individual vessel, farm, or aquaculture facility level.

    (2) Information on the fish that was harvested and processed: Species of fish (Aquatic Sciences Fishery Information System 3-alpha code as listed at http://www.fao.org/); Product form(s) at the point of first landing whether unprocessed or processed prior to landing/delivery; Quantity and/or weight of the product(s) as landed/delivered. When an Aggregated Harvest Report is used, the importer must provide all of the information under this paragraph (b)(2), but may provide the total quantity and/or weight of the product(s) as landed/delivered on the date of the report.

    (3) Information on where and when the fish were harvested and landed: Area(s) of wild-capture or aquaculture location; Location of aquaculture facility; Point(s) of first landing; Date(s) of first landing, transshipment or delivery; Name of entity(ies) (processor, dealer, vessel) to which fish was landed or delivered. When an Aggregated Harvest Report is used, the importer must provide all of the information under this paragraph (b)(3). Some product offered for entry may be comprised of products from more than one harvest event and each such harvest event relevant to the contents of the shipment must be documented; however, specific links between portions of the shipment and a particular harvest event are not required.

    (4) The NMFS-issued IFTP number for the importer of record.

    (c) The importer of record, either directly or through an entry filer, is required to submit the data under paragraph (b) of this section through ACE as a message set and/or image files in conformance with the procedures and formats prescribed by the NMFS Implementation Guide and CBP and made available at: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/catair. All harvest events contributing to the inbound shipment must be reported, but links between portions of the shipment and particular harvest events are not required.

    (d) Import shipments of fish or fish products subject to this program may be selected for inspection and/or the information or records supporting entry may be selected for audit, on a pre- or post-release basis, in order to verify the information submitted at entry. To support such audits, the importer must retain records of the information reported at entry under paragraph (b) of this section in electronic or paper format, and make them available for inspection, at the importer's place of business for a period of two years from the date of the import.

    (e) In addition to the entry recordkeeping requirements specified at 19 CFR part 163 and § 300.323(b), the importer of record is required to maintain records containing information on the chain of custody of the fish or fish products sufficient to trace the fish or fish product from point of entry into U.S. commerce back to the point of harvest, including individual or Aggregated Harvest Reports, if any, and information that identifies each custodian of the fish or fish product (such as any transshipper, processor, storage facility or distributor). The latter may include widely used commercial documents such as declarations by the harvesting/carrier vessels or bills of lading. The importer must retain such chain-of-custody records in electronic or paper format, and make them available for inspection, at the importer's/exporter's place of business for a period of two years from the date of the import.

    8. Revise newly redesignated § 300.325 to read as follows:
    § 300.325 Prohibitions.

    In addition to the prohibitions specified in §§ 300.4, 300.117, and 300.189 and 600.725 and 635.71 of this title, it is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to:

    (a) Violate any provision of this subpart, or the conditions of any IFTP issued under this subpart;

    (b) Import, export or re-export fish or fish products regulated under this subpart, including imports or exports otherwise eligible for informal filing procedures or the de minimis value exemption from filing requirements under CBP procedures, without a valid IFTP as required under § 300.322 or without submitting complete and accurate information as required under § 300.323; and

    (c) Import species listed in § 300.324(a) without a valid IFTP or without submitting complete and accurate information as required under § 300.324(b) and (c) or without maintaining for inspection records as required under § 300.324(d) and (e).

    50 CFR Chapter VI—Fishery Conservation and Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce PART 600—MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT PROVISIONS 9. The authority citation for part 600 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 561 and 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    10. In § 600.725, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 600.725 General prohibitions.

    (a) Possess, have custody or control of, ship, transport, offer for sale, sell, purchase, land, import, export or re-export, any fish or parts thereof taken or retained in violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other statute administered by NOAA or any regulation or permit issued thereunder, or import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any fish taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any foreign law or regulation, or any treaty or in contravention of a binding conservation measure adopted by an international agreement or organization to which the United States is a party.

    [FR Doc. 2016-29324 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 18 CFR Part 1301 Tennessee Valley Authority Procedures AGENCY:

    Tennessee Valley Authority.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Tennessee Valley Authority is amending its regulations which contain TVA's procedures for the Privacy Act. These amendments reflect changes in position titles and addresses; conform references to Privacy Act systems of records to the most current publication of TVA's Privacy Act Systems Notices in the Federal Register; and make other editorial changes.

    DATES:

    Effective: December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher A. Marsalis, Senior Privacy Program Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 W. Summit Hill Dr. (WT 5D), Knoxville, Tennessee 37902-1401; telephone (865) 632-2467 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 1301.24(a) originally contained specific exemptions for the TVA system “Employee Alleged Misconduct Investigatory File—TVA.” Notice that system of records was retired appeared in 80 Federal Register 24012 (April 29, 2015). TVA is revising § 1301.24(a) to replace the language for “Employee Alleged Misconduct Investigatory File—TVA” with the specific exemptions for the TVA system ” Nuclear Access Authorization and Fitness for Duty Records—TVA” which were first published at 76 FR 1888 (January 11, 2011).

    This rule was not published in proposed form since it relates to agency procedure and practice. TVA considers this rule to be a procedural rule which is exempt from notice and comment under 5 U.S.C. 533(b)(3)(A). This rule is not a significant rule for purposes of Executive Order 12866 and has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, TVA certifies that these regulatory amendments will not have a significant impact on small business entities. Since this rule is nonsubstantive, it is being made effective December 9, 2016.

    List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 1301

    Freedom of Information, Government in the Sunshine, Privacy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, TVA amends 18 CFR part 1301 as follows:

    PART 1301—PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 1301 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 831-831dd, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Subpart B—Privacy Act 2. In § 1301.12, revise paragraphs (d) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 1301.12 Definitions.

    (d) The term TVA system notice means a notice of a TVA system published in the Federal Register pursuant to the Act. TVA has published TVA system notices about the following TVA systems:

    Apprentice Training Records—TVA. Personnel Files—TVA. Discrimination Complaint Files—TVA. Work Injury Illness System—TVA. Employee Accounts Receivable—TVA. Health Records—TVA. Payroll Records—TVA. Travel History Records—TVA. Employment Applicant Files—TVA. Grievance Records—TVA. Employee Supplementary Vacancy Announcement Records—TVA. Consultant and Contractor Records—TVA. Nuclear Quality Assurance Personnel Records—TVA. Questionnaire—Land Use Surveys in Vicinity of Proposed or Licensed Nuclear Power Plant—TVA. Radiation Dosimetry Personnel Monitoring Records—TVA. Retirement System Records—TVA. Energy Program Participant Records—TVA. OIG Investigative Records—TVA. Call Detail Records—TVA. Project/Tract Files—TVA. Section 26a Permit Application Records—TVA. U.S. TVA Police Records—TVA. Wholesale, Retail, and Emergency Data Files—TVA. Nuclear Access Authorization and Fitness for Duty Records—TVA.

    (f) The term reviewing official means TVA's Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer (or incumbent of a successor position), or another TVA official designated by the Senior Vice President in writing to decide an appeal pursuant to § 1301.19;

    3. In § 1301.24, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 1301.24 Specific exemptions.

    (a) The TVA system Nuclear Access Authorization and Fitness for Duty Records is exempt from subsections (d); (e)(4)(H); and (f)(2), (3), and (4) of 5 U.S.C. 522a (section 3 of the Privacy Act of 1974) to the extent that disclosure of material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, and to the extent that disclosure of testing or examination material would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process. This exemption is pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (k)(5) and (6).

    Philip D. Propes, Director, Enterprise Information Security and Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29457 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9801] RIN 1545-BM46 Issue Price Definition for Tax-Exempt Bonds AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations on the definition of issue price for purposes of the arbitrage investment restrictions that apply to tax-exempt bonds and other tax-advantaged bonds. These final regulations affect State and local governments that issue tax-exempt bonds and other tax-advantaged bonds.

    DATES:

    Effective date: These regulations are effective on December 9, 2016.

    Applicability date: For the date of applicability, see § 1.148-11(m).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lewis Bell at (202) 317-6980 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information contained in these final regulations has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) under control number 1545-1347. The collection of information in these final regulations is in § 1.148-1(f)(2)(ii), which requires the underwriter to provide to the issuer a certification and reasonable supporting documentation for use of the initial offering price to the public, § 1.148-1(f)(2)(iii), which requires the issuer to obtain a certification from the underwriter for competitive sales, and § 1.148-1(f)(2)(iv), which requires the issuer to identify in its books and records the rule used to determine the issue price of the bonds. The respondents are issuers of tax-exempt bonds that want to apply the special rules in § 1.148-1(f)(2) to determine the issue price of the bonds.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by section 6103.

    Background

    This document contains amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) on the arbitrage investment restrictions under section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). On June 18, 1993, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS published comprehensive final regulations in the Federal Register (TD 8476, 58 FR 33510) on the arbitrage investment restrictions and related provisions for tax-exempt bonds under sections 103, 148, 149, and 150. Since that time, those final regulations have been amended in various limited respects, including most recently in final regulations published in the Federal Register (TD 9777, 81 FR 46582) on July 18, 2016 (the regulations issued in 1993 and the various amendments thereto are collectively referred to as the Existing Regulations).

    A notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register (78 FR 56842; REG-148659-07) on September 16, 2013 (the 2013 Proposed Regulations), which, among other things, proposed to amend the definition of “issue price.” Subsequently, the Treasury Department and the IRS withdrew § 1.148-1(f) of the 2013 Proposed Regulations regarding the definition of issue price and published another notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (80 FR 36301; REG-138526-14) on June 24, 2015, which re-proposed a definition of issue price (the 2015 Proposed Regulations). Comments were received and a public hearing was held on October 28, 2015. After consideration of all of the public comments, the Treasury Department and the IRS adopt the 2015 Proposed Regulations, with revisions, by this Treasury decision (the Final Regulations).

    Summary of Comments and Explanation of Provisions

    This section discusses the comments received from the public regarding the 2015 Proposed Regulations. The comments are available for public inspection at www.regulations.gov. This section also explains revisions made in the Final Regulations.

    1. Introduction

    Under section 103, interest received by investors on eligible State and local bonds is exempt from Federal income tax. As a result, tax-exempt bonds tend to have lower interest rates than taxable obligations. Section 148 generally limits investment of proceeds of tax-exempt bonds to investment yields that are not materially higher than the yield on the bond issue. Section 148 also generally requires that excess investment earnings be paid to the Federal Government at periodic intervals. For purposes of these arbitrage investment restrictions, section 148(h) provides that yield on an issue is to be determined on the basis of the issue price (within the meaning of sections 1273 and 1274). The reason for using issue price (rather than sales proceeds less the costs of issuance) to determine yield for purposes of section 148(h) is to ensure that issuers bear the costs of issuance, rather than recover these costs through arbitrage profits. See H. Rep. No. 99-426, at 517 (1985). The report of the Committee on Ways and Means states that the Committee believed that this requirement would encourage issuers to scrutinize costs of issuance more closely and would encourage better targeting of the federal subsidy associated with tax-exempt bonds. Id., at 517-518. In general, the lower the issue price for bonds bearing a stated interest rate, the higher the yield. An issuer has an economic incentive to receive the highest price for bonds and to pay the lowest yield. This aligns with the purpose of the arbitrage restrictions, which is to minimize arbitrage investment benefits and remove incentives to issue more tax-exempt bonds, and thus to limit the federal revenue cost of the tax subsidy for tax-exempt bonds.

    The issue price definition under the Existing Regulations generally follows the issue price definition used for computing original issue discount on debt instruments under sections 1273 and 1274, with certain modifications. The definition of issue price under the Existing Regulations provides generally that the issue price of bonds that are publicly offered is the first price at which a substantial amount of the bonds is sold to the public. The Existing Regulations define a substantial amount to mean ten percent. Further, the Existing Regulations include a special rule that applies a reasonable expectations standard (rather than a standard based on actual sales) to determine, as of the sale date,1 the issue price for bonds for which a bona fide public offering is made, based on reasonable expectations regarding the initial offering price. The issue prices of bonds with different payment and credit terms are determined separately. Tax-exempt bond issues often include bonds with different payment and credit terms that generally sell at different prices.

    1 Under § 1.150-1(c)(6), the sale date of a bond is the first day on which there is a binding contract in writing for the sale or exchange of the bond. By comparison, under § 1.150-1(b), the issue date for a bond is the date on which the issuer receives the purchase price in exchange for that bond, commonly referred to as the closing date or settlement date.

    The special rule in the Existing Regulations that provides for the determination of issue price as of the sale date based on reasonable expectations about the initial public offering price aims, in part, to provide certainty that the bonds will qualify as tax-exempt bonds and meet State or local requirements for debt issuance. Generally, the sale date is the date when the syndicate or sole underwriter in contractual privity with the issuer signs the agreement to buy the bonds from the issuer and when the terms of the bond issue are set. In the municipal bond market, due largely to the serial maturity structure and, in many cases, an inability to sell a substantial amount of each of the different maturities of the bonds with different terms (for which issue price must be determined separately) by the sale date, issuers may have difficulties in establishing the issue price of all of the bonds included within an issue by the sale date, unless a special rule is available.

    2. General Rule: Actual Sale of a Substantial Amount of Bonds

    Consistent with section 148(h), the 2015 Proposed Regulations proposed to retain the rule that issue price generally will be determined under the rules of sections 1273 and 1274. The 2015 Proposed Regulations also proposed a general rule similar to that in the regulations under section 1273 that the issue price of bonds issued for money is the first price at which a substantial amount of the bonds is sold to the public. The 2015 Proposed Regulations proposed to retain the rule in the Existing Regulations that ten percent is the measure of a substantial amount. The 2015 Proposed Regulations also proposed to retain the rule that the issue prices of bonds with different payment and credit terms are determined separately.

    Commenters recommended adding an express rule to address the treatment of private placements (for example, bank loans), which in the municipal bond industry typically do not involve underwriters. Commenters also recommended clarifying that an issuer may use the general rule to determine issue price even if the issuer had sought to use the special rule based on the initial offering price to the public discussed in section 3 of this preamble. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree with these recommendations.

    The Final Regulations retain the rules in the Existing Regulations and the general rule of the 2015 Proposed Regulations that, for bonds issued for money, the issue price is the first price at which a substantial amount of the bonds is sold to the public, and a substantial amount is ten percent. In addition, in response to comments, the Final Regulations expressly provide that, for a bond issued for money in a private placement to a single buyer that is not an underwriter or a related party (as defined in § 1.150-1(b)) to an underwriter, the issue price of the bond is the price paid by that buyer. Further, the Final Regulations clarify that for bonds for which more than one rule for determining issue price is available, for example, the general rule and one of the special rules discussed in sections 3 and 4 of this preamble, an issuer may select the rule it will use to determine the issue price for the bonds at any time on or before the issue date of the bonds. On or before the issue date of the bonds, the issuer must identify the rule selected in its books and records maintained for the bonds.

    A commenter suggested that a specific time on the sale date should be established as the proper time for determining issue price. The Treasury Department and the IRS understand that it has been a longstanding practice to determine issue price on the sale date without regard to a specific time and that it is unlikely for bonds to be sold to the public at different prices on that date. Thus, the imposition of a specific time deadline for such determination seems unnecessary and would add to the administrative burden. The Final Regulations do not adopt this comment.

    3. Special Rule for Use of the Initial Offering Price to the Public

    The 2015 Proposed Regulations proposed a special rule that would allow an issuer to treat the initial offering price to the public as the issue price as of the sale date, provided certain requirements were met. That proposed special rule (referred to as the “alternative method” in the 2015 Proposed Regulations) proposed to require that the lead underwriter (or sole underwriter, if applicable) certify certain matters, including that no underwriter would sell bonds after the sale date and before the issue date at a price higher than the initial offering price except if the higher price was the result of a market change for the bonds after the sale date (for example, due to a change in market interest rates), and that the lead underwriter provide the issuer with supporting documentation for the matters covered by the certifications, including a justification for any higher price based on a market change. (This proposed requirement for underwriters generally to hold the price at no higher than the initial offering price to the public until the issue date is sometimes referred to herein as the “hold-the-offering-price” requirement.)

    Commenters favored a special rule to allow use of the initial offering price to the public to set the issue price as of the sale date. Numerous commenters, however, expressed concerns about various aspects of the eligibility requirements for this proposed special rule. One concern expressed by underwriters was that the requirement for the lead underwriter to provide certification as to the actions of the entire underwriting syndicate or selling group was overly broad. Instead, underwriters recommended allowing members of an underwriting syndicate or a selling group to agree individually to act in accordance with the specific matters required under the special rule. The Final Regulations adopt the comment that each underwriter is individually or severally responsible for its agreement (rather than jointly responsible with other underwriters).

    Several commenters suggested that the hold-the-offering-price requirement would result in lower offering prices and should not be included in the special rule. One concern expressed related to the differing time periods between the sale date and the issue date for various issuers. One commenter recommended limiting the time period for holding the price to six business days after the sale date. Further, notwithstanding the potential flexibility in pricing afforded by the proposed market change exception to the hold-the-offering-price requirement, commenters overwhelmingly objected to this exception as unworkable because of the absence of meaningful benchmarks for municipal bond prices. Commenters also expressed concern that use of this exception could lead to audit disputes over appropriate documentation to support such price changes.

    Accordingly, the Final Regulations adopt a modified hold-the-offering-price requirement that requires underwriters to hold the price for offering and selling unsold bonds at a price that is no greater than the initial offering price to the public for a shorter time period that ends on the earlier of (1) the close of the date that is the fifth (5th) business day after the sale date or (2) the date on which the underwriters have sold a substantial amount of the bonds to the public. Further, in response to the overwhelming negative comments about the proposed market change exception to the proposed hold-the-offering-price requirement, the Final Regulations omit the market change exception.

    The modified hold-the-offering-price requirement in the Final Regulations provides a standardized time period for application of the requirement to bonds regardless of the differing time periods among issuers between sales and closings of municipal bond issues. Further, the shorter time period for this requirement should reduce potential associated risks to underwriters and thereby limit the effects of this requirement on initial pricing to issuers and, at the same time, ensure that market pricing behavior is consistent with the initial offering price used for issue price determinations.

    Two commenters suggested confirming that, for purposes of the hold-the-offering-price requirement, an underwriter may sell bonds to anyone at a price that is lower (rather than higher) than the initial offering price to the public under this special rule. This special rule expressly provides for this result under the Final Regulations. One commenter sought clarification that underwriters may sell bonds to other underwriters at prices that are higher than the initial offering price to the public under this special rule. Sales to underwriters at such higher prices are inconsistent with a purpose of this special rule to use the initial offering price to the public as a proxy for the issuer's agreement with the underwriters about the maximum amount of underwriters' compensation that is reflected in setting the issue price. Thus, the Final Regulations clarify that underwriters may not sell the bonds at a price that is higher than the initial offering price to the public.

    Several commenters recommended a different special rule that would base determinations of issue price on sales of an aggregate percentage of all of the bonds included within an issue, as distinguished from the bond-by-bond method required to determine issue price for bonds with different interest rates, maturities, credits, or payment terms under the Existing Regulations and the 2015 Proposed Regulations. Commenters recommended different percentages of sales of aggregate principal amounts of bonds within an issue to determine issue price, including 25 percent, 50 percent, and 65 percent.

    Although a rule that would focus on actual sales of greater percentages of the aggregate principal amounts of bonds included within an issue to determine issue price has potential utility, the Treasury Department and the IRS have concerns about the comparability of the terms of unsold bonds with the terms of sold bonds, which would serve as a proxy for setting the issue price of the unsold bonds, and about the attendant potential complexity to ensure appropriate comparability. Further, the Treasury Department and the IRS have concerns about selection of an appropriate percentage of aggregate sales for such a rule and whether issuers would be able to sell the required percentage of the aggregate principal amount of bonds within the issue. The public comments did not reflect any consensus on an appropriate percentage of aggregate sales for such a rule. In addition, several of the comments in favor of such a rule focused particularly on the need for a more workable rule for competitive sales. In response to this concern, the Final Regulations provide a simplified special rule for competitive sales, as described in section 4 of this preamble. Accordingly, the Final Regulations do not adopt a rule that would focus on actual sales of greater percentages of the aggregate principal amounts of bonds included within an issue.

    In summary, the Final Regulations provide a special rule under which an issuer may treat the initial offering price to the public as the issue price of the bonds as of the sale date if: (1) The underwriters offered the bonds to the public at a specified initial offering price on or before the sale date, and the lead underwriter in the underwriting syndicate or selling group (or, if applicable, the sole underwriter) provides, on or before the issue date, a certification to that effect to the issuer, together with reasonable supporting documentation for that certification, such as a copy of the pricing wire or equivalent communication; and (2) each underwriter agrees in writing that it will neither offer nor sell the bonds to any person at a price that is higher than the initial offering price during the period starting on the sale date and ending on the earlier of the close of the fifth (5th) business day after the sale date, or the date on which the underwriters have sold a substantial amount of the bonds to the public at a price that is no higher than the initial offering price to the public.

    4. Special Rule for Competitive Sales

    Numerous commenters, including four States, strongly urged a streamlined special rule for competitive sales to allow the reasonably expected initial offering price to the public reflected in the winning bid in a competitive sale to establish the issue price without a hold-the-offering-price requirement or other restrictions. Commenters suggested that the public bidding process for pricing municipal bonds in competitive sales itself provides a sufficient basis to achieve the best pricing for issuers. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that competitive sales favor competition and price transparency that may result in better pricing for issuers. The Final Regulations adopt these comments and provide that, for bonds issued for money pursuant to an eligible competitive sale, an issuer may treat the reasonably expected initial offering price to the public of the bonds as the issue price of the bonds as of the sale date if the issuer obtains a certification from the winning bidder regarding the reasonably expected initial offering price to the public of the bonds upon which the price in the winning bid is based.

    For purposes of this special rule, the Final Regulations define competitive sale to mean a sale of bonds by an issuer to an underwriter that is the winning bidder in a bidding process in which the issuer offers the bonds for sale to underwriters at specified written terms and that meets the following requirements: (1) The issuer disseminates the notice of sale to potential underwriters in a manner reasonably designed to reach potential underwriters; (2) all bidders have an equal opportunity to bid; (3) the issuer receives bids from at least three underwriters of municipal bonds who have established industry reputations for underwriting new issuances of municipal bonds; and (4) the issuer awards the sale to the bidder who offers the highest price (or lowest interest cost).

    5. Definitions

    The 2015 Proposed Regulations proposed to define the term “public” for purposes of determining the issue price of tax-exempt bonds to mean any person other than an underwriter or a related party to an underwriter. Several commenters recommended expanding the definition of public to include related parties to underwriters. This recommended change would allow various affiliates of underwriters, such as entities involved in proprietary trading, to qualify as members of the public for purposes of determining issue price. The Final Regulations do not adopt this comment. The Final Regulations retain this related party restriction on the definition of the public as a safeguard to protect against potential abuse.

    The 2015 Proposed Regulations proposed to define “underwriter” to include: (1) Any person that contractually agrees to participate in the initial sale of the bonds to the public by entering into a contract with the issuer or into a contract with a lead underwriter to form an underwriting syndicate and (2) any person that, on or before the sale date, directly or indirectly enters into a contract or other arrangement with any of the foregoing to sell the bonds. Numerous commenters expressed significant concern that the phrase “other arrangement” in the definition of underwriter was vague and unworkable. One commenter asked if distribution arrangements (for example, a retail distribution contract between a member of an underwriting syndicate or selling group and another dealer that is not in the syndicate or selling group) were included. Another commenter suggested changes to clarify that a contract to sell the bonds be limited to a contract with respect to the initial sale of the bonds to the public. In response to these comments, the Final Regulations omit the phrase “or other arrangement” from the definition of underwriter. The Final Regulations also clarify that covered agreements must relate to the initial sale of the bonds to the public and that these agreements include retail distribution agreements.

    6. Standard for Reliance on Certifications and Consequences of Violations

    The 2015 Proposed Regulations proposed a standard that would limit an issuer's ability to rely on certifications from underwriters to circumstances in which an issuer did not know or have reason to know, after exercising due diligence, that the certifications were false. Several commenters expressed concerns about this proposed standard for reliance on certifications. One commenter expressed particular concern that the proposed standard appeared to be higher than or different from the general due diligence standard for determining reasonable expectations that bonds are not arbitrage bonds under § 1.148-2(b) of the Existing Regulations. The existing definition of reasonable expectations, found in § 1.148-1(b) of the Existing Regulations, treats an issuer's expectations or actions as reasonable only if a prudent person in the same circumstances as the issuer would have those same expectations or take those same actions, based on all the objective facts and circumstances. One commenter also sought confirmation that issuers could rely on certifications from underwriters without independent verification.

    In response to the comments, the Final Regulations omit the proposed special standard for reliance on underwriters' certifications. Instead, the existing due diligence standard under the Existing Regulations for reasonable expectations or reasonableness will apply to any certification under the Final Regulations. For example, this existing due diligence standard will apply under the special rule on competitive sales to an issuer's reliance on a certification from the winning bidder regarding the reasonably expected initial offering price to the public of the bonds upon which the price in the winning bid is based.

    Several commenters urged providing conclusive legal certainty for issue price determinations as of the sale date based on receipt of required underwriter certifications without regard to whether such certifications subsequently proved to be false. Although the Final Regulations generally will allow issuers to establish the issue price as of the sale date, the Final Regulations do not adopt this comment. Accordingly, a failure to meet a specific eligibility requirement of a rule for determining issue price, such as an underwriter's breach of its hold-the-offering-price agreement under the special rule for use of initial offering price, will result in a failure to establish issue price under that rule and a redetermination of issue price under a different rule. The potential invalidation of an issue price determination is important to ensure compliance with the arbitrage restrictions and the legal availability of penalties against underwriters for false statements. A false statement by an underwriter in a certification or in the agreement among underwriters under one of these special rules may result in a penalty against the underwriter under section 6700, depending on the facts and circumstances.

    In accordance with section 6001, the issuer must maintain reasonable documentation in its books and records to support its issue price determinations. In addition, the Final Regulations require that the issuer obtain from the underwriter certain certifications and other reasonable supporting documentation such as a pricing wire to establish its issue price determination under a specific rule in the Final Regulations. A certification from the underwriter of the first price at which ten percent of the bonds were sold to the public is an example of reasonable supporting documentation to establish the issue price of the bonds under the general rule in the Final Regulations.

    7. Other Comments

    A commenter requested a special rule under section 148 to determine issue price in a debt-for-debt exchange, including an exchange resulting from a significant modification under § 1.1001-3. Under the special rule, an issuer would have the option to use a tax-exempt bond's stated principal amount as the issue price rather than the issue price that otherwise would apply under section 1273 or 1274. The commenter requested the rule because, in the commenter's experience, the stated interest rate on a tax-exempt bond issued in a debt-for-debt exchange was generally less than the adjusted applicable Federal rate (AAFR) used under section 1288 to determine whether the bond has adequate stated interest for purposes of section 1274. In this situation, the issue price of the bond would be less than the bond's stated principal amount, resulting in an arbitrage yield that is higher than it otherwise would be if the bond were treated as issued for an amount equal to the bond's stated principal amount. The Final Regulations do not include such a rule because, since the date of the commenter's request, the method to determine the AAFR has been modified in TD 9763, 81 FR 24482 (April 26, 2016). As a result of this modification, it is more likely that the issue price of a tax-exempt bond issued in a debt-for-debt exchange will be the bond's stated principal amount under section 1273 or 1274 (for example, because the AAFR will not be greater than the corresponding applicable Federal rate for taxable bonds, as it was in certain years before the modification).

    In addition, some commenters recommended allowing the use of issue price as defined for arbitrage purposes in applying various limitations for other tax-exempt bond purposes, such as those based on principal amounts, face amounts, and sale proceeds. The Final Regulations do not adopt this recommendation because it raises issues that are beyond the scope of the 2015 Proposed Regulations, and the recommended extension of the application of the definition of issue price beyond arbitrage purposes appropriately warrants a separate opportunity for public comment. The Treasury Department and the IRS, however, expect to consider this recommendation in connection with future guidance.

    Applicability Date

    The Final Regulations apply to bonds that are sold on or after June 7, 2017.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including these Final Regulations, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required.

    It is hereby certified that these Final Regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification is based generally on the fact that any effect on small entities by these rules generally flows from section 148 of the Code. Section 148(h) of the Code requires the yield on an issue of bonds to be determined on the basis of issue price (within the meaning of sections 1273 and 1274). Under section 1273(b), the issue price is the first price at which a substantial amount of the bonds is sold to the public. Section 1.148-1(f)(2) of the Final Regulations gives effect to the statute by requiring the issuer to (1) obtain certain documentation from the underwriter, which is the party that sells the bonds to the public, to support the issuer's determination of issue price and (2) indicate in its books and records the rule used by the issuer to determine issue price. This information will be used to support the issue price of the bonds for audit and other purposes. Any economic impact of obtaining this information is minimal because most of the information already is provided to issuers by the underwriters under existing industry practices. Accordingly, these changes do not add to the impact on small entities imposed by the statutory provision. Therefore, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, the 2015 Proposed Regulations preceding these Final Regulations were submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business, and no comments were received.

    Drafting Information

    The principal authors of these regulations are Johanna Som de Cerff and Lewis Bell, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products), IRS. However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

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

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.148-0(c) is amended by adding entries for §§ 1.148-1(f) and 1.148-11(m) to read as follows:
    § 1.148-0 Scope and table of contents.

    (c) * * *

    § 1.148-1 Definitions and elections.

    (f) Definition of issue price.

    (1) In general.

    (2) Bonds issued for money.

    (3) Definitions.

    (4) Other special rules.

    § 1.148-11 Effective/applicability dates.

    (m) Definition of issue price.

    Par. 3. Section 1.148-1 is amended by revising the definition of “Issue price” in paragraph (b) and adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 1.148-1 Definitions and elections.

    (b) * * *

    Issue price means issue price as defined in paragraph (f) of this section.

    (f) Definition of issue price—(1) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (f), “issue price” is defined in sections 1273 and 1274 and the regulations under those sections.

    (2) Bonds issued for money—(i) General rule. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (f)(2), the issue price of bonds issued for money is the first price at which a substantial amount of the bonds is sold to the public. If a bond is issued for money in a private placement to a single buyer that is not an underwriter or a related party (as defined in § 1.150-1(b)) to an underwriter, the issue price of the bond is the price paid by that buyer. Issue price is not reduced by any issuance costs (as defined in § 1.150-1(b)).

    (ii) Special rule for use of initial offering price to the public. The issuer may treat the initial offering price to the public as of the sale date as the issue price of the bonds if the requirements of paragraphs (f)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section are met.

    (A) The underwriters offered the bonds to the public for purchase at a specified initial offering price on or before the sale date, and the lead underwriter in the underwriting syndicate or selling group (or, if applicable, the sole underwriter) provides, on or before the issue date, a certification to that effect to the issuer, together with reasonable supporting documentation for that certification, such as a copy of the pricing wire or equivalent communication.

    (B) Each underwriter agrees in writing that it will neither offer nor sell the bonds to any person at a price that is higher than the initial offering price to the public during the period starting on the sale date and ending on the earlier of the following:

    (1) The close of the fifth (5th) business day after the sale date; or

    (2) The date on which the underwriters have sold a substantial amount of the bonds to the public at a price that is no higher than the initial offering price to the public.

    (iii) Special rule for competitive sales. For bonds issued for money in a competitive sale, an issuer may treat the reasonably expected initial offering price to the public as of the sale date as the issue price of the bonds if the issuer obtains from the winning bidder a certification of the bonds' reasonably expected initial offering price to the public as of the sale date upon which the price in the winning bid is based.

    (iv) Choice of rule for determining issue price. If more than one rule for determining the issue price of the bonds is available under this paragraph (f)(2), at any time on or before the issue date, the issuer may select the rule it will use to determine the issue price of the bonds. On or before the issue date of the bonds, the issuer must identify the rule selected in its books and records maintained for the bonds.

    (3) Definitions. For purposes of this paragraph (f), the following definitions apply:

    (i) Competitive sale means a sale of bonds by an issuer to an underwriter that is the winning bidder in a bidding process in which the issuer offers the bonds for sale to underwriters at specified written terms, if that process meets the following requirements:

    (A) The issuer disseminates the notice of sale to potential underwriters in a manner that is reasonably designed to reach potential underwriters (for example, through electronic communication that is widely circulated to potential underwriters by a recognized publisher of municipal bond offering documents or by posting on an Internet-based Web site or other electronic medium that is regularly used for such purpose and is widely available to potential underwriters);

    (B) All bidders have an equal opportunity to bid (within the meaning of § 1.148-5(d)(6)(iii)(A)(6));

    (C) The issuer receives bids from at least three underwriters of municipal bonds who have established industry reputations for underwriting new issuances of municipal bonds; and

    (D) The issuer awards the sale to the bidder who submits a firm offer to purchase the bonds at the highest price (or lowest interest cost).

    (ii) Public means any person (as defined in section 7701(a)(1)) other than an underwriter or a related party (as defined in § 1.150-1(b)) to an underwriter.

    (iii) Underwriter means:

    (A) Any person (as defined in section 7701(a)(1)) that agrees pursuant to a written contract with the issuer (or with the lead underwriter to form an underwriting syndicate) to participate in the initial sale of the bonds to the public; and

    (B) Any person that agrees pursuant to a written contract directly or indirectly with a person described in paragraph (f)(3)(iii)(A) of this section to participate in the initial sale of the bonds to the public (for example, a retail distribution agreement between a national lead underwriter and a regional firm under which the regional firm participates in the initial sale of the bonds to the public).

    (4) Other special rules. For purposes of this paragraph (f), the following special rules apply:

    (i) Separate determinations. The issue price of bonds in an issue that do not have the same credit and payment terms is determined separately. The issuer need not apply the same rule to determine issue price for all of the bonds in the issue.

    (ii) Substantial amount. Ten percent is a substantial amount.

    (iii) Bonds issued for property. If a bond is issued for property, the adjusted applicable Federal rate, as determined under section 1288 and § 1.1288-1, is used in lieu of the applicable Federal rate to determine the bond's issue price under section 1274.

    Par. 4. Section 1.148-11 is amended by adding paragraph (m) to read as follows:
    § 1.148-11 Effective/applicability dates.

    (m) Definition of issue price. The definition of issue price in § 1.148-1(b) and (f) applies to bonds that are sold on or after June 7, 2017.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: November 22, 2016. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29486 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 301 [TD 9802] RIN 1545-BN64 Disclosures of Return Information Reflected on Returns to Officers and Employees of the Department of Commerce for Certain Statistical Purposes and Related Activities AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Temporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains temporary regulations that authorize the disclosure of certain items of return information to the Bureau of the Census (Bureau) in conformance with section 6103(j)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). These temporary regulations are made pursuant to a request from the Secretary of Commerce. These temporary regulations also provide clarifying language for an item of return information and remove duplicative paragraphs contained in the existing regulations. These temporary regulations require no action by taxpayers and have no effect on their tax liabilities. Thus, no taxpayers are likely to be affected by the disclosures authorized by this guidance. The text of the temporary regulations also serves as the text of the proposed regulations set forth in the Proposed Rules section in this issue of the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These temporary regulations are effective on December 9, 2016.

    Applicability Date: For dates of applicability, see § 301.6103(j)(1)-1T(e).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Rowe, (202) 317-6834 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background and Explanation of Provisions

    This document contains amendments to 26 CFR part 301. Section 6103(j)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) to furnish, upon written request by the Secretary of Commerce, such returns or return information as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation to officers and employees of the Bureau for the purpose of, but only to the extent necessary in, the structuring of censuses and national economic accounts and conducting related statistical activities authorized by law. Section 301.6103(j)(1)-1 of the existing regulations further defines such purposes by reference to 13 U.S.C. chapter 5 and provides an itemized description of the return information authorized to be disclosed for such purposes.

    By letter dated August 2, 2016, the Secretary of Commerce requested amendments to § 301.6103(j)(1)-1 to allow disclosure of several additional items of return information to the Bureau for purposes of its economic statistics program, structuring the censuses, and related program evaluations. The Secretary of Commerce's letter lists the additional items of return information requested based on the Bureau's specific need for each item of information.

    The Secretary of Commerce's letter requested additional expense items from business tax returns in order to improve the expense data that is collected by the Bureau. Specifically, the Secretary of Commerce requested disclosure of the following enumerated components of total expenses or total deductions from business tax returns (Forms 1065, Forms in the 1120 series, and Form 1040, Schedule C, E or C/EZ): (1) Repairs (and maintenance) expense; (2) rents (or lease) expense; (3) taxes and licenses expense; (4) interest expense, including mortgage or other interest; (5) depreciation expense; (6) depletion expense; (7) advertising expense; (8) pension and profit-sharing plans (retirement plans) expense; (9) employee benefit programs expense; (10) utilities expense; (11) supplies expense; (12) contract labor expense; and (13) management (and investment advisory) fees. The Secretary of Commerce has also requested purchases from Form 1125-A and the following additional items from Form 1040, Schedule C: (1) Materials and supplies; and (2) purchases less cost of items withdrawn for personal use. The Secretary of Commerce determined that these additional items are needed to evaluate the quality of expense data collected from surveys and to improve the Bureau's imputation models as the Bureau faces a trend of rising non-response rates in its surveys.

    The Secretary of Commerce's letter also requested additional items of return information from business tax returns for the purpose of directing a high proportion of research and development surveys towards businesses with known research activities. Specifically, the Secretary of Commerce requested the following additional items of return information from Forms 6765 (when filed with corporation income tax returns): (1) Cycle posted; and (2) the research tax credit amount to be carried over to a business return, schedule, or form. The Secretary of Commerce determined that the amount of research tax credit is needed to improve the coverage and reliability of surveys that collect research and development data, and determined that the cycle posted is needed in order to align the research tax credit with the appropriate survey year for sampling purposes.

    The Secretary of Commerce's letter also requested additional items of return information for purposes of maintaining a centralized, continuous Business Register that comprehensively lists and characterizes United States business establishments and their domestic parent enterprises. The Business Register provides the central business list necessary to support the Bureau's economic census and survey activities. Specifically, the Secretary of Commerce requested the following additional items of return information from employment tax returns: (1) If a business has closed or stopped paying wages; (2) final date a business paid wages; and (3) if a business is a seasonal employer and does not have to file a return for every quarter of the year. The Secretary of Commerce has determined that these items of return information are vital to reducing or eliminating costly mailings to businesses that have closed or are seasonal in nature. The Secretary of Commerce also requested the electronic system filing indicator from business tax returns and the cycle from the IRS's Business Master Files. The Secretary of Commerce determined that the electronic system filing indicator is needed to help establish the ideal survey mode for a particular entity (electronic or paper reporting forms).

    The Secretary of Commerce's letter also requested additional items of return information for purposes of modeling firm survival for production of statistics on business dynamics. Specifically, the Secretary of Commerce has requested the following additional items of return information from business tax returns: (1) Dividends, including ordinary and qualified; and (2) type of REIT (from Form 1120-REIT). The Secretary of Commerce has determined that these items are needed to estimate models of firm survival and to estimate an owner's percentage of capital.

    The Secretary of Commerce's letter also requested additional items of return information for purposes of the Survey of Business Owners. Specifically, the Secretary of Commerce has requested the following additional items of return information from Form 1065, Schedule K-1: (1) Publicly-traded partnership indicator; (2) partner's share of nonrecourse, qualified nonrecourse, and recourse liabilities; and (3) ordinary business income (loss). The Secretary of Commerce has also requested ordinary business income (loss) from Forms 1120S, Schedule K-1. The Secretary of Commerce has determined that the ordinary business income (loss) and partner's share of liabilities items are needed in order to ascertain which owner's demographic information to use for the entity and as a proxy for ownership share of the partner. The publicly-traded partnership indicator is needed to save the cost of mailing surveys to publicly-traded partnerships since it is unlikely that publicly-traded partnerships could accurately provide demographic information about their owners.

    Finally, the Secretary of Commerce's letter also requested additional items of return information for purposes of developing and preparing the Quarterly Financial Report. Specifically, the Secretary of Commerce requested the following additional items of return information from Forms 1120-REIT: (1) Type of Real Estate Investment Trust (“REIT”); and (2) gross rents from real property. The Secretary of Commerce also requested the corporation's method of accounting from Form 1120F and the total amount reported from Form 1096. The Secretary of Commerce determined that gross rents from real property is needed to design and select the annual Quarterly Financial Report sample, and that the type of REIT is needed for editing and imputation purposes in the event that there are characteristic differences between the types of REITs. The Secretary of Commerce determined that the corporation's method of accounting is needed to understand how businesses with different accounting methods might report differently in the Quarterly Financial Report surveys. The Secretary of Commerce has determined that the total amounts reported from Form 1096 are needed to measure labor inputs for productivity since it would provide information on labor costs not covered by administrative records or survey reports of payroll.

    The Secretary of Commerce asserted that good cause exists to amend § 301.6103(j)(1)-1 of the regulations to add these additional items to the list of items of return information that may be disclosed to the Bureau. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that amending existing regulations to permit disclosure of these items to the Bureau is appropriate to meet the needs of the Bureau. These temporary regulations amend the existing regulations to allow disclosure of the items requested by the Secretary of Commerce.

    This temporary regulation also amends language in the existing regulations to clarify that the T.D. 9500, which was published in the Federal Register (75 FR 52458), authorized disclosure only of categorical information for total qualified research expenses from Forms 6765. In accordance with the preamble to T.D. 9500, the existing regulations do not authorize the disclosure of the exact amount of total research expenses as reported on Form 6765. By letter dated February 6, 2006, the Secretary of Commerce requested disclosure of categorical information on total qualified research expenses in three ranges: Greater than zero, but less than $1 million; greater than or equal to $1 million, but less than $3 million; and, greater than or equal to $3 million. These temporary regulations amend the existing regulations to more clearly reflect the categorical nature of the disclosure of total research expenses from Form 6765.

    Lastly, this temporary regulation also removes duplicate paragraphs contained in the existing regulations. Under the existing regulations, each of the following items of return information from business-related returns was authorized for disclosure by two identical paragraphs: Social Security tip income; total Social Security taxable earnings; and gross distributions from employer-sponsored and individual retirement plans from Form 1099-R. Because there is no need for duplicate paragraphs that authorize disclosure of the same items of return information for the same purpose, the duplicate paragraphs are removed.

    The text of the temporary regulations also serves as the text of the proposed regulations set forth in the notice of proposed rulemaking on this subject in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register.

    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 is hereby certified that these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6). Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this regulation has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small businesses.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these temporary regulations is William Rowe, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration).

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 301

    Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 301 is amended as follows:

    PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 301.6103(j)(1)-1T is added to read as follows:
    § 301.6103(j)(1)-1T Disclosures of return information reflected on returns to officers and employees of the Department of Commerce, for certain statistical purposes and related activities (Temporary).

    (a) through (b)(2)(iii)(H) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(a) through (b)(2)(iii)(H).

    (I) Total taxable wages paid for purposes of chapter 21; (J) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(2)(iii)(J).

    (K) If a business has closed or stopped paying wages;

    (L) Final date a business paid wages; and

    (M) If a business is a seasonal employer and does not have to file a return for every quarter of the year;

    (b)(2)(iv) through (b)(3)(iv) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(2)(iv) through (b)(3)(iv).

    (v) Total expenses or deductions, including totals of the following components thereof:

    (A) Repairs (and maintenance) expense;

    (B) Rents (or lease) expense;

    (C) Taxes and licenses expense;

    (D) Interest expense, including mortgage or other interest;

    (E) Depreciation expense;

    (F) Depletion expense;

    (G) Advertising expense;

    (H) Pension and profit-sharing plans (retirement plans) expense;

    (I) Employee benefit programs expense;

    (J) Utilities expense;

    (K) Supplies expense;

    (L) Contract labor expense; and

    (M) Management (and investment advisory) fees.

    (b)(3)(vi) through (b)(3)(xxiv) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(3)(vi) through (b)(3)(xxiv).

    (xxv) From Form 6765 (when filed with corporation income tax returns)—

    (A) Indicator that total qualified research expenses is greater than zero, but less than $1 million; greater than or equal to $1 million, but less than $3 million; or, greater than or equal to $3 million;

    (B) Cycle posted; and

    (C) Research tax credit amount to be carried over to a business return, schedule, or form.

    (xxvi) Total number of documents reported on Form 1096 transmitting Forms 1099-MISC.

    (xxvii) Total amount reported on Form 1096 transmitting Forms 1099-MISC.

    (xxviii) Type of REIT.

    (xxix) From Form 1125-A—purchases.

    (xxx) From Form 1040, Schedule C—

    (A) Purchases less cost of items withdrawn for personal use; and

    (B) Materials and supplies.

    (xxxi) Electronic filing system indicator.

    (xxxii) Posting cycle date relative to filing.

    (xxxiii) Dividends, including ordinary or qualified.

    (xxxiv) From Form 1120S, Schedule K-1—ordinary business income (loss).

    (xxxv) From Form 1065, Schedule K-1—

    (A) Publicly-traded partnership indicator;

    (B) Partner's share of nonrecourse, qualified nonrecourse, and recourse liabilities; and

    (C) Ordinary business income (loss).

    (b)(4) through (b)(6)(i)(B) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(4) through (b)(6)(i)(B).

    (C) From Form 1120-REIT—

    (1) Type of REIT; and

    (2) Gross rents from real property;

    (D) From Form 1120F—corporation's method of accounting.

    (E) From Form 1096—total amount reported.

    (b)(6)(ii) through (d)(3)(ii) [Reserved]. For further guidance see § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(6)(ii) through (d)(3)(ii).

    (e) Applicability date. This section applies to disclosures to the Bureau of the Census made on or after December 9, 2016.

    (f) Expiration date. The applicability of this section expires on or before December 9, 2019.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: November 23, 2016. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2016-29488 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-1023] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, Gloucester, MA 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 Blynman (SR127) Bridge across the Annisquam River and Blynman Canal at mile 0.0 at Gloucester, MA. The deviation is necessary due to the construction of a new operator's house. This deviation allows the bridge to be opened with a two hour advanced notice during the hours of 8 p.m. through 4 a.m. from December 6, 2016 through April 30, 2017.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective without actual notice from December 9, 2016 through 4 a.m. on April 30, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from December 6, 2016, until December 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-1023] 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. Jeffrey Stieb, First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, Coast Guard; telephone 617-223-8364, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Blynman (SR 127) Bridge across the Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, mile 0.0, at Gloucester, Massachusetts, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 8.2 feet at mean high water and 16 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.586. The owner of the bridge, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to open on signal after at least a two-hour advance notice is provided between the hours of 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. for the period of December 6, 2016 through April 30, 2017.

    The settling of the operator's house has rendered the structure unsafe for occupancy. As a result, a temporary control system in a temporary booth has been installed. Electricians from a private contractor are required to operate the temporary control system at an extraordinary high cost to the bridge owner. The deviation will have negligible effect on vessel navigation. The waterways are transited primarily by seasonal recreation vessels of various sizes. Bridge records indicate an average of less than three requests for openings per month occurred during the hours covered by this deviation. The Coast Guard contacted local waterway users regarding the Commonwealth's request for a temporary deviation and received no objections.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open immediately for emergencies. However, the northern entrance to the Annisquam River can be used as an alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in closed position. The Coast Guard will 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 transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: December 6, 2016. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29554 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0308; FRL-9956-26-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Removal of Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Requirements for Gasoline Dispensing Facilities; Withdrawal of Direct Final Rule AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Due to the receipt of adverse public comments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing the direct final rule published on October 21, 2016, to approve revisions to the Virginia state implementation plan (SIP). The revision serves to remove requirements for installation and operation of vapor recovery equipment (also referred to as Stage II vapor recovery) from subject gasoline stations in areas of Virginia that were formally subject to a Stage II vapor recovery program under the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    The direct final rule published at 81 FR 72724 on October 21, 2016, is withdrawn effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Rehn, (215) 814-2176, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the direct final rule published on October 21, 2016 (81 FR 72724), we stated that if we received comment by November 21, 2016, the rule would be withdrawn and not take effect. EPA received comments before the November 21, 2016 deadline. EPA will address the comment received in a subsequent final action based upon the proposed action also published on October 21, 2016 (81 FR 72757). EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: November 28, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III. Accordingly, the direct final rule which published in the Federal Register on October 21, 2016, at 81 FR 72724 is withdrawn as of December 9, 2016.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29586 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0812; FRL-9955-28-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Oklahoma; Infrastructure for the Lead, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions from the State of Oklahoma regarding the 2008 Lead (Pb), 2008 Ozone, 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS or standards). The four submittals address how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of these four NAAQS (infrastructure SIP or i-SIP). These i-SIPs ensure that the Oklahoma SIP is adequate to meet the State's responsibilities under the CAA, including the CAA requirements for interstate transport of Pb and NO2 emissions.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on January 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0812. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Carrie Paige, 214-665-6521, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    The background for this action is discussed in detail in our September 20, 2016, proposal (81 FR 64377). In that document we proposed to approve the Oklahoma i-SIP submittals dated October 5, 2012; February 28, 2014; and January 28, 2015, which addressed the 2008 Pb NAAQS; the 2010 NO2 NAAQS; and the 2008 ozone and 2010 SO2 NAAQS as meeting the requirements of an i-SIP. Two of the submittals did not address Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), prongs 1 and 2, regarding the contribution to nonattainment and interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone and 2010 SO2 NAAQS in other states, so we did not propose to take action on such elements for these two NAAQS. In addition, we did not propose to take action on section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—the prong that specifically addresses visibility protection for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. We will take separate action on these three prongs for the 2008 ozone and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. We did not receive any comments regarding our proposal.

    II. Final Action

    EPA is approving in part the October 5, 2012, February 28, 2014, and January 28, 2015, infrastructure SIP submissions from Oklahoma, which address the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2008 Pb, 2010 NO2, 2008 ozone, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Table 1 outlines the specific actions we are approving.

    Table 1—Final Action on Oklahoma Infrastructure SIP Submittals for Various NAAQS 110(a)(2) Element 2008 ozone 2008 Pb 2010 NO2 2010 SO2 (A): Emission limits and other control measures A A A A (B): Ambient air quality monitoring and data system A A A A (C)(i): Enforcement of SIP measures A A A A (C)(ii): PSD program for major sources and major modifications A A A A (C)(iii): Permitting program for minor sources and minor modifications A A A A (D)(i)(I): Contribute to nonattainment/interfere with maintenance of NAAQS (requirements 1 and 2) SA A A SA (D)(i)(II): PSD (requirement 3) A A A A (D)(i)(II): Visibility Protection (requirement 4) A A A SA (D)(ii): Interstate and International Pollution Abatement A A A A (E)(i): Adequate resources A A A A (E)(ii): State boards A A A A (E)(iii): Necessary assurances with respect to local agencies A A A A (F): Stationary source monitoring system A A A A (G): Emergency power A A A A (H): Future SIP revisions A A A A (I): Nonattainment area plan or plan revisions under part D NG NG NG NG (J)(i): Consultation with government officials A A A A (J)(ii): Public notification A A A A (J)(iii): PSD A A A A (J)(iv): Visibility protection A A A A (K): Air quality modeling and data A A A A (L): Permitting fees A A A A (M): Consultation and participation by affected local entities A A A A Key to Table 1: NG—Element is not germane to infrastructure SIPs. A—Approving in this action. SA—Acting on this infrastructure requirement in a separate rulemaking.

    Based upon review of these infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions and referenced in the Oklahoma SIP, we find Oklahoma has the infrastructure in place to address all applicable required elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2), except as noted in Table 1, to ensure that the 2008 Pb, 2008 Ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS are implemented in the State. This action is being taken pursuant to section 110 of the Act.

    III. 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 CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this 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 February 7, 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. 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, Interstate transport of pollution, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart LL—Oklahoma 2. In § 52.1920(e) the first table titled “EPA-Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Oklahoma SIP” is amended by adding the following entries at the end:
    § 52.1920 Identification of plan

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Oklahoma SIP Name of SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Infrastructure for the 2008 Pb NAAQS Statewide 10/5/2012 12/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Infrastructure for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS Statewide 2/28/2014 12/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Infrastructure for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS Statewide 1/28/2015 12/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Does not address 110(a)(2)(D) (i)(I). Infrastructure for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS Statewide 1/28/2015 12/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Does not address 110(a)(2)(D) (i)(I) or 110(a)(2)(D) (i)(II) (visibility portion).
    [FR Doc. 2016-29585 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150903814-5999-02] RIN 0648-XF061 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Quota Transfer AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; quota transfer.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the State of New Jersey is transferring a portion of its 2016 commercial summer flounder quota to the Commonwealth of Virginia. These quota adjustments are necessary to comply with the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for New Jersey and Virginia.

    DATES:

    Effective December 8, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cynthia Hanson, Fishery Management Specialist, (978)-281-9180.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.100 through 648.110. These regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in § 648.102, and the initial 2016 allocations were published on December 28, 2015 (80 FR 80689).

    The final rule implementing Amendment 5 to the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan, as published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1993 (58 FR 65936), provided a mechanism for transferring summer flounder commercial quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator, can transfer or combine summer flounder commercial quota under § 648.102(c)(2). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.102(c)(2)(i)(A) through (C) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations.

    New Jersey is transferring 226 lb (103 kg) of summer flounder commercial quota to Virginia. This transfer was requested by New Jersey to repay landings by a New Jersey-permitted vessel that landed in Virginia under a safe harbor agreement.

    The revised summer flounder quotas for calendar year 2016 are now: New Jersey, 1,381,653 lb (626,707 kg); and Virginia, 1,759,787 lb (798,226 kg); based on the initial quotas published in the 2016-2018 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Specifications.

    Classification

    This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29574 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 237 Friday, December 9, 2016 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 50 [Docket No. PRM-50-114; NRC-2016-0204] Power Reactors in Extended Shutdowns AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for rulemaking; notice of docketing and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received a petition for rulemaking (PRM), dated September 1, 2016, from David Lochbaum on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists and two co-petitioners (the petitioners). The petitioners request that the NRC “promulgate regulations applicable to nuclear power reactors with operating licenses issued by the NRC but in an extended outage.” The PRM was docketed by the NRC on September 14, 2016, and has been assigned Docket No. PRM-50-114. The NRC is examining the issues raised in PRM-50-114 to determine whether they should be considered in rulemaking. The NRC is requesting public comment on the petition.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by February 22, 2017. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to assure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0204. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Tobin, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2328, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0204 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0204.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The petition for rulemaking is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16258A486.

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2016-0204 in your comment submission.

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

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

    II. The Petitioners

    The petition was filed by David Lochbaum on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists and two co-petitioners: Jim Riccio for Greenpeace, and Geoffrey H. Fettus for the Natural Defense Resource Council.

    III. The Petition

    The petitioners request that the NRC “promulgate regulations applicable to nuclear power reactors with operating licenses issued by the NRC but in an extended outage. The petitioners note that the existing regulations only address operating reactors and those undergoing decommissioning. The petitioners recognize that “[m]any issues being addressed by the NRC's ongoing decommissioning rulemaking would apply to reactors during extended shutdowns.” However, the petitioners further state that “[t]he reactor in extended shutdown scenario entails issues beyond those being addressed by the NRC's decommissioning rulemaking.” Specifically, “[t]he petitioners request that the NRC issue a final rule that defines a reactor extended shutdown condition, establishes the requirements applicable during a reactor extended shutdown, and establishes the requirements that must be satisfied for a reactor to restart from an extended shutdown.” In addition, the petitioners request NRC issue a final rule that explicitly states that “a licensee providing the NRC with written certification under 10 CFR [title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations] 50.82(a)(1)(i) of permanent cessation of reactor operations cannot retract that certification and opt to place the reactor into an extended shutdown en route to resumption of reactor operations.”

    The petitioners propose two criteria to define when a reactor is placed into an extended shutdown. First, similar to how licensees notify the NRC of their intentions to permanently cease reactor operations under 10 CFR 50.4(b)(8) and 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i), a licensee would “notify the NRC of its intention to put a reactor into an extended shutdown.” Second, a reactor that has been shutdown for 2 years but is not actively pursuing restart under a formal NRC process would fall under the petitioners' proposed new regulatory requirements for a reactor in extended shutdown.

    The petitioners propose the NRC issue a final rule requiring licensees be required to submit a “Reactor Extended Shutdown Activities Report (RESAR)” prior to a reactor entering extended shutdown, similar to the Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(4)(i). The petitioners listed seven activities, at a minimum, which should be described in the RESAR. The petitioners note that if the regulations “do[es] not generically address topics like emergency planning exercises, Design Basis Threats and associated physical protection measures, and handling operating experience (i.e., NRC bulletins and generic letters as well as vendor advisories and manual updates), the RESAR should describe how these topics will be handled.”

    The petitioners state a new rule should contain requirements for a reactor exiting extended shutdown by either of two pathways: Restart of the reactor or enter decommissioning. For reactor restart, the petitioners state that “the final rule must establish how deferred and suspended activities are resumed” and “for each activity deferred, suspended, or reduced during the period of reactor extended shutdown, the final rule and its associated regulatory guidance must clearly establish how these activities are resumed or reinstated.” The petitioners state that the final rule must clearly establish when and to what extent a power ascension startup program is required for reactor re-operation.

    The petitioners request the NRC issue a final rule that addresses “whether decommissioning funds may be used for activities during a reactor extended shutdown and, if so, the criteria and conditions governing use of decommissioning funds.” The petitioners assert that the final rule “must require licensees to submit a preliminary decommissioning cost estimate to the NRC at five-year intervals throughout the period of reactor extended shutdown.”

    IV. Request for Comment

    The NRC is seeking public comment on the following questions:

    1. The petition outlines a scenario where a reactor is in an extended shutdown condition due to economic or other reasons and would at some unspecified later date return to operation. The petition uses the Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant as an example, where the Tennessee Valley Authority voluntarily shut down one unit from 1985 to 2007. Are there any facilities or licensees who may be likely to use the petitioners' extended shutdown scenario in the future? Please provide technical, scientific, or other data or information demonstrating the basis for your position.

    2. The petitioners contend that the NRC's existing regulations were promulgated for operating reactors, and that specific regulations are needed to address non-operating reactors in an “extended shutdown.” Assuming the extended shutdown scenario is credible, in what specific ways are the existing regulations identified in the PRM insufficient to address the scenario described by the petitioners? Please provide technical, scientific, or other data or information demonstrating the basis for your position.

    3. Assuming that the existing regulations identified in the PRM are insufficient to address the extended shutdown scenario, what specific changes to those regulations are needed to facilitate the requested rulemaking? Please provide technical, scientific, or other data or information demonstrating the basis for your position.

    4. The petition describes a plant in an “extended shutdown,” and proposes two criteria to enter into this non-operating state (submission of 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and 10 CFR 50.4(b)(8) notifications; and a shutdown period of 2 years). Should the term “extended shutdown” be defined in 10 CFR 50.2, “Definitions,” and should the regulations specify the timeframe for this scenario? Please provide technical, scientific, or other data or information demonstrating the basis for your position.

    5. Given the NRC's long-standing, well-understood Reactor Oversight Program (ROP), what potential changes would need to be considered to ensure adequate oversight of a reactor during an extended shutdown? Please provide technical, scientific, or other data or information demonstrating the basis for your position.

    6. What additional reporting to the NRC should be required for a reactor in an extended shutdown, and with what level of detail and frequency (e.g., the potential changes to the submission of the decommissioning trust fund reports)? Please provide technical, scientific, or other data or information demonstrating the basis for your position.

    V. Conclusion

    The NRC has determined that the petition generally meets the threshold sufficiency requirements for docketing a PRM under 10 CFR 2.802, “Petition for rulemaking—requirements for filing,” and the PRM has been docketed as PRM-50-114. The NRC will examine the issues raised in PRM-50-114, to determine whether they should be considered in the rulemaking process. The petitioners have requested a public meeting with the NRC for the purpose of reaching a common understanding of the problems to be resolved by the requested rulemaking. Unlike the public meeting opportunity afforded in the NRC's § 2.206 process mentioned in the PRM, there is no public meeting opportunity required in the petition for rulemaking process (§ 2.802). At this time, the NRC does not intend to hold a public meeting on the PRM.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 5th day of December, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29484 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6661; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-10] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Grand Chenier, LA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace at Grand Chenier, LA. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new special Instrument Approach Procedures developed at Little Pecan Island Airport, for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 23, 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 (202) 366-9826 or (800) 617-5527. You must identify the docket number FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-9193/Airspace Docket No.16-AGL-26, 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:

    Rebecca Shelby, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5857.

    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 establish Class E airspace at Little Pecan Island Airport, Grand Chenier, LA.

    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. Commenters 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-2016-6661/Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-10.” 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 “ADDRESSES” section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Central Service Center, Operation Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    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 establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6-mile radius of Little Pecan Island Airport, Grand Chenier, LA, to accommodate new special instrument approach procedures. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    Class E airspace areas 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 designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, It, therefore: (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under 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

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

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 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. ASW LA E5 Grand Chenier, LA [New] Little Pecan Island Airport, LA (Lat. 29°47′59″ N., long. 092°48′13″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6-mile radius of Little Pecan Island Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on November 30, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29430 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD 20 CFR Part 295 RIN 3220-AB69 Payments Pursuant to Court Decree or Court-Approved Property Settlement AGENCY:

    Railroad Retirement Board.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Railroad Retirement Board (Board) proposes to amend its regulations addressing who may receive a portion of an employee annuity due to a former spouse of a railroad annuitant under a court decree of divorce or court-approved property settlement, but which was unpaid at the time of the former spouse's death. The current regulation states that the Board will follow the priority order provided for employee annuities unpaid at death in Section 234.1 of the Board's regulations. The proper section pertaining to employee annuities due but unpaid at death is located in Section 234.31 of the Board's regulations. This amendment is necessary to insert the correct section reference.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before February 7, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by 3220-AB69, by any of the following methods:

    1. Internet—Send comments via email to [email protected] 2. Fax—(312) 751-7102. 3. Mail—Secretary to the Board, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 N. Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60611-2092.

    Do not submit the same comments multiple times or by more than one method. Regardless of which method you choose, please state that your comments refer to RIN number 3220-AB69.

    Caution: You should be careful to include in your comments only information that you wish to make publicly available as comments are made public without change, with any personal information provided. The Board strongly urges you not to include in your comments any personal information, such as Social Security numbers or medical information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marguerite P. Dadabo, Assistant General Counsel, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2092, (312) 751-4945, TTD (312) 751-4701.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background Information

    The Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) provides monthly annuities for railroad employees based on age and years of service in the railroad industry. Section 14(b)(2) of the RRA [45 U.S.C. 231m(b)(2)] provides that portions of an employee annuity calculated under sections 2(b), 3(b), 3(f), and 3(h) of the RRA [45 U.S.C. 231a(b), 231b(b), 231c(f), and 231c(h)] may be characterized as community property and subject to distribution in accordance with a court decree of divorce, annulment, or legal separation or the terms of any court-approved property settlement incident to any such court decree. The current version of Board regulations at Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 295, sections 295.1-7 implement this provision.

    The current version of section 295.5(d) of the Board's regulations explains that payments to a spouse or former spouse pursuant to a court order will not be made to the heirs, legatees, creditors, or assignees of a deceased spouse or former spouse. Any annuity amounts due to the spouse or former spouse but unpaid at the time of the spouse or former spouse's death will be made in accordance with the Board's regulations governing payments of employee annuities due but unpaid at the death of the employee. At the time section 295.5(d) was published in the Federal Register, the Board regulations governing employee annuities due but unpaid at death were found in section 234.1 of the Board's regulations. Part 234 of the Board's regulations has since been amended and the section governing employee annuities due but unpaid at death is now designated as section 234.31 of the Board's regulations.

    Proposed Changes

    We propose to amend section 295.5(d) of the Board's regulations to provide the correct cross-reference to the section of the Board's regulations governing employee annuities due but unpaid at death. This change is not intended to be substantive.

    Clarity of This Proposed Rule

    Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, requires each agency to write all rules in plain language. In addition to your substantive comments on this proposed rule, we invite your comments on how to make it easier to understand.

    For example:

    • Are the requirements for the rule clearly stated? • Have we organized the material to meet your needs? • What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand? • Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that is not clear? • Would a different format make the rule easier to understand? When will we start to use this rule?

    We will not use this rule until we evaluate public comments and publish a final rule in the Federal Register. All final rules we issue include an effective date. We will continue to use our current rules until that date. If we publish a final rule, we will include a summary of relevant comments we received, if any, and responses to them. We will also include an explanation of how we will apply the new rule.

    Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    The Board, with the concurrence of the Office of Management and Budget, has determined that this is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, no regulatory impact analysis is required.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Board certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it affects individuals only. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This Proposed Rule imposes no reporting or recordkeeping requirements subject to OMB clearance.

    List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 295

    Railroad retirement.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Railroad Retirement Board proposes to amend title 20, chapter II, subchapter B, part 295 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 295—PAYMENTS PURSUANT TO COURT DECREE OR COURT-APPROVED SETTLEMENT 1. The authority citation for part 295 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    45 U.S.C. 231f; 45 U.S.C. 231m.

    § 295.5 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 295.5 to revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 295.5 Limitations.

    (d) Payees. Payment of an amount awarded to a spouse or former spouse by a court decree or property settlement will be made only to the spouse or former spouse except where the Board determines that another person shall be recognized to act on behalf of the spouse or former spouse as provided in Part 266 of the chapter, relating to incompetence. Payment will not be made to the heirs, legatees, creditors or assignees of a spouse or former spouse, except that where an amount is payable to a spouse or former spouse pursuant to this part, but is unpaid at the death of that spouse or former spouse, the unpaid amount may be paid in accordance with § 234.31 of this chapter, pertaining to employee annuities unpaid at death.

    Dated: December 6, 2016.

    By Authority of the Board.

    Martha P. Rico, Secretary to the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29496 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs 25 CFR Part 140 [178A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900 253G] RIN 1076-AF30 Traders With Indians AGENCY:

    Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; solicitation of comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Interior (Department) is considering whether to propose an administrative rule that would comprehensively update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian Traders) in an effort to modernize the implementation of the Indian Trader statutes consistent with the Federal policies of Tribal self-determination and self-governance. The current regulations were promulgated in 1957 and have not been comprehensively updated since 1965. The purpose of this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) is to solicit public comments on whether and how the Department should update 25 CFR part 140, including how the Indian Trader regulations might be updated to govern who trades on Indian land and how the regulations can better promote Tribal self-determination regarding trade on Indian lands. In this ANPRM, the Department also announces dates and locations for Tribal consultations and public meetings to consider this issue.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before April 10, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal rulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The rule is listed under the agency name “Bureau of Indian Affairs.” The rule has been assigned Docket ID: BIA-2016-0007.

    Mail or hand delivery: Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs & Collaborative Action, Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C St. NW., Mail Stop 3642-MIB, Washington, DC 20240.

    Please see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document for information on Tribal consultation sessions.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action, Office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs; telephone (202) 273-4680, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Comment

    The Department is considering whether to propose an administrative rule that would comprehensively update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian Traders) in an effort to modernize the implementation of the Indian Trader statutes consistent with the Federal policies of Tribal self-determination and self-governance. We are interested in hearing from federally recognized tribes. We also welcome comments and information from states and their agencies and from the public.

    To be most useful, and most likely to inform decisions on the content of a potential administrative rule, comments should:

    —Be specific;

    —Be substantive;

    —Explain the reasoning behind the comments; and

    —Address the issues outlined in the ANPRM.

    For the purpose of this ANPRM, we are seeking input solely on questions related to a potential administrative rule on whether and how the Department of the Interior should update 25 CFR part 140, including how the Indian Trader regulations might be updated to govern who trades on Indian land in a manner more consistent with Tribal self-governance and self-determination.

    We are seeking comments solely on following questions:

    1. Should the Federal government address trade occurring in Indian Country through an updated 25 CFR part 140, and why?

    2. Are there certain components of the existing rule that should be kept, and if so, why?

    3. How can revisions to the existing rule ensure that persons who conduct trade are reputable and that there are mechanisms in place to address traders who violate Federal or Tribal law?

    4. How do Tribes currently regulate trade in Indian Country and how might revisions to 25 CFR part 140 help Tribes regulate trade in Indian Country?

    5. What types of trade should be regulated and what type of trader should be subject to regulation?

    6. How might revisions to the regulations promote economic viability and sustainability in Indian Country?

    7. What services do Tribes currently provide to individuals or entities doing business in Indian Country and what role do tax revenues play in providing those services?

    In addition to receiving comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, U.S. mail, courier services, and hand delivery (see ADDRESSES section above), we will conduct a series of in-person consultations with federally recognized Tribes, as listed below.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal information in your comment—including personal identifying information—please be aware that your comment may be made publically available at any time. While you may ask in your comment that we withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.

    Tribal Consultations

    The Department of the Interior will be hosting consultation sessions with Indian Tribes on this ANPRM We will accept both oral and written communications at these consultation sessions.

    The following table lists dates and tentative locations for the consultations. Specifics on the venue for each location will be provided in a subsequent Federal Register notice.

    Date Time (local time zone) Location Thursday, February 23, 2017 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m Seattle area. Tuesday, February 28, 2017 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m Southeastern U.S. Thursday, March 2, 2017 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m Southern California. Tuesday, March 7, 2017 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m Billings, Montana. Thursday, March 9, 2017 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m Rapid City, South Dakota. Tuesday, March 14, 2017 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m Prior Lake, Minnesota. Thursday, March 16, 2017 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m Northeastern U.S. Background

    The Department is considering whether to propose a rule that would comprehensively update 25 CFR part 140 (Licensed Indian Traders) to modernize the implementation of the Indian Trader statutes consistent with the Federal policies of Tribal self-government and self-determination. The current Indian Trader regulations were promulgated in 1957, revised in 1965, and modified in 1984 in a piecemeal fashion. The current regulations largely reflect policies that ignore Tribal self-determination and the growth of Tribal economies.

    Congress granted the Department broad and comprehensive authority to regulate trade in Indian Country by determining the proper persons to be “Indian traders.” See 25 U.S.C. 261 et seq.; see also 25 U.S.C. 9. The Department would seek to implement these responsibilities in a manner that reflects the current Nation-to-Nation relationship with Tribes should the Department propose a rule that updates 25 CFR part 140. The Department recognizes that many Tribes have enacted comprehensive laws concerning economic activity occurring on Tribal lands and that Tribal courts often retain jurisdiction over Indian traders. This ANPRM solicits information regarding current Tribal regulatory activity over trade occurring within Indian Country.

    Additionally, the Department recognizes that dual taxation on Tribal lands can undermine the Federal policies supporting Tribal economic development, self-determination, and strong Tribal governments. Dual taxation of traders and activities conducted by traders and purchasers can impede a Tribe's ability to attract investment to Indian lands where such investment and participation are critical to the vitality of Tribal economies. Tribal communities continue to struggle with unmet needs, such as in their schools and housing, as well as economic development, to name a few. Moreover, beyond the operation of their governments, Tribes continually pursue funding for infrastructure, roads, dams, irrigation systems and water delivery. Thus, the Department solicits information under this ANPRM about how revisions to the regulations could promote economic viability and sustainability in Indian Country.

    Description of the Information Requested

    We are particularly interested in receiving comments on the following questions relating to revisions of the 25 CFR part 140 we may develop concerning trade occurring in Indian Country:

    1. Should the Federal government address trade occurring in Indian Country through an updated 25 CFR part 140, and why?

    We are seeking views on whether there is a need in Indian Country for the Federal government to revise 25 CFR part 140. As mentioned, Congress granted the Department broad authority to regulate trade in Indian Country. Specifically, under 25 U.S.C. 261, Power to appoint traders with Indians, the Department of the Interior (previously the Commissioner of Indian Affairs) has authority to make rules specifying the kind and quantity of goods that may be sold to Indians and the prices at which such goods shall be sold. Under 25 U.S.C. 262, Persons permitted to trade with Indians, the Department has the authority to establish rules and regulations governing trade on Indian reservations for the protection of the Indians.

    The Department acknowledges the comprehensive Federal regulation of Indian traders in some areas of Indian Country, but also notes that many Tribes currently regulate trade occurring within their jurisdictions under Tribal laws and authority, often without Federal involvement. The Department also acknowledges its trust responsibility to Tribes and solicits information on whether there is a need for updated regulations addressing a modern approach to the Federal role concerning trade occurring in Indian Country.

    2. Are there certain components of the existing rule that should be kept, and if so, why?

    Should the Department conclude that there is a need for revisions to the existing rule, the Department seeks comments as to which parts, if any, of the existing rule should be kept. For instance, where the Department has issued licenses, should there be a grandfathering clause for currently valid licenses that the Department has issued under part 140?

    Alternatively, if commenters believe there is a need to update 25 CFR part 140, and that no components of the existing rule should be kept, the Department requests information as to why this should be so. Additionally, the Department seeks views and proposals on what an entirely new proposed rule may look like. For instance, if the Department should no longer issue licenses, what do commenters envision Federal involvement to be?

    3. How can revisions to the existing rule ensure that persons who conduct trade are reputable and that there are mechanisms in place to address traders who violate Federal or Tribal law?

    If there is a need to update 25 CFR part 140, we solicit information and suggestions on how revisions to the existing rule can ensure that there are reputable actors in Indian Country. Further, the Department requests information and suggestions on revisions to the existing rule to ensure that violations of Federal or Tribal law are properly addressed. The Department acknowledges that many Tribes have comprehensive schemes in place regulating traders conducting business within their jurisdiction.

    4. How do Tribes currently regulate trade in Indian Country, and how might revisions to 25 CFR part 140 help Tribes regulate trade in Indian Country?

    As mentioned, the Department recognizes that many Tribes have enacted comprehensive laws concerning economic activity occurring on Tribal lands and that many Tribal courts retain jurisdiction over Indian traders. For example, the Department is aware that some Tribes have required disclosure of violations of business licenses and of enforcement actions taken by a Federal, Tribal, or State entity for trade-related activity. Tribes have also required the disclosure of any pending lawsuits involving the person and the business, and disclosure of tax liens against the business and other unsatisfied judgments. Other items that Tribes have required include a Federal employer identification number, a State registration number, insurance or bonding information, copies of all licenses (state, county, city or Tribal) currently held by the business, and affiliation with any other businesses.

    With this in mind, the Department requests information on how Tribes currently regulate trade within their jurisdiction. The Department requests specific information and suggestions, including language on how the Federal government can bolster those Tribes that currently comprehensively regulate trade, as well as those Tribes that do not do so presently.

    5. What types of trade should be regulated and what types of traders should be subject to regulation?

    The Department has received numerous proposals from various Tribes pertaining to Indian Trader regulation. Many of these proposals suggest that trade regulated under part 140 should include not only commercial activities, but also mineral and energy development and any form of natural-resources extraction or agriculture.

    Currently, section 140.5(a)(1) of the existing rule has the following definitions:

    (5) Contract means any agreement made or under negotiation with any Indian for the purchase, transportation or delivery of goods or supplies.

    (6) Trading means buying, selling, bartering, renting, leasing, permitting and any other transaction involving the acquisition of property or services.

    (7) Commercial trading means any trading transaction where an employee engages in the business of buying or selling services or items which he/she is trading.

    The Department seeks comments on whether the definitions of contract, trading, and commercial trading should be revised, or struck in their entirety, and why.

    Additionally, the current definitions do not define the type of trader conducting business with an Indian Tribe. The draft proposals the Department has received recommend that the revised rule apply to any person conducting trade in Indian Country, including non-Indians. The Department solicits comments on whether an updated part 140 should define who the rule would apply to and whether or not this definition should broadly include any person conducting trade within Indian Country.

    6. How might revisions to the regulations promote economic viability and sustainability in Indian Country?

    The Department is interested in receiving feedback on how revisions to the trade regulations could facilitate economic activity in Indian country and tribal economic self-sufficiency.

    7. What services do Tribes currently provide to individuals or entities doing business in Indian Country and what role do tax revenues play in providing such services?

    The Department recognizes that Tribes provide a range of services to Indians and non-Indians doing business within their Indian Country. The Department seeks comments identifying the types of services offered, such as law enforcement, food sanitation and health inspections, transportation and other infrastructure, etc. The Department also seeks information on whether and to what extent Tribes are able to rely on tax revenues to provide such services.

    Dated: December 1, 2016. Lawrence S. Roberts, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29253 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 57 [REG-134438-15] RIN 1545-BN10 Health Insurance Providers Fee AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations that would modify the current definition of “net premiums written” for purposes of the fee imposed by section 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended. The proposed regulations will affect persons engaged in the business of providing health insurance for United States health risks.

    DATES:

    Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by March 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-134438-15), room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, PO 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-134438-15), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-134438-15)

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, Rachel S. Smith, (202) 317-6855; concerning submissions of comments and request for a hearing, Regina Johnson, (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Public Law 111-148 (124 Stat. 119 (2010)), as amended by section 10905 of PPACA, and as further amended by section 1406 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152 (124 Stat. 1029 (2010)) (collectively, the Affordable Care Act or ACA) imposes an annual fee on covered entities that provide health insurance for United States health risks. Section 9010 did not amend the Internal Revenue Code (Code) but contains cross-references to specified Code sections. In this preamble all references to section 9010 are references to section 9010 of the ACA and all references to “fee” are references to the fee imposed by section 9010.

    Section 9010(a) imposes an annual fee on each covered entity engaged in the business of providing health insurance. The fee is due by the annual date specified by the Secretary, but in no event later than September 30th of each calendar year in which a fee must be paid (fee year).

    Section 9010(b) requires the Secretary to determine the annual fee for each covered entity based on the ratio of the covered entity's net premiums written for health insurance for any United States health risk that are taken into account for the calendar year immediately before the fee year (data year) to the aggregate net premiums written for health insurance of United States health risks of all covered entities that are taken into account during the data year. In calculating the fee, the Secretary must determine each covered entity's net premiums written for United States health risks based on reports submitted to the Secretary by the covered entity and through the use of any other source of information available to the Secretary. Section 9010 does not define the term “net premiums written.”

    On November 29, 2013, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (TD 9643; 78 FR 71476) final regulations regarding the fee (final regulations). The final regulations define net premiums written to mean premiums written, including reinsurance premiums written, reduced by reinsurance ceded, and reduced by ceding commissions and medical loss ratio (MLR) rebates with respect to the data year. Net premiums written do not include premiums written for indemnity reinsurance (and are not reduced by indemnity reinsurance ceded) because indemnity reinsurance is not considered health insurance for purposes of section 9010. However, net premiums written do include premiums written (and are reduced by premiums ceded) for assumption reinsurance; that is, reinsurance for which there is a novation and the reinsurer takes over the entire risk.

    The preamble to the final regulations explained that, for covered entities that file the Supplemental Health Care Exhibit (SHCE) with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), net premiums written for health insurance generally will equal the amount reported on the SHCE as direct premiums written minus MLR rebates with respect to the data year, subject to any applicable exclusions under section 9010. The instructions to Form 8963, Report of Health Insurance Provider Information, provide additional information on how to determine net premiums written using the SHCE and any equivalent forms as the source of data, and can be updated to reflect changes to the SHCE.

    Explanation of Provisions

    The proposed regulations would amend and clarify the rules for how “net premiums written” take into account certain premium adjustments and payments.

    1. Retrospective Premium Adjustments

    Following the publication of the final regulations, the Treasury Department and the IRS received comments requesting that premium adjustments related to retrospectively rated contracts be taken into account in determining net premiums written. The NAIC's Accounting Practices and Procedures Manual Statement of Statutory Accounting Principles No. 66, Retrospectively Rated Contracts, defines a retrospectively rated contract as a contract which has the final policy premium calculated based on the loss experience of the insured during the term of the policy (including loss development after the term of the policy) and on the stipulated formula set forth in the policy or a formula required by law. These premium adjustments, made periodically, may involve either the payment of return premium to the insured (a “retrospectively rated contract payment”) or payment of an additional premium by the insured (a “retrospectively rated contract receipt”), or both, depending on experience.

    Commenters recommended that in calculating net premiums written, premiums written should be increased by retrospectively rated contract receipts and reduced by retrospectively rated contract payments. Commenters asserted that retrospectively rated contract payments are refunded to policyholders in much the same way as MLR rebates. Therefore, without an adjustment for retrospectively rated contract payments, covered entities that make these payments will bear a liability for an amount of the annual fee that correlates to premiums from which they do not actually receive an economic benefit.

    In response to these comments, the proposed regulations would modify the current definition of net premiums written to account for premium adjustments related to retrospectively rated contracts, computed on an accrual basis. These amounts are received from and paid to policyholders annually based on experience. Retrospectively rated contract receipts and payments do not include changes to funds or accounts that remain under the control of the covered entity, such as changes to premium stabilization reserves.

    2. Risk Adjustment Payments and Charges

    Following the publication of the final regulations, questions also arose about the treatment of risk adjustment payments under the ACA. Section 1343 of the ACA provides a permanent risk adjustment program for certain plans in the individual and small group markets. In general, the program transfers risk adjustment funds from health insurance plans with relatively lower-risk enrollees to issuers that disproportionately attract high-risk populations, such as individuals with chronic conditions. Section 1343(a)(1) generally requires each state, or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) acting on behalf of the state, to assess a charge on health plans and health insurance issuers in the individual or small group markets within a state (with respect to health insurance coverage) if the actuarial risk of the enrollees of such plans or coverage for a year is less than the average actuarial risk of all enrollees in all plans or coverage in the state for the year that are not self-insured group health plans. Section 1343(a)(2) generally requires each state, or HHS acting on behalf of the state, to make a payment to health plans and health insurance issuers in the individual or small group markets within a state (with respect to health insurance coverage) if the actuarial risk of the enrollees of such plans or coverage for a year is greater than the average actuarial risk of all enrollees in all plans and coverage in the state for the year that are not self-insured group health plans.

    Although not specifically listed, net premiums written, as defined in the final regulations, include risk adjustment payments received by a covered entity under section 1343(a)(2) of the ACA and are reduced for risk adjustment charges paid by a covered entity under section 1343(a)(1) of the ACA. Nonetheless, several covered entities asked whether net premiums written included risk adjustment payments received and charges paid. Therefore, these proposed regulations add specific language to the definition of net premiums written to clarify that net premiums written include risk adjustment payments received and are reduced for risk adjustment charges paid. If a covered entity did not include risk adjustment payments received as direct premiums written on its SHCE or did not file an SHCE, these amounts are still part of net premiums written and must be reported as such on Form 8963. For this purpose, risk adjustment payments received and charges paid are computed on an accrual basis.

    3. Other Premium Adjustments

    These proposed regulations would authorize the IRS to provide rules in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin for additional amounts to be taken into account in determining net premiums written. If the Treasury Department and the IRS determine that published guidance providing additional adjustments to net premiums written is warranted, such guidance will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.

    Proposed Effective/Applicability Date

    These regulations are proposed to apply with respect to any fee that is due on or after September 30, 2018.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including these, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. Because these regulations do not include a collection of information, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Pursuant to Code section 7805(f), this notice of proposed rulemaking will be 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. Comments are requested on all aspects of these proposed regulations. The Treasury Department and the IRS specifically request comments on the following:

    1. How the adjustments to net premiums written under these proposed regulations tie to amounts reported on the SHCE.

    2. Whether there should be a transition rule for premium adjustments related to retrospectively rated contracts and how any such rule should be implemented.

    All comments will be available for public inspection and copying. A public hearing may be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these proposed regulations is Rachel S. Smith, IRS Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 57

    Health Insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 57 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 57—HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDERS FEE 1. The authority citation for part 57 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    2. Section 57.2 is amended by revising paragraph (k) to read as follows:
    § 57.2 Explanation of terms.

    (k) Net premiums written—(1) In general. The term net premiums written means premiums written, adjusted as provided in paragraph (k)(2) of this section.

    (2) Adjustments. Net premiums written include adjustments to account for:

    (i) Assumption reinsurance, but not indemnity reinsurance. Net premiums written include reinsurance premiums written, reduced by reinsurance ceded, and reduced by ceding commissions with respect to the data year. Net premiums written do not include premiums written for indemnity reinsurance and are not reduced by indemnity reinsurance ceded because indemnity reinsurance within the meaning of paragraph (h)(5)(i) of this section is not health insurance under paragraph (h)(1) of this section. However, in the case of assumption reinsurance within the meaning of paragraph (h)(5)(ii) of this section, net premiums written include premiums written for assumption reinsurance, reduced by assumption reinsurance premiums ceded.

    (ii) Medical loss ratio (MLR) rebates. Net premiums written are reduced by MLR rebates with respect to the data year. For this purpose, MLR rebates are computed on an accrual basis.

    (iii) Premium adjustments related to retrospectively rated contracts. Net premiums written include retrospectively rated contract receipts and are reduced by retrospectively rated contract payments with respect to the data year. For this purpose, net premium adjustments related to retrospectively rated contracts are computed on an accrual basis.

    (iv) Amounts related to the risk adjustment program under section 1343 of the ACA. Net premiums written include risk adjustment payments (within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. 18063(b)) received with respect to the data year and are reduced by risk adjustment charges (within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. 18063(a)) paid with respect to the data year. For this purpose, risk adjustment payments and risk adjustment charges are computed on an accrual basis.

    (v) Additional adjustments published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. The IRS may provide rules in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see § 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter) for additional adjustments against premiums written in determining net premiums written.

    3. Section 57.10 is amended by revising paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 57.10 Effective/applicability date.

    (a) In general. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, §§ 57.1 through 57.9 apply to any fee that is due on or after September 30, 2014.

    (c) Paragraph (k) of § 57.2. Paragraph (k) of § 57.2 applies to any fee that is due on or after September 30, 2018.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29487 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 57 [REG-123829-16] RIN 1545-BN57 Electronic Filing of the Report of Health Insurance Provider Information AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document proposes to amend the Health Insurance Providers Fee regulations to require certain covered entities engaged in the business of providing health insurance for United States health risks to electronically file Form 8963, “Report of Health Insurance Provider Information.” These proposed regulations affect those entities.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by March 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-123829-16), Room 5205, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D C 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-123829-16), 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 (indicate IRS REG-123829-16).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, David Bergman, (202) 317-6844; concerning submissions of comments or to request a public hearing, Regina Johnson, (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This document proposes to amend the Health Insurance Providers Fee Regulations (26 CFR part 57) under section 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Public Law 111-148 (124 Stat. 119 (2010)), as amended by section 10905 of PPACA, and as further amended by section 1406 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152 (124 Stat. 1029 (2010)) (collectively, the Affordable Care Act or ACA). All references in this preamble to section 9010 are references to the ACA.

    Section 9010(a) imposes an annual fee on each covered entity engaged in the business of providing health insurance. A covered entity, defined under section 9010(c), is any entity that provides health insurance for any United States health risk during each year, subject to certain exclusions. The total aggregate amount of the fee for all covered entities is determined by statute and is called the applicable amount. See section 9010(e). Each covered entity's annual fee is equal to an amount that bears the same ratio to the applicable amount as the covered entity's portion of net premiums written with respect to health insurance for United States health risks that are taken into account compared to the aggregate amount of net premiums written for all covered entities that are taken into account. Section 9010(b)(2) clarifies which net premiums are taken into account for purposes of calculating the fee. A covered entity (including a controlled group) with no more than $25 million in net premiums written does not have any premiums taken into account and is not liable for a fee.

    Section 9010(b)(3) requires the Secretary to calculate the amount of each covered entity's fee on a calendar year basis. To facilitate these calculations, section 9010(g)(1) requires that each covered entity must report to the Secretary the covered entity's net premiums written for health insurance for any United States health risk for the preceding calendar year by the date prescribed by the Secretary. Section 9010(g)(1) also provides the Secretary with authority to prescribe the manner in which a covered entity reports its net premiums written. The reporting requirement applies regardless of whether a covered entity will be liable for a fee. Section 9010(g)(2) imposes a penalty on a covered entity for any failure to report the required information by the date prescribed by the Secretary (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing), unless such failure is due to reasonable cause. Section 9010(g)(3) imposes an accuracy-related penalty for understating the covered entity's net premiums written for health insurance for any United States health risk for any calendar year.

    Section 57.3 of the Health Insurance Providers Fee regulations implements section 9010(g) and provides the rules for covered entities to report net premiums written for health insurance of United States health risks to the IRS. Under that section, information is reported to the IRS on Form 8963, “Report of Health Insurance Provider Information,” which must be filed in accordance with the form instructions by April 15 of the year following the calendar year for which data is being reported. That section further provides that rules for the manner of reporting may be provided in guidance in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. The IRS uses the information reported on Form 8963 as part of the determination of each covered entity's annual fee under section 9010. Neither the statute nor the regulations currently specify whether Form 8963 must be submitted electronically or on paper. Covered entities currently have the option of filing the form in either manner.

    Section 57.5 requires the IRS to send each covered entity notice of a preliminary fee calculation for that fee year (the calendar year in which the fee must be paid, beginning with 2014), and provides the content of that notice. Section 57.5 further provides that the timing of the notice will be provided in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. Notice 2013-76 (2013-51 IRB 769) provides that the IRS will mail each covered entity its notice of preliminary fee calculation by June 15 of each fee year. Section 57.6 requires that a covered entity correct any errors identified after receiving the preliminary fee calculation by filing a corrected Form 8963. Notice 2013-76 provides that a corrected Form 8963 must be filed by July 15 of the fee year. The corrected Form 8963 replaces the original Form 8963 for all purposes, including the determination of whether an accuracy-related penalty applies. The covered entity remains liable for any failure to report penalty if it failed to timely submit the original Form 8963. As with the original report, the corrected Form 8963 may currently be submitted either electronically on paper.

    Under § 57.7(b), the IRS must send each covered entity its final fee calculation no later than August 31. The IRS validates the data on Form 8963 in performing the final calculation, and, pursuant to section 9010(b)(3), the IRS is authorized to use any other source of information to determine each covered entity's net premiums written for health insurance of United States health risks. The covered entity must pay the fee by September 30 of the fee year, as provided by section 9010(a)(2). The fee must be paid by electronic funds transfer. See §§ 57.7(d); 57.6302-1.

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 imposes a moratorium on the fee for the 2017 calendar year. Public Law 114-113, section 201. Thus, covered entities are not required to pay the fee or file Form 8963 for the 2017 fee year.

    Explanation of Provisions

    The IRS has now had three years of experience administering the Health Insurance Providers Fee. Based on this experience, the IRS concludes that the fee could be more efficiently administered if certain covered entities were required to file Forms 8963 and corrected Forms 8963 electronically.

    The calculation of the fee is complex, and the statute requires that it be paid by the covered entity by September 30. The calculation of any one covered entity's fee depends upon the data reported on Form 8963 by all covered entities—an adjustment to one covered entity's fee affects other covered entities' fees. Covered entities need time after the end of the year to compile the information that needs to be reported. Accordingly, there is a short window of time for (1) the IRS to compile and analyze the reported information and send out preliminary letters, (2) covered entities to respond with any corrections, (3) the IRS to compile and analyze the amended reporting and issue final fee letters, and (4) covered entities to pay the fee.

    Paper reporting slows this process because paper forms take time to travel through the mail. Additionally, once the paper Form 8963 (or corrected Form 8963) reaches IRS personnel, the information on the paper form must be transcribed into IRS computers to calculate the fee. Transcription of paper forms is costly and time-consuming. And, because of the nature of the fee, no entity's proposed or final assessment can be determined until all the reporting of all payers has been taken into account.

    The IRS uses electronic filing in several other contexts to streamline the collection of large volumes of paper forms and to efficiently use the information provided. Electronic filing of Forms 8963 and corrected Forms 8963 would benefit the administration of the fee by significantly reducing delays and the resources needed to calculate the preliminary and final fee amounts. Electronic filing will also benefit fee payers by facilitating the process for computing the fee for all covered entities.

    Accordingly, pursuant to section 9010(g)(1), which provides authority to prescribe the manner for reporting, the proposed regulations amend § 57.3(a)(2) to provide that a covered entity (including a controlled group) reporting more than $25 million in net premiums written on a Form 8963 or corrected Form 8963 must electronically file these forms after December 31, 2017. Forms 8963 reporting $25 million or less in net premiums written are not required to be electronically filed. This is because a covered entity (including a controlled group) reporting no more than $25 million in net premiums written is not liable for a fee and therefore the time constraints applicable to computation of the fee are not applicable with respect to these entities. See § 57.4(a)(4). The proposed regulation also provides that if a Form 8963 or corrected Form 8963 is required to be filed electronically, any subsequently filed Form 8963 filed for the same fee year must also be filed electronically, even if such subsequently filed Form 8963 reports $25 million or less in net premiums written. In addition, the proposed regulation provides that failure to electronically file will be treated as a failure to file for purposes of § 57.3(b).

    Proposed Effective/Applicability Date

    These amendments are proposed to apply to any covered entity reporting more than $25 million in net premiums written on any Form 8963 filed after December 31, 2017.

    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 impact assessment is not required. It is hereby certified that the electronic filing requirement would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6). This certification is based on the fact that the rule is expected to affect primarily larger entities because the electronic filing requirement is not met unless the filer must report more than $25 million in net premiums. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this notice of proposed rulemaking has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on the impact on small business.

    Comments and Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any written or electronic comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in this preamble under the ADDRESSES heading. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects of the proposed rules. All comments will be available for public inspection and copying at www.regulations.gov or upon request. A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of the proposed regulations is David Bergman of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 57

    Health Insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 57 is proposed to be amended to read as follows:

    PART 57—HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDERS FEE

    Paragraph 1. The authority citation for 26 CFR part 57 continues to read in part as follows:

    Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 57.3 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:

    § 57.3 Reporting requirements and associated penalties.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Manner of reporting—(i) In general. The IRS may provide rules in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin for the manner of reporting by a covered entity under this section, including rules for reporting by a designated entity on behalf of a controlled group that is treated as a single covered entity.

    (ii) Electronic filing required. Any Form 8963 (including corrected forms) filed pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section reporting more than $25 million in net premiums written must be filed electronically in accordance with the instructions to the form. If a Form 8963 or corrected Form 8963 is required to be filed electronically under this paragraph (a)(2)(ii), any subsequently filed Form 8963 filed for the same fee year must also be filed electronically. For purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, any Form 8963 required to be filed electronically under this section will not be considered filed unless it is filed electronically.

    Par. 3. Section 57.10 is amended by revising paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:

    § 57.10 Effective/applicability date.

    (a) Except as provided paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, §§ 57.1 through 57.9 apply to any fee that is due on or after September 30, 2014.

    (c) Section 57.3(a)(2)(ii) applies to Forms 8963, including corrected Forms 8963, filed after December 31, 2017.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29489 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 301 [REG-133353-16] RIN 1545-BN63 Disclosures of Return Information Reflected on Returns to Officers and Employees of the Department of Commerce for Certain Statistical Purposes and Related Activities AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking by cross-reference to temporary regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    In the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register the IRS is issuing temporary regulations authorizing the disclosure of specified return information to the Bureau of the Census (Bureau) for purposes of structuring the censuses and national economic accounts and conducting related statistical activities authorized by title 13. The temporary regulations are made pursuant to a request from the Secretary of Commerce. The temporary regulations also provide clarifying language for an item of return information and remove duplicative paragraphs contained in the existing final regulations. These regulations require no action by taxpayers and have no effect on their tax liabilities. Thus, no taxpayers are likely to be affected by the disclosures authorized by this guidance. The text of the temporary regulations published in the Rules and Regulations section of the Federal Register serves as the text of these proposed regulations.

    DATES:

    Written and electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by March 9, 2017.

    Applicability Date: For dates of applicability, see § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(e).

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-133533-16), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, Post Office 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-133533-16), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitutional Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-133533-16).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, William Rowe, (202) 317-6834; concerning submissions of comments, Regina Johnson, (202) 317-5177 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background and Explanation of Provisions

    This document contains proposed amendments to 26 CFR part 301 relating to section 6103(j)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Section 6103(j)(1)(A) authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to furnish, upon written request by the Secretary of Commerce, such returns or return information as the Secretary of Treasury may prescribe by regulation to officers and employees of the Bureau for the purpose of, but only to the extent necessary in, the structuring of censuses and national economic accounts and conducting related statistical activities authorized by law. Section 301.6103(j)(1)-1 of the regulations further defines such purposes by reference to 13 U.S.C. chapter 5 and provides an itemized description of the return information authorized to be disclosed for such purposes. This document contains proposed regulations authorizing the disclosure of additional items of return information requested by the Secretary of Commerce. These proposed regulations also provide clarifying language for an item of return information and remove duplicative paragraphs contained in the existing regulations. Temporary regulations in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register amend 26 CFR part 301. The text of those temporary regulations serves as the text of these proposed regulations. The preamble to the temporary regulations explains the temporary regulations and these proposed regulations.

    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 is hereby certified that these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6). Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this regulation has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small businesses.

    Comments and Requests for Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in this preamble under the ADDRESSES heading. The IRS and Treasury Department request comments on all aspects of the proposed regulations. All comments that are submitted will be available for public inspection and copying at www.regulations.gov or upon request. A public hearing may be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written or electronic comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these proposed regulations is William Rowe, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration).

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 301

    Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 301 is amended as follows:

    PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 301.6103(j)(1)-1 is amended by adding paragraphs (b)(2)(iii)(K) through (M), (b)(3)(xxxi) through (xxxv), and (b)(6)(i)(C) through (E), and revising paragraphs (b)(2)(iii)(I), (b)(3)(v), (b)(3)(xxv) through (xxx), and (e) to read as follows:
    § 301.6103(j)(1)-1 Disclosures of return information reflected on returns to officers and employees of the Department of Commerce for certain statistical purposes and related activities.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (I) [The text of proposed amendments to § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(2)(iii)(I) is the same as the text of § 301.6103(j)(1)-1T(b)(2)(iii)(I) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (K) through (M) [The text of proposed amendments to § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(2)(iii)(K) through (M) is the same as the text of § 301.6103(j)(1)-1T(b)(2)(iii)(K) through (M) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (3) * * *

    (v) [The text of proposed amendments to § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(3)(v) is the same as the text of § 301.6103(j)(1)-1T(b)(3)(v) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (xxv) through (xxxv) [The text of proposed amendments to § 301.6103(j)(1)-1(b)(3)(xxv) through (xxxv) is the same as the text of § 301.6103(j)(1)-1T(b)(3)(xxv) through (xxxv) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (6) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) through (E) [The text of proposed amendments to § 301.6103(j)(1)-1T(b)(6)(i)(C) through (E) is the same as the text of § 301.6103(j)(1)-1T(b)(6)(i)(C) through (E) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (e) Applicability date. Paragraphs (b)(2)(iii)(I), (b)(2)(iii)(K) through (M), (b)(3)(v), (b)(3)(xxv), (b)(3)(xxv) through (xxxv), and (b)(6)(i)(C) through (E) of this section apply to disclosure of the Bureau of the Census made on or after December 9, 2016. For rules that apply to disclosure to the Bureau of the Census before that date, see 26 CFR 301.6103(j)(1)-1 (revised as of April 1, 2016).

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29490 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 50 [Docket No. OIP 100] Request for Public Comment on Draft “Release to One, Release to All” Presumption AGENCY:

    Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (the “Department”) is requesting public comment on the draft “Release to One, Release to All” policy, which was prepared by the Office of Information Policy (OIP). This draft policy is not final, and should not be construed to represent Agency policy or views. The draft policy takes into account lessons learned from the DOJ pilot and all of the issues examined through the Chief FOIA Office Council, including certain exceptions to the policy and two different options for the timing of when documents should be posted online. The Department requests your comments on the entire draft policy. All public comments submitted in response to this notice will be considered when finalizing this document.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before December 23, 2016. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after Midnight Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Mail: Bobby Talebian, U.S. Department of Justice; Office of Information Policy; 1425 New York Avenue NW., Suite 11050; Washington, DC 20530-0001. To ensure proper handling, please reference OIP Docket No. 100 on your correspondence.

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further instructions for submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bobby Talebian, by mail at U.S. Department of Justice; Office of Information Policy; 1425 New York Avenue NW., Suite 11050; Washington, DC 20530-0001, or by phone at 202-514-3642.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. About the Release to All Presumption

    In conjunction with President Obama's signing of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, the Administration announced new steps to build on a record of openness and transparency, including promoting broader release of records through a “release to one is a release to all” presumption. The President directed the Chief FOIA Officer Council to consider the lessons learned from DOJ's pilot program and work to develop a Federal Government policy establishing a “release to one is a release to all” presumptive standard for Federal agencies when releasing records under the FOIA.

    II. Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record and made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name and address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter. You are not required to submit personal identifying information in order to comment on this rule. Nevertheless, if you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name and address) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment.

    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. Personal identifying information and confidential business information identified as set forth above will be placed in the agency's public docket file, but not posted online. If you wish to inspect the agency's public docket file in person by appointment, please see the paragraph above entitled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Melanie Ann Pustay, Director, Office of Information Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29727 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-BE-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0318; FRL-9956-25-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Imperial County Air Pollution Control District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (ICAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM) from large confined animal facilities (LCAFs). We are proposing to approve local rules to regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act). We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by January 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0318 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be removed or edited from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy Levin, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3848, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules or rule revisions? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules? B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria? C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rules D. Public Comment and Proposed Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

    Table 1 lists the rules addressed by this proposal with the dates that they were adopted by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Amended Submitted ICAPCD 217 Large Confined Animal Facilities (LCAF) Permits Required 02/09/2016 04/21/2016 ICAPCD 101 Definitions 02/09/2016 04/21/2016 ICAPCD 202 Exemptions 02/09/2016 04/21/2016

    On May 18, 2016, the EPA determined that the submittal for ICAPCD Rules 217, 101 and 202 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

    B. Are there other versions of these rules?

    There are no previous versions of Rule 217 in the SIP, although the ICAPCD adopted an earlier version of Rule 217 on October 10, 2006, and CARB submitted it to us on August 24, 2007. CARB withdrew this version of Rule 217 on May 17, 2011. We approved earlier versions of Rules 101 and 202 into the SIP on October 2, 2014 (79 FR 59433) and May 9, 2011 (76 FR 26615), respectively. While we can act on only the most recently submitted version, we have reviewed materials provided with previous submittals.

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules or rule revisions?

    VOCs contribute to the production of ground-level ozone, smog and PM, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that control VOC emissions. PM, including PM equal to or less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) and PM equal to or less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10), contributes to effects that are harmful to human health and the environment, including premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, decreased lung function, visibility impairment, and damage to vegetation and ecosystems. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that control PM emissions. These rules also help to control ammonia, which contributes to PM formation.

    Rule 217 is designed to limit VOC and ammonia emissions from LCAFs, including dairies, beef feedlots, poultry houses, swine facilities and other confined animal facilities. The rule applies to operations at or above certain size thresholds specified in the rule.1 These operations must obtain an ICAPCD permit, submit an emissions mitigation plan and implement mitigation measures. Rule 217 lists mitigation measure requirements for each type of LCAF. The measures are grouped into categories.2 The LCAF owner/operator must implement the requirements within each category.3 Rules 101—Definitions, and 202—Exemptions, were revised to be consistent with the LCAF thresholds for dairy cows, chicken and ducks established in Rule 217.

    1 Table 1 of Rule 217 provides large confined animal facility (LCAF) thresholds for each type of livestock for which the rule applies. For example, the beef feedlot LCAF threshold is 3,500 beef cattle, the dairy LCAF threshold is 500 milking cows, and the poultry LCAF threshold is 400,000 chickens or ducks.

    2 For example, the mitigation measure requirements for beef feedlots are grouped into the following categories: A. Feed, B. Silage, C. Housing, D. Solid Manure/Separated Solids, E. Liquid Manure and F. Land Application.

    3 For example, Rule 217 Table 2.1 (C. Housing) states “An owner/operator of a beef feedlot CAF shall implement mitigation measures 1, 2, 3, and 4 and at least one (1) additional mitigation measure in each of the animal housing structures (e.g., each corral, etc.):” and lists the mitigation measures below, numbered 1-7.

    The EPA's technical support document (TSD) has more information about these rules.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules?

    SIP rules must be enforceable (see CAA section 110(a)(2)), must not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or other CAA requirements (see CAA section 110(l)), and must not modify certain SIP control requirements in nonattainment areas without ensuring equivalent or greater emissions reductions (see CAA section 193).

    Generally, SIP rules must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for each category of sources covered by a Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document, and for each non-CTG major source of VOCs in ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate or above (see CAA section 182(b)(2)). The ICAPCD regulates sources in an ozone nonattainment area classified as moderate for the 1997 and the 2008 8-hour ozone standards (40 CFR 81.305). Therefore, we are evaluating whether this rule implements RACT-level controls for this area source category. Rules 101 and 202 support the requirements in Rule 217 but do not contain emission limitations directly, so we are not evaluating them for rule stringency.

    Generally, SIP rules must also implement Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM), including RACT, in moderate PM2.5 nonattainment areas (see CAA sections 172(c)(1) and 189(a)(1)(C)). The ICAPCD regulates sources in a PM2.5 nonattainment area classified as moderate for the 2006 24-hour and the 2012 annual standards. (40 CFR 81.305). RACM evaluations are generally performed in context of a broader implementation plan. Therefore, we are not proposing to determine whether this rule fulfills RACM requirements at this time, although we did evaluate Rule 217 with respect to RACT-level controls in the TSD.

    Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability, revision/relaxation and rule stringency requirements for the applicable criteria pollutants include the following:

    1. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” 57 FR 13498 (April 16, 1992); 57 FR 18070 (April 28, 1992).

    2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” EPA, May 25, 1988 (the Bluebook, revised January 11, 1990).

    3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies,” EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001 (the Little Bluebook).

    4. “State Implementation Plans for Serious PM-10 Nonattainment Areas, and Attainment Date Waivers for PM-10 Nonattainment Areas Generally; Addendum to the General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” 59 FR 41998 (August 16, 1994).

    B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

    We believe these rules are consistent with CAA requirements and relevant guidance regarding enforceability, RACT and SIP revisions. The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

    C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rules

    The TSD describes additional rule revisions that we recommend for the next time the local agency modifies the rules.

    D. Public Comment and Proposed Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA proposes to fully approve the submitted rules because we believe they fulfill all relevant requirements. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal until January 9, 2017. Unless we receive convincing new information during the comment period, we intend to publish a final approval action that will incorporate these rules into the federally enforceable SIP.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include, in a final EPA rule, regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the ICAPCD rules described in Table 1 of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region IX Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    • 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 disproportionate human health or environmental effects with practical, appropriate and legally permissible methods under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where 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).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: November 21, 2016. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29594 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 63 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522; FRL-9956-00-OAR] RIN 2060-AT14 Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production Risk and Technology Review AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Reconsideration; proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production source categories. The proposed amendments are in response to two petitions for reconsideration filed by industry stakeholders on the rule revisions to NESHAP for the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production source categories that were promulgated on August 19, 2015 (80 FR 50386) (hereafter the “August 2015 Final Rule”). We are proposing to revise the compliance date by which affected sources must include emissions from oxidation reactors when determining compliance with the total fluoride (TF) emission limits for superphosphoric acid (SPA) process lines. We are also proposing to add a new option, and clarify an existing option, to the monitoring requirements for low-energy absorbers. In addition, we are proposing to revise the compliance date for the monitoring requirements for low-energy absorbers.

    DATES:

    Comments. Comments must be received on or before January 23, 2017.

    Public Hearing. If anyone contacts the EPA requesting to speak at a public hearing by December 14, 2016, we will hold a public hearing on December 27, 2016 on the EPA campus at 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522, 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.

    Instructions. Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should not include special characters or any form of encryption and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Docket. The EPA has established a docket for this rulemaking under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522. All documents in the docket are listed in the Regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in Regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, Room 3334, EPA WJC West Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the EPA Docket Center is (202) 566-1742.

    Public Hearing. A public hearing will be held, if requested by December 14, 2016, to accept oral comments on this proposed action. If a hearing is requested, it will be held at the EPA's North Carolina campus located at 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711. The hearing, if requested, will begin at 10:00 a.m. (local time) and will continue until the earlier of 5:00 p.m. or 1 hour after the last registered speaker has spoken. To request a hearing, to register to speak at a hearing, or to inquire if a hearing will be held, please contact Ms. Pamela Garrett at (919) 541-7966 or by email at [email protected] The last day to pre-register to speak at a hearing, if one is held, will be December 22, 2016. Additionally, requests to speak will be taken the day of the hearing at the hearing registration desk, although preferences on speaking times may not be able to be fulfilled. Please note that registration requests received before the hearing will be confirmed by the EPA via email.

    Please note that any updates made to any aspect of the hearing, including whether or not a hearing will be held, will be posted online at https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/phosphate-fertilizer-production-plants-and-phosphoric-acid. We ask that you contact Pamela Garrett at (919) 541-7966 or by email at [email protected] or monitor our Web site to determine if a hearing will be held. The EPA does not intend to publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing any such updates. Please go to https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/atw/phosph/phosphpg.html for more information on the public hearing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions about this proposed action, contact Ms. Susan Fairchild, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D243-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-5167; email address: [email protected] For information about the applicability of the NESHAP or the new source performance standards to a particular entity, contact Scott Throwe, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA WJC South Building, Mail Code 2227A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington DC 20460; telephone number: (202)562-7013; and email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Preamble Acronyms and Abbreviations. We use multiple acronyms and terms in this preamble. While this list may not be exhaustive, to ease the reading of this preamble and for reference purposes, the EPA defines the following terms and acronyms here:

    CAA Clean Air Act CBI Confidential business information CFR Code of Federal Regulations EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency FR Federal Register MACT Maximum achievable control technology NAICS North American Industry Classification System NESHAP National emission standards for hazardous air pollutants OMB Office of Management and Budget PRA Paperwork Reduction Act RTR Risk and technology review SPA Superphosphoric acid TF Total fluoride TFI The Fertilizer Institute tpy Tons per year UMRA Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Organization of this Document. The information in this preamble is organized as follows:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. What action is the Agency taking? C. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information? D. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action? E. What are the incremental cost impacts of this action? II. Background III. Discussion of the Issues Under Reconsideration A. What amendments are we proposing for oxidation reactors and what is the rationale? B. What amendments are we proposing for absorber monitoring and what is the rationale? IV. Summary of Cost, Environmental, and Economic Impacts V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    Regulated Entities. Categories and entities potentially regulated by this action are shown in Table 1 of this preamble.

    Table 1—NESHAP and Industrial Source Categories Affected by This Proposed Action NESHAP and source category NAICS a
  • code
  • Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing
  • Phosphate Fertilizer Production
  • 325312
    a North American Industry Classification System.

    Table 1 of this preamble is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to provide a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by the proposed action for the source category listed. To determine whether your facility is affected, you should examine the applicability criteria in the appropriate NESHAP. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of any aspect of this NESHAP, please contact the appropriate person listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

    B. What action is the Agency taking?

    The EPA is proposing amendments to 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA and 40 CFR part 63, subpart BB in response to two petitions for reconsideration on the August 2015 Final Rule. One petition was filed by The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and the other petition was filed by Phosphate Corporation of Saskatchewan, including: PCS Phosphate Company, Inc.; White Springs Agricultural Chemical, Inc., d/b/a PCS Phosphate-White Springs; and PCS Nitrogen Fertilizer, L.P., (collectively “PCS”). The standards for the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing source category are found in 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA, and the standards for the Phosphate Fertilizer Production source category are found in 40 CFR part 63, subpart BB.

    The petitions are available in the docket for this action (see docket items EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522-0084 and EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522-0085).

    For 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA, we are proposing to:

    • Revise the compliance date by which affected sources must include emissions from oxidation reactors when determining compliance with the TF emission limits for SPA process lines from August 19, 2016, to August 19, 2018.

    For both 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA and 40 CFR part 63, subpart BB, we are proposing to:

    • Clarify one option and include an additional option for determining the liquid-to-gas ratio of low-energy absorbers; and

    • Revise the compliance date for this monitoring requirement from August 19, 2015, to August 19, 2017.

    In addition to the issues above, one petitioner, PCS, requested that the EPA reconsider the TF emission limits for phosphate rock calciners. However, PCS subsequently withdrew this request and this issue is no longer part of this reconsideration.

    The rationale for these proposed amendments is provided in section III of this preamble. This action is limited to the specific issues raised in the petitions for reconsideration. Therefore, we will respond only to comments addressing issues that were raised in the petitions for reconsideration. There are no changes to emission limits as a result of these proposed amendments, and we expect the proposed additional compliance time for oxidation reactors will have an insignificant effect on a phosphoric acid manufacturing plant's overall emissions. As stated in the preamble to the August 2015 Final Rule, the EPA's technology review revealed that SPA process lines at four different facilities include an oxidation reactor to remove organic impurities from the acid. Hydrogen fluoride emissions from SPA process lines including oxidation reactors account for less than 1 percent of all hydrogen fluoride emissions from the source category. Consequently, the risk assessment in the August 2015 final risk and technology review (RTR) is unchanged by these proposed amendments.

    C. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information?

    In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this action will also be available on the Internet through the Technology Transfer Network (TTN) Web site, a forum for information and technology exchange in various areas of air pollution control. Following signature by the EPA Administrator, the EPA will post a copy of this proposed action at https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/phosphate-fertilizer-production-plants-and-phosphoric-acid. Following publication in the Federal Register, the EPA will post the Federal Register version and key technical documents on this same Web site.

    D. What is the agency's authority for taking this action?

    The statutory authority for this action is provided by sections 112 and 307(d)(7)(B) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) as amended (42 U.S.C. 7412 and 7607(d)(7)(B)).

    E. What are the incremental cost impacts of this action?

    There are 12 facilities in the United States that manufacture phosphoric acid; two of these make only phosphoric acid. There are 11 operating facilities that produce phosphate fertilizers; one of these makes only fertilizer. While Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production are two different source categories, 10 facilities manufacture both phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizer, and are, therefore, considered to be in both source categories.1

    1 These are 2014 data.

    In this action, we have revised the estimated incremental cost impacts that were presented in the August 2015 Final Rule to reflect new information provided by TFI that takes into account the installation of an additional absorber at the Agrium Nu-West facility. Agrium Nu-West's costs are in addition to those for PCS Aurora, whose absorber installation costs were included in the August 2015 Final Rule. Each of these two facilities are in both the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and the Phosphate Fertilizer Production source categories. Table 2 of this preamble compares the overall total capital investment (TCI) and associated total annualized cost (TAC) from the August 2015 Final Rule and the revised total costs for the proposed reconsideration. Detailed information about these revised costs are provided in section IV of this preamble.

    Table 2—Comparison of Costs To Comply With August 2015 Final Rule, as Provided in 2015 and as Revised in Proposed Reconsideration Cost item August 2015 final rule Total capital investment Total annualized cost 2016 Proposed reconsideration Total capital investment Total annualized cost Oxidation Reactor Absorber $270,500 $95,300 $541,000 $243,400 Bag Leak Detection System 75,600 29,700 75,600 29,700 Testing 0 98,400 0 98,400 Recordkeeping and Reporting 0 70,600 0 70,600 Total 346,100 294,000 616,600 442,100 II. Background

    On June 10, 1999 (64 FR 31358), the EPA promulgated 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA for the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing source category and 40 CFR part 63, subpart BB for the Phosphate Fertilizer Production source category. On August 19, 2015 (80 FR 50386), the EPA published amended rules for both of these source categories that took into consideration the technology review and residual risk review required by sections 112(d)(6) and 112(f) of the CAA, respectively. In addition to other changes, the amendments revised the SPA process line definition in 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA to include oxidation reactors and revised the monitoring provisions for low-energy absorbers in 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA and subpart BB to require monitoring of liquid-to-gas ratio rather than pressure drop. For more information on the final amendments, see 80 FR 50386.

    Following promulgation of the August 2015 Final Rule, the EPA received two petitions for reconsideration. On October 15, 2015, and October 16, 2015, TFI and PCS, respectively, requested administrative reconsideration of amended 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA and subpart BB under CAA section 307(d)(7)(B).

    TFI requested that the EPA reconsider: (1) The compliance schedule for requiring affected sources to include emissions from oxidation reactors when determining compliance with the TF emission limits for SPA process lines; (2) the compliance schedule for continuously monitoring the liquid-to-gas ratio for low-energy absorbers; (3) the regulatory language describing the option for using design blower capacity to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber for use in monitoring the liquid-to-gas ratio; and (4) other available options to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber for use in monitoring the liquid-to-gas ratio. PCS requested an administrative reconsideration of these same provisions, and also requested that the EPA reconsider the monitoring requirements for different types of low-energy absorbers.

    We considered all the petitioners' requests, consolidated the similar issues regarding alternative monitoring options for low-energy absorbers, and grouped the issues into the following three distinct topics:

    • Compliance deadlines for air oxidation reactors that are within SPA lines;

    • Monitoring options for low-energy absorbers;

    • Compliance deadlines for low-energy absorbers.

    On December 4, 2015, the EPA granted reconsideration on all petitioners' issues pursuant to section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA (see docket items EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522-0086 and EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522-0087). CAA section 307(d)(7)(B) provides that the EPA shall convene a proceeding to reconsider a rule if a person raising an objection can demonstrate: (1) That it was impracticable to raise the objection during the comment period, or that the grounds for such objection arose after the comment period, but within the time specified for judicial review (i.e., within 60 days after publication of the final rulemaking notice in the Federal Register), and (2) that the objection is of central relevance to the outcome of the rule. We granted reconsideration on these specific issues because the grounds for petitioner's objections arose after the public comment period (but within the time specified for judicial review) and the objections are of central relevance to the outcome of the final rule pursuant to CAA section 307(d)(7)(B).

    III. Discussion of the Issues Under Reconsideration A. What amendments are we proposing for oxidation reactors and what is the rationale?

    In response to TFI's and PCS's requests to reconsider the compliance schedule for requiring affected sources to include emissions from oxidation reactors when determining compliance with the TF emission limits for SPA process lines, we are proposing to revise the compliance date from August 19, 2016, to August 19, 2018.2 As part of their request for reconsideration, TFI stated that one facility (Agrium Nu-West) had commenced an evaluation of how best to control its oxidation reactor emissions. The petitioner stated that this evaluation could result in Agrium Nu-West deciding to install an entirely new absorber for the oxidation reactor, which would involve permitting, budgeting, design, and construction. Agrium Nu-West subsequently provided additional details about its evaluation project, stating that they needed at least another 6 months to complete the installation of ductwork to redirect the exhaust from their existing oxidation reactor to an existing absorber. Agrium Nu-West also said that it would need more time to conduct performance testing in order to determine if the existing absorber could handle the additional emissions loading. If the performance testing demonstrated that the absorber is unable to meet the existing TF limits, Agrium Nu-West said it would need an additional 24 to 36 months to install a new absorber on its oxidation reactor. Furthermore, both petitioners (TFI, the industry trade group, and PCS, the affected company which is also represented by TFI) confirmed that PCS Aurora will need to install a new absorber to achieve compliance with the SPA process line TF emission limit. PCS Aurora stated that they would need 24 months to install a new absorber on their oxidation reactors.

    2 Refer to proposed footnote “c” of Tables 1 and 2 of 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA.

    Both PCS Aurora and Agrium Nu-West provided the EPA with timelines (see docket item EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522-0088) detailing specific permitting, budgeting, design, and construction milestones that each facility would need to reach in order to comply with the requirement to control emissions from oxidation reactors for SPA process lines. The EPA determined that these milestones are necessary, and the estimated timelines are reasonable and are consistent with the timing allowed by CAA section 112(i)(3) (i.e., no more than 3 years after promulgation). Therefore, in order to allow time for permitting, budgeting, design, and construction, the EPA is proposing an additional 2-year compliance period by which affected sources must include emissions from oxidation reactors when determining compliance with the TF emission limits for SPA process lines. This extension provides a total of 3 years from promulgation to comply with the rule. This compliance period is the maximum amount of time that the CAA allows, and is consistent with similar rulemakings where facilities comply by installing add-on control equipment.

    B. What amendments are we proposing for absorber monitoring and what is the rationale?

    In today's action, we are clarifying why we are retaining the requirement to monitor the liquid-to-gas ratio for low-energy absorbers. We have determined that liquid-to-gas ratio for low-energy absorbers is the most appropriate option to ensure proper TF control. For gaseous absorbers (such as those controlling TF), increasing the scrubbing liquid flow maximizes the liquid surface area available for absorption and normally favors a higher control efficiency (see docket item EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522-0089). The requirement to develop the minimum liquid-to-gas ratio during a performance test establishes the minimum amount of scrubbing liquid that is necessary to absorb the TF at the level necessary to achieve the standard under the operating conditions at which the performance test was conducted. At a constant gas flow rate, increasing the scrubbing liquid flow rate may result in better TF control, but decreasing the liquid flow rate may lead to insufficient absorption and reduce the control efficiency. The liquid-to-gas ratio provides an indication of whether enough scrubbing liquid (e.g., water) is present to provide adequate TF absorption for the amount of gas flowing through the system. As such, if the liquid-to-gas ratio is not monitored for low-energy absorbers, then sources cannot be certain an absorber is sufficiently controlling TF.

    In response to TFI's and PCS's request for reconsideration of the compliance schedule for continuously monitoring the liquid-to-gas ratio for low-energy absorbers, we are proposing to revise the compliance date for existing sources to no later than August 19, 2017. We are changing the compliance date in order to allow owners and operators additional time to obtain and certify the instruments needed to monitor liquid-to-gas ratio. Until this proposed compliance date, owners and operators must continue to demonstrate compliance by monitoring the influent absorber liquid flow rate and the pressure drop through the absorber, and conform to the applicable operating limit or range established using the methodologies in 40 CFR 63.605(d)(1) and 40 CFR 63.625(d)(1).3

    3 Refer to proposed footnote “b” of Table 3 of 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA and of Table 3 of 40 CFR part 63, subpart BB.

    Additionally, in response to TFI's and PCS's request for reconsideration of the regulatory language describing the option for using design blower capacity to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber for use in monitoring the liquid-to-gas ratio, we are proposing to clarify the procedure for using measured pressure drop and “design blower capacity” to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber. Table 3 to subpart AA of 40 CFR part 63 currently requires owners and operators to monitor the liquid-to-gas ratio by measuring both the absorber inlet liquid flow rate, and inlet or outlet gas flow rate. However, the rule also allows owners and operators the option to use measured pressure drop and “design blower capacity” to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber in lieu of direct measurement. Although we are retaining the requirement to monitor the liquid-to-gas ratio for low-energy absorbers, we are proposing to clarify and change the term “design blower capacity” in Table 3 to subpart AA of 40 CFR part 63 and Table 3 to subpart BB of 40 CFR part 63 to “blower design capacity.” We are proposing other minor text edits to these tables in order to use the phrase “gas flow rate through the absorber” more consistently. We are also proposing to insert footnote “c” into Table 3 to subpart AA of 40 CFR part 63 and Table 3 to subpart BB of 40 CFR part 63 to clarify that the option to use blower design capacity is available regardless of the location of the blower (influent or effluent), as long as the gas flow rate through the absorber can be established. The blower design capacity option allows the owner or operator to determine a maximum possible gas flow rate through the absorber based on the blower's specifications. The owner or operator can monitor the influent liquid flow rate and use the maximum possible gas flow rate through the absorber to calculate the liquid-to-gas ratio. This option allows the owner or operator to reduce the monitoring requirements associated with the rule because the gas flow rate through the absorber is not required to be continuously monitored. However, if an owner or operator would like to have the flexibility to decrease the liquid flow rate through the absorber, the owner or operator can choose to monitor actual gas flow rate (along with liquid flow rate). As the gas flow rate decreases below the maximum possible gas flow rate, the minimum liquid flow rate required to achieve the minimum liquid-to-gas ratio also decreases.

    Furthermore, the intent to allow “appropriate adjustments for pressure drop” when blower design capacity is used, is to account for the effect of pressure drop on gas flow when establishing the maximum possible gas flow rate through the absorber under actual operating conditions using manufacturer information (e.g., a performance curve). The requirement is not intended to require continuous monitoring of the blower pressure drop. Because the pressure drop of the system changes the gas flow rate delivered by the blower, adjustments for pressure drop are required in cases where gas flow rate increases. We determined that it would not be technically appropriate to specify a single method for making this adjustment, because the method would vary depending on the design configuration of an individual gas handling system. However, to provide clarification (and to allow sources the flexibility to use best engineering judgment and calculations), we are proposing a requirement at 40 CFR 63.608(e) and 40 CFR 63.628(e) to document, in the site-specific monitoring plan, the calculations that were used to make adjustments for pressure drop if blower design capacity is used to establish the maximum possible gas flow rate through an absorber. Additional details and background on monitoring the liquid-to-gas ratio are included in the docket (see docket item EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522-0089 and the guidance document, “Clarification of Absorber Monitoring Requirements for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)—Subparts AA and BB” which is also available in the docket for this action).

    Also, in response to TFI's and PCS's requests for reconsideration of other available options to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber for use in monitoring the liquid-to-gas ratio, we are proposing to provide an additional option for determining the liquid-to-gas ratio. Petitioners (TFI and PCS) took issue with the fact that the EPA did not consider other options (in lieu of direct measurement or using blower design capacity) for determining gas flow rate through the absorber. We acknowledge that there are other techniques for determining gas flow rate through an absorber (e.g., use of a damper setting to document a maximum gas flow rate through the absorber in lieu of the blower design capacity; back-calculating the gas flow rate by developing a correlation between static pressure and brake horsepower of the blower; or use of amperage of the blower as a surrogate). In particular, Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC (Mosaic) submitted to the EPA a case study (see “Mosaic Case Study (Regression Model Example)” available in the docket for this action) which simultaneously compared direct measurements of actual gas flow rate through an absorber to gas flow rates calculated using a regression model. The regression model that Mosaic used in this particular case study was developed using a design fan curve that correlates gas flow rate to static pressure (i.e., fan suction pressure) and brake horsepower of the blower. A paired t-test 4 of the test data used in the case study reveals that there is a statistical difference between the gas flow rates that were directly measured and the gas flow rates that were calculated using the regression model; however, the regression model predicts a higher gas flow rate than was determined through direct measurement. A higher gas flow rate would require a higher liquid flow rate in order to maintain an established influent liquid-to-gas ratio operating limit; therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the use of the regression model developed in this case study, in lieu of direct measurement, is a conservative method for determining gas flow rate through the absorber.

    4 A paired t-test is a statistical tool used to compare one set of values with another set of values, by checking to see if their means are equivalent at a specified confidence level.

    In the Regression Model Example that is available in the docket for this action, the brake horsepower of a blower is calculated by multiplying the blower amperage by the blower's voltage and efficiency (which can both be determined from the blower's motor nameplate), a power factor (which can be determined using tables that list typical power factors for various size motors), a conversion factor, and, if necessary, a constant to correct for 3-phase power. The calculated brake horsepower is then used in the regression model along with the blower static pressure (i.e., fan suction pressure) to determine gas flow rate through an absorber. As a result of our considering the Mosaic case study, we are proposing to include an option in Table 3 to subpart AA of 40 CFR part 63 and Table 3 to subpart BB of 40 CFR part 63 that allows facilities to develop and use a regression model, by way of a design fan curve that correlates gas flow rate to static pressure (i.e., fan suction pressure) and brake horsepower of a blower, to determine gas flow rate through an absorber (in lieu of direct measurement or using blower design capacity). If this option is used, we are proposing a requirement in footnote “a” of Table 4 to subpart AA of 40 CFR part 63 and Table 4 to subpart BB of 40 CFR part 63 that requires continuous monitoring of blower amperage, blower static pressure (i.e., fan suction pressure), and any other parameters used in the regression model that are not constants.

    We have not included equations that must be used in the regression model in order to allow owners and operators the flexibility to adjust this approach as necessary on a site-specific basis. As such, we are also proposing that the regression model must be developed using direct measurements of gas flow rate during a performance test, and then annually checked via performance testing in order to ensure the correlation remains current and accurate. The annual regression model verification could be conducted during, or separately from, the annual performance testing that is required in the rule. To allow the flexibility to use best engineering judgment and calculations, we are proposing an annual requirement at 40 CFR 63.608(f) and 40 CFR 63.628(f) to document, in the site-specific monitoring plan, the calculations that were used to develop the regression model and to require that the site-specific monitoring plan be updated annually to maintain accuracy and reflect data used in the annual regression model verification.

    Lastly, in response to PCS's request for reconsideration of monitoring requirements for different types of low-energy absorbers, we are proposing to insert footnote “a” into Table 3 to subpart AA of 40 CFR part 63 and Table 3 to subpart BB of 40 CFR part 63 to remind affected entities that they can request an alternative monitoring method under the provisions of 40 CFR 63.8(f) on a site-specific basis. Such a request should include enough information to demonstrate the correlation between the selected operating parameter and gas flow rate through the absorber. Similarly, the petitioners also took issue that the EPA did not consider relevant design differences of low-energy absorbers such that the requirement to monitor the liquid-to-gas ratio may not be possible. In such cases, we are also proposing that the procedures at 40 CFR 63.8(f) be used to request to monitor an alternative operating parameter.

    IV. Summary of Cost, Environmental, and Economic Impacts

    As part of their request for reconsideration (see docket item EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0522-0084), TFI notified the EPA that another facility (Agrium Nu-West) may also need to install an absorber in order to meet the SPA process line TF standard, when oxidation reactor emissions are included. The impacts for this other facility are in addition to those for PCS Aurora, whose absorber installation costs were included in the August 2015 Final Rule. Therefore, in this action, we are revising our estimate for overall TCI and associated TAC to comply with the August 2015 Final Rule to take into account this additional absorber. Based on this revised analysis, we anticipate an overall TCI of $616,600, with an associated TAC of approximately $442,100. Similar to the August 2015 Final Rule, these compliance costs also include estimates for all existing sources to add the necessary monitoring devices, conduct performance tests, and implement recordkeeping and reporting requirements to comply with the rules.

    Installing an absorber on the oxidation reactor at Agrium Nu-West will result in additional hydrogen fluoride emissions reductions of 0.047 tons per year from the oxidation reactor (i.e., a reduction from 0.049 tons per year to 0.002 tons per year(tpy)) and TF emissions reductions of 0.14 tpy from the oxidation reactor (i.e., a reduction from 0.147 tpy to 0.007 tpy). The details of the cost analyses and emissions reductions estimates are provided in the memorandum, “Control Costs and Emissions Reductions for Phosphoric Acid and Phosphate Fertilizer Production source categories—Reconsideration,” which is available in the docket for this action. The economic impact associated with the revised cost estimate is an annualized control cost of about 0.01 percent of the parent company's annual revenues. The details on the economic impact analysis are provided in the memorandum, “Economic Impact Analysis for the Proposed Reconsideration of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production source categories,” which is available in the docket for this action.

    This action will have no other cost, environmental, energy, or economic impacts. This action primarily revises compliance dates specific to oxidation reactors in the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing source category, and absorber monitoring in both the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production source categories. The clarifications and other revisions we are proposing in response to reconsideration are cost neutral.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was, therefore, not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA. OMB has previously approved the information collection activities contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control number 2060-0361. With this action, the EPA is seeking comments on proposed amendments to the 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA and 40 CFR part 63, subpart BB that are mainly clarifications to existing rule language to aid in implementation issues raised by stakeholders, or are being made to allow more time for compliance. Therefore, the EPA believes that there are no changes to the information collection requirements of the August 2015 Final Rule, so that the information collection estimate of project cost and hour burden from the final rules have not been revised.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This action seeks comments on proposed amendments to the 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA and 40 CFR part 63, subpart BB that are mainly clarifications to existing rule language to aid in implementation issues raised by stakeholders, or are being made to allow more time for compliance.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, 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, as specified in Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. This action seeks comments on proposed amendments to the 40 CFR part 63, subpart AA and 40 CFR part 63, subpart BB that are mainly clarifications to existing rule language to aid in implementation issues raised by stakeholders, or are being made to allow more time for compliance. We expect the proposed additional compliance time for oxidation reactors will have an insignificant effect on a phosphoric acid manufacturing plant's overall emissions. Hydrogen fluoride emissions from SPA process lines including oxidation reactors account for less than 1 percent of all hydrogen fluoride emissions from the source category. Therefore, the proposed amendments should not appreciably increase risk for any populations.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This action does not involve any new technical standards from those contained in the August 2015 Final Rule. Therefore, the EPA did not consider the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, low-income populations, and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    The environmental justice finding in the August 2015 Final Rule remains relevant in this action, which seeks comments on proposed amendments to these rules that are mainly clarifications to existing rule language to aid in implementation issues raised by stakeholders, or are being made to allow more time for compliance. We expect the proposed additional compliance time for oxidation reactors will have an insignificant effect on a phosphoric acid manufacturing plant's overall emissions. Hydrogen fluoride emissions from SPA process lines including oxidation reactors account for less than 1 percent of all hydrogen fluoride emissions from the source category. Therefore, the proposed amendments should not appreciably increase risk for any populations.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 63

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Hazardous substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: November 28, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Environmental Protection Agency proposes to amend title 40, chapter I, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 63—NATIONAL EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS FOR SOURCE CATEGORIES 1. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart AA—National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing Plants 2. Section 63.608 is amended by adding paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 63.608 General requirements and applicability of general provisions of this part.

    (e) If you use blower design capacity to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber for use in the liquid-to-gas ratio as specified in Table 3 to this subpart, then you must include in the site-specific monitoring plan specified in paragraph (c) of this section calculations showing how you determined the maximum possible gas flow rate through the absorber based on the blower's specifications (including any adjustments you made for pressure drop).

    (f) If you use a regression model to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber for use in the liquid-to-gas ratio as specified in Table 3 to this subpart, then you must include in the site-specific monitoring plan specified in paragraph (c) of this section the calculations that were used to develop the regression model, including the calculations you use to convert amperage of the blower to brake horsepower. You must describe any constants included in the equations (e.g., efficiency, power factor), and describe how these constants were determined. If you want to change a constant in your calculation, then you must conduct a regression model verification to confirm the new value of the constant. In addition, the site-specific monitoring plan must be updated annually to reflect the data used in the annual regression model verification that is described in Table 3 to this subpart.

    3. Table 1 to subpart AA of part 63 is amended by revising footnote “c” to read as follows: Table 1 to Subpart AA of Part 63—Existing Source Emission Limits a b *    *    *    *    *     c Beginning on August 19, 2018, you must include oxidation reactors in superphosphoric acid process lines when determining compliance with the total fluorides limit. 4. Table 2 to subpart AA of part 63 is amended by revising footnote “c” to read as follows: Table 2 to Subpart AA of Part 63—New Source Emission Limits a b *    *    *    *    *     c Beginning on August 19, 2018, you must include oxidation reactors in superphosphoric acid process lines when determining compliance with the total fluorides limit. 5. Table 3 to subpart AA of part 63 is amended by: a. Revising the column headings “And you must monitor. . .” and

    “And. . .” by including a reference to footnote a;

    b. Revising the entry “Install CPMS for liquid and gas flow at the inlet of the absorber”; and c. Adding footnotes “a” through “d” to read as follows: Table 3 to Subpart AA of Part 63—Monitoring Equipment Operating Parameters You must . . . If . . . And you must monitor . . . a And . . . a *         *         *         *         *         *         * Install CPMS for liquid and gas flow at the inlet of the absorber b Your absorber is designed and operated with pressure drops of 5 inches of water column or less; or
  • Your absorber is designed and operated with pressure drops of 5 inches of water column or more, and you choose to monitor the liquid-to-gas ratio, rather than only the influent liquid flow, and you want the ability to lower liquid flow with changes in gas flow
  • Liquid-to-gas ratio as determined by dividing the influent liquid flow rate by the gas flow rate through the absorber. The units of measure must be consistent with those used to calculate this ratio during the performance test You must determine the gas flow rate through the absorber by:
  • Measuring the gas flow rate at the absorber inlet or outlet;
  • Using the blower design capacity, with appropriate adjustments for pressure drop; c or
  • Using a regression model.d
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * a To monitor an operating parameter that is not specified in this table (including process-specific techniques not specified in this table to determine gas flow rate through an absorber), you must request, on a site-specific basis, an alternative monitoring method under the provisions of 40 CFR 63.8(f). b For existing sources, if your absorber is designed and operated with pressure drops of 5 inches of water column or less, the compliance date is August 19, 2017. In the interim, for existing sources with an absorber designed and operated with pressure drops of 5 inches of water column or less, you must install CPMS for pressure at the gas stream inlet and outlet of the absorber, and monitor pressure drop through the absorber. c If you select this option, then you must comply with § 63.608(e). The option to use blower design capacity is intended to establish the maximum possible gas flow through the absorber; and is available regardless of the location of the blower (influent or effluent), as long as the gas flow rate through the absorber can be established. d If you select this option, then you must comply with § 63.608(f). The regression model must be developed using direct measurements of gas flow rate during a performance test, and design fan curves that correlate gas flow rate to static pressure (i.e., fan suction pressure) and brake horsepower of the blower. You must conduct an annual regression model verification using direct measurements of gas flow rate during a performance test to ensure the correlation remains accurate. The annual regression model verification may be conducted during, or separately from, the annual performance testing that is required in § 63.606(b).
    6. Table 4 to subpart AA of part 63 is amended by revising the entry “Influent liquid flow rate and gas stream flow rate” to read as follows: Table 4 to Subpart AA of Part 63—Operating Parameters, Operating Limits and Data Monitoring, Recordkeeping and Compliance Frequencies For the operating parameter applicable to you, as specified in Table 3 . . . You must establish the following operating limit . . . And you must monitor, record, and demonstrate continuous compliance using these minimum frequencies . . . Data
  • measurement
  • Data
  • recording
  • Data averaging period for
  • compliance
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Influent liquid flow rate and gas stream flow rate Minimum influent liquid-to-gas ratio a Continuous Every 15 minutes Daily. *         *         *         *         *         *         * a If you select the regression model option to monitor influent liquid-to-gas ratio as described in Table 3 to this subpart, then you must also continuously monitor (i.e., record every 15 minutes, and use a daily averaging period) blower amperage, blower static pressure (i.e., fan suction pressure), and any other parameters used in the regression model that are not a constant.
    Subpart BB—National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From Phosphate Fertilizers Production Plants 7. Section 63.628 is amended by adding paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 63.628 General requirements and applicability of general provisions of this part.

    (e) If you use blower design capacity to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber for use in the liquid-to-gas ratio as specified in Table 3 to this subpart, then you must include in the site-specific monitoring plan specified in paragraph (c) of this section calculations showing how you determined the maximum possible gas flow rate through the absorber based on the blower's specifications (including any adjustments you made for pressure drop).

    (f) If you use a regression model to determine the gas flow rate through the absorber for use in the liquid-to-gas ratio as specified in Table 3 to this subpart, then you must include in the site-specific monitoring plan specified in paragraph (c) of this section the calculations that were used to develop the regression model, including the calculations you use to convert amperage of the blower to brake horsepower. You must describe any constants included in the equations (e.g., efficiency, power factor), and describe how these constants were determined. If you want to change a constant in your calculation, then you must conduct a regression model verification to confirm the new value of the constant. In addition, the site-specific monitoring plan must be updated annually to reflect the data used in the annual regression model verification that is described in Table 3 to this subpart.

    8. Table 3 to subpart BB of part 63 is amended by: a. Revising the column headings “And you must monitor. . .” and “And. . .” by including a reference to footnote a; b. Revising the entry “Install CPMS for liquid and gas flow at the inlet of the absorber”; and c. Adding footnotes “a” through “d” to read as follows: Table 3 to Subpart BB of Part 63—Monitoring Equipment Operating Parameters You must . . . If . . . And you must monitor . . .a And . . .a *         *         *         *         *         *         * Install CPMS for liquid and gas flow at the inlet of the absorber b Your absorber is designed and operated with pressure drops of 5 inches of water column or less; or
  • Your absorber is designed and operated with pressure drops of 5 inches of water column or more, and you choose to monitor the liquid-to-gas ratio, rather than only the influent liquid flow, and you want the ability to lower liquid flow with changes in gas flow
  • Liquid-to-gas ratio as determined by dividing the influent liquid flow rate by the gas flow rate through the absorber. The units of measure must be consistent with those used to calculate this ratio during the performance test You must determine the gas flow rate through the absorber by:
  • Measuring the gas flow rate at the absorber inlet or outlet;
  • Using the blower design capacity, with appropriate adjustments for pressure drop; c or
  • Using a regression model.d
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * a To monitor an operating parameter that is not specified in this table (including process-specific techniques not specified in this table to determine gas flow rate through an absorber), you must request, on a site-specific basis, an alternative monitoring method under the provisions of 40 CFR 63.8(f). b For existing sources, if your absorber is designed and operated with pressure drops of 5 inches of water column or less, the compliance date is August 19, 2017. In the interim, for existing sources with an absorber designed and operated with pressure drops of 5 inches of water column or less, you must install CPMS for pressure at the gas stream inlet and outlet of the absorber, and monitor pressure drop through the absorber. c If you select this option, then you must comply with § 63.628(e). The option to use blower design capacity is intended to establish the maximum possible gas flow through the absorber; and is available regardless of the location of the blower (influent or effluent), as long as the gas flow rate through the absorber can be established. d If you select this option, then you must comply with § 63.628(f). The regression model must be developed using direct measurements of gas flow rate during a performance test, and design fan curves that correlate gas flow rate to static pressure (i.e., fan suction pressure) and brake horsepower of the blower. You must conduct an annual regression model verification using direct measurements of gas flow rate during a performance test to ensure the correlation remains accurate. The annual regression model verification may be conducted during, or separately from, the annual performance testing that is required in § 63.626(b).
    9. Table 4 to subpart BB of part 63 is amended by revising the column headings and entry for “Influent liquid flow rate and gas stream flow rate” to read as follows: Table 4 to Subpart BB of Part 63—Operating Parameters, Operating Limits and Data Monitoring, Recordkeeping and Compliance Frequencies For the operating parameter applicable to you, as specified in Table 3 . . . You must establish the following operating limit during your performance test . . . And you must monitor, record, and demonstrate continuous compliance using these minimum frequencies . . . Data measurement Data recording Data averaging period for
  • compliance
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Influent liquid flow rate and gas stream flow rate Minimum influent liquid-to-gas ratio a Continuous Every 15 minutes Daily. *         *         *         *         *         *         * a If you select the regression model option to monitor influent liquid-to-gas ratio as described in Table 3 to this subpart, then you must also continuously monitor (i.e., record every 15 minutes, and use a daily averaging period) blower amperage, blower static pressure (i.e., fan suction pressure), and any other parameters used in the regression model that are not a constant.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29236 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 97 [FRL-9956-22-OAR] Allocations of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Allowances From New Unit Set-Asides for 2016 Control Periods AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of data availability (NODA).

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing notice of the availability of preliminary lists of units eligible for allocations of emission allowances under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). Under the CSAPR federal implementation plans (FIPs), portions of each covered state's annual emissions budgets for each of the CSAPR emissions trading programs are reserved for allocation to electricity generating units that commenced commercial operation on or after a certain date (new units) and certain other units not otherwise obtaining allowance allocations under the FIPs. The quantities of allowances allocated to eligible units from each new unit set-aside (NUSA) under the FIPs are calculated in an annual one- or two-round allocation process. EPA previously completed the first round of NUSA allowance allocations for the 2016 control periods for all the CSAPR trading programs, as well as the second round of allocations for the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Trading Program, and is now making available preliminary lists of units eligible for allocations in the second round of the NUSA allocation process for the CSAPR NOX Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 Trading Programs. EPA has posted spreadsheets containing the preliminary lists on EPA's Web site. EPA will consider timely objections to the lists of eligible units contained in the spreadsheets and will promulgate a document responding to any such objections no later than February 15, 2017, the deadline for recording the second-round allocations of CSAPR NOX Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 allowances in sources' compliance accounts. This document may concern CSAPR-affected units in the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

    DATES:

    Objections to the information referenced in this document must be received on or before January 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your objections via email to [email protected] Include “2016 NUSA allocations” in the email subject line and include your name, title, affiliation, address, phone number, and email address in the body of the email.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions concerning this action should be addressed to Robert Miller at (202) 343-9077 or [email protected] or Kenon Smith at (202) 343-9164 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the CSAPR FIPs, the mechanisms by which initial allocations of emission allowances are determined differ for “existing” and “new” units. For “existing” units—that is, units commencing commercial operation before January 1, 2010 for purposes of the original four 1 CSAPR trading programs—the specific amounts of CSAPR FIP allowance allocations for all control periods have been established through rulemaking. EPA has announced the availability of spreadsheets showing the CSAPR FIP allowance allocations to existing units in previous document.2

    1 In the recently finalized Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS (CSAPR Update Rule), 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016), EPA is establishing new or modified FIP requirements for EGUs in 22 states to address transported pollution with regard to the 2008 ozone NAAQS, including requirements to participate in a new fifth CSAPR trading program—the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program—for emissions occurring in 2017 and later years. In the same rule, EPA is also withdrawing the FIP provisions requiring EGUs in 24 states to participate in the existing trading program addressing transported pollution with regard to the 1997 ozone NAAQS for emissions occurring after 2016. (When the CSAPR Update rule takes effect in December 2016, the existing ozone season program will be renamed the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 1 Trading Program.) The 2016 allowance allocations described in this document concern the CSAPR annual trading programs and are not affected by the CSAPR Update Rule.

    2 The latest spreadsheet of CSAPR FIP allowance allocations to existing units covered by CSAPR NOX Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 Trading Programs, updated in 2014 to reflect changes to CSAPR's implementation schedule but with allocation amounts unchanged since June 2012, is available at https://www.epa.gov/csapr/date-change-affirmation-rules-cross-state-air-pollution-rule-csapr under the “Notice of Data Availability” header. See Availability of Data on Allocations of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Allowances to Existing Electricity Generating Units, 79 FR 71674 (December 3, 2014).

    “New” units—that is, units commencing commercial operation on or after January 1, 2010 for purposes of the original four CSAPR trading programs—as well as certain older units that would not otherwise obtain FIP allowance allocations do not have pre-established allowance allocations. Instead, the CSAPR FIPs reserve a portion of each state's total annual emissions budget for each CSAPR emissions trading program as a new unit set-aside (NUSA) 3 and establish an annual process for allocating NUSA allowances to eligible units. States with Indian country within their borders have separate Indian country NUSAs. The annual process for allocating allowances from the NUSAs and Indian country NUSAs to eligible units is set forth in the CSAPR regulations at 40 CFR 97.411(b) and 97.412 (NOX Annual Trading Program), 97.511(b) and 97.512 (NOX Ozone Season Trading Program), 97.611(b) and 97.612 (SO2 Group 1 Trading Program), and 97.711(b) and 97.712 (SO2 Group 2 Trading Program). Each NUSA allowance allocation process involves up to two rounds of allocations to new units followed by the allocation to existing units of any allowances not allocated to new units. EPA provides public notice at certain points in the process.

    3 The NUSA amounts range from two percent to eight percent of the respective state budgets. The variation in percentages reflects differences among states in the quantities of emission allowances projected to be required by known new units at the time the budgets were set or amended.

    EPA has already completed the first round of allocations of 2016 NUSA allowances for all the CSAPR trading programs, as well as the second round of 2016 NUSA allocations to units subject to the CSAPR Ozone Season Trading Program, as announced in documents previously published in the Federal Register.4 The first and second-round NUSA allocation process was discussed in those previous documents. This document concerns the second round of NUSA allowance allocations for the CSAPR NOx Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 Trading Programs for the 2016 control period.5

    4 81 FR 33636 (May 27, 2016); 81 FR 50630 (August 2, 2016); 81 FR 63156 (September 14, 2016); 81 FR 80593 (November 16, 2016).

    5 At this time, EPA is not aware of any unit eligible for a second-round allocation from any Indian country NUSA.

    The units eligible to receive second-round NUSA allocations for the CSAPR NOX Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 Trading Programs are defined in §§ 97.411(b)(1)(iii) and 97.412(a)(9)(i), 97.611(b)(1)(iii) and 97.612(a)(9)(i), and 97.711(b)(1)(iii) and 97.712(a)(9)(i), respectively. Generally, eligible units include any CSAPR-affected unit that commenced commercial operation between January 1 of the year before the control period in question and November 30 of the year of the control period in question. In the case of the 2016 control period, an eligible unit therefore must have commenced commercial operation between January 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016 (inclusive).

    The total quantity of allowances to be allocated through the 2016 NUSA allowance allocation process for each state and emissions trading program—in the two rounds of the allocation process combined—is generally the state's 2016 emissions budget less the sum of (1) the total of the 2016 CSAPR FIP allowance allocations to existing units and (2) the amount of the 2016 Indian country NUSA, if any.6 The amounts of CSAPR NOX Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 NUSA allowances may be increased in certain circumstances as set forth in §§ 97.412(a)(2), 97.612(a)(2), and 97.712(a)(2), respectively.

    6 The quantities of allowances to be allocated through the NUSA allowance allocation process may differ slightly from the NUSA amounts set forth in §§ 97.410(a), 97.510(a), 97.610(a), and 97.710(a) because of rounding in the spreadsheet of CSAPR FIP allowance allocations to existing units.

    Second-round NUSA allocations for a given state, trading program, and control period are made only if the NUSA contains allowances after completion of the first-round allocations.

    The amounts of second-round allocations of CSAPR NOX Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 allowances to eligible new units from each NUSA are calculated according to the procedures set forth in §§ 97.412(a)(9), (10) and (12), 97.612(a)(9), (10), and (12), and 97.712(a)(9), (10), and (12), respectively. Generally, the procedures call for each eligible unit to receive a second-round 2016 NUSA allocation equal to the positive difference, if any, between its emissions during the 2016 annual control periods (i.e., January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016) as reported under 40 CFR part 75 and any first-round allocation the unit received, unless the total of such allocations to all eligible units would exceed the amount of allowances in the NUSA, in which case the allocations are reduced on a pro-rata basis.

    Any allowances remaining in the CSAPR NOX Annual, SO2 Group 1, or SO2 Group 2 NUSA for a given state and control period after the second round of NUSA allocations to new units will be allocated to the existing units in the state according to the procedures set forth in §§ 97.412(a)(10) and (12), 97.612(a)(10) and (12), and 97.712(a)(10) and (12), respectively.

    EPA notes that an allocation or lack of allocation of allowances to a given EGU does not constitute a determination that CSAPR does or does not apply to the EGU. EPA also notes that allocations are subject to potential correction if a unit to which NUSA allowances have been allocated for a given control period is not actually an affected unit as of the start of that control period.7

    7See 40 CFR 97.411(c), 97.611(c), and 97.711(c).

    The preliminary lists of units eligible for second-round 2016 NUSA allowance allocations for the three CSAPR annual trading programs are set forth in Excel spreadsheets titled “CSAPR_NUSA_2016_NOX_Annual_2nd_Round_Prelim_Data,” “CSAPR_NUSA_2016_SO2_Group_1_2nd_Round_Prelim_Data,” and “CSAPR_NUSA_2016_SO2_Group_2_2nd_Round_Prelim_Data” available on EPA's Web site at https://www.epa.gov/csapr/csapr-compliance-year-2016-nusa-nodas. Each spreadsheet contains a separate worksheet for each state covered by that program showing each unit preliminarily identified as eligible for a second-round NUSA allocation.

    Each state worksheet also contains a summary showing (1) the quantity of allowances initially available in that state's 2016 NUSA, (2) the sum of the 2016 NUSA allowance allocations that were made in the first-round to new units in that state (if any), and (3) the quantity of allowances in the 2016 NUSA available for distribution in second-round allocations to new units (or ultimately for allocation to existing units).

    Objections should be strictly limited to whether EPA has correctly identified the new units eligible for second-round 2016 NUSA allocations of CSAPR NOX Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 allowances according to the criteria described above and should be emailed to the address identified in ADDRESSES. Objections must include: (1) Precise identification of the specific data the commenter believes are inaccurate, (2) new proposed data upon which the commenter believes EPA should rely instead, and (3) the reasons why EPA should rely on the commenter's proposed data and not the data referenced in this document.

    Authority:

    40 CFR 97.411(b), 97.611(b), and 97.711(b).

    Dated: December 1, 2016. Reid P. Harvey, Director, Clean Air Markets Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29441 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0008; FRL-9953-69] Receipt of Several Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various Commodities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of filing of petitions and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces the Agency's receipt of several initial filings of pesticide petitions requesting the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number and the pesticide petition number (PP) of interest as shown in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael L. Goodis, P.E., Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT for the division listed at the end of the pesticide petition summary of interest.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low-income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticides discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is announcing its receipt of several pesticide petitions filed under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, requesting the establishment or modification of regulations in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various food commodities. The Agency is taking public comment on the requests before responding to the petitioners. EPA is not proposing any particular action at this time. EPA has determined that the pesticide petitions described in this document contain the data or information prescribed in FFDCA section 408(d)(2), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(2); however, EPA has not fully evaluated the sufficiency of the submitted data at this time or whether the data support granting of the pesticide petitions. After considering the public comments, EPA intends to evaluate whether and what action may be warranted. Additional data may be needed before EPA can make a final determination on these pesticide petitions.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 180.7(f), a summary of each of the petitions that are the subject of this document, prepared by the petitioner, is included in a docket EPA has created for each rulemaking. The docket for each of the petitions is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

    As specified in FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), EPA is publishing notice of the petition so that the public has an opportunity to comment on this request for the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticides in or on food commodities. Further information on the petition may be obtained through the petition summary referenced in this unit.

    Amended Tolerance

    1. PP 5F8396. EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0796. Gowan Company, P.O. Box 5569, Yuma, AZ, 85366, requests to amend the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.448 for residues of the insecticide hexythiazox in or on Alfalfa, forage from 15 parts per million (ppm) to 20 ppm; and Alfalfa, hay from 30 ppm to 60 ppm. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) using mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS/MS) analytical method is used to measure and evaluate residues of hexythiazox and its metabolites containing the PT-1-3 moiety. Contact: RD.

    New Tolerances

    1. PP 5F8412. EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0795. Gowan Company, P.O. Box 5569, Yuma, AZ, 85366-5569, requests to establish tolerances in 40 CFR part 180.448 for residues of the insecticide hexythiazox in or on Bermudagrass, forage at 40.0 parts per million (ppm); and Bermudagrass, hay at 70.0 ppm. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method using mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS/MS) is proposed for enforcement purposes. Contact: RD.

    2. PP 5F8413. EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0797. Gowan Company, P.O. Box 5569, Yuma, AZ, 85366-5569, requests to establish tolerances in 40 CFR part 180.448 for residues of the insecticide hexythiazox, in or on Beet, sugar, dried pulp at 0.60 parts per million (ppm); Beet, sugar, molasses at 0.21 ppm; Beet, sugar, roots at 0.15 ppm; and Beet, sugar, tops at 1.5 ppm. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method using mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS/MS) is proposed for enforcement purposes. Contact: RD.

    3. PP 6E8494. EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0595. Nichino America, Inc., 4550 New Linden Hill Road, Suite 501, Wilmington, DE, 19808, requests to establish an import tolerance in 40 CFR part 180.511 for residues of the insecticide buprofezin, in or on Rice at 0.3 parts per million (ppm). Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry with nitrogen phosphorus detection (GC/NPD), and a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method for confirmation of buprofezin residues in plant commodities is proposed for enforcement purposes. Contact: RD.

    4. PP 6F8502. EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0971. Nichino America, Inc., 4550 New Linden Hill Road, Suite 501, Wilmington, DE, 19808, requests to establish tolerances in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the insecticide pyrifluquinazon, in or on Almond, hulls at 0.01 parts per million (ppm); Brassica, head and stem vegetables (crop group 5-16) at 0.4 ppm; Cattle, fat at 0.01 ppm; Cattle, meat at 0.01 ppm; Cattle, meat byproducts at 0.01 ppm; Citrus fruits (crop group 10-10) at 0.5 ppm; Citrus, oil at 14 ppm; Cotton, gin byproducts at 4 ppm; Cotton, undelinted seed at 0.2 ppm; Cucurbit vegetables (crop group 9) at 0.06 ppm; Fruiting vegetables, tomato (crop group 8-10A) at 0.2 ppm; Fruiting vegetables, pepper/eggplant (crop group 8-10B) at 0.15 ppm; Goat, fat at 0.01 ppm; Goat, meat at 0.01 ppm; Goat, meat byproducts at 0.01ppm; Horse, fat at 0.01 ppm; Horse, meat at 0.01 ppm; Horse, meat byproducts at 0.01 ppm; Leaf petiole vegetables (crop subgroup 22B) at 1.5 ppm; Leafy vegetables (crop group 4-16) at 5 ppm; Milk at 0.01 ppm; Pome fruits (crop group 11-10) at 0.04 ppm; Sheep, fat at 0.01 ppm; Sheep, meat at 0.01 ppm; Sheep, meat byproducts at 0.01 ppm; Small fruit vine climbing subgroup (crop subgroup 13-07F) (except fuzzy kiwifruit) at 0.6 ppm; Stone fruits, cherry (crop group 12-12A) at 0.2 ppm; Stone fruits, peach (crop group 12-12B) at 0.03 ppm; Stone fruits, plum (crop group 12-12C) at 0.015 ppm; Tree nuts (crop group 14-12) at 0.01 ppm; and Tuberous and corm vegetables (crop subgroup 1C) at 0.01 ppm. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry with nitrogen phosphorus detection (GC/NPD), and a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method for confirmation of buprofezin residues in plant commodities is proposed for enforcement purposes. Contact: RD.

    5. PP 5F8416. EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0985. ISK Biosciences Corporation, 7470 Auburn Road, Suite A, Concord, Ohio, 44077, requests to establish an import tolerance in 40 CFR part 180.613 for residues of the combined residues of the insecticide flonicamid [N-(cyanomethyl)-4-trifluoromethyl)-3-pyridinecarboxamide (CA) or N-cyanomethyl-4-trifluoromethylnicotinamide (IUPAC)] and its metabolites, TFNA [4-trifluoromethylnicotinic acid], TFNA-AM [4-trifluoromethylnicotinamide) and TFNG [N(4-trifluoromethylnicotinoyl)-glycine] in or on dried tea leaves at 40 parts per million (ppm). Analytical methodology has been developed to determine the residues of flonicamid and its three major plant metabolites, TFNA, TFNG, and TFNA-AM in various crops. The residue analytical method for the majority of crops includes an initial extraction with acetonitrile (CAN)/deionized (DI) water, followed by a liquid-liquid partition with ethyl acetate. The residue analytical method for wheat straw is similar, except that a C18 solid phase extraction (SPE) is added prior to the liquid-liquid partition. The final sample solution is quantified using a liquid chromatograph (LC) equipped with a reverse phase column and a quadruple mass spectrometer (MS/MS). Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 346a.

    Dated: November 30, 2016. Michael Goodis, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29580 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 1816 and 1852 [NFS Case 2016-N027] RIN 2700-AE32 NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Award Term AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NASA is proposing to amend the NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement (NFS) to add policy on the use of additional contract periods of performance or “award terms” as a contract incentive.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed rule should be submitted in writing to the address shown below on or before February 7, 2017, to be considered in the formation of a final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by NFS Case 2016-N027, using any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering “NFS Case 2016-N027” under the heading “Enter keyword or ID” and selecting “Search.” Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “NFS Case 2016-N027.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “NFS Case 2016-N027” on your attached document.

    Email: [email protected] Include NFS Case 2016-N027 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 358-3082.

    Mail: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Headquarters, Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, Attn: Marilyn E. Chambers, LP-011, 300 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20546-0001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marilyn E. Chambers, NASA HQ, Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, Suite 5H38, 300 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20456-0001. Telephone 202-358-5154; facsimile 202-358-3082.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    NASA is proposing to amend the NFS to implement policy addressing the use of “award terms” or additional contract periods of performance for which a contractor may earn if the contractor's sustained performance is superior, the Government has an on-going need for the requirement, and funds are available for the additional period of performance. The purpose of the policy is to provide a non-monetary incentive for contractors whose sustained performance is excellent. An award term incentive would be used where a longer term relationship (generally more than five years) between the Government and a contractor would provide benefits to both parties. Benefits of award term incentives include a more stable business relationship both for the contractor and its employees (thus retaining a skilled, experienced workforce), motivating excellent performance (including cost savings), fostering contractor capital investment, increasing the desirability of the award (potentially increasing competition), and reduced administrative costs and disruptions in preparing for and negotiating replacement contracts.

    Award terms are an incentive and not the same as exercising an option as set forth in FAR 17.207. While there are similarities between an award term and an option, such as funds must be available and the requirement must fulfill an existing Government need, the key difference is that an option may be exercised when the contractor's performance is acceptable, while earning an award term requires sustained excellent performance.

    II. Discussion

    The FAR subpart 16.4, Incentive Contracts, addresses a variety of techniques to incentivize contractor delivery or technical performance by connecting the amount of profit or fee payable under the contract to the contractor's performance and payable during the current period of performance. Under conventional incentives, funds are reserved to cover the incentive for the instant performance period. Conversely, an award term could be earned after the base period of performance and any option(s) are exercised; an award term does not involve additional funds beyond the amount of the current performance period.

    NASA is proposing to add section 1816.405-277 to address the use of award term incentives and covers the following areas:

    • Considerations when planning to use award term incentives.

    • Differences between contract options and award term incentives.

    • Identifying plans to use award term incentives in acquisition planning.

    • Procurement procedures related to processing award term incentives.

    • Establishes a minimum contract value of twenty million dollars in order to use award term incentives.

    • Sets forth the requirement for an award term plan to be incorporated into the contract and lists the elements of such a plan.

    • The Government's unilateral right to not grant or to cancel award terms and the conditions under which this may occur.

    Additionally, the clause at 1852.216-XX, Award Term, is added to inform the contractor of the conditions for earning an award term and the fact that, even if the contractor meets the standards of eligibility for an award term, the Government may not grant the award term or cancel the award term under certain listed conditions.

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 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). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NASA does not expect this rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because, based on current usage, NASA does not expect to award a large number of award term contracts. In those instances when used, award term contracts will include small businesses to the same extent that small businesses are included in other NASA procurements. NASA anticipates that this rule will provide all entities, both large and small, with a positive benefit. However, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) has been performed and is summarized as follows:

    The Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) does not track award term contracts, but a survey of NASA's procurement organizations shows there are currently ten (10) active award term contracts. Of these, six (6) are with small businesses. A range of services are covered, such as logistics, facilities or technical management and information technology.

    The rule imposes no reporting, recordkeeping, or other information collection requirements. The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules, and there are no known significant alternatives to the rule. NASA invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

    NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (NFS Case 2016-N027), in correspondence.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1816 and 1852

    Government procurement.

    Manuel Quinones, NASA FAR Supplement Manager.

    Accordingly, 48 CFR parts 1816 and 1852 are proposed to be amended as follows:

    1. The authority citation for parts 1816 and 1852 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    PART 1816— TYPES OF CONTRACTS 2. Amend section 1816.001 by adding in alphabetical order the definition “Term-determining official” to read as follows:
    1816.001 Definitions.

    Term-determining official means the designated Agency official who reviews the recommendations of the Award-Term Board in determining whether the contractor is eligible for an award term.

    3. Add section 1816.405-277 to read as follows:
    1816.405-277 Award term.

    (a) An award term enables a contractor to become eligible for additional periods of performance or ordering periods under a service contract (as defined in FAR 37.101) by achieving and sustaining the prescribed performance levels under the contract. It incentivizes the contractor for maintaining superior performance by providing an opportunity for extensions of the contract term.

    (b) Award terms are best suited for acquisitions where a longer term relationship (generally more than five years) between the Government and a contractor would provide significant benefits to both. Motivating excellent performance, fostering contractor capital investment, and increasing the desirability of the award, thus potentially increasing competition, are benefits that may justify the use of award terms.

    (c) While the administrative burden and cost of more frequent procurements to both the Government and potential offerors should be considered when determining whether to use award terms, this decision must be weighed against market stability, the potential changes and advancements in technology, and flexibility to change direction with mission changes and associated frequent procurements.

    (d) Award terms may be used in conjunction with contract options under FAR 17.2. Award terms are similar to contract options in that they are conditioned on the Government's continuing need for the contract and the availability of funds. However, FAR 17.207(c)(7) states the contracting officer must determine that the contractor's performance has been acceptable, e.g., received satisfactory ratings. In contrast, to become eligible for an award term, the contractor must maintain a level of performance above acceptable as specified in the Award Term Plan (see 1816.405-277(i)). In contracts with both option periods and award terms, the award term period of performance or ordering period shall begin after completion of any option period of performance or ordering period.

    (e) Contracts with award terms shall include a base period of performance or ordering period and may include a designated number of option periods during which the Government will observe and evaluate the contractor's performance allowing the contractor to earn an award term. Additionally, as specified in the Award Term Plan, the contractor may also be evaluated for additional award terms during performance of an earned award term. If the contractor meets or exceeds the performance requirements, there is an on-going need for and desire to continue the contract, funds are available, and the contractor is not listed in the System for Award Management Exclusions, then the contractor is eligible for contract extension for the period of the award term.

    (f) Contracts with award terms shall comply with FAR and NFS restrictions on the overall contract length, such as the 5-year period of performance limitation found at NFS 1817.204.

    (g) Award terms may only be used in acquisitions for services exceeding $20 million dollars. Use of award terms for lower-valued acquisitions may be authorized in exceptional situations such as contract requirements having direct health or safety impacts, where the judgmental assessment of the quality of contractor performance is critical.

    (h) Consistent with the Competition in Contracting Act and general procurement principles, the potential award term periods in a procurement must be priced, evaluated, and considered in the initial contract selection process in order to be valid.

    (i) Award term plan. All contracts including award terms shall be supported by an Award Term Plan that establishes criteria for earning an award term and the methodology and schedule for evaluating contractor performance. A copy of the Award Term Plan shall be included in the contract. The Contracting Officer may unilaterally revise the Award Term Plan. Award Term Plans shall—

    (1) Identify the officials to include Term-Determining Official involved in the award term evaluation and their function;

    (2) Identify and describe each evaluation factor, any subfactors, related performance standards, adjectival ratings, and numerical ranges or weights to be used. The contracting officer should follow the guidance at 1816.405-274 in establishing award term evaluation factors and 1816.405-275 in establishing adjectival rating categories, associated descriptions, numerical scoring system, and weighted scoring system;

    (3) Specify the annual overall rating required for the contractor to be eligible for an award term that reflects a level of performance above acceptable and the number of award terms the contractor may qualify for based on the rating score;

    (4) Identify the evaluation period(s) and the evaluation schedule to be conducted at stated intervals during the contract period of performance or ordering period so that the contractor will periodically be informed of the quality of its performance and the areas in which improvement is expected (e.g., six months, nine months, twelve months, or at other specific milestones), and when the decision points are for the determination that the contractor is eligible for an award term; and

    (5) Identify the contract's base period of performance or ordering period, any option period(s), and total award-term periods(s). Award term periods shall not exceed one year.

    (j)(1) The Government has the unilateral right not to grant or to cancel award term periods and the associated Award Term Plans if—

    (i) The contractor has failed to achieve the required performance measures for the corresponding evaluation period;

    (ii) After earning an award term, the contractor fails to earn an award term in any succeeding year of contract performance, the contracting officer may cancel any award terms that the contractor has earned, but that have not begun.

    (iii) The contracting officer notifies the contractor that the Government no longer has a need for the award term period before the time an award term period is to begin;

    (iv) The contractor represented that it was a small business concern prior to award of the contract, the contract was set-aside for small businesses, and the contractor rerepresents in accordance with FAR clause 52.219-28 Post-Award Small Business Program Rerepresentation, that it is no longer a small business; or

    (v) The contracting officer notifies the contractor that funds are not available for the award term.

    (2) When an award term period is not granted or cancelled, any—

    (i) Prior award term periods for which the contractor remains otherwise eligible are unaffected.

    (ii) Subsequent award term periods are also cancelled.

    (k) Cancellation of an award term period that has not yet commenced for any of the reasons set forth in paragraph (j) shall not be considered either a termination for convenience or termination for default, and shall not entitle the Contractor to any termination settlement or any other compensation. If the award term is cancelled, a unilateral modification will cite the clause as the authority.

    4. Amend section 1816.406-70 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    1816.406-70 NASA contract clauses.

    (g) Insert the clause at 1852.216-72, Award Term in solicitations and contracts for services exceeding $20 million when award terms are contemplated.

    PART 1852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 5. Add section 1852.216-XX to read as follows:
    1852.216-XX Award term.

    As prescribed in 1816.406(g), insert the following clause:

    AWARD TERM (MONTH YEAR)

    (a) Based on overall Contractor performance as evaluated in accordance with the Award Term Plan, the Contracting Officer may extend the contract for the number and duration of award terms as set forth in the Award Term Plan subject to the Government's continuing need for the contract and the availability of funds.

    (b) The Contracting Officer will execute any earned award term period(s) through a unilateral contract modification. All contract provisions continue to apply throughout the contract period of performance or ordering period, including any award term period(s).

    (c) The Government will evaluate offerors for award purposes by adding the total price for all options and award terms to the price for the basic requirement. This evaluation will not obligate the Government to exercise any options or award term periods.

    (d) The Award Term Plan is attached in Section J. The Award Term Plan provides the methodology and schedule for evaluating Contractor performance, determining eligibility for an award term, and, together with Agency need for the contract and availability of funding, serves as the basis for award term decisions. The Contracting Officer may unilaterally revise the Award Term Plan. Any changes to the Award Term Plan will be in writing and incorporated into the contract through a unilateral modification citing this clause prior to the commencement of any evaluation period. The Contracting Officer will consult with the Contractor prior to the issuance of a revised Award Term Plan; however, the Contractor's consent is not required.

    (e) The award term evaluation(s) will be completed in accordance with the schedule in the Award Term Plan. The Contractor will be notified of the results and its eligibility to be considered for the respective award term no later than 120 days after the evaluation period set forth in the Award Term Plan. The Contractor may request a review of an award term evaluation which has resulted in the Contractor not earning the award term. The request shall be submitted in writing to the Contracting Officer within 15 days after notification of the results of the evaluation.

    (f) Right not to grant or cancel the award term. (1) The Government has the unilateral right not to grant or to cancel award term periods and the associated Award Term Plan if—

    (i) The Contractor has failed to achieve the required performance measures for the corresponding evaluation period;

    (ii) After earning an award term, the contractor fails to earn an award term in any succeeding year of contract performance, the contracting officer may cancel any award terms that the contractor has earned, but that have not begun.

    (iii) The Contracting Officer has notified the Contractor that the Government no longer has a need for the award term period before the time an award term period is to begin;

    (iv) The Contractor represented that it was a small business concern prior to award of this contract, the contract was set-aside for small businesses, and the Contractor rerepresents in accordance with FAR clause 52.219-28, Post-Award Small Business Program Rerepresentation, that it is no longer a small business; or

    (v) The Contracting Officer has notified the Contractor that funds are not available for the award term.

    (2) When an award term period is not granted or cancelled, any—

    (i) Prior award term periods for which the contractor remains otherwise eligible are unaffected, except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section; or

    (ii) Subsequent award term periods are also cancelled.

    (g) Cancellation of an award term period that has not yet started for any of the reasons set forth in paragraph (f) shall not be considered either a termination for convenience or termination for default, and shall not entitle the Contractor to any termination settlement or any other compensation.

    (h) Cancellation of an award term period that has not yet commenced for any of the reasons set forth in paragraph (f) and (g) of this clause shall not be considered either a termination for convenience or termination for default, and shall not entitle the Contractor to any termination settlement or any other compensation. If the award term is cancelled, a unilateral modification will cite this clause as the authority.

    (i) Funds are not presently available for any award term. The Government's obligation under any award term is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds from which payment can be made. No legal liability on the part of the Government for any award term payment may arise until funds are made available to the Contracting Officer for an award term and until the Contractor receives notice of such availability, to be confirmed in writing by the Contracting Officer.

    (End of clause)
    [FR Doc. 2016-29443 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    81 237 Friday, December 9, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request December 6, 2016.

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

    Comments regarding this information collection received by January 9, 2017 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

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

    National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Title: Feral Swine Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0256.

    Summary of Collection: Authority to collect these data is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985, 7 U.S.C. 2276. On February 3, 1999, Executive Order 13112 was signed by President Clinton establishing the National Invasive Species Council. The Executive Order requires that a Council of Departments dealing with invasive species be created. Currently there are 13 Departments and Agencies on the Council. A benchmark survey was conducted in 2015 in 11 States (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas). Target population within these states consisted of farm operations who have historically produced one or more of the following crops: Corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, peanuts or sorghum (Texas only).

    In 2017, this survey will be conducted in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, to measure the damage to livestock that is associated with the presence of feral swine. These States have high feral swine densities and a significant presence of cattle, hogs, sheep and/or goats.

    Need and Use of the Information: The 2017 proposed initial survey will be used to create a benchmark to develop national and State estimates of the monetary loss of feral swine damage to agriculture, animal health, and property to producers of cattle, hogs, sheep and/or goats in each of the surveyed states. Information on feral swine control costs including hunting, trapping, use of fencing, or the use of repellents and the total net income for allowing the hunting of feral swine on their operations will also be collected. Without the survey, it would be impossible to measure the current level of feral swine damage to American agriculture and livestock.

    Description of Respondents: Farms.

    Number of Respondents: 12,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 9,280.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29502 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request December 5, 2016.

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

    Comments regarding this information collection received by January 9, 2017 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

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

    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Chief Information Officer

    Title: USDA eAuthentication Service Customer Registration.

    OMB Control Number: 0503-0014.

    Summary of Collection: The USDA Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has developed the eAuthentication system as a management and technical process that addresses user authentication and authorization prerequisites for providing services electronically. The process requires a voluntary one-time electronic self-registration to obtain an eAuthentication account for each USDA customer desiring access to online services or applications that require user eAuthentication. The information collected through the electronic self-registration process is necessary to enable the electronic authentication of users and grant them access to only those resources for which they are authorized. The authority to collect this information as well as the new Online Identity Proofing function can be found in Section 2(c), of the Freedom to E-File Act (Pub. L. 106-222), the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA, Pub. L. 105-277), the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign, Pub. L. 106-229), the E-Government Act of 2002 (H.R. 2458), and Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (Pub. L., 106-102, 502-504).

    Need and Use of the Information: The USDA eAuthentication Service provides public and government businesses single sign-on capability for USDA applications, management of user credentials, and verification of identify, authorization, and electronic signatures. USDA eAuthentication obtains customer information through an electronic self-registration process provided through the eAuthentication Web site. The voluntary online self-registration process applies to USDA Agency customers, as well as employees who request access to protected USDA web applications and services via the Internet. Users can register directly from the eAuthentication Web site located at www.eauth.egov.usda.gov. The information collected through the online self-registration process will be used to provide an eAuthentication account that will enable the electronic authentication of users. The users will then have access to authorized resources without needing to reauthenticate within the context of a single Internet session.

    Description of Respondents: Farms; Individuals or Households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; Federal government; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 114,256.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Third party disclosure.

    Total Burden Hours: 28,941.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29458 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Commodity Credit Corporation Information Collection Request; Discharge and Delivery Survey Summary and Rate Schedule Forms AGENCY:

    Farm Service Agency and Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) are requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a revision and extension of a currently approved information collection request. This information collection is necessary to support the procurement of agricultural commodities for domestic and export food donation programs. FSA and CCC issue invitations to purchase or sell and transport commodities, as well as sample, inspect and survey, agricultural commodities at both domestic and foreign locations for use in international food donation programs on a monthly, multiple monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. Special invitations, however, are issued throughout the month. The Kansas City Commodity Office acting under the authority granted by these acts, purchases discharge survey services conducted at the foreign destinations to ensure count and condition of the commodities shipped.

    DATES:

    We will consider comments that we receive by February 7, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your comment, include the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Penny Carlson, Chief, Business Operations Support Division, Kansas City Commodity Office (KCCO), P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, Missouri 64141-6205.

    You may also send comments to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Penny Carlson, (816) 926-2597.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Discharge and Delivery Survey Summary and Rate Schedule Forms.

    OMB Number: 0560-0177.

    Expiration Date: February 28, 2017.

    Type of Request: Extension with a Revision.

    Abstract: The United States donates agricultural commodities domestically and overseas for famine or other relief requirements, to combat malnutrition, and sells or donates commodities to promote economic development. FSA and CCC issue invitations to purchase or sell agricultural commodities and services for use in domestic and export programs. Vendors respond by making offers using various FSA and CCC commodity offer forms through Web-based Supply Chain System (WBSCM). The Kansas City Commodity Office acting under the authority granted by these acts, purchases discharge survey services conducted at the foreign destinations to ensure count and condition of the commodities shipped. The form for discharge survey services are not in WBSCM.

    The renewal to the information collection request is for the respondents to submit information electronically in WBSCM for all processes with the exception of the discharge/delivery survey summary and the rates schedule. Vendors will be able to access WBSCM to see the date and time the system shows for receipt of bid, bid modification, or bid cancellation information. At bid opening date and time, the bid information are evaluated through the system. Acceptances will be sent to the successful offerors electronically. Awarded contracts will be posted to the FSA Web site and also to the WBSCM portal and FedBizOpps (https://www.fbo.gov/). The discharge/delivery survey summary (KC-334) will be collected electronically and by mail and the rate schedule (KC-337) will be collected by mail. The burden hours reduced because some forms in the information collection request were exempted from Paperwork Reduction Act.

    For the following estimated total annual burden on respondents, the formula used to calculate the total burden hours is the estimated average time per responses multiplied by the estimated total annual of responses.

    Estimate of Average Time to Respond: Public reporting burden for collecting information under this notice is estimated to average 0.482 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

    Respondents: Business and other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 41.

    Estimated Average Number of Responses per Respondent: 11.83.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 485.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 234 hours.

    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help us to:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden of the collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Evaluate the quality, utility and clarity of the information technology; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who respond through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses where provided, will be made a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval.

    Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency, and Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29526 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of Proposed New Fee Site AGENCY:

    Tahoe National Forest, Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed New Fee Site.

    SUMMARY:

    The Tahoe National Forest is proposing a new recreation fee for the Sardine Lookout, which would be made available as an overnight rental. The rental fee is proposed at $45 per night. Lookout rentals offer a unique experience and are a widely popular offering on National Forests. The Tahoe National Forest currently operates one lookout for public rental, the Calpine Lookout on the Sierraville Ranger District. Sardine Lookout is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

    Fees are assessed based on the level of amenities and services provided, cost of operations and maintenance, and market assessment. These fees are proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment. Funds from fees would be used for the continued operation, maintenance, enhancement and protection of this lookout and the historical integrity of the facility.

    An analysis of nearby recreation facilities shows that the proposed fees are reasonable and typical of similar sites in the area.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted through February 7, 2017. The Sardine Lookout rental will be listed with the National Recreation Reservation Service.

    ADDRESSES:

    Eli Ilano, Forest Supervisor, Tahoe National Forest, 631 Coyote St., Nevada City, California 95959.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Quentin Youngblood, Sierraville District Ranger, (530) 994-3401, ext. 6601. Information about proposed fee changes can also be found on the Tahoe National Forest Web site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Recreation Lands Enhancement Act (Title VII, Pub. L. 108-447) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a six month advance notice in the Federal Register whenever new recreation fee areas are established. These new fees will be reviewed by a Recreation Resource Advisory Committee prior to a final decision and implementation.

    Sardine Lookout was built in 1935 and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The cabin has two twin beds, period correct linoleum floor, a table and fire finder pedestal that are copies of originals from Calpine Fire Lookout. There is a fire pit, picnic table and accessible vault toilet. The area is very remote with tremendous views and solitude.

    Dated: November 30, 2016. Teresa Benson, Deputy Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29462 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    Pursuant to Section 251 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2341 et seq.), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of these firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firm's workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    List of Petitions Received by EDA for Certification Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance [11/22/2016 through 12/5/2016] Firm name Firm address Date
  • accepted for
  • investigation
  • Product(s)
    Byers' Choice, Ltd 4355 County Line Road, Chalfont, PA 18914 11/30/2016 The firm manufactures ornamental figurines, known as “The Carolers.” Pyott-Boone Electronics, Inc 1459 Wittens Mill Road, North Tazewell, VA 24630 11/30/2016 The firm manufactures amplifiers, passive units and gas monitors. Valtech Corporation 2113 Sanatoga Station Road, Pottstown, PA 19464 12/1/2016 The firm manufactures thermoset plastic materials with unique properties that are used in the production of semiconductor or solar wafers. Supreme Manufacturing Company d/b/a C&L Supreme 1755 East Birchwood Avenue, Des Plaines, IL 60018 12/5/2016 The firm manufactures rollers, brackets, housing and other miscellaneous metal components for data processing machines.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Miriam Kearse, Lead Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29480 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-900] Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on diamond sawblades and parts thereof (diamond sawblades) from the People's Republic of China (the PRC). The period of review (POR) is November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015. The Department has preliminarily determined that certain companies covered by this review made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yang Jin Chun or Bryan Hansen, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5760 and (202) 482-3683, respectively.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is diamond sawblades and parts thereof. The diamond sawblades subject to the order are currently classifiable under subheadings 8202 to 8206 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), and may also enter under 6804.21.00. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1

    1See the Memorandum from Deputy Assistant Secretary Christian Marsh to Assistant Secretary Paul Piquado entitled, “Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Five companies that received a separate rate in previous segments of the proceeding and are subject to this review reported that they did not have any exports of subject merchandise during the POR.2 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for the POR indicated that these companies had no shipments.3 Additionally, we requested that CBP report any contrary information.4 To date, CBP has not responded to our inquiry with any contrary information and we have not received any evidence that these companies had any shipments of the subject merchandise sold to the United States during the POR. Further, consistent with our practice, we find that it is not appropriate to rescind the review with respect to these companies but, rather, to complete the review and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of review.5

    2See the February 11, 2016, no-shipment letters from Danyang City Ou Di Ma Tools Co., Ltd., Qingdao Hyosung Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., and Shanghai Starcraft Tools Company Limited, the February 12, 2016, no-shipment letter from Qingdao Shinhan Diamond Industrial Co., Ltd., and the April 1, 2016, letter correcting the separate rate certification and certifying no shipment from Danyang Tsunda Diamond Tools Co., Ltd.

    3See the CBP data attached to the letter to all interested parties dated January 15, 2016.

    4See CBP message numbers 6294301, 6294302, 6294305, 6294306, and 6294307 dated October 20, 2016, available at http://adcvd.cbp.dhs.gov/adcvdweb/.

    5See, e.g., Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Rescission, In Part, of Administrative Review and Final Results of New Shipper Review; 2013, 80 FR 34619 (June 17, 2015).

    Separate Rates

    The Department preliminarily determines that 24 respondents are eligible to receive separate rates in this review.6

    6See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 4-8, for more details.

    Separate Rates for Eligible Non-Selected Respondents

    Consistent with our practice, we assigned to eligible non-selected respondents the weighted-average margin calculated for Bosun Tools Co., Ltd. as the separate rate for the preliminary results of this review.7

    7Id.

    PRC-Wide Entity

    The Department's change in policy regarding conditional review of the PRC-wide entity applies to this administrative review.8 Under this policy, the PRC-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity in this review, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate is not subject to change (i.e., 82.05 percent).9 Aside from the no-shipments and separate rate companies discussed above, and the company for which the review is being rescinded, the Department considers all other companies for which a review was requested (which did not file a separate rate application) to be part of the PRC-wide entity.10

    8See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    9See, e.g., Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 80 FR 32344, 32345 (June 8, 2015).

    10See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 736, 737 (January 7, 2016) (“All firms listed below that wish to qualify for separate rate status in the administrative reviews involving NME countries must complete, as appropriate, either a separate rate application or certification, as described below.”). Companies that are subject to this administrative review that are considered to be part of the PRC-wide entity are ASHINE Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., Hebei XMF Tools Group Co., Ltd., Henan Huanghe Whirlwind Co., Ltd., Henan Huanghe Whirlwind International Co., Ltd., and Pujiang Talent Diamond Tools Co., Ltd.

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Act. For Bosun Tools Co., Ltd., constructed export price was calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because the PRC is a non-market economy within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, normal value was calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. For the Jiangsu Fengtai Single Entity,11 we assigned a margin based on adverse facts available pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act.

    11 We preliminarily treat Jiangsu Fengtai Diamond Tool Manufacture Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Fengtai Tools Co., Ltd., and Jiangsu Fengtai Sawing Industry Co., Ltd., as a single entity. See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 2, n. 4 for details.

    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 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.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter Margin
  • (percent)
  • Bosun Tools Co., Ltd 6.20 Chengdu Huifeng Diamond Tools Co., Ltd 6.20 Danyang Hantronic Import & Export Co., Ltd 6.20 Danyang Huachang Diamond Tools Manufacturing Co., Ltd 6.20 Danyang Like Tools Manufacturing Co., Ltd 6.20 Danyang NYCL Tools Manufacturing Co., Ltd 6.20 Danyang Weiwang Tools Manufacturing Co., Ltd 6.20 Guilin Tebon Superhard Material Co., Ltd 6.20 Hangzhou Deer King Industrial and Trading Co., Ltd 6.20 Hangzhou Kingburg Import & Export Co., Ltd 6.20 Huzhou Gu's Import & Export Co., Ltd 6.20 Jiangsu Fengtai Single Entity 82.05 Jiangsu Inter-China Group Corporation 6.20 Jiangsu Youhe Tool Manufacturer Co., Ltd 6.20 Qingyuan Shangtai Diamond Tools Co., Ltd 6.20 Quanzhou Zhongzhi Diamond Tool Co., Ltd 6.20 Rizhao Hein Saw Co., Ltd 6.20 Saint-Gobain Abrasives (Shanghai) Co., Ltd 6.20 Shanghai Jingquan Industrial Trade Co., Ltd 6.20 Sino Tools Co., Ltd 6.20 Weihai Xiangguang Mechanical Industrial Co., Ltd 6.20 Wuhan Wanbang Laser Diamond Tools Co., Ltd. 12 6.20 Xiamen ZL Diamond Technology Co., Ltd 6.20 Zhejiang Wanli Tools Group Co., Ltd 6.20
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    12 Wuhan Wanbang Laser Diamond Tools Co., Ltd., is the successor-in-interest to Wuhan Wanbang Laser Diamond Tools Co. See Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, 81 FR 20618 (April 8, 2016).

    The Department intends to disclose calculations performed for these preliminary results to the parties within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.13 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.14 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the cases briefs are filed.15

    13See 19 CFR 351.309(c).

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2).

    15See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.16 Hearing 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. Unless extended, the Department intends to issue the final results of this review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised by parties in their comments, within 120 days after the publication of these preliminary results, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    16See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuing the final results of review, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.17 If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.5 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate an importer-specific assessment rate 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 those sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Specifically, the Department will apply the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Final Modification for Reviews. 18 Where an importer- (or customer-) specific ad valorem rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.19

    17See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    18See Antidumping Proceeding: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8103 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    19See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    For entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by exporters individually examined during this review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the PRC-wide rate. In addition, if the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.20 The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    20Id.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For subject merchandise exported by the companies listed above that have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will be that established in the final results of review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed above that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that for the PRC-wide entity; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    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 POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    Dated: December 5, 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. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments V. Discussion of the Methodology A. Non-Market Economy Country Status B. Separate Rates C. Surrogate Country VI. Application of Facts Available and Adverse Inferences A. Use of Facts Available B. Application of Facts Available With an Adverse Inference C. Selection of the AFA Rate VII. Fair Value Comparisons A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis C. U.S. Price D. Normal Value E. Factor Valuations VIII. Currency Conversion IX. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-29542 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-805] Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico; Preliminary Results, Preliminary Determination of No Shipments, and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Mexico. The period of review (POR) is November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015. This review covers eight producers/exporters of the subject merchandise, including two respondents selected for individual examination: Maquilacero, S.A. de C.V. (Maquilacero) and Regiomontana de Perfiles y Tubos, S.A. de C.V. (Regiopytsa). We preliminarily determine that Maquilacero and Regiopytsa made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value during the POR. Additionally, we preliminarily determine that Lamina y Placa Comercial, S.A. de C.V. (Lamina y Placa) and Mueller Comercial de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. (Mueller) had no shipments during the POR. Whirlpool Corporation (Whirlpool) timely withdrew its request for review of Burner Systems International (BSI); consequently, we rescind the administrative review with regard to BSI. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Flessner or Erin Kearney, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6312 or (202) 482-0167, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On January 7, 2016, the Department published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order 1 on certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Mexico.2 This administrative review covers eight producers/exporters of the subject merchandise.3 As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement & Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government.4 All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. On July 26, 2016, and October 20, 2016, the Department extended the deadline for the preliminary results.5 The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now December 5, 2016.

    1See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Brazil, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Mexico, and Venezuela and Amendment to Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Korea, 57 FR 49453 (November 2, 1992) (the Order).

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 736 (January 7, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    3 Those eight companies are: (1) Conduit, S.A. de C.V. (Conduit), (2) Lamina y Placa, (3) Maquilacero, (4) Mueller, (5) Productos Laminados de Monterrey, S.A. de C.V. (Prolamsa), (6) PYTCO, S.A. de C.V. (PYTCO), (7) Regiopytsa, and (8) Ternium Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (Ternium). In addition, a review was requested by Whirlpool for BSI; however, all review requests for BSI were timely withdrawn; see the section entitled “Partial Rescission of Administrative Review,” below.

    4See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    5See Memorandum from Mark Flessner to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, entitled, “Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated July 26, 2016; see also Memorandum from Mark Flessner to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, entitled, “Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated October 20, 2016.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes. The merchandise covered by the order and subject to this review is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheadings: 7306.30.1000, 7306.30.5025, 7306.30.5032, 7306.30.5040, 7306.30.5055, 7306.30.5085, and 7306.30.5090. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum,6 which is hereby adopted by this notice and incorporated herein by reference. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room 7046 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. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    6See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled, “Preliminary Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Mexico; 2014-2015” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    On November 3, 2015, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping order on certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Mexico.7 The Department received multiple timely requests for an administrative review of the AD order on certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Mexico and, on January 7, 2016, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department initiated a review of nine companies in this proceeding.8 In response to a timely-filed withdrawal request by Whirlpool, we are rescinding this administrative review with respect to BSI pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).9 Accordingly, the companies subject to the instant review are: Conduit, Lamina y Placa, Maquilacero, Mueller, Prolamsa, PYTCO, Regiopytsa, and Ternium, of which the Department has selected Maquilacero and Regiopytsa as the mandatory respondents.10

    7See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspension Agreement; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 67706 (November 3, 2015).

    8See Initiation Notice.

    9See the Preliminary Decision Memorandum at the section entitled, “Partial Rescission.”

    10See Memorandum from Mark Flessner to Scot Fullerton, Director, Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations Office VI, entitled, “Respondent Selection for the Administrative Review Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Mexico, 2014-2015,” dated March 21, 2016 (Respondent Selection Memorandum).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Lamina y Placa and Mueller reported that they made no sales of subject merchandise during the POR.11 On November 28, 2016, we issued a no-shipment inquiry to CBP to confirm the claims of no shipments by Lamina y Placa and Mueller. We have not yet received CBP's response to our inquiry. Therefore, based on the claims of no shipments by Lamina y Placa and Mueller, and because the record currently contains no information to the contrary, we preliminarily determine that Lamina y Placa and Mueller had no shipments of subject merchandise and, therefore, no reviewable transactions during the POR. However, we intend to consider information received from CBP in response to our no-shipment inquiry for the final results of this review. Moreover, consistent with our practice, we are not preliminarily rescinding the review with respect to Lamina y Placa and Mueller but, rather, we will complete the review with respect to these companies and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of this review.12

    11See Letter from Lamina y Placa to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Mexico: Notice of No Sales,” dated January 19, 2016. See also Letter from Mueller to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Mexico: Certification of No Shipments,” dated February 9, 2016.

    12See, e.g., Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From Thailand; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Partial Rescission of Review, Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2012-2013, 79 FR 15951, 15952 (March 24, 2014), unchanged in Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From Thailand: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Final Determination of No Shipments, and Partial Rescission of Review; 2012-2013, 79 FR at 51306 (August 28, 2014).

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Act. Export price (EP) is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value (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. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margins for the POR:

    Exporter or producer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (%)
  • Maquilacero, S.A. de C.V 7.32 Regiomontana de Perfiles y Tubos, S.A. de C.V. and PYTCO, S.A. de C.V. 13 2.14 Conduit, S.A. de C.V 3.30 Productos Laminados de Monterrey, S.A. de C.V 3.30 Ternium Mexico, S.A. de C.V 3.30

    For the rate for non-selected respondents in an administrative review, generally, the Department looks to section 735(c)(5) of the Act, which provides instructions for calculating the all-others rate in a market economy investigation. Under section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, the all-others rate is normally “an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely {on the basis of facts available}.” Because applying our normal methodology of calculating a weighted-average dumping margin in this case could indirectly disclose business proprietary information, we have instead calculated a weighted-average margin for the non-selected respondents using the publicly available, ranged total U.S. sales values of the selected respondents.14 Accordingly, we have applied a rate of 3.30 percent to the non-selected companies, as set forth in the chart above.

    13 The Department has preliminarily determined to treat Regiomontana de Perfiles y Tubos, S.A. de C.V., and PYTCO, S.A. de C.V., as a single entity. See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    14 For further discussion, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of the administrative review, the Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries.15 For any individually examined respondent whose weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent), we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Where either a 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. For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by each respondent for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company involved in the transaction.16

    15 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    16See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Mexico entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rates for Conduit, Maquilacero, Prolamsa, Regiopytsa, and Ternium will be the weighted-average dumping margins established in the final results of this administrative review except if the rates are de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), in which case the cash deposit rates will be zero; (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which the manufacturer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original less-than-fair-value investigation but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of the proceeding for the manufacturer of the merchandise; (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 32.62 percent ad valorem, the all-others rate established in the original less-than-fair-value investigation.17 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    17See Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico, 57 FR 42953 (September 17, 1992).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of this notice.18 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit cases briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.19 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.20 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.21

    18See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    19See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    20See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    21See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.22 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. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the date and time of the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    22See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2), the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in all written case briefs, within 120 days after the issuance of these preliminary results.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also 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 and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum Summary Background Scope of the Order Partial Rescission of Administrative Review Preliminary Determination of No Shipments Unexamined Respondents Postponement of Preliminary Determination Methodology Fair Value Comparisons Determination of Comparison Method Product Comparisons Date of Sale Level of Trade Export Price Cost of Production Normal Value Currency Conversion Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-29544 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-831] Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of the 21st Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) is conducting the 21st administrative review of the antidumping duty order on fresh garlic from the People's Republic of China (PRC), covering the period of review (POR) November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015. This review covers 42 manufacturers/exporters of subject merchandise. We preliminarily find that the mandatory respondents Zhengzhou Harmoni Spice Co., Ltd (Harmoni) and Qingdao Tiantaixing Foods Co., Ltd. (QTF) each failed to cooperate to the best of its ability. As a result, we preliminarily find that Harmoni has not rebutted the presumption that it is part of the PRC-wide entity, and we preliminarily base QTF's dumping margin on adverse facts available. In addition, we preliminarily find that voluntary respondent Shenzhen Xinboda Industrial Co., Ltd. (Xinboda) made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value (NV). We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathryn Wallace or Alexander Cipolla, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6251 or (202) 482-4956.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order includes all grades of garlic, whole or separated into constituent cloves. Fresh garlic that are subject to the order are currently classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) 0703.20.0010, 0703.20.0020, and 0703.20.0090. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description remains dispositive. For a full description of the scope of this order, please see “III. Scope of the Order” in the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1

    1See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the 2014-2015 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China” (December 5, 2016) (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    On January 7, 2016, the Department initiated a review of 42 companies in this proceeding.2 On March 11, 2016, withdrawal requests were timely filed for 14 companies.3 The Department is, therefore, partially rescinding this review with respect to the companies listed in Appendix I, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 736 (January 7, 2016) (Initiation Notice). For a list of the 42 companies, see id. at 81 FR 738-739.

    3See Letter from Petitioners, “21st Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China—Petitioners' Withdrawal of Certain Requests for Administrative Review,” (March 11, 2016).

    Affiliation

    For the reasons set forth in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum and in accordance with 19 CFR 351.401(f), and the Department's practice, we are treating QTF, Qingdao Tianhefeng Foods Co., Ltd. (QTHF), Qingdao Beixing Trading Co., Ltd. (QBT), Qingdao Lianghe International Trade Co., Ltd. (Lianghe), and Qingdao Xintianfeng Foods Co., Ltd (QXF) as a single entity, for the purposes of this preliminary determination.4

    4See Preliminary Decision Memorandum “Affiliations” section.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export prices were calculated in accordance with section 772(a) of the Act. Because the PRC is a non-market economy (NME) within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, NV has been calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. We relied, in part, on the facts available, with adverse inferences, for our preliminary determination, in accordance with section 776 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice. 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/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    PRC-Wide Entity

    The Department's policy regarding conditional review of the PRC-wide entity applies to this administrative review.5 Under this policy, the PRC-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity in this review, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate (i.e., $4.71/kg) is not subject to change. Aside from the no shipments companies discussed below, and the companies for which the review is being rescinded, the Department considers all other companies for which a review was requested, and which did not preliminarily qualify for a separate rate, to be part of the PRC-wide entity. For additional information, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    5See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    Preliminary Determination of Separate Rates for Non-Selected Companies

    In accordance with section 777A(c)(2)(B) of the Act, the Department employed a limited examination methodology, as it determined that it would not be practicable to examine individually all companies for which a review request was made.6 There were five exporters of subject merchandise from the PRC that have demonstrated their eligibility for a separate rate but were not selected for individual examination in this review. These five exporters are listed in Appendix II.

    6See Memorandum to Edward Yang, “Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China: Respondent Selection Memorandum,” dated March 1, 2016.

    Neither the Act nor the Department's regulations address the establishment of the rate applied to individual companies not selected for examination where the Department limited its examination in an administrative review pursuant to section 777A(c)(2) of the Act. The Department's practice in cases involving limited selection based on exporters accounting for the largest volume of imports has been to look to section 735(c)(5) of the Act for guidance, which provides instructions for calculating the all-others rate in an investigation. Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act instructs the Department to use rates established for individually investigated producers and exporters, excluding any rates that are zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts available in investigations. In this review, we calculated a preliminary weighted-average dumping margin for Xinboda, while we preliminarily determined that the application of facts available with adverse inferences is warranted for Harmoni and QTF. Therefore for the preliminary results, the Department has preliminarily determined to assign Xinboda's rate to the non-selected separate-rate companies.

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    The companies listed in Appendix III timely filed “no shipment” certifications stating that they had no entries into the United States of subject merchandise during the POR. Consistent with its practice, the Department asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to conduct a query of potential shipments made by these companies. CBP provided information 7 that indicated that one of the companies had shipments into the United States during the POR. In addition, the Department has found two of these companies to be a part of the QTF entity, discussed further in the “Affiliations” section of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. Based on the certifications by the remaining companies and our analysis of CBP information, we preliminarily determine that the companies listed in Appendix III did not have any reviewable transactions during the POR. In addition, the Department finds that consistent with its refinement to its assessment practice in NME cases, further discussed below, it is appropriate not to preliminarily rescind the review, in part, in these circumstances, but rather to complete the review with respect to these 10 companies, and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.8

    7See Memorandum from Alexander Cipolla, “21st Administrative Review of Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China: Concerning Shenzhen Yuting Foodstuff Co., Ltd.'s No Shipment Certification,” dated December 5, 2016.

    8See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65694-95 (October 24, 2011); see also “Assessment Rates” section below.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015:

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (dollars per
  • kilogram)
  • Shenzhen Xinboda Industrial Co., Ltd 2.27 Jinan Farmlady Trading Co., Ltd 2.27 Jining Alpha Food Co., Ltd 2.27 Shandong Jinxiang Zhengyang Import & Export Co., Ltd 2.27 Shenzhen Bainong Co., Ltd 2.27 Weifang Hongqiao International Logistics Co., Ltd 2.27 Qingdao Tiantaixing Foods Co., Ltd 4.71 PRC-Wide Rate 4.71
    Disclosure, Public Comment and Opportunity To Request a Hearing

    The Department intends to disclose the calculations used in our analysis to parties in this review within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Interested parties may submit written comments (case briefs) no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(ii) and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.(d)(1). Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2), rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and, (3) a table of authorities. See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements). All electronically filed documents must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310, any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice. Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations will be limited to issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs. Id. If a party requests a hearing, the Department will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing.

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this 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.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b). For the companies for which this review is rescinded, antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(l)(i).9 The Department will direct CBP to assess rates based on the per-unit (i.e., per kilogram) amount on each entry of the subject merchandise during the POR. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of review.

    9 If our determination in the final results is to rescind this administrative review with respect to Kaihua, then we will not issue liquidation instructions for Jinxiang Kaihua Import & Export Co., unless the preliminary injunction entered on October 22, 2015, in Court of International Trade case number 15-00289 has lifted.

    The Department announced a refinement to its assessment practice in NME cases. Pursuant to this refinement in practice, for merchandise that was not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by an exporter individually examined during this review, but that entered under the case number of that exporter (i.e., at the individually-examined exporter's cash deposit rate), the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the NME-wide rate. In addition, if the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.10

    10 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this review for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by sections 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) For the companies listed above, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established in these final results of review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required for that company); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed above that have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the PRC-wide rate of 4.71 U.S. dollars per kilogram; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    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 preliminary results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(h) and 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Companies For Which Reviews Have Been Rescinded 1. Anqiu Friend Food Co., Ltd. 2. Jinxiang Chengda Import & Export Co., Ltd. 3. Jinxiang Infarm Fruits & Vegetables Co., Ltd. 4. Jinxiang Tianma Freezing Storage Co., Ltd. 5. Nanyang Nianfeng Food Co., Ltd. 6. Qingdao Jia Shan Trade Co. 7. Qingdao Ritai Food Co., Ltd. 8. Shandong Helu International Trade Co., Ltd. 9. Shandong Libaqiang 10. Shandong Longtai Fruits and Vegetables Co., Ltd. 11. Weifang Naike Foodstuffs Co., Ltd. 12. Weifang Shennong Foodstuff Co., Ltd. 13. Weifang Wangyuan Food Co., Ltd. 14. Zhengzhou Xiwannian Food Co., Ltd. Appendix II—Non-Selected Separate Rate Companies 1. Jinan Farmlady Trading Co., Ltd. 2. Jining Alpha Food Co., Ltd. 3. Shandong Jinxiang Zhengyang Import & Export Co., Ltd. 4. Shenzhen Bainong Co., Ltd. 5. Weifang Hongqiao International Logistics Co., Ltd. Appendix III—Companies That Have Certified No Shipments 1. Jining Yifa Garlic Produce Co., Ltd. 2. Jining Shengtai Fruits & Vegetables Co., Ltd. 3. Jining Shunchang Import & Export Co., Ltd. 4. Jinxiang Guihua Food Co., Ltd. 5. Jinxiang Richfar Fruits & Vegetables Co., Ltd. 6. Qingdao Maycarrier Import & Export Co., Ltd. 7. Qingdao Sea-Line International Trading Co., Ltd. 8. Shandong Chenhe International Trading Co., Ltd. 9. Shijiazhuang Goodman Trading Co., Ltd. 10. Yantai Jinyan Trading, Inc.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29569 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-844] Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From Mexico: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In response to requests from interested parties, the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on steel concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) from Mexico, covering the period April 24, 2014, through October 31, 2015. The review covers Deacero S.A.P.I de C.V. (Deacero), and Grupo Simec S.A.B. de C.V. (Grupo Simec). We preliminarily determine that Deacero made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value during the period of review (POR), and that Grupo Simec did not. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Moore for Deacero or Patricia Tran for Grupo Simec, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3692 or (202) 482-1503, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On January 7, 2016, the Department published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping order on rebar from Mexico.1

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 736 (January 7, 2016).

    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to a closure of the Federal Government. As a result, the revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review was August 5, 2016.2 On July 14, 2016, the Department extended the deadline for the preliminary results to December 5, 2016.3

    2See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm `Jonas,' ” dated January 27, 2016. If the new deadline falls on a non-business day, in accordance with the Department's practice, the deadline will become the next business day.

    3See Memorandum, titled “Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from Mexico: Extension of Deadline for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated July 14, 2016.

    Scope of the Order

    Imports covered by the order are shipments of steel concrete reinforcing bar imported in either straight length or coil form (rebar) regardless of metallurgy, length, diameter, or grade. The merchandise subject to review is currently classifiable under items 7213.10.0000, 7214.20.0000, and 7228.30.8010. The subject merchandise may also enter under other Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) numbers including 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.5000, 7221.00.0015, 7221.00.0030, 7221.00.0045, 7222.11.0001, 7222.11.0057, 7222.11.0059, 7222.30.0001, 7227.20.0080, 7227.90.6085, 7228.20.1000, and 7228.60.6000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise subject to the order is dispositive.4

    4 For a full description of the scope of the order, see the “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from Mexico; 2014-2015,” from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1) and (2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Constructed export price or export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary results, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum dated concurrently with this notice and hereby adopted by this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed 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.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margins for the period April 24, 2014, through October 31, 2015:

    Producer and/or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Deacero 0.56 Grupo Simec 5 0.00
    Assessment Rate

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.6 If the weighted-average dumping margin for Deacero or Grupo Simec is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem antidumping duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same 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 not zero or de minimis. Where either 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.7 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 where applicable.

    5 Pursuant to section 771(33)(B), (F) and (G) of the Act, the Department found Grupo Simec S.A.B. de C.V. affiliated with the following producers: Orge S.A. de C.V.; Compania Siderurgica del Pacifico S.A. de C.V.; Grupo Chant S.A.P.I. de C.V.; RRLC S.A.P.I. de C.V.; Siderurgica del Occidente y Pacifico S.A. de C.V.; Simec International 6 S.A. de C.V.; Simec International 7 S.A. de C.V.; and Simec International 9 S.A. de C.V. and collapsed and treated as a single entity in this administrative review pursuant to 19 CFR 351.401(f). The collective entity is Grupo Simec.

    6See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    7See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101, 8103 (February 14, 2012); 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    In accordance with the Department's “automatic assessment” practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by each respondent for which they did not know that their 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 publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for respondents noted above will be the rate established in the final results of this administrative review, except if the rate is less than 0.50 percent and, therefore, de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(I), in which case the cash deposit rate will be zero; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this administrative review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation, but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the producer of the subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 20.58 percent, the all-others rate established in the antidumping investigation.8 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    8See Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from Mexico: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 54967 (September 15, 2014).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department will disclose to parties to this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of these preliminary results.9 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit cases briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.10 Parties who submit comments are requested to submit: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.11 All briefs must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS.

    9See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    11See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, using Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS system, and an electronically filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, within 30 days of publication of this notice.12 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, we will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined.13 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    12See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    13See 19 CFR 351.310.

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 213(h)(2), the Department will issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by the parties in their case briefs, within 120 days after issuance of these preliminary results.14

    14See section 75l(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Notification to Importers

    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 Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and increase the subsequent assessment of the antidumping duties by the amount of antidumping duties reimbursed.

    These preliminary results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Affiliation and Collapsing 5. Discussion of Methodology Date of Sale Comparisons to Normal Value Product Comparisons Determination of Comparison Method Results of the Differential Pricing (DP) Analysis Constructed Export Price Normal Value A. Home Market Viability B. Level of Trade C. Sales to Affiliated Customers D. Cost of Production Analysis 1. Calculation of Cost of Production (COP) 2. Test of Home Market Prices 3. Results of the COP Test E. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices F. Constructed Value Currency Conversion 6. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-29571 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-837] Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) From Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 12, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty (AD) order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET Film) from Taiwan in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip (PET Film) from Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015, 81 FR 53441 (August 12, 2016) (Preliminary Results). This review covers Nan Ya Plastics Corporation (Nan Ya) and Shinkong Materials Technology Corporation (SMTC). We invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Result and received no comments or requests for a hearing. Therefore, for the final results, we continue to find that sales of subject merchandise by Nan Ya were not made at prices less than normal value during the period of review (POR). We continue to find that SMTC had no shipments of subject merchandise during the POR.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Arrowsmith, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 12, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Results. 1 The POR is July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. We invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. We received no comments or requests for a hearing from any party. The Department conducted this administrative review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Act.

    1See Preliminary Results.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the antidumping duty order are all gauges of raw, pretreated, or primed PET film, whether extruded or coextruded. Excluded are metalized films and other finished films that have had at least one of their surfaces modified by the application of a performance-enhancing resinous or inorganic layer of more than 0.00001 inches thick. Imports of polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip are currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item number 3920.62.00.90. HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the scope of the antidumping duty order is dispositive.

    Final Results of Review

    As noted above, the Department received no comments concerning the Preliminary Results on the record of this segment of the proceeding. As there are no changes from, or comments upon, the Preliminary Results, the Department finds that there is no reason to modify its analysis and calculations. Thus, we continue to find that sales of subject merchandise by Nan Ya were not made at less than normal value during the POR. Further, we continue to find that SMTC had no shipments of subject merchandise during the POR. For further details of the issues addressed in this proceeding, see the Preliminary Results and the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2 The final weighted-average dumping margin for the period July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, for Nan Ya is zero percent.

    2See “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments: Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from Taiwan; 2013-2014,” from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated August 5, 2016 (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), which can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html.

    Final Determination of No Shipments

    Based on our analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) information and information provided by SMTC and its affiliate Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corporation (SSFC), we determine that SMTC had no shipments of subject merchandise, and, therefore, no reviewable transactions, during the POR.3 For a full discussion of this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, which is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).4 ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in room B8024 of the main 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 and electronic versions of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3 In the Preliminary Results for the 2008-2009 antidumping duty administrative review, we determined that for the purposes of calculating an antidumping margin, SMTC, and its parent company Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corporation (SSFC) should be treated as a single entity. See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet and Strip from Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 75 FR 49902 (August 16, 2010), (unchanged in the Final Results for the 2008-2009 antidumping duty administrative review (Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet and Strip from Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 76 FR 9745 (February 22, 2011))).

    4See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 3.

    Assessment Rates

    The Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries in this review, in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). The Department intends to issue assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of these final results of review. Because we calculated a zero margin in the final results of this review for Nan Ya, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212 we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Nan Ya will be zero percent, the rate established in the final results of this review; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not covered in this review, 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 or any previous review or in the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) 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) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered in this or any previous review or the investigation, the cash-deposit rate will continue to be the all-others rate of 2.40 percent which is the all-others rate established by the Department in the LTFV investigation.5 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    5See PET Film from Taiwan Amended Final Determination, 67 FR at 44175, unchanged in Correction Notice, 67 FR at 46566.

    Reimbursement of Duties

    This notice also serves as a final 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 Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation, which is subject to sanction.

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29568 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-825] Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 3, 2016, the Department published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the countervailing duty order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET film) from India. This review covers two companies: Jindal Poly Films Limited (Jindal), and SRF Limited. The period of review (POR) is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. Based on an analysis of the comments received, the Department has made changes to the subsidy rate determined for Jindal. The final subsidy rates are listed in the “Final Results of Administrative Review” section below.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elfi Blum, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0197.

    Scope of the Order

    For the purposes of the order, the products covered are all gauges of raw, pretreated, or primed polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet and strip, whether extruded or coextruded. Excluded are metallized films and other finished films that have had at least one of their surfaces modified by the application of a performance-enhancing resinous or inorganic layer of more than 0.00001 inches thick. Imports of PET film are classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item number 3920.62.00.90. HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    The issues raised by Petitioners 1 and Jindal in their case briefs are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.2 Neither party submitted rebuttal briefs. The issues are identified in the Appendix to this notice. The Issues and 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 in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1 DuPont Teijin Films, Inc., Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Inc. and SKC, Inc. (collectively, Petitioners).

    2See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India; 2013,” dated concurrently with this notice and herein incorporated by reference (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    The Department published the preliminary results of this administrative review of PET film from India on August 3, 2016.3 Based on the comments received from Petitioners, in these final results, we corrected a ministerial error made in the context of our analysis of the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme (EPCGS).4

    3See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet and Strip From India: Preliminary Results And Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014, 81 FR 51186 (August 3, 2016) (Preliminary Results 2014).

    4 For a discussion of these issues, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum, and Memorandum to the File from Elfi Blum, International Trade Compliance Analyst, titled “Final Results of 2014 Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from India—Jindal Polyfilms Limited,” each dated concurrently with these final results.

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we find that there is a subsidy, i.e., a government-provided financial contribution that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.5 For a description of the methodology underlying all of the Department's conclusions, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    5See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and, section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    Final Results of Administrative Review

    In accordance with section 777A(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(5), we determine the total estimated net countervailable subsidy rates for the period January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014 to be:

    Manufacturer/exporter Subsidy rate
  • (percent ad valorem)
  • Jindal Poly Films of India Limited 5.52 SRF Limited 2.16
    Assessment and Cash Deposit Requirements

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(2), the Department intends to issue appropriate instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 15 days after publication of the final results of this review. The Department will instruct CBP to liquidate shipments of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by the companies listed above, entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, at the percent rates, as listed above for each of the respective companies, of the entered value.

    The Department intends also to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties, in the amounts shown above for each of the respective companies shown above, on shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this review. For all non-reviewed firms, we will instruct CBP to continue to collect cash deposits at the most-recent company-specific or all-others rate applicable to the company, as appropriate. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    These final results are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: December 1, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Scope of the Order III. Period of Review IV. Subsidies Valuation Information A. Allocation Period B. Attribution of Subsidies C. Benchmarks Interest Rates D. Denominator V. Analysis of Programs A. Programs Determined To Be Countervailable B. Programs Determined To Be Not Used or to Provide No Benefit During the POR VI. Final Results of Review VII. Analysis of Comments Comment 1: Whether the Department should calculate a benefit for the Status Holder Incentive Scheme (SHIS) when Jindal did not report any benefits received during the POR. Comment 2: Whether the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Central Sales Tax (CST) Refunds Under the Industrial Promotion Subsidy (IPS) of the State Government of Maharashtra's (SGOM) Package Scheme of Incentives (PSI) Are Countervailable Comment 3: Whether the Department should countervail benefits received under the State and Union Territory Sales Tax Incentive Program Comment 4: Whether the Department erroneously omitted one sub-program in its summation of the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme (EPCGS) sub-programs
    [FR Doc. 2016-29570 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-489-819] Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Intent To Rescind the Review in Part; 2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on steel concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey). The period of review (POR) is September 15, 2014, through December 31, 2014. This review covers two producers/exporters of subject merchandise that the Department selected for individual examination: Icdas Celik Enerji Tersane ve Ulasim Sanayi A.S. (Icdas) and Kaptan Demir Celik Endustrisi ve Ticaret A.S. and Kaptan Metal Dis Ticaret ve Nakliyat A.S. (Kaptan Demir Companies) (collectively, the mandatory respondents). This review also covers the following firms that were not individually examined: 3212041 Canada Inc.; Acemar International Limited; As Gaz Sinai ve Tibbi Azlar A.S.; Colakoglu Dis Ticaret A.S. (also known as Colakoglu Disticaret AS); Colakoglu Metalurji A.S.; Del Industrial Metals; Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi A.S. (also known as Habas Sinai 199, Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar, and/or Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal); Izmir Demir Celik Sanayi A.S.; Ozkan Demir Celik Sanayi A.S.; Tata Steel International (Hong Kong) Limited (also known as Tata Steel International (Hong Kong)); and Tata Steel UK.

    We preliminarily find that the mandatory respondents each received a de minimis net subsidy rate during the POR. See “Preliminary Results of Review” section of this notice below for the preliminary rates calculated for the companies covered in this review.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristen Johnson (Icdas) and Samuel Brummitt (Kaptan Demir), AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-4793, and (202) 482-7851, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Scope of the Order

    The scope of the order consists of steel concrete reinforcing bar imported in either straight length or coil form (rebar) regardless of metallurgy, length, diameter, or grade. The subject merchandise is classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) primarily under item numbers 7213.10.0000, 7214.20.0000, and 7228.30.8010. The subject merchandise may also enter under other HTSUS numbers including 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.5000, 7221.00.0015, 7221.00.0030, 7221.00.0045, 7222.11.0001, 7222.11.0057, 7222.11.0059, 7222.30.0001, 7227.20.0080, 7227.90.6085, 7228.20.1000, and 7228.60.6000. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this Order is dispositive.1

    1See Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From the Republic of Turkey: Countervailing Duty Order, 79 FR 65926 (November 6, 2014) (Order). For a full description of the scope of this order see Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from the Republic of Turkey,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by this notice. (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    We are conducting this administrative review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily find that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.2 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and 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/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is provided in the Appendix to this notice.

    Intent To Rescind Administrative Review, in Part

    Entries of merchandise produced and exported by Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi A.S. (Habas) are not subject to countervailing duties because the Department's final determination with respect to this producer/exporter combination was negative.3 However, as stated in the Initiation Notice, any entries of merchandise produced by any other entity and exported by Habas or produced by Habas and exported by another entity are subject to the Order. 4

    3See Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from the Republic of Turkey: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, 79 FR 54963, 54964 (September 15, 2014).

    4See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 736, 740 (at footnote 4) (January 7, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    Because there is no evidence on the record of entries of merchandise produced by another entity and exported by Habas, or entries of merchandise produced by Habas and exported by another entity, we preliminarily determine that Habas is not subject to this administrative review. Therefore, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(3), we intend to rescind the review with respect to Habas. A final decision regarding whether to rescind the review of Habas will be made in the final results of this review.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    We preliminarily find that the following net subsidy rates exist for the period September 15, 2014, through December 31, 2014:

    5 For Icdas, we preliminarily calculate a de minimis rate, which, when rounded to the hundredth place, is zero.

    6 The name of Tata Steel UK was incorrectly spelled in the Initiation Notice. The company's name was inadvertently listed as “Tata Steel U.” See Initiation Notice, 81 FR at 740.

    Company Subsidy rate
  • Ad Valorem
  • (percent)
  • Icdas Celik Enerji Tersane ve Ulasim Sanayi A.S 5 0.00 Kaptan Demir Celik Endustrisi ve Ticaret A.S. and Kaptan Metal Dış Ticaret ve Nakliyat A.S. * 0.02 3212041 Canada Inc 0.00 Acemar International Limited 0.00 As Gaz Sinai ve Tibbi Azlar A.S 0.00 Colakoglu Dis Ticaret A.S. (also known as Colakoglu Disticaret AS) 0.00 Colakoglu Metalurji A.S 0.00 Del Industrial Metals 0.00 Izmir Demir Celik Sanayi A.S 0.00 Ozkan Demir Celik Sanayi A.S 0.00 Tata Steel International (Hong Kong) Limited (also known as Tata Steel International (Hong Kong)) 0.00 Tata Steel UK 6 0.00 * De minimis.

    In accordance with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's decision in Albemarle Corp. v. United States, 7 we are applying to the non-selected companies the rates preliminarily calculated for the mandatory respondents, which are de minimis.

    7See Albemarle Corp. & Subsidiaries v. United States, 821 F.3d 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2016).

    Assessment Rates

    Consistent with section 751(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(2), upon issuance of the final results, the Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, countervailing duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, the Department intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties in the amount shown above for the reviewed companies should the final results remain the same as these preliminary results. For all non-reviewed firms, we will instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties at the most recent company-specific or all-others rate applicable to the company. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We will disclose to the parties in this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of this notice.8 Interested parties may submit written arguments (case briefs) on the preliminary results no later than 30 days from the date of publication of this Federal Register notice, and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing the case briefs.9 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2), rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument: (1) Statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    8See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii); 351.309(d)(1); and 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.10 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If the Department receives a request for a hearing, we will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing, which will be held at the main Department of Commerce building at a time and location to be determined.11 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing.

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    11See 19 CFR 351.310.

    Parties are reminded that briefs and hearing requests are to be filed electronically using ACCESS and that electronically filed documents must be received successfully in their entirety by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, we intend to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by parties in their comments, within 120 days after publication of these preliminary results.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    These preliminary results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213 and 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: December 5, 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. Subsidies Valuation Information V. Analysis of Programs A. Program Preliminarily Determined To Be Countervailable 1. Rediscount Program B. Programs Preliminarily Determined To Not Be Countervailable 1. Assistance to Offset Costs Related to AD/CVD Investigations 2. Purchase of Electricity for More Than Adequate Remuneration (MTAR)—Sales on the Grid C. Program Preliminarily Determined To Not Be Countervailable for a Respondent 1. Provision of Natural Gas for Less Than Adequate Remuneration (LTAR) D. Program for Which Additional Information Is Required 1. Purchase of Electricity for MTAR—Sales to Public Buyers E. Programs Preliminarily Determined To Not Confer Countervailable Benefits 1. Reduction and Exemption of Licensing Fees for Renewable Resource Power Plants 2. Investment Incentive Certificates F. Programs Preliminarily Determined To Not Be Used 1. Purchase of Electricity for MTAR—Sales via Build-Operate-Own, Build-Operate-Transfer, and Transfer of Operating Rights Contracts 2. Provision of Lignite for LTAR 3. Purchase of Electricity Generated from Renewable Resources for MTAR 4. Deductions from Taxable Income for Export Revenue 5. Research and Development Grant Program 6. Export Credits, Loans, and Insurance from Turk Eximbank a. Pre-Shipment Export Credits b. Foreign Trade Company Export Loans c. Pre-Export Credits d. Short-Term Export Credit Discount Program e. Export Insurance 7. Regional Investment Incentives a. VAT and Customs Duty Exemptions b. Income Tax Reductions c. Social Security Support d. Land Allocation 8. Large-Scale Investment Incentives a. VAT and Customs Duty Exemptions b. Tax Reduction c. Income Tax Withholding Allowance d. Social Security and Interest Support e. Land Allocation 9. Strategic Investment Incentives a. VAT and Customs Duty Exemptions b. Tax Reduction c. Income Tax Withholding Allowance d. Social Security and Interest Support e. Land Allocation f. VAT Refunds 10. Incentives for Research & Development (R&D) Activities a. Tax Breaks and Other Assistance b. Product Development R&D Support—UFT 11. Regional Development Subsidies a. Provision of Land for LTAR b. Provision of Electricity for LTAR c. Withholding of Income Tax on Wages and Salaries d. Exemption From Property Tax e. Employers' Share in Insurance Premiums f. Preferential Tax Benefits for Turkish Rebar Producers Located in Free Zones g. Preferential Lending to Turkish Rebar Producers Located in Free Zones h. Exemptions From Foreign Exchange Restrictions to Turkish Rebar Producers Located in Free Zones i. Preferential Rates for Land Rent and Purchase to Turkish Rebar Producers Located in Free Zones VI. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-29572 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-809] Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on circular welded non-alloy steel pipe (CWP) from the Republic of Korea (Korea). The period of review (POR) is November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015. The Department preliminarily determines that the one individually-examined respondent in this review, Husteel Co., Ltd. (Husteel), made sales of the subject merchandise at prices below normal value, and that Hyundai Steel Company (Hyundai Steel) had no shipments of subject merchandise during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Shuler, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-1293.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is circular welded non-alloy steel pipe and tube. Imports of the product are currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 7306.30.1000, 7306.30.5025, 7306.30.5032, 7306.30.5040, 7306.30.5055, 7306.30.5085, and 7306.30.5090. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1

    1 For a full description of the scope of the order, see the Memorandum from Deputy Assistant Secretary Christian Marsh to Assistant Secretary Paul Piquado, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: 2014-2015,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by this notice (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). Constructed export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value 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. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is provided as Appendix I to this notice. 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) available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html.

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    We received a timely submission from Hyundai Steel reporting to the Department that it had no exports, sales, or entries of subject merchandise to the United States during the POR.2 Based on the certification submitted by Hyundai Steel and our analysis of information from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), we preliminarily determine that Hyundai Steel had no shipments of subject merchandise during the POR. For additional information on our preliminary no shipments determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2See Hyundai Steel's Letter to the Department, “Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Korea: No Shipment Letter,” dated February 11, 2016.

    Preliminary Results of the Administrative Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the respondents for the period November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015. The rate for the companies not selected for individual examination is equal to the weighted-average dumping margin for the selected respondent, Husteel.

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Husteel Co., Ltd 1.77 AJU Besteel 1.77 NEXTEEL 1.77 SeAH Steel Corporation 1.77
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed for these preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of this notice.3 Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of the preliminary results.4 Rebuttal briefs, limited to the issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the submission of case briefs.5 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.6

    3See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1).

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days of publication of this notice.7 Hearing requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. 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, unless extended, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    7See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Assessment Rates

    If Husteel's weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis in the final results of this review, we will calculate an importer-specific assessment rate on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the importer's examined sales and the total entered value of the sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).8 If Husteel's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis in the final results of reviews, we will instruct CBP not to assess duties on any of its entries in accordance with the Final Modification for Reviews. 9

    8 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    9See Final Modification for Reviews, 77 FR at 8102.

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Husteel for which it did not know 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 companies involved in the transaction. Consistent with our practice, if we continue to find that Hyundai Steel had no shipments of subject merchandise to the United States in the final results of this review, we intend to instruct CBP to liquidate any existing entries of merchandise produced by Hyundai Steel and exported by other parties at the all-others rate.

    For AJU Besteel, NEXTEEL, and SeAH Steel Corporation (the companies not selected for individual examination), we will instruct CBP to apply the rate assigned to them in the final results of this review to all entries of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by these companies.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of these reviews.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of this administrative review for all shipments of CWP from Korea entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rates for Husteel, AJU Besteel, NEXTEEL, and SeAH Steel Corporation will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margins established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior completed segment of the proceeding, 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 original investigation but the producer has been covered in a prior complete segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the producer of the merchandise; (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 4.80 percent, the “all others” rate established in the order.10 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    10See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Brazil, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Mexico, and Venezuela, and Amendment to Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Korea, 57 FR 49453 (November 2, 1992).

    Notification to Importers

    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 Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    The Department is issuing and publishing these preliminary results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments V. Rates for Respondents Not Selected for Invididual Examination VI. Discussion of The Methodology A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis VII. Date of Sale VIII. Product Comparisons IX. Constructed Export Price X. Normal Value A. Comparison Market Viability B. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's Length Test C. Level of Trade/CEP Offset D. Cost of Production Analysis 1. Calculation of Cost of Production 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test E. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices XI. Currency Conversion XII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-29543 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-520-803] Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From the United Arab Emirates: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET Film) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The period of review (POR) is November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015. The review covers one producer/exporter of the subject merchandise, JBF RAK LLC (JBF). The Department preliminarily determines that sales of subject merchandise have been made below normal value by JBF. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Huston, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4261.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is polyethylene terephthalate film. The product is currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading: 3920.62.00.90. Although the HTSUS number is provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written product description, available in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, remains dispositive.1

    1See the Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from the United Arab Emirates” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this notice.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value 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, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an Appendix to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum 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 in the Central Records Unit in Room B8024 of the main 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/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    2Id.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of our review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margin for the period November 1, 2014, through October 31, 2015:

    Manufacturer/exporter Weighted-
  • average margin
  • (percent)
  • JBF RAK LLC 7.93
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose the calculations used in our analysis to parties in this review within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results of this review. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may not be filed later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.3 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this review are requested to submit with each brief: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities.4 Executive summaries should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.5

    3See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1).

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2), (d)(2).

    5Id.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. If a hearing is requested, the Department will notify interested parties of the hearing schedule. 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. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs.

    We intend to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of issues raised by the parties in the written comments, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, unless otherwise extended.6

    6See section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuing the final results of the review, the Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of review.

    For any individually examined respondents whose weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis, we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).7 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 either 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.

    7 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation methodology adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    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.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of PET Film from the UAE 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 companies under review will be the rate established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, 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 will continue to be 4.05 percent, the all-others rate established in the investigation.8 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    8See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from Brazil, the People's Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates: Antidumping Duty Orders and Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value for the United Arab Emirates, 73 FR 66595, 66597 (November 10, 2008).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) 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.

    These preliminary results of administrative review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Date of Sale 5. Discussion of Methodology 6. Product Comparisons 7. Export Price 8. Normal Value 9. Currency Conversions 10. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-29541 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-992] Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 5, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty (AD) order on monosodium glutamate (MSG) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) covering the period of review (POR) May 8, 2014 through October 31, 2015 in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). See Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 81 FR 51853 (August 5, 2016) (Preliminary Results). This review covers 38 exporters of the subject merchandise. None of these companies filed a separate rate application (SRA) and/or a separate rate certification (SRC) to establish its separate rate status. Therefore, the Department preliminarily found that the companies are part of the PRC-wide entity. We invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. No party filed comments or requested a hearing. Accordingly, the final results remain unchanged from the Preliminary Results.

    DATES:

    Effective December 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Arrowsmith, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by this order is MSG, whether or not blended or in solution with other products. Specifically, MSG that has been blended or is in solution with other product(s) is included in this scope when the resulting mix contains 15 percent or more of MSG by dry weight. Products with which MSG may be blended include, but are not limited to, salts, sugars, starches, maltodextrins, and various seasonings. Further, MSG is included in this order regardless of physical form (including, but not limited to, in monohydrate or anhydrous form, or as substrates, solutions, dry powders of any particle size, or unfinished forms such as MSG slurry), end-use application, or packaging. MSG in monohydrate form has a molecular formula of C5H8NO4Na-H2O, a Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number of 6106-04-3, and a Unique Ingredient Identifier (UNII) number of W81N5U6R6U. MSG in anhydrous form has a molecular formula of C5H8NO4Na, a CAS registry number of 142-47-2, and a UNII number of C3C196L9FG. Merchandise covered by the scope of this order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheading 2922.42.10.00. Merchandise subject to the order may also enter under HTS 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. The tariff classifications, CAS registry numbers, and UNII numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes; however, the written description of the scope is dispositive.1

    1See Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Second Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Amended Antidumping Order, 80 FR 487 (January 6, 2015).

    Final Results of Review

    As noted above, the Department received no comments concerning the Preliminary Results on the record of this segment of the proceeding. As there are no changes from, or comments upon, the Preliminary Results, the Department finds that there is no reason to modify its analysis. Therefore, in these final results of review, we have continued to treat all 38 exporters subject to this review as part of the PRC-wide entity.2 The PRC-wide entity rate is 40.41 percent.3

    2 In the Preliminary Results, we found all 38 exporters subject to this review to be part of the PRC-wide entity as each exporter failed to submit an SRA and/or an SRC to establish its eligibility for separate rate status. As noted above, no party submitted comments regarding the Preliminary Results on the record of this segment of the proceeding. Accordingly, no decision memorandum accompanies this Federal Register notice. For further details of the issues addressed in this proceeding, see the Preliminary Results and the “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China; 2014-2015,” from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, dated August 5, 2016, which can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html.

    3See Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Second Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Amended Antidumping Duty Order, 80 FR 487 (January 6, 2015).

    Assessment Rates

    The Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries in this review, in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). The Department intends to issue assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication in the Federal Register of these final results of this administrative review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not under review in this segment of the proceeding, but who have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recent period; (2) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the PRC-wide entity rate (i.e., 40.41 percent); and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Reimbursement of Duties

    This notice also serves as a final 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 Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation, which is subject to sanction.

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29564 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket No.: 161115999-6999-01] National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invites organizations to provide products and technical expertise to support and demonstrate technology platforms for the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block. This notice is the initial step for the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) in collaborating with technology companies to address cybersecurity challenges identified under the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block. Participation in the building block is open to all interested organizations.

    DATES:

    Interested parties must contact NIST to request a letter of interest template to be completed and submitted to NIST. Letters of interest will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Collaborative activities will commence as soon as enough completed and signed letters of interest have been returned to address all the necessary components and capabilities, but no earlier than January 9, 2017. When the building block has been completed, NIST will post a notice on the NCCoE Web site at https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/privacy-enhanced-identity-brokers announcing the completion of the building block and informing the public that it will no longer accept letters of interest for this project.

    ADDRESSES:

    The NCCoE is located at 9700 Great Seneca Highway, Rockville, MD 20850. Letters of interest must be submitted to [email protected]; or via mail to National Institute of Standards and Technology, NCCoE; 100 Bureau Drive, M/S 2002 Gaithersburg, MD 20899. Organizations whose letters of interest are accepted in accordance with the process set forth in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice will be asked to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NIST. A CRADA template can be found at: https://nccoe.nist.gov/library/nccoe-consortium-crada-example.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Grassi via email at [email protected]; by telephone 240-614-3686; or by mail to National Institute of Standards and Technology, NCCoE; 100 Bureau Drive, M/S 2002 Gaithersburg, MD 20899. Additional details about the Privacy-Enhancing Federation Building Block are available at https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The NCCoE, part of NIST, is a public-private collaboration for accelerating the widespread adoption of integrated cybersecurity tools and technologies. The NCCoE brings together experts from industry, government, and academia under one roof to develop practical, interoperable cybersecurity approaches that address the real-world needs of complex Information Technology (IT) systems. By accelerating dissemination and use of these integrated tools and technologies for protecting IT assets, the NCCoE will enhance trust in U.S. IT communications, data, and storage systems; reduce risk for companies and individuals using IT systems; and encourage development of innovative, job-creating cybersecurity products and services.

    Process: NIST is soliciting responses from all sources of relevant security capabilities (see below) to enter into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to provide products and technical expertise to support and demonstrate security platforms for the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block. The full building block can be viewed at: https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/privacy-enhanced-identity-brokers.

    Interested parties should contact NIST using the information provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. NIST will then provide each interested party with a letter of interest template, which the party must complete, certify that it is accurate, and submit to NIST. NIST will contact interested parties if there are questions regarding the responsiveness of the letters of interest to the building block objective or requirements identified below. NIST will select participants who have submitted complete letters of interest on a first come, first served basis within each category of product components or capabilities listed below up to the number of participants in each category necessary to carry out this building block. However, there may be continuing opportunity to participate even after initial activity commences. Selected participants will be required to enter into a consortium CRADA with NIST (for reference, see ADDRESSES section above). NIST published a notice in the Federal Register on October 19, 2012 (77 FR 64314), inviting U.S. companies to enter into National Cybersecurity Excellence Partnerships (NCEPs) in furtherance of the NCCoE. For this demonstration project, NCEP partners will not be given priority for participation.

    Building Block Objective: The primary objective of this building block is to demonstrate how federated identity services, leveraging market dominant standards, can include privacy enhancements for individuals and organizations that are not widely available in market available identity solutions. More specifically, this project seeks innovative ways to protect user attributes in order to prevent intermediaries in federated identity transactions from gaining access to personal information. Additionally, it seeks architectures in which organizations and identity brokers do not know each other's organizational identities, so that neither entity can track or link user activities beyond what is known from their direct relationship with the user. Any approach utilized to achieve this goal must be able to mitigate common online attacks, such as a man-in-the-middle attack.

    This project will result in a freely available NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide, describing in depth the technical decisions, trade-offs, lessons-learned, and build instructions, based on market dominant standards, such that organizations can accelerate the deployment of a similar privacy enhancing federated identity architectures.

    A detailed description of the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block is available at https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/privacy-enhanced-identity-brokers.

    Requirements

    Each responding organization's letter of interest should identify which security platform component(s) or capability(ies) it is offering. Letters of interest should not include company proprietary information, and all components and capabilities must be commercially available. Components are listed in section ten of the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block (for reference, please see the link in the PROCESS section above) and include, but are not limited to:

    1. Relying Party Host(s) 2. Identity Provider Host(s) 3. Identity Federation Manager 4. Multi-factor credentials 5. Attribute Provider Host(s) 6. Cryptographic Module(s) to include key management (if required by commercial product) 7. Network, Compute, and Storage

    Each responding organization's letter of interest should identify how their products address one or more of the following desired solution characteristics in Chapter 6—Desired Solution Objectives, of the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block (for reference, please see the link in the PROCESS section above): Responding organizations need to understand and, in their letters of interest, commit to provide:

    1. Access for all participants' project teams to component interfaces and the organization's experts necessary to make functional connections among security platform components 2. Support for development and demonstration of the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block in NCCoE facilities which will be conducted in a manner consistent with Federal requirements (e.g., FIPS 200, FIPS 201, SP 800-53, and SP 800-63)

    Additional details about the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block are available at https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/privacy-enhanced-identity-brokers.

    NIST cannot guarantee that all of the products proposed by respondents will be used in the demonstration. Each prospective participant will be expected to work collaboratively with NIST staff and other project participants under the terms of the consortium CRADA in the development of the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block. Prospective participants' contribution to the collaborative effort will include assistance in establishing the necessary interface functionality, connection and set-up capabilities and procedures, demonstration harnesses, environmental and safety conditions for use, integrated platform user instructions, and demonstration plans and scripts necessary to demonstrate the desired capabilities. Each participant will train NIST personnel, as necessary, to operate its product in capability demonstrations. Following successful demonstrations, NIST will publish a description of the security platform and its performance characteristics sufficient to permit other organizations to develop and deploy technology platforms that meet the security and privacy objectives of the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block. These descriptions will be public information.

    Under the terms of the consortium CRADA, NIST will support development of interfaces among participants' products by providing IT infrastructure, laboratory facilities, office facilities, collaboration facilities, and staff support to component composition, security platform documentation, and demonstration activities.

    The dates of the demonstration of the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Federation Building Block capability will be announced on the NCCoE Web site at least two weeks in advance at http://nccoe.nist.gov/. The expected outcome of the demonstration is to improve privacy-enhancing identity federation within the enterprise. Participating organizations will gain from the knowledge that their products are interoperable with other participants' offerings.

    For additional information on the NCCoE governance, business processes, and NCCoE operational structure, visit the NCCoE Web site http://nccoe.nist.gov/.

    Kevin Kimball, NIST Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29482 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF026 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Approved Monitoring Service Providers AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of approved monitoring service providers.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has approved five companies to provide at-sea monitoring services to Northeast multispecies sectors in fishing years 2017 and 2018. Regulations implementing the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan require at-sea monitoring companies to apply to, and be approved by, NMFS in order to be eligible to provide at-sea monitoring services to sectors. This action will allow sectors to contract at-sea monitoring services with any of the approver providers for fishing years 2017 and 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The list of NMFS-approved sector monitoring service providers are available at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies/, or by sending a written request to: 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, Attn: Kyle Molton.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kyle Molton, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9236, fax (978) 281-9135, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Amendment 16 (75 FR 18262; April 9, 2010) to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) expanded the sector management program, including a requirement for industry-funded monitoring of catch by sector vessels. Framework Adjustment 48 to the FMP (78 FR 26118; May 3, 2013) revised the goals and objectives for sector monitoring programs. Sectors must employ approved independent third-party monitoring companies to provide at-sea monitoring services to their vessels.

    Standards for Approving At-Sea Monitoring Service Providers

    We are transitioning from an annual approval process to biennial approval to provide sectors additional stability and flexibility in negotiating contracts with monitoring companies. Applications approved this year will cover both fishing year 2017 and fishing year 2018 (May 1, 2017, through April 30, 2019). There will be an opportunity in 2017 for additional monitoring companies to apply for approval to provide services in fishing year 2018.

    The regulations at 50 CFR 648.87(b)(4) describe the criteria for approval of at-sea monitoring service providers. We approve service providers based on: (1) Completeness and sufficiency of applications; (2) determination of the applicant's ability to meet the performance requirements of a sector monitoring service provider; and (3) documented successful performance in the prior fishing year. We can disapprove any previously approved service provider during the fishing year if the provider fails to meet the performance standards, including required coverage levels. We must notify service providers of disapproval in writing.

    Approved Monitoring Service Providers

    We received complete applications from five companies: A.I.S., Inc.; East West Technical Services, LLC; MRAG Americas, Inc.; Fathom Research, LLC; and ACD USA Ltd. These five companies were approved for fishing year 2016. We approve all five companies to provide at-sea monitoring services in fishing years 2017 and 2018 because they have met the application requirements, documented their ability to comply with service provider standards, and have met the service provider performance criteria to date in fishing year 2016.

    Table 1—Approved Fishing Year 2016 Providers Provider name Address Phone Fax Website ACD USA Ltd 1801 Hollis St., Suite 1220, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B35 3N4 902-749-5107 902-749-4552 www.atlanticcatchdata.ca. A.I.S., Inc 14 Barnabas Rd., P.O. Box 1009, Marion, MA 02738 508-990-9054 508-990-9055 aisobservers.com. East West Technical Services, LLC 1415 Corona Ln., Vero Beach, FL 32963 860-910-4957 860-223-6005 www.ewts.com. Fathom Research, LLC 1213 Purchase St., Suite 302, New Bedford, MA 02740 508-990-0997 508-991-7372 www.fathomresearchllc.com. MRAG Americas, Inc 1810 Shadetree Circle, Anchorage, AK 99502 978-768-3880 978-768-3878 www.mragamericas.com. Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29575 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF078 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting (work session).

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will convene a work session of its Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Management Team (CPSMT). The work session is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The work session will be held Tuesday-Thursday, January 17-19, 2017. The meeting will begin the first day at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, and at 8 a.m. each following day. The meeting will adjourn each day at 5 p.m., or when business for the day has been completed.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Plankton Room of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 8901 La Jolla Shores Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037-1508.

    Council address: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE. Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Kerry Griffin, Staff Officer; telephone: (503) 820-2409.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The primary purposes of the work session are to review and continue development of a final analysis and fishery management plan (FMP) language for small-scale fisheries, in preparation for Council final action in April 2017; explore potential changes to CPS management categories; consider potential for periodic review of monitored stock harvest specifications and management measures; discuss ecosystem information and concerns as they relate to CPS management, forage needs, and other ecosystem needs; and workload planning for 2017 and 2018.

    Special Accommodations

    Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Dale Sweetnam (858) 546-7170 at least 10 business days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29508 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE954 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Breakwater Replacement Project in Eastport, Maine AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from the Maine Department of Transportation (ME DOT) for authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to in-water construction activities from the Eastport Breakwater Replacement Project (EBRP) in Eastport, ME. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the ME DOT to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B harassment only, during the specified activity.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than January 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on the applications should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Egger, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Availability

    An electronic copy of the ME DOT's application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    NMFS is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and will consider comments submitted in response to this notice as part of that process.

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    Authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA established an expedited process by which citizens of the U.S. can apply for an authorization to incidentally take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment. Section 101(a)(5)(D) establishes a 45-day time limit for NMFS review of an application followed by a 30-day public notice and comment period on any proposed authorizations for the incidental harassment of marine mammals. Within 45 days of the close of the comment period, NMFS must either issue or deny the authorization. Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as “any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).”

    Summary of Request

    On August 31, 2016, we received an application from the ME DOT for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities associated with the replacement and expansion of the pier and breakwater in Eastport, Maine. The project includes the removal of the original filled sheet pile structure (built in 1962), the replacement of the approach pier, expansion of the existing pier head, and the construction of a new wave attenuator. The ME DOT submitted a revised version of the application on October 21, 2016, and a final application on December 2, 2016, which we deemed adequate and complete.

    The proposed activity would begin January 2017 and work may be authorized for one year, however, the pile driving activity is expected to be accomplished between January and August 2017. Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), gray seal (Halichoerus grypus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) are expected to be present during the proposed work. Pile driving activities are expected to produce in-water noise disturbance that has the potential to result in the behavioral harassment of marine mammals. NMFS is proposing to authorize take, by Level B Harassment, of the marine mammals, listed above, as a result of the specified activity.

    On August 4, 2016, NMFS released its Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Guidance). This new guidance established new thresholds for predicting auditory injury, which equates to Level A harassment under the MMPA. The ME DOT project used this new guidance when determining the injury (Level A) zones.

    Description of the Specified Activities Overview

    The Eastport Breakwater is a solid fill multi-use pier serving the local fishing community by providing a safe harbor for berthing as well as a loading and off-loading point for the fishing fleet. It also serves as a berth for larger commercial and passenger ships and a docking area for U.S. Coast Guard vessels. It is an `L' shaped structure with one leg perpendicular to the shoreline and the outer leg parallel (see Appendix A, Project Plans, of the ME DOT IHA application). The existing pier was built in 1962 and is on the verge of being taken out of service due to public safety concerns. Recently, emergency repairs have been completed to prevent shutdown, however, these repairs are only temporary and will not keep the pier in service indefinitely. The overall replacement structure consists of an open pier supported by 151 piles, which would consist of steel pipe piles, reinforced concrete pile caps, and a precast pre-stressed plank deck with structural overlay. The approach pier would be 40 feet (ft) by 300 ft and the proposed main pier section that would be parallel to the shoreline would be 50 ft by 400 ft.

    ME DOT was issued an IHA for their previous work on this project in 2014 (79 FR 59247; October 4, 2014) with a revised date for project activities in 2015 (80 FR 46565; July 20, 2015). This prosed IHA is a continuation of the work to complete the project that began in 2015.

    Dates and Duration

    ME DOT plans to begin in-water construction in January 2017. The potential construction schedule is presented in Table 1. In-water pile driving activities are expected by completed by August 2017. Pile driving would only occur in weather that provides adequate visibility for marine mammal monitoring activities. The proposed IHA would be valid for one year from the date of issuance.

    Table 1—Construction Schedule for the Eastport Breakwater Replacement Project Activity Duration Expected timeframe of
  • activities with potential to
  • result in harassment
  • Approximate hours of
  • in-water noise producing
  • activities with sound levels over 120 dB RMS
  • Pile type to be driven/activity with potential to result in harassment *
    Construction of new pile supported pier 8 weeks January 2017-August 2017 190 16″-36″ steel pipe pile. Breakwater construction 32 weeks January 2017-August 2017 100 16″-36″ steel pipe pile; sheet steel. Installation of fender piles 2 weeks January 2017-August 2017 60 16″-36″ steel pipe pile.
    Specified Geographic Region

    The proposed activity would occur in Cobscook Bay (Washington County) in Eastport, ME. The breakwater lies near the mouth of the St. Croix River at the end of a long peninsula adjacent to Quoddy Head. Cobscook Bay has extremely strong tidal currents and notably high tides, creating an extensive intertidal habitat for marine and coastal species. Water depths at the proposed project location are between 8 and 55 ft (2.4-17 meter (m)). The Bay is considered a relatively intact marine system, as the area has not experienced much industrialization.

    Detailed Description of Activities

    The replacement pier consists of two different sections. The approach pier will be replaced in kind by placing fill inside of a sheet pile enclosure, supported by driven piles. The approach section will consist of sheet piles that are driven just outside of the existing sheet piles. The sheet piles can be installed by use of a vibratory hammer only. The main pier, fender system, and wave fence system will be pile supported with piles ranging from 16 inch to 36 inch diameter pipe piles. These piles will be driven with a vibratory hammer to a point and must be seated with an impact hammer to ensure stability.

    The vibratory hammer will drive the pile by applying a rapidly alternating force to the pile by rotating eccentric weights resulting in a downward vibratory force on the pile. The vibratory hammer will be attached to the pile head with a clamp. The vertical vibration in the pile functions by disturbing or liquefying the soil next to the pile, causing the soil particles to lose their frictional grip on the pile. The pile moves downward under its own weight, plus the weight of the hammer. It takes approximately one to three minutes to drive one pile. An impact hammer will be used to ensure the piles are embedded deep enough into the substrate to remain stable for the life of the pier. The impact hammer works by dropping a mass on top of the pile repeatedly to drive it into the substrate. Diesel combustion is used to push the mass upwards and allow it to fall onto the pile again to drive it. The breakdown of the size and amount of piles that is needed to complete the project can be found in Table 2.

    Table 2—Pile Types and Amounts Required To Complete the Project Pile size and type Number
  • of piles
  • remaining to
  • be installed
  • 16″ steel pipe pile (vibratory hammer) 37. 20″ steel pipe pile (impact and vibratory hammer) 25. 36″ steel pipe pile (impact and vibratory hammer) 2. Steel sheet pile (vibratory hammer) 80 pairs.

    The breakwater/wave attenuation component of the facility consists of two portions; Section 1 will consists of sheet piles will be installed along the back of the main pier and Section 2 will be a full depth wave attenuator consisting of king piles and sheet piles. Each king pile is designed as a cantilever beam to resist lateral loads. The king piles may also be able to be used to anchor the floating docks. The wave attenuator will be placed on the inshore side of the pier structure to reduce overall length and eliminate interference with the berthing face.

    Electrical and water utilities will be installed inside of the approach pier and also under the main pier. This will require a small amount of trenching under the main pier to bury portions of these lines.

    At this stage of the project, the demolition of the old breakwater/pier system will take place. This is likely to be staged after a portion of the construction of the new pier is completed to help with access during demolition. The existing pier is a solid fill pier that is surrounded by sheet piles. Demolition will include removal of the fill material between the sheet piles, and cutting the sheet piles off at the mud line for removal. The fill will likely be removed with an excavator.

    Standard ME DOT construction best management practices (BMPs) will also be used throughout the project. The erosion and sedimentation control BMPs can be found at http://www.maine.gov/dep/land/erosion/escbmps/. A spill prevention, control, and countermeasure plan will also be required for the project. This plan will ensure that all contaminants are properly stored and a cleanup plan is in place in case of any spills.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    The marine mammal species under NMFS jurisdiction, proposed for incidental Level B take as a result of project activities, are the harbor seal, gray seal, harbor porpoise, and Atlantic white-sided dolphin. In the species accounts provided below, we offer a brief introduction to the species and relevant stock as well as available information regarding population trends and threats, and describe any information regarding local occurrence (Table 3). Other species that may possibly occur in the vicinity of the proposed activity include North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis). However, these five species are generally associated with open ocean habitats and occur in more offshore locations. NMFS has concluded that the specified activity will not impact these five species and they are not discussed further.

    Table 3—Marine Mammal Information for the Project Area Species Stock ES)/MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • Stock abundance
  • (CV, Nmin, most recent
  • abundance survey) 2
  • PBR 3 Annual
  • M/SI 4
  • Relative occurrence/
  • season of occurrence
  • Harbor seal Western North Atlantic -; N 75,834 (0.15; 66,884; 2012) 2,006 420 Harbor seals are year-round inhabitants of the coastal waters of Maine and eastern Canada. Gray seal Western North Atlantic -; N unknown 505,00 (best estimate 2014 Canadian population DFO 2014) unknown 5,004 Gray seals currently pup at two established colonies in Maine: Green and Seal Islands. Harbor porpoise Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy -; N 79,883 (0.32; 61,415; 2011) 706 564 During winter (January to March), intermediate densities of harbor porpoises can be found in waters off New York to New Brunswick, Canada. In spring (April-June), harbor porpoises are widely dispersed from ME to NJ, with lower densities farther north and south. Atlantic white-sided dolphin Western North Atlantic -; N 48,819 (0.61; 30,403; 2011) 304 102 During January to May, low numbers of white-sided dolphins are found from Georges Bank (separates the Gulf of Maine from the Atlantic Ocean to Jeffreys Ledge (in the Western Gulf of Maine off of New Hampshire). 1 Endangered Species Act (ESA) status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR (see footnote 3) or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable. For certain stocks of pinnipeds, abundance estimates are based upon observations of animals (often pups) ashore multiplied by some correction factor derived from knowledge of the species (or similar species) life history to arrive at a best abundance estimate; therefore, there is no associated CV. In these cases, the minimum abundance may represent actual counts of all animals ashore. The most recent abundance survey that is reflected in the abundance estimate is presented; there may be more recent surveys that have not yet been incorporated into the estimate. 3 Potential biological removal, defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population size (OSP). 4 These values, found in NMFS' SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, subsistence hunting, ship strike). Annual M/SI often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value. All values presented here are from the final 2015 Pacific SAR. (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/region.htm)
    Harbor Seals

    On the east coast, harbor seals range from the Canadian Arctic to southern New England, New York, and occasionally the Carolinas. Seals are year-round inhabitants of the coastal waters of Maine and eastern Canada (Katona et al. 1993 as cited in Waring et al. 2016). A northward movement from southern New England to ME and eastern Canada occurs prior to the pupping season, which takes place from mid-May through June along the ME Coast (Richardson 1976; Wilson 1978; Whitman and Payne 1990; Kenney 1994; deHart 2002 as cited in Waring et al. 2016). Earlier research identified no pupping areas in southern New England (Payne and Schneider 1984; Barlas 1999 as cited in Waring et al. 2016); however, more recent documentation suggests that some pupping is occurring at high-use haulout sites at the Isles of Shoals, ME and off Manomet, Massachusetts (MA). The overall geographic range throughout coastal New England has not changed significantly during the last century (Payne and Selzer 1989 as cited in Waring et al. 2016). Harbor seals can be observed year-round in Cobscook Bay. The last surveys in Cobscook Bay were conducted in 2001 where a total of 193 harbor seals were observed on the U.S. side (144 adults and 49 pups) (Gilbert et al. 2005). Harbor seals travel back and forth under the bridge at Lubec, ME (approximately three miles (mi) south of the project area) and Campbello Island, New Brunkswick, Canada (J. Gilbert, University of ME and S. Wood, NOAA pers. comm. 2016). During the 2001 surveys, a major haulout was observed on Campebello Island. Harbor seals also pass through the Eastport area to their haulouts with the nearest largest site in South Bay (LuBec, ME) (J. Gilbert and S. Wood, pers. comm. 2016).

    Harbor seals are typically found in temperate coastal habitats and use rocks, reefs, beaches, and drifting glacial ice as haul outs and pupping sites. Seals use terrestrial habitat “haul-out sites” throughout the year, particularly during the pupping and molting periods. In northern New England, they typically haul-out on tidal ledges. Haul-out behavior is strongly influenced by tide stage, air temperature, time of day, wind speed, and precipitation. Human disturbance can also affect haul-out behavior although harbor seals appear to acclimate to some human activity (e.g., lobster boats along the coast of ME) (Weilgart 2007). Prey species for harbor seals include sandlance, silver hake, Atlantic herring, and redfish. Other species included cod, haddock, pollock, flounders, mackerel, and squid.

    Pinnipeds, such as the harbor seal (and also the gray seal as discussed below) produce a wide range of social signals, most occurring at relatively low frequencies (Southall et al. 2007), suggesting that hearing is keenest at these frequencies. Pinnipeds communicate acoustically both on land and underwater, but have different hearing capabilities dependent upon the medium (air or water). Based on numerous studies, as summarized in Southall et al. (2007), pinnipeds are more sensitive to a broader range of sound frequencies underwater than in air. The generalized hearing range for pinnipeds is 50 Hz to 86 kHz (NOAA 2016). Please also refer to NMFS' Web site (http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/seals/harbor-seal.html) for the harbor seal account and see NMFS' Stock Assessment Reports (SAR), available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars, for more detailed accounts of the harbor seal stocks' status and abundance.

    Gray seals

    The Western North Atlantic stock of the gray seal ranges from eastern Canada to the northeastern United States. Current estimates of the total Western North Atlantic stock are not available; although, estimates of portions of the stock are available for select time periods. Gray seal abundance is likely increasing in the U.S. Atlantic U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), but the rate of increase is unknown. Maine coast-wide surveys conducted during the summer found 597 and 1,731 gray seals in 1993 and 2001, respectively (Gilbert et al. 2005 as cited in Waring et al. 2016). In March 1999, a maximum of 5,611gray seals were observed in the region south of ME (between Isles of Shoals, ME and Woods Hole, MA) (Barlas 1999 as cited in Waring et al. 2016). During the 2001 surveys (May and June), no gray seals were observed in Cobscook Bay (J. Gilbert and S. Wood pers. comm. 2016) and also none during a survey in early 2000's (January to March) (J. Gilbert pers. comm. 2016, Nelson et al. 2006). Given where gray seals have been observed during the harbor seal pupping flights (May and June) Cobscook Bay does not appear to be important habitat except for the gray seals on nearby Campebello Island, New Brunkswick, Canada (south of the project area) (S. Wood pers. comm. 2016).

    Gray seals pup at two established colonies off the coast of ME, Green Island and Seal Island. Aerial survey data from these sites indicate that pup production is increasing with a minimum of 2,620 pups born in the U.S. in 2008 (Green Island (59 seals), Seal Island (466 seals), Muskeget Island, MA (2,095 seals)) (Wood LaFond 2009 as cited in Waring et al. 2016). Both colonies are tens of miles away from the proposed project area. There is no gray seal pupping in Cobscook Bay (J. Gilbert and S. Wood pers. comm. 2016). Overall there have not been many reconnaissance flight surveys for gray seal pupping so some areas of occurrence may be unknown with the exception of gray seals pupping along the mid-coast of ME (i.e. Penobscot Bay) (S. Wood pers. comm. 2016).

    Gray seals reside in coastal waters and also inhabit islands, sandbars, ice shelves, and icebergs. Please also refer to NMFS' Web site (http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/seals/gray-seal.html) for the generalized gray seal account and see NMFS' Stock Assessment Reports (SAR), available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars, for more detailed accounts of the gray seal stocks' status and abundance.

    Harbor Porpoises

    In the Western North Atlantic, the harbor porpoise stock is found in U.S. and Canadian Atlantic waters. Harbor porpoises in U.S. waters are divided into 10 stocks, based on genetics, movement patterns, and management (Waring et al. 2016). Any harbor porpoises encountered during the proposed project would be part of the Gulf of Maine-Bay of Fundy stock. A current trend analysis has not been conducted for this stock (Waring et al. 2016). During the winter months (January to March), medium densities are found in waters off of New Brunswick, Canada to NY. During the spring (April to June) and fall (October to December), harbor porpoises are widely dispersed from ME to NJ, with lower densities farther north and south (Waring et al. 2016). In the summer (July to September), harbor porpoises are concentrated in the northern Gulf of Maine and southern Bay of Fundy region, generally in waters less than 150 m deep (Gaskin 1977; Kraus et al. 1983; Palka 1995a, 1995b as cited in Waring et al. 2016), with a few sightings in the upper Bay of Fundy and on Georges Bank (Palka 2000 as cited in (Waring et al. 2016).

    Harbor porpoises reside in northern temperate and subarctic coastal and offshore waters. They are commonly found in bays, estuaries, harbors, and fjords less than 200 m (650 ft) deep. Harbor porpoises are considered high-frequency cetaceans and their generalized hearing ranges from 275 Hz to 160 kHz (NOAA 2016). Please also refer to NMFS' Web site (http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/porpoises/harbor-porpoise.html) for the generalized harbor porpoise account and see NMFS' Stock Assessment Reports (SAR), available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars, for more detailed accounts of the harbor porpoise stocks' status and abundance.

    Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins

    The Western North Atlantic stock of Atlantic white-sided dolphins ranges from Greenland to North Carolina. A current trend analysis has not been conducted for this stock (Waring et al. 2016). Any Atlantic white-sided dolphins encountered during the proposed project would likely be part the Gulf of Maine population and are most common in continental shelf waters from Hudson Canyon (approximately 39° N) to Georges Bank, and in the Gulf of ME and lower Bay of Fundy (Waring et al. 2016). During January to May, low numbers of white-sided dolphins are found from Georges Bank to Jeffreys Ledge (off New Hampshire), with even lower numbers south of Georges Bank (Waring et al. 2016). From June through September, large numbers of white-sided dolphins are found from Georges Bank to the lower Bay of Fundy. From October to December, white-sided dolphins occur at intermediate densities from southern Georges Bank to southern Gulf of ME (Payne and Heinemann 1990 as cited in Waring et al. 2016).

    Atlantic white-sided dolphins are found in temperate and sub-polar waters, primarily in continental shelf waters to the 100-m contour and exhibit seasonal movements between inshore northern waters and southern offshore waters (Waring et al. 2016). They are considered mid-frequency cetaceans and their generalized hearing ranges from150 Hz to 160 kHz (NOAA 2016). Please also refer to NMFS' Web site (http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/dolphins/atlantic-white-sided-dolphin.html) for the generalized Atlantic white-sided dolphin account and see NMFS' Stock Assessment Reports (SAR), available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars, for more detailed accounts of the species status and abundance. The Atlantic white-sided dolphin is assessed in the Atlantic SAR (Waring et al. 2016).

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity (e.g., pile driving) may impact marine mammals. This discussion includes reactions that we consider to rise to the level of a take and those that we do not consider to rise to the level of a take (for example, with acoustics, we may include a discussion of studies that showed animals not reacting at all to sound or exhibiting barely measurable avoidance). This section is intended as a background of potential effects and does not consider either the specific manner in which this activity will be carried out or the mitigation that will be implemented, and how either of those will shape the anticipated impacts from this specific activity. The Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The Negligible Impact Analysis section will include the analysis of how this specific activity will impact marine mammals and will consider the content of this section, the Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment section, the Proposed Mitigation section, and the Anticipated Potential Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat section to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of this activity on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and from that on the affected marine mammal populations or stocks.

    Description of Sound Terms and Sources

    Sound travels in waves, the basic components of which are frequency, wavelength, velocity, and amplitude. Frequency is the number of pressure waves that pass by a reference point per unit of time and is measured in hertz (Hz) or cycles per second. Wavelength is the distance between two peaks of a sound wave; lower frequency sounds have longer wavelengths than higher frequency sounds and attenuate (decrease) more rapidly in shallower water. Amplitude is the height of the sound pressure wave or the `loudness' of a sound and is typically measured using the decibel (dB) scale. A dB is the ratio between a measured pressure (with sound) and a reference pressure (sound at a constant pressure, established by scientific standards). It is a logarithmic unit that accounts for large variations in amplitude. Therefore, relatively small changes in dB ratings correspond to large changes in sound pressure. When referring to sound pressure levels (SPLs; the sound force per unit area), sound is referenced in the context of underwater sound pressure to 1 microPascal (μPa). One pascal is the pressure resulting from a force of one newton exerted over an area of one square meter (m). The source level (SL) represents the sound level at a distance of 1 m from the source (referenced to 1 μPa). The received level is the sound level at the listener's position. Note that all underwater sound levels in this document are referenced to a pressure of 1 µPa and all airborne sound levels in this document are referenced to a pressure of 20 µPa.

    Root mean square (rms) is the quadratic mean sound pressure over the duration of an impulse. Rms is calculated by squaring all of the sound amplitudes, averaging the squares, and then taking the square root of the average (Urick 1983). Rms accounts for both positive and negative values; squaring the pressures makes all values positive so that they may be accounted for in the summation of pressure levels (Hastings and Popper 2005). This measurement is often used in the context of discussing behavioral effects, in part because behavioral effects, which often result from auditory cues, may be better expressed through averaged units than by peak pressures.

    When underwater objects vibrate or activity occurs, sound-pressure waves are created. These waves alternately compress and decompress the water as the sound wave travels. Underwater sound waves radiate in all directions away from the source (similar to ripples on the surface of a pond), except in cases where the source is directional. The compressions and decompressions associated with sound waves are detected as changes in pressure by aquatic life and man-made sound receptors such as hydrophones.

    Even in the absence of sound from the specified activity, the underwater environment is typically loud due to ambient sound. Ambient sound is defined as environmental background sound levels lacking a single source or point (Richardson et al. 1995), and the sound level of a region is defined by the total acoustical energy being generated by known and unknown sources. These sources may include physical (e.g., waves, earthquakes, ice, atmospheric sound), biological (e.g., sounds produced by marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates), and anthropogenic sound (e.g., vessels, dredging, aircraft, construction). A number of sources contribute to ambient sound, including the following (Richardson et al. 1995):

    Wind and waves: The complex interactions between wind and water surface, including processes such as breaking waves and wave-induced bubble oscillations and cavitation, are a main source of naturally occurring ambient noise for frequencies between 200 Hz and 50 kHz (Mitson 1995). In general, ambient sound levels tend to increase with increasing wind speed and wave height. Surf noise becomes important near shore, with measurements collected at a distance of 8.5 km from shore showing an increase of 10 dB in the 100 to 700 Hz band during heavy surf conditions.

    Precipitation: Sound from rain and hail impacting the water surface can become an important component of total noise at frequencies above 500 Hz, and possibly down to 100 Hz during quiet times.

    Biological: Marine mammals can contribute significantly to ambient noise levels, as can some fish and shrimp. The frequency band for biological contributions is from approximately 12 Hz to over 100 kHz.

    Anthropogenic: Sources of ambient noise related to human activity include transportation (surface vessels and aircraft), dredging and construction, oil and gas drilling and production, seismic surveys, sonar, explosions, and ocean acoustic studies. Shipping noise typically dominates the total ambient noise for frequencies between 20 and 300 Hz. In general, the frequencies of anthropogenic sounds are below 1 kHz and, if higher frequency sound levels are created, they attenuate rapidly (Richardson et al. 1995). Sound from identifiable anthropogenic sources other than the activity of interest (e.g., a passing vessel) is sometimes termed background sound, as opposed to ambient sound.

    The sum of the various natural and anthropogenic sound sources at any given location and time—which comprise “ambient” or “background” sound—depends not only on the source levels (as determined by current weather conditions and levels of biological and shipping activity), but also on the ability of sound to propagate through the environment. In turn, sound propagation is dependent on the spatially and temporally varying properties of the water column and sea floor, and is frequency-dependent. As a result of the dependence on a large number of varying factors, ambient sound levels can be expected to vary widely over both coarse and fine spatial and temporal scales. Sound levels at a given frequency and location can vary by 10-20 dB from day to day (Richardson et al. 1995). The result is that, depending on the source type and its intensity, sound from the specified activity may be a negligible addition to the local environment or could form a distinctive signal that may affect marine mammals.

    Noise levels from the previous EBRP project were monitored in 2015/2016 (see application). The underwater acoustic environment in Eastport, ME is likely to be dominated by noise from day-to-day port and vessel activities. It is reasonable to believe that levels will generally be similar to the previous IHA for the EBRP as there is a similar type and degree of activity within the same type of environment.

    In-water construction activities associated with the project include impact and vibratory pile driving. The sounds produced by these activities fall into one of two general sound types: Pulsed and non-pulsed. The distinction between these two sound types is important because they have differing potential to cause physical effects, particularly with regard to hearing (e.g., Ward 1997 in Southall et al. 2007). Please see Southall et al. (2007) for an in-depth discussion of these concepts.

    Pulsed sound sources (e.g., explosions, gunshots, sonic booms, impact pile driving) produce signals that are brief (typically considered to be less than one second), broadband, atonal transients (ANSI 1986; Harris 1998; NIOSH 1998; ISO 2003; ANSI 2005) and occur either as isolated events or repeated in some succession. Pulsed sounds are all characterized by a relatively rapid rise from ambient pressure to a maximal pressure value followed by a rapid decay period that may include a period of diminishing, oscillating maximal and minimal pressures, and generally have an increased capacity to induce physical injury as compared with sounds that lack these features.

    The sounds produced by vibratory pile driving falls into the general sound type of non-pulsed. Non-pulsed sounds can be tonal, narrowband, or broadband, brief or prolonged, and may be either continuous or non-continuous (ANSI 1995, NIOSH 1998). Some of these non-pulsed sounds can be transient signals of short duration but without the essential properties of pulses (e.g., rapid rise time). Examples of non-pulsed sounds include those produced by vessels, aircraft, machinery operations such as drilling or dredging, vibratory pile driving, and active sonar systems. The duration of such sounds, as received at a distance, can be greatly extended in a highly reverberant environment.

    Vibratory hammers install piles by vibrating them and allowing the weight of the hammer to push them into the sediment. Vibratory hammers produce significantly less sound than impact hammers. Peak SPLs may be 180 dB or greater, but are generally 10 to 20 dB lower than SPLs generated during impact pile driving of the same-sized pile (Oestman et al. 2009). Rise time is slower, reducing the probability and severity of injury, and sound energy is distributed over a greater amount of time (Nedwell and Edwards 2002; Carlson et al. 2005).

    Marine Mammal Hearing

    Hearing is the most important sensory modality for marine mammals, and exposure to sound can have deleterious effects. To appropriately assess these potential effects, it is necessary to understand the frequency ranges marine mammals are able to hear. Current data indicate that not all marine mammal species have equal hearing capabilities (e.g., Richardson et al. 1995; Wartzok and Ketten 1999; Au and Hastings 2008). To reflect this, Southall et al. (2007) recommended that marine mammals be divided into hearing groups based on measured or estimated hearing ranges on the basis of available behavioral data, audiograms derived using auditory evoked potential techniques, anatomical modeling, and other data. NMFS made modifications to the marine mammal hearing groups proposed in Southall et al. (2007) that is reflected in the new Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (July 2016) (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm). The hearing group, pinnipeds, high frequency cetaceans (harbor porpoise) and mid-frequency cetaceans (Atlantic white-sided dolphin) which are the subject of this project, and the associated generalized hearing range is indicated in Table 4 below:

    Table 4—Marine Mammal Hearing Groups [as referenced in NOAA 2016, Technical Guidance] Hearing group Generalized hearing range * Phocid pinnipeds (PW) (underwater) (true seals) 50 Hz to 86 kHz. High-frequency (HF) cetaceans (true porpoises) 275 Hz to 160 kHz. Mid-frequency (MF) cetaceans (dolphins, toothed whales, beaked whales, bottlenose whales) 150 Hz to 160 kHz. * Represents the generalized hearing range for the entire group as a composite (i.e., all species within the group), where individual species' hearing ranges are typically not as broad. Generalized hearing range chosen based on ~65 dB threshold from normalized composite audiogram, with the exception for lower limits for LF cetaceans (Southall et al. 2007) and PW pinniped (approximation). Acoustic Effects, Underwater

    Potential Effects of Pile Driving Sound—The effects of sounds from pile driving might result in one or more of the following: Temporary or permanent hearing impairment, non-auditory physical or physiological effects, behavioral disturbance, and masking (Richardson et al. 1995; Gordon et al. 2003; Nowacek et al. 2007; Southall et al. 2007). The effects of pile driving on marine mammals are dependent on several factors, including the size, type, and depth of the animal; the depth, intensity, and duration of the pile driving sound; the depth of the water column; the substrate of the habitat; the standoff distance between the pile and the animal; and the sound propagation properties of the environment. Impacts to marine mammals from pile driving activities are expected to result primarily from acoustic pathways. As such, the degree of effect is intrinsically related to the received level and duration of the sound exposure, which are in turn influenced by the distance between the animal and the source. The further away from the source, the less intense the exposure should be. The substrate and depth of the habitat affect the sound propagation properties of the environment. Shallow environments are typically more structurally complex, which leads to rapid sound attenuation. In addition, substrates that are soft (e.g., sand) would absorb or attenuate the sound more readily than hard substrates (e.g., rock) which may reflect the acoustic wave. Soft porous substrates would also likely require less time to drive the pile, and possibly less forceful equipment, which would ultimately decrease the intensity of the acoustic source.

    In the absence of mitigation, impacts to marine species would be expected to result from physiological and behavioral responses to both the type and strength of the acoustic signature (Viada et al. 2008). The type and severity of behavioral impacts are more difficult to define due to limited studies addressing the behavioral effects of impulsive sounds on marine mammals.

    Hearing Impairment and Other Physical Effects—Marine mammals exposed to high intensity sound repeatedly or for prolonged periods can experience hearing threshold shift (TS), which is the loss of hearing sensitivity at certain frequency ranges (Kastak et al. 1999; Schlundt et al. 2000; Finneran et al. 2002, 2005). TS can be permanent (PTS), in which case the loss of hearing sensitivity is not recoverable, or temporary (TTS), in which case the animal's hearing threshold would recover over time (Southall et al. 2007). Marine mammals depend on acoustic cues for vital biological functions, (e.g., orientation, communication, finding prey, avoiding predators). However, the severity of the effects of TTS on an individual and likelihood of effecting its fitness depends on the frequency and duration of TTS, as well as the biological context in which it occurs. TTS of limited duration, occurring in a frequency range that does not coincide with that used for recognition of important acoustic cues, would have little to no effect on an animal's fitness. Repeated sound exposure that leads to TTS could cause PTS. PTS constitutes injury, but TTS does not (Southall et al. 2007). Based on the best scientific information available, the SPLs for the EBRP may exceed the thresholds that could cause TTS or the onset of PTS based on NMFS' new acoustic guidance (NMFS 2016a, 81 FR 51694; August 4, 2016). The following subsections discuss in somewhat more detail the possibilities of TTS, PTS, and non-auditory physical effects.

    Temporary Threshold Shift—TTS is the mildest form of hearing impairment that can occur during exposure to a strong sound (Kryter 1985). While experiencing TTS, the hearing threshold rises, and a sound must be stronger in order to be heard. In terrestrial mammals, TTS can last from minutes or hours to days (in cases of strong TTS). For sound exposures at or somewhat above the TTS threshold, hearing sensitivity in both terrestrial and marine mammals recovers rapidly after exposure to the sound ends. Few data on sound levels and durations necessary to elicit mild TTS have been obtained for marine mammals, and none of the published data concern TTS elicited by exposure to multiple pulses of sound. Available data on TTS in marine mammals are summarized in Southall et al. (2007).

    Permanent Threshold Shift—When PTS occurs, there is physical damage to the sound receptors in the ear. In severe cases, there can be total or partial deafness, while in other cases the animal has an impaired ability to hear sounds in specific frequency ranges (Kryter 1985). There is no specific evidence that exposure to pulses of sound can cause PTS in any marine mammal. However, given the possibility that mammals close to a sound source might incur TTS, there has been further speculation about the possibility that some individuals might incur PTS. Single or occasional occurrences of mild TTS are not indicative of permanent auditory damage, but repeated or (in some cases) single exposures to a level well above that causing TTS onset might elicit PTS.

    Relationships between TTS and PTS thresholds have not been studied in marine mammals but are assumed to be similar to those in humans and other terrestrial mammals. PTS might occur at a received sound level at least several decibels above that inducing mild TTS if the animal were exposed to strong sound pulses with rapid rise time. Based on data from terrestrial mammals, a precautionary assumption is that the PTS threshold for impulse sounds (such as pile driving pulses as received close to the source) is at least 6 dB higher than the TTS threshold on a peak-pressure basis and probably greater than 6 dB (Southall et al. 2007). On an SEL basis, Southall et al. (2007) estimated that received levels would need to exceed the TTS threshold by at least 15 dB for there to be risk of PTS.

    Non-auditory Physiological Effects—Non-auditory physiological effects or injuries that theoretically might occur in marine mammals exposed to strong underwater sound include stress, neurological effects, bubble formation, resonance effects, and other types of organ or tissue damage (Cox et al. 2006; Southall et al. 2007). Studies examining such effects are limited. In general, little is known about the potential for pile driving to cause auditory impairment or other physical effects in marine mammals. Available data suggest that such effects, if they occur at all, would presumably be limited to short distances from the sound source and to activities that extend over a prolonged period. The available data do not allow identification of a specific exposure level above which non-auditory effects can be expected (Southall et al. 2007) or any meaningful quantitative predictions of the numbers (if any) of marine mammals that might be affected in those ways. Marine mammals that show behavioral avoidance of pile driving, including some odontocetes and some pinnipeds, are especially unlikely to incur auditory impairment or non-auditory physical effects.

    Disturbance Reactions

    Disturbance includes a variety of effects, including subtle changes in behavior, more conspicuous changes in activities, and displacement. Behavioral responses to sound are highly variable and context-specific and reactions, if any, depend on species, state of maturity, experience, current activity, reproductive state, auditory sensitivity, time of day, and many other factors (Richardson et al. 1995; Wartzok et al. 2003; Southall et al. 2007).

    Habituation can occur when an animal's response to a stimulus wanes with repeated exposure, usually in the absence of unpleasant associated events (Wartzok et al. 2003). Animals are most likely to habituate to sounds that are predictable and unvarying. The opposite process is sensitization, when an unpleasant experience leads to subsequent responses, often in the form of avoidance, at a lower level of exposure. Behavioral state may affect the type of response as well. For example, animals that are resting may show greater behavioral change in response to disturbing sound levels than animals that are highly motivated to remain in an area for feeding (Richardson et al. 1995; NRC 2003; Wartzok et al. 2003).

    Controlled experiments with captive marine mammals showed pronounced behavioral reactions, including avoidance of loud sound sources (Ridgway et al. 1997; Finneran et al. 2003). Responses to continuous sound, such as vibratory pile installation, have not been documented as well as responses to pulsed sounds.

    With pile driving it is likely that the onset of this activity could result in temporary, short term changes in an animal's typical behavior and/or avoidance of the affected area. These behavioral changes may include (Richardson et al., 1995): Changing durations of surfacing and dives, number of blows per surfacing, or moving direction and/or speed; reduced/increased vocal activities; changing/cessation of certain behavioral activities (such as socializing or feeding); visible startle response or aggressive behavior; avoidance of areas where sound sources are located; and/or flight responses (e.g., pinnipeds flushing into water from haul-outs or rookeries). Pinnipeds may increase their haul-out time, possibly to avoid in-water disturbance (Thorson and Reyff 2006).

    The biological significance of many of these behavioral disturbances is difficult to predict, especially if the detected disturbances appear minor. However, the consequences of behavioral modification could be expected to be biologically significant if the change affects growth, survival, or reproduction. Significant behavioral modifications that could potentially lead to effects on growth, survival, or reproduction include:

    • Drastic changes in diving/surfacing patterns;

    • Habitat abandonment due to loss of desirable acoustic environment; and

    • Cessation of feeding or social interaction.

    The onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic sound depends on both external factors (characteristics of sound sources and their paths) and the specific characteristics of the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography) and is difficult to predict (Southall et al. 2007).

    Auditory Masking

    Natural and artificial sounds can disrupt behavior by masking, or interfering with, a marine mammal's ability to hear other sounds. Masking occurs when the receipt of a sound is interfered with by another coincident sound at similar frequencies and at similar or higher levels. Chronic exposure to excessive, though not high-intensity, sound could cause masking at particular frequencies for marine mammals, which utilize sound for vital biological functions. Masking can interfere with detection of acoustic signals such as communication calls, echolocation sounds, and environmental sounds important to marine mammals. Therefore, under certain circumstances, marine mammals whose acoustical sensors or environment are being severely masked could also be impaired from maximizing their performance fitness in survival and reproduction. If the coincident (masking) sound were man-made, it could be potentially harassing if it disrupted hearing-related behavior. It is important to distinguish TTS and PTS, which persist after the sound exposure, from masking, which occurs during the sound exposure. Because masking (without resulting in TS) is not associated with abnormal physiological function, it is not considered a physiological effect, but rather a potential behavioral effect.

    The frequency range of the potentially masking sound is important in determining any potential behavioral impacts. Because sound generated from in-water vibratory pile driving is mostly concentrated at low frequency ranges, it may have less effect on high frequency echolocation sounds by odontocetes (toothed whales), which may hunt harbor seal. However, lower frequency man-made sounds are more likely to affect detection of communication calls and other potentially important natural sounds such as surf and prey sound. It may also affect communication signals when they occur near the sound band and thus reduce the communication space of animals (e.g., Clark et al. 2009) and cause increased stress levels (e.g., Foote et al. 2004; Holt et al. 2009).

    Masking has the potential to impact species at the population or community levels as well as at individual levels. Masking affects both senders and receivers of the signals and can potentially have long-term chronic effects on marine mammal species and populations. Recent research suggests that low frequency ambient sound levels have increased by as much as 20 dB (more than three times in terms of SPL) in the world's ocean from pre-industrial periods, and that most of these increases are from distant shipping (Hildebrand 2009). All anthropogenic sound sources, such as those from vessel traffic, pile driving, and dredging activities, contribute to the elevated ambient sound levels, thus intensifying masking.

    The most intense underwater sounds by the proposed action are those produced by vibratory and impact pile driving. Given that the energy distribution of pile driving covers a broad frequency spectrum, sound from these sources would likely be within the audible range of marine mammals present in the project area.

    Acoustic Effects, Airborne

    Marine mammals that occur in the project area could be exposed to airborne sounds associated with pile driving activities that have the potential to cause harassment, depending on their distance from pile driving activities. Airborne sound would only be an issue for pinnipeds either hauled-out or looking with heads above water in the project area. Most likely, airborne sound would cause behavioral responses similar to those discussed above in relation to underwater sound. For instance, anthropogenic sound could cause hauled-out pinnipeds to exhibit changes in their normal behavior, such as reduction in vocalizations, or cause them to temporarily abandon their habitat and move further from the source. Studies by Blackwell et al. (2004) and Moulton et al. (2005) indicate a tolerance or lack of response to unweighted airborne sounds as high as 112 dB peak and 96 dB rms. However, there are no major haul-out sites in or near the project area, but pinnipeds can be exposed to airborne sound by looking with heads above water.

    Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    The proposed activities at the EBPR would not result in permanent impacts to habitats used directly by marine mammals, such as haul-out sites, but may have potential short-term impacts to food sources such as forage fish. There are no rookeries or major haul-out sites nearby, foraging hotspots, or other ocean bottom structure of significant biological importance to marine mammals that may be present in the marine waters in the vicinity of the project area. Therefore, the main impact issue associated with the proposed activity would be temporarily elevated sound levels and the associated direct effects on marine mammals, as discussed previously in this document. The most likely impact to marine mammal habitat occurs from pile driving effects on likely marine mammal prey (i.e., fish) near the pier and minor impacts to the immediate substrate during installation of piles and removal of the old structure during the breakwater replacement project.

    Pile Driving Effects on Potential Prey

    Construction activities would produce both pulsed (i.e., impact pile driving) and continuous (i.e., vibratory pile driving) sounds. Fish react to sounds which are especially strong and/or intermittent low-frequency sounds. Short duration, sharp sounds can cause overt or subtle changes in fish behavior and local distribution. Hastings and Popper (2005, 2009) identified several studies that suggest fish may relocate to avoid certain areas of sound energy. Additional studies have documented effects of pile driving (or other types of continuous sounds) on fish, although several are based on studies in support of large, multiyear bridge construction projects (e.g., Scholik and Yan 2001, 2002; Popper and Hastings 2009). Sound pulses at received levels of 160 dB re 1 μPa may cause subtle changes in fish behavior. SPLs of 180 dB may cause noticeable changes in behavior (Pearson et al. 1992; Skalski et al. 1992). SPLs of sufficient strength may cause injury to fish and fish mortality. The most likely impact to fish from pile driving at the project area would be temporary behavioral avoidance of the area. The duration of fish avoidance of this area after these activities stop is unknown, but a rapid return to normal recruitment, distribution and behavior is anticipated. In general, impacts to marine mammal prey species are expected to be minor and temporary due to the short timeframe for the pier replacement project.

    Pile Driving Effects on Potential Foraging Habitat

    Avoidance by potential prey (i.e., fish) of the immediate area due to the temporary loss of this foraging habitat is also possible. The duration of fish avoidance of this area after pile driving stops is unknown, but a rapid return to normal recruitment, distribution and behavior is anticipated. Any behavioral avoidance by fish of the disturbed area would still leave significantly large areas of fish and marine mammal foraging habitat in the vicinity of Cobscook Bay.

    Given the short daily duration of sound associated with individual pile driving events and the relatively small areas being affected, in-water construction activities associated with the proposed action are not likely to have a permanent, adverse effect on any fish habitat, or populations of fish species. Therefore, pile the proposed in-water construction activities are not likely to have a permanent, adverse effect on marine mammal foraging habitat at the project area.

    Proposed Mitigation

    In order to issue an IHA for the under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, “and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking” for certain subsistence uses. NMFS regulations require applicants for incidental take authorizations to include information about the availability and feasibility (economic and technological) of equipment, methods, and manner of conducting such activity or other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact upon the affected species or stocks, their habitat (50 CFR 216.104(a)(11)).

    For the proposed project, ME DOT worked with NMFS and proposed the following mitigation measures to minimize the potential impacts to marine mammals in the project vicinity. The primary purposes of these mitigation measures are to minimize sound levels from the activities, and to monitor marine mammals within designated zones of influence corresponding to NMFS' current Level A and B harassment thresholds. Here we provide a description of the mitigation measures we propose to require as part of the proposed Authorization:

    Zones of Influence

    Direct measured data from the pile driving events of the EPBP IHA were used to calculate the zones of influence (ZOI) for Level B Harassment. These values were used to develop mitigation measures for pile driving activities at EBRP. The ZOIs effectively represent the mitigation zone that would be established around each pile to prevent Level A harassment to marine mammals, while providing estimates of the areas within which Level B harassment might occur. In addition to the specific measures described later in this section, the EBRP would conduct briefings between construction supervisors and crews, marine mammal monitoring team, and EBRP staff prior to the start of all pile driving activity, and if/when new personnel join the work, in order to explain responsibilities, communication procedures, marine mammal monitoring protocol, and operational procedures.

    Monitoring and Shutdown for Pile Driving

    The following measures would apply to the EBRP's mitigation through shutdown and disturbance zones:

    Shutdown Zone—For all pile driving activities, EBPR will establish exclusion zones (shutdown zones). Shutdown zones are intended to contain the area in which SPLs equal or exceed acoustic injury criteria, with the purpose being to define an area within which shutdown of activity would occur upon sighting of a marine mammal (or in anticipation of an animal entering the defined area), thus preventing injury marine mammals (PTS) of marine mammals (as described previously under Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals, serious injury or death are unlikely outcomes even in the absence of mitigation measures).

    Using the user spreadsheet for the new acoustic guidance, injury zones were determined for the mid-frequency and high frequency cetacean and pinnipeds (phocids) as the hearing groups being analyzed for this project (see Table 5). The purpose of a shutdown zone is to define an area within which shutdown of activity would occur upon sighting of a marine mammal (or in anticipation of an animal entering the defined area). As a precautionary measure, intended to reduce the unlikely possibility of injury from direct physical interaction with construction operations, ME DOT would implement a minimum shutdown zone of 10 m radius around each pile for all construction methods for all marine mammals. The shutdown zones calculated for injury were rounded to the nearest 10 m to be more conservative or species were grouped (e.g., mid and high-frequency cetaceans combined into one group) for more streamlined monitoring in the field. In both impact and vibratory pile driving, the shutdown zones were increased significantly for mid-frequency cetaceans to that which was calculated for high-frequency cetaceans in order to group all cetaceans together for monitoring.

    Table 5—Injury Zones and Shutdown Zones for Hearing Groups for Each Construction Method Hearing group Mid-frequency cetaceans
  • (m)
  • High-frequency cetaceans
  • (m)
  • Phocid pinnipeds
  • (m)
  • Vibratory Pile Driving1 PTS Isopleth to threshold 7.0 117.5 48.3 Shutdown Zone 120 50 Impact Pile Driving2 PTS Isopleth to threshold 4.6 155.6 69.9 Shutdown Zone 160 70 1 For vibratory driving, SL is 170, TL is15logR, weighting function is 2.5, duration is 5 hours, and distance from the source is 10 meters. 2 For impact driving, PK SPL 202, TL is 15log R, weighting function is 2, strikes per pile is 250, number off piles per day is 3, and distance from the source is 10 meters.

    Disturbance Zone—Disturbance zones are the areas in which SPLs equal or exceed 160 and 120 dB rms (for impulse and continuous sound, respectively). Disturbance zones provide utility for monitoring conducted for mitigation purposes (i.e., shutdown zone monitoring) by establishing monitoring protocols for areas adjacent to the shutdown zones. Monitoring of disturbance zones enables observers to be aware of and communicate the presence of marine mammals in the project area but outside the shutdown zone and thus prepare for potential shutdowns of activity. However, the primary purpose of disturbance zone monitoring is for documenting incidents of Level B harassment; disturbance zone monitoring is discussed in greater detail later (see Proposed Monitoring and Reporting). Any marine mammal documented within the Level B harassment zone would constitute a Level B take (harassment), and will be recorded and reported as such. Nominal radial distances for disturbance zones are shown in Table 6. Given the size of the disturbance zone for both impact and vibratory pile driving, it is impossible to guarantee that all animals would be observed or to make comprehensive observations of fine-scale behavioral reactions to sound, and only a portion of the zone (e.g., what may be reasonably observed by visual observers) would be observed.

    Table 6—Calculated Threshold Distances (m) for Level B Harassment of Marine Mammals Source Threshold distances
  • (m)
  • 160 dB 120 dB
    Vibratory pile driving n/a 400 m for PZC-18 Sheet Piles. 665 m for PZC-26 Sheet Piles. Impact pile driving 550 n/a.

    In order to document observed incidents of harassment, monitors will record all marine mammal observations, regardless of location. The observer's location, as well as the location of the pile being driven or removed, is known from a GPS. The location of the animal is estimated as a distance from the observer, which is then compared to the location from the pile. It may then be estimated whether the animal was exposed to sound levels constituting incidental harassment on the basis of predicted distances to relevant thresholds in post-processing of observational and acoustic data, and a precise accounting of observed incidences of harassment created. This information may then be used to extrapolate observed takes to reach an approximate understanding of actual total takes.

    Two Qualified Protected Species Observers (PSO) (NMFS approved biologists, monitoring responsibilities fully described in the Proposed Monitoring section) would be stationed on the pier. One PSO would be responsible for monitoring the shutdown zones, while the second observer would conduct behavioral monitoring outwards to a distance of 1 nautical mile (nmi).

    Pile Driving Shut Down and Delay Procedures

    If a PSO sees a marine mammal within or approaching the shutdown zones prior to start of pile driving, the observer would notify the on-site project lead (or other authorized individual) who would then be required to delay pile driving until the marine mammal has moved out of the shutdown zone (exclusion zone) from the sound source or if the animal has not been resighted within 30 minutes. If a marine mammal is sighted within or on a path toward a shutdown zone during pile driving, pile driving would cease until that animal has moved out of the shutdown zone and is on a path away from the shutdown zone or 30 minutes has lapsed since the last sighting.

    Soft-Start Procedures

    A “soft-start” technique would be used at the beginning of each pile installation to allow any marine mammal that may be in the immediate area to leave before the pile hammer reaches full energy. For vibratory pile driving, the soft-start procedure requires contractors to initiate noise from the vibratory hammer for 15 seconds at 40-60 percent reduced energy followed by a 1-minute waiting period. The procedure would be repeated two additional times before full energy may be achieved. For impact pile driving, contractors would be required to provide an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a 1-minute waiting period, then two subsequent three-strike sets. Soft-start procedures would be conducted any time hammering ceases for more than 30 minutes.

    Time Restrictions

    Work would occur only during daylight hours, when visual monitoring of marine mammals can be conducted. To minimize impacts to Federally listed Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), ME DOT will follow restrictions on pile driving from April through November as directed by NMFS' Greater Atlantic Regional Office.

    Mitigation Conclusions

    NMFS has carefully evaluated the applicant's proposed mitigation measures and considered a range of other measures in the context of ensuring that NMFS prescribes the means of affecting the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. Our evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    • The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammal species or stocks;

    • The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and

    • The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) prescribed by NMFS should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed below:

    1. Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    2. A reduction in the numbers of marine mammals (total number or number at biologically important time or location) exposed to received levels of pile driving, or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    3. A reduction in the number of times (total number or number at biologically important time or location) individuals would be exposed to received levels of pile driving, or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    4. A reduction in the intensity of exposures (either total number or number at biologically important time or location) to received levels of pile driving, or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to a, above, or to reducing the severity of harassment takes only).

    5. Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying special attention to the food base, activities that block or limit passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary destruction/disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    6. For monitoring directly related to mitigation—an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's proposed measures, as well as other measures considered by NMFS, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the proposed mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammals species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Proposed Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an IHA for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking”. The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for incidental take authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the proposed action area.

    Any monitoring requirement we prescribe should improve our understanding of one or more of the following:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species in the action area (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density).

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) Action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) Affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) Co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) Biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas).

    • Individual responses to acute stressors, or impacts of chronic exposures (behavioral or physiological).

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) Long-term fitness and survival of an individual; or (2) population, species, or stock.

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat and resultant impacts to marine mammals.

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    Visual Marine Mammal Observations

    PSOs shall be used to detect, document, and minimize impacts to marine mammals. Monitoring would be conducted before, during, and after construction activities. In addition, PSOs shall record all incidents of marine mammal occurrence, regardless of distance from activity, and document any behavioral reactions in concert with distance from construction activities. Important qualifications for PSOs for visual monitoring include:

    • Visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient for discernment of marine mammals on land or in the water with ability to estimate target size and distance; use of binoculars may be necessary to correctly identify the target;

    • Advanced education in biological science or related field (undergraduate degree or higher required);

    • Experience and ability to conduct field observations and collect data according to assigned protocols (this may include academic experience);

    • Experience or training in the field identification of marine mammals, including the identification of behaviors;

    • Sufficient training, orientation, or experience with the construction operation to provide for personal safety during observations;

    • Writing skills sufficient to prepare a report of observations including but not limited to the number and species of marine mammals observed; dates and times when construction activities were conducted; dates and times when construction activities were suspended, if necessary; and marine mammal behavior; and

    • Ability to communicate orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to provide real-time information on marine mammals observed in the area as necessary.

    PSOs shall also conduct mandatory biological resources awareness training for construction personnel. The awareness training shall be provided to brief construction personnel on marine mammals and the need to avoid and minimize impacts to marine mammals. If new construction personnel are added to the project, the contractor shall ensure that the personnel receive the mandatory training before starting work. The PSO would have authority to stop construction if marine mammals appear distressed (evasive maneuvers, rapid breathing, inability to flush) or in danger of injury.

    The ME DOT has developed a monitoring plan based on discussions between the ME DOT and NMFS. The ME DOT will collect sighting data and behavioral responses to construction activities for marine mammal species observed in the region of activity during the period of activity. All PSOs will be trained in marine mammal identification and behaviors and are required to have no other construction-related tasks while conducting monitoring.

    Data Collection

    We require that PSOs use approved data forms. Among other pieces of information, the ME DOT will record detailed information about any implementation of shutdowns, including the distance of animals to the pile and description of specific actions that ensued and resulting behavior of the animal, if any. In addition, the ME DOT will attempt to distinguish between the number of individual animals taken and the number of incidents of take. We require that, at a minimum, the following information be collected on the sighting forms:

    • Date and time that monitored activity begins or ends;

    • Construction activities occurring during each observation period;

    • Weather parameters (e.g., percent cover, visibility);

    • Water conditions (e.g., sea state, tide state);

    • Species, numbers, and, if possible, sex and age class of marine mammals;

    • Description of any observable marine mammal behavior patterns, including bearing and direction of travel and distance from pile driving activity;

    • Distance from pile driving activities to marine mammals and distance from the marine mammals to the observation point;

    • Locations of all marine mammal observations; and

    • Other human activity in the area.

    Reporting

    ME DOT is required to submit a draft monitoring report to NMFS within 90 days of completion of in-water construction activities. The report would include data from marine mammal sightings as described in the Data Collection section above (i.e., date, time, location, species, group size, and behavior), any observed reactions to construction, distance to operating pile hammer, and construction activities occurring at time of sighting and environmental data for the period (i.e., wind speed and direction, sea state, tidal state cloud cover, and visibility).

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the IHA (if issued), such as an injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or mortality, ME DOT would immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Name and type of vessel involved;

    • Vessel's speed during and leading up to the incident;

    • Description of the incident;

    • Status of all sound source use in the 24 hrs preceding the incident;

    • Water depth;

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hrs preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    Activities would not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS would work with ME DOT to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. ME DOT may not resume their activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    In the event that ME DOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as described in the next paragraph), ME DOT would immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with ME DOT to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that ME DOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), ME DOT would report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the NMFS Stranding Hotline and/or by email to the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Stranding Coordinator within 24 hrs of the discovery. ME DOT would provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident.

    Estimated Take of Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: “. . . any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).”

    All anticipated takes would be by Level B harassment resulting from pile driving activities involving temporary changes in behavior. The proposed mitigation and monitoring measures are expected to minimize the possibility of injurious or lethal takes such that take by Level A harassment, serious injury, or mortality is considered discountable.

    If a marine mammal responds to a stimulus by changing its behavior, the response may or may not constitute taking, and is unlikely to affect the stock or the species as a whole. However, if a sound source displaces marine mammals from an important feeding or breeding area for a prolonged period, impacts on animals or on the stock or species could potentially be significant (e.g., Lusseau and Bejder 2007; Weilgart 2007). Given the many uncertainties in predicting the quantity and types of impacts of sound on marine mammals, it is common practice to estimate how many animals are likely to be present within a particular distance of a given activity, or exposed to a particular level of sound. In practice, depending on the amount of information available to characterize daily and seasonal movement and distribution of affected marine mammals, it can be difficult to distinguish between the number of individuals harassed and the instances of harassment and, when duration of the activity is considered, it can result in a take estimate that overestimates the number of individuals harassed. In particular, for stationary activities, it is more likely that some smaller number of individuals may accrue a number of incidences of harassment per individual than for each incidence to accrue to a new individual, especially if those individuals display some degree of residency or site fidelity and the impetus to use the site (e.g., because of foraging opportunities) is stronger than the deterrence presented by the harassing activity.

    Elevated in-water sound levels from pile driving activities in the proposed project area may temporarily impact marine mammal behavior. Elevated in-air sound levels are not a concern because the nearest significant pinniped haul-out is more than six nmi away. Marine mammals are continually exposed to many sources of sound. For example, lightning, rain, sub-sea earthquakes, and animals are natural sound sources throughout the marine environment. Marine mammals produce sounds in various contexts and use sound for various biological functions including, but not limited to, (1) social interactions; (2) foraging; (3) orientation; and (4) predator detection. Interference with producing or receiving these sounds may result in adverse impacts. Audible distance or received levels will depend on the sound source, ambient noise, and the sensitivity of the receptor (Richardson et al., 1995). Marine mammal reactions to sound may depend on sound frequency, ambient sound, what the animal is doing, and the animal's distance from the sound source (Southall et al., 2007).

    Behavioral disturbances that could result from anthropogenic sound associated with these activities are expected to affect only a small number of individual marine mammals, although those effects could be recurring over the life of the project if the same individuals remain in the project vicinity.

    The ME DOT has requested authorization for the incidental taking of small numbers of harbor seals, gray seals, harbor porpoise, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins incidental to the pile driving associated with the EBRP described previously in this document. In order to estimate the potential incidents of take that may occur incidental to the specified activity, we must first estimate the extent of the sound field that may be produced by the activity and then consider in combination with information about marine mammal density or abundance in the project area and the number of days the activity will be conducted. We first provide information on applicable sound thresholds for determining effects to marine mammals before describing the information used in estimating the sound fields, the available marine mammal density or abundance information, and the method of estimating potential incidents of take.

    As discussed above, in-water pile driving activities generate loud noises that could potentially harass marine mammals in the vicinity of the ME DOT's proposed EBRP. No impacts from visual disturbance are anticipated because there are no known pinniped haul-outs within the proposed project area. The only potential disturbance anticipated to occur would be during driving operations, which may cause individual marine mammals to temporarily avoid the area.

    Sound Thresholds

    We use generic sound exposure thresholds to determine when an activity that produces sound might result in impacts to a marine mammal such that a take by harassment might occur. To date, no studies have been conducted that explicitly examine impacts to marine mammals from pile driving sounds or from which empirical sound thresholds have been established. These thresholds (Table 7) are used to estimate when harassment may occur (i.e., when an animal is exposed to levels equal to or exceeding the relevant criterion) in specific contexts; however, useful contextual information that may inform our assessment of effects is typically lacking and we consider these thresholds as step functions. NMFS new guidance establishes new thresholds for predicting auditory injury, which equates to Level A harassment under the MMPA. The ME DOT project used this new guidance when determining the injury (Level A) zones (see Table 5).

    Table 7—Current Acoustic Exposure Criteria for Level B Harassment Criterion Definition Threshold Level B harassment (underwater) Behavioral disruption 160 dB (impulsive source)/120 dB (continuous source) (rms). Level B harassment (airborne) Behavioral disruption 90 dB (harbor seals)/100 dB (other pinnipeds) (unweighted). Distance to Sound Thresholds

    Pile driving generates underwater noise that can potentially result in disturbance to marine mammals in the project area. Transmission loss (TL) is the decrease in acoustic intensity as an acoustic pressure wave propagates out from a source. TL parameters vary with frequency, temperature, sea conditions, current, source and receiver depth, water depth, water chemistry, and bottom composition and topography. The general formula for underwater TL is:

    TL = B * log10(R1/R2), Where R1 = the distance of the modeled SPL from the driven pile, and R2 = the distance from the driven pile of the initial measurement.

    This formula neglects loss due to scattering and absorption, which is assumed to be zero here. The degree to which underwater sound propagates away from a sound source is dependent on a variety of factors, most notably the water bathymetry and presence or absence of reflective or absorptive conditions including in-water structures and sediments. Spherical spreading occurs in a perfectly unobstructed (free-field) environment not limited by depth or water surface, resulting in a 6 dB reduction in sound level for each doubling of distance from the source (20*log[range]). Cylindrical spreading occurs in an environment in which sound propagation is bounded by the water surface and sea bottom, resulting in a reduction of 3 dB in sound level for each doubling of distance from the source (10*log[range]). A practical spreading value of fifteen is often used under conditions, where water increases with depth as the receiver moves away from the shoreline, resulting in an expected propagation environment that would lie between spherical and cylindrical spreading loss conditions.

    In this case we have measured field data available from the previous EBRP IHA at the same location and from the same type of piles/sheet piles showing at a particular point where the received level is below 120 dB, to determine the disturbance distance for the Level B ZOI. For sheet piles PZC-18, 400m is the measured distance where the Level B ZOI is below 120 dB. For sheet piles PZC-26, the farthest measurement does not go below 120 dB so the statistical analysis of 90 percent CI was used, which pointed to 665 m for the Level B ZOI. For impact pile driving, we used the third farthest point from the measured field data, which was 550 m from the source, and measured under 160 dB.

    The sound field in the project area is the existing ambient noise plus additional construction noise from the proposed project. The primary components of the project expected to affect marine mammals is the sound generated by impact and vibratory pile driving. The intensity of pile driving sounds is greatly influenced by factors such as the type of piles, hammers, and the physical environment in which the activity takes place. In order to determine the distance to the thresholds and the received levels to marine mammals that are likely to result from pile driving at EBRP, we evaluated the acoustic monitoring data (Table 8) from the previous EBRP IHA project with similar properties to the proposed activity.

    Table 8—Eastport Breakwater Noise Monitoring Data for Un-Attenuated Pile Strikes With an Impact Hammer and a Vibratory Hammer Pile type/size Relative
  • water depth
  • (m)
  • Max avg dB RMS
    Impact Pile Driving 20 ft/Steel Pipe 15 182. 20 ft/Steel Pipe (`Spin fin') 15 186. Vibratory Pile Driving 24 ft Steel Sheet PZC-16 15 170 (max dB RMS).

    We consider the values presented in Table 8. to be representative of SPLs that may be produced by pile driving in the project area. Distances to the harassment isopleths vary by marine mammal type and pile extraction/driving tool. All calculated distances to and the total area encompassed by the marine mammal sound thresholds were provided in Tables 5 and 6.

    In addition, we generally recognize that pinnipeds occurring within an estimated airborne harassment zone, whether in the water or hauled out (no haul outs within six nmi of the project area), could be exposed to airborne sound that may result in behavioral harassment. However, any animal exposed to airborne sound above the behavioral harassment threshold is likely to also be exposed to underwater sound above relevant thresholds (which are typically in all cases larger zones than those associated with airborne sound). Thus, the behavioral harassment of these animals is already accounted for in the estimates of potential take. Multiple incidents within a day of exposure to sound above NMFS' thresholds for behavioral harassment are not believed to result in increased behavioral disturbance, in either nature or intensity of disturbance reaction. Therefore, we do not believe that authorization of incidental take resulting from airborne sound for pinnipeds is warranted, and airborne sound is not discussed further here.

    Acoustic Impacts

    When considering the influence of various kinds of sound on the marine environment, it is necessary to understand that different kinds of marine life are sensitive to different frequencies of sound. Based on available behavioral data, audiograms have been derived using auditory evoked potentials, anatomical modeling, and other data. Southall et al. (2007) designated hearing groups for marine mammals and estimated the lower and upper frequencies of hearing of the groups. NMFS made modifications to the marine mammal hearing groups proposed in Southall et al. (2007) and is reflected in the new Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (July 2016) (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm). The marine mammal hearing groups, pinnipeds, high frequency cetaceans (harbor porpoise) and mid-frequency cetaceans (Atlantic white-sided dolphin) which are the subject of this project, and their associated generalized hearing range were previous discussed in the Marine Mammal Hearing section and also in Table 4.

    As mentioned previously in this document, four marine mammal species (two cetacean and two pinniped species) are likely to occur in the area of the proposed activity. Of the two cetacean species likely to occur in the proposed project area, the Atlantic white-sided dolphin is classified as a mid-frequency cetacean and the harbor porpoise is classified as a high-frequency cetacean (NOAA 2016). A species' hearing group and its generalized hearing range is a consideration when we analyze the effects of exposure to sound on marine mammals.

    ME DOT and NMFS determined that in-water construction activities involving the use of impact and vibratory pile driving during the Eastport Breakwater replacement project have the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammal species and stocks in the vicinity of the proposed activity.

    Description of Take Calculation

    The following sections are descriptions of how take was determined for impacts to marine mammals from noise disturbance related to pile driving.

    Incidental take is calculated for each species by estimating the likelihood of a marine mammal being present within the ensonified area above the threshold during pile driving activities, based on information about the presence of the animal (density estimates or the best available occurrence data) and the size of the zones of influence, which in this case is based on previous measurements from the acoustic monitoring in the previous EBRP IHA. Expected marine mammal presence is determined by past observations and general abundance during the construction window. When local abundance is the best available information, in lieu of the density-area method, we may simply multiply some number of animals (as determined through counts of animals hauled-out) by the number of days of activity, under the assumption that all of those animals will be present within the area ensonified by the threshold and incidentally taken on each day of activity.

    There are a number of reasons why estimates of potential incidents of take may be conservative, assuming that available density or abundance estimates and estimated ZOI areas are accurate. We assume, in the absence of information supporting a more refined conclusion, that the output of the calculation represents the number of individuals that may be taken by the specified activity. In fact, in the context of stationary activities such as pile driving and in areas where resident animals may be present, this number more realistically represents the number of incidents of take that may accrue to a smaller number of individuals. While pile driving can occur any day throughout the in-water work window, and the analysis is conducted on a per day basis, only a fraction of that time (typically a matter of hours on any given day) is actually spent pile driving. The potential effectiveness of mitigation measures in reducing the number of takes is typically not quantified in the take estimation process. For these reasons, these take estimates may be conservative.

    For this project, the take requests were estimated using local marine mammal data sets and information from Federal agencies and other experts. The best available data for marine mammals in the vicinity of the project area was derived from three sources including: Three years (2007-2010) of marine mammal monitoring data from the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) tidal generator project that was located between Eastport and Lubec, ME, the 2015-2016 marine mammal monitoring data from the previous EBRP IHA, and communication with marine mammals experts from ME (Stephanie Wood, (NOAA Biologist) and Dr. James Gilbert (Wildlife Ecologist, University of ME). Although the ORPC project was located on the other side of the peninsula from the Eastport pier, the presence of species and timing of their occurrence appears similar between the ORPC data and marine mammal monitoring data from the previous EBRP IHA.

    The calculation for marine mammal exposures is estimated by:

    Exposure estimate = N (number of animals in the area that is ensonified above the thresholds based on the previous sound measurements) * 160 days of pile driving activities from January to August 2017.

    The estimated number of animals in the area was mostly determined based on the maximum group size of animals observed during ORPC's marine mammal observation effort (six seals (harbor and gray seals combined), six harbor porpoises, and one Atlantic white-sided dolphin) multiplied by the maximum expected number of pile/sheet installation and sheet removal days. However, during the winter and spring months we expect lower numbers of harbor porpoise in the Gulf of Maine (including the project area) and therefore take estimates were lower (Jan-May). Atlantic white-sided dolphins are not expected to frequent the project area as they are more of a pelagic species. Only two Atlantic white-sided dolphins were observed in four years of marine mammal monitoring (ORPC and EBPR IHA) and therefore, the take estimates are conservative and reflection of those observations. Harbor and gray seals were combined into one pinniped group because they cannot always be identified by species level. See Tables 9 and 10 for total estimated incidents of take.

    Table 9—Marine Mammal Calculated Take for Level B Harassment Month Pile driving
  • days per month
  • Calculated
  • harbor/gray
  • seal take by
  • Level B
  • harassment
  • Calculated
  • harbor
  • porpoise
  • take by
  • Level B
  • harassment
  • Calculated
  • atlantic
  • white-sided
  • dolphin take
  • by Level B
  • harassment
  • Jan 20 120 6 1 Feb 20 120 6 1 March 20 120 6 1 April 20 120 6 1 May 20 120 6 1 June 20 120 120 1 July 20 120 120 1 August 20 120 120 1 Sept Oct Nov Dec Total 160 960 390 8
    Table 10—Estimated Marine Mammal Takes by Level B Harassment. Species Take
  • authorization
  • Abundance Approximate
  • percentage of
  • estimated stock
  • (takes authorized/
  • population)
  • Population trend
    Harbor seal * 960 75,834—Western North Atlantic stock 1.27 unknown. Gray seal Unknown for U.S.—Western North Atlantic stock unknown increasing in the U.S. (EEZ), but the rate of increase is unknown. Harbor porpoise 390 79,883—Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy stock 0.48 unknown. Atlantic white-sided dolphin 8 48,819—Western North Atlantic stock 0.016 unknown. * Note: Any pinnipeds observed/taken by Level B harassment will likely be harbor seals rather than gray seal (as gray seals do not frequent the waters of the project area as much and are found more in Canadian waters/haul out).
    Analysis and Determinations Negligible Impact

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, we consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, and effects on habitat.

    Pile driving activities associated with this project have the potential to disturb or displace marine mammals. Elevated noise levels are expected to be generated as a result of these activities. No serious injury or mortality would be expected at all, and with mitigation we expect to avoid any potential for Level A harassment as a result of the EBRP activities, and none are authorized by NMFS. The specified activities may result in take, in the form of Level B harassment (behavioral disturbance) only, from in-water noise from construction activities.

    Effects on individuals that are taken by Level B harassment, on the basis of reports in the literature as well as monitoring from other similar activities, will likely be limited to reactions from these low intensity, localized, and short-term noise exposures that may cause brief startle reactions or short-term behavioral modifications by the animals. These reactions and behavioral changes are expected to subside quickly when the exposures cease. Moreover, marine mammals are expected to avoid the area during in-water construction because animals generally move away from active sound sources, thereby reducing exposure and impacts. In addition, through mitigation measures including soft start, marine mammals are expected to move away from a sound source that is annoying prior to its becoming potentially injurious and detection of marine mammals by observers would enable the implementation of shutdowns to avoid injury. Repeated exposures of individuals to levels of noise disturbance that may cause Level B harassment are unlikely to result in hearing impairment or to significantly disrupt foraging behavior.

    In-water construction activities would occur in relatively shallow coastal waters of Cobscook Bay. The proposed project area is not considered significant habitat for marine mammals and therefore no adverse effects on marine mammal habitat are expected. Marine mammals approaching the action area would likely be traveling or opportunistically foraging. There are no rookeries or major haul-out sites nearby, foraging hotspots, or other ocean bottom structure of significant biological importance to marine mammals that may be present in the marine waters in the vicinity of the project area. The closest significant pinniped haul out is more than six nmi away, which is well outside the project area's largest harassment zone. The proposed project area is not a prime habitat for marine mammals, nor is it considered an area frequented by marine mammals. Therefore, behavioral disturbances that could result from anthropogenic noise associated with breakwater replacement activities are expected to affect only a small number of marine mammals on an infrequent basis. Although it is possible that some individual marine mammals may be exposed to sounds from in-water construction activities more than once, the duration of these multi-exposures is expected to be low since animals would be constantly moving in and out of the area and in-water construction activities would not occur continuously throughout the day.

    Harbor and gray seals, harbor porpoise, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins as the potentially affected marine mammal species under NMFS jurisdiction in the action area, are not listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA and are not considered strategic under the MMPA. Even after repeated Level B harassment of some small subset of the overall stocks are unlikely to result in any significant realized decrease in fitness to those individuals, and thus would not result in any adverse impact to the stocks as a whole. Level B harassment will be reduced to the level of least practicable impact through use of mitigation measures described herein and, if sound produced by project activities is sufficiently disturbing, animals are likely to simply avoid the project area while the activity is occurring.

    In summary, this negligible impact analysis is founded on the following factors: (1) The possibility of injury, serious injury, or mortality may reasonably be considered discountable; (2) the anticipated incidents of Level B harassment consist of, at worst, temporary modifications in behavior; (3) there is no primary foraging and reproductive habitat in the project area and the project activities are not expected to result in the alteration of habitat important to these behaviors or substantially impact the behaviors themselves (4) there is no major haul out habitat within six nmi of the project area (5) the proposed project area is not a prime habitat for marine mammals, nor will have no adverse effect on marine mammal habitat (6) and the presumed efficacy of the mitigation measures in reducing the effects of the specified activity to the level of least practicable impact. In addition, these stocks are not listed under the ESA or considered depleted under the MMPA. In combination, we believe that these factors, as well as the available body of evidence from other similar activities, demonstrate that the potential effects of the specified activities will have only short-term effects on individuals. The specified activities are not expected to impact rates of recruitment or survival and will therefore not result in population-level impacts.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the monitoring and mitigation measures, we preliminarily find that the total marine mammal take from the construction activities will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers

    The amount of take NMFS proposes to authorize is considered small, less than one percent relative to the estimated populations for harbor porpoises and Atlantic white-sided dolphins and 1.27 percent for harbor seals. Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the mitigation and monitoring measures, NMFS finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the populations of the affected species or stocks.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    No species listed under the ESA are expected to be affected by these activities. Therefore, NMFS has determined that a section 7 consultation under the ESA is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as implemented by the regulations published by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), NMFS is preparing an EA to consider the environmental impacts of issuance of a one-year IHA.

    Proposed Authorization

    NMFS proposes an IHA to ME DOT for the potential harassment of small numbers of marine mammal species incidental to its EBRP, Eastport, Maine, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated. The draft IHA language is provided next.

    1. This Authorization is valid for one year from issuance.

    2. This Authorization is valid only for activities associated with the EBRP in Eastport, Maine.

    3. General Conditions

    (a) The species authorized for incidental harassment takings, Level B harassment only, are: Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), gray seal (Halichoerus grypus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus). The allowed take numbers of these species are shown in Table 11.

    Table 11—Species/Stocks and Numbers of Marine Mammals Allowed Under This IHA Species Estimated
  • marine
  • mammal takes
  • Harbor seal, Gray seal 960 Harbor porpoise 390 Atlantic white-sided dolphin 8

    (b) The authorization for taking by harassment is limited to the following acoustic sources and from the following activities:

    • Impact and vibratory driving activities

    (c) The taking of any marine mammal in a manner prohibited under this Authorization must be reported within 24 hours of the taking to the Greater Atlantic Region Fisheries Office (GARFO), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources.

    4. The holder of this Authorization must notify the NMFS' Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, at least 48 hours prior to the start of activities identified in 3(b) (unless constrained by the date of issuance of this Authorization in which case notification shall be made as soon as possible).

    5. Prohibitions

    (a) The taking, by incidental harassment only, is limited to the species listed under condition 3(a) above and by the numbers listed in Table 11. The taking by Level A harassment, injury or death of these species or the taking by harassment, injury or death of any other species of marine mammal is prohibited and may result in the modification, suspension, or revocation of this Authorization.

    (b) The taking of any marine mammal is prohibited whenever the required protected species observers (PSOs), required by condition 7(a), are not present in conformance with condition 7(a) of this Authorization.

    6. Mitigation:

    (a) Shutdown and Level B Zones

    (i) ME DOT shall implement shutdown zones (exclusion zones) for Level A Harassment and zones for Level B Harassment as described in Table 12 below.

    Table 12—Shutzone and Level B Zones for Marine Mammals Activity Pinnipeds
  • (m)
  • Cetaceans
  • (m)
  • Impact Pile Driving (Level A) 70 160 Impact Pile Driving (Level B) 550 Vibratory Pile Driving (Level A) 50 120 Vibratory Pile Driving (Level B): PZC-18 Sheet Piles 400 PZC-26 Sheet Piles 665

    (b) Soft Start

    (i) For vibratory pile driving, contractors shall initiate noise from the vibratory hammer for 15 seconds at 40-60 percent reduced energy, followed by a 1-minute waiting period. The procedure shall be repeated two additional times before full energy may be achieved.

    (ii) For impact hammering, contractors shall provide an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a 1-minute waiting period, then two subsequent three-strike sets.

    (iii) The soft-start procedure will be conducted prior to driving each pile if hammering ceases for more than 30 minutes.

    (c) Shutdown Measures

    (i) If a marine mammal is sighted within or approaching the shutdown zones (exclusion zone) prior to start of impact pile driving, the observer would notify the on-site project lead (or other authorized individual) who would then be required to delay pile driving until the animal has moved out of the shutdown zone (exclusion zone) or if the animal has not been resighted within 30 minutes.

    (ii) If a marine mammal is sighted within or on a path toward the exclusion zone during pile driving, pile driving would cease until that animal has moved out of the shutdown (exclusion zone) or 30 minutes has lapsed since the last sighting.

    (iii) Although it is unlikely, if a marine mammal that is not covered under the IHA is sighted in the vicinity of the project area and is about to enter the ZOI, ME DOT shall implement shutdown measures to ensure that the animal is not exposed to noise levels that could result a take.

    (d) Timing Restrictions

    (i) Work would occur only during daylight hours, when visual monitoring of marine mammals can be conducted. To minimize impacts to Federally listed Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), ME DOT will follow restrictions on pile driving from April through November as directed by NMFS'GARFO.

    7. Monitoring:

    (a) Visual Monitoring

    (i) Protected Species Observers

    ME DOT shall employ two biologically-trained, NMFS-approved protected species observers (PSOs) to conduct marine mammal monitoring for its EBRP.

    (ii) Visual monitoring for marine mammals in the shutdown zone (exclusion zone) shall be conducted 30 minutes before, during, and 30 minutes after all impact pile driving activities.

    (iii) PSOs shall be positioned on the pier. One observer would survey inwards toward the pile driving site and the second observer would conduct behavioral monitoring outwards to a distance of 1 km during all impact pile driving.

    (iv) PSOs shall provide 100 percent coverage for marine mammal exclusion zones and conduct monitoring out to the extent of the relevant Level B harassment zones for vibratory pile driving activities.

    (v) PSOs shall be provided with the equipment necessary to effectively monitor for marine mammals (e.g., high-quality binoculars, compass, and range-finder as well as a digital SLR camera with telephoto lens and video capability) in order to determine if animals have entered into the exclusion zone or Level B harassment isopleth and to record species, behaviors, and responses to pile driving.

    8. Reporting:

    (a) ME DOT shall provide NMFS with a draft monitoring report within 90 days of the conclusion of the construction work. This report shall detail the monitoring protocol, summarize the data recorded during monitoring, and estimate the number of marine mammals that may have been harassed.

    (b) If comments are received from the NMFS GARFO or NMFS Office of Protected Resources on the draft report, a final report shall be submitted to NMFS within 30 days thereafter. If no comments are received from NMFS, the draft report will be considered to be the final report.

    (c) In the unanticipated event that the construction activities clearly cause the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by this Authorization (if issued), such as an injury, serious injury or mortality (e.g., ship-strike, gear interaction, and/or entanglement), ME DOT shall immediately cease all operations and immediately report the incident to NMFS Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, and the GARFO Stranding Coordinators. The report must include the following information:

    (i) Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    (ii) description of the incident;

    (iii) status of all sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (iv) environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, visibility, and water depth);

    (v) description of marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (vi) species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    (vii) the fate of the animal(s); and

    (viii) photographs or video footage of the animal (if equipment is available).

    (d) Activities shall not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS shall work with ME DOT to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. ME DOT may not resume their activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    (e) In the event that ME DOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as described in the next paragraph), GARFO will immediately report the incident to NMFS Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, and the GARFO Stranding Coordinators. The report must include the same information identified above. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS will work with ME DOT to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    (f) In the event that ME DOT discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities proposed in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), ME DOT shall report the incident to NMFS Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, and the GARFO Stranding Coordinators, within 24 hours of the discovery. ME DOT shall provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. ME DOT can continue its operations under such a case.

    9. This Authorization may be modified, suspended or withdrawn if the holder fails to abide by the conditions prescribed herein or if the authorized taking is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock of affected marine mammals, or if there is an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for subsistence uses.

    10. A copy of this proposed Authorization must be in the possession of each contractor who performs the EBRP in Eastport, Maine.

    11. This Authorization may be modified, suspended, or withdrawn if the Holder fails to abide by the conditions prescribed herein or if the authorized taking is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock of affected marine mammals.

    Request for Public Comments

    NMFS requests comments on our analysis, the draft authorization, and any other aspect of the Notice of Proposed IHA for ME DOT's construction project in Eastport, Maine. Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on ME DOT's request for an MMPA authorization.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29597 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Additions to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds products and a service to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes a product and services from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Effective January 8, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia, 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Additions

    On 4/15/2016 (81 FR 22239) and 9/2/2016 (81 FR 60681-60683), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notices of proposed additions to the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agencies to provide the products and service and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the products and service listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organizations that will furnish the products and service to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products and service to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products and service proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products and service are added to the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8465-01-608-7503—Bag, Sleeping, Outer, Extreme Cold Weather (ECW OSB) U.S. Marine Corps, Regular 8465-01-623-2346—Bag, Sleeping, Outer, Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) OSB) U.S. Marine Corps, Extra Long Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: ReadyOne Industries, Inc., El Paso, TX Mandatory for: 50% of the requirement of the Department of Defense Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Distribution: C-List Service Service Type: Operation and Maintenance Service Mandatory for: Defense Forensic Science Center, U.S. Army Criminal, Investigation Laboratory, Fort Gillem, 930 North 31st Street, Forest Park, GA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: PRIDE Industries, Roseville, CA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W074 ENDIST SAVANNAH Deletions

    On 10/28/2016 (81 FR 75050) and 11/4/2016 (81 FR 76923-76924), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notices of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the product and services listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to furnish the product and services to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the product and services deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following product and services are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Product NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8460-01-433-8398—Briefcase, Black Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Helena Industries, Inc., Helena, MT Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX Services Service Type: Mailing of Initial Tech Orders Service Mandatory for: Robins Air Force Base, Robins AFB, GA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Houston County Association for Exceptional Citizens, Inc., Warner Robins, GA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA8501 AFSC PZIO Service Type: Administrative Service Mandatory for: 426 5th Avenue, Sheppard AFB, TX Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Work Services Corporation, Wichita Falls, TX Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA3020 82 CONS LGC Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: Missouri Air National Guard, 10800 Lambert International Boulevard, Bridgeton, MO Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: MGI Services Corporation, St. Louis, MO Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA7014 AFDW PK Service Type: Food Service Attendant Service Mandatory for: Kirtland Air Force Base, Kirtland AFB, NM Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: LifeROOTS, Inc., Albuquerque, NM Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA7014 AFDW PK Service Type: Facilities Maintenance Service Mandatory for: Buckley Annex and Building 667, Buckley AFB, CO Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Professional Contract Services, Inc., Austin, TX Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA2543 460 CONF LGC Patricia Briscoe, Deputy Director, Business Operations Pricing and Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29576 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed additions to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 8, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): MR 357—Tumblers, Red, White and Blue, Includes Shipper 10357 Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Industries for the Blind, Inc., Milwaukee, WI Mandatory Purchase For: The requirements of military commissaries and exchanges in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 51, 51-6.4 Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency Distribution: C-List NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6645-01-NIB-0153—Clock, LCD Digital Display, Radio-Controlled, Silver, 9.75″ x 7.25″ x 1″ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Chicago Lighthouse Industries, Chicago, IL Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Distribution: A-List NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6840-01-523-9645—Kit, Hydration Bladder Cleaning Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. (Seattle Lighthouse), Seattle, WA Mandatory Purchase For: 100% of the requirement of the U.S. Army Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W6QK ACC-APG NATICK Distribution: C-List NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6515-00-NIB-0571—Glove, Exam, Nitrile, Non-Latex, Textured, Midknight, Black, Small 6515-00-NIB-0572—Glove, Exam, Nitrile, Non-Latex, Textured, Midknight, Black, Medium 6515-00-NIB-0573—Glove, Exam, Nitrile, Non-Latex, Textured, Midknight, Black, Large 6515-00-NIB-0574—Glove, Exam, Nitrile, Non-Latex, Textured, Midknight, Black, X-Large 6515-00-NIB-8229—Glove, Vinyl, Powder-Free, Evolution One, Natural Color, X-Small 6515-00-NIB-8230—Glove, Vinyl, Powder-Free, Evolution One, Natural Color, Small 6515-00-NIB-8231—Glove, Vinyl, Powder-Free, Evolution One, Natural Color, Medium 6515-00-NIB-8232—Glove, Vinyl, Powder-Free, Evolution One, Natural Color, Large 6515-00-NIB-8233—Glove, Vinyl, Powder-Free, Evolution One, Natural Color, X-Large 6515-00-NIB-8235—Glove, Exam, Nitrile, Non-Latex, Textured, Midknight, Black, X-Small Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Central Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Utica, NY Contracting Activity: Dept of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation Distribution: C-List Deletions

    The following products are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7510-00-272-9804—Envelope, Transparent, 61/2″ x 101/2″, Clear Plastic, Job Ticket Holder Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: UNKNOWN Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6910-04-000-4482—Chalkboard; 6910-04-000-4485—Chalkboard Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Tuscola County Community Mental Health Authority, Caro, MI Contracting Activity: USPS, Topeka Purchasing Center NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 2540-00-591-1108—Seat, Vehicular Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Tuscola County Community Mental Health Authority, Caro, MI Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 2510-00-179-7093—Side Rack, Vehicle; 2510-00-590-9734—Side Rack, Vehicle Body Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Tuscola County Community Mental Health Authority, Caro, MI Contracting Activity: W4GG HQ US Army TACOM Patricia Briscoe; Deputy Director, Business Operations Pricing and Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29577 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, December 16, 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. 2016-29753 Filed 12-7-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Short-Term Projects and Real Property Master Plan Update for Fort Belvoir, Virginia AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army announces the decision to implement the Preferred Alternative identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Short-Term Projects and Real Property Master Plan (RPMP) Update for U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir, VA. The RPMP identifies potential future development and management of real property—land, facilities, resources, and infrastructure—and consequent population changes on Fort Belvoir through 2030. The Record of Decision (ROD) explains the potential environmental impacts associated with the selected action, which includes 52 short-term demolition, construction, and renovation projects; four short-term transportation improvement projects; and 19 long-term facility and transportation improvement projects. The short-term projects are programmed for construction through 2017; the long-term projects are intended for implementation between 2018 and 2030. The ROD also adopts mitigation measures that will minimize or eliminate adverse impacts in land, infrastructure, transportation, and environment.

    ADDRESSES:

    The ROD can be obtained by contacting: Fort Belvoir Directorate of Public Works, Environmental and Natural Resources Division, Re: Real Property Master Plan EIS, 9430 Jackson Loop, Suite 200, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5116; or by email to [email protected]. The ROD can also be viewed at the following Web site: https://www.belvoir.army.mil/environdocssection9.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fort Belvoir Directorate of Public Works, Environmental and Natural Resources Division, 703-806-3193 or 703-806-0020, during normal working business hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; or by email to [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The RPMP and the FEIS focused on Fort Belvoir's 7,700-acre Main Post and the 800-acre Fort Belvoir North Area (FBNA, formerly the Engineer Proving Ground). The RPMP update, FEIS, and ROD do not cover Fort Belvoir property at Rivanna Station in Charlottesville, VA; the Mark Center in Alexandria, VA; or the Humphreys Engineer Center, adjacent to Main Post.

    The selected action addresses the Army's current and future planning needs at Fort Belvoir. Fort Belvoir's previous master plan was completed in 1993 and was amended in 2002 and 2007. In light of the substantial changes that have occurred on post since 1993, the amended 1993 master plan no longer served to adequately guide the management and use of real property assets—land, facilities, resources, and infrastructure—on the installation. The selected action provides Fort Belvoir with a blueprint for real property planning through 2030 now that the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) recommendations for the post have been implemented. It shifts the planning focus to encompass non-BRAC-related as well as BRAC-related facilities, tenants, and missions and reflects current and projected missions, needs, and conditions. Future growth projections for Main Post and the FBNA indicate an increase of up to 17,000 personnel by 2030 (from 39,000 in 2011) because Fort Belvoir may need to provide additional services to support military and other government organizations.

    The ROD incorporates the analyses contained in the FEIS. When preparing the ROD, the Army took into consideration all comments provided during the FEIS waiting period, which began when the Notice of Availability for the FEIS was published in the Federal Register on September 22, 2015 (80 FR 57156). The Army considered all comments received in making its decision, but determined that it did not constitute significant new information relevant to environmental concerns that would require supplementation of the FEIS. Comments received resulted in minor edits to the ROD.

    Implementation of the selected action is expected to result in direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts. The only resource area that would experience significant adverse impacts is traffic and transportation around the surrounding area of Fort Belvoir. The Army will mitigate these and other adverse effects through various strategies, as described in the ROD. All mitigations are subject to the availability of funding.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29516 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Intent To Grant an Exclusive License of U.S. Government-Owned Patents AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army hereby gives notice of its intent to grant an exclusive, royalty-bearing, revocable license to pending United States Provisional Patent Application 62/343,315, entitled, “Zika Virus Vaccine and Methods of Production” filed May 31, 2016 and an exclusive, royalty-bearing, revocable license to pending United States Provisional Patent Application 62/370,260, entitled, “Zika Vaccine and Methods of Preparation” filed August 3, 2016 to Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., having its principal place of business at 1 Discovery Drive, Swiftwater, PA 18370.

    ADDRESSES:

    Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, ATTN: Command Judge Advocate, MCMR-JA, 504 Scott Street, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5012.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For licensing issues, Mr. Barry Datlof, Office of Research & Technology Assessment, (301) 619-0033. For patent issues, Ms. Elizabeth Arwine, Patent Attorney, (301) 619-7808, both at telefax (301) 619-5034.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Anyone wishing to object to grant of this license can file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, within 15 days from the date of this publication. Written objections are to be filed with the Command Judge Advocate (see ADDRESSES).

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29514 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Reserve Forces Policy Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary of Defense, Reserve Forces Policy Board, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) will take place.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, December 14, 2016, from 9:55 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The address is the Pentagon, Room 3E863, Arlington, VA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Alex Sabol, Designated Federal Officer, (703) 681-0577 (Voice), (703) 681-0002 (Facsimile), Email: [email protected] Mailing address is Reserve Forces Policy Board, 5113 Leesburg Pike, Suite 601, Falls Church, VA 22041. Web site: http://rfpb.defense.gov/. The most up-to-date changes to the meeting agenda can be found on the RFPB's Web site.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Designated Federal Officer and the Department of Defense, the Reserve Forces Policy Board was unable to provide public notification of its meeting of December 14, 2016, as required by 41 CFR 102-3.150(a). Accordingly, the Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150(b), waives the 15-calendar day notification requirement.

    This meeting notice is being published under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA) (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to obtain, review, and evaluate information related to strategies, policies, and practices designed to improve and enhance the capabilities, efficiency, and effectiveness of the Reserve Components.

    Agenda: The RFPB will hold a meeting from 9:55 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. The portion of the meeting from 9:55 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. will be closed to the public and will consist of remarks to the RFPB from the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Personnel Policy, who will provide an update on the Department of Defense's Duty Status Reform efforts. The portion of the meeting from 10:55 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. will be open to the public and will consist of the following: A briefing by LTG (Ret) David Barno and Dr. Nora Bensahel on their published Atlantic Council: “Future of the Army” Report in which they independently analyzed, and in their positions as Distinguished Scholars in Residence at the School of International Service at American University, gave five major recommendations for the Army to be ready for the challenges of the next few years, most of which involve getting more capacity out of the currently planned force; the West Virginia National Guard discussing their recent West Virginia domestic operations involving the National Guard; and a “Think Tank” Panel with participants from the Brookings Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as well as the President and CEO of Dumbarton Strategies, who will discuss their individual recommended priorities for the next Administration and the anticipated implications those priorities may have on Active/Reserve Component force structure, readiness, and utilization.

    Meeting Accessibility: Pursuant to section 10(a)(1) of the FACA and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, the meeting is open to the public from 10:55 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. All members of the public who wish to attend the public meeting must contact Mr. Alex Sabol, the Designated Federal Officer, not later than 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13, as listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to make arrangements for a Pentagon escort, if necessary. Public attendees requiring escort should arrive at the Pentagon Metro Entrance with sufficient time to complete security screening no later than 10:15 a.m. on December 14. To complete the security screening, please be prepared to present two forms of identification. One must be a picture identification card. In accordance with section 10(d) of the FACA, 5 U.S.C. 552b, and 41 CFR 102-3.155, the DoD has determined that the portion of this meeting scheduled to occur from 9:55 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. will be closed to the public. Specifically, the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), in coordination with the DoD FACA Attorney, has determined in writing that this portion of the meeting will be closed to the public because the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy's presentation will disclose information the premature disclosure of which is likely to significantly frustrate implementation of proposed agency action as covered by 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B).

    Written Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the FACA, interested persons may submit written statements to the RFPB about its approved agenda or at any time on the RFPB's mission. Written statements should be submitted to the RFPB's Designated Federal Officer at the address, email, or facsimile number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. If statements pertain to a specific topic being discussed at the planned meeting, then these statements must be submitted no later than five (5) business days prior to the meeting in question. Written statements received after this date may not be provided to or considered by the RFPB until its next meeting. The Designated Federal Officer will review all timely submitted written statements and provide copies to all the RFPB members before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. Please note that since the RFPB operates under the provisions of the FACA, all submitted comments and public presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including, but not limited to, being posted on the RFPB's Web site.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29501 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for Licensing AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy; DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are assigned to the United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Navy and are available for domestic and foreign licensing by the Department of the Navy.

    The following patents are available for licensing: U.S. Patent No. 8,857,463: MONITOR FOR PRESSURIZED CANISTERS//U.S. Patent No. 8,858,789: SYSTEM FOR OIL SPILL CLEAN UP AND OIL RECOVERY//U.S. Patent No. 8,860,611: RFID-BASED MOBILE VEHICLE LOCALIZATION//U.S. Patent No. 8,887,548: LAND MINE SIMULATOR//U.S. Patent No. 8,899,137: REMOTE JETTISON DISCONNECT SYSTEM FOR A MINE ROLLER//U.S. Patent No. 8,905,103: TOOL FOR FASTENING AN ATTACHMENT ELEMENT TO A SURFACE//U.S. Patent No. 8,937,641: HOLOGRAPHIC MAP//U.S. Patent No. 8,937,849: AUTO-FOCUS FOR CIRCULAR SYNTHETIC APERTURE SONAR//U.S. Patent No. 8,938,325: CONTROL SYSTEM FOR STABILIZING A SINGLE LINE SUSPENDED MASS IN YAW//U.S. Patent No. 8,982,670: MULTI-SENSOR EVENT DETECTION SYSTEM//U.S. Patent No. 8,987,598: CORROSSION RESISTANT MINESWEEPING CABLE//U.S. Patent No. 8,988,036: SOLAR PANEL STORAGE AND DEPLOYMENT SYSTEM//U.S. Patent No. 8,988,037: SOLAR PANEL STORAGE AND DEPLOYMENT SYSTEM//U.S. Patent No. 8,988,972: VARIABLE SHOCK WAVE BIO-OIL EXTRACTION SYSTEM//U.S. Patent No. 9,027,455: SLURRY LINE CHARGE MINE CLEARANCE SYSTEM AND METHOD//U.S. Patent No. 9,056,679: SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR AIRBORNE DEPLOYMENT OF OBJECT DESIGNED FOR WATERBORNE TASK//U.S. Patent No. 9,134,403: SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR RELATIVE LOCALIZATION//

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patents cited should be directed to Office of Counsel, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, 110 Vernon Ave., Panama City, FL 32407-7001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Brenda Squires, Patent Administration, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, 110 Vernon Ave., Panama City, FL 32407-7001, telephone 850-234-4646.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: December 5, 2016. A.M. Nichols, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29507 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for Licensing AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are assigned to the United States Government, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy and are available for domestic and foreign licensing by the Department of the Navy.

    The following patent is available for licensing: Patent Application No. 14/849,788 (Navy Case No. 200254): ROPE CLIMBING SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF USE.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patents cited should be directed to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div., Code OOL, Bldg. 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Christopher Monsey, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div., Code OOL, Bldg. 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001, Email [email protected]

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: December 5, 2016. A.M. Nichols, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29512 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy [Docket ID: USN-2014-0014] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 9, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Personal Information Questionnaire; NAVMC 100064; OMB Control Number 0703-0012.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement with change.

    Number of Respondents: 3500.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 3500.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 875.

    Needs and Uses: The Officer Selection Officer will forward a Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) form to individuals to be named by the applicant for completion and return as character references. The questionnaire establishes a pattern of moral character on individuals applying for the Marine Corps Officer Program.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29557 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for Licensing AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are assigned to the United States Government, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy and are available for domestic and foreign licensing by the Department of the Navy.

    The following patents are available for licensing: Patent No. 9,430,189: VEHICLE DAMAGE DETECTION SYSTEM AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME//Patent No. 9,462,264: CHARACTERIZATION AND EVALUATION OF OPTICAL ELEMENTS UNDER VIBRATIONAL LOADING//Patent No. 9,425,580: MODULAR LASER SYSYTEM//Patent No. 9,425,803: APPARATUSES AND MATHODS FOR IMPLEMENTING VARIOUS PHYSICALLY UNCLONABLE FUNCTION (PUF) AND RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR CAPABILITIES//Patent No. 9,250,159: WHISKER MANUFACTURING, DETECTION, RESPONSE, AND COMPOUND MANUFACTURING APPARATUS AND METHOD//Patent No. 9,423,229: IMPLODING BARREL INITIATOR AND RELATED METHODS//Patent No. 9,423,228: ADVANCED FRAGMENTATION HAND GRENADE//Patent No. 9,306,701: SCENE ILLUMINATOR//Patent No. 9,321,128: HIGH POWER LASER SYSTEM//Patent No. 9,322,872: CORRELATED TESTING SYSTEM//Patent No. 9,188,400: SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CHARGING A WEAPON//Patent No. 9,235,378: VEHICLE DAMAGE DETECTION SYSTEM AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME//Patent No. 9,291,435: SHAPED CHARGE INCLUDING STRUCTURES AND COMPOSITIONS HAVING LOWER EXPLOSIVE CHARGE TO LINER MASS RATIO//Patent No. 9,325,073: APPRATUS FOR ASSEMBLING DIFFERENT CATEGOREIS OF MULTI-ELEMENT ASSEMBLIES TO PREDETERMINED TOLERANCES AND ALIGNMENTS USING A RECONFIGURABLE ASSEMBLING AND ALIGNMENT APPARATUS//Patent No. 9,456,483: FIELD PROGRAMMABLE MULTI-EMITTER//Patent No. 9,325,914: ELECTROMAGNETIC (EM) POWER DENSITY AND FIELD CHARACTERIZATION TECHNIQUE//Patent No. 9,423,069: PORTABLE EQUIPMENT SYSTEM MOUNT//Patent No. 9,417,286: SENSOR ENHANCEMENT THROUGH ALGORITHMIC ACQUISITION USING SYNCHRONIZATION WITH A SCAN GENERATOR//Patent No. 9,321,081: APPARATUS AND METHODS OF TUNING AND AMPLIFYING PIEZOELECTRIC SONIC AND ULTRASONIC OUTPUTS//Patent No. 9,326,384: PROCESS TO PRODUCE CONFORMAL NANO-COMPOSITE COATING FOR MITIGATION OF MANUFACTURING DEFECTS USING CHEMICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION AND NANO-STRUCTURES//Patent No. 9,079,544: ACCESSORY MOUNTING APPARATUS FOR A VEHICLE//Patent No. 9,321,079: PROCESS FOR MANUFACTURING A PLURALITY OF WAVE ENERGY EMITTERS//Patent No. 9,322,847: APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR INTEGRATED CIRCUIT FORENSICS//Patent No. 9,337,941: ANTENNA SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR OVER-THE-AIR TRANSMITTER SIGNAL MEASUREMENT//and Patent No. 9,250,195: WHISKER MANUFACTURING, DETECTION, RESPONSE, AND COMPOUND MANUFACTURING APPARATUS AND METHOD.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patents cited should be directed to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div., Code OOL, Bldg. 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Christopher Monsey, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div., Code OOL, Bldg. 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001, telephone 812-854-4100.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: December 5, 2016. A.M. Nichols, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29510 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy [Docket ID USN-2014-0013] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 9, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Naval Sea Systems Command and Field Activity Visitor Access Request; NAVSEA 5500/1 NAVSEA Visitor Sign In/Out Sheet; OMB Control Number 0703-0055.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement, without change, of a previously approved collection for which approval has expired.

    Number of Respondents: 5,200.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 5,200.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes

    Annual Burden Hours: 1300.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary for Naval Sea Systems Command and Naval Sea Systems Command Field Activity's at Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC to verify that visitors who have appropriate credentials, clearance level, and need-to-know are granted access to NAVSEA spaces, if they have clearance for classified information, and allows NAVSEA Security to keep record of visitors to NAVSEA spaces. Respondents are Navy support contractors, individuals from other agencies visiting the Command and Field Activities, various members of the public.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29506 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. ID-6679-001; ID-7433-001; ID-7213-001] Savage, Jeffrey S.; Van Abel, Brian J.; Mahling, Wendy B.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on December 2, 2016, Jeffrey S. Savage, Brian J. Van Abel, and Wendy B. Mahling, submitted for filing, applications for authority to hold interlocking positions, pursuant to section 305(b) of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 825d(b) and Part 45 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR part 45.8 (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 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.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 23, 2016.

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29558 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-237-000.

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule Revisions to be effective1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-238-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2016-12-1 Encana, BP to be effective 12/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5256.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-239-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: DTI—December 1, 2016 Negotiated Rate Agreements to be effective 12/2/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5321.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-240-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: REX Interim FL&U Electric Power Rate Adjustment to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5342.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-241-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Service Agmts—Nytis to be effective 12/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5344.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-242-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Measurement Filing to be effective1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5362.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-243-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming Negotiated Rate Agreement (EWM) to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5368.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-244-000.

    Applicants: Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, L.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: NRA Amend 2016/30/11 Hastings—Trenton to be effective 12/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5407.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-245-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Compliance filing Refund Report—S-2 Customer Share of Texas Eastern OFO Penalty Disbursement.

    Filed Date: 12/2/16.

    Accession Number: 20161202-5077.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-246-000.

    Applicants: Southern Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2016 Expansion Negotiated Rate clean up filing to be effective 12/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/2/16.

    Accession Number: 20161202-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-247-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rate 2016-12-02 Rice (2 Ks) to be effective 12/5/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/2/16.

    Accession Number: 20161202-5167.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-248-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: Stipulation and Agreement of Stipulation [including Pro Forma sheets] for Alternate Period Two rates of Kern River Gas Transmission Company under RP17-248.

    Filed Date: 12/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20161201-5450.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/12/16.

    Reply Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET12/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-249-000.

    Applicants: Elba Express Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2016 Expansion Negotiated Rate Clean-Up Filing to be effective 12/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/2/16.

    Accession Number: 20161202-5239.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-250-000.

    Applicants: Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule OPT Transportation Service to be effective 1/2/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/2/16.

    Accession Number: 20161202-5280.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/16.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified date(s). Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-244-001.

    Applicants: Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, L.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Erata to NRA Amend Hastings—Trenton to be effective 12/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20161205-5000.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/19/16.

    Any person desiring to protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29560 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Procedures for Submitting Reactive Power Filings

    Take notice that the Commission established procedures in Armstrong Power, LLC, 156 FERC ¶ 61,009, at PP 21-23 (2016) 1 to be followed in making reactive power rate filings, including required informational filings.

    1Available at http://elibrary.ferc.gov/IDMWS/common/opennat.asp?fileID=14297574.

    Dated: December 5, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29559 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0713; FRL-9956-17] Nominations to the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals; Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides the names and affiliations of nominees currently under consideration for appointment to the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) established pursuant to the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. The purpose of the SACC is to provide independent advice and expert consultation, at the request of the EPA Administrator, with respect to the scientific and technical aspects of risk assessments, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches. The Agency, at this time, anticipates selecting approximately fourteen members to serve on the Committee. Public comments on the nominees are invited, as these comments will be used to assist the Agency in selecting the new chartered Committee members.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0713, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPPT Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tamue Gibson, DFO, Office of Science Coordination and Policy (7201M), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-7642; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general. This action may be of interest to those involved in the manufacture, processing, distribution, disposal, and/or interested in the assessment of risks involving chemical substances and mixtures. Since other entities may also be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. What is EPA's authority?

    This committee is being established under FACA, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2, and pursuant to the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    II. Background

    The SACC is being established under FACA section 9(a), and pursuant to TSCA section 2625(o), as amended, to provide advice and recommendations on the scientific basis for risk assessments, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches.

    EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) manages programs under TSCA (as amended), 15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq. and the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA), 42 U.S.C. 13101 et seq. Under these laws, EPA evaluates new and existing chemical substances and their risks, and finds ways to prevent or reduce pollution before it is released into the environment. OPPT also manages a variety of environmental stewardship programs that encourage companies to reduce and prevent pollution.

    The SACC will be composed of approximately 14 members who will serve as Special Government Employees or Regular Government Employees (RGEs). The SACC expects to meet in person or by electronic means (e.g., webinar) approximately 3 to 4 times a year, or as needed and approved by the Designated Federal Officer (DFO). Meetings will be held in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The charter will be in effect for 2 years from the date it is filed with Congress. After the initial 2-year period, the charter will be renewed as authorized in accordance with section 14 of FACA (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2, Section 14). A copy of the charter will be available on the EPA Web site and in the docket.

    III. Charter

    A Charter for the SACC will be issued in accordance with the requirements of FACA.

    A. Qualifications of Members

    Members are scientists who have sufficient professional qualifications, including training and experience, to provide expert comments on the scientific and technical aspects of risk assessments, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches. No persons shall be ineligible to serve on the Committee by reason of their membership on any other advisory committee to a Federal department or agency or their employment by a Federal department or agency (except the EPA). The Administrator appoints individuals to serve on the Committee for staggered terms of 1 to 3 years. Panel members are subject to the provisions of 40 CFR part 3, subpart F, Standards of Conduct for Special Government Employees, which include rules regarding conflicts of interest. Each nominee selected by the Administrator, before being formally appointed, is required to submit a confidential statement of employment and financial interests, which shall fully disclose, among other financial interests, the nominee's sources of research support, if any.

    B. Applicability of Existing Regulations

    EPA's existing regulations applicable to Special Government Employees, which include advisory committee members, will apply to the members of the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals. These regulations appear in 40 CFR part 3, subpart F.

    C. Process of Obtaining Nominees

    On August 26, 2016, EPA published a Federal Register inviting public nominations for the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (81 FR 58925) (FRL-9950-66). The nomination period ended on October 11, 2016. In response, the Agency received approximately 100 nominees. EPA considered the following criteria to select candidates from these nominations: Interest and availability to participate in committee meetings, absence of financial conflicts of interest, absence of the appearance of a loss of impartiality, scientific expertise, and backgrounds and experiences that would contribute to the diversity of scientific viewpoints on the committee, including professional experiences in government, labor, public health, public interest, animal protection, industry, or other groups.

    Based on these criteria, EPA has identified 29 candidates for further consideration for membership on the SACC. Nine of these candidates are members of the existing EPA Chemical Safety Advisory Committee. The following are the names and professional affiliations of these candidates. Brief biographical sketches for these candidates are posted on the EPA Web site at https://www.epa.gov/TSCA-Peer-Review.

    1. Henry A. Anderson, M.D., Adjunct Professor, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin- Madison, Madison, WI.

    2. Holger Behrsing, Ph.D., Principal Scientist (Respiratory Toxicology Program), Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD.

    3. James V. Bruckner, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

    4. Stuart Cagen, Ph.D., Senior Toxicologist, Shell Health, Houston, TX.

    5. Deborah Cory-Slechta, Ph.D., Professor, Environmental Medicine, Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester Medical School, Rochester, NY.

    6. Holly Davies, Ph.D., Senior Toxicologist, Department of Ecology, State of Washington, Olympia, WA.

    7. William Doucette, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, UT.

    8. Panos G. Georgopoulos, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences—School of Public Health, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ.

    9. Kathleen Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.

    10. Gary Ginsberg, Ph.D., Senior Toxicologist, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT.

    11. Concepcion Jimenez Gonzalez, Ph.D., Program Director, Global Manufacturing & Supply, GlaxoSmithKline, Raleigh-Durham, NC.

    12. Michael A Jayjock, Ph.D. CIH, Sole Proprietor, Jayjock Associates, LLC, Langhorne, PA.

    13. Alan Kaufman, Senior VP, Technical Affairs, Toy Industry Association (TIA), New York, NY.

    14. John Kissel, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

    15. Melanie Marty, Ph.D., Former Acting Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs (Retired), Office of Environmental Hazard and Health Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency, Sacramento, CA.

    16. Jaymie Meliker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Program in Public Health, Department of Family, Population, & Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY.

    17. Kenneth Portier, Ph.D., Vice President, Statistics and Evaluation Center, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA.

    18. J. Craig Rowlands, Ph.D., Sr. Toxicologist, Business Development and Innovation, UL Supply Chain & Sustainability, Underwriters Laboratories, LLC, Northbrook, IL.

    19. Sheela Sathyanarayana MD, M.P.H., Seattle Children's Research Institute, Center for Health, Behavior, and Development, Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

    20. Val Schaeffer, Ph.D., Senior Health Scientist, Office of the Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC.

    21. Daniel Schlenk, Ph.D., Professor of Aquatic Ecotoxicology and Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA.

    22. Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., Director, Regulatory Testing Issues, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington DC.

    23. Kristina Thayer, Ph.D., Deputy Division Director of Analysis and Director, Office of Health Assessment and Translation, National Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC.

    24. Leonardo Trasande, MD, M.P.P. Associate Professor in Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine and Population Health, New York University, School of Medicine, New York, NY.

    25. Laura N. Vandenberg, Ph.D. Department of Environmental Health Science, School of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts—Amherst, Amherst, MA.

    26. Chris L. Waller, Ph.D., Executive Director & Head, Scientific Modeling Platforms, Merck Research Laboratories, Boston, MA.

    27. Christine Whittaker, Ph.D., Chief, Risk Evaluation Branch, Education and Information Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control, Cincinnati, OH.

    28. Catherine Willett, Ph.D., Director, Regulatory Toxicology, Risk Assessment & Alternatives Coordinator, The Humane Society of the United States, Washington, DC.

    29. Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor in Residence and Director, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.; 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2 et seq.

    Dated: December 2, 2016. Stanley Barone, Director, Office of Science Coordination and Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29579 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OGC-2016-0693; FRL-9956-37-OGC] Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed consent decree; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 113(g) of the Clean Air Act, as amended (“CAA” or the “Act”), notice is hereby given of a proposed consent decree to address a lawsuit filed by Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, and Clean Air Council (collectively “Plaintiffs”) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California: Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. McCarthy, et al. No. 4:16-cv-04092-PJH (N.D. Cal.). On July 21, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging that Gina McCarthy, in her official capacity as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) failed to perform certain duties mandated by the CAA in relation to implementation of the 1997 and 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (“NAAQS”) for ozone, respectively. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that EPA failed to make required findings of failure to submit, and to take final action on State Implementation Plan (“SIP”) submittals. On November 14, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint. The proposed consent decree would establish deadlines for EPA to take certain specified actions related to implementation of the 1997 and 2008 ozone standards, respectively.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the proposed consent decree must be received by January 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OGC-2016-0693, online at www.regulations.gov. For comments submitted at www.regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.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 generally will not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Derek Mills, Air and Radiation Law Office (2344A), Office of General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone: (202) 564-3341; fax number: (202) 564-5603; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Additional Information About the Proposed Consent Decree

    This proposed consent decree would resolve a lawsuit filed by Plaintiffs seeking to compel the Administrator to take actions under CAA section 110(k). Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, EPA would agree to sign a notice addressing the alleged failure to issue a finding of failure to submit for certain 2008 ozone NAAQS nonattainment and OTR SIP submissions addressing elements from the areas and states listed in the proposed consent decree no later than January 19, 2017. If any State makes a listed SIP submittal, and EPA makes a completeness determination as to that submittal, prior to January 19, 2017, then EPA's obligation to address that submittal in the aforementioned notice is automatically terminated. EPA would also agree to take certain final actions to address certain submitted plans pursuant to sections 110(k)(2)-(4) of the CAA no later than the dates indicated in the proposed consent decree for the 1997 and 2008 ozone NAAQS, respectively. If any State withdraws a listed submittal, then EPA's obligation to address that submittal through the aforementioned action is automatically terminated. Please see the proposed consent decree, located in the docket for this notice, for specific dates and additional details.

    Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, EPA will send notice of each action to the Office of the Federal Register for review and publication within 15 days of signature. In addition, the proposed consent decree outlines the procedure for the Plaintiff to request costs of litigation, including attorney fees.

    For a period of thirty (30) days following the date of publication of this notice, the Agency will accept written comments relating to the proposed consent decree from persons who are not named as parties to the litigation in question. EPA or the Department of Justice may withdraw or withhold consent to the proposed consent decree if the comments disclose facts or considerations that indicate that such consent is inappropriate, improper, inadequate, or inconsistent with the requirements of the Act. Unless EPA or the Department of Justice determines that consent to this proposed consent decree should be withdrawn, the terms of the consent decree will be affirmed.

    II. Additional Information About Commenting on the Proposed Consent Decree A. How can I get a copy of the proposed consent decree?

    The official public docket for this action (identified by EPA-HQ-OGC-2016-0693) contains a copy of the proposed consent decree. The official public docket is available for public viewing at the Office of Environmental Information (“OEI”) Docket in the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OEI Docket is (202) 566-1752.

    An electronic version of the public docket is available through www.regulations.gov. You may use www.regulations.gov to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, key in the appropriate docket identification number then select “search”.

    It is important to note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing online at www.regulations.gov without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information claimed as CBI and other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute is not included in the official public docket or in the electronic public docket. EPA's policy is that copyrighted material, including copyrighted material contained in a public comment, will not be placed in EPA's electronic public docket but will be available only in printed, paper form in the official public docket. Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the EPA Docket Center.

    B. How and to whom do I submit comments?

    You may submit comments as provided in the ADDRESSES section. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

    If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing address, and an email address or other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD ROM you submit. This ensures that you can be identified as the submitter of the comment and allows EPA to contact you in case EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties or needs further information on the substance of your comment. Any identifying or contact information provided in the body of a comment will be included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment.

    Use of the www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. The electronic public docket system is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity, email address, or other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. In contrast to EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's electronic mail (email) system is not an “anonymous access” system. If you send an email comment directly to the Docket without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address is automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket.

    Dated: November 30, 2016. Lorie J. Schmidt, Associate General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29581 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9030-6] 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 11/28/2016 Through 12/02/2016 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. 20160285, Draft, USFWS, WA, Long-term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet, Comment Period Ends: 03/09/2017, Contact: Mark Ostwald 360-753-9564. EIS No. 20160286, Draft, USACE, NJ, Rahway River Basin Flood Risk Management Plan, Comment Period Ends: 01/23/2017, Contact: Kimberly Rightler 908-850-8113. EIS No. 20160287, Final, USFWS, WY, Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Phase I Wind Energy Project, review period ends: 01/09/2017, Contact: Louise Galiher 303-236-8677. EIS No. 20160288, Final, APHIS, NAT, Petition (15-300-01p) for Determination of Nonregulated Status for ASR368 Creeping Bentgrass, review period ends: 01/09/2017, Contact: Sidney W. Abel 301-851-3896. EIS No. 20160289, Final, FERC, OH, Nexus Gas Transmission Project and Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease Project, review period ends: 01/09/2017, Contact: Joanne Wachholder 202-502-8056. EIS No. 20160290, Final, NPS, NC, Cape Lookout National Seashore Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan, review period ends: 01/09/2017, Contact: Michael B. Edwards 303-969-2694. EIS No. 20160291, Final, USFWS, CA, Lower Klamath, Clear Lake, Tule Lake, Upper Klamath, and Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuges, Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan, review period ends: 01/09/2017, Contact: Mark Pelz 916-414-6504. EIS No. 20160292, Final, NPS, CA, Golden Gate National Recreation Area Dog Management Plan, review period ends: 01/09/2017, Contact: Michael Edwards 303-969-2694. EIS No. 20160293, Final, NPS, VA, ADOPTION—Potomac Yard Metrorail Station, Contact: Dan Koenig 202-219-3528.

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service has adopted the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Authority's FEIS #20160133, file 07/11/2016 with the EPA.

    NPS was a cooperating agency for the above project. Therefore, recirculation of the document is not necessary under Section 1056.3(c) of the Council on Environmental Quality.

    Amended Notices EIS No. 20160218, Draft, BR, AZ, Navajo Generating Station-Kayenta Mine Complex Project, Comment Period Ends: 12/29/2016, Contact: Sandra Eto 623-773-6254 Revision to the FR Notice Published 09/30/2016; Extending the Comment Period from 11/29/2016 to 12/29/2016. Dated: December 6, 2016. Dawn Roberts, Management Analyst, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29578 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9956-36-OA] Announcement of the Board of Directors for the National Environmental Education Foundation AGENCY:

    Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (doing business as The National Environmental Education Foundation or NEEF) was created by Section 10 of Public Law #101-619, the National Environmental Education Act of 1990. It is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to promote and support education and training as necessary tools to further environmental protection and sustainable, environmentally sound development. It provides the common ground upon which leaders from business and industry, all levels of government, public interest groups, and others can work cooperatively to expand the reach of environmental education and training programs beyond the traditional classroom. The Foundation promotes innovative environmental education and training programs such as environmental education for medical healthcare providers and broadcast meteorologists; it also develops partnerships with government and other organizations to administer projects that promote the development of an environmentally literal public. The Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as required by the terms of the Act, announces the following appointment to the National Environmental Education Foundation Board of Directors. The appointee is Mr. Kevin M. Butt, the Regional Environmental Director of Toyota's North American Environmental Sustainability Programs.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information regarding this Notice of Appointment, please contact Mr. Micah Ragland, Associate Administrator for Office of Public Engagement and Environmental Education, U.S. EPA 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. General information concerning NEEF can be found on their Web site at: http://www.neefusa.org.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Additional Considerations: Great care has been taken to assure that this new appointee not only has the highest degree of expertise and commitment, but also brings to the Board diverse points of view relating to environmental education. This appointment is a four-year term which may be renewed once for an additional four years pending successful re-election by the NEEF nominating committee.

    This appointee will join the current Board members which include:

    • Decker Anstrom (NEEF Chairman), Former U.S. Ambassador, Retired Chairman, The Weather Channel Companies • Diane Wood (NEEF Secretary) President, National Environmental Education Foundation • Carlos Alcazar, Founder and Chairman, Culture ONE World • Megan Reilly Cayten, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Catrinka, LLC • David M. Kiser (NEEF Treasurer), Vice President, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability, International Paper • Wonya Lucas, President and CEO, Public Broadcasting Atlanta • Shannon Schuyler, Principal, Corporate Responsibility Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) • George Basile, Ph.D., Professor, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ • Jennifer Harper-Taylor, Siemens Foundation • Robert Garcia, Founding Director and Counsel, The City Project, Los Angeles, CA • Martin Philbert, Ph.D., Dean, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

    Background: Section 10 (a) of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990 mandates a National Environmental Education Foundation. The Foundation is established in order to extend the contribution of environmental education and training to meeting critical environmental protection needs, both in this country and internationally; to facilitate the cooperation, coordination, and contribution of public and private resources to create an environmentally advanced educational system; and to foster an open and effective partnership among Federal, State, and local government, business, industry, academic institutions, community based environmental groups, and international organizations.

    The Foundation is a charitable and nonprofit corporation whose income is exempt from tax, and donations to which are tax deductible to the same extent as those organizations listed pursuant to section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Foundation is not an agency or establishment of the United States. The purposes of the Foundation are—

    (A) subject to the limitation contained in the final sentence of subsection (d) herein, to encourage, accept, leverage, and administer private gifts for the benefit of, or in connection with, the environmental education and training activities and services of the United States Environmental Protection Agency;

    (B) to conduct such other environmental education activities as will further the development of an environmentally conscious and responsible public, a well-trained and environmentally literate workforce, and an environmentally advanced educational system;

    (C) to participate with foreign entities and individuals in the conduct and coordination of activities that will further opportunities for environmental education and training to address environmental issues and problems involving the United States and Canada or Mexico.

    The Foundation develops, supports, and/or operates programs and projects to educate and train educational and environmental professionals, and to assist them in the development and delivery of environmental education and training programs and studies.

    The Foundation has a governing Board of Directors (hereafter referred to in this section as `the Board'), which consists of 13 directors, each of whom shall be knowledgeable or experienced in the environment, education and/or training. The Board oversees the activities of the Foundation and assures that the activities of the Foundation are consistent with the environmental and education goals and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency and with the intents and purposes of the Act. The membership of the Board, to the extent practicable, represents diverse points of view relating to environmental education and training. Members of the Board are appointed by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Within 90 days of the date of the enactment of the National Environmental Education Act, and as appropriate thereafter, the Administrator will publish in the Federal Register an announcement of appointments of Directors of the Board. Such appointments become final and effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register. The directors are appointed for terms of 4 years. The Administrator shall appoint an individual to serve as a director in the event of a vacancy on the Board within 60 days of said vacancy in the manner in which the original appointment was made. No individual may serve more than 2 consecutive terms as a director.

    Dated: November 30, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator. Mr. Kevin M. Butt

    Mr. Kevin Butt is the Regional Environmental Director of Toyota's North American Environmental Sustainability Programs. He is responsible for the development of Environmental Sustainability Programs and Regulatory/Legislative development for all of Toyota's North American operations.

    Prior to Mr. Butt's current assignment he was the General Manager/Chief Environmental and Safety Officer for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing for all of Toyota's Manufacturing operations. Prior to that assignment Mr. Butt was the Assistant General Manager of Body Production Engineering for Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc., (TMMNA). He was responsible for Body Engineering for all Toyota's North American manufacturing operations. Body Engineering consists of Welding, Stamping, and Painting Operations.

    Mr. Butt serves on several boards including the National Wildlife Habitat Council, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, World Wildlife Fund National Council, North American Great Plains Advisory Board and the Yellowstone Park Foundation Board.

    Mr. Butt is a member of the U.S. EPA Common Sense Initiative (CSI) Automobile Sector. He served on the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America's Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources. He was also given the Toyota Community Star Award for volunteering and giving back to the community in a very high standard.

    Mr. Butt has a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science from Georgetown College. He has also completed the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14000 Environmental Management Auditor course, and the American National Standards Institute-Registrar Accreditation Board (ANSI-RAB) accredited Environmental Management Systems Auditor course.

    [FR Doc. 2016-29591 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0357; FRL-9956-24-ORD] Second External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides—Health Criteria AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a public comment period ending on March 20, 2017, for the draft document titled, “Second External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides—Health Criteria” (EPA/600/R-16/351). The draft document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) as part of the review of the primary (health-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2). The Integrated Science Assessment (ISA), in conjunction with additional technical and policy assessments, provides the scientific basis for EPA's decisions on the adequacy of the current NAAQS and the appropriateness of possible alternative standards. EPA intends to develop a separate ISA as part of an independent review for the secondary (welfare-based) NAAQS for oxides of nitrogen and sulfur.

    EPA is releasing this draft document to seek review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the public (meeting date and location to be specified in a separate Federal Register notice). This draft document is not final as described in EPA's information quality guidelines, and it does not represent, and should not be construed to represent, Agency policy or views. When revising the document, EPA will consider any public comments submitted during the public comment period specified in this notice.

    DATES:

    The public comment period begins on December 9, 2016, and ends on March 20, 2017. Comments must be received on or before March 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The “Second External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides—Health Criteria” will be available primarily via the internet on EPA's Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Dioxide (Health Criteria) home page at http://www2.epa.gov/isa/integrated-science-assessment-isa-sulfur-dioxide-health-criteria or the public docket at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0357. A limited number of CD-ROM copies will be available. Contact Ms. Marieka Boyd by phone: 919-541-0031; fax: 919-541-5078; or email: [email protected] to request a CD-ROM, and please provide your name, your mailing address, and the document title, “Second External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides—Health Criteria” to facilitate processing of your request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the public comment period, contact the ORD Docket at the EPA Headquarters Docket Center; phone: 202-566-1752; fax: 202-566-9744; or email: [email protected].

    For technical information, contact Dr. Tom Long, NCEA; phone: 919-541-1880; fax: 919-541-1818; or email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Information About the Document

    Section 108(a) of the Clean Air Act directs the Administrator to identify certain pollutants which, among other things, “cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare” and to issue air quality criteria for them. These air quality criteria are to “accurately reflect the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of all identifiable effects on public health or welfare which may be expected from the presence of [a] pollutant in the ambient air . . .” Under section 109 of the Act, EPA is then to establish NAAQS for each pollutant for which EPA has issued criteria. Section 109(d) of the Act subsequently requires periodic review and, if appropriate, revision of existing air quality criteria to reflect advances in scientific knowledge on the effects of the pollutant on public health or welfare. EPA is also required to review and, if appropriate, revise the NAAQS, based on the revised air quality criteria (for more information on the NAAQS review process, see http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/review.html).

    Sulfur oxides are one of six criteria pollutants for which EPA has established NAAQS. Periodically, EPA reviews the scientific basis for these standards by preparing an ISA (formerly called an Air Quality Criteria Document). The ISA, in conjunction with additional technical and policy assessments, provides the scientific basis for EPA's decisions on the adequacy of the current NAAQS and the appropriateness of possible alternative standards. The CASAC, an independent science advisory committee whose review and advisory functions are mandated by Section 109(d)(2) of the Clean Air Act, is charged (among other things) with independent scientific review of the EPA's air quality criteria.

    On May 10, 2013 (78 FR 27387), EPA formally initiated its current review of the air quality criteria for the health effects of sulfur oxides and the primary (health-based) SO2 NAAQS, requesting the submission of recent scientific information on specified topics. EPA held a workshop on June 12-13, 2013, to gather input from invited scientific experts, both internal and external to EPA, as well as from the public, regarding key science and policy issues relevant to the review of the health effects of sulfur oxides and the primary SO2 NAAQS (78 FR 27387). These science and policy issues were incorporated in EPA's “Integrated Review Plan for the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Dioxide” (EPA-452/R-14-007), which was finalized in October 2014 (79 FR 66721) with a prior draft available for public comment (79 FR 14035) and discussion by the CASAC via publicly accessible teleconference consultations (79 FR 16325, 79 FR 30137, 79 FR 34739). On June 23-24, 2014, EPA held a workshop to discuss, with invited internal and external scientific experts, initial draft materials prepared in the development of the ISA (79 FR 33750). EPA considered comments on these draft materials in preparing the first external review draft of the ISA, which was released on November 24, 2015 (80 FR 73183). The first draft ISA was discussed at a public CASAC meeting on January 27-28, 2016 (80 FR 79330). Subsequently, on April 15, 2016, the CASAC panel provided a consensus letter to the EPA Administrator summarizing their review. The second draft ISA has been developed with consideration of comments from the CASAC and the public, and includes consideration of scientific studies published through September 2016.

    The “Second External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides—Health Criteria” will be discussed by the CASAC at a public meeting. In addition to the public comment period announced in this notice, the public will have an opportunity to submit written and/or oral comments related to this second external review draft ISA to the CASAC. A separate Federal Register notice will inform the public of the exact date and time of the CASAC meeting and of the procedures for public participation.

    II. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at www.regulations.gov

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0357, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 202-566-9744.

    Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (ORD Docket), Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-566-1752.

    Hand Delivery: The ORD Docket is located in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The phone number for the Public Reading Room is 202-566-1744. Such deliveries are only accepted during the docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. If you provide comments by mail or hand delivery, please submit three copies of the comments. For attachments, provide an index, number pages consecutively with the comments, and submit an unbound original and three copies.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0357. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the closing date will be marked “late,” and may only be considered if time permits. It is EPA's policy to include all comments it receives in the public docket without change and to make the comments available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless a comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information through www.regulations.gov or email that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www2.epa.gov/dockets.

    Docket: Documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other materials, such as copyrighted material, are publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically on www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the ORD Docket in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center.

    Dated: November 22, 2016. Mary A. Ross, Deputy Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29438 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FARM CREDIT SYSTEM INSURANCE CORPORATION Regular Meeting SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the regular meeting of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board (Board).

    DATES AND TIME:

    The meeting of the Board will be held at the offices of the Farm Credit Administration in McLean, Virginia, on December 8, 2016, from 12:30 p.m. until such time as the Board concludes its business.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, (703) 883-4009, TTY (703) 883-4056.

    ADDRESSES:

    Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102. Submit attendance requests via email to [email protected] See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further information about attendance requests.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Parts of this meeting of the Board will be open to the public (limited space available), and parts will be closed to the public. Please send an email to [email protected] at least 24 hours before the meeting. In your email include: Name, postal address, entity you are representing (if applicable), and telephone number. You will receive an email confirmation from us. Please be prepared to show a photo identification when you arrive. If you need assistance for accessibility reasons, or if you have any questions, contact Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, at (703) 883-4009. The matters to be considered at the meeting are:

    Open Session A. Approval of Minutes • October 13, 2016 B. Business Reports • September 30, 2016 Financial Reports • Report on Insured and Other Obligations • Quarterly Report on Annual Performance Plan Closed Session • Confidential Report on System Performance • Audit Plan for the Year Ended December 31, 2016 Executive Session • January 14, 2016 Audit Committee Minutes • Executive Session of the Audit Committee with Auditor Dated: December 6, 2016. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29497 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6710-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-XXXX] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before January 9, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Kimberly R. Keravuori, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the Supplementary Information section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page <http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain>, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

    Title: Receiving Written Consent for Communication with Base Stations in Canada; Issuing Written Consent to Licensees from Canada for Communication with Base Stations in the U.S.; Description of Interoperable Communications with Licensees from Canada.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: New collection.

    Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Governments.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 3,224 respondents; 3,224 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5 hours-1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Written consent from the licensee of a base station repeater is required before first responders from the other country can begin communicating with that base stations repeater. Applicants are advised to include a description of how they intend to interoperate with licensees from Canada when filing applications to operate under any of the scenarios described in Public Notice DA 16-739 in order to ensure that the application is not inadvertently rejected by Canada. Statutory authority for these collections are contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 325(b), 332, 336(f), 338, 339, 340, 399b, 403, 534, 535, 1404, 1452, and 1454 of the Communications Act of 1934.

    Total Annual Burden: 5,642 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: None.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Applicants who include a description of how they intend to interoperate with licensees from Canada need not include any confidential information with their description. Nonetheless, there is a need for confidentiality with respect to all applications filed with the Commission through its Universal Licensing System (ULS). Although ULS stores all information pertaining to the individual license via an FCC Registration Number (FRN), confidential information is accessible only by persons or entities that hold the password for each account, and the Commission's licensing staff. Information on private land mobile radio licensees is maintained in the Commission's system of records, FCC/WTB-1, “Wireless Services Licensing Records.” The licensee records will be publicly available and routinely used in accordance with subsection (b) of the Privacy Act. TIN Numbers and material which is afforded confidential treatment pursuant to a request made under 47 CFR 0.459 will not be available for Public inspection. Any personally identifiable information (PII) that individual applicants provide is covered by a system of records, FCC/WTB-1, “Wireless Services Licensing Records,” and these and all other records may be disclosed pursuant to the Routine Uses as stated in this system of records notice.

    Needs and Uses: This collection will be submitted as a new collection after this 60-day comment period to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in order to obtain the full three-year clearance. The purpose of requiring an agency to issue written consent before allowing first responders from the other country to communicate with its base station repeater ensures to that the licensee of that base stations repeater (host licensee) maintains control and is responsible for its operation at all times. The host licensee can use the written consent to ensure that first responders from the other country understand the proper procedures and protocols before they begin communicating with its base station repeater. Furthermore, when reviewing applications filed by border area licensees, Commission staff will use any description of how an applicant intends to interoperate with licensees from Canada, including copies of any written agreements, in order to coordinate the application with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and reduce the risk of an inadvertent rejection by ISED.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29566 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1087] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before February 7, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email to [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Section 15.615, General Administrative Requirements (Broadband Over Power Line (BPL).

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1087.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; and State, local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 100 respondents; 100 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 26 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 301, 302, 303(e), 303(f) and 303(r).

    Total Annual Burden: 2,600 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $60,000.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The FCC does not require any confidentiality in the information provided to the database. There are no proprietary or trade/technological standards to which these BPL entities wish to restrict access.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this expiring information collection after this 60 day comment period to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to obtain the full three year clearance. Section 15.615 requires entities operating Access BPL systems shall supply to an industry-recognized entity, information on all existing Access BPL systems and all proposed Access BPL systems for inclusion into a publicly available database, within 30 days prior to installation of service. Such information should include the name of the Access BPL provider; the frequencies of the Access BPL operation; the postal ZIP codes served by the specific Access BPL operation; the manufacturer and type of Access BPL equipment and its associated FCC ID number, contact information; and proposed/or actual date of operation.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29565 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0250] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before February 7, 2017. If you anticipate that you will submit comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0250.

    Title: Sections 73.1207, 74.784 and 74.1284, Rebroadcasts.

    Form Number: Not applicable.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions; State, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 6,462 respondents; 11,012 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.50 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; on occasion reporting requirement; semi-annual reporting requirement; third party disclosure requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 5,506 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: None.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in Sections 154(i) and 325(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this information collection.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.1207 require that licensees of broadcast stations obtain written permission from an originating station prior to retransmitting any program or any part thereof. A copy of the written consent must be kept in the station's files and made available to the FCC upon request. Section 73.1207 also specifies procedures that broadcast stations must follow when rebroadcasting time signals, weather bulletins, or other material from non-broadcast services.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 74.784(b) require that a licensee of a low power television or TV translator station shall not rebroadcast the programs of any other TV broadcast station without obtaining prior consent of the station whose signals or programs are proposed to be retransmitted. Section 74.784(b) requires licensees of low power television and TV translator stations to notify the Commission when rebroadcasting programs or signals of another station. This notification shall include the call letters of each station rebroadcast. The licensee of the low power television or TV translator station shall certify that written consent has been obtained from the licensee of the station whose programs are retransmitted.

    Lastly, the information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 74.1284 require that the licensee of a FM translator station obtain prior consent to rebroadcast programs of any broadcast station or other FM translator. The licensee of the FM translator station must notify the Commission of the call letters of each station rebroadcast and must certify that written consent has been received from the licensee of that station. Also, AM stations are allowed to use FM translator stations to rebroadcast the AM signal.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29567 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination of the Receivership of 10505, GreenChoice Bank, FSB, Chicago, Illinois

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), as Receiver for 10505, GreenChoice Bank, FSB, Chicago, Illinois (“Receiver”) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of GreenChoice Bank, FSB (“Receivership Estate”); the Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law. The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds. Effective December 1, 2016, the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29532 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    DATE AND TIME:

    Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    999 E Street NW., Washington, DC.

    STATUS:

    This meeting will be closed to the public.

    Federal Register Notice of Previous Announcement—81 FR 80664.

    Change in the meeting: This meeting was continued on December 6, 2016.

    PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION:

    Judith Ingram, Press Officer, Telephone: (202) 694-1220.

    Shelley E. Garr, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29662 Filed 12-7-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting Agency Holding The Meeting:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    TIME AND DATE:

    December 14, 2016; 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    800 N. Capitol Street NW., First Floor Hearing Room, Washington, DC.

    STATUS:

    The first portion of the meeting will be held in Open Session; the second in Closed Session.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Open Session 1. Briefing by Commissioner Dye on Supply Chain Innovation Teams 2. Docket No. 16-08: Final Rule on Presentation of Evidence in Commission Adjudications Closed Session 1. THE Alliance Agreement, FMC Agreement No. 012439 CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary, (202) 523-5725.

    Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29779 Filed 12-7-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Sunshine Act; Notice of Meeting DATE AND TIME:

    December 19, 2016, Telephonic, 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    10th Floor Board Meeting Room, 77 K Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    Agenda: Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Member Meeting.

    STATUS:

    All parts will be open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Open Session 1. Approval of the minutes for the November 29, 2016 Board Member Meeting 2. Monthly Reports (a) Participant Activity Report (b) Legislative Report (c) Investment Performance and Policy Report 3. Vendor Financials 4. Office of the General Counsel Report CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Megan Grumbine, General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29681 Filed 12-7-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Sunshine Act; Notice of Meeting DATE AND TIME:

    December 9, 2016, Telephonic, 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda:Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Member Meeting.

    STATUS:

    Closed to the public.

    MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Information covered under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6), and (c)(9)(B).

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: December 7, 2016. Dharmesh Vashee, Deputy General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29682 Filed 12-7-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Sunshine Act; Notice of Meeting DATE AND TIME:

    December 12, 2016, Telephonic, 10:30 a.m.

    Agenda: Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Member Meeting.

    STATUS:

    Closed to the public.

    MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Information covered under 5 U.S.C. 552b (c)(6), and (c)(9)(B).

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: December 7, 2016. Dharmesh Vashee, Deputy General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-29680 Filed 12-7-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)/Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment Notice of Charter Renewal

    This gives notice under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463) of October 6, 1972, that the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment, Department of Health and Human Services, has been renewed for a 2-year period through November 25, 2018.

    Contact Person for More Information: Johnathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., Designated Federal Officer, CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treat