Federal Register Vol. 81, No.246,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 246 (December 22, 2016)

Page Range93791-94210
FR Document

81_FR_246
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 93962 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 93888 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 94023 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 94024 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 94006 - Notice of Surrender of License of Small Business Investment CompanyPDF
81 FR 94005 - Massachusetts Disaster #MA-00069PDF
81 FR 93842 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2017-2018 Summer Flounder Specifications and Announcement of 2017 Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability MeasuresPDF
81 FR 94005 - Alabama Disaster #AL-00078PDF
81 FR 94005 - Seacoast Capital Partners IV, L.P.; Notice Seeking Exemption Under Section 312 of the Small Business Investment Act, Conflicts of InterestPDF
81 FR 94006 - Tennessee Disaster #TN-00099PDF
81 FR 93931 - Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
81 FR 93926 - West-Herr Automotive Group, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
81 FR 93928 - CarMax, Inc., Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
81 FR 94010 - Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment FactorPDF
81 FR 93819 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sloop Channel, Nassau, NYPDF
81 FR 93904 - Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 93819 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Reynolds Channel, Nassau County, NYPDF
81 FR 93969 - University of Maryland; Maryland University Training ReactorPDF
81 FR 93968 - DTE Electric Company; Fermi Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 2PDF
81 FR 93792 - Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010PDF
81 FR 93923 - Proposed Guidelines for Evaluating Joint Account Requests, Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 93820 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Harlem River, New York, NYPDF
81 FR 93882 - Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Permanent, Privately Owned Horse Quarantine FacilitiesPDF
81 FR 93959 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
81 FR 93917 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
81 FR 93888 - Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 93994 - Euroclear Bank SA/NV; Order of the Commission Approving an Application To Modify an Existing Exemption From Clearing Agency RegistrationPDF
81 FR 93909 - Island Hydroelectric Project; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 93910 - Pacific Gas and Electric Company and City of Santa Clara, California; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 93912 - Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 93887 - Nominations Open for the Vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal NutritionPDF
81 FR 93883 - Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Veterinary Services National Import Export Services Customer Service Survey ProjectPDF
81 FR 93917 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 93934 - Proposed Collections; Comment RequestsPDF
81 FR 93962 - The Standard on Presence Sensing Device Initiation (PSDI) (Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Collections of Information (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
81 FR 93963 - Gear Certification Standard; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
81 FR 94007 - Genesee & Wyoming Inc.-Acquisition of Control Exemption-Providence and Worcester RailroadPDF
81 FR 93909 - Grady Wind Energy Center, LLC: Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request For Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 93912 - Wolf Run Energy LLC: Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 93909 - Niles Valley Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 93912 - Wildwood Solar II, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 93913 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 93911 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
81 FR 93913 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 93881 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 94013 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
81 FR 94021 - Exploring Industry Practices on Distribution and Display of Airline Fare, Schedule, and Availability Information: Extension of Response Deadline for Request for InformationPDF
81 FR 93952 - Notice of Deadline for Submitting Completed Applications To Begin Participation in the Tribal Self-Governance Program in Fiscal Year 2018 or Calendar Year 2018PDF
81 FR 93905 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the KC-46A Main Operating Base #4 BeddownPDF
81 FR 93957 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey, New MexicoPDF
81 FR 93951 - Establishment of Bear River Watershed Conservation Area, Idaho, Wyoming, and UtahPDF
81 FR 93956 - Notice of Public Meeting, Idaho Falls District Resource Advisory Council MeetingPDF
81 FR 93917 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10150-Pacific Coast National Bank San Clemente, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 93917 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 4637-First National Bank of Keystone Keystone, West VirginiaPDF
81 FR 93953 - Land Acquisitions; Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup ReservationPDF
81 FR 94006 - Notice of Determinations Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Wild Noise/Ruido Salvaje: Artworks From El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba” ExhibitionPDF
81 FR 93879 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Hualapai Mexican Vole From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened WildlifePDF
81 FR 93975 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Granting an Extension to Limited Exemptions From Rule 612(c) of Regulation NMS In Connection With the Exchanges' Retail Liquidity Programs Until June 30, 2017PDF
81 FR 94015 - Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting PostponementPDF
81 FR 93960 - Certain Lithium Metal Oxide Cathode Materials, Lithium-Ion Batteries for Power Tool Products Containing Same, and Power Tool Products With Lithium-Ion Batteries Containing Same Commission's Final Determination; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order; Termination of the InvestigationPDF
81 FR 93888 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Maryland Advisory Committee; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 93946 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 93948 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 93965 - Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2017PDF
81 FR 93967 - Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Establish an Information Collection SystemPDF
81 FR 93949 - Pennsylvania; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 93950 - Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 93949 - Board of Visitors for the National Fire AcademyPDF
81 FR 93975 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 93974 - New Postal ProductsPDF
81 FR 93988 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Bats BYX Exchange, Inc.; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change in Connection With the Proposed Corporate Transaction Involving Bats Global Markets, Inc. and CBOE Holdings, Inc.PDF
81 FR 93979 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Amend the PIXL Price Improvement Auction in Phlx Rule 1080(n) and To Make Pilot Program PermanentPDF
81 FR 93986 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Amend Phlx Rule 748, SupervisionPDF
81 FR 93976 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Section 902.02 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual To Adopt a Fee Cap Specific to Investment Management Entities and Their Eligible Portfolio CompaniesPDF
81 FR 93957 - Notice of an Open Public Meeting for the Aniakchak National Monument Subsistence Resource CommissionPDF
81 FR 93957 - Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee 2017 Meeting SchedulePDF
81 FR 93975 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 93975 - Product Change-First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 93958 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
81 FR 93944 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 93945 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 93942 - National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; List of Petitions ReceivedPDF
81 FR 93951 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Berry Outlook SurveyPDF
81 FR 93940 - Lead in Cosmetic Lip Products and Externally Applied Cosmetics: Recommended Maximum Level; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 93892 - Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationPDF
81 FR 93939 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 93937 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 93936 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 93897 - Certain Softwood Lumber Products From Canada: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
81 FR 93935 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 93884 - Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Organic Certification Cost Share ProgramPDF
81 FR 93941 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Reporting Associated With Designated New Animal Drugs for Minor Use and Minor SpeciesPDF
81 FR 93872 - Limited Federal Implementation Plan; Prevention of Significant Deterioration Requirements for Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5PDF
81 FR 93908 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 93916 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Emergency Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 93914 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Emergency Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 93915 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 93878 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Independent Research and Development Expenses (DFARS Case 2016-D017)PDF
81 FR 93792 - Revisions to the Freedom of Information Act RegulationPDF
81 FR 93831 - Rules of Practice and Procedure; Presentation of Evidence in Commission ProceedingsPDF
81 FR 93903 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 93902 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the Endangered Black Abalone and the Endangered White AbalonePDF
81 FR 93906 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Service ContractingPDF
81 FR 93906 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Publicizing Contract ActionsPDF
81 FR 93907 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Subcontracting Policies and ProceduresPDF
81 FR 93864 - Freedom of InformationPDF
81 FR 93820 - Approval and Limited Approval and Limited Disapproval of California State Implementation Plan Revisions; Butte County Air Quality Management District; Stationary Source PermitsPDF
81 FR 93822 - Air Plan Approval; Mississippi; Interstate Transport (Prongs 1 and 2) for the 2010 1-Hour NO2PDF
81 FR 93840 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: New Qualifying Country-Estonia (DFARS Case 2017-D001)PDF
81 FR 93875 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Competition for Religious-Related Services Contracts (DFARS Case 2016-D015)PDF
81 FR 93841 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Contract Financing (DFARS Case 2015-D026)PDF
81 FR 94018 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
81 FR 94021 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
81 FR 94016 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
81 FR 94028 - Exemptions From Certain Prohibited Transaction RestrictionsPDF
81 FR 93861 - Freedom of Information Act; Miscellaneous RulesPDF
81 FR 93804 - Freedom of Information Act; Miscellaneous RulesPDF
81 FR 94010 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 93857 - Privacy Act Policies and ProceduresPDF
81 FR 93851 - Federal Employees' Retirement System; Government CostsPDF
81 FR 93791 - Freedom of Information ActPDF
81 FR 94058 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018; Amendments to Special Enrollment Periods and the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan ProgramPDF
81 FR 93806 - Freedom of Information Act RegulationsPDF
81 FR 93855 - Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Turbofan EnginesPDF
81 FR 93798 - Airworthiness Directives; Viking Air Limited AirplanesPDF
81 FR 93795 - Airworthiness Directives The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 93801 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 93824 - Bifenthrin; Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency ExemptionsPDF
81 FR 94186 - Amendments To Streamline Importation of Distilled Spirits, Wine, Beer, Malt Beverages, Tobacco Products, Processed Tobacco, and Cigarette Papers and Tubes and Facilitate Use of the International Trade Data SystemPDF

Issue

81 246 Thursday, December 22, 2016 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93935-93936 2016-30773 Agency Agency for International Development RULES Freedom of Information Act Regulations, 93806-93819 2016-30413 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Food and Nutrition Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93881-93882 2016-30833
AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: KC-46A Main Operating Base 4 Beddown, 93905-93906 2016-30828 Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau RULES Streamlining Importation of Distilled Spirits, Wine, Beer, Malt Beverages, Tobacco Products, Processed Tobacco, and Cigarette Papers and Tubes and Facilitate Use of the International Trade Data System, 94186-94210 2016-29201 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Permanent, Privately Owned Horse Quarantine Facilities, 93882-93883 2016-30857 Veterinary Services National Import Export Services Customer Service Survey Project, 93883-93884 2016-30848 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93936-93940 2016-30779 2016-30777 2016-30778 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Maryland Advisory Committee; Correction, 93888 2016-30810 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 93888 2016-30954 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Harlem River, New York, NY, 93820 2016-30858 Reynolds Channel, Nassau County, NY, 93819-93820 2016-30864 Sloop Channel, Nassau, NY, 93819 2016-30866 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation NOTICES Funds Availability: Organic Certification Cost Share Program, 93884-93887 2016-30772 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93904-93905 2016-30865 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System RULES Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements: Contract Financing, 93841-93842 2016-30596 New Qualifying Country—Estonia, 93840-93841 2016-30598 PROPOSED RULES Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements: Competition for Religious-Related Services Contracts (DFARS Case 2016-D015), 93875-93878 2016-30597 Independent Research and Development Expenses (DFARS Case 2016-D017), 93878-93879 2016-30750 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Publicizing Contract Actions, 93906 2016-30668 Service Contracting, 93906-93907 2016-30669 Subcontracting Policies and Procedures, 93907-93908 2016-30667 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93908 2016-30767
Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Exemptions: Prohibited Transaction Restrictions, 94028-94055 2016-30566 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Approval and Limited Approval and Limited Disapproval of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Butte County Air Quality Management District; Stationary Source Permits, 93820-93822 2016-30644 Mississippi; Interstate Transport (Prongs 1 and 2) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 Standard, 93822-93824 2016-30641 Pesticide Tolerances: Bifenthrin; Emergency Exemption, 93824-93831 2016-29882 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District Limited Federal Implementation Plan; Prevention of Significant Deterioration Requirements for Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5), 93872-93875 2016-30768 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 93801-93804 2016-30031 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 93795-93798 2016-30032 Viking Air Limited Airplanes, 93798-93801 2016-30039 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Pratt and Whitney Turbofan Engines, 93855-93857 2016-30114 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93914-93917 2016-30762 2016-30764 2016-30765 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: 10150, Pacific Coast National Bank San Clemente, CA, 93917 2016-30823 4637, First National Bank of Keystone Keystone, WV, 93917 2016-30822 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Major Disaster and Related Determinations: Pennsylvania, 93949 2016-30802 Major Disaster Declarations: Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians; Amendment No. 1, 93950 2016-30801 Meetings: Board of Visitors for the National Fire Academy, 93949-93950 2016-30800 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 93911-93914 2016-30834 2016-30835 2016-30836 2016-30837 Filings: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., 93912 2016-30850 Hydroelectric Applications: Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and City of Santa Clara, CA, 93910-93911 2016-30851 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Grady Wind Energy Center, LLC, 93909 2016-30841 Niles Valley Energy LLC, 93909-93910 2016-30839 Wildwood Solar II, LLC, 93912-93913 2016-30838 Wolf Run Energy, LLC, 93912 2016-30840 Permit Applications: Island Hydroelectric Project, 93909 2016-30852 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission RULES Rules of Practice and Procedure; Presentation of Evidence in Commission Proceedings, 93831-93840 2016-30745 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Vision, 94013-94015 2016-30831 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Meetings: Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Postponement, 94015-94016 2016-30813 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93917-93922 2016-30855 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 93917 2016-30847 Proposed Guidelines for Evaluating Joint Account Requests, 93923-93926 2016-30860 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission RULES Freedom of Information Act; Miscellaneous Rules, 93804-93806 2016-30507 PROPOSED RULES Freedom of Information Act; Miscellaneous Rules, 93861-93864 2016-30508 NOTICES Consent Orders: Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., Analysis of Proposed Order to Aid Public Comment, 93931-93933 2016-30870 CarMax, Inc., 93928-93931 2016-30868 West-Herr Automotive Group, Inc., 93926-93928 2016-30869 Financial Stability Financial Stability Oversight Council NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93934 2016-30846 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Removal of the Hualapai Mexican Vole From the Federal List, 93879-93880 2016-30816 NOTICES Establishment of Bear River Watershed Conservation Area, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah, 93951 2016-30826 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reporting Associated With Designated New Animal Drugs for Minor Use and Minor Species, 93941-93942 2016-30770 Guidance: Lead in Cosmetic Lip Products and Externally Applied Cosmetics: Recommended Maximum Level, 93940-93941 2016-30781 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service RULES Local School Wellness Policy Implementation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act; Corrections, 93792 2016-30861 NOTICES Requests for Nominations: National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition, 93887-93888 2016-30849 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Berry Outlook Survey, 93951-93952 2016-30782 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

RULES Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018; Amendments to Special Enrollment Periods and the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program, 94058-94183 2016-30433 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93944-93946 2016-30786 2016-30787
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: List of Petitions Received, 93942-93944 2016-30783 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Applications: Participation in Tribal Self-Governance Program in Fiscal Year 2018 or Calendar Year 2018, 93952-93953 2016-30829 Land Acquisitions: Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation, 93953-93956 2016-30820 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada, 93897-93902 2016-30774 Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada; Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 93892-93897 2016-30780 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China, 93888-93891 2016-30854 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Magnetic Tape Cartridges and Components Thereof, 93958-93959 2016-30788 Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest, 93959-93960 2016-30856 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Lithium Metal Oxide Cathode Materials, Lithium-Ion Batteries for Power Tool Products Containing Same, etc., 93960-93962 2016-30811 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 93962 2016-31021 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Idaho Falls District Resource Advisory Council, 93956-93957 2016-30825 Plats of Surveys: New Mexico, 93957 2016-30827 Millenium Millennium Challenge Corporation NOTICES Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2017, 93965-93967 2016-30805 National Council National Council on Disability RULES Freedom of Information Act, 93791-93792 2016-30475 National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Freedom of Information Act Regulation; Revisions, 93792-93795 2016-30748 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2017-2018 Summer Flounder Specifications and Announcement of 2017 Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measures, 93842-93850 2016-30876 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Initiation of 5-Year Review for the Endangered Black Abalone and the Endangered White Abalone, 93902-93903 2016-30710 Meetings: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 93903-93904 2016-30722 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Meetings: Aniakchak National Monument Subsistence Resource Commission, 93957-93958 2016-30792 Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee; 2017 Schedule, 93957 2016-30791 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93967-93968 2016-30804 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: University of Maryland, Maryland University Training Reactor, 93969-93974 2016-30863 License Renewals: DTE Electric Co., Fermi Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 2, 93968-93969 2016-30862 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Gear Certification Standard, 93963-93965 2016-30844 Standard on Presence Sensing Device Initiation, 93962-93963 2016-30845 Overseas Overseas Private Investment Corporation PROPOSED RULES Freedom of Information, 93864-93872 2016-30661 Personnel Personnel Management Office PROPOSED RULES Federal Employees' Retirement System; Government Costs, 93851-93855 2016-30487 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Hazardous Materials: Applications for Special Permits, 94016-94021 2016-30573 2016-30574 2016-30575 2016-30577 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 93974 2016-30797 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 93975 2016-30789 Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 93975 2016-30790 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 93975 2016-30798 2016-30799 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Exemptions: Euroclear Bank SA and NV, 93994-94005 2016-30853 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Bats BYX Exchange, Inc.; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., 93988-93994 2016-30796 NASDAQ PHLX LLC, 93979-93988 2016-30794 2016-30795 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 93976-93979 2016-30793 New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE MKT LLC, 93975-93976 2016-30815 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Conflict of Interest Exemptions: Seacoast Capital Partners IV, LP, 94005 2016-30872 Disaster Declarations: Alabama, 94005-94006 2016-30875 Massachusetts, 94005 2016-30878 Tennessee, 94006 2016-30871 Small Business Investment Company License Surrenders, 94006 2016-30881 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Wild Noise/Ruido Salvaje: Artworks from El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba, 94006-94007 2016-30818 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 93946-93949 2016-30808 2016-30809 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Acquisition of Control Exemptions: Genesee and Wyoming Inc.; Providence and Worcester Railroad Co., 94007-94010 2016-30843 Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor, 94010 2016-30867 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States PROPOSED RULES Privacy Act Policies and Procedures, 93857-93861 2016-30495 NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 94010-94013 2016-30496 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

NOTICES Exploring Industry Practices on Distribution and Display of Airline Fare, Schedule, and Availability Information, 94021-94023 2016-30830
Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 94023-94025 2016-30887 2016-30888
Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Labor Department, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 94028-94055 2016-30566 Part III Health and Human Services Department, 94058-94183 2016-30433 Part IV Treasury Department, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 94186-94210 2016-29201 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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81 246 Thursday, December 22, 2016 Rules and Regulations NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY 5 CFR Part 10000 RIN 3480-AA01 Freedom of Information Act AGENCY:

National Council on Disability.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The National Council on Disability (NCD) issues a final rule amending its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations to integrate required statutory mandates enacted by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (The Improvement Act). These changes include a longer timeframe to file an appeal for administrative appeals and additional resources for dispute resolution services. Additionally, NCD issues this final rule so as to include comments which were submitted for NCD's existing FOIA regulations. But due to issues beyond NCD control, NCD did not receive the comments until after publication of the final rule.

DATES:

This rule is effective December 22, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joan Durocher, General Counsel, National Council on Disability, at 202-272-2004 or [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Objective

The objective of this final rule is to amend several substantive and procedural provisions in NCD's FOIA regulation.1 The Improvement Act requires NCD to amend its FOIA regulations to extend the deadline for administrative appeals, to add information on dispute resolution services, and to amend NCD's fee structure. Additionally, NCD issues this final rule to amend its regulations so as to integrate comments that were submitted regarding NCD's original FOIA regulations but were not received until after publication of the final rule. NCD will integrate some of the commenter's remarks in this final rule.

1 80 FR 49117, August 17, 2015.

II. Section by Section Analysis of Amendments to 5 CFR Part 10000

For the reasons discussed above, NCD amends 5 CFR part 10000 as follows:

A. Section 10000.2

We revise § 10000.2 by:

1. Changing the word “requestors” to “requesters” in paragraphs (1) and (2) of the “requester category” definition.

B. Section 10000.6

We revise § 10000.6 by:

1. Changing “FOIA Officer” to “Chief FOIA Officer” in paragraph (b)(3); and

2. Adding NCD's FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services to the list of offices available to offer dispute resolution services in paragraph (b)(5); and

3. Changing “the Council shall determine whether another agency of the federal government . . .” to “the Council shall determine whether another agency or entity of the federal government. . . .” in paragraph (c).

C. Section 10000.7

We revise § 10000.7 by:

1. Adding the option to appeal by email in paragraph (a).

2. Changing the appeals deadline from 60 days to 90 days in paragraph (b); and

3. Adding NCD's FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services to the list of offices available to offer dispute resolution services in paragraph (c); and

4. Changing the word “disputes between FOIA requestors” to “between FOIA requesters” under paragraph (c).

D. Section 10000.8

We revise § 10000.8 by:

1. Changing “FOIA Officer” to “Chief FOIA Officer” in paragraph (h)(4).

III. Statutory Authority

1. The authority citation for parts 10000 is as follows:

Authority:

5 U.S.C. 552, as amended; E.O. 12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 CFR 1987, 1987 Comp., p. 235; 3 CFR part 235.

IV. Regulatory Analysis

We have determined that the amendments mandated by the Improvement Act involve agency management and technical changes. Therefore, the amendments do not constitute a rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551, 553(a)(2). Under the APA, the public may participate in the promulgation of rules that have a substantial impact on the public. The amendments to our regulations relate to agency management and technical changes only and are required by statute, and therefore, do not require public participation.

Even if these amendments were a rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 551, 553(a)(2) of the APA, we have determined that notice and public comment are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) of the APA, an agency may publish regulations in final form when the agency for good cause finds the notice and public procedure thereon impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to public interest. The amendments are required by statute, are not a matter of agency discretion, and provide additional protections to the public through the existing regulations. Thus, notice and public procedure are impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking under the APA or any other statute, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions. The Council considered the effects on this final rule on small entities and certifies that these final rules will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 10000

Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Freedom of information, Privacy, Procedures for disclosure of records under the Freedom of Information Act.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, NCD amends 5 CFR part 10000 as follows:

PART 10000—PROCEDURES FOR DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1. The authority citation for part 10000 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 552, as amended; E.O. 12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 CFR 1987, 1987 Comp., p. 235; 3 CFR 235.

2. Amend § 10000.2 by revising paragraphs (1) and (3) of the definition for “Requester category” to read as follows:
§ 10000.2 Definitions. Requester category * * *

(1) Commercial requesters;

(3) All other requesters.

3. Amend § 10000.6 by revising paragraphs (b)(3) and (5) and the first sentence of paragraph (c) introductory text to read as follows:
§ 10000.6 Responsibility for responding to requests.

(b) * * *

(3) A brief statement of the reason(s) for the denial, including any FOIA exemption applied in denying the request. The Chief FOIA Officer will indicate, if technically feasible, the amount of information deleted and the exemption under which a deletion is made on the released portion of the record, unless including that indication would harm an interest protected by the exemption;

(5) A statement of the right to seek dispute resolution services from NCD's FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services.

(c) Consultation, referral, and coordination. When reviewing records located by the Council in response to a request, the Council shall determine whether another agency of the Federal Government or entity is better able to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA and, if so, whether it should be released as a matter of discretion. * * *

4. Amend § 10000.7 by revising paragraph (a), the first sentence of paragraph (b), and the fifth sentence of paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 10000.7 Administrative appeals.

(a) You may appeal an adverse determination related to your FOIA request, or the Council's failure to respond to your FOIA request within the prescribed time limits, by email at [email protected], or write to the Executive Director, National Council on Disability, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004.

(b) Your appeal must be in writing and must be postmarked or electronically received by the Executive Director within 90 days of the date of the letter denying your request, in whole or in part. * * *

(c) * * * A requester may also seek dispute resolution services from NCD's FOIA Public Liaison and OGIS. * * *

5. Amend § 10000.8 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (h)(4) to read as follows.
§ 10000.8 Timeframe for Council's response to a FOIA request or administrative appeal.

(h) * * *

(4) The Chief FOIA Officer will decide whether to grant or deny your request for expedited processing and notify the requester within ten calendar days of receipt. * * *

Dated: December 14, 2016. Rebecca Cokley, Executive Director.
[FR Doc. 2016-30475 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8421-03-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service 7 CFR Part 210 [FNS-2014-0010] RIN 0584-AE25 Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 AGENCY:

Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

This document contains technical corrections to the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the final rule published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2016, “Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.”

DATES:

This document is effective December 22, 2016. Compliance with this final rule began on August 29, 2016, except as noted in specific regulatory provisions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tina Namian, School Program Branch, Policy and Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition Service, 703-305-2590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Food and Nutrition Service published a final rule in the Federal Register, 81 FR 50151, on July 29, 2016, to expand local school wellness policy requirements consistent with the requirements set forth in section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This document is redesignating 7 CFR 210.30 and 7 CFR 210.31. This document also makes a technical correction in 7 CFR 210.30(b)(1)(iv) to ensure readers clearly understand where to locate the established hiring standards.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 210

Children, Commodity School Program, Food assistance programs, Grant programs-health, Grant programs-education, School breakfast and lunch programs, Nutrition, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, 7 CFR part 210 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

PART 210—NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for part 210 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 1751-1760, 1779.

§§ 210.30 and 210.31 [Redesignated as §§ 210.31 and 210.30]
2. Redesignate §§ 210.30 and 210.31 as §§ 210.31 and 210.30, respectively.
§ 210.30 [Amended]
3. In the newly designated § 210.30, paragraph (b)(1)(iv), remove “§ 230.30(b)(1)” and add in its place “§ 210.30(b)(1)”. Dated: December 15, 2016. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-30861 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 792 RIN 3133-AD44 Revisions to the Freedom of Information Act Regulation AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Interim final rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The NCUA Board (Board) is revising its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulation. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 amended the FOIA and requires agencies to review their FOIA regulations and issue certain specified amendments by December 27, 2016. Specifically, the regulatory amendments include new procedures for disclosing records under the FOIA, assessing fees, and notifying requestors of options for resolving disputes through the NCUA FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) within the National Archives and Records Administration.

DATES:

This interim final rule is effective December 22, 2016. Comments must be received on or before January 23, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods (Please send comments by one method only):

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

NCUA Web site: https://www.ncua.gov/regulation-supervision/Pages/rules/proposed.aspx. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Email: Address to [email protected] Include “[Your name] Comments on “Revisions to the Freedom of Information Act Regulation” in the email subject line.

Fax: (703) 518-6319. Use the subject line described above for email.

Mail: Address to Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428.

Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail address.

Public Inspection: All public comments are available on the agency's Web site at http://www.ncua.gov/RegulationsOpinionsLaws/comments as submitted, except as may not be possible for technical reasons. Public comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Paper copies of comments may be inspected in NCUA's law library at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, by appointment weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. To make an appointment, call (703) 518-6546 or send an email to [email protected]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Regina Metz, Senior Staff Attorney, or Linda Dent, Associate General Counsel, Administrative Law Section, Office of General Counsel, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, or telephone: (703) 518-6540.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Legal Background and Regulatory Changes

NCUA publishes its FOIA regulations at part 792, subpart A of the agency's regulations.1 NCUA's current FOIA regulations address: (1) Types of agency records; (2) their availability or exemption from release; (3) procedures for requesting access to records; (4) processing times; (5) fees; (6) appeals; and (7) handling of FOIA requests involving confidential commercial information.

1 12 CFR part 792.

The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 2 (Act) was signed into law by the President on June 30, 2016. The Act consists of several amendments to the FOIA affecting FOIA administration. The Act requires the Board to review NCUA's FOIA regulations and revise procedures for the disclosure of records, including procedures for engaging in dispute resolution through the FOIA Public Liaison and the OGIS.

2 Public Law 114-185, 130 Stat. 538.

Specifically, the Act requires that NCUA must make available to the public “in an electronic format” certain information that it previously only had to make available for copying. The Act amends FOIA exemption 5 to provide that “the deliberative process privilege shall not apply to records created 25 years or more before the date on which the records were requested.” In addition, the Act prohibits NCUA from charging certain fees to FOIA requesters if it does not respond to them within 20 business days, unless it provides timely notice that unusual circumstances apply, in which case it can take up to 10 extra days, or more if there are more than 5,000 pages necessary to respond to the request. However, the Act permits NCUA to charge certain fees to FOIA requesters if a court has determined exceptional circumstances exist. Furthermore, the Act requires that NCUA must include in its written FOIA responses the right of requesters to seek assistance from the NCUA FOIA Public Liaison. Moreover, for adverse determinations, the requester will have the right to appeal the initial decision for 90 days (previously 30 days); and the right to seek dispute resolution services from the NCUA FOIA Public Liaison or the OGIS. Accordingly, the Board is making the above required regulatory changes to the FOIA regulation.

II. Regulatory Procedures A. Interim Final Rule Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

The Board finds that notice-and-comment rulemaking in this instance would be impracticable and unnecessary under the APA because of: (1) The legislative directive for federal agencies to issue interim final regulations; (2) the procedural nature of the Act which affords federal agencies limited discretion in promulgating their rules; and (3) the statutory deadlines imposed by Congress for issuing this regulation. In these circumstances, the Board finds good cause to issue an interim final rule without issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking.

Accordingly, this interim final rule is issued without prior notice. However, the Board invites comments on all aspects of the interim final rule. The interim final rule will become effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. The Board will review and consider all comments before issuing a final rule.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995,3 the Board has reviewed the interim final rule and determined it does not contain or modify a collection of information subject to the PRA.

3 44 U.S.C. 3506; 5 CFR part 1320 Appendix A.1.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires NCUA to prepare an analysis to describe any significant economic impact a rule may have on a substantial number of small credit unions (those under $100 million in assets). This interim final rule does not impose any requirements on federally insured credit unions. Therefore, it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Because this interim final rule would affect few, if any, small entities, the Board certifies that the interim final rule will not have a significant economic impact on small entities.

D. Executive Order 13132

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

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

NCUA has determined that this interim final rule would not affect family well-being within the meaning of section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999.4

4 Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681.

F. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where the Board issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the APA. The Board has submitted this interim final rule to the Office of Management and Budget for it to determine whether it is a “major rule” within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 792

Administrative practice and procedure, Credit unions, Freedom of Information, Information, Privacy, Records, System of records.

By the National Credit Union Administration Board on December 15, 2016. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

For the reasons stated above, the National Credit Union Administration amends 12 CFR part 792 as follows:

PART 792—REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND PRIVACY ACT, AND BY SUBPOENA; SECURITY PROCEDURES FOR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION 1. Revise the authority citation for part 792 to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 552b; 12 U.S.C. 1752a(d), 1766, 1789, 1795f; E.O. 12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p.235; E.O. 13526, 75 FR 707, 2009 Comp. p.298.

2. In § 792.02, revise the introductory text and paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 792.02 What records does NCUA make available to the public for inspection and copying?

Except for records that are exempt from public disclosure under FOIA as amended (5 U.S.C. 552) or are promptly published and copies are available for purchase, NCUA routinely makes the following five types of records available for you to inspect and copy and in an electronic format:

(d) Copies of all records, regardless of form or format, which have been released after March 31, 1997, in response to a FOIA request and which, because of the nature of their subject matter, NCUA determines have been or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests; or records that have been requested three (3) or more times; and

3. In § 792.03, revise the introductory text and paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 792.03 How will I know which records to request?

NCUA maintains current indices providing identifying information for the public for any matter referred to in § 792.02, issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967. The listing of material in an index is for the convenience of possible users and does not constitute a determination that all of the items listed will be disclosed. NCUA has determined that publication of the indices is unnecessary and impractical. You may obtain copies of indices by making a request to the NCUA, Office of General Counsel, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2387, Attn: FOIA Officer or as indicated on the NCUA Web site at www.ncua.gov. The indices are available for public inspection and copying, provided at their duplication cost, and in an electronic format. The indices are:

(c) Popular FOIA Index: Records released in response to a FOIA request, that NCUA determines are likely to be the subject of subsequent requests because of the nature of their subject matter, or records that have been requested three (3) or more times. The Popular FOIA Index is available on the NCUA Web site.

4. In § 792.10, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:
§ 792.10 What will NCUA do with my request?

(e) Upon a determination by the appropriate Information Center to comply with your initial request for records, the records will be made promptly available to you. NCUA will also advise the requester of the right to seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison. If we notify you of a denial of your request, we will include the reason for the denial. NCUA will also advise the requester of the right to utilize dispute resolution services offered by the FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services.

5. In § 792.11, revise paragraph (a)(5) to read as follows:
§ 792.11 What kinds of records are exempt from public disclosure?

(a)* * *

(5) Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters which would not be available by law to a private party in litigation with NCUA. This exemption preserves the existing freedom of NCUA officials and employees to engage in full and frank written or taped communications with each other and with officials and employees of other agencies. It includes, but is not limited to, inter-agency and intra-agency reports, memoranda, letters, correspondence, work papers, and minutes of meetings, as well as staff papers prepared for use within NCUA or in concert with other governmental agencies. In applying this exemption, the NCUA will not withhold records based on the deliberative process privilege if the records were created 25 years or more before the date on which the records were requested.

6. In § 792.15, revise paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
§ 792.15 How long will it take to process my request?

(b) * * *

(2) Such alternative time period as mutually agreed by you and the Information Office, when NCUA notifies you that the request cannot be processed in the specified time limit. In such cases, NCUA will make available its FOIA Public Liaison and notify the requester of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services.

7. In § 792.16, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 792.16 What unusual circumstances can delay NCUA's response?

(c) If NCUA sends you an extension notice, it will also advise you that you can either limit the scope of your request so that it can be processed within the statutory time limit or agree to an alternative time frame for processing your request. In such cases, NCUA will make available its FOIA Public Liaison and notify the requester of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services.

8. Revise § 792.17 to read as follows:
§ 792.17 What can I do if the time limit passes and I still have not received a response?

(a) If NCUA does not comply with the time limits under § 792.15, or as extended under § 792.16, you do not have to pay search fees; requesters qualifying for free search fees will not have to pay duplication fees. However, if NCUA has extended the time limits under § 792.16 and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, NCUA may charge you search fees (or for requesters qualifying for free search fees, duplication fees), if NCUA has discussed with you via written mail, electronic mail, or telephone (or made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how you could effectively limit the scope of the request.

(b) You can seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison or dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services. You also can file suit against NCUA because you will be deemed to have exhausted your administrative remedies if NCUA fails to comply with the time limit provisions of this subpart. If NCUA can show that exceptional circumstances exist and that it is exercising due diligence in responding to your request, the court may retain jurisdiction and allow NCUA to complete its review of the records. You may have to pay search or duplication fees if a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist and has extended the time limits for NCUA's response by a court order. In determining whether exceptional circumstances exist, the court may consider your refusal to modify the scope of your request or arrange an alternative time frame for processing after being given the opportunity to do so by NCUA, when it notifies you of the existence of unusual circumstances as set forth in § 792.16.

9. In § 792.28, revise the introductory text to read as follows:
§ 792.28 What if I am not satisfied with the response I receive?

If you are not satisfied with NCUA's response to your request, you can seek dispute resolution services from the FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services, and you can file an administrative appeal. Your appeal must be in writing and must be filed within 90 days from receipt of the initial determination (in cases of denials of the entire request or denials of a fee waiver or reduction), or from receipt of any records being made available pursuant to the initial determination (in cases of partial denials). In the response to your initial request, the Freedom of Information Act Officer or the Inspector General (or designee), will notify you that you may appeal any adverse determination to the Office of General Counsel. The General Counsel, or designee, as set forth in this paragraph, will:

[FR Doc. 2016-30748 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7531; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-052-AD; Amendment 39-18747; AD 2016-25-21] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of electrical shorts of the motor stator wiring burning a hole through the housing of the motor of the cabin air compressor (CAC). This AD requires installing modified inboard and outboard CAC modules on the left-hand (LH) side and right-hand (RH) side cabin air conditioning and temperature control system (CACTCS) packs. We are issuing this AD to prevent the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective January 26, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 26, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7531.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7531; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2015 (80 FR 81220) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of electrical shorts of the motor stator wiring burning a hole through the housing of the motor of the CAC. The NPRM proposed to require installing modified inboard and outboard CAC modules on the LH side and RH side CACTCS packs. We are issuing this AD to prevent an electrical short from burning through the housing of the motor of the CAC. This condition, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fire in the pack bay and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

Comments

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

Support for the NPRM

United Airlines (UA) stated that it agrees with the proposed compliance time.

Request To Clarify the Unsafe Condition

Boeing asked that we clarify the unsafe condition in the NPRM to specify that for a fire to occur in the pack bay, an electrical short would have to burn through the housing of the CAC motor in combination with the presence of flammable fluid vapors. Boeing stressed that the top-level event requires both an ignition source and flammable fluid vapors.

We agree with the commenter's request for the reason provided. We have revised the unsafe condition in the Discussion section and paragraph (e) of this AD accordingly.

Requests To Increase Work-Hour Estimate

Boeing and Japan Airlines (JAL) asked that we increase the work-hour estimate in the “Costs of Compliance” section of the NPRM. Boeing stated that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015, specifies 25.25 work-hours for the LH side pack replacement and 28.25 work-hours for the RH side pack replacement. Boeing added that the NPRM should either specify 30 work-hours per side or 60 work-hours per airplane. JAL stated that the replacement for each pack specified in the proposed AD requires more than 25 work-hours, as specified in the referenced service information.

We agree. We have confirmed that the proposed work-hour estimate should be increased. Therefore, we have increased the work-hour estimate in the “Costs of Compliance” section of this final rule from “up to 30 work-hours” to “up to 54 work-hours” for accomplishing the required actions.

Request To Extend Compliance Time

JAL asked that the proposed compliance time for the CAC replacements specified in the NPRM be extended so the actions can be done during scheduled heavy maintenance. JAL stated that the replacement for each pack specified in the proposed AD requires more than 25 work-hours, which would necessitate a longer compliance time.

We do not agree with the commenter's request to extend the compliance time for the CAC replacements. We have determined that the compliance time, as proposed, represents the maximum interval of time allowable for the affected airplanes to continue to safely operate before the CAC replacements are accomplished. Airplanes affected by this AD will undergo at least one maintenance check (C-check) within the required compliance time (5 years after the effective date of this AD); the replacement can be done at that time. Therefore, we have made no change to this AD in this regard.

Request To Use Alternative Part

Aeromexico asked if installing an H10 CAC having part number (P/N) 7010101H10 could be considered as an alternative to installing H09 CAC parts having P/N 7010101H09. Aeromexico stated that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015, specifies installing the H09 CAC, but UTC Aerospace Systems (the parts vendor) stated that there are no H09 CACs presently available. Aeromexico added that UTC Aerospace Systems indicated that H10 CACs having P/N 7010101H10 will be available for retrofit during 2016. Aeromexico noted that Boeing and UTC Aerospace Systems have indicated that P/N 7010101H09 and P/N 7010101H10 will be interchangeable.

We agree that clarification is necessary. Future part designs might be acceptable as replacement parts for the part mandated by this AD, because those future parts should include design changes meant to address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. However, we do not agree to allow use of P/N 7010101H10 CACs, because P/N 7010101H10 is not an approved part for installation on Model 787 airplanes at this time. Therefore, under the provisions of paragraph (h) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of specific parts as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) with this AD if data are submitted to substantiate that those parts would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

Request To Clarify Certain Actions in Service Information

UA asked that, for Group 1 airplanes in Work Packages 1 and 2 of the Work Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015, the steps identified as RC (Required for Compliance) be changed to refer to all applicable steps within that service information instead of referring to the actions specified in UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletins 7010188-21-6 and 7010189-21-6, both Revision 1, both dated January 30, 2015. UA stated that referring to the UTC Aerospace Systems service information forces operators to request multiple AMOCs in order to comply with the actions in the proposed AD.

We agree that clarification is necessary. Although certain steps, which describe the access, removal, and installation of the CACs, are labeled as “RC,” the specifics of how those actions are to be accomplished are not mandated. The Work Instructions in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015, do refer to UTC Aerospace Systems, Service Bulletins 7010188-21-6 and 7010189-21-6, both Revision 1, both dated January 30, 2015, for accomplishing certain actions, but that service information is only an additional source of service information that operators may use (as indicated by the use of the words “refer to” in the RC step).

UA asked that the UTC Aerospace Systems kit part number be called out in paragraph 3.A. under “Parts Necessary for Each Airplane,” in data module B787-A-21-00-0055-00A-934A-D, “Material Information,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015. UA noted that, as written, the proposed AD suggests that no parts are required.

We do not agree with the commenter's request. In Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015; Step 3.A., “Parts Necessary for Each Airplane” for Groups 1 and 2 airplanes, within data module B787-A-21-00-0055-00A-934A-D, “Material Information,” identifies the parts necessary for each airplane that would be supplied by Boeing. Step 3.B. identifies the parts and materials that are supplied by operators. Although having all kit information in one location might provide a single list of parts needed, it could be confusing to determine who is responsible for supplying which parts. Therefore, we have made no change to this AD in this regard.

UA pointed out several instances where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015, is referenced for certain sealing and bonding check instructions. UA stated that UTC Aerospace Systems Service Bulletins 7010188-21-6 and 7010189-21-6, both Revision 1, both dated January 30, 2015, refer back to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015, which does not provide guidance on how to accomplish these actions. From these statements, we infer that UA is requesting that we revise the proposed requirements to clarify how these actions are to be accomplished.

We find that clarification is necessary. The Work Instructions in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015, specify “The electrical surface bond and fay seal data is provided in the applicable 787 airplane maintenance manual (AMM) 21-51-19, Cabin Air Compressor—Preparation Before Installation AMMs.” The instructions are contained within those AMM procedures; however, those steps are not required for compliance with this AD because alternative procedures may be used. Therefore, we have made no change to this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015. This service information describes procedures for installing modified inboard and outboard CAC modules on the LH side and RH side CACTCS packs. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 22 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Modification, installation, and installation test Up to 54 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,590 $0 Up to $4,590 Up to $100,980.

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-25-21 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18747; Docket No. FAA-2015-7531; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-052-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective January 26, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 21, Air conditioning.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of electrical shorts of the motor stator wiring burning a hole through the housing of the motor of the cabin air compressor (CAC). We are issuing this AD to prevent an electrical short from burning through the housing of the motor of the CAC. This condition, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fire in the pack bay and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement of CAC Modules

Within 5 years after the effective date of this AD, install modified inboard and outboard CAC modules on the left side and right side cabin air conditioning and temperature control system (CACTCS) packs, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

(i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

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

(i) Related Information

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

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210055-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 6, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-30032 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9527; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-036-AD; Amendment 39-18748; AD 2016-25-22] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Viking Air Limited Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Viking Air Limited Models DHC-2 Mk. I, DHC-2 Mk. II, and DHC-2 Mk. III airplanes that supersedes AD 2016-19-08. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as corrosion of the elevator control rod and of the elevator actuating lever on the control column, which could cause these components to fail. We are issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 22, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of October 24, 2016 (81 FR 64053, September 19, 2016).

We must receive comments on this AD by February 6, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

Fax: (202) 493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Viking Air Limited Technical Support, 1959 De Havilland Way, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, V8L 5V5; telephone: (North America) (800) 663-8444; fax: (250) 656-0673; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.vikingair.com/support/service-bulletins. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9527.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9527; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone: (516) 228-7329; fax: (516) 794-5531; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On September 8, 2016, we issued AD 2016-19-08, Amendment 39-18657 (81 FR 64053, September 19, 2016) (“AD 2016-19-08”). That AD required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on all Viking Air Limited (Viking) Models DHC-2 Mk. I, DHC-2 Mk. II, and DHC-2 Mk. III airplanes and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country.

There is a required action in AD 2016-19-08 to insert temporary revisions into the Airworthiness Limitations section of the FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual). These revisions incorporate repetitive inspections of the elevator control rod assemblies, the elevator actuating lever, and the control column torque tube for corrosion, cracks, and/or other damage.

Viking Models DHC-2 Mk. I, DHC-2 Mk. II, and DHC-2 Mk. III airplanes are not certified under 14 CFR part 23—Airworthiness Standards: Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes and the associated FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual) does not include an Airworthiness Limitations section. Therefore, the requirement in AD 2016-19-08 to insert Temporary Revision No.: 2-38, dated March 4, 2015, and Temporary Revision No.: 2T-14, dated March 4, 2015, into the Airworthiness Limitations section of the applicable Viking Aircraft DHC-2 Maintenance Manual is not enforceable.

Relative Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Viking Air Limited DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision `C', dated July 17, 2015. This service information describes procedures for doing detailed visual inspections of the elevator control rod assemblies, the elevator actuating lever on the control column, and the control column torque tube for corrosion, cracking, and/or other damage. This service bulletin also describes procedures for repairing or replacing damaged parts. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing this AD because the way we addressed the actions in AD 2016-19-18 is unenforceable and the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. The actions in this AD correct the unenforceability problem.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because we have already provided public notice on the intent of the actions in this AD. This AD only clarifies the repetitive inspection requirements of AD 2016-19-08 by correcting the means by which the repetitive inspections are done (in the AD versus maintenance manual). Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are unnecessary.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-9527; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-036” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 135 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 11.5 work-hours per product to comply with the basic inspection requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the basic inspection requirements of this AD on U.S. operators to be $131,962.50, or $977.50 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 8 work-hours and require parts costing $1,859, for a cost of $2,539 per product. Contact Viking Air Limited at the address identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD for current pricing and lead time. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

There is no estimated cost of compliance difference between this AD and AD 2016-19-08 since there is no change in the number of affected airplanes or in the required actions.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-18657 (81 FR 64053, September 19, 2016), and adding the following new AD: 2016-25-22 Viking Air Limited: Amendment 39-18748; Docket No. FAA-2016-9527; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-036-AD. (a) Effective Date

This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective December 22, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2016-19-08, Amendment 39-18657 (81 FR 64053, September 19, 2016) (“AD 2016-19-08”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Viking Air Limited Models DHC-2 Mk. I, DHC-2 Mk. II, and DHC-2 Mk. III airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as corrosion of the elevator control rod and of the elevator actuating lever on the control column. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct corrosion and/or cracking of the elevator control rod assemblies and the elevator actuating lever, which if not detected and corrected, could cause these components to fail. This failure could result in loss of control.

(f) Actions and Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified in paragraphs (g) through (m) of this AD, unless already done.

(g) Initial Inspections

Within the next 120 days after October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08) or within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08), whichever occurs first, do the following inspections in accordance with section I. PLANNING INFORMATION, paragraph D. of Viking DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision “C”, dated July 17, 2015:

(1) For airplanes with an installed elevator control rod assembly, part number (P/N) C2CF619A, do a detailed visual inspection of P/N C2CF619A for corrosion, cracking, and/or other damages.

(2) For airplanes with an installed elevator control rod assembly, P/N CT2CF1021-1, do a detailed visual inspection of P/N CT2CF1021-1 for corrosion, cracking, and/or other damages.

(3) For all airplanes, do a detailed visual inspection of the elevator actuating lever on the control column and the control column torque tube for corrosion, cracking and/or other damages.

(h) Repetitive Inspections

After each initial inspection required in paragraph (g) of this AD, at intervals not to exceed 400 hours TIS, repeat each inspection following section I. PLANNING INFORMATION, paragraph D.2. of Viking DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision “C”, dated July 17, 2015.

(i) Replacement/Repair for P/N C2CF619A

(1) If corrosion, cracking, or other damages are found during the initial inspection required in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD or any of the repetitive inspections required in paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, replace P/N C2CF619A with P/N C2CF619A-11 following section I. PLANNING INFORMATION, paragraph D. of Viking DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision “C”, dated July 17, 2015, or contact Viking Air Limited at the address specified in paragraph (q)(4) of this AD for an FAA-approved repair and incorporate the repair.

(2) Within the next 120 days after October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08) or within the next 100 hours TIS after October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08), whichever occurs first, you may replace P/N C2CF619A with P/N C2CF619A-11 instead of doing the initial inspection required in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD. Do the replacement following section I. PLANNING INFORMATION, paragraph D. of Viking DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision “C”, dated July 17, 2015.

(3) After replacing P/N C2CF619A with P/N C2CF619A-11, you must still do the repetitive inspections of the elevator control rod assemblies as required in paragraph (h) of this AD.

(j) Replacement/Repair for P/N CT2CF1021-1

(1) If corrosion, cracking, or other damages are found during the initial inspection required in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD or any of the repetitive inspections required in paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, replace the elevator control rod assembly with P/N CT2CF1021-1 that has been inspected and is free of corrosion, cracking, or other damages following section I. PLANNING INFORMATION, paragraph D. of Viking DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision “C”, dated July 17, 2015, or contact Viking Air Limited at the address specified in paragraph (q)(4) of this AD for an FAA-approved repair and incorporate the repair.

(2) After replacing or repairing P/N CT2CF1021-1, you must still do the repetitive inspections of the elevator control rod assemblies as required in paragraph (h) of this AD.

(k) Repair of the Elevator Actuating Lever

If corrosion, cracking, or other damages are found during the initial inspection required in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD and any of the repetitive inspections required in paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, contact Viking Air Limited at the address specified in paragraph (q)(4) of this AD for an FAA-approved repair and incorporate the repair.

(l) Restrictions

As of December 22, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), do not install P/N C2CF619A or C2CF619A-9 as a replacement part.

(m) Life Limit for P/N C2CF619A

As of October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08), elevator control rod assemblies, P/N C2CF619A, are life-limited to 15 years and must be replaced with P/N C2CF619A-11, which is not a life-limited part, at the following compliance time:

(1) As of October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08), if the age of the installed P/N C2CF619A is known, it must be replaced before exceeding the life limit or within the next 12 months after October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08), whichever occurs later.

(2) As of October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08), if the age of the installed P/N C2CF619A is not known, it must be replaced within the next 12 months after October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08).

(n) Credit for Actions Accomplished in Accordance With Previous Service Information

Credit will be given for the initial inspections required in paragraphs (g)(1) through (3) of this AD if they were done before October 24, 2016 (the effective date retained from AD 2016-19-08) following Viking Air Limited DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision `NC', dated March 26, 2012; Viking Air Limited DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision `A', dated November 7, 2014; or Viking Air Limited DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision `B', dated March 4, 2015.

(o) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone: (516) 228-7329; fax: (516) 794-5531; email: [email protected]

(i) Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(ii) AMOCs approved for AD 2016-19-08, Amendment 39-18657 (81 FR 64053, September 19, 2016) are approved as AMOCs for this AD.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, a federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

(p) Related Information

Refer to MCAI Transport Canada AD No. CF-2015-21, dated July 30, 2015; Viking Air Limited DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision `NC', dated March 26, 2012; Viking Air Limited DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision `A', dated November 7, 2014; Viking Air Limited DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision `B', dated March 4, 2015; Temporary Revision No.: 2-38, dated March 4, 2015, of VIKING PSM NO.: 1-2-2, AIRCRAFT: DHC-2 BEAVER, SERIES: ALL, PUBLICATION: MAINTENANCE MANUAL; and Temporary Revision No.: 2T-14, dated March 4, 2015, of VIKING PSM NO.: 1-2T-2, AIRCRAFT: DHC-2 TURBO BEAVER, SERIES: ALL, PUBLICATION: MAINTENANCE MANUAL, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9527.

(q) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 24, 2016 (81 FR 64053, September 19, 2016).

(i) Viking DHC-2 Beaver Service Bulletin Number: V2/0005, Revision “C”, dated July 17, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

(4) For Viking Air Limited service information identified in this AD, contact Viking Air Limited Technical Support, 1959 De Havilland Way, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, V8L 5V5; Fax: 250-656-0673; telephone: (North America) (800) 663-8444; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.vikingair.com/support/service-bulletins.

(5) You may view this service information at FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9527.

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

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on December 8, 2016. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-30039 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6894; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-120-AD; Amendment 39-18729; AD 2016-25-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of two adjacent frame forks that were found cracked on the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) of two Model A300-600F4 airplanes during scheduled maintenance. This AD requires repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of the aft LDCD frame forks; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops; and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective January 26, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 26, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6894.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6894; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 31, 2016 (81 FR 34285) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report of two adjacent frame forks that were found cracked on the aft LDCD of two Model A300-600F4 airplanes during scheduled maintenance. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive HFEC inspections of the aft LDCD frame forks; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops; and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracked or ruptured aft LDCD frames, which could allow loads to be transferred to the remaining structural elements.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0152, dated July 24, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and A300 F4-622R airplanes. The MCAI states:

During scheduled maintenance at frames (FR) 61 and FR61A on the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) of two A300-600F4 aeroplanes, two adjacent frame forks were found cracked.

Subsequent analysis determined that, in case of cracked or ruptured aft cargo door frame(s), loads will be transferred to the remaining structural elements. However, these secondary load paths will be able to sustain the loads for a limited number of flight cycles only.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to the rupture of one or more vertical aft cargo door frame(s), resulting in reduced structural integrity of the aft cargo door.

To address this unsafe condition, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A52W011-15 to provide inspection instructions.

For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive inspections [for cracking] of the aft LDCD frame forks and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of corrective action(s).

This [EASA] AD is considered interim action and further [EASA] AD action may follow.

Required actions include a one-time check of the LDCD clearances and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops; and corrective actions if necessary. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6894.

Comments

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

Request To Remove Requirements

United Parcel Service (UPS) requested that we remove the requirements of paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of the proposed AD because the identified work does not contribute to the detection of crack formation.

We do not agree with the request. At this time, Airbus is uncertain of the cause of the cracking; it is possible that the affected aircraft were incorrectly rigged. Incorrect rigging could lead to an improper gap, which could lead to uneven loading on the door frame, thus contributing to the cracking. The actions required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD are performed only one time and are not repeated. No changes have been made to this AD regarding this issue.

Request To Revise Reporting Requirement

UPS requested that we revise the reporting requirement specified in paragraph (i) of the proposed AD. UPS suggested an alternative method for submitting inspection results and indicated the alternative would add flexibility in the reporting method and maintain the intent of the requirement.

We agree, and have revised paragraph (i) of this AD accordingly.

Conclusion

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A52W011-15, Revision 00, including Appendices 1, 2, 3, and 4, dated July 23, 2015. The service information describes procedures for repetitive HFEC inspections for cracking of the aft LDCD frame forks; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops; and corrective actions if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 58 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 $0 $340 per inspection cycle $19,720 per inspection cycle. Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 $85 per inspection cycle $4,930 per inspection cycle.

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

On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Repair Up to 15 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,275 Up to $10,000 Up to $11,275. Paperwork Reduction Act

A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-25-03 Airbus: Amendment 39-18729; Docket No. FAA-2016-6894; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-120-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective January 26, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and A300 F4-622R airplanes, certificated in any category, on which Airbus Modification 12046 has been embodied in production. Modification 12046 has been embodied in production on manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) 0805 and above, except MSNs 0836, 0837, and 0838.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of two adjacent frame forks that were found cracked on the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) of two Model A300-600F4 airplanes during scheduled maintenance. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracked or ruptured aft LDCD frames, which could allow loads to be transferred to the remaining structural elements. This condition could lead to the rupture of one or more vertical aft LDCD frames, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the aft LDCD.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection Requirements

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD, in accordance with Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015.

(1) Do a one-time check of the aft LDCD clearances “U” and “V” between the latching hooks and the eccentric bush at FR60 through FR64A. If any value outside tolerance is found, adjust the latching hook before further flight.

(2) Do a one-time detailed inspection to detect signs of wear of the hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops. If any wear is found, do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

(3) Do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection to detect cracking at all frame fork stations of the aft LDCD. If any crack is found, replace the cracked frame fork before further flight. Repeat the HFEC inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 flight cycles.

(h) Compliance Times

At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, do the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

(1) Before the accumulation of 4,500 total flight cycles.

(2) At the applicable time specified by paragraph (h)(2)(i) or (h)(2)(ii) of this AD.

(i) For airplanes that have accumulated 8,000 or more total flight cycles as of the effective date this AD: Within 100 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.

(ii) For airplanes that have accumulated fewer than 8,000 total flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD: Within 400 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.

(i) Reporting

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD, report the findings (both positive and negative) of the clearance check and detailed inspection required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, and each HFEC inspection required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD. Send the report to Airbus at Airbus Service Bulletin Reporting Online Application on Airbus World (https://w3.airbus.com/), or in accordance with paragraph 7 of Airbus AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015. The report must include the applicable information specified in Appendix 2 of Airbus AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015.

(1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 60 days after the inspection.

(2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 60 days after the effective date of this AD.

(j) Post-Repair Provisions

(1) Accomplishment of corrective actions required by this AD does not terminate the repetitive HFEC inspections required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD.

(2) If all frame forks are replaced at the same time on the aft LDCD of an airplane, the next HFEC inspection required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD can be deferred up to 4,500 flight cycles after the frame fork replacement.

(k) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

(l) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Airworthiness Directive 2015-0152, dated July 24, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6894.

(m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015, including the following appendices:

(A) Appendix 1—Flowchart, undated.

(B) Appendix 2—Reporting Sheet, undated. (None of the pages of Appendix 2 are numbered.)

(C) Appendix 3—titled “Technical Disposition,” Ref. TD/K12/L3/02978/2015, Issue B, dated July 21, 2015. (Appendix 3 is identified with an appendix number only on page 1 of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015.)

(D) Appendix 4—P/N identification for frame forks and bushings, undated.

(ii) Reserved.

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

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 7, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-30031 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 4 Freedom of Information Act; Miscellaneous Rules AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Trade Commission is revising its Rules of Practice governing access to agency records to implement provisions of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.

DATES:

These amendments are effective December 22, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

G. Richard Gold, Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-3355.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Public Law 114-185 (the “2016 Amendments”), amending the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. The new law addresses a range of procedural issues, including requirements that agencies establish a minimum of 90 days for requesters to file an administrative appeal and that they provide dispute resolution services at various times throughout the FOIA process. The 2016 FOIA Amendments also codify the Department of Justice's “foreseeable harm” standard, amend FOIA Exemption 5, create a new “FOIA Council,” and add two new elements to agency Annual FOIA Reports. Agencies are directed to include procedures in their FOIA regulations for engaging in dispute resolution through agency FOIA Public Liaisons and the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). Finally, the new law requires the head of each agency to review and update their agency's regulations as necessary within 180 days of enactment.

As set out below, this document implements Rule amendments that incorporate the 2016 FOIA Amendments. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, these changes do not require public comment because they relate solely to agency practice and procedure.

In a separate document published in today's Federal Register, the Commission seeks public comment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(i) on its proposal to amend its Rules of Practice relating to fees charged for obtaining Commission records.

The Public Record (16 CFR 4.9)

The 2016 FOIA Amendments clarified that “frequently requested” records include any document that has been requested under FOIA three or more times. 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2)(D). The Commission is amending Rule 4.9(b)(10)(ix) to incorporate this revised statutory definition of “frequently requested” records.

Nonpublic Material (16 CFR 4.10)

The 2016 FOIA Amendments revised FOIA Exemption 5, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5), to provide that “the deliberative process privilege shall not apply to records created 25 years or more before the date on which the records were requested.” 1 The Commission is amending Rule 4.10(a)(3) to incorporate this.

1See 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5) as amended.

Disclosure Requests (16 CFR 4.11)

The Commission is amending Rule 4.11(a)(1)(i)(A) to update the agency's FOIA Web site address.

The Commission is updating Rule 4.11(a)(1)(i)(D)(1) to assist requesters in providing sufficient contact information to enable the agency to send a response to a FOIA request. A mailing address is generally required although an email address can be sufficient in some instances as determined by the FOIA Office.

The Commission is amending Rule 4.11(a)(1)(ii)(B)(1) to set out the FOIA's precise statutory language of what constitutes an “unusual circumstance.” 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(iii).

The 2016 FOIA Amendments require agencies to notify a requester at various stages through the FOIA process of the requester's right to seek dispute resolution services from agency FOIA Public Liaisons and OGIS.2 Thus, the Commission is amending Rule 4.11(a)(1)(ii)(C), 4.11(a)(1)(iii)(A), and 4.11(a)(2) to incorporate this notice into the agency's regulations.

2 For example, see 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(6)(A)(i)(for adverse determinations) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(ii)(for extending time limits by ten days under unusual circumstances).

The 2016 FOIA Amendments also codify the Department of Justice's guidance relating to a foreseeable harm standard. The Amendments prohibit an agency from withholding information requested under FOIA unless the agency reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by a FOIA exemption or the disclosure is prohibited by law. The Commission is amending Rule 4.11(a)(1)(iii)(A) to incorporate this.

The 2016 FOIA Amendments also codify the requirement that agencies shall consider whether partial disclosure of information is possible whenever there is a determination that a full disclosure of a requested record is not possible and take reasonable steps necessary to segregate and release nonexempt information. The obligation to segregate releaseable portions of responsive records was already part of the Commission's pre-existing regulations, in Rule 4.11(a)(1)(iii)(A). However, the language there has been changed to follow the new language from the 2016 FOIA Amendments.

The Commission is amending Rule 4.11(a)(1)(iii)(A) and 4.11(a)(3)(i)(A)(2) to incorporate the new law's mandate that a FOIA requester has the right to file an administrative appeal within a period of time “that is not less than 90 days after the date of such adverse determination.”

The Commission certifies that the Rule amendments set forth in this notice do not require an initial or final regulatory analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the amendments will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. See 5 U.S.C. 605(b). Most requests for access to FTC records are filed by individuals who are not “small entities” within the meaning of that Act. Id. at 601(6). In any event, the economic impact of the Rule changes on all requesters is expected to be minimal, if any, and the Act does not require an analysis for rules that are not subject to the notice-and-comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, as discussed below. The Rule amendments also do not contain information collection requirements within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520. Furthermore, the Rule amendments relate solely to agency practice and procedure, and thus are not subject to the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A).

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 4

Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Federal Trade Commission amends Title 16, Chapter I, Subchapter A of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 4—MISCELLANEOUS RULES 1. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 46.

2. Amend § 4.9 by revising paragraph (b)(10)(ix) to read as follows:
§ 4.9 The public record.

(b) * * *

(10) * * *

(ix) Records, as determined by the General Counsel or his or her designee, that have been released in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, and which, because of the nature of the subject matter, have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records, or that have been requested three or more times, except where some or all of those records would be exempt from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552 if requested by another party;

3. Revise § 4.10(a)(3) to read as follows:
§ 4.10 Nonpublic material.

(a) * * *

(3) Interagency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that would not routinely be available by law to a private party in litigation with the Commission, provided that the deliberative process privilege shall not apply to records created 25 years or more before the date on which the records are requested. This exemption preserves the existing freedom of Commission officials and employees to engage in full and frank communication with each other and with officials and employees of other governmental agencies. This exemption includes records of the deliberations of the Commission except for the record of the final votes of each member of the Commission in every agency proceeding. It includes intraagency and interagency reports, memorandums, letters, correspondence, work papers, and minutes of meetings, as well as staff papers prepared for use within the Commission or between the Commission and other governmental agencies. It also includes information scheduled for public release, but as to which premature release would be contrary to the public interest;

4. Amend § 4.11 by revising paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(A), (a)(1)(i)(D)(1), (a)(1)(ii)(B)(1), (a)(1)(ii)(C), (a)(1)(iii)(A), (a)(2), and (a)(3)(i)(A)(2) to read as follows:
§ 4.11 Disclosure requests.

(a) * * * (1) * * * (i) * * * (A) A request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended, for access to Commission records shall be in writing and transmitted by one of the following means: by the form located on the FTC's FOIA Web site, found at www.ftc.gov; by email message to the FOIA email account at [email protected]; by facsimile transmission to (202) 326-2477; or by mail to the following address: Freedom of Information Act Request, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

(D) * * * (1) A properly filed FOIA request shall reasonably describe the records sought with enough detail to enable the Commission to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, the request should include specific information about each record sought such as date, title, name, author, recipient, subject matter of the record, provide information regarding fees pursuant to § 4.8(c), and provide sufficient contact information for a response to be sent. Although a mailing address is generally required, an email address can suffice in some instances. The FOIA Office will consider requests to send responses by email.

(ii) * * *

(B) * * *

(1) Necessary to search for and collect the records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request; or

(C) If the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) extends the time limit for initial determination pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B) of this section, the requester will be notified in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B). In exceptional circumstances, when the request cannot be processed within the extended time limit, the requester will be so notified and provided an opportunity to limit the scope of the request so that it may be processed within such time limit, or to arrange an alternative time frame for processing the request or a modified request. In exceptional circumstances, when the request cannot be processed within the extended time limit, the Commission will also make available the agency's FOIA Public Liaison to assist in the resolution of any disputes and notify the requester of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services. “Exceptional” circumstances will not include delays resulting from a predictable workload of requests under this section. Unwillingness to make reasonable modifications in the scope of the request or to agree to an alternative time frame may be considered as factors in determining whether exceptional circumstances exist and whether the agency has exercised due diligence in responding to the request.

(iii) * * * (A) The deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) will make reasonable efforts to search, using either manual or electronic means, for documents that exist as of the date of the receipt of a request for the requested records in electronic form or format, except when such efforts would significantly interfere with the operation of the Commission's automated information systems. The deciding official will only withhold information if the agency reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by a FOIA exemption or disclosure is prohibited by law. The deciding official shall consider whether partial disclosure of information is possible whenever there is a determination that a full disclosure of a requested record is not possible and take reasonable steps necessary to segregate and release nonexempt information. Determination letters to a requester shall include the reasons therefor and the right of such person to seek assistance from the FTC's FOIA Public Liaison. Denials will advise the requester that this determination may be appealed to the General Counsel not more than 90 days after the date of the determination if the requester believes either that the records are not exempt, or that the General Counsel should exercise discretion to release such records notwithstanding their exempt status. The deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) will also provide a reasonable, good-faith estimate of the volume of any materials to which access is denied, unless providing such an estimate would harm an interest protected by an exemption in 5 U.S.C. 552(b) that was cited as a basis for withholding materials. In the case of an adverse determination, FOIA response letters will notify requesters that they may seek dispute resolution services from the FTC's FOIA Public Liaison or from the Office of Government Information Services.

(2) FOIA Requester Service Center. If a requester has questions or comments about the FOIA process, the requester should call the FOIA Requester Service Center at (202) 326-2430 to either speak directly to a FOIA Case Officer or leave a voice message. A requester should also ask the FOIA Case Officer to speak with the FOIA Public Liaison if there are concerns about the quality of the service received, or seek mediation resolution assistance during the FOIA response process.

(3) * * * (i) * * * (A) * * *

(2) If an initial request for records is denied in its entirety, the requester may, within 90 days after the adverse determination, appeal such denial to the General Counsel. If an initial request is denied in part, the time for appeal will not expire until 90 days after the date of the final letter notifying the requester that all records to which access has been granted have been made available. In unusual circumstances, the General Counsel or his or her designee may extend the time to appeal.

By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-30507 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 22 CFR Part 212 RIN 0412-AA89 Freedom of Information Act Regulations AGENCY:

Agency for International Development (USAID).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation prescribes the procedures and standards USAID follows in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. 552. The Act requires agencies to review their FOIA regulations, and no later than 180 days after enactment, directed the head of each agency to issue regulations on various elements of its FOIA program.

DATES:

Effective: December 27, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynn P. Winston, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Information Records Division, U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, DC 20523-6601; tel. 202-712-0960, fax: 202-216-3070.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

USAID published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on September 27, 2016 to amend its Freedom of Information Act Regulations. On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The Act requires agencies to review their FOIA regulations, and addresses a range of procedural issues that affect agency FOIA regulations. Among the issues addressed are requirements that agencies establish a minimum of 90 days for requesters to file an administrative appeal, and that they provide dispute resolution services at various times throughout the FOIA process. The Act also, among other things, codifies the Department of Justice's “foreseeable harm” standard, amends Exemption 5, creates a new “Chief FOIA Officer Council,” and adds two new elements to agency Annual FOIA Reports.

II. Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions

The proposed rule was published for comment pursuant to the rules proscribed by the Federal Register. In total, USAID received comments from four (4) entities. All comments were reviewed and addressed by USAID in the FOIA Regulations final rule. One commenter recommended a minor edit to § 212.19(e)(2). Specifically, that USAID should remove the word “professional” from the proposed rule on expedited processing because it is an extra requirement imposed on the public that is not found in the statutory language. This recommendation was adopted to eliminate any extra burden on requesters seeking expedited processing. The same commenter recommended USAID reduce its proposed duplication costs from twenty (20) cents per page to ten (10) cents per page. A review of duplication charges across Federal Government FOIA Offices was conducted, and the recommendation to lower the cost to ten (10) cents was adopted.

A second commenter suggested USAID address the consultation process described in § 212.7(c)(1) to occur only when another agency or government office has a “substantial interest” in responsive records or portions thereof. The recommendation was adopted to raise the standard for when a consultation should be initiated. The commenter also suggested USAID edit the definition of a representative of the news media to be any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. USAID reviewed Congress' statutory definition of a “representative of the news media” in the OPEN Government Act of 2007, and approved the comment by applying the more recent definition.

The third commenter recommended USAID remove Subpart E (Exemptions & Exclusions section) because application of exemptions may evolve based on case law. USAID agreed and removed Subpart E from the FOIA Regulations. The commenter recommended editing § 212.19(b) to note that request track placement depends on the amount of time and/or work needed to process the request. Specifically highlighting that the Agency designates a specific track for requests granted expedited processing. USAID approved the recommendation. The commenter suggested USAID update § 212.19(c) to add language on the Agency's FOIA Public Liaison duties, and update § 212.23 to include information on the Office of Government Information Services' (OGIS) mission to provide mediation between requesters and agencies, while serving as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. USAID updated the sections to clarify that the Agency must make available its FOIA Public Liaison when an extension for unusual circumstances exceeds 10 days, and detailed OGIS' role in the mediation process. The commenter also recommended USAID update the definition of an educational institution in § 212.25(b)(4). Based on new case law, USAID revamped the language to account for the expanded definition.

The fourth commenter echoed the recommendations provided by the third commenter regarding language needed on the role of the FOIA Public Liaison and OGIS mediation, as well as the new definition for an educational institution. All comments were approved and applied by USAID.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 212

Freedom of information.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, USAID revises 22 CFR part 212 to read as follows: PART 212—PUBLIC INFORMATION Subpart A—General Provisions 212.1 Purpose and scope. 212.2 Policy. 212.3 Records available on the Agency's Web site. Subpart B—Proactive Disclosures of Agency Records 212.4 Materials available for public inspection and in electronic format. Subpart C—Requirements for Making Requests 212.5 How to make a request for records. Subpart D—Responsibility for Responding to Requests 212.6 Designation of authorized officials. 212.7 Processing of request. Subpart E—Timing of Responses to Requests 212.8 Time limits. Subpart F—Responses to Requests 212.9 Responsibility for responding to requests. Subpart G—Confidential Commercial Information 212.10 Policy and procedure. Subpart H—Administrative Appeals 212.11 Appeal procedures. 212.12 Mediation and dispute services. Subpart I—Preservation of Records 212.13 Policy and procedures. Subpart J—Fees 212.14 Fees to be charged—general. 212.15 Fees to be charged—requester categories. Subpart K—FOIA Definitions 212.16 Glossary. Subpart L—Other Rights and Services 212.17 Rights and services qualified by the FOIA statute. Subpart M—Privacy Act Provisions 212.18 Purpose and scope. 212.19 Privacy definitions. 212.20 Request for access to records. 212.21 Request to amend or correct records. 212.22 Appeals from denials of PA amendment requests. 212.23 Request for accounting of record disclosures. 212.24 Specific exemptions. Authority:

Pub. L. 114-185, 130 Stat. 538.

Subpart A—General Provisions
§ 212.1 Purpose and scope.

This subpart contains the rules that the United States Agency of International Development (hereinafter “USAID” or “the Agency”) follows in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. 552. The rules in this subpart should be read in conjunction with the text of the FOIA. Requests made by individuals for records about themselves under the Privacy Act of 1974, are processed under Subpart O. Definitions of FOIA terms are referenced in Subpart L.

§ 212.2 Policy.

(a) As a general policy, USAID follows a balanced approach in administering the FOIA. USAID recognizes the right of the public to access information in the possession of the Agency. USAID also recognizes the legitimate interests of organizations or persons who have submitted records to the Agency or who would otherwise be affected by release of records. USAID has no discretion to release certain records, such as trade secrets and confidential commercial information, prohibited from release by law. USAID's policy calls for the fullest responsible disclosure consistent with those requirements of administrative necessity and confidentiality which are recognized under the FOIA.

(b) Definitions. For purposes of subparts A through K, M, and O of this part, record means information regardless of its physical form or characteristics including information created, stored, and retrievable by electronic means that is created or obtained by the Agency and under the control of the Agency at the time of the request, including information maintained for the Agency by an entity under Government contract for records management purposes. It does not include records that are not already in existence and that would have to be created specifically to respond to a request. Information available in electronic form shall be searched and compiled in response to a request unless such search and compilation would significantly interfere with the operation of the Agency's automated information systems.

§ 212.3 Records available on the Agency's Web site.

Information that is required to be published in the Federal Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1) is regularly updated by the Agency and found on its public Web site: www.usaid.gov/foia-requests. Records that are required by the FOIA to be made available for public inspection in an electronic format under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) also are available on the Agency's public Web site.

Subpart B—Proactive Disclosures of Agency Records
§ 212.4 Materials available for public inspection and in electronic format.

(a) In accordance with this subpart, the Agency shall make the following materials available for public inspection in an electronic format:

(1) Operational policy in USAID's Automated Directives System (ADS) which have been adopted by the Agency and are not published in the Federal Register;

(2) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect any member of the public; and

(3) Copies of all records, regardless of form or format, which have been released pursuant to a FOIA request, and which have been requested three (3) or more times, or because of the nature of their subject matter, have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records. The Agency shall decide on a case by case basis whether records fall into this category, based on the following factors:

(i) Previous experience with similar records;

(ii) The particular characteristics of the records involved, including their nature and the type of information contained in them; and

(iii) The identity and number of requesters and whether there is widespread media, historical, academic, or commercial interest in the records.

Subpart C—Requirements for Making Requests
§ 212.5 How to make a request for records.

(a) General information. USAID has a centralized system for responding to FOIA requests. The Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Information and Records Division (M/MS/IRD) is the central processing point for requests for USAID records contained in Washington, DC and its overseas missions. All FOIA requests must be submitted to this office. To make a request for the Agency's records, a requester may send request via one of the following mediums:

(1) By Email: [email protected] Please include your mailing address, email address and phone number with your request. While our FOIA Specialists are happy to answer questions about the FOIA Program and/or help you formulate your request over the phone, please be advised that FOIA requests cannot accept by phone.

(2) Online Portal: To submit your request online, please click the subsequent link: https://foiarequest.usaid.gov/index.aspx.

(3) By U.S. Postal Mail:United States Agency of International Development Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services >Services, Information and Records Division, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20523-2701, Room 2.7C RRB, (202) 712-0960.

(4) By Fax: (202) 216-3070.

(b) Third party requests. Where a request for records pertains to a third party, a requester may receive greater access by submitting either a notarized authorization signed by that individual or a declaration made in compliance with the requirements set forth in the FOIA by that individual authorizing disclosure of the records to the requester, or by submitting proof that the individual is deceased (e.g., a copy of a death certificate or an obituary). In addition, requesters may demonstrate an overriding public interest in disclosure of the information related to official misconduct by producing evidence that alleged Government impropriety occurred. As an exercise of administrative discretion, the agency can require a requester to supply additional information if necessary in order to verify that a particular individual has consented to disclosure.

(c) Description of records sought. Requesters must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable the Agency's personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. To the extent possible, requesters should include specific information that may assist in identifying the requested records, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, subject matter of the record, case number, file designation, or reference number. In general, requesters should include as much detail as possible about the specific records or the types of records that they are seeking. Before submitting their requests, requesters may contact the Agency's FOIA contact or FOIA Public Liaison to discuss the records they are seeking and to receive assistance in describing the records. If, after receiving a request and the Agency determines that it does not reasonably describe the records sought, the Agency shall inform the requester what additional information is needed or why the request is otherwise insufficient. Requesters who are attempting to reformulate or modify such a request may discuss their request with the Agency's designated FOIA Specialist or its FOIA Public Liaison, each of whom is available to assist the requester in reasonably describing the records sought. If a request does not reasonably describe the records sought, the Agency's response to the request may be delayed or denied.

Subpart D—Responsibility for Responding to Requests
§ 212.6 Designation of authorized officials.

(a) The Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Management (M) serves as the USAID Chief FOIA Officer. The Chief FOIA Officer has overall responsibility for USAID compliance with the FOIA. The Chief FOIA Officer provides high level oversight and support to USAID's FOIA programs, and recommends adjustments to agency practices, personnel, and funding as may be necessary to improve FOIA administration, including through an annual Chief FOIA Officers Report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Chief FOIA Officer is responsible for offering training to agency staff regarding their FOIA responsibilities; serves as the primary liaison with the Office of Government Information Services and the Office of Information Policy; and reviews, not less frequently than annually, all aspects of the Agency's administration of the FOIA to ensure compliance with the FOIA's requirements.

(b) The Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Information Records Division (M/MS/IRD) is the centralized FOIA office that receives, tracks, and processes all of USAID's FOIA requests to ensure transparency within the Agency.

(c) The Director, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services (M/MS/OD) serves as the USAID FOIA Appeals Officer. The FOIA Appeals Officer is responsible for receiving and acting upon appeals from requesters whose initial FOIA requests for USAID records have been denied, in whole or in part.

(d) The Chief, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Information and Records Division (M/MS/IRD) serves as USAID's FOIA Officer and FOIA Public Liaison. The FOIA Officer is responsible for program direction, original denials, and policy decisions required for effective implementation of USAID's FOIA program. The FOIA Public Liaison serves as a supervisory official to whom a FOIA requester can raise concerns about the services received, following an initial response from the FOIA staff. In addition, the FOIA Public Liaison assists, as appropriate, in reducing delays, increasing transparency and understanding of the status of requests, and resolving disputes.

(e) The FOIA Team Leader is the Principal Operations Officer within USAID for the processing of FOIA requests and release determinations.

(f) The FOIA Specialist also known as the Government Information Specialist (GIS) is responsible for processing requests and preparing records for release when such releases are authorized by the FOIA. They do not have the authority to make denials, including “no records” responses.

(g) The General Counsel (GC), FOIA Backstop Attorney Advisor has responsibility for providing legal advice on all USAID matters regarding or resulting from the FOIA. Upon request, GC advises M/MS/IRD on release and denial decisions, and apprises the FOIA Office of all significant developments with respect to the FOIA.

(h) Each Attorney Advisor designated to provide legal advice to USAID Bureaus/Independent Offices (B/IOs) is responsible for providing, at M/MS/IRD's request, legal advice on FOIA requests assigned to those B/IOs.

(i) The designated FOIA Liaison Officer (FLO) in each USAID Bureau and Office is responsible for tasking and facilitating the collection of responsive records and monitoring the production of records to M/MS/IRD.

§ 212.7 Processing of request.

(a) In general. In determining which records are responsive to a request, the Agency ordinarily will include only records in its possession as of the date that it begins its search. If any other date is used, the Agency shall inform the requester of that date.

(b) Authority to grant or deny requests. The FOIA Officer is authorized to grant or to deny any requests for records that are maintained by the Agency.

(c) Consultation, referral, and coordination. When reviewing records located by the Agency in response to a request, USAID shall determine whether another agency of the Federal Government is better able to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. All consultations and referrals received by the Agency will be handled according to the date that the first agency received the perfected FOIA request. As to any such record, USAID shall proceed in one of the following ways:

(1) Consultation. When records originated with USAID, but contain within them information of substantial interest to another agency, or other Federal Government office, USAID should consult with that other agency prior to making a release determination.

(2) Referral. (i) When USAID believes that a different agency, or other Federal Government office is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, USAID should refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that record, as long as the referral is to an agency that is subject to the FOIA. Ordinarily, the agency that originated the record will be presumed to be best able to make the disclosure determination. However, if USAID and the originating agency jointly agree that the former is in the best position to respond regarding the record, then the record may be handled as a consultation.

(ii) Whenever USAID refers any part of the responsibility for responding to a request to another agency, it shall document the referral, maintain a copy of the record that it refers, and notify the requester of the referral and inform the requester of the name(s) of the agency to which the record was referred, including that agency's FOIA contact information.

(3) Coordination. The standard referral procedure is not appropriate where disclosure of the identity of the agency to which the referral would be made could harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption, such as the exemptions that protect personal privacy or national security interests. In such instances, in order to avoid harm to an interest protected by an applicable exemption, USAID will coordinate with the originating agency to seek its views on the disclosability of the record. The release determination for the record that is the subject of the coordination will then be conveyed to the requester by USAID.

(d) Classified information. On receipt of any request involving classified information, USAID must determine whether the information is currently and properly classified in accordance with applicable classification rules. Whenever a request involves a record containing information that has been classified or may be appropriate for classification by another agency under any applicable executive order concerning the classification of records, the USAID must refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that information to the agency that classified the information, or that should consider the information for classification. Whenever USAID's record contains information that has been derivatively classified (for example, when it contains information classified by another agency), USAID must refer the responsibility for responding to that portion of the request to the agency that classified the underlying information.

(e) Furnishing records. USAID shall furnish copies only of records that the Agency has in its possession. The Agency is not compelled to create new records. The Agency is not required to perform research for a requester. The Agency is required to furnish only one copy of a record. If information exists in different forms, the Agency will provide the record in the form that best conserves government resources. Requests may specify the preferred form or format (including electronic formats) for the records sought by the requester. USAID will accommodate the form or format request if the record is readily reproducible in that form or format.

(f) Archival records. The Agency ordinarily transfers records in accordance with its retirement authority, included in ADS 502, to the National Archives. These records become the physical and legal custody of the National Archives. Accordingly, requests for retired Agency records should be submitted to the National Archives by mail addressed to Special Access and FOIA Staff (NWCTF), 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500, College Park, MD 20740; by fax to (301) 837-1864; or by email to [email protected]

(g) Poor copy. If USAID cannot make a legible copy of a record to be released, the Agency is not required to reconstruct it. Instead, the Agency will furnish the best copy possible and note its poor quality in the Agency's reply.

Subpart E—Timing of Responses to Requests
§ 212.8 Time limits.

(a) In general. The Agency ordinarily will respond to requests according to their order of receipt.

(b) Multitrack processing. (1) USAID shall designate a specific track for requests that are granted expedited processing, in accordance with the standards set forth in paragraph (e) of this section. The Agency may designate additional processing tracks that distinguish between simple and more complex requests based on the estimated amount of work or time needed to process the request. Among the factors the Agency may consider are, the number of pages involved in processing the request and the need for consultations or referrals. The Agency shall advise requesters of the track into which their request falls and, when appropriate, shall offer the requesters an opportunity to narrow their request so that it can be placed in a different processing track.

(2) The Agency shall generally process requests in each track on a “first-in, first-out” basis.

(c) Unusual circumstances. Whenever the statutory time limit for processing a request cannot be met because of “unusual circumstances,” as defined in the FOIA, and the Agency extends the time limit on that basis, the Agency shall, before expiration of the 20-day period to respond, notify the requester in writing of the unusual circumstances involved and of the date by which processing of the request can be expected to be completed. Where the extension exceeds 10 working days, the Agency shall, in the written notice, notify the requester of the right to contact the Agency's FOIA Public Liaison, or seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). In addition, the Agency shall, as described by the FOIA, provide the requester with an opportunity to modify the request or arrange an alternative time period for processing.

(d) Aggregating requests. For the purposes of satisfying unusual circumstances under the FOIA, the Agency may aggregate requests in cases where it reasonably appears that multiple requests, submitted either by a requester or by a group of requesters acting in concert, constitute a single request that would otherwise involve unusual circumstances. The Agency shall not aggregate multiple requests that involve unrelated matters.

(e) Expedited processing. (1) Requests and appeals shall be processed on an expedited basis whenever it is determined that they involve:

(i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited processing could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

(ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged Federal Government activity, if made by a person who is primarily engaged in disseminating information;

(iii) The loss of substantial due process rights; or

(iv) A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity that affect public confidence.

(2) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct, explaining in detail the basis for making the request for expedited processing. For example, under paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section, a requester who is not a full-time member of the news media must establish that the requester is a person whose primary activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be the requester's sole occupation. Such a requester also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request—one that extends beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The existence of numerous articles published on a given subject can be helpful in establishing the requirement that there be an “urgency to inform” the public on the topic. As a matter of administrative discretion, the Agency may waive the formal certification requirement.

(3) The Agency shall notify the requester within 10 calendar days of the receipt of a request for expedited processing of its decision whether to grant or deny expedited processing. If expedited processing is granted, the request shall be given priority, placed in the processing track for expedited requests, and shall be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any appeal of that decision shall be acted on expeditiously.

Subpart F—Responses to Requests
§ 212.9 Responsibility for responding to requests.

(a) In general. USAID should, to the extent practicable, communicate with requesters having access to the Internet using electronic means, such as email or web portal.

(b) Acknowledgments of requests. USAID shall acknowledge the request and assign it an individualized tracking number. The Agency shall include in the acknowledgment a brief description of the records sought to allow requesters to more easily keep track of their requests.

(c) Grants of requests. Once the Agency makes a determination to grant a request in full or in part, it shall notify the requester in writing. The Agency also shall inform the requester of any fees charged and shall disclose the requested records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fees.

(d) Consultations and Referrals. Whenever USAID consults with another Federal Government office over the releasability of a record, the Agency shall notify the requester of the consultation and inform the requester of the name(s) of the agency or office with which the consultation is taking place. Whenever USAID refers any part of the responsibility for responding to a request to another Federal Government office, the Agency shall document the referral, maintain a copy of the record that it refers, notify the requester of the referral, and inform the requester of the name(s) of the agency to which the record was referred, including that agency's FOIA contact information.

(e) Adverse determinations of requests. If the Agency has made an adverse determination denying a request in any respect, the Agency shall notify the requester of that determination in writing, and provide the contact information for the FOIA Public Liaison, as well as a description of the requester's right to seek mediation services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). Adverse determinations, or denials of requests, include decisions that: The requested record is exempt, in whole or in part; the request does not reasonably describe the records sought; the information requested is not a record subject to the FOIA; the requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has been destroyed; or the requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester. A response will provide an estimate of the volume of any records or any information withheld. Adverse determinations also include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters or denials of requests for expedited processing.

(f) Information furnished. All denials are in writing and describe in general terms the material withheld; state the reasons for the denial, including, as applicable, a reference to the specific exemption of the FOIA authorizing the withholding; explain your right to appeal the decision and identify the official to whom you should send the appeal; and are signed by the person who made the decision to deny all or part of the request. Records disclosed in part must be marked clearly to show the amount of information deleted and the exemption under which the deletion was made unless doing so would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption. The location of the information deleted must also be indicated on the record, if technically feasible.

(g) Conducting searches. USAID performs a diligent search for records to satisfy your request. Nevertheless, the Agency may not be able to find the records requested using the information provided, or the records may not exist.

Subpart G—Confidential Commercial Information
§ 212.10 Policy and procedure.

(a) Definitions. (1) Confidential commercial information means commercial or financial information obtained by the Agency from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

(2) Business submitter means any person or entity, including a corporation, State, or foreign government, but not including another Federal Government entity, that provides information, either directly or indirectly to the Federal Government.

(b) Designation of confidential commercial information. A submitter of confidential commercial information must use good faith efforts to designate by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or within a reasonable time thereafter, any portion of its submission that it considers to be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4. These designations shall expire 10 years after the date of the submission unless the submitter requests and provides justification for a longer designation period.

(c) When notice to business submitters is required. (1) The Agency shall promptly provide written notice to a business submitter of confidential commercial information whenever records containing such information are requested under the FOIA if, after reviewing the request, the responsive records, and any appeal by the requester, the Agency determines that it may be required to disclose the records, provided:

(i) The requested information has been designated in good faith by the business submitter as information considered protected from disclosure under Exemption 4; or

(ii) The Agency has a reason to believe that the requested information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4, but has not yet determined whether the information is protected from disclosure under that exemption or any other applicable exemption.

(2) The notice shall either describe the commercial information requested or include a copy of the requested records or portions of records containing the information. In cases involving a voluminous number of submitters, notice may be made by posting or publishing the notice in a place or manner reasonably likely to accomplish it.

(d) Exceptions to business submitter notice requirements. The notice requirements of this section shall not apply if:

(1) The Agency determines that the information is exempt under the FOIA;

(2) The information has been lawfully published or has been officially made available to the public;

(3) Disclosure of the information is required by a statute other than the FOIA or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600 of June 23, 1987; or

(4) The designation made by the business submitter appears obviously frivolous, except that, in such a case, the Agency shall give the business submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the information and must provide that notice within a reasonable number of days prior to a specified disclosure date.

(e) Opportunity to object to disclosure. (1) The Agency shall specify a reasonable time period within which the business submitter must respond to the notice referenced above. If a business submitter has any objections to disclosure, the business submitter should:

(i) Provide the Agency with a detailed written statement that specifies all grounds for withholding the particular information under any exemption of the FOIA. In order to rely on Exemption 4 as basis for nondisclosure, the business submitter must explain why the information constitutes a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.

(ii) [Reserved]

(2) A business submitter who fails to respond within the time period specified in the notice shall be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information. Information received by the Agency after the date of any disclosure decision shall not be considered by the Agency. Any information provided by a business submitter under this subpart may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

(f) Analysis of objections. The Agency shall consider a business submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure in deciding whether to disclose the requested information.

(g) Notice of intent to disclose. Whenever the Agency decides to disclose information over the objection of a business submitter, the Agency shall provide the business submitter written notice, which shall include:

(1) A statement of the reasons why each of the business submitter's disclosure objections was not sustained;

(2) A description of the information to be disclosed; and

(3) A specified disclosure date, which shall be a reasonable time subsequent to the notice.

(h) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of confidential commercial information, the Agency shall promptly notify the business submitter.

(i) Requester notification. The Agency shall notify the requester whenever it provides the submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure; whenever it notifies the submitter of its intent to disclose the requested information; and whenever a submitter files a lawsuit to prevent the disclosure of the information.

Subpart H—Administrative Appeals
§ 212.11 Appeal procedures.

USAID must inform the requester of the reasons for the denial and the requester's right to appeal the denial to the FOIA Appeals Officer whenever a FOIA request is denied.

(a) What a requester can appeal. A requester may appeal the withholding of a document or denial of a fee waiver request. A requester may contest the type or amount of fees that were charged, or may appeal any other type of adverse determination under the FOIA. A requester may also appeal because USAID failed to conduct an adequate search for the documents requested. However, a requester may not file an administrative appeal for the lack of a timely response. A requester may administratively appeal any portion denied when their request is granted in part and denied in part.

(b) Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determinations to USAID. The requester must make the appeal in writing. To be considered timely, the appeal must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, within 90 calendar days after the date of the response. The appeal should clearly identify the Agency's determination that is being appealed and the assigned request number. To facilitate handling, the requester should mark both the appeal letter and envelope, or subject line of the electronic transmission, “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”

(c) Adjudication of appeals. (1) The Director of the Bureau for Management Services or designee will conduct de novo review and make the final determination on the appeals.

(2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.

(d) Decisions on appeals. A decision on an appeal must be made in writing. A decision that upholds the Agency's determination will contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision will provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and will inform the requester of the mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Mediation is a voluntary process. If USAID agrees to participate in the mediation services provided by OGIS, it will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If the Agency's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the requester will be notified of that determination in writing. The Agency will thereafter further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and respond directly to the requester.

(e) When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of the Agency's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.

(f) Where to file an appeal. An appeal may be filed by sending a letter to: FOIA Appeals Officer, Bureau for Management Director, Office of Management Services, U.S. Agency for International Development Room 2.12-010, RRB, Washington, DC 20523-4601. There is no charge for filing an administrative appeal.

§ 212.12 Mediation and dispute services.

The Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration (OGIS) is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) resource for the public and the government. Congress has charged OGIS with reviewing FOIA policies, procedures and compliance of Federal agencies and to recommend changes to the FOIA. OGIS' mission also includes providing dispute resolution services between Federal agencies and requesters. OGIS works as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation.” When USAID makes a determination on a request, the Agency shall offer the services of the FOIA Public Liaison, and will notify requesters of the mediation services provided by OGIS. Specifically, USAID will include in the Agency's notification to the requester;

(a) The right of the requester to seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison of the Agency, and in the case of an adverse determination;

(b) The right of the requester to seek dispute resolution services from the FOIA Public Liaison of the agency or the Office of Government Information Services.

Subpart I—Preservation of Records
§ 212.13 Policy and procedures.

The Agency shall preserve all correspondence relating to the requests it receives under this subpart, and all records processed pursuant to such requests, until such time as the destruction of such correspondence and records is authorized pursuant to Title 44 of the United States Code, and appropriate records disposition authority granted by NARA. Under no circumstances shall records be sent to a Federal Records Center, transferred to the permanent custody of NARA, or destroyed while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal, or civil action under the FOIA.

Subpart J—Fees
§ 212.14 Fees to be charged—general.

(a) In general. USAID shall charge for processing requests under the FOIA in accordance with the provisions of this section and with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidelines. In order to resolve any fee issues that arise under this section, the Agency may contact a requester for additional information. The Agency shall ensure that search, review, and duplication are conducted in the most efficient and the least expensive manner. USAID ordinarily will collect all applicable fees before sending copies of records to a requester. Requesters must pay fees by check or money order made payable to the Treasury of the United States.

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) Commercial use request is a request that asks for information for a use or a purpose that furthers a commercial, trade, or profit interest, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. The Agency's decision to place a requester in the commercial use category will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the requester's intended use of the information.

(2) Direct costs are those expenses that the Agency incurs in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial use requests, reviewing) records in order to respond to a FOIA request. Direct costs do not include overhead expenses such as the costs of space, and of heating or lighting a facility.

(3) Duplication is reproducing a copy of a record, or of the information contained in it, necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Copies can take the form of paper, audiovisual materials, or electronic records, among others.

(4) Educational institution is any school that operates a program of scholarly research. A requester in this fee category must show that the request is made in connection with his or her role at the educational institution. Agencies may seek verification from the requester that the request is in furtherance of scholarly research.

(5) Fee waiver is a waiver or reduction of processing fees if a requester can demonstrate that certain statutory standards are satisfied, including that the information is in the public interest and is not requested for a commercial interest.

(6) Noncommercial scientific institution is an institution that is not operated on a “commercial” basis, as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. A requester in this category must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are sought to further scientific research and are not for a commercial use.

(7) Representative of the news media is any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations that broadcast “news” to the public at large and publishers of periodicals that disseminate “news” and make their products available through a variety of means to the general public, including news organizations that disseminate solely on the Internet. A request for records supporting the news-dissemination function of the requester shall not be considered to be for a commercial use. “Freelance” journalists who demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through a news media entity shall be considered as a representative of the news media. A publishing contract would provide the clearest evidence that publication is expected; however, components shall also consider a requester's past publication record in making this determination.

(8) Requester category is one of the three categories that agencies place requesters in for the purpose of determining whether a requester will be charged fees for search, review, and duplication. The three categories are: Commercial requesters; non-commercial scientific or educational institutions or news media requesters; and all other requesters.

(9) Review is the examination of a record located in response to a request in order to determine whether any portion of it is exempt from disclosure. Review time includes processing any record for disclosure, such as doing all that is necessary to prepare the record for disclosure, including the process of redacting the record and marking the appropriate exemptions. Review costs are properly charged even if a record ultimately is not disclosed. Review time also includes time spent both obtaining and considering any formal objection to disclosure made by a confidential commercial information submitter, but it does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

(10) Search is the process of looking for and retrieving records or information responsive to a request. Search time includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of information within records and the reasonable efforts expended to locate and retrieve information from electronic records.

(c) Charging fees. In responding to FOIA requests, the Agency shall charge the following fees unless a waiver or reduction of fees has been granted under paragraph (k) of this section.

(1) Search. Requests made by educational institutions, noncommercial scientific institutions, or representatives of the news media are not subject to search fees. Search fees shall be charged for all other requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d) of this section. The Agency may properly charge for time spent searching even if they do not locate any responsive records or if they determine that the records are entirely exempt from disclosure.

(2) Duplication. Duplication fees shall be charged to all requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d) of this section. The Agency shall honor a requester's preference for receiving a record in a particular form or format where it is readily reproducible by the agency in the form or format requested. Where photocopies are supplied, the Agency shall provide one copy per request at a cost of ten cents per page. For copies of records produced on tapes, disks, or other media, the direct costs of producing the copy, including operator time shall be charged. Where paper documents must be scanned in order to comply with a requester's preference to receive the records in an electronic format, the requester shall pay the direct costs associated with scanning those materials. For other forms of duplication, the Agency shall charge the direct costs.

(3) Review. Review fees shall be charged to requesters who make commercial use requests. Review fees shall be assessed in connection with the initial review of the record, i.e., the review conducted by the agency to determine whether an exemption applies to a particular record or portion of a record. No charge will be made for review at the administrative appeal stage of exemptions applied at the initial review stage. However, if a particular exemption is deemed to no longer apply, any costs associated with the Agency re-review of the records in order to consider the use of other exemptions may be assessed as review fees.

(d) Restrictions on charging fees. (1) No search fees will be charged for requests by educational institutions, noncommercial scientific institutions, or representatives of the news media, unless the records are sought for commercial use.

(2) When the Agency determines that unusual circumstances apply to the processing of a request, and the Agency has provided timely written notice to the requester, the delay is excused for an additional 10 days. If the Agency fails to comply with the extended time limit, it may not charge search fees (or for requesters with preferred fee status, may not charge duplication fees) except as provided in paragraphs (d)(2)(i)-(ii) of this section.

(i) Exception: If unusual circumstances apply and more than 5000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, the Agency may charge search fees (or, for requesters in preferred fee status, may charge duplication fees) if timely written notice has been made to the requester and the Agency has discussed with the requester via written mail, electronic mail, or telephone (or made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request.

(ii) Court determination that exceptional circumstances exist: If a court determines that exceptional circumstances exist, the Agency's failure to comply with a time limit shall be excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

(3) If the Agency fails to comply with the time limits in which to respond to a request, and if no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA, apply to the processing of the request, it may not charge search fees, or, in the instances of requests from requesters described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, may not charge duplication fees.

(4) No search or review fees will be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for search or review.

(5) Except for requesters seeking records for a commercial use, the Agency shall provide without charge:

(i) The first 100 pages of duplication (or the cost equivalent for other media); and

(ii) The first two hours of search.

(6) When, after first deducting the 100 free pages (or its cost equivalent) and the first two hours of search, a total fee calculated under paragraph (c) of this section is $25.00 or less for any request, no fee will be charged.

(e) Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $25.00. (1) When the Agency determines or estimates that the fees to be assessed in accordance with this section will exceed $25.00, the Agency shall notify the requester of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, including a breakdown of the fees for search, review or duplication, unless the requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. If only a portion of the fee can be estimated readily, the agency shall advise the requester accordingly. If the requester is a noncommercial use requester, the notice shall specify that the requester is entitled to the statutory entitlements of 100 pages of duplication at no charge and, if the requester is charged search fees, two hours of search time at no charge, and shall advise the requester whether those entitlements have been provided.

(2) In cases in which a requester has been notified that the actual or estimated fees are in excess of $25.00, the request shall not be considered received and further work will not be completed until the requester commits in writing to pay the actual or estimated total fee, or designates some amount of fees the requester is willing to pay, or in the case of a noncommercial use requester who has not yet been provided with the requester's statutory entitlements, designates that the requester seeks only that which can be provided by the statutory entitlements. The requester must provide the commitment or designation in writing, and must, when applicable, designate an exact dollar amount the requester is willing to pay. The Agency is not required to accept payments in installments.

(3) If the requester has indicated a willingness to pay some designated amount of fees, but the Agency estimates that the total fee will exceed that amount, the Agency shall toll the processing of the request when it notifies the requester of the estimated fees in excess of the amount the requester has indicated a willingness to pay. The Agency shall inquire whether the requester wishes to revise the amount of fees the requester is willing to pay or modify the request. Once the requester responds, the time to respond will resume from where it was at the date of the notification.

(4) The Agency shall make available their FOIA Public Liaison or other FOIA Specialists to assist any requester in reformulating a request to meet the requester's needs at a lower cost.

(f) Charges for other services. Although not required to provide special services, if the Agency chooses to do so as a matter of administrative discretion, the direct costs of providing the service shall be charged. Examples of such services include certifying that records are true copies, providing multiple copies of the same document, or sending records by means other than first class mail.

(g) Charging interest. The Agency may charge interest on any unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following the date of billing the requester. Interest charges shall be assessed at the rate provided in 31 U.S.C. 3717 and will accrue from the billing date until payment is received by the agency. The Agency shall follow the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365, 96 Stat. 1749), as amended, and its administrative procedures, including the use of consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, and offset.

(h) Aggregating requests. When the Agency reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in concert is attempting to divide a single request into a series of requests for the purpose of avoiding fees, the Agency may aggregate those requests and charge accordingly. The Agency may presume that multiple requests of this type made within a 30-day period have been made in order to avoid fees. For requests separated by a longer period, the Agency will aggregate them only where there is a reasonable basis for determining that aggregation is warranted in view of all the circumstances involved. Multiple requests involving unrelated matters shall not be aggregated.

(i) Advance payments. (1) For requests other than those described in paragraphs (i)(2) or (i)(3) of this section, the agency shall not require the requester to make an advance payment before work is commenced or continued on a request. Payment owed for work already completed (i.e., payment before copies are sent to a requester) is not an advance payment.

(2) When the Agency determines or estimates that a total fee to be charged under this section will exceed $250.00, it may require that the requester make an advance payment up to the amount of the entire anticipated fee before beginning to process the request. The Agency may elect to process the request prior to collecting fees when it receives a satisfactory assurance of full payment from a requester with a history of prompt payment.

(3) Where a requester has previously failed to pay a properly charged FOIA fee to the agency within 30 calendar days of the billing date, the Agency may require that the requester pay the full amount due, plus any applicable interest on that prior request, and the Agency may require that the requester make an advance payment of the full amount of any anticipated fee before the Agency begins to process a new request or continues to process a pending request or any pending appeal. If the Agency has a reasonable basis to believe that a requester has misrepresented the requester's identity in order to avoid paying outstanding fees, it may require that the requester provide proof of identity.

(4) In cases in which the Agency requires advance payment, the request shall not be considered received and further work will not be completed until the required payment is received. If the requester does not pay the advance payment within 30 calendar days after the date of the Agency's fee determination, the request will be closed.

(j) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. The fee schedule of this section does not apply to fees charged under any statute that specifically requires an agency to set and collect fees for particular types of records. In instances where records responsive to a request are subject to a statutorily-based fee schedule program, the Agency shall inform the requester of the contact information for that program.

(k) Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees. (1) Records responsive to a request shall be furnished without charge or at a reduced rate below the rate established under paragraph (c) of this section, where the Agency determines, based on all available information, that the requester has demonstrated that:

(i) Disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, and

(ii) Disclosure of the information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

(2) In deciding whether disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of operations or activities of the government, the Agency shall consider all four of the following factors:

(i) The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal Government, with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.

(ii) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities in order to be “likely to contribute” to an increased public understanding of those operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not contribute to such understanding where nothing new would be added to the public's understanding.

(iii) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's expertise in the subject area as well as the requester's ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public shall be considered. It shall be presumed that a representative of the news media will satisfy this consideration.

(iv) The public's understanding of the subject in question must be enhanced by the disclosure to a significant extent. However, the Agency shall not make value judgments about whether the information at issue is “important” enough to be made public.

(3) To determine whether disclosure of the requested information is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, the Agency shall consider the following factors:

(i) The Agency shall identify any commercial interest of the requester, as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, that would be furthered by the requested disclosure. Requesters shall be given an opportunity to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration.

(ii) A waiver or reduction of fees is justified where the public interest is greater than any identified commercial interest in disclosure. The Agency ordinarily shall presume that where a news media requester has satisfied the public interest standard, the public interest will be the interest primarily served by disclosure to that requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return shall not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest.

(4) Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver shall be granted for those records.

(5) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when the request is first submitted to the Agency and should address the criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is denied, the requester shall be required to pay any costs incurred up to the date the fee waiver request was received. A requester may appeal the denial of a fee waiver.

§ 212.15 Fees to be charged—requester categories.

(a) The following specific fees are charged for services rendered:

(1) Commercial Use:

Search: $40.00 per hour

Search costs will be assessed even though no records may be found or even if, after review, there is no disclosure or records.

Review: $55.00 per hour.

Duplication: 10¢ per page.

(2) Educational & Non-Commercial Scientific Institutions.

Search: No fee.

Review: No fee.

Duplication: 10¢ per page after the first 100 pages.

(3) Representatives of the News Media.

Search: No fee.

Review: No fee.

Duplication: 10¢ per page after the first 100 pages.

(4) All Others.

Search: Same as “Commercial Users” except the first two hours shall be furnished without charge.

Review: No fee.

Duplication: 10¢ per page after the first 100 pages.

(b) If copies of records are provided in other than paper format (such as on microfiche, video tape, or as electronic data files), or other than first-class mail is requested or required, the requester is charged the actual cost of providing these additional services.

Subpart K—FOIA Definitions
§ 212.16 Glossary.

As used in this part:

Administrative FOIA Appeal is an independent review of the initial determination made in response to a FOIA request. Requesters who are dissatisfied with the response made on their initial request have a statutory right to appeal the initial determination made by the Agency.

Agency is any executive agency, military agency, government corporation, government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Federal Government, or any independent regulatory agency. Thus, USAID is an agency.

Complex request is a request that typically seeks a high volume of material or requires additional steps to process such as the need to search for records in multiple locations.

Consultation is when USAID locates a record that contains information of substantial interest to another agency, and USAID asks for the views of that other agency on the disclosablity of the records before any final determination is made.

Discretionary disclosure is information that the Agency releases even though it could have been withheld under one of the FOIA's exemptions.

Duplication is reproducing a copy of a record, or of the information contained in it, necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Copies can take the form of paper, audiovisual materials, or electronic records, among others.

Electronic record is any information that is recorded in a form that only a computer can process and that satisfies the definition of a Federal record per the Federal Records Act. Federal electronic records are not necessarily kept in a “recordkeeping system” but may reside in a generic electronic information system or are produced by an application such as word processing or electronic mail.

Exemptions are nine categories of information that are not required to be released in response to a FOIA request because release would be harmful to a government or private interest. These categories are called “exemptions” from disclosures.

Expedited processing is the FOIA response track granted in certain limited situations, specifically when a FOIA request is processed ahead of other pending requests.

Freedom of Information Act or FOIA is a United States federal law that grants the public access to information possessed by government agencies. Upon written request, U.S. government agencies are required to release information unless it falls under one of nine exemptions listed in the Act.

Frequently requested records are records that have been requested three (3) or more times from the Agency.

Multi-track processing is a system that divides in-coming FOIA requests according to their complexity so that simple requests requiring relatively minimal review are placed in one processing track and more complex requests are placed in one or more other tracks. Requests granted expedited processing are placed in yet another track. Requests in each track are processed on a first in/first out basis.

Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and agencies as an alternative to litigation. OGIS also reviews agency FOIA compliance, policies, and procedures and makes recommendations for improvement. The Office is a part of the National Archives and Records Administration, and was created by Congress as part of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which amended the FOIA.

Proactive disclosures are records made publicly available by agencies without waiting for a specific FOIA request. Agencies now post on their Web sites material concerning their functions and mission. The FOIA itself requires agencies to make available certain categories of information, including final opinions and orders, specific policy statements, certain administrative staff manuals and frequently requested records.

Record means information regardless of its physical form or characteristics including information created, stored, and retrievable by electronic means that is created or obtained by the Agency and under the control of the Agency at the time of the request, including information maintained for the Agency by an entity under Government contract for records management purposes. It does not include records that are not already in existence and that would have to be created specifically to respond to a request. Information available in electronic form shall be searched and compiled in response to a request unless such search and compilation would significantly interfere with the operation of the Agency's automated information systems.

Referral occurs when an agency locates a record that originated with, or is of otherwise primary interest to another agency. It will forward that record to the other agency to process the record and to provide the final determination directly to the requester.

Simple request is a FOIA request that an agency anticipates will involve a small volume of material or which will be able to be processed relatively quickly.

Subpart L—Other Rights and Services
§ 212.17 Rights and services qualified by the FOIA statute.

Nothing in this subpart shall be construed to entitle any person, as a right, to any service or to the disclosure of any record to which such person is not entitled under the FOIA.

Subpart M—Privacy Act Provisions
§ 212.18 Purpose and scope.

This subpart contains the rules that the USAID follows under the Privacy Act of 1974 (PA), 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended. These rules should be read together with the text of the statute, which provides additional information about records maintained on individuals. The rules in this subpart apply to all records in systems of records maintained by the agency that are retrieved by an individual's name or personal identifier. They describe the procedures by which individuals may request access to records about themselves, request amendment or correction of those records, and request an accounting of disclosures of those records by the agency. If any records retrieved pursuant to an access request under the PA are found to be exempt from access under that Act, they will be processed for possible disclosure under the FOIA, as amended. No fees shall be charged for access to or amendment of PA records.

§ 212.19 Privacy definitions.

As used in this subpart, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) Individual means a citizen or a legal permanent resident alien (LPR) of the United States.

(b) Maintain includes maintain, collect, use, or disseminate.

(c) Record means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by the agency and that contains the individual's name or the identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or photograph.

(d) System of records means a group of any records under the control of the agency from which information is retrieved by the name of an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to an individual.

§ 212.20 Request for access to records.

(a) In general. Requests for access to records under the PA must be made in writing and mailed to the Bureau for Management Services, Information and Records Division at the address given in § 212.7.

(b) Description of records sought. Requests for access should describe the requested record(s) in sufficient detail to permit identification of the record(s). At a minimum, requests should include the individual's full name (including maiden name, if appropriate) and any other names used, current complete mailing address, and date and place of birth (city, state and country). Helpful data includes the approximate time period of the record and the circumstances that give the individual reason to believe that the agency maintains a record under the individual's name or personal identifier, and, if known, the system of records in which the record is maintained. In certain instances, it may be necessary for the Agency to request additional information from the requester, either to ensure a full search, or to ensure that a record retrieved does in fact pertain to the individual.

(c) Verification of personal identity. The Agency will require reasonable identification of individuals requesting records about themselves under the PA's access provisions to ensure that records are only accessed by the proper persons. Requesters must state their full name, current address, citizenship or legal permanent resident alien status, and date and place of birth (city, state, and country). The request must be signed, and the requester's signature must be either notarized or made under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746. If the requester seeks records under another name the requester has used, a statement, under penalty of perjury, that the requester has also used the other name must be included.

(d) Authorized third party access. The Agency shall process all properly authorized third party requests, as described in this section, under the PA. In the absence of proper authorization from the individual to whom the records pertain, the Agency will process third party requests under the FOIA. The Agency's form, AID 507-1, may be used to certify the identity and provide third party authorization.

(1) Parents and guardians of minor children. Upon presentation of acceptable documentation of the parental or guardian relationship, a parent or guardian of a U.S. citizen or LPR minor (an unmarried person under the age of 18) may, on behalf of the minor, request records under the PA pertaining to the minor. In any case, U.S. citizen or LPR minors may request such records on their own behalf.

(2) Guardians. A guardian of an individual who has been declared by a court to be incompetent may act for and on behalf of the incompetent individual upon presentation of appropriate documentation of the guardian relationship.

(3) Authorized representatives or designees. When an individual wishes to authorize another person or persons access to his or her records, the individual may submit, in addition to the identity verification information described in paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) of this section. The designated third party must submit identity verification information described in paragraph (c).

(e) Referrals and consultations. If the Agency determines that records retrieved as responsive to the request were created by another agency, it ordinarily will refer the records to the originating agency for direct response to the requester. If the agency determines that records retrieved as responsive to the request are of interest to another agency, it may consult with the other agency before responding to the request. The Agency may make agreements with other agencies to eliminate the need for consultations or referrals for particular types of records.

(f) Records relating to civil actions. Nothing in this subpart entitles an individual to access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.

(g) Time limits. The Agency will acknowledge the request promptly and furnish the requested information as soon as possible thereafter.

§ 212.21 Request to amend or correct records.

(a) An individual has the right to request that the Agency amend a record pertaining to the individual that the individual believes is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete.

(b) Requests to amend records must be in writing and mailed or delivered to the Bureau for Management, Management Services, Information Records Division at the address given in § 212.7, with ATTENTION: PRIVACY ACT AMENDMENT REQUEST written on the envelope. IRD will coordinate the review of the request with the appropriate offices of the Agency. The Agency will require verification of personal identity before it will initiate action to amend a record. Amendment requests should contain, at a minimum, identifying information needed to locate the record in question, a description of the specific correction requested, and an explanation of why the existing record is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete. The request must be signed, and the requester's signature must be either notarized or made under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746. The requester should submit as much pertinent documentation, other information, and explanation as possible to support the request for amendment.

(c) All requests for amendments to records shall be acknowledged within 10 working days.

(d) In reviewing a record in response to a request to amend, the Agency shall review the record to determine if it is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete.

(e) If the Agency agrees with an individual's request to amend a record, it shall:

(1) Advise the individual in writing of its decision;

(2) Amend the record accordingly; and

(3) If an accounting of disclosure has been made, advise all previous recipients of the record of the amendment and its substance.

(f) If the Agency denies an individual's request to amend a record, it shall advise the individual in writing of its decision and the reason for the refusal, and the procedures for the individual to request further review. See § 171.25 of this chapter.

§ 212.22 Appeals from denials of PA amendment requests.

(a) How made. Except where accountings of disclosures are not required to be kept, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, or where accountings of disclosures do not need to be provided to a requesting individual pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), an individual has a right to request an accounting of any disclosure that the Agency has made to another person, organization, or agency of any record about an individual. This accounting shall contain the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure as well as the name and address of the recipient of the disclosure. Any request for accounting should identify each particular record in question and may be made by writing directly to the Appeals Officer, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services at the address given in § 212.19.

(b) Where accountings not required. The Agency is not required to keep an accounting of disclosures in the case of:

(1) Disclosures made to employees within the Agency who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties; and

(2) Disclosures required under the FOIA.

§ 212.23 Request for accounting of record disclosures.

(a) If the Agency denies a request for amendment of such records, the requester shall be informed of the reason for the denial and of the right to appeal the denial to the Appeals Review Panel. Any such appeal must be postmarked within 60 working days of the date of the Agency's denial letter and sent to: Appeals Officer, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services at the address given in § 212.19.

(b) Appellants should submit an administrative appeal of any denial, in whole or in part, of a request for access to the PA at the above address. The Agency will assign a tracking number to the appeal.

(c) The Appeals Review Panel will decide appeals from denials of PA amendment requests within 30 business days, unless the Panel extends that period for good cause shown, from the date when it is received by the Panel.

(d) Appeals Review Panel decisions will be made in writing, and appellants will receive notification of the decision. A reversal will result in reprocessing of the request in accordance with that decision. An affirmance will include a brief statement of the reason for the affirmance and will inform the appellant that the decision of the Panel represents the final decision of the Department and of the right to seek judicial review of the Panel's decision, when applicable.

(e) If the Panel's decision is that a record shall be amended in accordance with the appellant's request, the Chairman shall direct the office responsible for the record to amend the record, advise all previous recipients of the record of the amendment and its substance (if an accounting of previous disclosures has been made), and so advise the individual in writing.

(f) If the Panel's decision is that the amendment request is denied, in addition to the notification required by paragraph (d) of this section, the Chairman shall advise the appellant:

(1) Of the right to file a concise Statement of Disagreement stating the reasons for disagreement with the decision of the Department;

(2) Of the procedures for filing the Statement of Disagreement;

(3) That any Statement of Disagreement that is filed will be made available to anyone to whom the record is subsequently disclosed, together with, at the discretion of the Agency, a brief statement by the Agency summarizing its reasons for refusing to amend the record;

(4) That prior recipients of the disputed record will be provided a copy of any statement of disagreement, to the extent that an accounting of disclosures was maintained.

(g) If the appellant files a Statement of Disagreement under paragraph (f) of this section, the Agency will clearly annotate the record so that the fact that the record is disputed is apparent to anyone who may subsequently access the record. When the disputed record is subsequently disclosed, the Agency will note the dispute and provide a copy of the Statement of Disagreement. The Agency may also include a brief summary of the reasons for not amending the record. Copies of the Agency's statement shall be treated as part of the individual's record for granting access; however, it will not be subject to amendment by an individual under this part.

§ 212.24 Specific exemptions.

(a) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k), the Director or the Administrator may, where there is a compelling reason to do so, exempt a system of records, from any of the provisions of subsections (c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I); and (f) of the Act if a system of records is:

(1) Subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1); (2) Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than material within the scope of subsection (j)(2) of the Act: Provided, however, That if any individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit to which he or she would otherwise be eligible, as a result of the maintenance of such material, such material shall be provided to such individual, except to the extent that the disclosure of such 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, or prior to the effective date of this section, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence;

(2) Maintained in connection with providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056;

(3) Required by statute to be maintained and used solely as statistical records;

(4) Investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such 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, or, prior to the effective date of this section, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence;

(5) Testing or examination material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service, the disclosure of which would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process; or

(6) Evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such 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, or, prior to the effective date of this section, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

(b) Each notice of a system of records that is the subject of an exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) will include a statement that the system has been exempted, the reasons therefore, and a reference to the Federal Register, volume and page, where the exemption rule can be found.

(c) The systems of records to be exempted under section (k) of the Act, the provisions of the Act from which they are being exempted, and the justification for the exemptions, are set forth below:

(1) Criminal Law Enforcement Records. If the 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) exemption claimed under paragraph (c) of 22 CFR 215.13 and on the notice of systems of records to be published in the Federal Register on this same date is held to be invalid, then this system is determined to be exempt, under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(k)(1) and (2) of the Act, from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4); (G); (H); (I); and (f). The reasons for asserting the exemptions are to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of the national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect their identities and the confidentiality of information and to avoid endangering these sources and law enforcement personnel.

(2) Personnel Security and Suitability Investigatory Records. This system is exempt under U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(5) from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4); (G); (H); (I); and (f). These exemptions are claimed to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information, to avoid endangering those sources and, ultimately, to facilitate proper selection or continuance of the best applicants or persons for a given position or contract. Special note is made of the limitation on the extent to which this exemption may be asserted.

(3) Litigation Records. This system is exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552(k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(5) from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4) (G), (H), (I); and (f). These exemptions are claimed to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information.

(4) Employee Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Investigatory Records. This system is exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1) and (k)(2) from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4)(G), (H), (I); and (f). These exemptions are claimed to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information, to avoid endangering these sources.

(5) The following systems of records are exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) from the provision of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4)(G), (H), (I); and (f):

(i) Employee Conduct and Discipline Records.

(ii) Employee Relations Records.

Note to paragraph (c)(5):

This exemption is claimed for these systems of records to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information, to avoid endangering these sources and, ultimately, to facilitate proper selection or continuance of the best applicants or persons for a given position or contract. Special note is made of the limitation on the extent to which this exemption may be asserted. The existence and general character of the information exempted will be made known to the individual to whom it pertains.

(6) Partner Vetting System. This system is exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(5) from the provision of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4)(G), (H), (I); and (f). These exemptions are claimed to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information, to avoid endangering these sources, and to facilitate proper selection or continuance of the best applicants or persons for a given position or contract.

Dated: December 12, 2016. Alecia Sillah, Chief, Information and Records Division (acting), FOIA Public Liaison/Agency Records Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development.
[FR Doc. 2016-30413 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-1039] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sloop Channel, Nassau, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Wantagh Parkway Bridge, mile 15.4 and the Meadowbrook State Parkway Bridge, mile 12.8, both across Sloop Channel, at Nassau, New York. This temporary deviation is necessary to facilitate public safety during a public event, the Jones Beach State Park U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Air Show. This deviation allows the bridges to remain in the closed position during the public event.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 4 p.m. on May 27, 2017 to 7 p.m. on May 28, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-1039] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation requested and the bridge owner for both bridges, the State of New York Department of Transportation, concurred with this temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate public safety at the Jones Beach State Park U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Air Show.

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

The Meadowbrook State Parkway Bridge, mile 12.8, across Sloop Channel has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 22 feet at mean high water and 25 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.799(h).

Sloop Channel is transited by commercial fishing and recreational vessel traffic.

Under this temporary deviation, the Wantagh Parkway and the Meadowbrook State Parkway Bridges may remain in the closed position between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on May 27, 2017 and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on May 28, 2017.

Vessels able to pass under the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridges will not be able to open for emergencies and there are no immediate alternate routes for vessels to pass.

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

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

Dated: December 19, 2016. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-30866 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-1063] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Reynolds Channel, Nassau County, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Long Beach Bridge, mile 4.7, across Reynolds Channel, at Nassau County, New York. This temporary deviation is necessary to temporarily increase staffing flexibility. This deviation allows the bridge to be opened with a four-hour advanced notice during the hours of 5 p.m. on December 23, 2016, to 7 a.m. on December 26, 2016 and from 5 p.m. on December 30, 2016, to 7 a.m. on January 2, 2017.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 5 p.m. on December 23, 2016 to 7 a.m. on January 2, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-1063] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Long Beach Bridge, mile 4.7, across Reynolds Channel has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 22 feet at mean high water and 24 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.799(g).

Reynolds Channel is transited by commercial and recreational traffic.

The bridge owner, Nassau County Department of Public Works, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to increase staffing flexibility during this period. Historical data shows the bridge has not received a request to open during these dates and times in the last three years.

Under this temporary deviation, the Long Beach Bridge shall open on signal from 5 p.m. on December 23, 2016, to 7 a.m. on December 26, 2016 and from 5 p.m. on December 30, 2016, to 7 a.m. on January 2, 2017, if at least four-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

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

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

This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35. 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.

Dated: December 19, 2016. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-30864 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-1038] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Harlem River, New York, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the 125 Street (Triborough) Bridge across the Harlem River, mile 1.3, at New York, New York. This deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to facilitate rehabilitation of the mechanical and electrical components of the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed position for the duration of the rehabilitation project.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from January 17, 2017 through May 15, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-1038] 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 Joe M. Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4336, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The 125 Street (Triborough) Bridge, mile 1.3, across the Harlem River, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 54 feet at mean high water and 59 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.789(b)(1).

The waterway is transited by commercial tugs, barges and recreational vessels. There have been no requests for bridge openings in the last two years.

The bridge owner, Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA), requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate rehabilitation of the mechanical and electrical components of the bridge.

Under this temporary deviation, the 125 Street Bridge may remain in the closed position from January 17, 2017 through May 15, 2017.

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 for emergencies and there is an alternate route for vessels to pass.

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 operations can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation. The Coast Guard notified known companies of the commercial vessels, NYPD, and FDNY in the area and they have no objections to 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 15, 2016. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-30858 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0322; FRL-9955-16-Region 9] Approval and Limited Approval and Limited Disapproval of California State Implementation Plan Revisions; Butte County Air Quality Management District; Stationary Source Permits AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing action on three permitting rules submitted as a revision to the Butte County Air Quality Management District (BCAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). We are finalizing a limited approval and limited disapproval of one rule; we are finalizing approval of two permitting rules; and we are deleting ten rules from the SIP. These revisions concern the District's New Source Review (NSR) permitting program for new and modified sources of air pollution. This limited disapproval will trigger sanctions under CAA section 179 and 40 CFR 52.31 unless the EPA approves subsequent SIP revisions that correct the rule deficiencies within 18 months of the effective date of the final action.

DATES:

This rule will be effective on January 23, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket No. EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0322. 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., 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 form. Publicly available docket materials are available through http://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thien Khoi Nguyen, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4120, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

Table of Contents I. Proposed Action II. EPA Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action

On August 19, 2016 (81 FR 55402), the EPA proposed a limited approval and limited disapproval (LA/LD) or a full approval (as noted in the table) of the following rules that were submitted for incorporation into the Butte County portion of the California SIP.

Table 1—Submitted NSR Rules Rule No. Rule title Adopted Submitted Proposed action 400 Permit Requirements 04/24/14 11/06/14 Full Approval. 401 Permit Exemptions 04/24/14 11/06/14 Full Approval. 432 Federal New Source Review 04/24/14 11/06/14 LA/LD.

We proposed a full approval of Rules 400 and 401 as part of BCAQMD's general NSR permitting program because we determined that these rules meet the relevant CAA requirements. We proposed a limited approval of Rule 432 because we determined that the rule improves the SIP and is largely consistent with the relevant CAA requirements. We simultaneously proposed a limited disapproval of Rule 432 because we determined that the rule does not fully satisfy CAA section 189(e) requirements for regulation of PM2.5 precursors. The rule does not specify ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor and the demonstration provided by Butte County as part of its NSR program submittal is not adequate to allow the Administrator to determine whether potential new major sources and major modifications of ammonia emissions will or will not contribute significantly to PM2.5 levels that exceed the standard in the area. We also proposed to remove ten existing rules from the SIP, as the submitted rules replaced the content of these pre-existing rules in the SIP.

The EPA also proposed to find that it is acceptable for BCAQMD to not incorporate the NSR Reform provisions of 40 CFR 51.165 into its NSR permit program because BCAQMD's permitting program will not be any less stringent than the federal permitting program. In addition, the EPA proposed to find that Rules 400, 401 and 432 meet the statutory requirements for SIP revisions as specified in sections 110(l) and 193 of the CAA.

II. EPA Action

No comments were submitted. Therefore, as authorized in sections 110(k)(3) and 301(a) of the Act, the EPA is finalizing approval of Rule 400 and Rule 401, and finalizing a limited approval and limited disapproval of Rule 432 into the BCAQMD portion of the California SIP. This action will incorporate the submitted rules into the SIP, including those provisions identified as deficient. The approval of Rule 432 is limited because the EPA is simultaneously finalizing a limited disapproval of Rule 432 under section 110(k)(3). This limited disapproval will trigger sanctions under CAA section 179 and 40 CFR 52.31 unless the EPA approves subsequent SIP revisions that correct the rule deficiencies within 18 months of the effective date of the final action.

Note that Rule 432 has been adopted by the BCAQMD, and the EPA's final limited disapproval will not prevent the local agency from enforcing it. The limited disapproval also will not prevent any portion of the rule from being incorporated by reference into the federally enforceable SIP as discussed in a July 9, 1992 EPA memo found at: http://www.epa.gov/nsr/ttnnsr01/gen/pdf/memo-s.pdf.

In addition, because we are finalizing our proposed action, we are removing existing Rules 4-4, 401, 402, 403, 405, 406, 407, 420, 421 and 424 from the Butte County portion of the California SIP.

III. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the BCAQMD rules described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX (Air-3), 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

IV. 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 an information collection burden under the PRA because this action does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law.

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 beyond those imposed by state law.

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 does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, will result from this action.

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: Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175, because 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, and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions 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)

Section 12(d) of the NTTAA directs the EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. The EPA believes that this action is not subject to the requirements of section 12(d) of the NTTAA because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA.

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

The EPA lacks the discretionary authority to address environmental justice in this rulemaking.

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

L. Petitions for Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 21, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule 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, New Source Review, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Dated: October 31, 2016. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

Part 52, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 52 [AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (b)(15), (c)(168)(i)(A)(8) and (9), (c)(222)(i)(E)(2), and (c)(457)(i)(C)(2), (3) and (4) to read as follows:
§ 52.220 Identification of plan—in part.

(b) * * *

(15) Butte County Air Quality Management District.

(i) Previously approved on May 31, 1972 in paragraph (b) of this section and now deleted with replacement paragraphs (c)(457)(i)(C)(2) and (3), respectively: Rule 405 “Permit Conditions” and Rule 04-04 “Exemptions from Permit Requirements.”

(c) * * *

(168) * * *

(i) * * *

(A) * * *

(8) Previously approved on February 3, 1987 in paragraph (c)(168)(i)(A)(1) of this section and now deleted with replacement in paragraph (c)(457)(i)(C)(2): Rule 401 “General Requirements,” Rule 402 “Authority to Construct,” Rule 406 “Emission Calculations,” Rule 407 “Anniversary Date,” Rule 420 “Standards for Granting Applications,” and Rule 421 “Conditional Approval”.

(9) Previously approved on May 2, 2001 in paragraph (c)(168)(i)(A)(4) of this section and now deleted with replacement in paragraph (c)(457)(i)(C)(2): Rule 424 “State Implementation Plan.”

(222) * * *

(i) * * *

(E) * * *

(2) Previously approved on May 2, 2001 in paragraph (c)(222)(i)(E)(1) of this section and now deleted with replacement in paragraph (c)(457)(i)(C)(2): Rule 403 “Permit to Operate.”

(457) * * *

(i) * * *

(C) * * *

(2) Rule 400, “Permit Requirements,” amended on April 24, 2014.

(3) Rule 401, “Permit Exemptions,” amended on April 24, 2014.

(4) Rule 432, “Federal New Source Review,” amended on April 24, 2014.

[FR Doc. 2016-30644 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0421; FRL-9957-09-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Mississippi; Interstate Transport (Prongs 1 and 2) for the 2010 1-Hour NO2 Standard AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a revision to the Mississippi State Implementation Plan (SIP), submitted by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, on May 23, 2016, addressing the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) interstate transport (prongs 1 and 2) infrastructure SIP requirements for the 2010 1-hour Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP.” Specifically, EPA is approving Mississippi's May 23, 2016, SIP submission addressing prongs 1 and 2, to ensure that air emissions in the State do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS in any other state.

DATES:

This rule is effective January 23, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for these actions under Docket Identification No EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0421. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., 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 www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nacosta C. Ward of the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Ward can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-9140 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

By statute, SIPs meeting the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA are to be submitted by states within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the new or revised NAAQS. EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) require states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements, and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the newly established or revised NAAQS. More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for infrastructure SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for the infrastructure SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. The contents of an infrastructure SIP submission may vary depending upon the data and analytical tools available to the state, as well as the provisions already contained in the state's implementation plan at the time in which the state develops and submits the submission for a new or revised NAAQS.

Section 110(a)(2)(D) has two components: 110(a)(2)(D)(i) and 110(a)(2)(D)(ii). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) includes four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (prong 1) and from interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (prong 2). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (prong 3) and from interfering with measures to protect visibility in another state (prong 4). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement.

Through this action, EPA is approving Mississippi's May 23, 2016, SIP submission addressing prong 1 and prong 2 requirements for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. All other applicable infrastructure SIP requirements for Mississippi for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS have been addressed in separate rulemakings. See 80 FR 14019 (March 18, 2015), 81 FR 32707 (May 24, 2016), and 81 FR 33139 (May 25, 2016).

In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on September 28, 2016 (81 FR 66591), EPA proposed to approve Mississippi's May 23, 2016, SIP revision addressing the interstate transport requirements for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. The NPRM provides additional detail regarding the rationale for EPA's actions, including further discussion of the requirements for prongs 1 and 2. Comments on the proposed rulemaking were due on or before October 28, 2016. EPA received no adverse comments on the proposed action.

II. Final Action

As described previously, EPA is approving approve Mississippi's May 23, 2016, SIP submission addressing prongs 1 and 2 of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

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. See 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 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).

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 rules do not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will they impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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 these actions 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. These actions are 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 these actions must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 21, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of these actions 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. These actions 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, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: December 6, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

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 Z—Mississippi 2. Section 52.1270(e) is amended by adding a new entry “Good Neighbor Provisions (Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS” at the end of the table to read as follows:
§ 52.1270 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

EPA Approved Mississippi Non-Regulatory Provisions Name of non-regulatory SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submittal date/effective date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Good Neighbor Provisions (Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS Mississippi 5/23/2016 12/22/16, [Insert Federal Register citation]
[FR Doc. 2016-30641 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0236; FRL-9954-47] Bifenthrin; Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency Exemptions AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation establishes time-limited tolerances for residues of bifenthrin in or on avocado and pomegranate. This action is in response to EPA's granting of an emergency exemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) authorizing use of the pesticide on avocado and pomegranate.

This regulation establishes a maximum permissible level for residues of bifenthrin in or on these commodities. The time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2019.

DATES:

This regulation is effective December 22, 2016. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before February 21, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0236, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. 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 OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael L. Goodis, 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).

B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl. To access the OCSPP test guidelines referenced in this document electronically, please go to http://www.epa.gov/ocspp and select “Test Methods and Guidelines.”

C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

Under section 408(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0236 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before February 21, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0236, 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 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.

II. Background and Statutory Findings

EPA, on its own initiative, in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6) of, 21 U.S.C. 346a(e) and 346a(1)(6), is establishing time-limited tolerances for residues of bifenthrin, (2-methyl[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-yl)methyl-3-(2-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoro-1-propenyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-carboxylate), in or on avocado at 0.50 parts per million (ppm) and pomegranate at 0.50 ppm. These time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2019.

Section 408(l)(6) of FFDCA requires EPA to establish a time-limited tolerance or exemption from the requirement for a tolerance for pesticide chemical residues in food that will result from the use of a pesticide under an emergency exemption granted by EPA under FIFRA section 18. Such tolerances can be established without providing notice or period for public comment. EPA does not intend for its actions on FIFRA section 18 related time-limited tolerances to set binding precedents for the application of FFDCA section 408 and the safety standard to other tolerances and exemptions. Section 408(e) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance or an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance on its own initiative, i.e., without having received any petition from an outside party.

Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”

Section 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to exempt any Federal or State agency from any provision of FIFRA, if EPA determines that “emergency conditions exist which require such exemption.” EPA has established regulations governing such emergency exemptions in 40 CFR part 166.

III. Emergency Exemption for Bifenthrin on Avocado and Pomegranate and FFDCA Tolerances

The California Department of Pesticide Regulations (CDPR) requested an emergency exemption for the use of bifenthrin on avocados to control the polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), Euwallacea sp. near fornicatus. PSHB is a non-native ambrosia beetle that is only known to exist in Israel and now California, where it is a pest for avocados and numerous ornamental species. According to CDPR, substantial economic damage is occurring and 50% of baseline net operating revenue has been documented due to the inadequate efficacy and short residual activity of registered alternatives.

CDPR also requested an emergency exemption for the use of bifenthrin on pomegranate to control leaffooted plant bug (LFPB), Leptoglossus clypealis, L. occidentalis, and L. zonatus. LFPBs are highly damaging pests for pomegranates. According to CDPR, substantial economic damage is occurring and 32% gross revenue loss is expected due to registered alternatives short residual activity and ineffective control of adult LFPB.

After having reviewed the submission, EPA determined that an emergency condition exists in California, and that the criteria for approval of an emergency exemption are met. EPA has authorized a specific exemption under FIFRA section 18 for the use of bifenthrin on avocado for control of polyphagous shot hole borer in California. Additionally, EPA has authorized crisis and specific exemptions under FIFRA section 18 for the use of bifenthrin on pomegranate to control leaffooted plant bug in California.

As part of its evaluation of the emergency exemption applications, EPA assessed the potential risks presented by residues of bifenthrin in or on avocados and pomegranates. In doing so, EPA considered the safety standard in FFDCA section 408(b)(2), and EPA decided that the necessary tolerances under FFDCA section 408(l)(6) would be consistent with the safety standard and with FIFRA section 18. Consistent with the need to move quickly on the emergency exemption in order to address an urgent, non-routine situation and to ensure that the resulting food is safe and lawful, EPA is issuing these tolerances without notice and opportunity for public comment as provided in FFDCA section 408(l)(6). Although these time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2019, under FFDCA section 408(l)(5), residues of the pesticide not in excess of the amounts specified in the tolerance remaining in or on avocados and pomegranate after that date will not be unlawful, provided the pesticide was applied in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA, and the residues do not exceed a level that was authorized by these time-limited tolerances at the time of that application. EPA will take action to revoke these time-limited tolerances earlier if any experience with, scientific data on, or other relevant information on this pesticide indicate that the residues are not safe.

Because these time-limited tolerances are being approved under emergency conditions, EPA has not made any decisions about whether bifenthrin meets FIFRA's registration requirements for use on avocados and pomegranate or whether permanent tolerances for these uses would be appropriate. Under these circumstances, EPA does not believe that this time-limited tolerance decision serves as a basis for registration of bifenthrin by a State for special local needs under FIFRA section 24(c), nor do these tolerances by themselves serve as the authority for persons in any State other than California to use this pesticide on the applicable crops under FIFRA section 18, absent the issuance of an emergency exemption applicable within that State. For additional information regarding the emergency exemption for bifenthrin, contact the Agency's Registration Division at the address provided under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

IV. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”

Consistent with the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of, and to make a determination on, aggregate exposures expected as a result of these emergency exemption requests and the time-limited tolerances for residues of bifenthrin on avocado at 0.50 ppm and pomegranate at 0.50 ppm. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with establishing time-limited tolerances follows.

A. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/riskassess.htm.

A summary of the toxicological endpoints for bifenthrin used for human risk assessment is discussed in Table 1 of the final rule published in the Federal Register of September 14, 2012, 77 FR 56782 (FRL-9361-6).

B. Exposure Assessment

1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to bifenthrin, EPA considered exposure under the time-limited tolerances established by this action as well as all existing bifenthrin tolerances in 40 CFR 180.442. EPA assessed dietary exposures from bifenthrin in food as follows:

i. Acute exposure. Acute effects were identified for bifenthrin. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA and the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model-Food Consumption Intake Database (DEEM-FCID, version 3.16). As to residue levels in food, EPA developed anticipated residues (ARs) based on the latest USDA Pesticide Data Program (PDP) monitoring data 1998-2010, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data, and field trial data (FTD) for bifenthrin. The assessment also made use of percent crop treated (PCT) data where available.

ii. Chronic exposure. EPA determined that there is no increase in hazard from repeat exposures to bifenthrin. Therefore, the acute dietary exposure assessment is protective for chronic dietary exposures because acute exposure levels are higher than chronic exposure levels. Accordingly, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing chronic dietary risk was not conducted.

iii. Cancer. EPA determines whether quantitative cancer exposure and risk assessments are appropriate for a food-use pesticide based on the weight of the evidence from cancer studies and other relevant data. Cancer risk is quantified using a linear or nonlinear approach. If sufficient information on the carcinogenic mode of action is available, a threshold or nonlinear approach is used and a cancer RfD is calculated based on an earlier noncancer key event. If carcinogenic mode of action data are not available, or if the mode of action data determines a mutagenic mode of action, a default linear cancer slope factor approach is utilized. Based on the data summarized in Unit IV.A., EPA has concluded that a nonlinear RfD approach is appropriate for assessing cancer risk to bifenthrin. Cancer risk was assessed using the same exposure estimates as discussed in Unit IV.B.1.ii., chronic exposure.

iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. Section 408(b)(2)(E) of FFDCA authorizes EPA to use available data and information on the anticipated residue levels of pesticide residues in food and the actual levels of pesticide residues that have been measured in food. If EPA relies on such information, EPA must require pursuant to FFDCA section 408(f)(1) that data be provided 5 years after the tolerance is established, modified, or left in effect, demonstrating that the levels in food are not above the levels anticipated. For the present action, EPA will issue such data call-ins as are required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(E) and authorized under FFDCA section 408(f)(1). Data will be required to be submitted no later than 5 years from the date of issuance of these tolerances.

Section 408(b)(2)(F) of FFDCA states that the Agency may use data on the actual percent of food treated for assessing chronic dietary risk only if:

• Condition a: The data used are reliable and provide a valid basis to show what percentage of the food derived from such crop is likely to contain the pesticide residue.

• Condition b: The exposure estimate does not underestimate exposure for any significant subpopulation group.

• Condition c: Data are available on pesticide use and food consumption in a particular area, the exposure estimate does not understate exposure for the population in such area.

In addition, the Agency must provide for periodic evaluation of any estimates used. To provide for the periodic evaluation of the estimate of PCT as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(F), EPA may require registrants to submit data on PCT.

The Agency estimated the PCT for existing uses as follows:

Alfalfa, 1%; apple, 10%; almond, 25%; artichoke, 30%; beans, green, 50%; broccoli, 6%; cabbage, 30%; caneberries, 45%; canola/rapeseed, 3%; cantaloupe, 60%; carrots 10%; cauliflower, 10%; celery, 1%; corn, 5%; cotton, 10%; cucumbers, 15%; dry beans and peas, 1%; grape, table, 1%; grape, wine, 5%; honeydew, 75%; hazelnut (filberts), 5%; lettuce, 15%; onion, 1%; lima bean, 35%; nectarine, 3%; peanut, 5%; pea, green, 25%; peach, 7%; pear, 1%; pecan, 5%; pepper, 20%; pistachio, 40%; potato, 5%; pumpkin, 40%; sorghum, 1%; soybean, 5%; squash, 20%; strawberry, 55%; sweet corn, 50%; tomato, 20%; walnut, 25%; watermelon, 15%; wheat, spring, 1%; and wheat, winter, 1%.

In most cases, EPA uses available data from United States Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS), proprietary market surveys, and the National Pesticide Use Database for the chemical/crop combination for the most recent 6-7 years. EPA uses an average PCT for chronic dietary risk analysis. The average PCT figure for each existing use is derived by combining available public and private market survey data for that use and averaging across all observations. EPA uses a maximum PCT for acute dietary risk analysis. The maximum PCT figure is the highest observed maximum value reported within the recent 6 years of available public and private market survey data for the existing use and rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5%.

The Agency assumed 100% PCT for avocado and pomegranate uses.

The Agency believes that the three conditions discussed in Unit IV.B1.iv. have been met. With respect to Condition a, PCT estimates are derived from Federal and private market survey data, which are reliable and have a valid basis. As to Conditions b and c, regional consumption information and consumption information for significant subpopulations is taken into account through EPA's computer-based model for evaluating the exposure of significant subpopulations including several regional groups. Use of this consumption information in EPA's risk assessment process ensures that EPA's exposure estimate does not understate exposure for any significant subpopulation group and allows the Agency to be reasonably certain that no regional population is exposed to residue levels higher than those estimated by the Agency. Other than the data available through national food consumption surveys, EPA does not have available reliable information on the regional consumption of food to which bifenthrin may be applied in a particular area.

The previous dietary exposure assessment for use avocado relied on PCT estimates generated in 2011; however, recently updated bifenthrin PCT information (Screening Level Estimates of Agricultural Uses of Bifenthrin from 2005-2014; Updated Screening Level Usage Analysis (SLUA) report for Bifenthrin (03/24/2016)) have become available for consideration. When comparing the PCT estimates used previously with those that were updated in 2016, some individual PCT estimates increased, and some decreased. For most foods (e.g.,apples, green beans, grapes, peaches) which are typically risk drivers for the infants and children's populations who have highest estimated risks, the PCT data used in the previous assessment have not increased significantly or at all. Crops with significant increases (> 15% CT) are generally not those which are typically risk drivers (e.g., artichokes, cabbage, canola). A significant children's food for which PCT increased significantly (25% to 50%CT) is green peas; however, since bifenthrin residues in peas are non-detectable in PDP monitoring data, a significant increase in estimated risks is not expected. Similarly, for other crops with smaller increases in PCT (almonds, sweet corn, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts) detectable residues are not found; therefore, significant increases in dietary risk are not expected. While there are increases in PCT for some crops which are expected to lead to increased risk estimates (cucurbits, Cole crops, tomatoes, and some berries), the increased risk is expected to be small. Considering all of these factors, the updated PCT estimates are not expected to affect the results of the 2011 bifenthrin acute dietary risk assessment enough to warrant revising that assessment for this time limited tolerance decision. Even with the emergency use of bifenthrin on pomegranates, and the new PCT estimates, EPA remains confident that bifenthrin exposures are below the aPADs for all population subgroups.

2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for bifenthrin in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of bifenthrin. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

Based on the First Index Reservoir Screening Tool (FIRST), Pesticide Root Zone Model/Exposure Analysis Modeling System (PRZM/EXAMS) and Screening Concentration in Ground Water (SCI-GROW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of bifenthrin for acute exposures are estimated to be 0.0140 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 0.0030 ppb for ground water.

Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 0.0140 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets). Residential exposure is not anticipated from the use of bifenthrin on avocados and pomegranates because the emergency uses are restricted for use only by certified applicators and applicators under their direct supervision.

However, bifenthrin is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: in indoor residential/household premises in the form of crack and crevice sprays, surface-directed application to indoor surfaces (bed bug treatment), as a paint additive, dust, automobiles/recreational vehicles and termite treatments. Outdoor residential uses of bifenthrin include broadcast and spot treatments including the following: Residential lawns and turf; golf course turf and outdoor premises (fencerows/hedgerows, paths/patios) by means of liquid spray and granular products; and ornamental (turf, shrubs, vines, trees, ground cover). EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: The Agency combines risk values resulting from separate routes of exposure when it is likely they can occur simultaneously based on the use pattern and the behavior associated with the exposed population, and if the hazard associated with the points of departure is similar across routes. A common toxicological endpoint, neurotoxicity, exists for dermal, incidental oral, and inhalation routes of exposure to bifenthrin. Therefore, these were combined for all residential exposure scenarios assessed. Of the proposed and established uses with potential residential handler and post-application exposure, the following high-end risk estimates were selected for use in the bifenthrin short-term aggregate assessment: Combined dermal and inhalation exposures to adults from the outdoor ornamental use and combined dermal and incidental oral exposures to children from contact with treated turf. Residential handler and post-application exposure scenarios are generally not combined. Although the potential exists for the same individual (i.e., adult) to apply a pesticide around the home and be exposed by re-entering a treated area in the same day, this is an unlikely exposure scenario. Combining these exposure scenarios would also be inappropriate because of the conservative nature of each individual assessment.

EPA did not assess intermediate-term and chronic residential exposures because bifenthrin is acutely toxic and does not increase in potency with repeated dosing. Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science/trac6a05.pdf.

4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and” other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

The Agency is required to consider the cumulative risks of chemicals sharing a common mechanism of toxicity. The Agency has determined that the pyrethroids and pyrethrins, including bifenthrin, share a common mechanism of toxicity. The members of this group share the ability to interact with voltage-gated sodium channels, ultimately leading to neurotoxicity. The cumulative risk assessment for the pyrethroids/pyrethrins was published on Nov. 9, 2011, and is available at http://www.regulations.gov in the public docket, EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0746. Further information about the determination that pyrethroids and pyrethrins share a common mechanism of toxicity may be found in document ID: EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0489-0006.

The Agency has conducted a quantitative analysis of the increased risk potential resulting from the section 18 use of bifenthrin on avocados and pomegranates; this analysis is summarized in the documents: “Human Health Risk Assessment to Support Section 18 Specific Emergency Exemption Use on Avocado” and “Bifenthrin. Section 18 Request for Use on Pomegranate in California” in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0236. Since dietary exposures are a minor component of the overall pyrethroid cumulative risk, the uses on avocados and pomegranates will not contribute significantly or change the overall findings presented in the pyrethroid cumulative risk assessment. For information regarding EPA's efforts to evaluate the risk of exposure to pyrethroids, refer to https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/pyrethrins-and-pyrethroids#reg review.

C. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor (FQPA SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional SF when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. The bifenthrin toxicity database includes developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits, a 2-generation reproduction study in rats, and a developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) study in rats. Bifenthrin is neither a developmental nor a reproductive toxicant. In the developmental toxicity studies in rat and rabbit, no developmental effects of biological significance were noted in either species in the presence of maternal toxicity. In a 2-generation reproduction study in the rat, tremors were noted only in females of both generations with one parental generation rat observed to have clonic convulsions. There are several in vitro and in vivo studies that indicate pharmacodynamic contributions to pyrethroid toxicity are not age-dependent. A study of the toxicity database for pyrethroid chemicals also noted no residual uncertainties regarding age-related sensitivities for the young, based on the absence of prenatal sensitivity observed in 76 guideline studies for 24 pyrethroids and the scientific literature. However, high-dose studies at Lethal Dose (LD)50 doses noted that younger animals were more susceptible to the toxicity of pyrethroids. These age-related differences in toxicity are principally due to age-dependent pharmacokinetics; the activity of enzymes associated with the metabolism of pyrethroids increases with age. Nonetheless, the typical environmental exposures to pyrethroids are not expected to overwhelm the clearance capacity in juveniles. In support, at a dose of 4.0 mg/kg deltamethrin (near the Wolansky study LOAEL value of 3.0 mg/kg for deltamethrin), the change in the acoustic startle response was similar between adult and young rats.

3. Conclusion. The Agency is reducing the FQPA SF to 1X for adults, including women of child-bearing age, and children greater than 6 years of age, resulting in a total uncertainty factor of 100 (10x interspecies, 10x intraspecies, 1x FQPA). However, the Agency is retaining a 3X FQPA SF for children from birth to 6 years of age resulting in a total uncertainty factor of 300 (10x interspecies, 10x intraspecies, 3x FQPA).

EPA has determined that reliable data show that the safety of infants and children less than or equal to 6 years old would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were retained to 3X. That decision is based on the following findings:

i. The toxicity database for bifenthrin is complete.

ii. Like other pyrethroids, bifenthrin causes clinical signs of neurotoxicity from interaction with sodium channels. These effects are adequately assessed by the available guideline and non-guideline studies. Bifenthrin is a Type I pyrethroid, and neurotoxic effects characteristic of Type I pyrethroids were observed in adults in most of the bifenthrin toxicity database. Specifically, muscle tremors and decreased motor activity were observed in adults in guideline studies throughout the bifenthrin toxicology database, and hind-limb flexion was observed in adults the dermal study. For these reasons, the tremors seen in juveniles in the 2-generation reproduction study are not considered age-dependent effects.

iii. There is no evidence that bifenthrin results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study. This is consistent with the results of the guideline pre- and post-natal testing for other pyrethroid pesticides. There are, however, high dose LD50 studies (studies assessing what dose results in lethality to 50 percent of the tested population) in the scientific literature indicating that pyrethroids can result in increased quantitative sensitivity in the young. Examination of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data indicates that the sensitivity observed at high doses is related to pyrethroid age-dependent pharmacokinetics—the activity of enzymes associated with the metabolism of pyrethroids. Predictive pharmacokinetic models indicate that the differential adult-juvenile pharmacokinetics will result in otherwise equivalent administered doses for adults and juveniles producing a 3X greater dose at the target organ in juveniles compared to adults. No evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility was seen in the pyrethroid scientific literature related to pharmacodynamics (the effect of pyrethroids at the target tissue) both with regard to inter-species differences between rats and humans and to differences between juveniles and adults. Specifically, there are in vitro pharmacodynamic data and in vivo data indicating similar responses between adult and juvenile rats at low doses and data indicating that the rat is a conservative model compared to the human based on species-specific pharmacodynamics of homologous sodium channel isoforms in rats and humans.

In light of the high dose literature studies showing juvenile sensitivity to pyrethroids and the absence of any additional data indicating a lack of elevated sensitivity to juveniles relative to adults, EPA is retaining a 3X additional safety factor as estimated by pharmacokinetic modeling. For several reasons, EPA concludes there are reliable data showing that a 3X factor is protective of the safety of infants and children. First, the high doses that produced juvenile sensitivity in the literature studies are well above normal dietary or residential exposure levels of pyrethroids to juveniles and these lower levels of exposure are not expected to overwhelm the ability metabolize pyrethroids as occurred with the high doses used in the literature studies. This is confirmed by the lack of a finding of increased sensitivity in pre- and post-natal guideline studies in any pyrethroid, including bifenthrin, despite the relatively high doses used in those studies. Second, the portions of both the inter- and intraspecies uncertainty factors that account for potential pharmacodynamic differences (generally considered to be approximately 3X for each factor) are likely to overstate the risk of inter- and intraspecies pharmacodynamic differences given the data showing similarities in pharmacodynamics between juveniles and adults and between humans and rats. Finally, as indicated, pharmacokinetic modeling only predicts a 3X difference between juveniles and adults.

iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases with regard to dietary (food and drinking water), and residential exposures. Although the acute dietary exposure estimates are refined, the exposure estimates will not underestimate risk for the established and proposed uses of bifenthrin since the residue levels used are based on either monitoring data reflecting actual residues found in the food supply, or on high-end residues from field trials which reflect the use patterns which would result in highest residues in foods. Furthermore, processing factors used were either those measured in processing studies, or default high-end factors representing the maximum concentration of residue into a processed commodity. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to bifenthrin in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by bifenthrin.

D. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to bifenthrin will occupy 7% of the aPAD for the general U.S. population and 54% of the aPAD for infants <1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

2. Chronic risk. Based on the data summarized in Unit IV.B.ii., there is no increase in hazard with increasing dosing duration. Furthermore, chronic dietary exposures will be lower than acute exposures. Therefore, the acute aggregate assessment is protective of potential chronic aggregate exposures.

3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Bifenthrin is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to bifenthrin.

Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 250 for adults and 340 for children 1 < 2 years old, the most highly exposed population. Because EPA's level of concern (LOC) for bifenthrin is a MOE of 100 or less for adults and 300 for children 1<2, these MOEs are not of concern.

4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term non-dietary, non-occupational exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Because no intermediate-term adverse effect was identified, bifenthrin is not expected to pose an intermediate-term risk. An intermediate-term and/or chronic aggregate risk assessment was not conducted because bifenthrin is acutely toxic and there is no increase in hazard with increasing dosing duration. Furthermore, chronic dietary exposures will be lower than acute exposures. Therefore, the acute aggregate assessment is protective of potential chronic aggregate exposures.

5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. The acute aggregate assessment is protective of potential chronic aggregate exposures. For these same reasons, the acute aggregate assessment is also protective of potential cancer risk.

6. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children, from aggregate exposure to bifenthrin residues.

V. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

An adequate enforcement methodology (gas chromatography/electron capture detection) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

B. International Residue Limits

In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

The Codex has not established a MRL for bifenthrin in or on avocado and pomegranate.

VI. Conclusion

Therefore, time-limited tolerances are established for residues of bifenthrin, 2-methyl[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-yl)methyl-3-(2-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoro-1-propenyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-carboxylate), in or on avocado at 0.50 ppm and pomegranate at 0.50 ppm. These tolerances expire on December 31, 2019.

VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

Since tolerances and exemptions that are established in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6), such as the tolerances in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

VIII. Congressional Review Act

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule 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. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: November 10, 2016. Michael Goodis, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs. Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows: PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

2. In § 180.442, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§  180.442 Bifenthrin; tolerances for residues.

(b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. Time-limited tolerances specified in the following table are established for residues of the bifenthrin, (2-methyl[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-yl)methyl-3-(2-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoro-1-propenyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-carboxylate) in or on the specified agricultural commodities, resulting from use of the pesticide pursuant to FIFRA section 18 emergency exemptions. The tolerances expire on the date specified in the table.

Commodity Parts per million Expiration date Apple 0.5 12/31/2018 Avocado 0.50 12/31/2019 Nectarine 0.5 12/31/2018 Peach 0.5 12/31/2018 Pomegranate 0.50 12/31/2019
[FR Doc. 2016-29882 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION 46 CFR Part 502 [Docket No. 16-08] RIN 3072-AC64 Rules of Practice and Procedure; Presentation of Evidence in Commission Proceedings AGENCY:

Federal Maritime Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule

SUMMARY:

The Federal Maritime Commission is reorganizing several subparts of its Rules of Practice and Procedure and revising its rules regarding presentation of evidence in Commission proceedings.

DATES:

Effective January 27, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001. Phone: (202) 523-5725. Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Commission is updating or reorganizing several subparts of 46 CFR part 502, its Rules of Practice and Procedure, and substantively revising the subpart regarding how hearings are conducted to improve guidance concerning the presentation of evidence in Commission proceedings. Certain current rules are also removed to clarify current practice and eliminate duplication.

On May 3, 2016, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking public comment on the proposed amendments. 81 FR 26517. The Commission received one comment in response to the NPRM from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) that addressed proposed § 502.204, revising and renumbering § 502.156. Current § 502.156 states “[u]nless inconsistent with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act and these Rules, the Federal Rules of Evidence . . . will also be applicable.” As explained in the NPRM, the proposed revision is intended to simplify the language in the rule by restating the liberal Administrative Procedure Act (APA) standard for admissibility and also to provide that the presiding officer may continue to look to the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) for guidance.

The Commission adopted the original language in § 502.156 in 1976, shortly after the FRE went into effect. 41 FR 20585, 20588 (May 19, 1976). In the 1975 notice proposing the language the Commission asserted that, as a general matter, the FRE did not appear to be inconsistent with the APA and that the FRE could be of great use to the Commission's administrative law judges (ALJs) in disposing of evidentiary issues that arise in Commission proceedings, so long as they were consistent with the requirements of the APA. 40 FR 43295, 43927 (Sep. 24, 1975). Since promulgation of the section, however, the Commission “has recognized the liberal standards of admissibility of evidence in administrative proceedings and has repeatedly `. . . identified the need for considerable relaxation of the rules of evidence followed by the federal courts in proceedings before the Commission.' ” EuroUSA Shipping, Inc., Tober Group, Inc.—Possible Violations, 31 S.R.R. 540, 547 (FMC 2008) (hereinafter Tober) (quoting Pacific Champion Express Co., Ltd.—Possible Violations, 28 S.R.R. 1102, 1105-06 (ALJ 1999)). Given the divergence between the FRE and APA standards, the current section's attempt to apply both standards simultaneously creates a tension in the regulation and could be confusing to parties. Accordingly, the Commission is now explicitly providing that presiding officers may look to the FRE for guidance when determining the admissibility of evidence. The AAPA notes that current rule § 502.156, states that the FRE “will be applicable” to Commission proceedings “unless inconsistent with” the requirements of the APA whereas the proposed language provides that the presiding officer “may look to the FRE for guidance.” The AAPA inquires whether such a change is intended to loosen the admissibility standard in cases before the Commission, and if so, to what to degree. The new rule does not loosen the admissibility standards, but rather clarifies, based on Commission and judicial precedent, that the standard of admissibility is governed by the APA, not the FRE. While the presiding officer may consider the FRE for guidance, they are neither controlling nor binding. In response to the AAPA's expressed concern that the revised language suggests a change in the presiding officer's discretion, we clarify the final rule by replacing the language “look to the FRE for guidance” with the language “consider the FRE for guidance” as it better reflects the discretion of the presiding officer.

The Commission recently addressed the utility of applying the FRE in proceedings before it in Tober. Pointing to its own precedent, the Commission noted that it has long recognized the liberal standards of admissibility of evidence in administrative proceedings and the need for considerable relaxation of the rules of evidence followed by the federal courts in proceedings before the Commission. Applying those standards to the ALJ's exclusion of certain exhibits on the basis of the FRE, the Commission held that challenged exhibits were admissible under the APA standard and that “to the extent that the Commission's rules and the APA diverge from the FRE, the FRE are not controlling and the Commission is not bound by their requirements.” Id., 549.

The AAPA also states that the proposed rule could impact motions for summary judgment. It noted that in federal court, a party opposing a motion on the grounds that there are material facts in genuine dispute must show that there is admissible evidence on its side of the asserted dispute. The AAPA appears to be concerned that a loosening of the standard may limit the utility of summary judgment motions. The Commission addressed the admissibility of evidence in the context of motions for summary judgment in Tober. Citing the Supreme Court's decision in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986), the Commission stated: “While the nonmoving party is to show facts that present a genuine issue worthy of trial, the nonmoving party at the summary judgment stage is not required to produce evidence in a form that would be admissible at trial.” Id., 31 S.R.R. at 549 (emphasis added). Thus, the Commission made clear that at the summary judgment stage, the nonmoving party only needs to show facts that present a genuine issue worthy of trial. Id. This standard is applied to ensure that doubts are resolved in favor of the nonmoving party. As the Commission noted, it has denied summary judgment even when the nonmovant has not submitted any evidence, as well as when evidence has been deemed to be incomplete. Id., 546. In short, there is no requirement in the federal courts or at the Commission that the party opposing a motion for summary judgment present evidence that would be admissible at trial or hearing. To the extent that the question of admissibility might arise at the summary judgment stage, the proposed rule does not change existing standards but simply continues application of the liberal standard mandated by the APA.

The AAPA also expresses concern that making reliance on the FRE discretionary may create discrepancies in the decisions of Presiding Officers, either because a Presiding Officer may choose to follow the FRE in one case but choose not to follow it in another, or because different Presiding Officers may apply different standards.

The revised rule does not create new or different standards. There is only one standard as provided in the APA, i.e., “all evidence which is relevant, material, reliable and probative, and not unduly repetitious or cumulative, shall be admissible.” 46 CFR 502.156; 5 U.S.C. 556(d). The FRE will continue to be available to the presiding officer as a resource for guidance in determining admissibility of evidence under the APA standard. Any legal inconsistency in decisions on the admissibility of evidence will be subject to review by the Commission under the APA standard as in Tober.

Finally, the AAPA expressed concern that the Presiding Officer may perceive that the revised rule does not accord discretion to exclude evidence considered unreliable. Both the current and revised language are governed however by the same standard set forth in the APA.

The APA standard of admissibility has been the governing standard since this regulation was originally adopted in 1965. Since incorporation into the existing regulation in 1976, the FRE have always been subservient to the liberal APA standard. The revised language in the proposed rule adheres to this standard as required by the APA, while recognizing the usefulness of the FRE for guidance.

In 1986, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) published recommendations regarding the use of the FRE in administrative proceedings. ACUS compared three general categories of agency evidentiary rules. 1986 ACUS 6, 51 FR 25642. The category that is most analogous to current § 502.156 included “rules that require presiding officers to apply the [FRE] `so far as practicable.'” Id. ACUS identified four significant disadvantages with respect to this standard including:

(1) Courts seem confused as to what it means or how to enforce it; (2) instructing presiding officers to exclude evidence based on the standard forces them to undertake a difficult and hazardous task; (3) excluding evidence on the basis that it is inadmissible in a jury trial is totally unnecessary to insure that agencies act only on the basis of reliable evidence; and (4) agencies, like other experts, should be permitted to rely on classes of evidence broader than those that can be considered by lay jurors.

Id. Accordingly, ACUS recommended that “Congress should not require agencies to apply the [FRE], with or without the qualification `so far as practicable,' to limit the discretion of presiding officers to admit evidence in formal adjudications.” Id. ACUS also recognized, however, the disadvantages of relying on the APA standard alone, and the Commission has concluded that the FRE can be useful as a guide for litigants and presiding officers.

Reorganization of Part 502

Part 502 sets out the rules governing procedure in all types of Commission proceedings. However, after years of revisions, some users find the grouping and ordering of the subparts confusing. The Commission will reorder and rename certain subparts to better reflect the chronology of a typical adjudication, and to distinguish other types of proceedings, as enumerated in this table:

Current 46 CFR part 502 New 46 CFR part 502 Revisions Subpart A, General Information Redesignate § 502.141 as § 502.14. Subpart E, Proceedings; Pleadings; Motions; Replies Subpart E, Private Complaints and Commission Investigations Separate subpart E in to subparts E and F, relocate and regroup rules within both subparts. Subpart F, Settlement; Prehearing Procedure Subpart F, Petitions, Exemptions and Orders to Show Cause Separate subpart E in to subparts E and F, relocate and regroup rules within both subparts. Subpart J, Hearings; Presiding Officers; Evidence Subpart L, Presentation of Evidence Revise several sections and relocate all (see Table below). Subpart K, Shortened Procedure Subpart K [Reserved] Remove subpart K in its entirety. Subpart L, Disclosures and Discovery Subpart J, Disclosures and Discovery Relocate and redesignate all rules to subpart J. Subpart M, Briefs; Requests for Findings; Decisions; Exceptions Subpart M; Decisions, Appeals, Exceptions Relocate § 502.153, remove § 502.222 and retitle. Subpart A

In subpart A, several cross references are corrected and current § 502.141 which establishes that the Commission may hold hearings that are not part of an adjudicatory process, is moved to this subpart as general information and retitled.

Subpart D

Cross references are corrected in subpart D.

Subpart E

Subpart E, currently “Proceedings, Pleading, Motions, Replies” is renamed “Private Complaints and Commission Investigations.” Revised subpart E contains the procedures for institution of those proceedings, motions practice, opportunity for settlement, and other related rules. Section 502.61 which opens the subpart is revised by moving and amending a rule on notice of hearings from subpart J. Section 502.91 which deals with informal settlements is being moved to subpart E in order to clarify chronologically when informal settlement is most likely to occur. This change is not intended to limit the applicability of the section which would apply in any proceeding, including the proceedings described in subpart F.

Subpart F

Current subpart F addresses Settlement and Prehearing Procedure. Inasmuch as those subject areas are part of the process in adjudicatory proceedings, they are divided and moved into subpart E and a revised subpart L governing presentation of evidence.

Subpart F is revised to apply to proceedings other than private complaints and Commission investigations, titled: “Petitions, Exemptions, and Orders to Show Cause.” These types of proceedings are generally distinct from complaint and investigation proceedings. With clear headings, the new rules are intended to be easier for the user to locate. Revised subpart F encompasses current §§ 502.73 through 502.77.

Subparts J, and L

The Commission is changing subpart J, “Hearings; Presiding Officers; Evidence”, and subpart L, “Disclosure and Discovery” to more logically and chronologically group the processes conducted in a formal adjudication. Subpart L, Disclosure and Discovery is moved in its entirety to subpart J. Current subpart J, Hearings, is revised to encompass all rules governing the presentation of evidence and presented in revised subpart L titled “Presentation of Evidence.” The revisions to subpart J are discussed more extensively below.

Subpart K

The Commission is removing and reserving subpart K, “Shortened Procedure.” Shortened Procedure regulations provides that, if the respondent consents, after briefing by the parties, the record is closed and a decision may be issued without discovery or an oral hearing. The procedure has rarely been requested, although parts of the procedure have become standard practice (e.g., not requiring an oral hearing). The procedure has not resulted in an ALJ decision in recent history, as the three proceedings utilizing shortened procedure since 1998 have resulted in settlement. The Commission has made several rule revisions in the past five years that have enhanced the efficiency of formal complaint proceedings including the requirement for initial disclosures in discovery, (current § 502.201), and the establishment of default rules in the absence of an answer, § 502.62(b)(6). Shortened procedure rules are not consistent with the requirement for initial disclosures, which help expedite all proceedings. If parties want to further limit discovery, that is possible without the provisions of subpart K. Moreover, the subparts S and T small claims proceedings may offer a solution to litigants seeking faster resolution of their disputes. The rules governing small claims proceedings are designed to make the litigation process faster and simpler for litigants seeking reparations of $50,000 or less.

Subpart M

The Commission revises subpart M to cover only matters that occur after conclusion of the parties' presentations in proceedings (i.e., decisions, appeals and exceptions). The rules concerning briefs are moved into revised subpart L, “Presentation of Evidence.” However, rules governing briefs to accompany exceptions will remain in subpart M. Current § 502.153, Appeals from ruling of presiding officer other than orders of dismissal in whole or in part are moved into subpart M, as it concerns an appeal.

Subpart M current section New section Revisions § 502.221, Briefs; requests for findings Subpart L, § 502.214, Briefs Revised for clarity. § 502.222, Requests for enlargement of time for filing briefs Subpart L, § 502.215 Revised for clarity. §§ 502.223 through 502.229 Text unchanged. § 502.230, Reopening by presiding officer or Commission § 502.230, Reopening by Commission Rule concerning supplementing evidence prior to an initial decision will be moved to § 502.216, Supplementing the record. Subpart J, Hearings—Presentation of Evidence

Currently subpart J, Hearings, presents the Commission's rules on hearings and presentation of evidence. These rules governing presentation of evidence are revised and presented in revised subpart L. The revisions are intended to reflect the procedures currently used by the Commission, to utilize current language and standards set by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure where appropriate, and to clarify and simplify rules where possible. Several rules currently in the subpart will be removed in their entirety to eliminate duplication and reflect current practice. The revisions to subpart J are enumerated in the table below:

Subpart J current section New Subpart L Revisions § 502.141, Hearings not required by statute Move to subpart A Does not pertain to adjudicatory hearings. § 502.142, Hearings required by statute § 502.201, Applicability and Scope Revised to define “hearing”. § 502.143, Notice of nature of hearing, jurisdiction and issues Moved to § 502.61(c), Proceedings § 502.144, Notice of time and place of hearing; postponement of hearing § 502.211 Regroup with other rules pertaining only to oral hearings. §§ 502.145 through 502.149 [Reserved]. § 502.150, Further evidence required by presiding officer during hearing Remove Within presiding officer's authority to regulate a hearing in § 502.25(b)(3). § 502.151, Exceptions to rulings of presiding officer unnecessary § 502.212 Regroup with other rules pertaining only to oral hearings. § 502.152, Offer of Proof § 502.204(b) Moved because related to admissibility. § 502.153, Appeal from ruling of presiding officer other than orders of dismissal in whole or in part Subpart M, § 502.221 Revised and moved to subpart M as it concerns an appeal. § 502.154, Rights of parties as to presentation of evidence § 502.202 Revised to mirror APA. § 502.155, Burden of proof § 502.203 Revised for clarity. § 502.156, Evidence admissible § 502.204 Revised to clarity. § 502.157, Written evidence Removed Within presiding officer's authority to regulate a hearing in § 502.25(b)(3). § 502.158, Documents containing matter not material Removed Within presiding officer's authority to regulate a hearing in § 502.25(b)(3). § 502.159 [Reserved]. § 502.160, Records in other proceedings § 502.205. § 502.161, Commission's files § 502.206, Incorporation by reference Revised for clarity. § 502.162, Stipulations § 502.207 Revised for clarity. § 502.163, Receipt of documents after hearing Removed Covered by § 502.216, Supplementing the record. § 502.164, Oral argument at hearing Removed Within presiding officer's authority to regulate a hearing in § 502.25(b)(3). § 502.165, Official Transcript § 502.213 Revised and modernized. § 502.166, Correction of transcript § 502.213. § 502.167, Objection to public disclosure of information § 502.208 Revised to cross reference § 502.5. § 502.168, Copies of data or evidence Removed Covered by § 502.212. § 502.169, Record of decision § 502.217 Revised for clarity.

Following is a more detailed description of each new rule that will appear in revised subpart L.

§ 502.201, Applicability and Scope

§ 502.201 is derived and moved from current § 502.142 and sets out the proceedings for which the rules in the subpart will apply. The term hearing is defined as “a formal adjudicatory proceeding in which evidence is presented orally, or through written statement, or by combination thereof” to reflect the broader and more inclusive meaning of the term in current administrative practice.

§ 502.202, Right of Parties To Present Evidence

§ 502.202 is derived and moved from current § 502.154 but is revised to reflect that the presiding officer may limit introduction of evidence if it is “irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious” mirroring the Administrative Procedure Act.

§ 502.203, Burden of Proof

§ 502.203 is derived and moved from current § 502.155 and clarifies the language to include reference to motions for ease of understanding the burden of proof.

§ 502.204, Evidence Admissible

Discussion of § 502.204(a) is above in discussion of the AAPA comment. Also, the text of current § 502.152 has been modernized to clarify the procedures governing when and how to make an offer of proof. The rule is moved into revised § 502.204 as paragraph (b) as a logical part of the rule governing admissibility of evidence. The final rule revises slightly the proposed rule for clarity.

§§ 502.205 and 502.206, Documents Incorporated Into the Record by Reference

Revising current § 502.160 (revised § 502.205) allows documents in another Commission proceeding to be incorporated into the record by reference. The final rule revises slightly the proposed rule for clarity. § 502.206 allows material in any document on file with the Commission that is also available to the public to be incorporated into the record by reference.

§ 502.207, Stipulations

Current § 502.162 allows for stipulation. The rule is moved to § 502.207 and revises the language for clarity.

§ 502.208, Objection to Public Disclosure of Information

§ 502.208 revises current § 502.167, Objection to public disclosure of information. The change adds a cross reference to § 502.5 where the Commission recently spelled out its requirements for submission of confidential material in a final rule. 80 FR 14318 (Mar. 19, 2015.)

§§ 502.209 and 502.210, Prehearing Conference and Statements

Current §§ 502.94 and 502.95 are moved from subpart E as they pertain to hearings. The language is clarified to reflect current practice of filing a motion instead of a petition in Rule 502.209. The procedure and timeline for filing a prehearing statement are provided in 502.210.

§§ 502.211 Through 502.213, Oral Hearings

§§ 502.211 through 502.213 deal with oral hearings and consist of the provisions found in current §§ 502.144, 502.151, and 502.165. Current § 502.165, Official transcript, requires revision as it currently contains a description of section 11 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) interpretation of that section, which are the basis for the Commission's regulations with respect to obtaining copies of transcripts. In order to simplify these provisions, the Commission includes in the new § 502.213 only the relevant requirements and deletes the aforementioned references to FACA and OMB's interpretation.

§§ 502.214 and 502.215, Briefs

Sections 502.221 and 502.222 concerning briefs are included in this subpart and renumbered as §§ 502.214 and 502.215. The last sentence of § 502.221(a), which requires that the period of time for filing briefs will be the same for both parties, is removed as setting time is within the powers of the presiding officer as established in recently revised § 502.25. Section 502.221(c) is deleted as it is not current practice for the Presiding Officer to “require the Bureau of Enforcement to file a request for findings of fact and conclusions within a reasonable time prior to the filing of briefs.” Generally, the Commission's Bureau of Enforcement (BOE) files the first brief unless concurrent briefs are appropriate for the particular case; this is more appropriate to address in the scheduling order issued in each particular proceeding.

§ 502.216, Supplementing the Record

Current § 502.230(a), Motion to Reopen, is renumbered, renamed and revised to provide instructions concerning submission of evidence after final presentations in a proceeding and prior to issuance of an initial decision. The language of the rule and the heading “Supplementing the record” is more descriptive of the current practice before the Commission's Administrative Law Judges but does not substantively revise the process or rights of a party to a proceeding.

§ 502.217, Record of Decision

Current § 502.169 is moved to subpart L and the reference to “filing and motions” replaces “paper and requests.”

The Commission has found that several regulations reference these rules, and that these references may now be inaccurate due to shifts in numbering. The Commission plans to correct these references in the near future through technical corrections, which will be published in the Federal Register.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. 601-612) provides that whenever an agency promulgates a final rule after being required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553), the agency must prepare and make available a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) describing the impact of the rule on small entities. 5 U.S.C. 604. An agency is not required to publish a FRFA, however, for the following types of rules, which are excluded from the APA's notice-and-comment requirement: interpretative rules; general statements of policy; rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice; and rules for which the agency for good cause finds that notice and comment is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to public interest. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b).

Although the Commission elected to seek public comment on its proposed regulatory amendments to part 502, these amendments concern the Commission's practice and procedures. Therefore, the APA does not require publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking in this instance, and the Commission is not required to prepare a FRFA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) requires an agency to seek and receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before collecting information from the public. 44 U.S.C. 3507. The agency must submit collections of information in rules to OMB in conjunction with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking. 5 CFR 1320.11. This final rule does not contain any collections of information, as defined by 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

Regulation Identifier Number

The Commission assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Unified Agenda). The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda, available at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain.

List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 502

Administrative practice and procedure, Archives and records, Business and industry, Classified information, Confidential business information, Consumer protection, Freedom of information, Government in the Sunshine Act, Government publications, Health records, Information, Newspapers and magazines, Paperwork requirements, Printing, publications, Privacy, Public meetings, Record retention, Records, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trade names, Trade practices.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Maritime Commission amends 46 CFR part 502 as follows:

PART 502—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 502 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 504, 551, 552, 553, 556(c), 559, 561-569, 571-596, 18 U.S.C. 207; 28 U.S.C. 2112(a); 31 U.S.C. 9701; 46 U.S.C. 305, 40103-40104, 40304, 40306, 40501-40503, 40701-40706, 41101-41109, 41301-41309, 44101-44106; E.O. 11222 of May 8, 1965.

§ 502.5 [Amended]
2. Amend § 502.5: a. In the introductory text, by removing the phrase “502.167, 502.201(j)(1)(vii)” and adding in its place the phrase “502.141(j)(1)(vii), 502.208”, and by removing the reference “§ 502.201(j)” and adding in its place the reference “§ 502.141(j)”; and b. In paragraph (b) by removing the reference “§ 502.201(j)(1)(vii)” and adding in its place the reference “§ 502.141(j)(1)(vii)”.
§ 502.6 [Amended]
3. Amend § 502.6(c) by removing the phrase “§ 502.203 or § 502.204” and adding in its place the phrase “§ 502.143 or § 502.144”.
§ 501.10 [Amended]
4. Amend § 502.10 by removing the reference “502.153” and adding in its place the reference “502.221”. Subpart D—Rulemaking
§ 502.52 [Amended]
5. Amend § 502.52 by removing the citation “§ 502.143” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.61(c)”.
§ 502.53 [Amended]
6. Amend § 502.53(a) by removing the reference “subpart J” and adding in its place the reference “subpart L”. Subpart E—Private Complaints and Commission Investigations 7. Revise the subpart E heading to read as set forth above. 8. Amend § 502.61 by removing the words “under normal or shortened procedures (subpart K)” and the last sentence from paragraph (a); redesignating paragraph (b) as paragraph (d) and adding a new paragraph (b) and paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 502.61 Proceedings

(b) The Commission may commence a proceeding for a rulemaking, for an adjudication (including Commission enforcement action under § 502.63), or a non-adjudicatory investigation upon petition or on its own initiative by issuing an appropriate order.

(c) Persons entitled to notice of hearings, except those notified by complaint service under § 502.113, will be duly and timely informed of the nature of the proceeding, the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the proceeding is conducted, and the terms, substance, and issues involved, or the matters of fact and law asserted, as the case may be. Such notice will be published in the Federal Register unless all persons subject thereto are named and either are served or otherwise have notice thereof in accordance with law.

§ 502.69 [Amended]
9. Amend § 502.69(f) by removing “shortened procedure (subpart K of this part)” and removing the citation “§ 502.221” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.214”. Subpart F—Petitions, Exemptions, and Orders to Show Cause 10. Revise the subpart F heading to read as set forth above.
§§ 502.91 through 502.95 [Removed]
11. Remove §§ 502.91 through 502.95.
§§ 502.73 through 502.77 [Redesignated as §§ 502.91 through 502.95 and Transferred to Subpart F]
12. Redesignate §§ 502.73 through 502.77 as §§ 502.91 through 502.95, respectively, and transfer them to subpart F.
§§ 502.78 and 502.79 [Redesignated as §§ 502.73 and 502.74]
13. Redesignate §§ 502.78 and 502.79 as §§ 502.73 and 502.74, respectively, in subpart E. 14. Add a new § 502.75 to subpart E to read as follows:
§ 502.75 Opportunity for informal settlement.

(a) Parties are encouraged to make use of all the procedures of this part that are designed to simplify or avoid formal litigation, and to assist the parties in reaching settlements whenever it appears that a particular procedure would be helpful.

(b) Where time, the nature of the proceeding, and the public interest permit, all interested parties will have the opportunity for the submission and consideration of facts, argument, offers of settlement, or proposal of adjustment, without prejudice to the rights of the parties.

(c) No settlement offer, or proposal will be admissible in evidence over the objection of any party in any hearing on the matter.

(d) As soon as practicable after the commencement of any proceeding, the presiding officer will direct the parties or their representatives to consider the use of alternative dispute resolution, including but not limited to mediation, and may direct the parties or their representatives to consult with the Federal Maritime Commission Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist about the feasibility of alternative dispute resolution.

(e) Any party may request that a mediator or other neutral be appointed to assist the parties in reaching a settlement. If such a request or suggestion is made and is not opposed, the presiding officer will appoint a mediator or other neutral who is acceptable to all parties, coordinating with the Federal Maritime Commission Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist. The mediator or other neutral will convene and conduct one or more mediation or other sessions with the parties and will inform the presiding officer, within the time prescribed by the presiding officer, whether the dispute resolution proceeding resulted in a resolution or not, and may make recommendations as to future proceedings. If settlement is reached, it will be submitted to the presiding officer who will issue an appropriate decision or ruling. All such dispute resolution proceedings are subject to the provisions of subpart U of this part.

(f) Any party may request that a settlement judge be appointed to assist the parties in reaching a settlement. If such a request or suggestion is made and is not opposed, the presiding officer will advise the Chief Administrative Law Judge who may appoint a settlement judge who is acceptable to all parties. The settlement judge will convene and preside over conferences and settlement negotiations and will report to the presiding officer within the time prescribed by the Chief Administrative Law Judge, on the results of settlement discussions with appropriate recommendations as to future proceedings. If settlement is reached, it must be submitted to the presiding officer who will issue an appropriate decision or ruling. [Rule 75.]

15. Revise the newly redesignated § 502.91 to read as follows:
§ 502.91 Order to show cause.

The Commission may institute a proceeding by order to show cause. The order will be served upon all persons named therein, will include the information specified in § 502.221, will require the person named therein to answer, and may require such person to appear at a specified time and place and present evidence upon the matters specified. [Rule 91.]

Exhibit No. 1 to Subpart F of Part 502 [Removed] 16. Remove reserved Exhibit No. 1 to Subpart F of Part 502. Subpart H—Service of Documents
§ 502.114 [Amended]
17. Amend § 502.114(a) by removing the citation “§ 502.145” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.131”.
§ 502.118 [Removed]
18. Remove § 502.118. Subpart I—Subpoenas
§ 502.132 [Amended]
19. Amend § 502.132(c) by removing the citation “§ 502.203” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.143”.
§ 502.136 [Amended]
20. Amend § 502.136 by removing the citation “§ 502.210(b)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.150(b)”. Subpart J—Disclosures and Discovery 21. Revise the subpart J heading to read as set forth above. 22. Redesignate § 502.141 as § 502.14, transfer it to subpart A, and revise the section heading to read as follows:
§ 502.14 Public hearings.
§§ 502.142 through 502.150 [Removed]
23. Remove §§ 502.142 through 502.150.
§§ 502.201 through 502.210 [Redesignated as §§ 502.141 through 502.150 and Transferred to Subpart J]
24. Redesignate §§ 502.201 through 502.210 as §§ 502.141 through 502.150, respectively, and transfer them to subpart J.
§ 502.143 [Amended]
25. Amend newly redesignated § 502.143: a. In paragraph (a)(1) by removing the citation “§ 502.03(a)(2)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.143(a)(2)”; b. In paragraph (a)(2)(i) by removing the citation “§ 502.204” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.144”; c. In paragraph (b)(2) by removing the citation “§ 502.206” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.146”; d. In paragraph (b)(5)(i) by removing the citation “§ 502.202” and adding in its place the citation“§ 502.142”; e. In paragraph (b)(5)(ii) by removing the citation “§ 502.203(b)(5)(i)(A)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.143(b)(5)(i)(A)”; f. In paragraph (c)(1) by removing the citation “§ 502.154” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.202” and by removing the citation “§ 502.203(b)(3)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.143(b)(3)”; g. In paragraph (c)(2) by removing the citation “§ 502.203(d)(2)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.143(d)(2)”; h. In paragraph (d)(1) by removing the citation “§ 502.201(e)(2)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141(e)”; i. In paragraph (d)(2)(ii) by removing the citation “§ 502.201(j)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141(j)”; and j. In paragraph (e)(2) by removing the citation “§ 502.203(f)(1)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.143(f)(1)”.
§ 502.144 [Amended]
26. Amend newly redesignated § 502.144: a. In paragraph (a)(2)(i) by removing the citation“§ 502.203” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.143”; b. In paragraph (1)(4) by removing the citation “§ 502.203(b)(6)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.143(b)(6)”.
§ 502.145 [Amended]
27. Amend newly redesignated § 502.145: a. In paragraph (a)(1) by removing the citation “§ 502.201(e)(2)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141(e)(2)”; b. In paragraph (a)(2) by removing the citation “§ 502.201(e) and (f)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141(e) and (f)” ; and c. In paragraph (b)(2) by removing the citation “§ 502.201(l)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141(l)”.
§ 502.146 [Amended]
28. Amend newly redesignated § 502.146: a. In paragraph (a) by removing the citation “§ 502.201(e) and (f)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141(e) and (f)”; and b. In paragraph (b)(2) by removing the citation “§ 502.201(l)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141(l)”.
§ 502.147 [Amended]
29. Amend newly redesignated § 502.147(a)(3) by removing the citation “§ 502.201(l)” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141(l)”.
§ 502.148 [Amended]
30. Amend newly redesignated § 502.148(a) by removing the citation “§§ 502.202 through 502.207” and adding in its place the citation “§§ 502.142 through 502.147”.
§ 502.149 [Amended]
31. Amend newly redesignated § 502.149: a. In paragraph (a)(1)(iii) by removing the citation “§ 502.209(a)(2) through (7)” and adding in its place the citation“§ 502.149(a)(2) through (7)”; b. In paragraph (a)(2) by removing the citation “§ 502.156 of subpart J” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.204 of subpart L”; c. In paragraph (a)(3) by removing the phrase “§ 502.203(b)(6) or § 502.204(a)(4)” and adding in its place the phrase “§ 502.143(b)(6) or § 502.144(a)(4); d. In paragraph (a)(7) by removing the citation “§ 502.156 of subpart J” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.204 of subpart L”; e. In paragraph (b) by removing the phrase “§ 502.202(b) and § 502.209(d)(3)” and adding in its place the phrase “§ 502.142(b) and § 502.149(d)(3)”; and f. In paragraph (d)(3)(iii) by removing the citation “§ 502.204” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.144”.
§ 502.150 [Amended]
32. Amend newly redesignated § 502.150(a)(1) by removing the citation “§ 502.201” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.141” and by removing the citation “§ 502.206” and adding in its place the citation “§ 502.146”.
§§ 502.151 through 502.169 [Removed and reserved]
33. Remove and reserve §§ 502.151 through 502.169. Subpart K [Removed and Reserved] 34. Remove and reserve subpart K, consisting of §§ 502.181 through 502.187. 35. Revise subpart L to read as follows: Subpart L—Presentation of Evidence Sec. 502.201 Applicability and scope. 502.202 Right of parties to present evidence. 502.203 Burden of proof. 502.204 Evidence admissible. 502.205 Records in other proceedings. 502.206 Documents incorporated into the record by reference. 502.207 Stipulations. 502.208 Objection to public disclosure of information. 502.209 Prehearing conference. 502.210 Prehearing statements. 502.211 Notice of time and place of oral hearing; postponement of hearing. 502.212 Exceptions to rulings of presiding officer unnecessary. 502.213 Official transcript. 502.214 Briefs; requests for findings. 502.215 Requests for enlargement of time for filing briefs. 502.216 Supplementing the record. 502.217 Record of decision.
§ 502.201 Applicability and scope.

(a) The rules in this subpart apply to adjudicatory proceedings conducted under the statutes administered by the Commission involving matters which require determination after notice and opportunity for hearing. Adjudicatory proceedings are formal proceedings commenced upon the filing of a sworn complaint or by Order of the Commission. Such proceedings will be conducted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 551-559, and the rules in this subpart.

(b) The term hearing means a formal adjudicatory proceeding in which evidence is presented orally, or through written statements, or by combination thereof. The term oral hearing means a hearing at which evidence is presented through oral testimony of a witness. [Rule 201].

§ 502.202 Right of parties to present evidence.

Every party has the right to present its case or defense by oral or documentary evidence, to submit rebuttal evidence, and to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts. The presiding officer, however, has the right and duty to limit the introduction of evidence and the examination and cross-examination of witnesses when, in his or her judgment, such evidence or examination is irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious. [Rule 202.]

§ 502.203 Burden of proof.

In all cases governed by the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 556(d), the burden of proof is on the proponent of the motion or the order. [Rule 203.]

§ 502.204 Evidence admissible.

(a) In any proceeding under the rules in this part and in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, all evidence which is relevant, material, reliable and probative, and not unduly repetitious or cumulative, will be admissible. All other evidence will be excluded. The presiding officer may consider the Federal Rules of Evidence for guidance.

(b) A party who objects to a ruling of the presiding officer rejecting or excluding proffered evidence may make an offer of proof. If the ruling excludes proffered oral testimony, an offer of proof may consist of a statement by counsel of the substance of the evidence that would be adduced, or in the discretion of the presiding officer, testimony of the witness. If the ruling excludes documents offered as evidence or reference to documents or records, the documents or records shall be marked for identification and will constitute the offer of proof. [Rule 204.]

§ 502.205 Records in other proceedings.

Portions of the record of other proceedings may be received in evidence. A true copy of the records sought to be admitted must be presented in the form of an exhibit unless the presiding officer accepts the parties' stipulation that such records may be incorporated by reference. [Rule 205.]

§ 502.206 Documents incorporated into the record by reference.

Any matter contained in a document on file with the Commission that is available to the public may be received in evidence through incorporation by reference without producing such document, provided that the matter so offered is specified in such manner as to be clearly identified, with sufficient particularity, and readily located electronically. [Rule 206.]

§ 502.207 Stipulations.

The parties may, and are encouraged to, stipulate any facts involved in the proceeding and include them in the record with the consent of the presiding officer. A stipulation may be admitted even if all parties do not agree, provided that any party who does not agree to the stipulation has the right to cross-examine and offer rebuttal evidence. [Rule 207.]

§ 502.208 Objection to public disclosure of information.

(a) If any party wishes to present confidential information or upon objection to public disclosure of any information sought to be elicited, the requirements and procedures in § 502.5 will apply.

(b) In an oral hearing, the presiding officer may in his or her discretion order that a witness will disclose such information only in the presence of the parties and those designated and authorized by the presiding officer. Any transcript of such testimony will be held confidential to the extent the presiding officer determines. Copies of transcripts will be served only to authorized parties or their representatives or other parties as the presiding officer may designate.

(c) Any information given pursuant to this section may be used by the presiding officer or the Commission if deemed necessary to a correct decision in the proceeding. [Rule 208.]

§ 502.209 Prehearing conference.

(a)(1) Prior to any hearing, the Commission or presiding officer may direct all interested parties, by written notice, to attend one or more prehearing conferences for the purpose of considering any settlement under § 502.91, formulating the issues in the proceeding, and determining other matters to aid in its disposition. In addition to any offers of settlement or proposals of adjustment, the following may be considered:

(i) Simplification of the issues;

(ii) The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;

(iii) The possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents that will avoid unnecessary proof;

(iv) Limitation of the number of witnesses;

(v) The procedure to be used at the hearing;

(vi) The distribution to the parties prior to the hearing of written testimony and exhibits;

(vii) Consolidation of the examination of witnesses by counsel;

(viii) Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the proceeding.

(2) Prior to the hearing, the presiding officer may require exchange of exhibits and any other material that may expedite the hearing. The presiding officer will assume the responsibility of accomplishing the purposes of the notice of prehearing conference so far as this may be possible without prejudice to the rights of any party.

(3) The presiding officer will rule upon all matters presented for decision, orally upon the record when feasible, or by subsequent ruling in writing. If a party determines that a ruling made orally does not cover fully the issue presented, or is unclear, such party may file a motion requesting a further ruling within ten (10) days after receipt of the transcript.

(b) In any proceeding under the rules in this part, the presiding officer hold an informal conference prior to the taking of testimony, or may recess the hearing for such a conference, with a view to carrying out the purposes of this section.

(c) At any prehearing conference, consideration may be given to whether the use of alternative dispute resolution would be appropriate or useful for the disposition of the proceeding whether or not there has been previous consideration of such use. [Rule 209.]

§ 502.210 Prehearing statements.

(a) Unless a waiver is granted by the presiding officer, it is the duty of all parties to a proceeding to prepare a statement or statements at a time and in the manner to be established by the presiding officer provided that there has been reasonable opportunity for discovery. To the extent possible, joint statements should be prepared.

(b) The prehearing statement must state the name of the party or parties on whose behalf it is presented and briefly set forth the following matters, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding officer:

(1) Issues involved in the proceeding.

(2) Facts stipulated pursuant to the procedures together with a statement that the party or parties have communicated or conferred in a good faith effort to reach stipulation to the fullest extent possible.

(3) Facts in dispute.

(4) Witnesses and exhibits by which disputed facts will be litigated.

(5) A brief statement of applicable law.

(6) The conclusion to be drawn.

(7) Suggested time and location of hearing and estimated time required for presentation of the party's or parties' case.

(8) Any appropriate comments, suggestions, or information which might assist the parties in preparing for the hearing or otherwise aid in the disposition of the proceeding.

(c) The presiding officer may, for good cause shown, permit a party to introduce facts or argue points of law outside the scope of the facts and law outlined in the prehearing statement. Failure to file a prehearing statement, unless waiver has been granted by the presiding officer, may result in dismissal of a party from the proceeding, dismissal of a complaint, judgment against respondents, or imposition of such other sanctions as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

(d) Following the submission of prehearing statements, the presiding officer may, upon motion or otherwise, convene a prehearing conference for the purpose of further narrowing issues and limiting the scope of the hearing if, in his or her opinion, the prehearing statements indicate lack of dispute of material fact not previously acknowledged by the parties or lack of legitimate need for cross-examination and is authorized to issue appropriate orders consistent with the purposes stated in this section. [Rule 210.]

§ 502.211 Notice of time and place of oral hearing; postponement of hearing.

(a) The notice of an oral hearing will designate the time and place the person or persons who will preside, and the type of decision to be issued. The date or place of a hearing for which notice has been issued may be changed when warranted. Reasonable notice will be given to the parties or their representatives of the time and place of the change thereof, due regard being had for the public interest and the convenience and necessity of the parties or their representatives. Notice may be served by mail, facsimile transmission, or electronic mail.

(b) Motions for postponement of any hearing date must be filed in accordance with § 502.104. [Rule 211.]

§ 502.212 Exceptions to rulings of presiding officer unnecessary.

A formal exception to a ruling or order is unnecessary. When the ruling or order is requested or made, the party doing so need only state the action that it wants the presiding officer to take or that it objects to, along with the grounds for the request or objection. Failing to object does not prejudice a party who had no opportunity to do so when the ruling or order was made. [Rule 212.]

§ 502.213 Official transcript.

(a) The Commission will designate the official reporter for all hearings. The official transcript of testimony taken, together with any exhibits and any briefs or memoranda of law filed therewith, will be filed with the Commission. Transcripts of testimony will be available in any proceeding under the rules in this part, at actual cost of duplication.

(b)(1) Where the Commission does not request daily copy service, any party requesting such service must bear the incremental cost of transcription above the regular copy transcription cost borne by the Commission, in addition to the actual cost of duplication. Where the requesting party applies for and demonstrates that the furnishing of daily copy is indispensable to the protection of a vital right or interest in achieving a fair hearing, the presiding officer in the proceeding in which the application is made will order that daily copy service be provided the requesting party at the actual cost of duplication, with the full cost of transcription being borne by the Commission.

(2) In the event a request for daily copy is denied by the presiding officer, the requesting party, in order to obtain daily copy, must pay the cost of transcription over and above that borne by the Commission, i.e., the incremental cost between that paid by the Commission when it requests regular copy and when it requests daily copy. The decision of the presiding officer in this situation is interpreted as falling within the scope of the functions and powers of the presiding officer, as defined in § 502.25(a).

(c) Motions made at the hearing to correct the transcript will be acted upon by the presiding officer. Motions made after an oral hearing to correct the record must be filed with the presiding officer within twenty-five (25) days after the last day of hearing or any session thereof, unless otherwise directed by the presiding officer, and must be served on all parties. If no objections are received within ten (10) days after date of service, the transcript will, upon approval of the presiding officer, be changed to reflect such corrections. If objections are received, the motion will be acted upon with due consideration of the stenographic record of the hearing. [Rule 213.]

§ 502.214 Briefs; requests for findings.

(a) The presiding officer will determine the time and manner of filing briefs and any enlargement of time.

(b) Briefs will be served upon all parties pursuant to subpart H of this part.

(c) Unless otherwise ordered by the presiding officer, opening or initial briefs must contain the following matters in separately captioned sections:

(1) Introductory section describing the nature and background of the case;

(2) Proposed findings of fact in serially numbered paragraphs with reference to exhibit numbers and pages of the transcript;

(3) Argument based upon principles of law with appropriate citations of the authorities relied upon; and

(4) Conclusions.

(d) All briefs must contain a subject index or table of contents with page references and a list of authorities cited.

(e) All briefs filed pursuant to this section must ordinarily be limited to eighty (80) pages in length, exclusive of pages containing the table of contents, table of authorities, and certificate of service, unless the presiding officer allows the parties to exceed this limit for good cause shown and upon application filed not later than seven (7) days before the time fixed for filing of such a brief or reply. [Rule 214.]

§ 502.215 Requests for enlargement of time for filing briefs.

Requests for enlargement of time to file briefs must conform to the requirements of § 502.102. [Rule 215.]

§ 502.216 Supplementing the record.

A motion to supplement the record, pursuant to § 502.69, should be filed if submission of evidence is desired after the parties' presentation in a proceeding, but before issuance by the presiding officer of an initial decision. [Rule 216.]

§ 502.217 Record of decision.

The transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with all filings and motions filed in the proceeding, will constitute the exclusive record for decision. [Rule 217.]

Subpart M—Decisions; Appeals; Exceptions 36. Revise the subpart M heading to read as set forth above. 37. Revise § 502.221 to read as follows:
§ 502.221 Appeal from ruling of presiding officer other than orders of dismissal in whole or in part.

(a) Rulings of the presiding officer may not be appealed prior to or during the course of the hearing, or subsequent thereto, if the proceeding is still before him or her, except where the presiding officer finds it necessary to allow an appeal to the Commission to prevent substantial delay, expense, or detriment to the public interest, or undue prejudice to a party.

(b) Any party seeking to appeal must file a motion for leave to appeal no later than fifteen (15) days after written service or oral notice of the ruling in question, unless the presiding officer, for good cause shown, enlarges or shortens the time. Any such motion must contain the grounds for leave to appeal and the appeal itself.

(c) Replies to the motion for leave to appeal and the appeal may be filed within fifteen (15) days after date of service thereof, unless the presiding officer, for good cause shown, enlarges or shortens the time. If the motion is granted, the presiding officer must certify the appeal to the Commission.

(d) Unless otherwise provided, the certification of the appeal will not operate as a stay of the proceeding before the presiding officer.

(e) The provisions of § 502.10 do not apply to this section. [Rule 221.]

§ 502.222 [Removed and Reserved]
38. Remove and reserve § 502.222. 39. Revise § 502.230 to read as follows:
§ 502.230 Reopening by Commission.

(a) Reopening by the Commission. After an initial decision by the presiding officer, or in a matter otherwise pending before the Commission, but before issuance of a Commission decision, the Commission may, after petition and reply in conformity with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, or upon its own motion, reopen a proceeding for the purpose of taking further evidence.

(b) Motion to reopen. A motion to reopen shall be served in conformity with the requirements of subpart H and will set forth the grounds requiring reopening of the proceeding, including material changes of fact or law alleged to have occurred.

(c) Reply. Within ten (10) days following service of a motion to reopen, any party may reply to such motion.

(d) Remand by the Commission. Nothing contained in this rule precludes the Commission from remanding a proceeding to the presiding officer for the taking of addition evidence or determining points of law. [Rule 230.]

By the Commission.

Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-30745 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 225 and 252 [Docket DARS-2016-0048] RIN 0750-AJ18 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: New Qualifying Country—Estonia (DFARS Case 2017-D001) AGENCY:

Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

DoD is issuing a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to add Estonia as a qualifying country.

DATES:

Effective December 22, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Lorena Malcolm, telephone 571-372-6176.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

DoD is amending the DFARS to add Estonia as a qualifying country. On September 23, 2016, the Secretary of Defense signed a reciprocal defense procurement agreement with Estonia. The agreement removes discriminatory barriers to procurements of supplies and services produced by industrial enterprises of the other country to the extent mutually beneficial and consistent with national laws, regulations, policies, and international obligations. This agreement does not cover construction or construction material. Estonia is already a designated country under the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement.

II. Applicability to Contracts at or Below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold and for Commercial Items, Including Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf Items

This rule only updates the list of qualifying countries in the DFARS by adding the newly qualifying country of Estonia. The definition of “qualifying country” is updated in each of the following clauses; however, this revision does not impact the clause prescriptions for use, or applicability at or below the simplified acquisition threshold, or applicability to commercial items. The clauses are: DFARS 252.225-7001, Buy American and Balance of Payments Program; DFARS 252.225-7002, Qualifying Country Sources as Subcontractors; DFARS 252.225-7012, Preference for Certain Domestic Commodities; DFARS 252.225-7017, Photovoltaic Devices; DFARS 252.225-7021, Trade Agreements; and DFARS 252.225-7036, Buy American—Trade Agreements—Balance of Payments Program.

III. Publication of This Final Rule for Public Comment Is Not Required by Statute

The statute that applies to the publication of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is 41 U.S.C. 1707 entitled “Publication of Proposed Regulations.” Paragraph (a)(1) of the statute requires that a procurement policy, regulation, procedure or form (including an amendment or modification thereof) must be published for public comment if it relates to the expenditure of appropriated funds, and has either a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the agency issuing the policy, regulation, procedure or form, or has a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. This final rule is not required to be published for public comment, because it does not constitute a significant DFARS revision within the meaning of FAR 1.501-1 and does not have a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. Estonia is added to the list of 25 other countries that have similar reciprocal defense procurement agreements with DoD. These requirements affect only the internal operating procedures of the Government.

IV. 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.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply to this rule because this final rule does not constitute a significant DFARS revision within the meaning of FAR 1.501-1, and 41 U.S.C. 1707 does not require publication for public comment.

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does apply to this rule; however, these changes to the DFARS do not impose additional information collection requirements to the paperwork burden previously approved under OMB Control Number 0704-0229, entitled “DFARS Part 225, Foreign Acquisition and related clauses.” This rule merely shifts the category under which items from Estonia must be listed.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 225 and 252

Government procurement.

Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System. Therefore, 48 CFR parts 225 and 252 are amended as follows: 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 225 and 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

PART 225—FOREIGN ACQUISITION
225.003 [Amended]
2. Section 225.003 is amended in paragraph (10), the definition of “Qualifying country”, by adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”.
225.872-1 [Amended]
3. Section 225.872-1 is amended in paragraph (a) by adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”. PART 252—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES
252.225-7001 [Amended]
4. Section 252.225-7001 is amended by— a. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; b. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”; and c. In the Alternate I clause— i. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”.
252.225-7002 [Amended]
5. Section 252.225-7002 is amended by— a. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and b. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”.
252.225-7012 [Amended]
6. Section 252.225-7012 is amended by— a. In the clause heading, removing the date “(JUL 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and b. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”.
252.225-7017 [Amended]
7. Section 252.225-7017 is amended by— a. In the clause heading, removing the date “(SEP 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and b. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”.
252.225-7021 [Amended]
8. Section 252.225-7021 is amended by— a. In the clause heading, removing the date “(SEP 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; b. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”; and c. In the Alternate II clause— i. In the clause heading, removing the date of “(SEP 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”.
252.225-7036 [Amended]
9. Section 252.225-7036 is amended by— a. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; b. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”; c. In the Alternate I clause— i. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”; d. In the Alternate II clause— i. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”; e. In the Alternate III clause— i. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”; f. In the Alternate IV clause— i. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”; and g. In the Alternate V clause— i. In the clause heading, removing the date “(AUG 2016)” and adding “(DEC 2016)” in its place; and ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of “Qualifying country”, adding, in alphabetical order, the country of “Estonia”.
[FR Doc. 2016-30598 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Part 232 [Docket DARS-2016-0009] RIN 0750-AI90 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Contract Financing (DFARS Case 2015-D026) AGENCY:

Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

DoD is issuing a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) by providing that contracting officers are not required to further justify a decision to provide customary contract financing, other than loan guarantees and advance payments identified in FAR part 32, for certain fixed-price contracts.

DATES:

Effective December 22, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Mark Gomersall, telephone 571-372-6099.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

DoD published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 81 FR 42607 on June 30, 2016, to revise the DFARS regarding the use of customary contract financing, other than loan guarantees and advance payments identified in FAR part 32, on fixed-price contracts with a period of performance in excess of one year that meet the dollar thresholds established in FAR 32.104(d). DoD has determined that the use of such customary contract financing provides improved cash flow as an incentive for commercial companies to do business with DoD, is in the Department's best interest, and requires no further justification of its use.

II. Discussion and Analysis

No public comments were submitted in response to the proposed rule. Therefore, there are no changes from the proposed rule made in the final rule.

III. Applicability to Contracts at or Below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold and for Commercial Items, Including Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf Items

This final rule only provides DoD policy regarding providing contract financing for certain fixed-priced contracts. The rule does not add any new provisions or clauses or impact any existing provisions or clauses.

IV. 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.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

A final regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared consistent with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., and is summarized as follows:

The objective of the rule is to clarify that the use of certain customary contract financing does not require further justification, as it has been determined to be in DoD's best interest for fixed-price contracts with a period of performance in excess of one year that meet the dollar thresholds in FAR 32.104(d).

DoD does not expect this final 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. This rule only changes processes that are internal to the Government and does not have any impact on small entities.

There were no significant issues raised by the public in response to the initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

There is no change to reporting or recordkeeping as a result of this rule.

There are no known significant alternative approaches to the rule that would meet the requirements.

VI. 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 Part 232

Government procurement.

Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

Therefore, 48 CFR part 232 is amended as follows:

PART 232—CONTRACT FINANCING 1. The authority citation for part 232 continues to read as follows: Authority:

41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

2. Add section 232.104 to subpart 232.1 to read as follows:
232.104 Providing contract financing.

For fixed-price contracts with a period of performance in excess of a year that meet the dollar thresholds established in FAR 32.104(d), and for solicitations expected to result in such contracts, in lieu of the requirement at FAR 32.104(d)(1)(ii) for the contractor to demonstrate actual financial need or the unavailability of private financing, DoD has determined that—

(1) The use of customary contract financing (see FAR 32.113), other than loan guarantees and advance payments, is in DoD's best interest; and

(2) Further justification of its use in individual acquisitions is unnecessary.

[FR Doc. 2016-30596 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 161017970-6999-02] RIN 0648-XE976 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2017-2018 Summer Flounder Specifications and Announcement of 2017 Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Commercial Accountability Measures AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

In this rule, NMFS issues revised final 2017 and 2018 specifications for the summer flounder fishery, which include commercial and recreational catch limits and prohibit federally permitted commercial fishing vessels from landing summer flounder in Delaware in 2017 due to continued quota repayment from previous years' overages. NMFS also announces a black sea bass commercial accountability measure that revises the 2017 annual catch target and commercial quota to account for a catch overage in 2015. These actions are necessary to comply with regulations implementing the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, and to ensure compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The intent of this action is to establish harvest levels and other management measures based on updated scientific information to ensure that summer flounder are not overfished or subject to overfishing in 2017 and 2018, and to enact the catch limit adjustments that are required by the fishery management plan.

DATES:

Effective January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of the specifications document, consisting of a supplemental environmental assessment (SEA), Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), other supporting documents used by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and its committees, and the original environmental assessment for the 2016-2018 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass specifications are available from Dr. Christopher Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 North State Street, Dover, DE 19901. The specifications document is also accessible via the Internet at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov. The Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) consists of the IRFA, public comments and responses contained in this final rule, and the summary of impacts and alternatives contained in this final rule. Copies of the small entity compliance guide are available from John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Emily Gilbert, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9244.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission cooperatively manage the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries. The Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and its implementing regulations outline the Council's process for establishing specifications. Specifications in these fisheries include various catch and landing subdivisions, such as the commercial and recreational sector annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and sector-specific landing limits (i.e., the commercial fishery quota and recreational harvest limit). Annual specifications may be established for three-year periods, and, in interim years, specifications are reviewed by the Council to ensure previously established multi-year specifications remain appropriate. The FMP and its implementing regulations also outline the Council's process for establishing specifications. Requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), including the 10 national standards, also apply to specifications.

The most recent specifications for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries were established in a December 28, 2015, final rule (80 FR 80689) that set catch limits for all three species for 2016 through 2018. At that time, the 2015 summer flounder stock assessment update indicated that the stock size was declining and that overfishing was occurring in 2014 (see the November 9, 2015, proposed rule, 80 FR 69179, and also the November 15, 2016, proposed rule for this action, 81 FR 80038). The Council and NMFS expected these specifications would end overfishing on summer flounder and allow for stock growth. The background for establishing the 2016-2018 specifications, including the results of the 2015 assessment update, are outlined in the proposed and final rules for the December 2015 specifications rulemaking, and are not repeated here. When recommending those specifications, the Council and its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) requested a stock assessment update in July 2016 to determine if the previously recommended acceptable biological catches (ABCs) and subsequent catch limits remain appropriate for 2017 and 2018. The Council and its SSC reviewed that assessment update when it became available in July 2016.

As detailed in the proposed rule (81 FR 80038, November 15, 2016), the 2016 assessment update indicates that overfishing of the summer flounder stock continued through 2015 and the stock has continued its decline. As a result, catch limits need to be lowered to end overfishing and minimize the risk that the stock will become overfished. The assessment update noted that the consistent pattern in both underestimation of fishing mortality and overestimation of spawning stock biomass and recruitment is continuing, even though catches have not substantially exceeded ABC levels. In retrospect, these over and underestimates provided overly optimistic outlooks for the stock and resulted in recommended catch levels that have allowed overfishing to continue, even though catches have not frequently or excessively exceeded catch limits. Stated simply, the information from the latest assessment update made clear that catch advice, including the initial 2016-2018 catch limits, has been set too high. Based on this information regarding the status of the summer flounder stock, as updated to include data from 2015, this final rule revises the previously established summer flounder specifications for the 2017 and 2018 fishing years. Another assessment update will be available next summer, and notice will be provided in the Federal Register on whether the revised 2018 specifications will remain in place or be further updated based on any new information.

NMFS will establish the 2017 recreational management measures (i.e., minimum fish size, possession limits, and fishing seasons) for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass by publishing proposed and final rules in the Federal Register in late winter/early spring 2017.

Revised 2017-2018 Summer Flounder Specifications

This rule implements the Council's revised ABC recommendations and the commercial and recreational catch limits for fishing years 2017 and 2018 (Table 1), as outlined in the proposed rule.

As discussed in the proposed rule, the revised 2017 ABC and associated commercial and recreational catch limits are approximately 30 percent lower than those previously established for 2017 ABC. The revised 2018 ABC and associated catch limits are 16 percent lower than those previously established for 2018. These ABC revisions follow the Council's standard risk policy based on the recalculated overfishing limits (OFLs) recommended by the assessment update.

This action makes no other changes to the Federal commercial summer flounder management measures.

Table 1—Summary of the Revised 2017-2018 Summer Flounder Specifications 2016
  • (current)
  • million
  • lb
  • mt 2017 million
  • lb
  • mt 2018 million
  • lb
  • mt
    OFL 18.06 8,194 16.76 7,600 18.69 8,476 ABC 16.26 7,375 11.30 5,125 13.23 5,999 ABC Landings Portion 13.54 6,142 9.43 4,278 11.05 5,010 ABC Discards Portion 2.72 1,233 1.87 847 2.18 989 Commercial ACL 9.43 4,275 6.57 2,982 7.70 3,491 Commercial ACT 9.43 4,275 6.57 2,982 7.70 3,491 Projected Commercial Discards 1.30 590 0.92 415 1.07 485 Commercial Quota 8.12 3,685 5.66 2,567 6.63 3,006 Recreational ACL 6.84 3,100 4.72 2,143 5.53 2,508 Recreational ACT 6.84 3,100 4.72 2,143 5.53 2,508 Projected Recreational Discards 1.42 643 0.95 432 1.11 504 Recreational Harvest Limit 5.42 2,457 3.77 1,711 4.42 2,004

    Table 2 summarizes the commercial summer flounder quotas for each state. As mentioned in the proposed rule, this final rule announces any necessary commercial state quota overage reductions necessary for fishing year 2017. Table 2 includes percent shares as outlined in 50 CFR 648.102(c)(1)(i), the resultant 2017 commercial quotas, quota overages (as needed), and the final adjusted 2017 commercial quotas. The 2016 quota overage is determined by comparing landings for January through October 2016, plus any 2015 landings overage that was not previously addressed in the 2016-2018 specifications, for each state. For Delaware, this includes continued repayment of overharvest from previous years. Table 3 presents the initial 2018 quota by state. The 2018 state quota allocations are preliminary and are subject to change if there are overages of states' quotas carried over from a previous fishing year. Notice of any commercial quota adjustments to account for overages will be published in the Federal Register prior to the start of the 2018 fishing year.

    Table 2—Final State-by-State Commercial Summer Flounder Quotas for 2017 State FMP percent share 2017 Initial quota lb kg Overages through October 31, 2016 lb kg Adjusted 2017 quota, less overages * lb kg Maine 0.04756 2,692 1,221 0 0 2,692 1,221 New Hampshire 0.00046 26 12 0 0 26 12 Massachusetts 6.82046 385,988 175,081 0 0 385,988 175,081 Rhode Island 15.68298 887,542 402,582 0 0 887,542 402,582 Connecticut 2.25708 127,734 57,939 0 0 127,734 57,939 New York 7.64699 432,764 196,298 0 0 432,764 196,298 New Jersey 16.72499 946,512 429,331 0 0 946,512 429,330 Delaware 0.01779 1,007 457 −49,365 −22,392 −48,358 −21,935 Maryland 2.0391 115,398 52,344 0 0 115,398 52,344 Virginia 21.31676 1,206,372 547,201 0 0 1,206,372 547,201 North Carolina 27.44584 1,553,233 704,535 0 0 1,553,233 704,535 Total 100 5,659,266 2,567,000 0 0 5,658,260 2,566,544 Notes: Kilograms are as converted from pounds and may not necessarily add due to rounding. Total quota is the sum for all states with an allocation. A state with a negative number has a 2017 allocation of zero (0). Total adjusted 2017 quota, less overages, does not include negative allocations (i.e., Delaware's overage). Table 3—2018 Initial Summer Flounder State Commercial Quotas State FMP percent share 2018 Quota lb kg Maine 0.04756 3,152 1,430 New Hampshire 0.00046 30 14 Massachusetts 6.82046 451,998 205,023 Rhode Island 15.68298 1,039,326 471,430 Connecticut 2.25708 149,579 67,848 New York 7.64699 506,773 229,868 New Jersey 16.72499 1,108,381 502,753 Delaware 0.01779 1,179 535 Maryland 2.0391 135,133 61,295 Virginia 21.31676 1,412,682 640,782 North Carolina 27.44584 1,818,862 825,022 Total 100 6,627,096 3,006,000 Delaware Summer Flounder Closure

    Table 2 shows that, for Delaware, the amount of overharvest from previous years is greater than the amount of commercial quota allocated to Delaware for 2017. As a result, there is no quota available for 2017 in Delaware. The regulations at 50 CFR 648.4(b) provide that Federal permit holders, as a condition of their permit, must not land summer flounder in any state that the NMFS Greater Atlantic Region Administrator has determined no longer has commercial quota available for harvest. Therefore, landings of summer flounder in Delaware by vessels holding commercial Federal summer flounder permits are prohibited for the 2017 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a quota transfer and is announced in the Federal Register. Federally permitted dealers are advised that they may not purchase summer flounder from federally permitted vessels that land in Delaware for the 2017 calendar year, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer, as mentioned above.

    Accountability Measure Quota Adjustment Announcements Black Sea Bass

    Each year, NMFS publishes a notice, either in combination with the specifications final rule or separately, to inform the public and the states of any commercial summer flounder, scup, or black sea bass overages that are deducted from a fishing year's allocations for the start of the fishing year. This final rule is announcing an 2017 accountability measure for the black sea bass commercial fishery, as required by the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan and in compliance with the regulations at 50 CFR 648.143.

    In 2015, due to an overage of the commercial quota and higher-than-anticipated discards, the commercial fishery exceeded its ACL. The fishery exceeded its 2015 commercial quota by 3.8 percent. However, estimated commercial dead discards of 523.3 mt were much higher than projected (166 mt), accounting for 44.4 percent of the total catch for 2015. We currently estimate that 100 percent of black sea bass caught in trawls and gillnets die post release, with that estimate lowered to 15 percent for black sea bass caught in commercial hook and line and commercial fish pots. In the event that the commercial ACL has been exceeded and the overage cannot be accommodated through the landings-based accountability measure, the regulations at § 648.143(b) require that the exact amount of the overage, in pounds, be deducted from a subsequent single year's commercial ACL. The 2017 commercial ACT is reduced by 849,363 lb (385 mt) from 3,148,200 lb (1,428 mt) to 2,298,837 lb (1,043 mt). After estimated commercial discards are removed (436,515 lb; 198 mt), the 2017 commercial quota is 1,862,322 lb (845 mt).

    The results of a new black sea bass benchmark stock assessment has undergone peer review and a final report will be available for review by the SSC and the Council later this winter. Should the information provided by this assessment indicate a need to revise the 2017 black sea bass specifications, we will work with the Council to publish a mid-year adjustment in the Federal Register. These accountability measures will be reevaluated based on any information the assessment may provide and any updated 2015 catch information, if available, would be incorporated at that time.

    The 2017 commercial and recreational black sea bass catch limits are outlined in Table 4. The recreational catch limits are unchanged from the December 2015 rulemaking.

    Table 4—Revised Black Sea Bass 2017 Specifications Following Accountability Measure Adjustments 2017 million
  • lb
  • mt
    Commercial ACL 3.15 1,428 Commercial ACT 1 2.30 1,043 Projected Commercial Discards 0.44 198 Commercial Quota 1 1.86 845 Recreational ACL 3.52 1,597 Recreational ACT 3.52 1,597 Projected Recreational Discards 0.70 317 Recreational Harvest Limit 2.82 1,280 1 Incorporates reductions for 2015 overages.
    Scup

    No commercial scup quota overage is applicable to 2017; therefore, no adjustments to the previously implemented 2017 quota or possession limits are necessary. The 2017 catch limits are repeated in this preamble for ease of reference. Notification will be published in the Federal Register prior to the start of the 2018 fishing year of the previously established scup quotas. This notice will include any necessary commercial quota revision or ACL accountability measure should the 2016 scup quota be exceeded.

    The 2017 commercial and recreational catch limits established in the December 2015 rulemaking are outlined in Table 5.

    Table 5—Scup 2017 Specifications 2017 million
  • lb
  • mt
    Commercial Annual Catch Limit and Annual Catch Target 22.15 10,047 Recreational Annual Catch Limit and Annual Catch Target 6.25 2,834 Commercial Quota 18.38 8,337 Recreational Harvest Limit 5.50 2,495

    The 2017 scup commercial quota is divided into three commercial fishery quota periods, as outlined in Table 6.

    Table 6—Commercial Scup Quota Allocations for 2017 by Quota Period Quota period Percent share 2017 Initial quota lb mt Winter I 45.11 8,291,190 3,761 Summer 38.95 7,158,986 3,247 Winter II 15.94 2,929,762 1,329 Total 100.0 18,379,939 8,337 Note: Metric tons are as converted from pounds and may not necessarily total due to rounding.

    The quota period possession limits are unchanged from the December 2015 rulemaking.

    Comments and Responses

    On November 15, 2016, NMFS published the proposed summer flounder specifications for public notice and comment. NMFS received 1,231 comments from individuals, as well as comment letters from the Recreational Fisheries Alliance (RFA), the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, On The Water L.L.C., and the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey. Only the comments relating to the proposed 2017 and 2018 summer flounder specifications, including the analyses used to support them, are responded to below.

    We received numerous comment letters that mentioned summer flounder recreational management measures. The Council and Commission are currently reviewing necessary 2017 recreational management measures for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. Rulemaking for those decisions will occur in a separate action in early spring 2017 and the public can comment on the proposed recreational management recommendations at that time.

    Many comments relevant to this action used similar language or themes; therefore, the significant issues and concerns have been summarized and responded to here. No changes to the proposed specifications were made as a result of these comments. The specifications are based on the Council's recommendation which, in turn, was based on the SSC's advice and application of the Council Risk Policy to the best available scientific information.

    Comment 1: Many commenters stated that quota cuts are unnecessary because there is an abundance of summer flounder. Some stated they do not believe in the results from the various fishery independent surveys.

    Response: NMFS disagrees. The prevailing information from the assessment and multiple fish surveys indicate a continual decline in abundance over the past few years. The Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NESFC) performed a summer flounder stock assessment update in June 2016. This update used the peer-reviewed model developed and accepted during the most recent benchmark assessment completed and reviewed during the 57th Stock Assessment Workshop and Stock Assessment Review Committee (SAW/SARC 57). The Council's SSC used the results of the assessment update in developing its 2017 and 2018 ABC recommendations.

    Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB) in the assessment update was estimated to be 36,240 mt, based on information through 2015, the most recent complete year of fishery dependent and independent data. The assessment update indicates that the summer flounder stock, as indicated by SSB, has declined in size each year for the past six years.

    An extensive survey data set is used in the summer flounder assessment model. These surveys span both state and Federal waters, are conducted at varying times of the year, and provide information on both young-of-the-year (YOY) and adult summer flounder distribution. Surveys include: Age compositions from the NEFSC winter, spring, and fall, Massachusetts spring and fall; Rhode Island fall and monthly fixed; Connecticut spring and fall; Delaware; New York; New Jersey; Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) surveys. Aggregate indices of stock abundance from the University of Rhode Island trawl survey and NEFSC larval surveys, and recruitment indices (YOY) from surveys conducted by the states of Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia are also used in the model calibration.

    The Council's SSC noted that a downward trend is evident in the majority of these surveys' stock indices, including recruitment, since 2011. In addition to considering the information on stock abundance, the SSC considered updated information on fishing mortality and recruitment estimates, fishery performance, and risk of depleting the stock to an overfished condition. Based on this evaluation and application of the Council's Risk Policy, the SSC noted a clear need to reduce catch in 2017 and 2018 from levels previously recommended in order to end overfishing and ensure the stock does not become overfished. The Council considered these recommendations and the SSC's rationale and agreed, recommending the catch levels being implemented by NMFS in this rule.

    NMFS acknowledges there is the possibility for potential changes in availability of fish to some surveys and to the fishery as a result of changes in the distribution of the summer flounder population. However, the available information provided by the assessment update deriving biomass estimates from multiple sources indicate the summer flounder stock is, in fact, in decline and in need of further conservation, consistent with the recommendations of the Council and its SSC to end overfishing and to prevent the stock from becoming overfished. Therefore, we are implementing the measures outlined in this rule's preamble.

    Comment 2: Many commenters stated that the most recent summer flounder benchmark assessment is outdated and incorrect. While some offered no specifics as to why they believe this to be true, others stated that stock assessment has failed to keep pace with the changes being observed in the stock as it continues to expand and move north and east. Some stated that although summer flounder is one of the best assessed fisheries in the Mid-Atlantic region, significant and rapid changes are being experienced in the summer flounder stock and the frequency of benchmark assessments has not kept pace. As a result, they cannot support any reductions to the summer flounder ABC until a benchmark assessment is conducted.

    Response: NMFS agrees that summer flounder is one of the best assessed fisheries in the Mid-Atlantic. Detailed information on the frequency of benchmark, operational, and updates to assessments can be found on the NEFSC Web site at: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/.

    The 2017 and 2018 summer flounder specifications are based on an update to the 2013 peer-review accepted benchmark assessment model. That is, updated fishery independent survey information (see response to Comment 1) and fishery dependent information (commercial and recreational catch) through 2015 were used to re-run the assessment model to provide updated stock advice for the SSC and Council to consider. While a benchmark assessment typically considers new or alternative modeling approaches and stock assumptions, the core fishery data sets—surveys and catch data—are already very expansive for summer flounder.

    While it is possible that a benchmark assessment, if developed, may derive a different perception of stock status, NMFS, the Council and its SSC all determined the available information was reliable and appropriate for use, consistent with National Standard 2, to establish the catch limits from which these specifications are derived. Another assessment update is scheduled for 2017, which will provide the opportunity to review the adequacy of the catch limits implemented in this final rule for fishing year 2018.

    The next benchmark assessment will be scheduled through the Northeast Region Coordinating Council (NRCC). This group, comprised of senior leaders of both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and the NEFSC, develops an agreed schedule for assessments based on need, available resources, and, importantly, advances in available information. This schedule is reviewed on a biannual basis and updates are considered at those times. There is very little value in developing benchmark assessments if additional information or advances in science have not occurred since the last benchmark was conducted. The NRCC will discuss assessment scheduling in the late spring and fall of 2017.

    Comment 3: We received comments from 841 people through a form letter stating that new science from Cornell University will help inform a more accurate stock assessment for summer flounder. These commenters mentioned that a new benchmark stock assessment is expected in early 2017, which would replace the out-of-date 2013 assessment that is currently used. They stated that because this new information will provide a more accurate indication of the true health of the fishery, NMFS should delay such a drastic and potentially catastrophic reduction until the new stock assessment, that incorporates the science from Cornell, is complete. Other comments alluded more generally to wanting new information incorporated in the stock assessment.

    Response: NMFS disagrees and clarifies that the commenters are incorrect regarding a benchmark assessment (see response to Comment 2). There is currently no benchmark stock assessment scheduled for summer flounder in early 2017. Commenters may be confusing this with the black sea bass benchmark assessment that was recently completed and peer-reviewed. The Council's SSC has requested to review another summer flounder assessment update (i.e., adding 2016 survey and fishing data to the existing assessment model) next summer to review the status of the stock and see if adjustments to the 2018 ABC recommendation should be made. In order for such an assessment to produce new results (e.g., revised biological reference points), new scientific information, such as the final results of the Cornell study, is necessary. Once that information is available, the NRCC may schedule an assessment, as described in response to Comment 2 above.

    The Council and its SSC, as well as NMFS, are obligated by National Standard 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to make use of the best available scientific information. The current assessment update, incorporating information from the 2015 fishing year, is the best available scientific information. This information informs us that the stock is subject to overfishing, that projections of fishing mortality have been frequently underestimated while stock and recruitment and biomass projections have been overly optimistic, and that overall the stock is close to an overfished condition. Based on this information, catch reductions are necessary to end overfishing and ensure the stock does not become overfished. If the stock becomes overfished, the Council would be required to establish a formal rebuilding program, as outlined in the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    Comment 4: The Jersey Coast Anglers Association stated that SSBmsy (i.e., the stock biomass target) is at too high a level and that the summer flounder fishery would be sustainable even with a much smaller biomass.

    Response: NMFS disagrees that the SSBmsy biomass target is too high. As previously mentioned, the SSB in the assessment update was estimated to be 36,240 mt, based on information through 2015, the most recent complete year of fishery dependent and independent data. The assessment update indicates that the summer flounder stock, as indicated by SSB, has declined in size each year for the past six years. The update estimated that SSB is at 58 percent of maximum sustainable yield (SSBmsy) and only 16 percent above the minimum stock size threshold (1/2 SSBmsy). If SSB estimates fall below this threshold, the stock is considered overfished and must be put into a formal rebuilding program.

    Comment 5: Ten commenters were supportive of the proposed quota cuts. Some noted that they have noticed a decline in summer flounder abundance in the last few years.

    Response: NMFS agrees and is implementing the proposed quotas for the reasons outlined in the preamble to this rule.

    Comment 6: Numerous commenters, including the RFA, recommended that NMFS approve an ABC of 16.26 million lb (7,375 mt) for both years (i.e., the current 2016 ABC). Others recommended maintaining the previously established ABCs for 2017 and 2018. The RFA commented that NMFS is not bound to the same requirement as the Council to develop ACLs that do not exceed the recommendation of its SSC. The RFA also stated that the Council's risk policy is too precautionary for the summer flounder stock and that it is not in the best interest of the Council or the fishing industry to defer all authority to manage risk to the SSC. The RFA stated that NMFS is able to set 2017 and 2018 summer flounder ABCs that are equal to but not exceeding the OFLs derived in the assessment update.

    Response: NMFS disagrees that it would be appropriate for the agency to unilaterally implement ABCs that are higher than those recommended by the Council. Section 302(h)(6) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act provides that a Council may not develop ACLs that exceed the ABC recommendations of its SSC. The statute does not explicitly address whether NMFS may establish catch limits in excess of those recommendations. However, it is unnecessary in this instance for NMFS to resolve this question of statutory interpretation, as NMFS has concluded that the Council and its SSC's recommendations reflect the best available scientific information, and are well-founded and consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS, in reviewing the Council's recommendations, finds that its SSC did appropriately interpret and make use of the available stock assessment information and the Council's recommendation to NMFS was based on the ABC advice from the SSC.

    The SSC's meeting report (available from the Mid-Atlantic Council at: https://goo.gl/817OeI) indicates a thorough and deliberate process to fully address the terms of reference established for creating ABC advice, including application of the Council's Risk Policy. The SSC received detailed information on the assessment update and was able to ask direct questions to both Council and NEFSC staff that have familiarity and expertise with the summer flounder assessment and fishery management plan. Moreover, the SSC, in compiling its advice to the Council, noted several substantial concerns about the status of the stock in regards to persistent overfishing, likelihood of the stock becoming overfished if catches are not reduced, and the overall poor status of the stock.

    Given that there is a very clear record supporting the SSC's ABC derivation process as well as a clear record that the Council used the SSC recommendations appropriately and consistently with National Standard 2 to meet the intent of National Standard 1 to prevent overfishing, NMFS finds it would be wholly inappropriate in this instance to establish catch limits higher than those recommended by the Council and its SSC. Moreover, setting ABC equal to OFL would remove any consideration of scientific and management uncertainty to the summer flounder stock/fishery. The SSC's report and the benchmark assessment model outline several sources of uncertainty for the summer flounder stock assessment. As a result, it would be inappropriate for NMFS to assume there is no need to offset ABC from OFL.

    Comment 7: Many mentioned that the summer flounder recreational harvest limit will be reduced up to 40 percent due to estimated declines in the stock and because the recreational sector is estimated to have exceeded its 2016 harvest limit. They recommended that NMFS assume that the recreational sector met, but did not exceed its recreational harvest of 5.42 million lb (2,458 mt) in 2016.

    Response: This action will reduce the 2017 recreational harvest limit by approximately 30 percent from the 2016 limit (from 5.42 million lb (2,457 mt) to 3.77 million lb (1,711 mt)). NMFS clarifies that any additional reduction necessary to prevent an overage of the 2017 recreational harvest limit due to estimated 2016 overages will be determined after the end of the 2016 fishing year and announced through rulemaking that will establish the 2017 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass recreational management measures. Although preliminary Marine Recreational Information Program estimates indicate that 2016 recreational harvest limit overages may necessitate a total reduction closer to 40 percent, this amount is subject to change and may ultimately be greater or less than that amount. As for the suggestion to assume the recreational sector met but did not exceed its recreational harvest limit for 2016, the Council must recommend, and NMFS is required to implement, recreational management measures that will constrain landings to the recreational harvest limit for a given fishing year. If data show that the fishery exceeded its limit in 2016, this informs the Council and NMFS about the extent to which adjustments to recreational management measures are needed to appropriately constrain catch in 2017. The determination of any 2016 overage, and how that will affect 2017 recreational management measures, is outside the scope of this action. A separate notice-and-comment rulemaking for the 2017 recreational summer flounder management measures will be conducted in late winter/early spring of 2017.

    Comment 8: The majority of commenters mentioned that these catch limit reductions would be very difficult for the fishing industry, particularly the recreational sector, and coastal communities. Some stated that these cuts are occurring with no consideration to the communities who depend on summer flounder fishing for their livelihoods. Others noted their concerns that these cuts would likely drive them out of business. Some recreational anglers stated they would no longer fish if these cuts resulted in lower bag limits, higher minimum sizes, or shorter seasons.

    Response: NMFS recognizes that these revised summer flounder catch limits, representing nearly a 30-percent decrease from 2016 catch levels, will result in constrained recreational and commercial fisheries. The Council's SEA and Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis provides information on the potential impacts of these reductions for each fishery. As for the recreational fishery, the effects of specific recreational management measures (i.e., bag limits, size limits, and seasonal closures) will be described and analyzed in the action that implements those measures in 2017. The overall potential revenue reduction associated with the 2017 commercial quota reduction is approximately $7.7 million. Catch limits must meet conservation objectives and satisfy applicable Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements to end overfishing and prevent fish stocks from becoming overfished, even if they result in negative economic impacts. The Council selected the ABC recommended by the SSC, which is the highest possible ABC allowed that will end overfishing. The Council based its recommendations for the 2017 and 2018 summer flounder catch limits on the advice of its SSC, which, as explained further in response to previous comments, represents the best scientific information available.

    Comment 9: One commenter encouraged NMFS to hold more meetings in different areas so that more fishermen could participate.

    Response: The public had the opportunity to provide comments during the development of the 2017 and 2018 catch limits at the following meetings:

    • Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee Meeting; July 25, 2016 (webinar);

    • Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel Meetings; July 29, 2016 (webinar);

    • Joint Council and Commission meeting to develop 2017 and 2018 catch limit recommendations; August 9, 2016 (Virginia Beach, VA).

    Additionally, there have been opportunities to comment on the development of 2017 recreational management measures at the following meetings:

    • Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee Meetings; November 9-10, 2016 (Baltimore, MD);

    • Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel Meeting; November 17, 2016 (webinar);

    • Joint Council and Commission meeting to develop 2017 recreational management measure recommendations; December 12-15, 2016 (Baltimore, MD).

    These meetings are scheduled by the Council, which is responsible for the development of catch recommendations to NMFS. Council-related meetings are generally held annually at similar dates and are accessible through webinar. NMFS encourages interested parties to check the Council's Web site for information on how to access upcoming meetings (http://www.mafmc.org).

    Furthermore, the measures of this rule have been subject to public comment through proposed rulemaking, as required under the Administrative Procedure Act.

    Comment 10: A few commenters noted frustration that overfishing did not occur in their states, either recreationally or commercially, and questioned why fishermen from that state are being punished for overfishing that occurred in other states.

    Response: In the case of summer flounder, overfishing is not the result of states exceeding individual commercial quotas or recreational targets, but rather results from the coastwide sector allocations being set at a level that is not sustainable for the stock overall. Based on the retrospective patterns in the assessment that have continually underestimated previous years' fishing mortality and overestimated stock size and recruitment, catch limits have been set at optimistic, higher levels. While catch has largely stayed within these levels, further evaluation indicates that the catch limits themselves for prior years, including 2016 and those previously established for 2017 and 2018, were set too high and overfishing and stock depletion continued as a result. This is why the SSC recommended a substantial reduction for 2017 and 2018 to adjust for and correct this persistent catch setting error and to end the cycle of overfishing. NMFS agrees with the Council's recommendation based on the ABC advice of its SSC and we are implementing the revised, lower ABCs outlined in the preamble as a result.

    Comment 11: Numerous commenters implied that the summer flounder management measures are partial to the commercial industry. One issue of particular concern raised by commenters is that the commercial minimum size limit is smaller than those established for the recreational sector. Additionally, some stated the catch limits were allocated unfairly and the commercial fishery's landings limits should be reduced. Many commented that the commercial fishing industry is negatively affecting the resource more than the recreational sector, particularly with respect to discarding. Many suggestions on commercial management measures were suggested (e.g., prohibit commercial fishing within 10 miles of the coastline, limit the amount of commercial fishing allowed in the winter months around summer flounder spawning grounds, etc.).

    Response: The Council evaluated the available fishery performance data and decided not to recommend adjusting the commercial minimum summer flounder size or other commercial fishery measures as part of the 2017 and 2018 specifications revision. Because NMFS' authority is to approve, partially approve, or disapprove Council-recommended measures, the commenters' suggestions for changes to the commercial fishery are outside the scope of this action. The Council can consider annual changes to several management measures, including commercial minimum fish size, during its specification setting process that typically occurs at the August meeting. NMFS encourages those with concerns about the commercial fishery voice those issues directly to the Council during the appropriate specifications development cycle in 2017. The Council, working with the Commission, is currently developing a summer flounder amendment that is potentially reviewing state-by-state commercial and sector allocations. NMFS encourages commenters to stay involved with the Council process during this amendment's development. Other management measures, such as seasonal closures or prohibiting fishing within certain areas, must also be considered through Council and Commission actions and are outside the scope of this action.

    Comment 12: One commenter mentioned the need for more enforcement, stating that too many people are keeping undersized fish or exceeding their bag limits.

    Response: NMFS agrees that adequate enforcement is essential to help ensure catch limits are effective and we will continue to work closely with our state partners under our joint enforcement agreements. NMFS encourages people to call the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement's hotline at (800) 853-1964 if they witness illegal fishing activity.

    Comment 13: One commenter suggested that observer data be reviewed and the specifications should be updated appropriately following that review.

    Response: The commercial discard estimates using observer data are included in the annual stock assessment updates that are utilized in deriving OFL recommendations; therefore, observer data have already been reviewed and incorporated into these specifications.

    Comment 14: Four commenters mentioned concerns over the impact of foreign fishing in U.S. waters and its impact on the summer flounder stock.

    Response: NMFS agrees that it is important to minimize the impact of foreign fishing vessels in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is why Congress enacted the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 1976. The Magnuson-Stevens Act prohibited foreign fishing within the EEZ, except under special circumstances. There is currently no impact from foreign fishing on summer flounder within the EEZ.

    Classification

    The Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, determined that this final rule is necessary for the conservation and management of the summer flounder fishery and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay of effectiveness period for this rule, to ensure that the final specifications are in place on January 1, 2017. This action establishes the final specifications (i.e., annual catch limits) for the summer flounder and the final commercial quota for the black sea bass fishery for the 2017 fishing year, which begins on January 1, 2017.

    This rule is being issued at the earliest possible date. Preparation of the proposed rule by NMFS was dependent on the submission of the SEA/IRFA in support of the specifications that is developed by the Council. A complete document was received by NMFS in mid-October 2016. Documentation in support of the Council's recommended specifications is required for NMFS to provide the public with information from the environmental and economic analyses, as required for rulemaking, and to evaluate the consistency of the Council's recommendation with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law. The proposed rule published on November 15, 2016, with a 15-day comment period ending November 30, 2016. Publication of the summer flounder specification at the start of the fishing year that begins January 1 of each fishing year, is required by the order of Judge Robert Doumar in North Carolina Fisheries Association v. Daley. Although there are currently established 2017 commercial and recreational catch limits for summer flounder, fishing at these levels would result in overfishing of the stock. The existing catch limits need to be replaced by the catch limits implemented through this action, which represent a necessary 30-percent reduction.

    If the 30-day delay in effectiveness is not waived, the catch limit currently in place for the summer flounder fishery on January 1, 2017, will be too high, will be inconsistent with the prevailing scientific advice, and will perpetuate overfishing on the stock in a period of consistently poor recruitment, representing a substantial risk to the stock. Allowing fishing at this level is inconsistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, National Standard 1, and National Standard 2. The summer flounder fishery is expected, based on historic participation and harvest patterns, to be very active at the start of the fishing season in 2017. Without these revised specifications in place on January 1, 2017, individual states will not be held to the reduced catch limits and will be unable to set appropriate commercial possession and/or trip limits, which apportion the catch over the entirety of the calendar year. Disproportionately large harvest occurring within the first weeks of 2017 would disadvantage some gear sectors or owners and operators of smaller vessels that typically fish later in the fishing season. It is reasonable to conclude that the commercial fishing fleet possesses sufficient capacity to exceed the established commercial quota for summer flounder before the regulations would become effective, should these updated specifications not be in place on January 1, 2017. Should this occur, the fishing mortality objectives for summer flounder would be compromised, thus undermining the intent of the rule. Additionally, if states are unable to constrain harvest within these revised specifications at the start of the fishing year, resulting in overages in the total 2017 catch limits, these overages will count against the 2018 fishing year limits, further impacting the fishing fleet. Similarly, the commercial fishing fleet could potentially exceed the revised commercial black sea bass catch limit before these specifications would be effective, if not in place by January 1, 2017. To ensure the effectiveness of this required accountability measure, the black sea bass catch limit revision must also be in place before the start of the fishing year. For all of these reasons, a 30-day delay in effectiveness would be contrary to the public interest. Therefore, NMFS is waiving the requirement to ensure the revised summer flounder specifications are in place on January 1, 2017.

    These specifications are exempt from the procedures of Executive Order 12866.

    This final rule does not duplicate, conflict, or overlap with any existing Federal rules.

    A FRFA was prepared pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 604(a), and incorporates the IRFA, a summary of any significant issues raised by the public comments in response to the IRFA and NMFS's responses to those comments, and a summary of the analyses completed to support the action. A copy of the EA/IRFA is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES).

    The preamble to the proposed rule included a detailed summary of the analyses contained in the IRFA, and that discussion is not repeated here.

    Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis A Summary of Significant Issues Raised by the Public in Response to the Summary of the Agency's Assessment of Such Issues, and a Statement of Any Changes Made in the Final Rule as a Result

    Our responses to all of the comments received on the proposed rule, including those that raised significant issues with the proposed action, can be found in the Comments and Responses section of this rule. None of the comments received raised specific issues regarding the economic analyses summarized in the IRFA. As outlined in Comment 9, commenters were generally concerned with the impacts of a 30-percent reduction on the fishing industry and shoreside businesses. Most comments were focused on the recreational fishery. Our response to those comments are not repeated here. No changes to the proposed rule were required to be made as a result of public comments.

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

    On December 29, 2015, NMFS issued a final rule establishing a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses primarily engaged in the commercial fishing industry and $7 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses primarily engaged in for-hire fishing activity (NAICS 11411) for Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) compliance purposes only (80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.

    The categories of small entities likely to be affected by this action include commercial and charter/party vessel owners holding an active Federal permit for summer flounder, as well as owners of vessels that fish for summer flounder in state waters. The Council estimates that the 2017 and 2018 summer flounder specifications could affect 958 small entities and six large entities, assuming average revenues for the 2013-2015 period.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    No additional reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements are included in this final rule.

    Description of the Steps the Agency Has Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities Consistent With the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes

    Specification of commercial quotas and possession limits is constrained by the conservation objectives set forth in the FMP and implemented at 50 CFR part 648 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Economic impacts of changes in year-to-year quota specifications may be offset by adjustments to such measures as commercial fish sizes, changes to mesh sizes, gear restrictions, or possession and trip limits that may increase efficiency or value of the fishery. The Council recommended no such management measure changes, so none are implemented in this final rule. Therefore, the economic impact analysis of the action is evaluated on the different levels of quota specified in the alternatives. The ability of NMFS to minimize economic impacts for this action is constrained by quota levels that provide the maximum availability of fish while still ensuring that the required objectives and directives of the FMP, its implementing regulations, and the Magnuson-Stevens Act are met. In particular, the Council's SSC has made recommendations for the 2017 and 2018 ABC level for the summer flounder stock designed to end overfishing and foster stock growth. NMFS considers these recommendations to be consistent with National Standard 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which requires that the best available scientific information be used in fishery decision making. This action sets commercial quotas and recreational harvest limits for the summer flounder fishery for the 2017 and 2018 fishing years that achieve the objectives outlined in the preamble of this rule. The landings limits for 2017 include a commercial quota of 5.66 million lb (2,567 mt) and a recreational harvest limit of 3.77 million lb (1,711 mt). For 2018, the measures include an initial commercial quota of 6.63 million lb (3,006 mt) and a recreational harvest limit of 4.42 million lb (2,004 mt).

    The only other alternatives considered were the status quo alternatives that are identical to the summer flounder landings limits implemented in December 2015 (i.e., the previously implemented 2017 and 2018 levels). If these specifications remained in place, they would have greater positive socioeconomic impacts than the preferred alternatives. However, these alternatives were not selected as preferred, as they do not address the new scientific information regarding summer flounder stock status, and, therefore, would likely result in overfishing, which would be inconsistent with the FMP, National Standard 1 guidance under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and the most recent advice of the Council's SSC. Because these alternatives are inconsistent with the purpose and need of this action, they are not considered further under this analysis.

    Small Entity Compliance Guide

    Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a FRFA, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as “small entity compliance guides.” The agency shall explain the actions a small entity is required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules.

    As part of this rulemaking process, a small entity compliance guide will be sent to all holders of Federal permits issued for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries. In addition, copies of this final rule and guide (i.e., permit holder letter) are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and at the following Web site: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 19, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30876 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 246 Thursday, December 22, 2016 Proposed Rules OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Parts 831, 839, 841, 842, and 847 RIN 3206-AN22 Federal Employees' Retirement System; Government Costs AGENCY:

    Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule proposes to amend its regulations to clarify the manner for determining a supplemental liability, the process by which the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury) may request reconsideration of OPM's valuation of the supplemental liability, and to make associated changes. OPM also proposes to amends its regulations to clarify the employee categories it will use to compute the normal cost percentages.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments by February 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or RIN number 3206-AN22 by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include RIN number 3206-AN22 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Roxann Johnson, Retirement Policy, Retirement Services, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415-3200.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roxann Johnson, (202) 606-0299.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OPM's determination of the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) normal cost percentage necessary to fund the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) is subject to appeal by agencies with at least 1,000 employees in the general category of employees or 500 employees in any of the special category of employees, and the Secretary of the Treasury or the Postmaster General may request the Board of Actuaries reconsider the amount determined to be payable with respect to any supplemental liability in accordance with 5 U.S.C.8423(c) and 5 CFR 841.409. Sections 841.401 through 841.411 establish the time limits and requirements for an agency appeal of OPM's determination of a normal cost percentage. However, these regulations do not include detailed requirements for the contents of a USPS or a Treasury request for reconsideration of the amount payable with respect to a supplemental liability. Therefore, OPM proposes to include new regulations under 5 CFR part 841 that clarify the process by which the Secretary of the Treasury and the U.S. Postmaster General may file a request for the Board of Actuaries of the Civil Service Retirement System to reconsider an amount determined to be payable to the CSRDF with respect to a supplemental liability.

    OPM also proposes to amend its definition of “actuary” in 5 CFR 841.402. The current definition is limited to “an associate or fellow in the Society of Actuaries and one who is enrolled under section 3042 of Public Law 93-406, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974” (ERISA). OPM believes this definition no longer reflects professional standards generally required of an actuary for this subpart, and that the current regulatory definition is overly narrow because it works to exclude knowledgeable and experienced actuaries who may not be enrolled under ERISA, but who are well qualified to issue statements of opinion with regard to the CSRDF. As a result, OPM proposes to amend the definition of “actuary” under 5 CFR 841.402 to include those who are qualified under actuarial standards of practice in the United States and who have the experience and knowledge to issue a statement of opinion with regard to defined benefit retirement plans.

    Additionally, OPM proposes to amend its regulations under 5 CFR 841.403 to make clear that it determines separate normal cost percentages for employees covered under FERS, FERS Revised Annuity Employees (FERS-RAE), and FERS Further Revised Annuity Employees (FERS-FRAE) in compliance with section 5001 of the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012,” Public Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 199 (Feb. 22, 2012), and section 401 of the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013,” Public Law 113-67, 127 Stat. 1165 (Dec. 26, 2013). This legislation defined FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE employees for whom increased retirement deductions apply, which results in increased outlays from the CSRDF in refund and lump-sum payments of employee contributions. For that reason, the normal cost percentages for FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE employees are expected to exceed the normal cost percentages for other FERS employees. The legislation also reduced the benefit accrual rates for Members and Congressional employees (other than Capitol Police) subject to FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE, resulting in lower associated normal cost percentages. To ensure regulations reflect current statutory language, OPM proposes to amend 5 CFR 841.403 to clearly establish separate normal cost percentages for FERS, FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE employees within each employee category listed under 5 CFR 841.403.

    Also under 5 CFR 841.403, OPM proposes to clarify that it will include members of the Capitol Police as “Congressional Employees” for purposes of deriving separate normal cost percentages for this employee group. OPM includes members of the Capitol Police with Congressional employees when deriving the normal cost percentages for this employee group because, in part, 5 U.S.C. 2107(4), defines “a member or employee of the Capitol Police” as “a Congressional employee.” The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2014 eliminated for FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE employees the higher annuity accrual rates for Congressional employees provided under 5 U.S.C. 8415(c) (see 5 U.S.C. 8415(d)), but did not eliminate the higher annuity accrual rates under 5 U.S.C. 8415(e) for members of the Capitol Police subject to FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE. The annuity benefits of members of the Capitol Police are more closely comparable to another of the special employee groups (law enforcement officers, whose annuities are computed under 5 U.S.C. 8415(e)) for the purpose of determining their FERS normal cost percentage. However, because a member of the Capitol Police is not within the FERS definition of “law enforcement officer” at 5 U.S.C. 8401(17), members of the Capitol Police are not included in the special category of “law enforcement officers” under 5 U.S.C. 8423(a)(1)(B) and, therefore, are not subject to the normal cost percentage applicable to that group. The only special category listed in 5 U.S.C. 8423(a)(1)(B) that does apply to members of the Capitol Police is “Congressional employees.” Thus, despite the fact that the other Congressional employees subject to FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE do not receive enhanced annuity accrual rates, OPM must include Capitol Police in the Congressional employee normal cost percentage calculation under 5 U.S.C. 8423(a)(1)(B). Therefore, OPM proposes to amend 5 CFR 841.403(b) to reflect all Congressional employees including members of the Capitol Police in determining the FERS, FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE normal cost percentages for the “Congressional Employees” category.

    OPM proposes to amend 5 CFR 841.403 to also include U.S. Postal Service employees as a separate category for which OPM will derive normal cost percentages. OPM has determined a government-wide normal cost percentage for each category of employee, and USPS employees have been included in the category of either “all other employees” or “law enforcement officer” under 5 CFR 841.403(c) and (g). In reviewing a request of the USPS for reconsideration under 5 U.S.C. 8423(c), the Board of Actuaries of the Civil Service Retirement System has recommended OPM to consider that the supplemental liability under 5 U.S.C. 8423(b)(1)(B), and the normal cost percentage for USPS employees who do not fall under the category of “law enforcement officer” at 5 CFR 841.403(c), be calculated using USPS-specific assumptions regarding demographic factors, rather than government-wide demographic assumptions. Because of the separate Unites State Postal Service funding provisions established the under 5 U.S.C. 8423(b), OPM is proposing regulations to provide for the use of USPS-specific assumptions regarding demographic factors in the calculation of the USPS supplemental liability and in the determination of the normal cost percentage for Postal Service employees who do not fall under the category of “law enforcement officer.” OPM proposes and amends 5 CFR 841.414, which will provide specific guidance on the calculation of the supplemental liability; and OPM proposes to add employees of the USPS, who are not “law enforcement officers” under 5 CFR 841.403(c), as a separate category for which OPM will derive normal cost percentages under 5 CFR 841.403.

    OPM also proposes to add sections 841.415 through 841.417. These sections would establish the procedures and requirements for a request for reconsideration of a supplemental liability determination filed by the Secretary of the Treasury or the Postmaster General. Under § 841.417, the actuarial analysis submitted with the request must demonstrate a difference in the supplemental liability of at least 2 percent of the present value of future benefits calculated in OPM's computation of the supplemental liability. The Board of Actuaries recommended that the threshold to sustain a request for reconsideration be set as a difference in present value of future benefits. OPM's actuaries tested the effect of what might be considered substantive changes in the demographic assumptions and produced results within a range of 0 percent to a decrease of 5.9 percent. As a result, OPM has decided that a reasonable threshold requirement for the Board of Actuaries to sustain a request for reconsideration of a supplemental liability is 2 percent of the present value of future benefits.

    Additionally, OPM proposes to refine its definitions of present value factor and actuarial present value under 5 CFR parts 831, 839, 842, and 847 to ensure that these definitions are uniform and appropriate. Several provisions of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) require reduction of annuities on an actuarial basis. For example, OPM applies the present value factors to:

    1. Retirees who elect to provide survivor annuity benefits to spouses based on post-retirement marriages;

    2. Retiring employees who elect the alternative form of annuity;

    3. Employees who owe certain redeposits based on refunds of contributions for service ending before March 1, 1991;

    4. Employees who elect to credit certain service with nonappropriated fund instrumentalities; and

    5. Retirees with certain types of retirement coverage errors who can elect to receive credit for service by taking an actuarial reduction under the provisions of the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Correction Act (FERCCA).

    Specifically, OPM proposes to clarify, under 5 CFRs 831.303, 831.603, 831.2202, 839.102, 842.602, 842.702, and 847.103, that the present value factors are computed by using a composite of sex-distinct factors based upon mortality assumptions for annuitant populations. The factors reflect an increase in benefit payments at an assumed rate of cost-of living adjustment, where appropriate. OPM proposes to remove § 847.602, which currently provides a separate description of present value factors for purposes of Subpart F of part 847 in order to include a definition of “present value factor” for all of part 847 and to include a new section (§ 842.616) to describe when the present value factors will be published. Additionally, OPM proposes to clarify under 5 CFRs 842.602 and 842.702 that separate present value factors apply to FERS annuities that receive cost-of-living adjustments before the retiree attains age 62 versus annuities that do not receive cost-of-living adjustments before age 62.

    Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review

    This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, as amended by E.O. 13258 and E.O. 13422.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    List of Subjects 5 CFR Part 831

    Firefighters, Government employees, Income taxes, Intergovernmental relations, Law enforcement officers, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Retirement.

    5 CFR Part 839

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Employment taxes, Government employees, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Retirement, Social security.

    5 CFR Part 841

    Administrative practice and procedure, Air traffic controllers, Claims, Disability benefits, Firefighters, Government employees, Income taxes, Intergovernmental relations, Law enforcement officers, Pensions, Retirement.

    5 CFR Part 842

    Air traffic controllers, Alimony, Firefighters, Law enforcement officers, Pensions, Retirement.

    5 CFR Part 847

    Administrative practice and procedure, Disability benefits, Government employees, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Retirement.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Beth F. Cobert, Acting Director.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Office of Personnel Management proposes to amend 5 CFR parts 831, 839, 841, 842, and 847 as set forth below:

    PART 831—RETIREMENT 1. The authority citation for part 831 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 8347; Sec. 831.102 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8334; Sec. 831.106 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a; Sec. 831.108 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8336(d)(2); Sec. 831.114 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8336(d)(2), and Sec. 1313(b)(5) of Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135; Sec. 831.201(b)(1) also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8347(g); Sec. 831.201(b)(6) also issued under 5 U.S.C. 7701(b)(2); Sec. 831.201(g) also issued under Secs. 11202(f), 11232(e), and 11246(b) of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 251; Sec. 831.201(g) also issued under Sec. 7(b) and (e) of Pub. L. 105-274, 112 Stat. 2419; Sec. 831.201(i) also issued under Secs. 3 and 7(c) of Pub. L. 105-274, 112 Stat. 2419; Sec. 831.204 also issued under Sec. 102(e) of Pub. L. 104-8, 109 Stat. 102, as amended by Sec. 153 of Pub. L. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321; Sec. 831.205 also issued under Sec. 2207 of Pub. L. 106-265, 114 Stat. 784; Sec. 831.206 also issued under Sec. 1622(b) of Pub. L. 104-106, 110 Stat. 515; Sec. 831.301 also issued under Sec. 2203 of Pub. L. 106-265, 114 Stat. 780; Sec. 831.303 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8334(d)(2) and Sec. 2203 of Pub. L. 106-235, 114 Stat. 780; Sec. 831.502 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8337, and Sec. 1(3), E.O. 11228, 3 CFR 1965-1965 Comp. p. 317; Sec. 831.663 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8339(j) and (k)(2); Secs. 831.663 and 831.664 also issued under Sec. 11004(c)(2) of Pub. L. 103-66, 107 Stat. 412; Sec. 831.682 also issued under Sec. 201(d) of Pub. L. 99-251, 100 Stat. 23; Sec. 831.912 also issued under Sec. 636 of Appendix C to Pub. L. 106-554, 114 Stat. 2763A-164; Subpart P also issued under Sec. 535(d) of Title V of Division E of Pub. L. 110-161, 121 Stat. 2042; Subpart V also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8343a and Sec. 6001 of Pub. L. 100-203, 101 Stat. 1330-275; Sec. 831.2203 also issued under Sec. 7001(a)(4) of Pub. L. 101-508, 104 Stat. 1388-328.

    Subpart A—Administration and General Provisions 2. Add § 831.117 to read as follows:
    § 831.117 Computation of the Supplemental Liability

    (a) OPM will compute each supplemental liability of the Fund using demographic factors specific to the populations for which the supplemental liability applies.

    (b) The supplemental liability will be computed based on the economic assumptions used by the Board of Actuaries of the Civil Service Retirement System for the most recent valuation of the System.

    (c) Each supplemental liability shall be rounded to the nearest one hundred million dollars.

    3. Amend § 831.303 by revising paragraphs (c)(3) and (d)(3) to read as follows:
    § 831.303 Civilian service.

    (c) * * *

    (3) For the purpose of paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the term “present value factor” has the same meaning as defined in § 831.603 and “time of retirement” has the same meaning as defined in § 831.2202.

    (d) * * *

    (3) For the purpose of paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the term “present value factor” has the same meaning as defined in § 831.603 and “time of retirement” has the same meaning as defined in § 831.2202.

    4. Amend § 831.603 by revising the definition of “present value factor” to read as follows:
    § 831.603 Definitions.

    Present value factor means the amount of money (earning interest at an assumed rate) required at the time of annuity commencement to fund an annuity that starts at the rate of $1 a month and is payable in monthly installments for the annuitant's lifetime based on mortality rates for annuitants paid from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund; and increases each year at an assumed rate of cost of living adjustment. Assumed rates of interest, mortality, and cost-of-living adjustments used in computing the present value are those used by the Board of Actuaries of the Civil Service Retirement System for valuation of the System based on dynamic assumptions. The present value factors are unisex factors obtained as a composite of sex-distinct present value factors.

    5. Amend § 831.2202 by revising the definition of “present value factor” to read as follows:
    § 831.2202 Definitions.

    Present value factor has the same meaning in this subpart as defined in § 831.603.

    PART 839—CORRECTION OF RETIREMENT COVERAGE ERRORS UNDER THE FEDERAL ERRONEOUS RETIREMENT COVERAGE CORRECTIONS ACT 6. The authority citation for part 839 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Title II, Pub. L. 106-265, 114 Stat. 770.

    Subpart A—General Provisions 7. Amend § 839.102 by revising the definition of “present value factor” to read as follows:
    § 839.102 Definitions.

    Present value factor has the same meaning in this subpart as defined in § 831.603 of this chapter.

    PART 841—FEDERAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM—GENERAL ADMINSTRATION 8. The authority citation for part 841 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 8461; Sec. 841.108 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a; Secs. 841.110 and 841.111 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8470(a); subpart D also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8423; Sec. 841.504 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8422; Sec. 841.507 also issued under section 505 of Pub. L. 99-335; subpart J also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8469; Sec. 841.506 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 7701(b)(2); Sec. 841.508 also issued under section 505 of Pub. L. 99-335; Sec. 841.604 also issued under Title II, Pub. L. 106-265, 114 Stat. 780.

    Subpart D—Government Costs 9. Amend § 841.401 by revising paragraphs (b)(3) and (4), and adding paragraph (b)(5) to read as follows:
    § 841.401 Purpose and scope.

    (b) * * *

    (3) Agency appeals of rate determinations;

    (4) Methodology for determining the amount due from each agency; and

    (5) Requests for reconsideration of the Supplemental Liability.

    10. Amend § 841.402 by revising the definition of “actuary” to read as follows:
    § 841.402 Definitions.

    Actuary means a professional who is qualified under actuarial standards of practice in the United States to issue a statement of opinion in regard to defined benefit pension plans.

    11. Amend § 841.403 by revising the introductory text, and paragraphs (b) and (g), and adding paragraph (h) to read as follows:
    § 841.403 Categories of employees for computation of normal cost percentages.

    Separate normal cost percentages for FERS, FERS-RAE and FERS-FRAE will be determined for each of the following groups of employees:

    (b) Congressional employees, including members of the Capitol Police;

    (g) Other employees of the United States Postal Service;

    (h) All other employees.

    12. Revise § 841.409 to read as follows:
    § 841.409 Agency right to appeal normal cost percentage.

    (a) An agency with at least 1,000 employees in the general category of employees or 500 employees in any of the special categories may appeal to the Board the normal cost percentage for that category as applied to that agency.

    (b) No appeal will be considered by the Board unless the agency files, no later than 6 months after the date of publication of the notice of normal cost percentages under § 841.407, a petition for appeal that meets all the requirements of § 841.410.

    13. Revise the section heading of § 841.410 to read as follows:
    § 841.410 Contents of petition for appeal of normal cost percentage.
    14. Revise the section heading of § 841.411 to read as follows:
    § 841.411 Appeals procedure of normal cost percentage.
    15. Add § 841.414 to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 841.414 Computation of the supplemental liability.

    (a) OPM will compute each supplemental liability of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund using demographic factors consistent with those used for the computation of the normal cost percentages under § 841.403.

    (b) The supplemental liability will be computed based on the economic assumptions determined by the Board for the most recent valuation of the Federal Employees Retirement System.

    (c) Each supplemental liability will be rounded to the nearest one hundred million dollars.

    16. Add § 841.415 to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 841.415 Right to request reconsideration of the supplemental liability.

    (a) The Secretary of the Treasury or the Postmaster General may request the Board to reconsider a determination of the amount payable with respect to any supplemental liability.

    (b) No request for reconsideration will be considered by the Board unless the Secretary of the Treasury or the Postmaster General files, no later than 6 months after the date of receipt of the first notice of the amount payable with respect to the supplemental liability, a request for reconsideration that meets all the requirements of § 841.416.

    17. Add § 841.416 to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 841.416 Contents of a request for reconsideration of the supplemental liability.

    (a) To request reconsideration of the amount payable with respect to the supplemental liability, the Secretary of the Treasury or the Postmaster General must file with OPM—

    (1) A signed letter of appeal summarizing the basis of the request; and

    (2) An actuarial report that contains a detailed actuarial analysis of the request.

    (b) The actuarial report must—

    (1) Be signed by an actuary;

    (2) Specifically present any data and development of assumptions related to the request for reconsideration;

    (3) Use each of the demographic factors listed in § 841.404; and

    (4) Use the economic assumptions under § 841.414(b). When a request is based in whole or in part on a pattern of merit salary increases, the report may include an analysis of the economic assumptions concerning salary and wage growth to take into account the combined effect of merit and general wage and salary growth.

    18. Add § 841.417 to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 841.417 Reconsideration of the supplemental liability.

    (a) The Board cannot sustain a request for reconsideration unless the Board finds that—

    (1) The data used in the actuarial report required by § 841.416 are sufficient and reliable;

    (2) The assumptions used in the actuarial report required by § 841.416 are justified; and

    (3) The difference in the supplemental liability amount is at least 2 percent of the present value of future benefits calculated in OPM's computation of the supplemental liability.

    (b) If the Board sustains a request for reconsideration of the supplemental liability, OPM will recompute the supplemental liability according to the economic and demographic assumptions recommended by the Board.

    PART 842—FEDERAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM—BASIC ANNUITY 19. The authority citation for part 842 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 8461(g); Secs. 842.104 and 842.106 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8461(n); Sec. 842.104 also issued under Secs. 3 and 7(c) of Pub. L. 105-274, 112 Stat. 2419; Sec. 842.105 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8402(c)(1) and 7701(b)(2); Sec. 842.106 also issued under Sec. 102(e) of Pub. L. 104-8, 109 Stat. 102, as amended by Sec. 153 of Pub. L. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321-102; Sec. 842.107 also issued under Secs. 11202(f), 11232(e), and 11246(b) of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 251, and Sec. 7(b) of Pub. L. 105-274, 112 Stat. 2419; Sec. 842.108 also issued under Sec. 7(e) of Pub. L. 105-274, 112 Stat. 2419; Sec. 842.109 also issued under Sec. 1622(b) of Public Law 104-106, 110 Stat. 515; Sec. 842.208 also issued under Sec. 535(d) of Title V of Division E of Pub. L. 110-161, 121 Stat. 2042; Sec. 842.213 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8414(b)(1)(B) and Sec. 1313(b)(5) of Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135; Secs. 842.304 and 842.305 also issued under Sec. 321(f) of Pub. L. 107-228, 116 Stat. 1383, Secs. 842.604 and 842.611 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8417; Sec. 842.607 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8416 and 8417; Sec. 842.614 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8419; Sec. 842.615 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8418; Sec. 842.703 also issued under Sec. 7001(a)(4) of Pub. L. 101-508, 104 Stat. 1388; Sec. 842.707 also issued under Sec. 6001 of Pub. L. 100-203, 101 Stat. 1300; Sec. 842.708 also issued under Sec. 4005 of Pub. L. 101-239, 103 Stat. 2106 and Sec. 7001 of Pub. L. 101-508, 104 Stat. 1388; Subpart H also issued under 5 U.S.C. 1104; Sec. 842.810 also issued under Sec. 636 of Appendix C to Pub. L. 106-554 at 114 Stat. 2763A-164; Sec. 842.811 also issued under Sec. 226(c)(2) of Public Law 108-176, 117 Stat. 2529; Subpart J also issued under Sec. 535(d) of Title V of Division E of Pub. L. 110-161, 121 Stat. 2042.

    Subpart F—Survivor Elections 20. Amend § 842.602 by revising the definition of “present value factor” to read as follows:
    § 842.602 Definitions.

    Present value factor means the amount of money (earning interest at an assumed rate) required at the time of annuity commencement to fund an annuity that starts at the rate of $1 a month and is payable in monthly installments for the annuitant's lifetime based on mortality rates for annuitants paid from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund; and increases each year at an assumed rate of cost-of-living adjustment. Assumed rates of interest, mortality, and cost-of-living adjustments used in computing the present value are those used by the Board of Actuaries of the Civil Service Retirement System for valuation of the Federal Employees' Retirement System based on dynamic assumptions. The present value factors are unisex factors obtained as a composite of sex-distinct present value factors. Separate present value factors apply for FERS annuities that receive cost-of-living adjustments before the retiree attains age 62, versus FERS annuities that do not receive cost-of-living adjustments before the retiree attains age 62.

    21. Add § 842.616 to subpart F to read as follows:
    § 842.616 Publication of present value factors.

    When OPM publishes in the Federal Register notice of normal cost percentages under § 841.407 of this chapter, it will also publish updated present value factors.

    22. Amend § 842.702 by revising the definition of “present value factor” to read as follows:
    § 842.702 Definitions.

    Present value factor has the same meaning in this subpart as defined in § 842.602.

    PART 847—ELECTIONS OF RETIREMENT COVERAGE BY CURRENT AND FORMER EMPLOYEES OF NONAPPROPRIATED FUND INSTRUMENTALITIES 23. The authority citation for part 847 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 8332(b)(17) and 8411(b)(6) and sections 1131 and 1132 of Pub. L. 107-107, December 28, 2001, 115 Stat 1242; 5 U.S.C. 8347(a) and 8461(g) and section 1043(b) of Pub. L. 104-106, Div. A, Title X, Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 434. Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8347(q) and 8461(n).

    Subpart A—General Provisions 24. Amend § 847.103(b) by revising the definition of “actuarial present value” and adding the definition of “present value factor” in alphabetical order as follows:
    § 847.103 Definitions.

    (b) * * *

    Actuarial present value means the amount of monthly annuity at time of retirement multiplied by the applicable present value factor.

    * * *

    Present value factor has the same meaning in this part as defined in § 842.602.

    § 847.602 [Removed and Reserved]
    25. Remove and reserve § 847.602.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30487 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-38-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2013-0740; Directorate Identifier 2013-NE-24-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-05-32, which applies to all Pratt & Whitney (PW) PW2037, PW2037D, PW2037M, PW2040, PW2040D, PW2043, PW2143, PW2643, and F117-PW-100 turbofan engines. AD 2014-05-32 currently requires one-time eddy current inspection (ECI) of affected engines with certain diffuser and HPT cases installed. AD 2014-05-32 also requires a fluorescent-penetrant inspection (FPI) of the diffuser case rear flange and the HPT case front flange. Since we issued AD 2014-05-32, the manufacturer determined through analysis that the inspections required by AD 2014-05-32 are not adequate to maintain safety. This proposed AD would add additional repetitive, on-wing ECI inspections. We are proposing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Pratt & Whitney, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108; phone: 860-565-8770; fax: 860-565-4503. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2013-0740; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Kierstead, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7772; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2013-0740; Directorate Identifier 2013-NE-24-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On March 6, 2014, we issued AD 2014-05-32, Amendment 39-17804 (79 FR 17856, March 31, 2014), (“AD 2014-05-32”), for all PW PW2037, PW2037D, PW2037M, PW2040, PW2040D, PW2043, PW2143, PW2643, and F117-PW-100 turbofan engines. AD 2014-05-32 requires a one-time ECI of affected engines with certain diffuser and HPT cases installed. AD 2014-05-32 also requires an FPI of the diffuser case rear flange and HPT case front flange. AD 2014-05-32 resulted from a rupture of the diffuser-to-HPT case flange. We issued AD 2014-05-32 to prevent failure of the diffuser-to-HPT case flange, which could lead to uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2014-05-32 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2014-05-32, the manufacturer identified a subpopulation of diffuser cases installed on the affected engines with a repaired flange that has a lower fatigue capability. The repaired flange cannot be distinguished from non-repaired flanges on diffuser cases installed on the affected engines. We determined, therefore, that the inspections required by AD 2014-05-32 are not adequate to maintain safety. To correct this unsafe condition, we are now proposing additional, repetitive ECI inspections.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed PW Service Bulletin No. PW2000 72-763, Revision No. 1, dated August 30, 2013; and PW Alert Service Bulletin No. PW2000 A72-765, Revision No. 1, dated July 13, 2016. This service information describes procedures for a one-time ECI inspection of the engine diffuser case and the HPT case, and repetitive on-wing ECIs of the engine diffuser case assembly, respectively. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2014-05-32 except it would eliminate the Prohibition Statement. We determined that this statement is unnecessary for compliance with the AD. In addition, this proposed AD would require repetitive, on-wing ECI inspections. This proposed AD would also remove the PW2240 and PW2337 engines from the applicability section since these engines were removed from PW Type Certificate Number E17NE.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 910 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators On-wing/module ECI Inspection 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 $0 $680 $230,520 per inspection cycle. FPI Inspection 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 20 $275 per inspection cycle $250,250 per inspection cycle. Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the proposed regulation:

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-05-32, Amendment 39-17804 (79 FR 17856, March 31, 2014), and adding the following new AD: Pratt & Whitney: Docket No. FAA-2013-0740; Directorate Identifier 2013-NE-24-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by February 6, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2014-05-32, Amendment 39-17804 (79 FR 17856, March 31, 2014).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Pratt & Whitney (PW) PW2037, PW2037D, PW2037M, PW2040, PW2040D, PW2043, PW2143, PW2643, and F117-PW-100 turbofan engines.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 72, Turbine/Turboprop Engine.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a rupture of the diffuser-to-high-pressure turbine (HPT) case flange. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the diffuser-to-HPT case flange, which could lead to uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

    Unless already done, comply with this AD within the compliance times specified.

    (1) For diffuser case, part number (P/N) 1B7461, serial numbers (S/Ns) DGGUAK1306 and DGGUAK1308, and HPT case, P/N 1B2440, S/N DKLBCS1032:

    (i) Within 100 flight cycles or 30 days after May 5, 2014, whichever is later, eddy current inspect the diffuser case and the HPT case M-flange. Use PW Service Bulletin (SB) No. PW2000 72-763, Revision No. 1, dated August 30, 2013, to do the inspection.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (2) For all diffuser and HPT cases, at the next piece-part opportunity and every piece-part opportunity thereafter, perform a high sensitivity fluorescent-penetrant inspection (FPI) of the entire diffuser case rear flange (M-flange) and bolt holes, and the entire HPT case forward flange (M-flange) and bolt holes.

    (3) For diffuser cases that have not incorporated PW SB PW2000-72-364 or have incorporated either PW SB PW2000-72-700 or PW2000 Series Engine Manual, Repair-28, Task 72-41-01-300-028 (M-flange replacement), perform initial and repetitive eddy current inspections (ECIs) of the M-flange of the diffuser case in accordance with paragraph (f)(4) of this AD.

    (4) Use, as applicable, either the Accomplishment Instructions, “For Engines Installed on the Aircraft,” paragraphs 3.(I) through 3.(J), or the Accomplishment Instructions, “For Engines Removed from the Aircraft,” paragraphs 3.(D) through 3.(E), of PW Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. PW2000 A72-765, Revision No. 1, dated July 13, 2016, to do the ECI as follows:

    (i) Perform an initial inspection within the following period, whichever occurs later:

    (A) Within 5,500 cycles since new or since M-flange replacement, or

    (B) Within 2,500 cycles since last piece-part FPI inspection, or

    (C) Within 500 cycles from the effective date of this AD.

    (ii) If no crack indications are found, re-inspect within 2,500 cycles since last ECI or last piece-part FPI inspection, whichever occurs first.

    (iii) If crack indications are found, measure the crack length and determine the re-inspect interval in accordance with:

    (A) Paragraphs 5.(C) through 5.(D) of PW ASB No. PW2000 A72-765, Revision No. 1, dated July 13, 2016, “For Engines Installed on the Aircraft”; or

    (B) Paragraphs 4.(C) through 4.(D) of PW ASB No. PW2000 A72-765, Revision No. 1, dated July 13, 2016, “For Engines Removed from the Aircraft.”

    (iv) Remove from service diffuser cases with cracks exceeding 0.170 inches.

    (g) Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, piece-part opportunity is defined as when the part is completely disassembled.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    If you performed an ECI of the diffuser case and HPT case M-flange using the Accomplishment Instructions of PW SB No. PW2000 72-763, Revision No. 1, dated August 13, 2013, or an earlier version, or you performed a high sensitivity FPI of the diffuser case and HPT case at the piece-part opportunity after January 1, 2010, you met the requirements of paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected]

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this proposed AD, contact Brian Kierstead, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7772; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) PW SB No. PW2000 72-763, Revision No. 1, dated August 30, 2013; and PW ASB No. PW2000 A72-765, Revision No. 1, dated July 13, 2016, can be obtained from PW using the contact information in paragraph (j)(3) of this AD.

    (3) For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies Corporation, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108; phone: 860-565-8770; fax: 860-565-4503.

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

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on December 1, 2016. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30114 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE 15 CFR Parts 2004 and 2005 [Docket Number USTR-2016-0027] RIN 0350-AA09 Privacy Act Policies and Procedures AGENCY:

    Office of the United States Trade Representative.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of a comprehensive review of agency practices related to the disclosure of records and information, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is updating both its systems of records and implementing rule under the Privacy Act of 1974 (Privacy Act). This proposed rule describes how individuals can find out if a USTR system of records contains information about them and, if so, how to access or amend a record. The proposed rule would move the Privacy Act regulation from part 2005 into a new subpart C to part 2004. USTR previously renamed and reorganized part 2004 to include all of the rules governing disclosure of USTR records and information. Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, USTR is publishing a notice concerning updates to its Privacy Act systems of records.

    DATES:

    We must receive your written comments on or before January 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You should submit written comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The docket number for this rulemaking is USTR-2016-0027. USTR invites comments on all aspects of the proposed rule, and will revise the language as appropriate after taking all timely comments into consideration. Copies of all comments will be available for public viewing at www.regulations.gov upon completion of processing. You can view a submission by entering the docket number USTR-2016-0027 in the search field at http://www.regulations.gov. We will post comments without change and will include any personal information you provide, such as your name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Janice Kaye, Monique Ricker or Melissa Keppel, Office of General Counsel, Office of the US Trade Representative, Anacostia Naval Annex, Building 410/Door 123, 250 Murray Lane SW., Washington DC 20509, [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; 202-395-3150.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    USTR has undertaken a comprehensive review of agency practices related to the collection, use, protection and disclosure of USTR records and information. As a result of that review, USTR is updating both its Privacy Act systems of records and implementing rule. The Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, balances the Federal Government's need to maintain information about individuals while protecting individuals against unwarranted invasions of privacy stemming from Federal agencies' collection, maintenance, use, security and disclosure of personal information about them that is contained in systems of records. The Privacy Act requires each Federal agency to publish regulations describing its Privacy Act procedures and any system of records it exempts from provisions of the Privacy Act, including the reasons for the exemption.

    USTR's current Privacy Act rule, codified at 15 CFR part 2005, was last revised in 1975. See 40 FR 48331, Oct. 14, 1975. Due to the passage of time, we are completely rewriting and updating the rule. We are reserving part 2005, the rule's current codification, and moving the revised rule into a new subpart C to part 2004. Part 2004 includes four subparts containing all of the rules governing disclosure of USTR records and information.

    Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, USTR is publishing a notice updating the agency's Privacy Act systems of records.

    II. Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 2004.20—Definitions: This section sets forth definitions of select terms used in this subpart.

    Section 2004.21—Purpose and scope: This section describes the purpose of the regulation, which is to implement the Privacy Act, and explains general policies and procedures for individuals requesting access to records, requesting amendments or corrections to records, and requesting an accounting of disclosures of records.

    Section 2004.22—How to make a Privacy Act request: This section explains what an individual must do to submit a valid request to USTR for access to records, to amend or correct records, or for an accounting of disclosures of records. It also describes the information an individual must provide so USTR can identify the records sought and determine whether the request can be granted.

    Section 2004.23—How USTR will respond to a Privacy Act request: This section describes the period of time within which USTR will respond to requests. It also explains that USTR will grant or deny requests in writing, provide reasons if a request is denied in whole or in part, and explain the right of appeal.

    Section 2004.24—What requesters can do if they are dissatisfied with USTR's response to a Privacy Act request: This section describes when and how an individual may appeal a determination on a Privacy Act request and how and within what period of time USTR will make a determination on an appeal.

    Section 2004.25—Fees: This section explains that requesters are required to pay fees for the duplication of requested records.

    Section 2004.26—Exemptions: This section explains that certain exemptions from the Privacy Act exist, explains how those exemptions are made effective, what the effect of an exemption is, and how to determine whether an exemption applies.

    Section 2004.27—How records are secured: This section explains how we generally protect records under the Privacy Act.

    Section 2004.28—Use and collection of Social Security numbers: This section explains that USTR collects Social Security numbers only when authorized to do so and describes the conditions under which USTR may collect and use Social Security numbers.

    Section 2004.29—USTR employee responsibilities under the Privacy Act: This section lists the responsibilities of USTR employees under the Privacy Act.

    III. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    USTR has considered the impact of the proposed regulation and determined that if adopted as a final rule it is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities because it is applicable only to USTR's internal operations and legal obligations. See 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rule does not contain any information collection requirement that requires the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 2004

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Disclosure, Exemptions, Freedom of information, Government employees, Privacy, Records, Subpoenas, Testimony.

    15 CFR Part 2005

    Privacy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Office of the United States Trade Representative is proposing to amend chapter XX of title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 2004—DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION 1. Add subpart C, consisting of §§ 2004.20 through 2004.29 to read as follows: Subpart C—Privacy Act Policies and Procedures Sec. 2004.20 Definitions. 2004.21 Purpose and scope. 2004.22 How do I make a Privacy Act request? 2004.23 How will USTR respond to my Privacy Act request? 2004.24 What can I do if I am dissatisfied with USTR's response to my Privacy Act request? 2004.25 What does it cost to get records under the Privacy Act? 2004.26 Are there any exemptions from the Privacy Act? 2004.27 How are records secured? 2004.28 Use and collection of Social Security numbers. 2004.29 USTR employee responsibilities under the Privacy Act. Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552a; 19 U.S.C. 2171(e)(3).

    Subpart C—Privacy Act Policies and Procedures
    § 2004.20 Definitions.

    For purposes of this subpart:

    Access means making a record available to a subject individual.

    Amendment means any correction, addition to or deletion of information in a record.

    Individual means a natural person who either is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

    Maintain means to keep or hold and preserve in an existing state, and includes the terms collect, use, disseminate and control.

    Privacy Act Office means the USTR officials who are authorized to respond to requests and to process requests for amendment of records USTR maintains under the Privacy Act.

    Record means any item, collection or grouping of information about an individual that USTR maintains within a system of records and contains the individual's name or the identifying number, symbol or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or photograph.

    System of records means a group of records USTR maintains or controls from which information is retrieved by the name of an individual or by some identifying number, symbol or other identifying particular assigned to the individual. USTR publishes notices in the Federal Register announcing the creation, deletion or amendment of its systems of records. You can find a description of our systems of records on the USTR Web site: www.ustr.gov.

    § 2004.21 Purpose and scope.

    (a) This subpart implements the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, a Federal law that requires Federal agencies to protect private information about individuals that the agencies collect or maintain. It establishes USTR's rules for access to records in systems of records we maintain that are retrieved by an individual's name or another personal identifier. It describes the procedures by which individuals may request access to records, request amendment or correction of those records, and request an accounting of disclosures of those records by USTR. Whenever it is appropriate to do so, USTR automatically processes a Privacy Act request for access to records under both the Privacy Act and the FOIA, following the rules contained in this subpart and subpart B of part 2004. USTR processes a request under both the Privacy Act and the FOIA so you will receive the maximum amount of information available to you by law.

    (b) This subpart does not entitle you to any service or to the disclosure of any record to which you are not entitled under the Privacy Act. It also does not, and may not be relied upon to create any substantive or procedural right or benefit enforceable against USTR.

    § 2004.22 How do I make a Privacy Act request?

    (a) In general. You can make a Privacy Act request on your own behalf for records or information about you. You also can make a request on behalf of another individual as the parent or guardian of a minor, or as the guardian of someone determined by a court to be incompetent. You may request access to another individual's record or information if you have that individual's written consent, unless other conditions of disclosure apply.

    (b) How do I make a request? - (1) Where do I send my written request? To make a request for access to a record, you should write directly to our Privacy Act Office. Heightened security delays mail delivery. To avoid mail delivery delays, we strongly suggest that you email your request to [email protected] Our mailing address is: Privacy Act Office, Office of the US Trade Representative, Anacostia Naval Annex, Building 410/Door 123, 250 Murray Lane SW., Washington DC 20509. To make sure that the Privacy Act Office receives your request without delay, you should include the notation `Privacy Act Request' in the subject line of your email or on the front of your envelope and also at the beginning of your request.

    (2) Security concerns. To protect our computer systems, we will not open attachments to emailed requests—you must include your request within the body of the email. We will not process email attachments.

    (c) What should my request include? You must describe the record that you seek in enough detail to enable the Privacy Act Office to locate the system of records containing the record with a reasonable amount of effort. Include specific information about each record sought, such as the time period in which you believe it was compiled, the name or identifying number of each system of records in which you believe it is kept, and the date, title or name, author, recipient, or subject matter of the record. As a general rule, the more specific you are about the record that you seek, the more likely we will be able to locate it in response to your request.

    (d) How do I request amendment or correction of a record? If you are requesting an amendment or correction of a USTR record, you must identify each particular record in question and the system of records in which the record is located, describe the amendment or correction that you seek, and state why you believe that the record is not accurate, relevant, timely or complete. You may submit any documentation that you think would be helpful, including an annotated copy of the record.

    (e) How do I request an accounting of record disclosures? If you are requesting an accounting of disclosures made by USTR to another person, organization or Federal agency, you must identify each particular record in question. An accounting generally includes the date, nature and purpose of each disclosure, as well as the name and address of the person, organization, or Federal agency to which the disclosure was made.

    (f) Verification of identity. When making a Privacy Act request, you must verify your identity in accordance with these procedures to protect your privacy or the privacy of the individual on whose behalf you are acting. If you make a Privacy Act request and you do not follow these identity verification procedures, USTR cannot process your request.

    (1) How do I verify my own identity? You must state your full name, current address, and date and place of birth. In order to help identify and locate the records, you also may, at your option, include your Social Security number. To verify your own identity, you must provide an unsworn declaration under 28 U.S.C. 1746, a law that permits statements to be made under penalty of perjury. To fulfill this requirement, you must include the following statement just before the signature on your request:

    I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date].

    (2) How do I verify parentage or guardianship? If you make a request as the parent or guardian of a minor, or as the guardian of someone determined by a court to be incompetent, for access records or information about that individual, you must establish:

    (i) The identity of the individual who is the subject of the record, by stating the individual's name, current address and date and place of birth, and, at your option, the Social Security number of the individual;

    (ii) Your own identity, as required in paragraph (f)(1) of this section;

    (iii) That you are the parent or guardian of the individual, which you may prove by providing a copy of the individual's birth certificate showing your parentage or a court order establishing your guardianship; and

    (iv) That you are acting on behalf of the individual in making the request.

    § 2004.23 How will USTR respond to my Privacy Act request?

    (a) When will we respond to your request? We will search to determine if the requested records exist in a system of records USTR owns or controls. The Privacy Act Office will respond to you in writing within twenty days after we receive your request, if it meets the requirements of this subpart. We may extend the response time in unusual circumstances, such as the need to consult with another agency about a record or to retrieve a record shipped offsite for storage.

    (b) What will our response include? Our written response will include our determination whether to grant or deny your request in whole or in part, a brief explanation of the reasons for the determination, and the amount of the fee charged, if any, under § 2004.25. If you requested access to records, we will make the records, if any, available to you. If you requested amendment or correction of a record, the response will describe any amendments or corrections made and advise you of your right to obtain a copy of the amended or corrected record.

    (c) Adverse determinations—(1) What is an adverse determination? An adverse determination is a response to a Privacy Act request that:

    (i) Withholds any requested record in whole or in part;

    (ii) Denies a request to amend or correct a record in whole or in part;

    (iii) Declines to provide an accounting of disclosures;

    (iv) Advises that a requested record does not exist or cannot be located;

    (v) Finds that what you requested is not a record subject to the Privacy Act; or

    (vi) Advises on any disputed fee matter.

    (2) Responses that include an adverse determination. If the Privacy Act Office makes an adverse determination with respect to your request, our written response will identify the person responsible for the adverse determination, that the adverse determination is not a final agency action, and that you may appeal the adverse determination under § 2004.24.

    § 2004.24 What can I do if I am dissatisfied with USTR's response to my Privacy Act request?

    (a) What can I appeal? You can appeal any adverse determination in writing to our Privacy Act Appeals Committee within thirty calendar days after the date of our response. We provide a list of adverse determinations in § 2004.23(c).

    (b) How do I make an appeal?—(1) What should I include? You may appeal by submitting a written statement giving the reasons why you believe the Committee should overturn the adverse determination. Your written appeal may include as much or as little related information as you wish to provide, as long as it clearly identifies the determination (including the request number, if known) that you are appealing.

    (2) Where do I send my appeal? You should mark both your letter and the envelope, or the subject of your email, “Privacy Act Appeal”. To avoid mail delivery delays caused by heightened security, we strongly suggest that you email any appeal to [email protected] Our mailing address is: Privacy Office, Office of the US Trade Representative, Anacostia Naval Annex, Building 410/Door 123, 250 Murray Lane SW., Washington DC 20509.

    (c) Who will decide your appeal? (1) The Privacy Act Appeals Committee or designee will act on all appeals under this section.

    (2) We ordinarily will not adjudicate an appeal if the request becomes a matter of litigation.

    (3) On receipt of any appeal involving classified information, the Privacy Act Appeals Committee must take appropriate action to ensure compliance with applicable classification rules.

    (d) When will we respond to your appeal? The Privacy Act Appeals Committee will notify you of its appeal decision in writing within thirty days from the date it receives an appeal that meets the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. We may extend the response time in unusual circumstances, such as the need to consult with another agency about a record or to retrieve a record shipped offsite for storage.

    (e) What will our response include? The written response will include the Committee's determination whether to grant or deny your appeal in whole or in part, a brief explanation of the reasons for the determination, and information about the Privacy Act provisions for court review of the determination.

    (1) Appeals concerning access to records. If your appeal concerns a request for access to records and the appeal is granted in whole or in part, we will make the records, if any, available to you.

    (2) Appeals concerning amendments or corrections. If your appeal concerns amendment or correction of a record, the response will describe any amendment or correction made and advise you of your right to obtain a copy of the amended or corrected record. We will notify all persons, organizations or Federal agencies to which we previously disclosed the record, if an accounting of that disclosure was made, that the record has been amended or corrected. Whenever the record is subsequently disclosed, the record will be disclosed as amended or corrected. If our response denies your request for an amendment or correction to a record, we will advise you of your right to file a statement of disagreement under paragraph (f) of this section.

    (f) Statements of disagreement—(1) What is a statement of disagreement? A statement of disagreement is a concise written statement in which you clearly identify each part of any record that you dispute and explain your reason(s) for disagreeing with our denial in whole or in part of your appeal requesting amendment or correction.

    (2) How do I file a statement of disagreement? We must receive your statement of disagreement within thirty calendar days of our denial in whole or in part of your appeal concerning amendment or correction of a record.

    (3) What will we do with your statement of disagreement? We will place your statement of disagreement in the system(s) of records in which the disputed record is maintained. We also may append a concise statement of our reason(s) for denying the request to amend or correct the record. Whenever the record is subsequently disclosed, the record will be disclosed along with your statement of disagreement and our explanation, if any.

    (g) When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of an adverse determination or denial of a request, you generally first must submit a timely administrative appeal under this section.

    § 2004.25 What does it cost to get records under the Privacy Act?

    (a) Your request is an agreement to pay fees. We consider your Privacy Act request as your agreement to pay all applicable fees unless you specify a limit on the amount of fees you agree to pay. We will not exceed the specified limit without your written agreement.

    (b) How do we calculate fees? We will charge a fee for duplication of a record under the Privacy Act in the same way we charge for duplication of records under the FOIA in § 2004.9. There are no fees to search for or review records requested under the Privacy Act.

    § 2004.26 Are there any exemptions from the Privacy Act?

    (a) What is a Privacy Act exemption? The Privacy Act authorizes USTR to exempt records or information in a system of records from some of the Privacy Act requirements, if we determine that the exemption is necessary. With the exception of certain law enforcement records, we will not provide you with an accounting of disclosures or make available to you records that are exempt.

    (b) How do I know if the records or information I want are exempt? Each USTR system of records notice will advise you if we have determined that records or information in records are exempt from Privacy Act requirements. If we have claimed an exemption for a system of records, the system of records notice will identify the exemption and the provisions of the Privacy Act from which the system is exempt.

    § 2004.27 How are records secured?

    (a) Controls. USTR must establish administrative and physical controls to prevent unauthorized access to its systems of records, unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure of records, and physical damage to or destruction of records. The stringency of these controls corresponds to the sensitivity of the records that the controls protect. At a minimum, the administrative and physical controls must ensure that:

    (1) Records are protected from public view;

    (2) The area in which records are kept is supervised during business hours to prevent unauthorized persons from having access to them;

    (3) Records are inaccessible to unauthorized persons outside of business hours; and

    (4) Records are not disclosed to unauthorized persons or under unauthorized circumstances in either oral or written form.

    (b) Limited access. Access to records is restricted only to individuals who require access in order to perform their official duties.

    § 2004.28 Use and collection of Social Security numbers.

    We will collect Social Security numbers only when it is necessary and we are authorized to do so. At least annually, the Privacy Act Office will inform employees who are authorized to collect information that:

    (a) Individuals may not be denied any right, benefit or privilege as a result of refusing to provide their Social Security numbers, unless the collection is authorized either by a statute or by a regulation issued prior to 1975; and

    (b) They must inform individuals who are asked to provide their Social Security numbers:

    (1) If providing a Social Security number is mandatory or voluntary;

    (2) If any statutory or regulatory authority authorizes collection of a Social Security number; and

    (3) The uses that will be made of the Social Security number.

    § 2004.29 Employee responsibilities under the Privacy Act.

    At least annually, the Privacy Act Office will inform employees about the provisions of the Privacy Act, including the Act's civil liability and criminal penalty provisions. Unless otherwise permitted by law, a USTR employee must:

    (a) Collect from individuals only information that is relevant and necessary to discharge USTR's responsibilities.

    (b) Collect information about an individual directly from that individual whenever practicable.

    (c) Inform each individual from whom information is collected of:

    (1) The legal authority to collect the information and whether providing it is mandatory or voluntary;

    (2) The principal purpose for which USTR intends to use the information;

    (3) The routine uses, i.e., disclosures of records and information contained in a system of records without the consent of the subject of the record, USTR may make; and

    (4) The effects on the individual, if any, of not providing the information.

    (d) Ensure that the employee's office does not maintain a system of records without public notice and notify appropriate officials of the existence or development of any system of records that is not the subject of a current or planned public notice.

    (e) Maintain all records that are used in making any determination about an individual with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness and completeness as is reasonably necessary to ensure fairness to the individual in the determination.

    (f) Except for disclosures made to an agency or under the FOIA, make reasonable efforts, prior to disseminating any record about an individual, to ensure that the record is accurate, relevant, timely and complete.

    (g) When required by the Privacy Act, maintain an accounting in the specified form of all disclosures of records by USTR to persons, organizations or agencies.

    (h) Maintain and use records with care to prevent the unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure of a record to anyone.

    (i) Notify the appropriate official of any record that contains information that the Privacy Act does not permit USTR to maintain.

    PART 2005—[REMOVED] 3. Remove part 2005. Janice Kaye, Chief Counsel for Administrative Law, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30495 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3290-F7-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 4 Freedom of Information Act; Miscellaneous Rules AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission proposes to implement provisions of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 by amending the regulation governing fees the agency may assess to offset the cost of disseminating information and records to the public. The FTC also proposes other clarifying changes and updates to the fee regulation.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file written comments electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Fee Schedule Rulemaking, 16 CFR 4.8, Project No. 122102” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/feeschedule, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex T), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex T), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    G. Richard Gold, Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-3355.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (the “2016 FOIA Amendments”), Public Law 114-185, amending the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. The new law addresses a range of procedural issues and places additional limitations on assessing search fees (or, for requesters with preferred fee status, duplication fees) if an agency's response time to a requester is delayed. The new law also requires the head of each agency to review and update their agency's regulations as necessary within 180 days of enactment.

    The Commission proposes to change its fee schedule to implement the 2016 FOIA Amendments as appropriate. The Commission also proposes other fee-related changes that will serve to provide additional notice to the public or update the Commission's fee schedule. The additional guidance will be available at the FOIA page on the FTC Web site, https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/foia.

    As required by the FOIA, the Commission seeks public comment on the proposed revisions to its fee regulations set forth in this document. See 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(i). In a separate document published in today's Federal Register, the Commission has published final regulations making other related administrative rule changes that incorporate the 2016 FOIA Amendments which do not require public comment.

    Proposed Changes to Fee Regulation

    In Rule 4.8(b)(2)(iii), the Commission proposes to clarify that, for any given FOIA request, a requester qualifies as a representative of the news media only if it does not intend to make commercial use of the material it seeks. The proposed language more closely comports with the FOIA by clarifying that an entity will not qualify for the fee category status afforded to a representative of the news media where it makes the request in a corporate, rather than journalistic, capacity. See 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II) (fee reduction applies only if “records are not sought for commercial use”). However, the proposed clarification also makes clear that, in the context of a news media request, “commercial use” does not include a request for records supporting the requester's underlying news dissemination function.

    Rule 4.8(b)(6) contains the Commission's uniform schedule of fees that applies to records held by all constituent units of the Commission and to all requests made for materials on the public record and those made under the FOIA and the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a. In Rule 4.8(b)(6)(i), the Commission proposes to eliminate a duplicative and outdated line item charge found under Electronic Services that is already covered under the Duplication category. Specifically, Electronic Services: Preparing electronic records and media is already covered and subsumed under Duplication: Other reproduction (e.g., computer disk or printout, microfilm, microfiche, or microform). We are also clarifying that the existing line item for Duplication: Other reproduction covers operator time for conversions from one electronic format to a different electronic format as requested by the FOIA requester.

    Rule 4.8(b)(7) contains the Commission's provisions relating to limitations on FOIA fees if an agency's response time to a requester is delayed (e.g., untimely responses). The 2016 FOIA Amendments mandated additional limitations on assessing search fees (or, for requesters with preferred fee status, duplication fees) for delayed responses. The Commission proposes modifying Rule 4.8(b)(7) to closely track the revised FOIA statutory language as appropriate.

    In Rule 4.8(e)(2)(i)(C), the Commission proposes to add language that tracks the FOIA statutory standards for public interest fee waivers. 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(iii). Specifically, the Commission proposes to replace “the understanding of the public at large” with “public understanding.”

    In Rule 4.8(i), the Commission proposes to add an additional option for FOIA requesters to pay electronically through the Department of Treasury's pay.gov Web site. Requesters would still have the option of paying through check or money order to the Treasury of the United States.

    Request for Comments

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, it must be received on or before January 23, 2017. Write “FOIA Fee Rulemaking, 16 CFR 4.8, Project No. P122102” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential,” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f). See also FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you must follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/feeschedule, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “FOIA Fee Rulemaking, 16 CFR 4.8, Project No. P122102” on your comment, and on the envelope, and mail it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex T), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex T), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at https://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before January 23, 2017. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

    The Commission believes that the proposed Rule amendments do not require an initial regulatory analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the amendments will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. See 5 U.S.C. 605(b). Most requests for access to FTC records are filed by individuals, who are not “small entities” within the meaning of that Act, 5 U.S.C. 601(6), and, in any event, the economic impact of the rule changes on all requesters is expected to be minimal, if any. Likewise, the proposed amendments do not contain information collection requirements within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-520. The Commission nonetheless solicits comments on any economic and regulatory impact of the proposed rule; paperwork requirements, if any, that commenters believe the amendments impose upon private persons; and possible regulatory alternatives to reduce the amendments' economic impact, if any, while fully implementing the statutory mandate. The Commission will consider any such comments before promulgating the amendments in final form.

    List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 4

    Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of Information Act.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Federal Trade Commission proposes to amend Title 16, Chapter I, Subchapter A, Part 4 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 4—MISCELLANEOUS RULES 1. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 46.

    2. Amend § 4.8 by revising paragraphs (b)(2)(iii), (b)(6)(i), (b)(7), (e)(2)(i)(C) and (i) to read as follows:
    § 4.8. Costs for obtaining Commission records.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) A representative of the news media is any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to the public. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of periodicals (but only in those instances where they can qualify as disseminators of news) who make their products available for purchase by or subscription by the general public or free distribution to the general public. These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive. As traditional methods of news delivery evolve (e.g., electronic dissemination of newspapers through telecommunications services), such alternative media shall be considered to be news-media entities. A freelance journalist shall be regarded as working for a news-media entity if the journalist can demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through that entity, whether or not the journalist is actually employed by the entity. A publication contract would provide a solid basis for such an expectation, but the past publication record of a requester may also be considered in making such a determination. To qualify for news media status, a request must not be for a nonjournalistic commercial use. A request for records supporting the news dissemination function of the requester is not considered a commercial use.

    (6)(i) Schedule of direct costs. The following uniform schedule of fees applies to records held by all constituent units of the Commission:

    Duplication: Paper to paper copy (up to 8.5” x 14”) $0.14 per page. Converting paper into electronic format (scanning) Quarter hour rate of operator (Clerical, Other Professional, Attorney/Economist). Other reproduction (e.g., converting from one electronic format to computer disk or printout, microfilm, microfiche, or microform) Actual direct cost, including operator time. Electronic Services: Compact disc (CD) 3.00 per disc. DVD 3.00 per disc. Videotape cassette 2.00 per cassette. Microfilm Services: Conversion of existing fiche/film to paper 0.14 per page. Other Fees: Certification 25.00 each. Express Mail U.S. Postal Service Market Rates. Records maintained at Iron Mountain or Washington National Records Center facilities (records retrieval, refiling, et cetera) Contract Rates. Other Services as they arise Market Rates.

    (7) Untimely responses. (i) Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(7)(ii)-(iv) of this section, search fees for responding to a Freedom of Information Act request will not be assessed for responses that fail to comply with the time limits, as provided at 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(viii), § 4.11(a)(1)(ii) and § 4.11(a)(3)(ii), if there are no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6) and § 4.11(a)(1)(ii). Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(7)(ii)-(iv) of this section, duplication fees will not be assessed for an untimely response, where there are no unusual or exceptional circumstances, made to a requester qualifying for one of the fee categories set forth in § 4.8(b)(2).

    (ii) If the Commission has determined that unusual circumstances apply and has provided a timely written notice to the requester in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B), the delay in a response is excused for an additional 10 days. If the Commission fails to comply with the extended time limit, it will not charge search fees (or, for a requester qualifying for one of the fee categories set forth in § 4.8(b)(2), will not charge duplication fees).

    (iii) If the Commission has determined that unusual circumstances apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, the agency may charge search fees (or, for requesters qualifying for one of the fee categories set forth in § 4.8(b)(2), may charge duplication fees) if timely written notice has been provided to the requester and the agency has discussed with the requester via written mail, electronic mail, or telephone (or made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request.

    (iv) If a court determines that exceptional circumstances exist, the Commission's failure to comply with a time limit shall be excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

    (e) Public interest fee waivers

    (2) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) The understanding to which disclosure is likely to contribute is public understanding, as opposed to the understanding of the individual requester or a narrow segment of interested persons (e.g., by providing specific information about the requester's expertise in the subject area of the request and about the ability and intention to disseminate the information to the public); and

    (i) Means of payment. Payment shall be made either electronically through the Department of Treasury's pay.gov Web site or by check or money order payable to the Treasury of the United States.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30508 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    OVERSEAS PRIVATE INVESTMENT CORPORATION 22 CFR Part 706 [No. FOIA-2016] RIN 3420-AA02 Freedom of Information AGENCY:

    Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule proposes revisions to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (“OPIC”) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations by making substantive and administrative changes. These revisions are intended to supersede OPIC's current FOIA regulations, located at this Part. The proposed rule incorporates the FOIA revisions contained in the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, makes administrative changes to reflect OPIC's costs, and conforms more closely to the language recommended by the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before January 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number FOIA-2016, by one of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number FOIA-2016 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Nichole Skoyles, Administrative Counsel, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, 1100 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20527. Include docket number FOIA-2016 on both the envelope and the letter.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nichole Skoyles, Administrative Counsel, (202) 336-8400, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The revision of Part 706 incorporates changes to the language and structure of the regulations and adds new provisions to implement the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. OPIC is already complying with these changes and this proposed revision serves as OPIC's formal codification of the applicable law and its practice.

    OPIC has also updated its regulations to incorporate much of the suggested language provided by the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy. Adopting this language allows OPIC to adopt many of the recommended best practices in FOIA administration. This update also assists requesters as much of OPIC's regulations are now similar to those of other agencies.

    In general, comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and are available to the public. Do not submit any information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., the head of OPIC has certified that this proposed rule, as promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed rule implements the FOIA, a statute concerning the release of federal records, and does not economically impact Federal Government relations with the private sector. Further, under the FOIA, agencies may recover only the direct costs of searching for, reviewing, and duplicating the records processes for requesters. Based on OPIC's experience, these fees are nominal.

    Executive Order 12866

    OPIC is exempted from the requirements of this Executive Order per the Office of Management and Budget's October 12, 1993 memorandum. Accordingly, OMB did not review this proposed rule. However this rule was generally composed with the principles stated in section 1(b) of the Executive Order in mind.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 202-05)

    This proposed rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.)

    This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This regulation will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United State based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 706

    Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of Information, Privacy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble the Overseas Private Investment Corporation proposes to revise 22 CFR part 706 as follows:

    PART 706—INFORMATION DISCLOSURE UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT Sec. Subpart A—General 706.1 Description. 706.2 Policy. 706.3 Scope. 706.4 Preservation and transfer of records. 706.5 Other rights and services. Subpart B—Obtaining OPIC Records 706.10 Publically available records. 706.11 Requesting non-public records. Subpart C—Fees for Requests for Non-Public Records 706.20 In general. 706.21 Types of fees. 706.22 Requester categories. 706.23 Fees charged. 706.24 Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees. Subpart D—Processing of Requests for Non-Public Records 706.30 Responsibility for responding to requests. 706.31 Timing of responses to requests. 706.32 Responses to requests. 706.33 Confidential commercial information. 706.34 Administrative appeals. Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552, Public Law 114-185

    Subpart A—General
    § 706.1 Description.

    This part contains the rules that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”) follows in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. 552 as amended. These rules should be read together with the FOIA and the Uniform Freedom of Information Fee Schedule and Guidelines published by the Office of Management and Budget at 52 FR 10012 (Mar. 27, 1987) (“OMB Guidelines”). Requests made by individuals for records about themselves under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, are processed in accordance with OPIC's Privacy Act regulations at 22 CFR 707 as well as under this subpart.

    § 706.2 Policy.

    It is OPIC's policy to make its records available to the public to the greatest extent possible, in keeping with the spirit of the FOIA. This policy includes providing reasonably segregable information from records that also contain information that may be withheld under the FOIA. However, implementation of this policy also reflects OPIC's view that the soundness and viability of many of its programs depend in large measure upon full and reliable commercial, financial, technical and business information received from applicants for OPIC assistance and that the willingness of those applicants to provide such information depends on OPIC's ability to hold it in confidence. Consequently, except as provided by law and in this part, information provided to OPIC in confidence will not be disclosed without the submitter's consent.

    § 706.3 Scope.

    This part applies to all agency records in OPIC's possession and control. This part does not compel OPIC to create records or to ask outside parties to provide documents in order to satisfy a FOIA request. OPIC may, however, in its discretion and in consultation with a FOIA requester, create a new record as a partial or complete response to a FOIA request. In responding to requests for information, OPIC will ordinarily consider only those records within its possession and control as of the date of OPIC's search. If any other date is used, OPIC will inform the requester of that date. A record that is excluded from the requirements of the FOIA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(c), is not considered responsive to a request.

    § 706.4 Preservation and transfer of records.

    (a) Preservation of records. OPIC preserves all correspondence pertaining to the requests that it receives under this part, as well as copies of all requested records, until disposition or destruction is authorized pursuant to title 44 of the United States Code or the General Records Schedule 14 of the National Archives and Records Administration. Records that are identified as responsive to a request will not be disposed of or destroyed while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal, or lawsuit under the FOIA.

    (b) Transfer of records to the National Archives. Under the Records Disposal Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 33, OPIC is required to transfer legal custody and control of records with permanent historical value to the National Archives. OPIC's Finance Project and Insurance Contract Case files generally do not qualify as records with permanent historical value. OPIC will not transfer these files except when the National Archives determines that an individual project or case is especially significant or unique. If the National Archives receives a FOIA request for records that have been transferred it will respond to the request in accordance with its own FOIA regulations.

    § 706.5 Other rights and services.

    Nothing in this subpart shall be construed to entitle any person, as of right, to any service or to the disclosure of any record to which such person is not entitled under the FOIA.

    Subpart B—Obtaining OPIC Records
    § 706.10 Publically available records.

    Records that the FOIA requires agencies to make available for public inspection in an electronic format may be accessed through OPIC's FOIA Web site at www.opic.gov/foia. Records identified as of interest to the public and appropriate for public disclosure are also available, along with an index. These include annual reports and financial statements, program handbooks, press releases, application forms, claims information, and annual FOIA reports. OPIC will review and update its Web site of posted records on an ongoing basis. Persons seeking information are encouraged to visit OPIC's Web site to see what information is already available before submitting a request; OPIC's FOIA Office and FOIA Public Liaison are available to assist individuals in locating records.

    § 706.11 Requesting non-public records.

    (a) General information. (1) How to submit. To make a request for records a requester must submit a written request to OPIC's FOIA Office either by mail to Overseas Private Investment Corporation, 1100 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20527 or electronic mail to [email protected] The envelope or subject line should read “Freedom of Information Request” to ensure proper routing. The request is considered received by OPIC upon actual receipt by OPIC's FOIA Office.

    (2) Records about oneself. A requester who is making a request for records about himself or herself must verify his or her identity by providing a notarized statement or a statement under 28 U.S.C. 1746, a law that permits statements to be made under penalty of perjury as a substitute for notarization, stating that the requester is the person he or she claims to be.

    (3) Records about a third party. Where a request for records pertains to a third party, a requester may receive greater access by submitting a notarized authorization signed by that individual, a declaration by that individual made in compliance with the requirements set forth in 28 U.S.C. 1746 authorizing disclosure of the records to the requester, proof of guardianship, or proof that the individual is deceased (e.g., a copy of a death certificate or an obituary). OPIC may require a requester to supply additional information if necessary in order to verify that a particular individual has consented to disclosure.

    (b) Description of records sought. Requesters must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable OPIC personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. To the extent possible, requesters should include specific information that may assist OPIC in identifying the requested records, such as the project name, contract number, date or date range, country, title, name, author, recipient, subject matter of the record, or reference number. In general, requesters should include as much detail as possible about the specific records or the types of records sought. Before submitting their requests, requesters may contact OPIC's FOIA Office or FOIA Public Liaison to discuss the records they seek and to receive assistance in describing the records. If a requester fails to reasonably describe the records sought, OPIC will inform the requester what additional information is needed or why the request is otherwise insufficient. Requesters who are attempting to reformulate or modify such a request may discuss their request with the FOIA Office or FOIA Public Liaison. If a request does not reasonably describe the records sought, OPIC's response to the request may be delayed.

    (c) Format. Requests may state a preferred format for released records including electronic formats. The records will be provided in the preferred format if the record is readily reproducible in that format. If you do not state a preference, you will receive any released records in the format most convenient to OPIC.

    (d) Requester information. Requests must include the requester's name and contact information, such as phone number, email address, or mailing address, to assist OPIC in communicating with them and providing the released records.

    (e) Fees. You should state your willingness to pay fees under these regulations or, alternately, your willingness to pay up to a specified limit. If you believe that you qualify for a partial or total fee waiver under 706.24 you should request a waiver and provide justification as required by 706.24. If your request does not contain a statement of your willingness to pay fees or a request for a fee waiver, OPIC will consider your request an agreement to pay up to $25.00 in fees.

    Subpart C—Fees for Requests of Non-Public Records.
    § 706.20 In general.

    OPIC will charge for processing requests under the FOIA in accordance with the provisions of this section and with the OMB Guidelines. For purposes of assessing fees, the FOIA establishes three categories of requests, commercial use requests, non-commercial scientific or educational institutions or news media requests, and all other requests. OPIC will inform requesters as to which category their request has been placed into. Different fees are assessed depending on the category. Requesters may seek a fee waiver. OPIC will consider requests for fee waiver in accordance with the requirements in Section 706.24. To resolve any fee issues that arise under this section, OPIC may contact a requester for additional information. OPIC will ensure that searches, review, and duplication are conducted in the most efficient and the least expensive manner. OPIC ordinarily will collect all applicable fees before sending copies of records to a requester. Requesters must pay fees by check or money order made payable to the Treasury of the United States.

    § 706.21 Types of fees.

    (a) Direct costs are those expenses that OPIC expends in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial-use requests, reviewing) records in order to respond to a FOIA request. For example, direct costs include the salary of the employee performing the work (i.e., the basic rate of pay for the employee, plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits) and the cost of operating computers and other electronic equipment. Direct costs do not include overhead expenses such as the costs of space, and of heating or lighting a facility.

    (b) Duplication is reproducing a copy of a record or of the information contained in it, necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Copies can take the form of paper, audiovisual materials, or electronic records, among others.

    (c) Review is the examination of a record located in response to a request in order to determine whether any portion of it is exempt from disclosure. Review time includes processing any record for disclosure, such as doing all that is necessary to prepare the record for disclosure, including the process of redacting the record and marking the appropriate exemptions. Review costs are properly charged even if a record ultimately is not disclosed. Review time also includes time spent both obtaining and considering any formal objection to disclosure made by a confidential commercial information submitter under Section 706.33(c) of this subpart, but it does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

    (d) Search is the process of looking for and retrieving records or information responsive to a request. Search time includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of information within records; and the reasonable efforts expended to locate and retrieve information from electronic records.

    § 706.22 Request categories.

    (a) A Commercial Use request is a request that asks for information for a use or a purpose that furthers a commercial, trade, or profit interest, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. OPIC's decision to place a requester in the commercial use category will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the requester's intended use of the information.

    (b) An Educational Use request is one made on behalf of an educational institution, defined as any school that operates a program of scholarly research. A requester in this category must show that the request is made in connection with his or her role at the educational institution. OPIC may request verification from the requester that the request is in furtherance of scholarly research.

    (1) Example 1.

    A request from a professor of geology at a university for records relating to soil erosion, written on letterhead of the Department of Geology, would be presumed to be from an educational institution.

    (2) Example 2.

    A request from the same professor of geology seeking drug information from the Food and Drug Administration in furtherance of a murder mystery he is writing would not be presumed to be an institutional request, regardless of whether it was written on institutional stationery.

    (3) Example 3.

    A student who makes a request in furtherance of their coursework or other school-sponsored activities and provides a copy of a course syllabus or other reasonable documentation to indicate the research purpose for the request, would qualify as part of this fee category.

    (c) A Noncommercial Scientific Institution Use request is a request made on behalf of a noncommercial scientific institution, defined as an institution that is not operated on a “commercial” basis, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section, and that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. A requester in this category must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are sought to further scientific research and not for a commercial use.

    (d) A News Media Request is a request made by a representative of the news media in that capacity. A representative of the news media is defined as any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations that broadcast news to the public at large and publishers of periodicals that disseminate news and make their products available through a variety of means to the general public. A request for records that supports the news-dissemination function of the requester shall not be considered to be for a commercial use. “Freelance” journalists who demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through a news media entity shall be considered as a representative of the news media. A publishing contract would provide the clearest evidence that publication is expected; however, OPIC shall also consider a requester's past publication record in making this determination.

    (e) All other requests include any requests that do not qualify under one of the above categories.

    § 706.23 Fees charged.

    (a) In responding to FOIA requests, OPIC will charge the following fees unless a waiver or reduction of fees has been granted under section 706.24 of this section. Because the fee amounts provided below already account for the direct costs associated with a given fee type, OPIC should not add any additional costs to charges calculated under this section. (1) Search.

    (i) Requests made by educational institutions, noncommercial scientific institutions, or representatives of the news media are not subject to search fees. Search fees will be charged to all other requests, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (b) of this section. Fees for time spent searching is properly charged even if no responsive records are located or if all responsive records are determined to be entirely exempt from disclosure.

    (ii) For each quarter hour spent by personnel searching for requested records, including electronic searches that do not require new programming, the fees will be as follows: Professional—$13.75; and administrative—$7.50.

    (iii) Requesters will be charged the direct costs associated with conducting any search that requires the creation of a new program to locate the requested records. Before incurring such costs, OPIC will notify the requester and the requester must agree to pay.

    (iv) For requests that require the retrieval of records stored at a Federal Records Center operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), additional costs shall be charged in accordance with the Transactional Billing Rate Schedule established by NARA.

    (2) Duplication. Duplication fees will be charged to all requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (b) of this section. OPIC will honor a requester's preference for receiving a record in a particular form or format where it is readily reproducible in the form or format requested. Where photocopies are supplied, OPIC will provide one copy per request at a cost of $0.10 per page. For copies of records produced on tapes, disks, or other electronic media, OPIC will charge the direct costs of producing the copy, including operator time. Where paper documents must be scanned in order to comply with a requester's preference to receive the records in an electronic format, the requester must also pay the direct costs associated with scanning those materials. For other forms of duplication, OPIC will charge the direct costs.

    (3) Review. Review fees will be charged to requesters who make commercial use requests. Review fees will be assessed in connection with the initial review of the record, i.e., the review conducted by OPIC to determine whether an exemption applies to a particular record or portion of a record. No charge will be made for review at the administrative appeal stage of exemptions applied at the initial review stage. However, if the appellate authority determines that a particular exemption no longer applies, any costs associated with the re-review of the records in order to consider the use of other exemptions may be assessed as review fees. Review fees will be charged at the same rates as those charged for a search under paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section.

    (b) Restrictions on charging fees. (1) No search fees will be charged for educational use requests, noncommercial scientific use requests, or news media requests as defined in Section 706.22.

    (2) Fees charged when OPIC exceeds time limits.

    (i) When OPIC fails to comply with the time limits in which to respond to a request, it may not charge search fees, or, in the instances of requests from requesters described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, may not charge duplication fees, except as described in (b)(2)(ii)-(iv).

    (ii) If OPIC has determined that unusual circumstances as defined by the FOIA apply and OPIC provided timely written notice to the requester in accordance with the FOIA, a failure to comply with the time limit shall be excused for an additional ten days.

    (iii) If OPIC has determined that unusual circumstances, as defined by the FOIA, apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, OPIC may charge all applicable fees incurred in processing the request if the following steps are taken:

    (A) OPIC has provided timely written notice of unusual circumstances to the requester in accordance with the FOIA; and

    (B) OPIC has discussed with the requester via written mail, email, or telephone (or made not less than three good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(ii).

    (iv) If a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist, as defined by the FOIA, a failure to comply with the time limits shall be excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

    (3) No search or review fees will be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for search or review.

    (4) Except for requesters seeking records for a commercial use, OPIC will provide without charge:

    (i) The first 100 pages of duplication (or the cost equivalent for other media); and

    (ii) The first two hours of search.

    (5) If, after deducting free entitlements, the total fee calculated under this section is $25.00 or less, no fee will be charged.

    (c) Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $25.00. (1) When OPIC determines or estimates that the fees to be assessed in accordance with this section will exceed $25.00, OPIC will notify the requester of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, including a breakdown of fees for search, review, and duplication, unless the requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. If only a portion of the fee can be estimated readily, OPIC will advise the requester accordingly. If the request is for noncommercial use, the notice will specify that the requester is entitled to the statutory entitlements of 100 pages of duplication at no charge, and if the requester is charged search fees, two hours of search time at no charge, and will advise the requester whether those entitlements have been provided.

    (2) If OPIC notifies the requester that the actual or estimated fees are in excess of $25.00, the request will not be considered received and further work will not be completed until the requester commits in writing to pay the actual or estimated total fee, or designates some amount of fees the requester is willing to pay, or in the case of a noncommercial use requester who has not yet been provided with the requester's statutory entitlements, designates that the requester seeks only that which can be provided by the statutory entitlements. The requester must provide the commitment or designation in writing, and must, when applicable, designate an exact dollar amount the requester is willing to pay. OPIC is not required to accept payments in installments.

    (3) If the requester has indicated a willingness to pay some designated amount of fees, but OPIC estimates that the total fee will exceed that amount, the processing of the request will be tolled when OPIC notifies the requester of the estimated fees in excess of the amount the requester has indicated a willingness to pay. OPIC will inquire whether the requester wishes to revise the amount of fees the requester is willing to pay or modify the request. Once the requester responds, OPIC's time to respond will resume from where it was at the date of the notification.

    (4) OPIC's FOIA Office or FOIA Public Liaison is available to assist any requester in reformulating a request to meet the requester's needs at a lower cost.

    (d) Charges for other services. Although not required to provide special services, if OPIC chooses to do so as a matter of administrative discretion, the direct costs of providing the service will be charged. Examples of such services include certifying that records are true copies, providing multiple copies of the same document, or sending records by means other than first class mail.

    (e) Charging interest. OPIC may charge interest on any unpaid bill starting on the thirty-first day following the billing date. Interest charges will be assessed at the rate provided in 31 U.S.C. 3717 and will accrue from the billing date until payment is received by OPIC. OPIC will follow the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365, 96 Stat. 1749), as amended, and its administrative procedures, including the use of consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, and offset.

    (f) Aggregating requests. If OPIC reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in concert is attempting to divide a single request into a series of requests for the purpose of avoiding fees, OPIC may aggregate those requests and charge accordingly. OPIC may presume that multiple requests of this type made within a 30-day period have been made in order to avoid fees. For requests separated by a longer period, OPIC will aggregate them only where there is a reasonable basis for determining that aggregation is warranted in view of all the circumstances involved. Multiple requests involving unrelated matters will not be aggregated.

    (g) Advance payments. (1) For requests other than those described in paragraphs (g)(2) and (g)(3) of this section OPIC will not require the requester to make an advance payment before work is commenced or continued on a request. Payment owed for work already completed (i.e., payment before copies are sent to a requester) is not an advance payment.

    (2) When OPIC determines or estimates that a total fee to be charged under this section will exceed $250.00, it may require that the requester make an advance payment up to the amount of the entire anticipated fee before beginning to process the request. OPIC may elect to process the request prior to collecting fees when it receives a satisfactory assurance of full payment from a requester with a history of prompt payment.

    (3) Where a requester has previously failed to pay a properly charged FOIA fee to any agency within thirty calendar days of the billing date, OPIC may require that the requester pay the full amount due, plus any applicable interest on that prior request. OPIC may also require that the requester make an advance payment of the full amount of any anticipated fee before OPIC begins to process a new request or continues to process a pending request or any pending appeal. Where OPIC has a reasonable basis to believe that a requester has misrepresented his or her identity in order to avoid paying outstanding fees, it may require that the requester provide proof of identity.

    (4) In cases in which OPIC requires advance payment, OPIC's response time will be tolled and further work will not be completed until the required payment is received. If the requester does not pay the advance payment within thirty calendar days after the date of OPIC's fee letter, OPIC may administratively close the request.

    (h) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. The fee schedule of this section does not apply to fees charged under any statute that specifically requires an agency to set and collect fees for particular types of records. In instances where records responsive to a request are subject to a statutorily-based fee schedule program, OPIC will inform the requester of the contact information for that program.

    § 706.24 Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees.

    (a) Requesters may seek a waiver of fees by submitting a written application demonstrating how disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the interest of the requester.

    (b) OPIC will furnish records responsive to a request without charge or at a reduced rate when it determines, based on all available information, that the factors described in paragraphs (b)(1)-(3) are satisfied. (1) Disclosure of the requested information would shed light on the operations or activities of the government. The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal government, with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.

    (2) Disclosure of the requested information is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of those operations or activities. This factor is satisfied when the following criteria are met:

    (i) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not be meaningfully informative if nothing new would be added to the public's understanding.

    (ii) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's expertise in the subject area as well as his or her ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public shall be considered. It shall ordinarily be presumed that a representative of the news media satisfies this consideration.

    (3) The disclosure must not be primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. To determine whether disclosure of the requested information is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, OPIC will consider the following factors:

    (i) OPIC shall identify whether the requester has any commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure. A commercial interest includes any commercial, trade, or profit interest. Requesters shall be given an opportunity to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration.

    (ii) If there is a commercial interest, OPIC will determine whether that is the primary interest furthered by the request. A waiver or reduction of fees is justified when the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) are satisfied and any commercial interest is not the primary interest furthered by the request. OPIC will ordinarily presume that when a news media requester has satisfied factors b(1) and (2) above, the request is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return will not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest.

    (c) Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver shall be granted for those records.

    (d) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when the request is first submitted to OPIC and should address the criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is denied, the requester will be required to pay any costs incurred up to the date the fee waiver request was received.

    Subpart D—Processing of Requests for Non-Public Records
    § 706.30 Responsibility for responding to requests.

    (a) Authority to grant or deny requests. The OPIC President and CEO or designee is authorized to grant or to deny any requests for records.

    (b) Consultation, referral, and coordination. When reviewing records responsive to a request, OPIC will determine whether another agency of the Federal Government is better able to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. As to any such record, OPIC will proceed in one of the following ways:

    (1) Consultation. When records originated with OPIC, but contain within them information of interest to another agency or other Federal Government office, OPIC will typically consult with that other entity prior to making a release determination.

    (2) Referral.

    (i) When OPIC believes that a different agency is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, OPIC will typically refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that record to that agency. Ordinarily, the agency that originated the record is presumed to be the best agency to make the disclosure determination. However, if OPIC and the originating agency jointly agree that OPIC is in the best position to respond regarding the record, then the record may be handled as a consultation.

    (ii) Whenever OPIC refers any part of the responsibility for responding to a request to another agency, it will document the referral, maintain a copy of the record that it refers, and notify the requester of the referral, informing the requester of the name(s) of the agency to which the record was referred, including that agency's FOIA contact information.

    (3) Coordination. The standard referral procedure is not appropriate where disclosure of the identity of the agency to which the referral would be made could harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption, such as the exemptions that protect personal privacy or national security interests. For example, if in responding to a request for records on a living third party, OPIC locates within its files records originating with a law enforcement agency, and if the existence of that law enforcement interest in the third party was not publicly known, then to disclose that law enforcement interest could cause an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the third party. Similarly, if OPIC locates within its files material originating with an Intelligence Community agency, and the involvement of that agency in the matter is classified and not publicly acknowledged, then to disclose or give attribution to the involvement of that Intelligence Community agency could cause national security harms. In such instances, in order to avoid harm to an interest protected by an applicable exemption, OPIC should coordinate with the originating agency to seek its views on the disclosability of the record. The release determination for the record that is the subject of the coordination should then be conveyed to the requester by OPIC.

    (c) Classified information. On receipt of any request involving a record containing information that has been classified or may be appropriate for classification by another agency under any applicable executive order concerning the classification of records, OPIC must refer the responsibility for responding to the request to the agency that classified the information, or that should consider the information for classification. Whenever OPIC's record contains information that has been derivatively classified (for example, when it contains information classified by another agency), OPIC must refer the responsibility for responding to that portion of the request to the agency that classified the underlying information.

    (d) Timing of responses to consultations and referrals. All consultations and referrals will be handled according to the date that the first agency received the perfected FOIA request.

    (e) Agreements regarding consultations and referrals. OPIC may establish agreements with other agencies to eliminate the need for consultations or referrals with respect to particular types of records.

    § 706.31 Timing of responses to requests.

    (a) In general. OPIC ordinarily will process requests according to their order of receipt within their appropriate track under subpart (b) of this section. The response time will commence on the date that the request is received by the FOIA Office, but in any event not later than ten working days after the request is first received by OPIC. Any time tolled under subparagraph (c) of this section does not count against OPIC's response time.

    (b) Multitrack processing. OPIC has a track for requests that are granted expedited processing, in accordance with the standards set forth in paragraph (f) of this section. Non-expedited requests will be placed into a “simple” or “complex” track based on the estimated amount of work or time needed to process the request. OPIC will consider the number of records requested, the number of pages involved in processing the request, and the need for consultations or referrals. OPIC will advise the requester into which track the request falls and, when appropriate, will offer requesters the opportunity to narrow or modify the request so that it can be placed in a different track.

    (c) Tolling of response time. OPIC may toll its response time once to seek clarification of a request in accordance with Section 706.11(b) or as needed to resolve fee issues in accordance with Sections 706.22(c) and 706.23(d). The response time will resume upon OPIC's receipt of the requester's clarification or upon resolution of the fee issue.

    (d) Unusual circumstances. Whenever the statutory time limits for processing cannot be met because of “unusual circumstances” as defined in the FOIA, and OPIC extends the time limits on that basis, OPIC will notify the requester in writing of the unusual circumstances involved and of the date by which OPIC estimates processing of the request will be completed. Where the extension exceeds ten working days, the requester will be provided an opportunity to modify the request or agree to an alternative time period for processing the original or modified request. OPIC will make its FOIA Office and its FOIA Public Liaison available for this purpose and will notify the requester of the availability of the Office of Government Services (OGIS) dispute resolution services.

    (e) Aggregating requests. For the purposes of satisfying unusual circumstances under the FOIA, OPIC may aggregate requests in cases where it reasonably appears that multiple requests, submitted either by a requester or by a group of requesters acting in concert, constitute a single request that would otherwise involve unusual circumstances. OPIC will not aggregate multiple requests that involve unrelated matters.

    (f) Expedited processing.

    (1) Requests and appeals will be processed on an expedited basis whenever it is determined that they involve:

    (i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited processing could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

    (ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged Federal government activity, if made by a person who is primarily engaged in disseminating information;

    (2) A request for expedited processing may be made at any time.

    (3) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct, explaining in detail the basis for making the request for expedited processing. For example, under paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section, a requester who is not a full-time member of the news media must establish that the requester is a person whose primary professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be the requester's sole occupation. Such a requester also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request—one that extends beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The existence of numerous articles published on a given subject can be helpful in establishing the requirement that there be an “urgency to inform” the public on the topic. OPIC may waive the formal certification requirement in its administrative discretion.

    (4) OPIC shall notify the requester within ten calendar days of the receipt of a request for expedited processing of its decision whether to grant or deny expedited processing. If expedited processing is granted, the request shall be given priority, placed in the processing track for expedited requests, and shall be processed as soon as practicable. If OPIC denies expedited processing, any appeal of that decision which complies with the procedures set forth in Section 706.34 of this subpart shall be acted on expeditiously.

    § 706.32 Responses to requests.

    (a) In general. To the extent practicable, OPIC will communicate electronically with requesters who have access to the internet.

    (b) Acknowledgments of requests. If a request will take longer than ten days to process, OPIC will send the requester an acknowledgment letter that assigns the request an individualized tracking number. The letter will include a brief description of the records sought to allow requesters to more easily keep track of requests.

    (c) Grants of requests. OPIC will notify the requester in writing if it makes a determination to grant a request in full or in part. The notice will inform the requester of any fees charged under Section 706.22 of this part and of the availability of the FOIA Public Liaison to offer assistance. OPIC will disclose the requested records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fees.

    (d) Adverse determinations of requests. OPIC will notify the requester in writing if it makes an adverse determination denying a request in any respect. Adverse determinations, or denials of requests, include decisions that: The requested record is exempt, in whole or in part; the request does not reasonably describe the records sought; the information requested is not a record subject to the FOIA; the requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has been destroyed; or the requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester. Adverse determinations also include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters or denials of requests for expedited processing.

    (e) Content of denial letter. The denial letter will be signed by the person responsible for the denial, and will include:

    (1) The name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial;

    (2) A brief statement of the reasons for the denial, including any FOIA exemptions applied;

    (3) An estimate of the volume of any records or information withheld, for example, by providing the number of pages or some other reasonable form of estimation. This estimation is not required if the volume is otherwise indicated by deletions marked on records that are disclosed in part, or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption;

    (4) A brief description of the types of information withheld and the reasons for doing so. A description and explanation are not required if providing it would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption;

    (5) A statement that the denial may be appealed under Section 706.34(a) of this subpart, and a description of the appeal requirements;

    (6) A statement notifying the requester of the assistance available from OPIC's FOIA Public Liaison and dispute resolution services offered by OGIS; and

    (7) Notice of any fees charged under Section 706.23 of this part.

    (f) Markings on released documents. Records disclosed in part must be marked clearly to show the amount of information deleted and the exemption under which the deletion was made unless doing so would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption. If technically feasible, the location of the information deleted will be indicated on the record.

    (g) Notice of record exclusions. (1) In the event that OPIC identifies records that may be subject to exclusion from the requirements of the FOIA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(c), the agency will confer with the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy, to obtain approval to apply the exclusion.

    (2) OPIC will maintain an administrative record of the process of invocation and approval of the exclusion by OIP.

    § 706.33 Confidential commercial information.

    (a) Definitions.

    (1) Confidential commercial information means commercial or financial information obtained by the agency from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA. Exemption 4 protects:

    (i) Trade secrets; or

    (ii) Commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential where either: Disclosure of the information would cause substantial competitive harm to the submitter, or the information is voluntarily submitted and would not customarily be publicly released by the submitter. Information which is required to apply for OPIC support is not considered to be voluntarily submitted.

    (2) Submitter means any person or entity, including a corporation, State, or foreign government, but not including another Federal Government entity, that provides confidential commercial information to the Federal government, directly or indirectly.

    (b) Designation of confidential commercial information. All submitters may designate, by appropriate markings, any portions of their submissions that they consider to be protected from disclosure under the FOIA. These markings will be considered by OPIC in responding to a FOIA request but such markings (or the absence of such markings) will not be dispositive as to whether the marked information is ultimately released. Unless otherwise requested and approved these markings will be considered no longer applicable ten years after submission or five years after the close of the associated project, whichever is later.

    (c) When notice to submitters is required. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, OPIC's FOIA Office will use reasonable efforts to notify a submitter in writing whenever:

    (i) The requested information has been designated in good faith by the submitter as confidential commercial information protected from disclosure under Exemption 4; or

    (ii) OPIC has reason to believe that the requested information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4, but has not yet determined whether the information is protected from disclosure.

    (2) This notification will describe the nature and scope of the request, advise the submitter of its right to submit written objections in response to the request, and provide a reasonable time for response. The notice will either describe the commercial information requested or include copies of the requested records or portions of records containing the information. In cases involving a voluminous number of submitters, notice may be made by posting or publishing the notice in a place or manner reasonably likely to inform the submitters of the proposed disclosure, instead of sending individual notifications.

    (d) Exceptions to submitter notice requirements. The notice requirements of this section shall not apply if:

    (1) OPIC determines that the information is exempt under the FOIA, and therefore will not be disclosed;

    (2) The information has been lawfully published or has been officially made available to the public;

    (3) Disclosure of the information is required by a statute other than the FOIA or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600 of June 23, 1987; or

    (4) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (b) of this section appears obviously frivolous. In such case, OPIC will give the submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the information within a reasonable number of days prior to a specified disclosure date.

    (e) Opportunity to object to disclosure. (1) OPIC will specify a reasonable time period within which the submitter must respond to the notice referenced above.

    (2) If a submitter has any objections to disclosure, it should provide OPIC with a detailed written statement that specifies all grounds for withholding the particular information under any exemption of the FOIA. In setting forth such grounds, the submitter should explain the basis of its belief that the nondisclosure of any item of information requested is mandated or permitted by law. In order to rely on Exemption 4 as a basis for nondisclosure, the submitter shall explain why the information is considered a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential and either: How disclosure of the information would cause substantial competitive harm to the submitter, or why the information should be considered voluntarily submitted and why it is information that would not customarily be publicly released by the submitter.

    (3) A submitter who fails to respond within the time period specified in the notice shall be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information. OPIC is not required to consider any information received after the date of any disclosure decision. Any information provided by a submitter under this subpart may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

    (4) The period for providing OPIC with objections to disclosure of information may be extended by OPIC upon receipt of a written request for an extension from the submitter. Such written request shall set forth the date upon which any objections are expected to be completed and shall provide reasonable justification for the extension. In its discretion, OPIC may permit more than one extension.

    (f) Analysis of objections. OPIC will consider a submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondislosure in deciding whether to disclose the requested information.

    (g) Notice of intent to disclose. If OPIC decides to disclosure information over the objection of a submitter, OPIC will notify the submitter of its determination at least five working days prior to release of the information. The notification will include:

    (1) A statement of the reasons why each of the submitter's disclosure objections was not sustained;

    (2) A description of the information to be disclosed, or a copy thereof; and

    (3) A specified disclosure date, which shall be a reasonable time subsequent to the notice.

    (h) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a FOIA lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of confidential commercial information, OPIC will promptly notify the submitter.

    (i) Requester notification. OPIC will notify a requester whenever it provides the submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure; whenever it notifies the submitter of its intent to disclose the requested information; and whenever a submitter files a lawsuit to prevent the disclosure of the information.

    § 706.34 Administrative appeals.

    (a) Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determinations to OPIC's Vice President and General Counsel at [email protected] or 1100 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20527. Examples of adverse determinations are provided in Section 706.06(c) of this subpart. The requester must make the appeal in writing and it must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, within ninety calendar days after the date of the response. The appeal should clearly identify OPIC's determination that is being appealed and the assigned request number. The requester should mark both the appeal letter and envelope, or subject line of the electronic transmission, “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”

    (b) Adjudication of appeals. OPIC's Vice President and General Counsel or his/her designee will render a written decision within twenty working days after the date of OPIC's receipt of the appeal, unless an extension of up to ten working days is deemed necessary due to unusual circumstances. The requester will be notified in writing of any extension.

    (c) Decisions on appeals. A decision that upholds the initial determination will contain a written statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied, and will provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and the ability to request mediation from the Office of Government Information Services. If an initial determination is remanded or modified on appeal the requester will be notified in writing. OPIC's FOIA Office will then process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and respond directly to the requester. If an appeal is granted in whole or in part, the information will be made available promptly, provided the requirements of Section 706.23 regarding payment of fees are satisfied.

    (d) Engaging in dispute resolution services provided by OGIS. Mediation is a voluntary process. If OPIC agrees to participate in the mediation services provided by OGIS, it will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

    (e) When appeal is required. Before seeking court review, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.

    Dated: December 15, 2016. Nichole Skoyles, Administrative Counsel, Department of Legal Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30661 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0727; FRL-9957-13-Region 9] Limited Federal Implementation Plan; Prevention of Significant Deterioration Requirements for Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5); California; North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this rulemaking, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a limited Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) to apply to the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (North Coast Unified AQMD or District) in California. This limited FIP would implement provisions to regulate fine particulate matter (PM2.5) under the CAA Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program within the District. The EPA previously issued two findings of failure to submit a State Implementation Plan (SIP) addressing these PSD requirements and also issued a partial disapproval action applicable to the North Coast Unified AQMD portion of the California SIP that triggered the duty under CAA section 110(c)(1) for the EPA to promulgate this limited FIP. If we finalize this action as proposed, the EPA will be the CAA PSD permitting authority for any new or modified major sources subject to PSD review for PM2.5 or its precursors within the District.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by January 23, 2017. If a public hearing is held, the public comment period will automatically be extended and will close on February 13, 2017. Public Hearing: If any party contacts us in writing by December 29, 2016 to request that a public hearing be held, we will hold a public hearing on January 13, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Please see the ADDRESSES and SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION sections of this notice for additional information on the public hearing and how to determine whether the comment period has been extended.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0727 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 edited or removed 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.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index for this rulemaking. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available (e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute). Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, during normal business hours. For security purposes, please contact the persons identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section during normal business hours to view a hard copy of the docket.

    Public Hearing: A public hearing, if requested, will be held in EPA Region IX's Conference Center, located at 75 Hawthorne St., San Francisco, CA 94105. Please refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for additional information on the public hearing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Public hearing and comment period: Thien Khoi Nguyen, (415) 947-4120 or [email protected]

    Technical information: Laura Yannayon, (415) 972-3534 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Public Hearing: If you wish to request a public hearing and present testimony at the hearing, you must make your request in writing to Ms. Nguyen of EPA Region IX on or before December 29, 2016. Ms. Nguyen's contact information is found in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. If no requests for a public hearing are received by close of business on December 29, 2016, a hearing will not be held; please contact Ms. Nguyen or check the EPA's Public Notice Web site at https://www.epa.gov/publicnotices to verify if the hearing will actually be held and whether the comment period will be automatically extended.

    At the hearing, the hearing officer may limit oral testimony to 5 minutes per person. The hearing will be limited to the subject matter of this proposal, the scope of which is discussed below. The EPA will not respond to comments during the public hearing. When we publish our final action we will provide a written response to all written or oral comments received on the proposal. Any member of the public may provide written or oral comments pertaining to our proposal at the hearing. Note that any written comments and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as any oral comments presented at the public hearing. Interested parties may also submit written comments, as discussed elsewhere in this notice.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Proposed Action III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    In 2008, the EPA promulgated a rulemaking finalizing regulations to implement the New Source Review program for PM2.5 (PM2.5 NSR Rule).1 The PM2.5 NSR Rule required, among other things, that states develop SIPs addressing the PSD permitting requirements for the regulation of major stationary sources and major modifications of PM2.5 emissions, including such sources emitting precursors of PM2.5. In 2010, the EPA promulgated a rulemaking amending the PSD program regulations for PM2.5 to add provisions governing the maximum allowable increases in ambient pollutant concentrations (increments), with which new major stationary sources and major modifications of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursor emissions must demonstrate compliance as a condition of obtaining a PSD permit (PM2.5 Increments Rule).2 The PM2.5 Increments Rule requires states to submit SIPs modifying their PSD permitting regulations to incorporate the PM2.5 increment provisions.

    1 Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.), 73 FR 28321 (May 16, 2008).

    2 Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentrations (SMC), 75 FR 64864 (Oct. 20, 2010). The PM2.5 Increments Rule also promulgated several optional revisions to the PSD permitting program which are not addressed in this notice.

    On January 15, 2013, the EPA issued a finding of failure to submit for the State of California in which it found that California had failed to make an infrastructure 3 SIP submittal providing certain required basic program elements of CAA section 110(a)(2) necessary to implement the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).4 Relevant here, the EPA found that California had not submitted a SIP to address the PSD permitting requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) for areas including the North Coast Unified AQMD. That finding resulted in a deadline of February 14, 2015, for the EPA to promulgate a FIP pursuant to CAA section 110(c)(1) to address the outstanding SIP elements unless, prior to that time, the State submitted, and the EPA approved, a SIP that corrected the identified deficiencies.5

    3 We refer to such SIP revision submittals as “infrastructure” SIPs because they are intended to address the basic structural SIP requirements for new or revised NAAQS.

    4 78 FR 2882, 2889.

    5 See 78 FR at 2886.

    On April 1, 2016, the EPA published a final rule partially approving and partially disapproving several CAA infrastructure SIP revisions submitted by the State of California related to the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of the NAAQS for ozone, PM2.5, lead, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).6 We partially disapproved a portion of these infrastructure SIP submittals as they pertained to the North Coast Unified AQMD with respect to the PSD-related requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) for all of these NAAQS, in part because we found that the District's SIP-approved PSD program did not include requirements for the regulation of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors, condensable PM2.5, or PSD increments for PM2.5.7 This infrastructure SIP partial disapproval action also triggered a duty for the EPA to promulgate a FIP pursuant to CAA section 110(c)(1) to address the identified deficiencies related to the District's PSD program for PM2.5, unless, prior to that time, the State submitted, and the EPA approved, a SIP that corrected the identified deficiencies.8 The EPA has not approved a SIP revision for California to date that would address the North Coast Unified AQMD's SIP deficiencies relating to the PSD program for PM2.5. Thus, for these PM2.5 PSD requirements, the EPA remains subject to the duty to promulgate a FIP for the District that was triggered by our January 15, 2013 finding of failure to submit and our April 1, 2016 partial disapproval action for the infrastructure SIP requirements for the NAAQS discussed above.

    6 81 FR 18766.

    7 The EPA's April 1, 2016 partial disapproval action for infrastructure SIP requirements in CAA sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) for the North Coast Unified AQMD was also based on the EPA's finding that the District's SIP-approved PSD program did not regulate oxides of nitrogen (NOX) as an ozone precursor. 81 FR at 18773. However, we noted in that action that the EPA had already promulgated a limited FIP on August 8, 2011 to remedy that SIP deficiency, and thus our 2016 partial disapproval action did not trigger a new PSD FIP obligation related to NOX as an ozone precursor. See 81 FR at 18773, 18775; see also 76 FR 48006 (Aug. 8, 2011).

    8 See 81 FR at 18775-18776.

    On September 2, 2014 the EPA published a final rule finding that the North Coast Unified AQMD had failed to make a complete submittal to address new requirements for PM2.5 increments in its PSD program as required by implementing regulations that the EPA promulgated on October 20, 2010.9 That finding resulted in a duty and a deadline of October 2, 2016, for the EPA to promulgate a FIP pursuant to CAA section 110(c)(1) to address these outstanding SIP elements unless, prior to that time, the State submitted, and the EPA approved, a SIP that corrected the identified deficiencies. As noted above, the EPA has not approved a SIP revision for California that would address the requirements for PM2.5 increments in the PSD program for the North Coast Unified AQMD, thus the EPA remains subject to the requirement that it promulgate a FIP to do so.

    9 79 FR 51913.

    II. Proposed Action

    In this rulemaking, the EPA is promulgating a limited FIP to apply the EPA's PSD regulatory program under 40 CFR 52.21 to sources subject to PSD review for emissions of PM2.5 or PM2.5 precursors in the North Coast Unified AQMD. CAA section 110(c)(1) requires the Administrator to promulgate a FIP at any time within two years after the Administrator either finds that a state has failed to make a required submission or disapproves a state's SIP in whole or in part, unless the state submits and the EPA approves a SIP that corrects the deficiency before the Administrator promulgates a FIP. As indicated earlier in this notice, the EPA has not approved a PSD SIP revision for California to regulate PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors in the North Coast Unified AQMD that would address the District's PM2.5 PSD program deficiencies identified in the January 15, 2013, September 2, 2014, and April 1, 2016 EPA actions discussed above. Accordingly, as authorized by CAA section 110(c)(1), the EPA is proposing to promulgate a limited FIP for the North Coast Unified AQMD in order to address the identified deficiencies in the State's PSD program with respect to the regulation of major stationary sources and major modifications of sources subject to PSD review for emissions of PM2.5 or PM2.5 precursors.

    The limited FIP proposed in this action consists of the EPA regulations found in 40 CFR 52.21, including the PSD applicability provisions, with a limitation to assure that, strictly for purposes of this rulemaking, the FIP applies only to the regulation of PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors. Accordingly, for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the PSD permitting requirements with respect to PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors for sources within the North Coast Unified AQMD, the EPA would serve as the PSD permitting authority.

    We note that the EPA has previously promulgated limited CAA PSD FIPs for the North Coast Unified AQMD to implement the federal PSD permitting program under 40 CFR 52.21 for certain other sources and pollutants, including the PSD program as it regulates NOX as an ozone precursor, as discussed above; these limited FIPs remain in effect. See 40 CFR 52.270(b)(2). The EPA and the District have entered into partial delegation agreements pursuant to 40 CFR 52.21(u), dated January 8, 1993 and October 6, 2015, whereby the EPA has delegated authority to the District to conduct PSD review for certain sources subject to these limited PSD FIPs.10 For all other major emitting facilities and pollutants not covered by the limited PSD FIPs applicable to the District as specified in 40 CFR 52.270(b)(2), the North Coast Unified AQMD will continue to serve as the PSD permitting authority under its SIP-approved PSD program.

    10 If the EPA takes final action to promulgate this limited PSD FIP for PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors, the District may similarly seek a partial delegation of authority from the EPA, pursuant to 40 CFR 52.21(u), to conduct PSD review for the sources regulated under this limited PSD FIP.

    This proposed FIP is narrow in scope, in that it will only address the PM2.5 PSD deficiencies for the District that were identified in our 2016 infrastructure SIP partial disapproval action. We note that such deficiencies include the deficiencies for PSD requirements for PM2.5 increments that were also the focus of the EPA's September 2, 2014 finding of failure to submit action.

    If finalized, today's proposed limited FIP action would satisfy the remaining FIP requirements for the North Coast Unified AQMD that were triggered by our January 15, 2013 finding of failure to submit relating to ozone infrastructure SIP requirements; our September 2, 2014 finding of failure to submit related to the District's PSD requirements for PM2.5 increments; and our April 1, 2016 partial disapproval action for the infrastructure SIP requirements for the NAAQS for ozone, PM2.5, lead, NO2, and SO2. The proposed FIP will be codified in 40 CFR 52.270(b)(2)(v).

    If finalized, this limited FIP will remain in place until California submits a SIP revision addressing the identified deficiencies relating to the District's PSD program for PM2.5 and we approve that SIP revision. The EPA is soliciting public comments on this proposal and will accept comments until the date noted in the “DATE” section above.

    III. 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 therefore was not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden. The OMB has previously approved the information collection requirements contained in the existing regulations for PSD (e.g., 40 CFR 52.21) under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and has assigned OMB control number 2060-0003. The OMB control numbers for the EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although this rule could lead to federal permitting requirements for a handful of sources in the North Coast Unified AQMD, the EPA believes that in such an event, there will not be a significant economic impact on the potentially affected sources and that any such impacts would not affect a substantial number of sources, regardless of size.

    In this action, the EPA is proposing a narrow FIP that would apply federal PSD regulations for certain new or modified major stationary sources with emissions of PM2.5 or its precursors within the North Coast Unified AQMD. General PSD requirements for major emitting facilities with emissions of other regulated NSR pollutants already apply within the District, thus the incremental impact associated with application of the specific requirements of the PSD regulations for certain sources emitting PM2.5 or its precursors is expected to be relatively minor. In addition, there are few major emitting facilities currently located in the District that would be subject to the requirements of the FIP. The EPA is not aware of any specific new sources that would be subject to regulation under our proposed narrow FIP in the future. For these reasons, the EPA anticipates that any additional burden imposed as a result of this proposed FIP would be minimal and would affect few, if any, sources. Accordingly, the EPA does not believe that such a FIP would have a significant economic impact on sources in the District, regardless of size.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. While the EPA's proposed action will lead to the application of federal PSD regulations for PM2.5 to sources within the North Coast Unified AQMD, general PSD requirements for major emitting facilities with emissions of other regulated NSR pollutants already apply within the District, and thus the incremental impact associated with application of the specific requirements of the PSD regulations for certain sources emitting PM2.5 or its precursors is expected to be relatively minor. In addition, there are few major emitting facilities currently located in the District that would be subject to the requirements of the FIP. The EPA is not aware of any specific new sources that would be subject to regulation under our proposed narrow FIP in the future. Accordingly, the EPA has determined that this action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and that it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

    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: Coordination and Consultation 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. The FIP is not proposed 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. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because, as a limited FIP establishing PSD regulatory requirements for the PM2.5 NAAQS for certain sources located in the North Coast Unified AQMD, it implements a previously promulgated federal standard.

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

    This rule 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

    This rulemaking does not involve technical 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). This action does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. With this action, the EPA is only proposing to implement the PSD permitting requirements mandated by the CAA in order to ensure compliance with the PM2.5 NAAQS and PM2.5 increments, which were promulgated in separate, prior rulemakings.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Air pollution control, Environmental protection, Incorporation by Reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen oxides, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur dioxide.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2016. Deborah Jordan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the EPA proposes to amend 40 CFR part 52 as follows:

    PART 52—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—California 2. Amend § 52.270 by adding paragraph (b)(2)(v) to read as follows:
    § 52.270 Significant deterioration of air quality.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (v) Those projects that are major stationary sources or major modifications for emissions of PM2.5 or its precursors under § 52.21, and those projects that are major stationary sources under § 52.21 with the potential to emit PM2.5 or its precursors at a rate that would meet or exceed the rates specified at § 52.21(b)(23)(i).

    [FR Doc. 2016-30768 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 212, 213, 219, 237, and 252 [Docket DARS-2016-0034] RIN 0750-AJ06 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Competition for Religious-Related Services Contracts (DFARS Case 2016-D015) AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD is proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act that provides the competition requirements for religious-related services contracts on a U.S. military installation.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed rule should be submitted in writing to the address shown below on or before February 21, 2017, to be considered in the formation of a final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by DFARS Case 2016-D015, using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for “DFARS Case 2015-D015.” Select “Comment Now” and follow the instructions provided to submit a comment. Please include “DFARS Case 2015-D015” on any attached documents.

    Email: [email protected] Include DFARS Case 2016-D015 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Lee Renna, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Lee Renna, telephone 571-372-6095.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    DoD is proposing to revise the DFARS to implement section 898 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 (Pub. L. 114-92). Section 898 requires that DoD not preclude a nonprofit organization from competing for a contract for religious-related services on a U.S. military installation. Religious-related services typically performed on U.S. military installations range from choir and pastoral services, to counseling of service members and their families to help them deal with the unique pressures and stresses associated with military service. The latter includes, but is not limited to, suicide prevention; coping with post-traumatic stress, depression, and sexual assault; providing marriage and family counseling; and providing religious and moral guidance. The Senate Committee Report 114-49 associated with the NDAA for FY 2016 made the following statement regarding the recommendation for a provision to ensure non-profit organizations can compete on contracts for such religious-related services:

    “It has come to the committee's attention that the Department of Defense has at times restricted competition for religious services contracts on U.S. military installations to for-profit firms. The committee believes certain non-profit entities such as religious organizations can provide valuable competition and are well-qualified to participate in this particular category of services and should not be precluded from competing for these types of contracts.”

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    The following changes to the DFARS are proposed to implement section 898 in a manner that minimizes the impact on small businesses:

    • A new DFARS subpart 237.7X, Competition for Religious-Related Services, is proposed to implement the requirements of section 898 for the covered services. Specifically, this subpart establishes that a nonprofit organization may not be precluded from competing for contracts for religious-related services on a U.S. military installation. A cross-reference to DFARS 219.270 is also provided to direct contracting officers to guidance on the treatment of set-asides for small business concerns.

    • A new DFARS section 219.270, Religious-Related Services—Inclusion of Nonprofit Organizations, is proposed to clarify that when acquiring religious-related services on a U.S. military installation, nonprofit organizations may not be precluded from competing, even when a small business set-aside is used, and that none of the exceptions for other than full and open competition at FAR 6.302-5(b)(4) through (7) may be used for such procurements. These changes are necessary to ensure that contracting officers issue solicitations for the covered services on a competitive basis and are aware that set-asides may still be used, though offers from nonprofit organizations may be considered for award. In addition, this section clarifies that if an apparently successful offeror has not represented in its offer that it is a small business concern of a type that meets set-aside requirements of the solicitation, then the contracting officer shall verify that the offeror is registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database as a nonprofit organization.

    • A new provision is proposed at DFARS 252.219-70XX, Competition for Religious-Related Services, which is prescribed at DFARS 219.270 for use in solicitations for the acquisition of religious-related services on a U.S. military installation that will be set-aside for one of the small business programs identified at FAR 19.000(a)(3). The solicitation not only provides notice to potential offerors that a nonprofit will not be precluded from competing for award, but also advises nonprofit organizations that the contracting officer will verify that it is registered as a nonprofit organization in SAM before considering it for award. Conforming changes are made to DFARS 212.301(f)(vii) to ensure the provision is also used in commercial acquisitions.

    • Similar to the changes proposed at DFARS 219.270, a new paragraph (b) is proposed to be added to DFARS 213.7001 to direct contracting officers not to use the sole source authority at FAR 6.302-5(b)(4) and not to exclude a nonprofit organizations from participating in competitive procurements under the 8(a) program.

    • A definition of “nonprofit organization” is also provided where the term is used in the rule. The definition proposed in the rule is the same as the definition provided in FAR subpart 26.4 and the clause at 52.226-6, Promoting Excess Food Donations to Nonprofit Organizations. The definition also aligns with the description of a nonprofit organization provided in the SAM database.

    III. Applicability to Contracts at or Below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold and for Commercial Items, Including Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf Items

    This rule implements section 898 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 (Pub. L. 114-92). Section 898 requires that DoD may not preclude a nonprofit organization from competing for a contract for religious-related services on a U.S. military installation. The rule creates one new provision, DFARS 252.219-70XX, Competition for Religious-Related Services.

    A. Applicability to Contracts at or Below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT)

    41 U.S.C. 1905 governs the applicability of laws to contracts or subcontracts in amounts not greater than the SAT. It is intended to limit the applicability of laws to such contracts or subcontracts. 41 U.S.C. 1905 provides that if a provision of law contains criminal or civil penalties, or if the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council makes a written determination that it is not in the best interest of the Federal Government to exempt contracts or subcontracts at or below the SAT, the law will apply to them. The Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP), is the appropriate authority to make comparable determinations for regulations to be published in the DFARS, which is part of the FAR system of regulations.

    B. Applicability to Contracts for the Acquisition of Commercial Items, Including Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Items

    41 U.S.C. 1906 governs the applicability of laws to contracts for the acquisition of commercial items, and is intended to limit the applicability of laws to contracts for the acquisition of commercial items. 41 U.S.C. 1906 provides that if a provision of law contains criminal or civil penalties, or if the FAR Council makes a written determination that it is not in the best interest of the Federal Government to exempt commercial item contracts, the provision of law will apply to contracts for the acquisition of commercial items. Likewise, 41 U.S.C. 1907 governs the applicability of laws to COTS items, with the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy the decision authority to determine that it is in the best interest of the Government to apply a provision of law to acquisitions of COTS items in the FAR. The Director, DPAP, is the appropriate authority to make comparable determinations for regulations to be published in the DFARS, which is part of the FAR system of regulations.

    C. Determination

    DoD is proposing to apply the requirements of section 898 to contracts at or below the SAT and contracts for the acquisition of commercial items, not including COTS items. Section 898 addresses competitive acquisitions for religious-related services to be performed on a U.S. military installation. It is in the best interest of the Federal Government to apply the rule to acquisitions not greater than the SAT and those for the acquisition of commercial items (excluding COTS items), because a portion of DoD's acquisitions for these types of services will result in the award of contracts at or below the SAT or for commercial items. An exception for contracts not greater than the SAT or for the acquisition of commercial items, would exclude contracts intended to be covered by the law, thereby undermining the overarching public policy purpose of the law. Since section 898 of the NDAA for FY 2016 specifically focuses on the competitive acquisition of a service requirement, the changes contemplated by this rule are not applicable to contracts for COTS items. DoD will make the final determination with regard to application to acquisitions below the SAT and to those for commercial items after receipt and analysis of public comments.

    IV. 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 a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was 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.

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    DoD expects that this rule may 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. Therefore, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared and is summarized as follows:

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to revise the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to implement policies and procedures to ensure that DoD does not preclude a nonprofit organization from competing for a contract for religious-related services on a U.S. military installation.

    This rule is necessary to implement section 898 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, which is the legal basis for the rule.

    This rule may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses that typically compete for contracts for the covered services, since most of the contracts awarded for religious-related services fall within the dollar range reserved exclusively for small business participation (over $3,500, but no more than $150,000). The rule may also have a significant economic impact on nonprofit organizations, since these entities are normally precluded from competing for such acquisitions that are reserved for small business concerns.

    According to data obtained from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) for FY 2015, DoD awarded 290 contracts to 232 unique businesses for religious-related services under the Product Services Code (PSC) for Chaplain Services (G002), the majority of which (95 percent) are valued below the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT) of $150,000. Of those 290 contracts, approximately 160 contracts were awarded to 130 unique small business concerns (56 percent). The FPDS data further indicates that of the 160 contracts awarded to small business, 137 of the contracts were awarded on the basis of a total small business set-aside, including one total set-aside to women-owned small business concerns. In addition, in order to carry out the Congressional mandate of section 898, this rule restricts the use of the sole source authorities at FAR 6.302-5(b)(4) through (7) when contracting for religious-related services on U.S. military installations; as a result, such solicitations would have to be competed in a manner that allows nonprofit organizations to participate. Analysis of FPDS data for FY 2015 reveals that four contracts were awarded to a HUBZone small business concern on a sole source basis.

    Additional FPDS data was obtained for FY 2016, which showed DoD awarded 256 contracts to 212 unique businesses for religious-related services under PSC G002, of which the majority (91 percent) were valued below the SAT. Of those 256 contracts, 158 contracts (62 percent) were awarded to 130 unique small business concerns (63 percent). 116 contracts were solicited using a total small business set-aside. Again, as a result of this rule, such solicitations could not preclude a nonprofit organization from submitting an offer and being considered for award. Six contracts were awarded on a sole source basis under the Small Business Act 8(a) Business Development Program (8(a) Program); however, this rule restricts DoD contracting officers from using the sole source authority at FAR 6.302-5(b)(4) for the 8(a) Program to procure religious-related services to be performed on a U.S. military installation. In order to comply with section 898, any requirements currently in the 8(a) program would be required, upon renewal, to be solicited in a manner that does not preclude a nonprofit organization from the competition.

    There are no reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements associated with this rule. The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rule.

    There are no significant alternative approaches to the proposed rule that would minimize the impact on small entities and meet the stated objectives of the statute.

    DoD invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities. DoD 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 (DFARS Case 2016-D015), in correspondence.

    VI. 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 212, 213, 219, 237, and 252

    Government procurement.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

    Therefore, 48 CFR parts 212, 213, 219, 237, and 252 are proposed to be amended as follows:

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 212, 213, 219, 237, and 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    PART 212—ACQUISITION OF COMMERCIAL ITEMS 2. Amend section 212.301 by adding new paragraph (f)(vii)(D) to read as follows:
    212.301 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses for the acquisition of commercial items.

    (f) * * *

    (vii) * * *

    (D) Use the provision at 252.219-70XX, Competition for Religious-Related Services, as prescribed in 219.270-3.

    PART 213—SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION PROCEDURES 3. Amend section 213.7001 by— a. Redesignating paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) as paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii), respectively; b. Redesignating the introductory text as paragraph (a)(1); c. Redesignating paragraph (b) as paragraph (a)(2); and d. Adding a new paragraph (b).

    The addition reads as follows:

    213.7001 Procedures.

    (b) To comply with section 898 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (Pub. L. 114-92), contracting officers shall not use the sole source authority at FAR 6.302-5(b)(4) to purchase religious-related services to be performed on a U.S. military installation. For competitive purchases under the 8(a) program, contracting officers shall not exclude a nonprofit organization from the competition. See 219.270 for additional procedures.

    PART 219—SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS 4. Add sections 219.270, 219.270-1, 219.270-2, and 219.270-3 to subpart 219.2 to read as follows:
    219.270 Religious-related services—inclusion of nonprofit organizations.
    219.270-1 Definition.

    Nonprofit organization, as used in this section, means any organization that is—

    (1) Described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and

    (2) Exempt from tax under section 501(a) of that Code.

    219.270-2 Procedures.

    (a) To comply with section 898 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (Pub. L. 114-92), when acquiring religious-related services to be performed on a U.S. military installation—

    (1) Do not preclude a nonprofit organization from competing, even when the acquisition is set aside for small businesses as identified in FAR 19.000(a)(3); and

    (2) Do not use any of the sole source exceptions at FAR 6.302-5(b)(4) through (7) for such acquisitions.

    (b) If the apparently successful offeror has not represented in its quotation or offer that it is one of the small business concerns identified in FAR 19.000(a)(3), the contracting officer shall verify that the offeror is registered in the System for Award Management database as a nonprofit organization.

    219.270-3 Solicitation provision.

    Use the provision 252.219-70XX, Competition for Religious-Related Services, in solicitations, including solicitations using FAR part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items, for the acquisition of religious-related services to be performed on U.S. military installations, when the acquisition is set aside for any of the small business concerns identified in FAR 19.000(a)(3).

    PART 237—Service Contracting 5. Add new subpart 237.7X to read as follows: SUBPART 237.7X—COMPETITION FOR RELIGIOUS-RELATED SERVICES Sec. 237.7X00 Scope of subpart. 237.7X01 Definition. 237.7X02 Policy. SUBPART 237.7X—COMPETITION FOR RELIGIOUS-RELATED SERVICES
    237.7X00 Scope of subpart.

    This subpart provides policy and guidance for the acquisition of religious-related services to be performed on a U.S. military installation in accordance with section 898 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (Pub. L. 114-92).

    237.7X01 Definition.

    As used in this subpart—

    Nonprofit organization means any organization that is—

    (1) Described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and

    (2) Exempt from tax under section 501(a) of that Code.

    237.7X02 Policy.

    (a) A nonprofit organization shall not be precluded from competing for a contract for religious-related services to be performed on a U.S. military installation.

    (b) See 219.270 when an acquisition for religious-related services to be performed on a U.S. military installation is set aside for any of the small business concerns identified in FAR 19.000(a)(3).

    PART 252—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 6. Add section 252.219-70XX to read as follows:
    252.219-70XX Competition for Religious-Related Services.

    As prescribed in 219.270-3, use the following provision: COMPETITION FOR RELIGIOUS-RELATED SERVICES (DATE)

    (a) Definition. As used in this provision—

    Nonprofit organization means any organization that is—

    (1) Described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and

    (2) Exempt from tax under section 501(a) of that Code.

    (b) A nonprofit organization is not precluded from competing for a contract for religious-related services to be performed on a U.S. military installation notwithstanding that a nonprofit organization is not a small business concern as identified in FAR 19.000(a)(3).

    (c) If the apparently successful offeror has not represented in its offer or quotation that it is a small business concern identified in FAR 19.000(a)(3), as appropriate to the solicitation, the Contracting Officer will verify that the offeror is registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database as a nonprofit organization.

    (End of provision)

    [FR Doc. 2016-30597 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 215 and 252 [Docket DARS-2016-0004] RIN 0750-AI84 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Independent Research and Development Expenses (DFARS Case 2016-D017) AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD is proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to ensure that substantial future independent research and development expenses, as a means to reduce evaluated bid prices in competitive source selections, are evaluated in a uniform way during competitive source selections. The comment period on the proposed rule is extended 30 days.

    DATES:

    For the proposed rule published on November 4, 2016 (81 FR 78014), submit comments by February 2, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by DFARS Case 2016-D017, using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for “DFARS Case 2016-D017.” Select “Comment Now” and follow the instructions provided to submit a comment. Please include “DFARS Case 2016-D017” on any attached documents.

    Email: [email protected] Include DFARS Case 2016-D017 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Mr. Mark Gomersall, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Mark Gomersall, Defense Acquisition Regulations System, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060. Telephone 571-372-6099.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On November 4, 2016, DoD published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 81 FR 78014 to revise the DFARS to ensure that substantial future independent research and development (IR&D) expenses, used as a means to reduce evaluated bid prices, are evaluated in a uniform way during competitive source selections.

    The comment period for the proposed rule is extended 30 days, from January 3, 2017, to February 2, 2017, to provide additional time for interested parties to comment on the proposed DFARS changes.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 215 and 252

    Government procurement.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30750 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2015-0028; FXES11130900000C2-167-FF09E32000] RIN 1018-AX99 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Hualapai Mexican Vole From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the comment period on our proposed rule to remove the Hualapai Mexican vole from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We are reopening the comment period for 30 days in order to publish a summary of the proposed regulation in a newspaper of general circulation and to allow for all interested parties further opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final listing determination.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the proposed rule that published June 4, 2015 (80 FR 31875), is reopened. To allow us adequate time to consider your comments on the proposed rule, we must receive your comments on or before January 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments: You may submit comments on the proposed rule and draft post-delisting monitoring plan by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the docket number for the proposed rule, which is FWS-R2-ES-2015-0028. Then click on the Search button. On the resulting page, you may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!” Please ensure that you have found the correct rulemaking before submitting your comment.

    By U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2015-0028, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for more information).

    Document availability: Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2015-0028.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Spangle, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 9828 North 31st Avenue, #C3, Phoenix, Arizona 85051-2517; telephone (602) 242-0210. Individuals who are hearing-impaired or speech-impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 for TTY assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 4, 2015, we published a proposed rule (80 FR 31875) to remove the Hualapai Mexican vole from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 17.11(h)). We are proposing this action because the available information indicates the original scientific classification is no longer the appropriate determination for the subspecies, meaning that current data indicate that the original classification may be erroneous. We sought information, data, and comments from the public regarding the proposal for 60 days, ending August 3, 2015.

    We are reopening the comment period on that proposed rule for an additional 30 days (see DATES) while we simultaneously issue a notice in local newspapers. We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period. In particular, we seek comments concerning the following:

    (1) New information concerning the taxonomic classification and conservation status of Hualapai Mexican voles and Mexican voles in general;

    (2) New information on the historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of Hualapai Mexican voles, including the locations of any additional populations; and

    (3) New information regarding the life history, ecology, and habitat use of Hualapai Mexican voles.

    Please refer to the proposed rule for more information on our proposed action and the specific information we seek.

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. All comments and recommendations, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If you mail or hand-deliver a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. To ensure that the electronic docket for this rulemaking is complete and all comments we receive are publicly available, we will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Authority:

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: December 12, 2016. Marty J. Kodis, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30816 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    81 246 Thursday, December 22, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request December 19, 2016

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

    Comments regarding this information collection received by January 23, 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.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    Title: Scrapie in Sheep and Goats; Interstate Movement Restrictions and Indemnity Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0101.

    Summary of Collection: The Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA) of 2002 is the primary Federal law governing the protection of animal health. The law gives the Secretary of Agriculture broad authority to detect, control, or eradicate pests or diseases of livestock or poultry. The Secretary may also prohibit or restrict import or export of any such animal or related material if necessary to prevent spread of any livestock or poultry pest or disease. The AHPA is contained in Title X, Subtitle E, Sections 10401-18 of P.L. 107-171, May 13, 2002, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. Scrapie is a progressive, degenerative, and eventually fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. Its control is complicated because the disease has an extremely long incubation period without clinical signs of disease, and there is no test for the disease and/or known treatment. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) restricts the interstate movement of certain sheep and goats to help prevent the spread of scrapie within the United States. APHIS has regulations at 9 CFR part 54 for an indemnity program to compensate owners of sheep and goats destroyed because of scrapie.

    Need and Use of the Information: The regulations necessitate the use of a number of information collection activities including, but not limited to, applications for participation in the Scrapie Flock Certification Program; various plans for infected and source flocks; scrapie test records; application for indemnity payments; certificates; permits; and applications for APHIS-approved eartags, backtags, or tattoos, etc. Without this information, APHIS' efforts to more aggressively prevent the spread of scrapie would be severely hindered.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Not for Profit; and State, Local, or Tribal Government;

    Number of Respondents: 166,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 1,021,528.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    Title: Importation of Pork-Filled Pasta.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0214.

    Summary of Collection: The Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA) of 2002 is the primary Federal law governing the protection of animal health. The law gives the Secretary of Agriculture broad authority to detect, control, and eradicate pests or diseases of livestock or poultry. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for protecting the health of our Nation's livestock and poultry populations by preventing the introduction and interstate spread of serious diseases and pests of livestock and for eradicating such diseases from the United States when feasible.

    Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD) is a highly contagious disease that resists both environmental factors and common disinfectants. SVD rarely results I mortality in infected swine and does not cause severe production losses. However, the disease can have a major economic impact since eradication if costly and SVD-free regions often prohibit imports of swine, pork, and pork products from affected regions.

    Need and Use of the Information: A certificate must be completed and signed by the issuing official, and contains such information as the origin of the meat used in the product, the name and location of the facility that processed the product, and the product's intended destination. APHIS regulations contain specific requirement for the processing, recordkeeping, and certification procedures for pork-filled pasta products exported to the United States from SVD-affect regions. Without the information, it would significantly cripple APHIS' ability to ensure that pork-filled pasta from certain regions poses a minimal risk of introducing SVD into the United States.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; and Federal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 2.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 5.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    Title: Importation of Shelled Peas from Kenya.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0302.

    Summary of Collection: Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to carry out operations or measures to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, prevent, or retard the spread of plant pests new to the United States or not known to be widely distributed throughout the United States. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) fruits and vegetables regulations allows the importation of shelled garden peas from Kenya into the continental United States while continuing to protect against the introduction of quarantined peas.

    Need and Use of the Information: APHIS requires that some plants or plant products be accompanied by a phytosanitary inspection certificate that is completed by plant health officials in the originating or transiting country. APHIS uses the information on the certificate to determine the pest condition of the shipment at the time of inspection in the foreign country. This information is used as a guide to the intensity of the inspection APHIS conducts when the shipment arrives. Without the information, all shipments would need to be inspected very thoroughly, thereby requiring considerably more time. This would slow the clearance of international shipments.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for profit; Federal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 2.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 2.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30833 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0088] Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Permanent, Privately Owned Horse Quarantine Facilities AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with regulations for permanent, privately owned horse quarantine facilities.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0088.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2016-0088, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0088 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the regulations for permanent, privately owned horse quarantine facilities, contact Dr. Ellen Buck, Equine Import Specialist, National Import Export Services, VS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3361. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Permanent, Privately Owned Horse Quarantine Facilities.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0313.

    Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture is authorized, among other things, to prohibit or restrict the importation and interstate movement of animals and animal products to prevent the introduction into and dissemination within the United States of livestock diseases and pests. To carry out this mission, APHIS regulates the importation of animals and animal products into the United States based on the regulations in 9 CFR parts 92 through 98.

    The regulations in part 93 require, among other things, that certain animals, as a condition of entry, be quarantined upon arrival in the United States. APHIS operates animal quarantine facilities and also authorizes the use of quarantine facilities that are privately owned and operated for certain animal importations.

    The regulations in subpart C of part 93 pertain to the importation of horses and include requirements for privately owned quarantine facilities for horses. For permanent, privately owned quarantine facilities, these requirements entail certain information collection activities, including environmental certification, application for facility approval, service agreements, requests to APHIS concerning withdrawal of facility approval, notification to APHIS of facility closure, compliance agreements, security instructions, security breach notification, alarm notification, lists of personnel, signed statements, daily logs and recordkeeping, and requests for variance.

    We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate 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) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of Burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.16 hours per response.

    Respondents: Applicants who apply for facility approval; owners and operators of permanent, privately owned horse quarantine facilities; facility employees; authorities who issue and complete environmental certifications; and employees of security companies.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 6.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 20.5.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses: 123.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 20 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 16th day of December 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30857 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0098] Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Veterinary Services National Import Export Services Customer Service Survey Project AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection to evaluate service delivery by the National Import Export Services to the public.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0098.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2016-0098, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0098 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the National Import Export Services customer service survey project, contact Ms. Demille Richardson, Program Analyst, VS, APHIS, NIES, 4700 River Road Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737; 301-851-3438. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Veterinary Services National Import Export Services Customer Service Survey Project.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0334.

    Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among other things, regulates and provides services related to the importation, interstate movement, and exportation of animals, animal products, and other articles to prevent the spread of pests and diseases of livestock. APHIS' Veterinary Services' (VS') National Import Export Services (NIES) is the program unit that carries out these activities to protect animal health.

    After performing a service for an individual or business, NIES conducts a survey to evaluate its customer service. The survey consists of a short questionnaire in which respondents are asked to identify the type of customer they are (e.g., pet owners, animal importers/exporters, animal product and byproduct importers/exporters, users of quarantine facilities, and accredited veterinarians), and then to rate the services received in terms of courtesy, timeliness, helpfulness, etc. Respondents are also asked to rate and provide comments concerning their overall experience. Completion of the questionnaire is voluntary and responses do not identify the individual respondent.

    NIES uses the survey to gain a general view of the public's perception of NIES customer service at VS service centers, animal import centers, and air and seaports, and identifies areas in which NIES can improve service delivery to the public and more efficiently meet the needs and expectations of customers.

    Since the last approval of this collection by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), we have changed the name from Veterinary Services Customer Service Survey to Veterinary Services National Import Export Services Customer Service Survey Project to more accurately reflect the respondents and the intent of the survey.

    We are asking OMB to approve our use of this information collection activity, as described, for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate 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) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.0382 hours per response.

    Respondents: Members of the public who receive services from Veterinary Services (e.g., pet owners, animal importers/exporters, animal product and byproduct importers/exporters, users of quarantine facilities, and accredited veterinarians).

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 15,050.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.32.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 19,850.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 760 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 16th day of December 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30848 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program AGENCY:

    Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Farm Service Agency (FSA), on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), is announcing the availability of $12.5 million per year for fiscal year (FY) 2017 and 2018 under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) for eligible certified organic and transitional producers and handlers. FSA is announcing the opportunity for States to apply in FY 2017 to administer the OCCSP program for FY 2017. States that establish an agreement for FY 2017 may be given the opportunity to extend their agreement and receive additional funds to administer the program in FY 2018; FSA has not yet determined whether an additional application period will be announced for FY 2018 for State agencies that do not establish an agreement to administer the program for FY 2017. In this document, FSA is providing the requirements for producers and handlers to apply for OCCSP payments, and for State agencies to establish agreements to receive funds in order to provide cost share assistance to eligible producers and handlers.

    DATES:

    Applications for State Agency Agreements: FSA will accept applications from States for funds for cost-share assistance between the period of January 3, 2017, and February 17, 2017.

    Producer or Handler Applications: FSA county offices will accept applications for OCCSP payments from producers and handlers for FY 2017 starting on March 20, 2017, and ending on October 31, 2017, and for FY 2018, starting on October 1, 2017, and ending on October 31, 2018.

    Comments: To comment on the information collection request in the Paperwork Reduction Act Requirement section in this document, we will consider comments we receive by February 21, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Peterson, (202) 720-7641.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The purpose of OCCSP is to provide cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products in obtaining certification under the National Organic Program (NOP) established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501-6524) and the regulations in 7 CFR part 205. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) implemented OCCSP and has been running the program through agreements with State agencies since FY 2008. USDA transferred authority to administer OCCSP from AMS to FSA beginning with FY 2017.

    FSA will accept applications from States interested in overseeing reimbursements to their producers, handlers, and processors. All producers and handlers will have access to OCCSP through their local FSA offices. In States where State agencies provide cost share funds, producers and handlers can choose between the State agencies or the local FSA office. In addition to expanding to FSA local offices for FY 2017, OCCSP will now cover costs related to transitional certification and State organic program fees.

    In order for a State agency to receive new fund allocations for FY 2017, they must establish a new agreement to administer OCCSP. FY 2017 agreements will include provisions allowing a State agency to request an extension of that new FY 2017 agreement to provide additional funds and allow the State agency to continue to administer the program for FY 2018. FSA has not yet determined whether an additional application period will be announced for FY 2018 for State agencies that choose not to participate in FY 2017; State agencies that would like to administer the program for FY 2018 are encouraged to establish an agreement for FY 2017 to ensure that they will be able to continue to participate. FSA does not anticipate substantive changes to the agreement process with the participating States. Agreements will continue to allow subgrants to other entities.

    Certified operations will be subject to the same eligibility criteria and calculation of cost share payments regardless of whether they apply for OCCSP through an FSA local office or a participating State agency. Certified operations may only receive OCCSP payment for the same scope for the same year from one source: either the State agency or FSA. FSA will coordinate with participating State agencies to ensure there are no duplicate payments. If a duplicate payment is inadvertently made, then FSA will inform the participant and require that funds be returned to CCC.

    Availability of Funds

    Funding for OCCSP is provided through two authorizations: National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) funds and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) funds. Section 10004 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill, Pub. L. 113-79) amended section 10606(d) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 6523(d)), authorizing $11.5 million of CCC funds for NOCCSP for each of FYs 2014 thorough 2018, to remain available until expended. NOCCSP funds will be used for cost share payments to certified operations in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands.

    The USDA organic regulations recognize four separate categories, or “scopes,” that must be individually inspected for organic certification: crops, livestock, wild crops, and handling (that is, processing). A single operation may be certified under multiple scopes. For example, a certified organic vegetable farm that also has certified organic chickens and produces certified organic jams would be required to be certified for three scopes: crops, livestock, and handling. Beginning in FY 2017, transitional certification and state organic program fees will be eligible for cost share reimbursement and for OCCSP purposes, they will be considered two additional separate scopes. Transitional certification is an optional certification offered by some certifiers for producers and handlers who are in the process of transitioning land to organic production. State organic program fees may be required by States that have established a State organic program according to 7 CFR 205.620-205.622, and are in addition to the costs of organic certification under the four scopes of USDA organic certification.

    NOCCSP funds can be used to provide cost share for all four scopes of USDA organic certification (that is, crops, wild crops, livestock, and handling) and the two additional scopes of transitional certification and State organic program fees.

    In addition to the NOCCSP funds, Section 1609 of the 2014 Farm Bill made a minor technical correction to the AMA authorizing language codified at 7 U.S.C. 1524, but did not change the amount authorized, which is $1 million. AMA funds may be used only for cost share payments for organic certification for the three scopes of crops, wild crops, and livestock, and are specifically targeted to the following 16 States:

    • Connecticut,

    • Delaware,

    • Hawaii,

    • Maryland,

    • Massachusetts,

    • Maine,

    • Nevada,

    • New Hampshire,

    • New Jersey,

    • New York,

    • Pennsylvania,

    • Rhode Island,

    • Utah,

    • Vermont,

    • West Virginia, and

    • Wyoming.

    Sequestration will apply to the total amount of funding available for OCCSP for FYs 2017 and 2018, if required by law.

    Cost Share Payments

    As required by law (7 U.S.C. 6523(b)), the cost share payments cannot exceed 75 percent of eligible costs incurred, up to a maximum of $750 for each producer or handler. FSA will calculate 75 percent of the allowable costs incurred by an eligible operation, not to exceed a maximum of $750 per certification scope. Cost share assistance will be provided for allowable costs paid by the eligible operation during the same FY for which the OCCSP payment is being requested. Cost share assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis, until all available funds are obligated for each FY. Applications received after all funds are obligated will not be paid. Allowable costs include:

    • Application fees;

    • Inspection fees, including travel costs and per diem for organic inspectors;

    • USDA organic certification costs, including fees necessary to access international markets with which AMS has equivalency agreements or arrangements;

    • Transitional certification costs;

    • State organic program fees;

    • User fees or sale assessments; and

    • Postage.

    Unallowable costs include:

    • Inspections due to violations of USDA organic regulations, or State organic program or transitional certification program requirements;

    • Costs related to non-USDA organic certifications;

    • Costs related to any other labeling program;

    • Materials, supplies, & equipment;

    • Late fees;

    • Membership fees; and

    • Consultant fees.

    Eligible Producers and Handlers

    To be eligible for OCCSP payments, a producer or handler must both:

    • Possess USDA organic certification or transitional certification at the time of application; and

    • Have paid fees or expenses related to its initial certification or renewal of its certification from a certifying agent.

    Operations with suspended, revoked, or withdrawn certifications at the time of application are ineligible for cost share reimbursement. OCCSP is open to producers and handlers in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

    How To Submit the Application State Agencies

    State agencies must have an agreement in place to participate in OCCSP. State agencies with funds remaining from an agreement from a previous FY may continue to administer the program with those funds under the terms of their existing agreement. To receive new fund allocations to provide cost share assistance for FY 2017, State agencies must complete an Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), and enter into a grant agreement with FSA. State agencies must submit the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424) electronically via Grants.gov, the Federal grants Web site, at http://www.grants.gov. For information on how to use Grants.Gov, please consult http://www.grants.gov/GetRegistered. Grant agreements will be sent by FSA to participating State agencies via express mail. The grant agreement must be signed by an official who has authority to apply for Federal assistance, and must be postmarked no later than February 17, 2017. Upon receipt of complete applications, FSA may begin reviewing the applications and may make awards prior to this deadline. Pending fund availability, applications received after this date may be considered.

    Agreements for FY 2017 will include provisions to allow modification of the agreement to also cover a period of performance for FY 2018. At this time, FSA has not determined whether an additional application period will be announced for FY 2018 for State Agencies that do not establish an agreement to administer the program for FY 2017.

    Producers and Handlers

    Certified operations may apply for OCCSP payments through FSA local offices or through a State agency (or authorized subgrantee) if their State has established an agreement to administer OCCSP. For a producer or handler to apply for OCCSP through FSA, each applicant must submit a complete application, either in person or by mail, to any FSA county office. Additional options for producers or handlers to submit their application may be available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/occsp. A complete application includes the following documentation:

    • Form CCC-884—Organic Certification Cost Share Program, available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/occsp or at any FSA county office;

    • Proof of USDA organic certification or transitional certification;

    • Itemized invoice showing expenses paid to a third-party certifying agency for certification services during the FY in which the application is submitted; and

    • AD-2047, if not previously provided.

    Producers or handlers may be required to provide additional documentation to FSA if necessary to verify eligibility or issue payment.

    FSA's application period begins on March 20, 2017, for FY 2017 and begins on October 1, 2017, for FY 2018, and ends on October 31 of each year or when there is no more available funding, whichever comes first.

    Participating State agencies will establish their own application process and deadlines for producers and handlers, as specified in their grant agreements, and eligible operations must submit an application package according to the instructions provided by the State agency. A list of participating States will be available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/occsp.

    Definitions

    For this NOFA, new or revised definitions include the following:

    Certified operation means a producer or handler that has obtained USDA organic certification or transitional certification.

    State Agency means the agency, commission, or department of a State government, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Marian Islands, authorized by the State to administer OCCSP.

    Transitional certification means a determination made by a certifying agent that a production or handling operation is in compliance with the requirements of a transitional certification program.

    USDA organic certification means a determination made by a certifying agent that a production or handling operation is in compliance with Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522) and the regulations in 7 CFR part 205, which is documented by a certificate of organic operation.

    The following definitions from the regulations of 7 CFR 205.2 also apply to this NOFA: “certifying agent,” “crop,” “handler,” “inspection,” “inspector,” “labeling,” “livestock,” “organic,” “organic production,” “processing,” “producer,” “State certifying agent,” “State organic program,” and “wild crop.”

    Participating State Agency Reporting Requirements

    Twice a year, each participating State agency must provide FSA with a Federal Financial Report (form SF-425) along with a spreadsheet of Operations Reimbursed, which will list the producers and handlers receiving cost share payments within the reporting period. The semi-annual reports are due to FSA on November 30 and May 30 of each year. Once a year, each participating State agency will need to provide FSA with a narrative report to describe program activities and any subrecipients. The annual reports are due to FSA on November 30 of each year.

    Other Provisions

    Persons and legal entities who file an application with FSA have the right to an administrative review of any FSA adverse decision with respect to the application under the appeals procedures at 7 CFR parts 780 and 11. FSA program requirements and determinations that are not in response to, or result from, an individual disputable set of facts in an individual participant's application for assistance are not matters that can be appealed.

    A producer or handler may file an application with an FSA county office after the OCCSP application deadline, and in such case the application will be considered a request to waive the deadline. The Deputy Administrator has the discretion and authority to consider the case and waive or modify application deadlines and other requirements or program provisions not specified in law, in cases where the Deputy Administrator determines it is equitable to do so and where the Deputy Administrator finds that the lateness or failure to meet such other requirements or program provisions do not adversely affect the operation of OCCSP. Although applicants have a right to a decision on whether they filed applications by the deadline or not, applicants have no right to a decision in response to a request to waive or modify deadlines or program provisions. The Deputy Administrator's refusal to exercise discretion to consider the request will not be considered an adverse decision and is, by itself, not appealable.

    Persons and legal entities who make applications with State agencies are subject to review rights afforded by the State agency. Participating State agencies that are dissatisfied with any FSA decision relative to a State agency agreement may seek review for programs governed by Federal contracting laws and regulations, appealable under other rules and to other forums, including to the Department's Board of Contract Appeals under 7 CFR part 24.

    Offsets, assignments, and debt settlement regulations specified in 7 CFR 1416.9 apply.

    Awards to State agencies will be subject to 2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Requirements

    The information collection request for the OCCSP activity is included in the approval of OMB control number, 0581-0191, and will be moved to FSA. FSA is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a new information collection request associated with the organic certification cost share program. Producers and handlers will apply for cost share payments, and State Agencies will establish agreements to get funds and to disburse the payments to the qualified producers or handlers.

    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 Respondent Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.25 hour per response. The average travel time, which is included in the total burden, is estimated to be 1 hour per respondent.

    Type of Respondents: Individuals and States.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 60,336.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.002.

    Estimated Total Annual Number of Responses: 60,504.

    Estimated Average Time per Responses: 0.995 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 60,232 hours.

    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help us to:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of FSA, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of FSA's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All responses to this notice, including name and addresses when provided, will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The title and number of the Federal assistance program in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance to which this NOFA applies is 10.171, Organic Certification Cost share Program (OCCSP).

    Environmental Review

    The environmental impacts of this final rule have been considered in a manner consistent with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and the FSA regulations for compliance with NEPA (7 CFR part 799). As previously stated, since FY 2008 USDA implemented OCCSP through AMS via agreements with State Agencies, to make the program more accessible by using FSA county offices as a sign up option for applicants, USDA shifted jurisdiction of the program from AMS to FSA. FSA will now administer and coordinate the program through agreements with interested States and also provide cost share payments directly to eligible producers and handlers for eligible expenses. The general scope of OCCSP, as implemented previously by AMS, is unchanged.

    The purpose of OCCSP is to provide cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products in obtaining USDA organic certification, or transitional certification. FSA's jurisdiction over the program and the minor, discretionary changes to the program (that is, two options for payment receipt and coverage for transitional certifications) are administrative in nature. The discretionary aspects of the program (for example, program eligibility, calculation of cost share payments, etc.) were effectively designed by AMS and are not proposed to be substantively changed herein. As such, the Categorical Exclusions in 7 CFR part 799.31 apply, specifically 7 CFR 799.31(b)(6)(c) (that is, financial assistance to supplement income). No Extraordinary Circumstances (7 CFR 799.33) exist. As such, FSA has determined that this NOFA does not constitute a major Federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment, individually or cumulatively. Therefore, FSA will not prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for this regulatory action.

    Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency, and Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30772 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Nominations Open for the Vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Nominations open for the vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition.

    SUMMARY:

    FNS is seeking nominations for 9 vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition (Council). The Council is composed of 24 members. Members of the Council from outside USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are appointed for 3-year terms. State and local officials may serve only during their official tenure. Parent participants are appointed for 2-year terms. Members appointed from USDA and HHS serve at the pleasure of their respective Secretaries.

    The Council studies the operation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and related programs such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Categories of membership are specified by law. To ensure a balance of differing views, Council members are drawn from Federal, State and local governments, industry, and organizations with a common interest in the management of WIC and CSFP, including parent participants in both programs. The vacant positions include:

    State CSFP Director

    The individual responsible for administering the CSFP at the State level. Has operational knowledge about all aspects of CSFP management.

    State WIC Program Fiscal Director

    The individual responsible for the administration and monitoring of WIC grants at the State and local levels. This includes monitoring compliance of State and local budgets and expenditures with fiscal policies and procedures

    Local WIC Program Project Director in an Urban Area

    The individual responsible for implementing Federal and State policy guidelines and administering the WIC Program at the local level in an urban area. Has operational knowledge about all aspects of the WIC Program, including policy, grants management, accounting systems, and computer systems.

    Local CSFP Project Director

    The individual responsible for administering the CSFP at the local level. Has operational knowledge about all aspects of CSFP management.

    CSFP Parent Participant

    A pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding woman, or the parent/guardian of an infant and/or child participating in CSFP.

    Pediatrician

    A physician specializing in the development, care and diseases of children.

    Obstetrician

    A physician specializing in obstetrics, i.e., the care of women during and after pregnancy.

    Expert in Alcohol Education and Prevention

    An individual experienced in alcohol abuse education and prevention, especially in the areas of screening, counseling and referring for treatment of pregnant and postpartum women.

    Expert in Breastfeeding Promotion

    An individual who has education and training in the skills and techniques of breastfeeding.

    Section 17(k) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1786), mandates the Council and authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to appoint its members. The White House Liaison Office is responsible for vetting every candidate who applies for membership to the Council. In order to be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve on a board, council or committee, each applicant must clear all stages of the vetting process. Vetting is a comprehensive personal and professional background investigation that specifically includes, but is not limited to, an analysis of each candidate's criminal history, bankruptcy filings, liens and judgments, affiliations and associations, lobbyist status, and prior involvement with USDA.

    This process is used to ensure that the finest candidates are selected to represent the interests of the United States Department of Agriculture. Individuals and organizations who wish to nominate experts for this or any other USDA advisory committee should submit a letter to the Secretary listing these individuals' names and business address, phone, and email contact information. These individuals may be contacted now or in the future to determine their interest in serving as a committee member.

    Candidates who wish to be considered for membership on the Council should submit a USDA “Application for Advisory Committee Membership” (Form AD-755) application form and resume to the Secretary of Agriculture. Cover letters should be addressed to the Secretary of Agriculture. All nomination materials should be mailed in a single, complete package and postmarked by January 23, 2017 to: Thomas Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20250 at the attention of Robin Young, DFO, USDA/FNS/SFPD. The application form and more information about advisory committees can be found at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=advisory_committees.xml.

    FNS has special interest in ensuring that women, minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are adequately represented on these advisory committees. We encourage and welcome nominations for qualified candidates.

    Dated: December 15, 2016. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30849 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Sunshine Act Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    United States Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Commission Telephonic Business Meeting.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, December 28, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting to take place by telephone.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Walch, Director of Communications and Public Engagement, at (202) 376-8371 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This business meeting is open to the public, by telephone only.

    Participant Access Instructions: Dial in 5-10 minutes prior to the start time using the Participant phone number and Conference Passcode below.

    Conference ID: 8072815.

    Listen Only, Toll Free: 1-888-809-5987.

    Persons with hearing impairments, please contact the above for how to access the Federal Relay Service for the meeting.

    Meeting Agenda I. Approval of Agenda II. Vote on Chair • Vote on President Obama's nomination of Catherine E. Lhamon to serve as Chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights III. Other Business IV. Adjourn Meeting Dated: December 20, 2016. Brian Walch, Director of Public Affairs, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30954 Filed 12-20-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Maryland Advisory Committee; Correction AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission on Civil Rights published a notice in the Federal Register of September 22, 2016, concerning a meeting of the Maryland Advisory Committee. The notice is revised to provide further details about specific meeting dates.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara de La Viez, (202) 376-7533.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of Maryland, in FR Doc. 2016-22851, on page 65335-65336, correct the first paragraph to read:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the Maryland Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 12:30 p.m. (EST) on Friday, January 13, 2017. The purpose of the planning meeting is to vote on a project proposal for the Committee to study the civil rights issues related to bail bonds and municipal fines in Maryland and discuss future project planning.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Coordination Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30810 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-979] Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 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 crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules (“solar cells”), from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”). The period of review (“POR”) is December 1, 2014 through November 30, 2015. The administrative review covers two mandatory respondents: (1) Canadian Solar International Limited, which we have preliminarily treated as a single entity with five affiliated companies identified below, and (2) the collapsed entity Trina Solar, consisting of Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. and Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science & Technology Co., Ltd., which we have preliminarily continued to treat as a single entity with five additional affiliated companies identified below. The Department preliminarily finds that both mandatory respondents sold subject merchandise in the United States at prices below normal value (“NV”) during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective December 22, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Pedersen, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2769.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates, and panels, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels and building integrated materials.1 Merchandise covered by this order is classifiable under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.80, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    1 For a complete description of the scope of the order, see “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of the 2014-2015 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or not Assembled into Modules, From the People's Republic of China” from Edward Yang, Senior Director, Office VII, Antidumping and Countervailing Operations, to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, issued concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Based on an analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) information, and comments provided by a number of companies, the Department preliminarily determines that seven companies under review, BYD (Shangluo) Industrial Co., Ltd., Canadian Solar Inc., Dongguan Sunworth Solar Energy Co., Ltd., Hangzhou Sunny Energy Science and Technology Co., Ltd., Jiangsu High Hope Int'l Group, Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd/Luoyang Suntech Power Co., Ltd., and Zhongli Talesun Solar Co. Ltd. each had no shipments during the POR. For additional information regarding this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Consistent with an announced refinement to its assessment practice in non-market economy (“NME”) cases, the Department is not rescinding this review, in part, but intends to complete the review with respect to the companies for which it has preliminarily found no shipments and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.2

    2See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65694-95 (October 24, 2011) and the “Assessment Rates” section, below.

    Preliminary Affiliation and Single Entity Determination

    Based on record evidence, the Department preliminarily finds that Canadian Solar International Limited and the following five companies are affiliated pursuant to section 771(33)(F) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), and should be treated as a single entity pursuant to 19 CFR 351.401(f)(1)-(2): Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Changshu), Inc., Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Luoyang), Inc., CSI Cells Co., Ltd., CSI-GCL Solar Manufacturing (YanCheng) Co., Ltd., and CSI Solar Power (China) Inc. (collectively, together with Canadian Solar International Limited, “Canadian Solar”). For additional information, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum at the section entitled “Single Entity Treatment” and the Canadian Solar Collapsing Memorandum.3

    3See the December 16, 2016 memorandum from Jeff Pedersen, International Trade Analyst, AD/CVD Operations Office IV to Abdelali Elouaradia, Director, AD/CVD Operations Office IV regarding “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Affiliation and Single Entity Memorandum for Canadian Solar International Limited (“Canadian Solar Single Entity Memorandum”).

    Furthermore, the Department preliminarily continues to find that Trina Solar, Yancheng Trina Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd., Changzhou Trina Solar Yabang Energy Co., Ltd., Turpan Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd., and Hubei Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. (collectively, “Trina”) are affiliated pursuant to section 771(33)(F) of the Act and should be treated as a single entity pursuant to 19 CFR 351.401(f)(1)-(2). This preliminary finding is based on record evidence showing that the facts and analysis that the Department relied upon in the 2013-2014 AD administrative review of solar cells from the PRC continue to be applicable during the instant POR. For additional information, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum at the section entitled “Single Entity Treatment.”

    Use of Partial Facts Available (“FA”) and Partial Adverse Facts Available (“AFA”)

    Certain unaffiliated tollers of inputs used by Canadian Solar and Trina to product subject merchandise and unaffiliated suppliers of solar cells and/or solar modules to both respondents failed to provide FOP data. The Department preliminarily determines that it is appropriate to apply AFA, pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act, with respect to the unreported FOPs for purchased solar cells and solar modules. These unreported FOPs for solar cells and solar modules represent a material amount of necessary FOP information. However, in accordance with section 776(a)(1) of the Act, the Department is applying FA with respect to the unreported FOPs from the unaffiliated tollers. The record indicates that the tolled portions either represent relatively small percentages of the inputs consumed or the tollers only performed a relatively small portion of the total processing involved in producing the input. For details regarding these determinations, see the memoranda regarding unreported FOPs.

    Separate Rates

    The Department preliminarily determines that the information placed on the record by Canadian Solar and Trina, as well as by the other companies listed in the rate table in the “Preliminary Results of Review” section below, demonstrates that these companies are entitled to separate rate status. The Department calculated weighted-average dumping margins for Canadian Solar and Trina and calculated an all-others rate for the companies to which it granted separate rates status, but which it did not individually examine, as described in the Separate Rate Calculation Memorandum 4 and the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    4See the memorandum from Jeff Pedersen International Trade Analyst, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV to Howard Smith Program Manager, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV entitled “2014-2015 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Calculation of the Dumping Margin for Respondents Not Selected for Individual Examination,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    On the other hand, the Department preliminarily determines that the following companies have not demonstrated their entitlement to separate rates status because either they did not file a separate rate application or certification with the Department:

    1. Jiangsu Sunlink PV Technology Co., Ltd.

    2. Ningbo Hisheen Electrical Co., Ltd.

    3. Shenzhen Glory Industries Co., Ltd.

    The Department treated the companies which it did not grant separate rates status as part of the PRC-wide entity. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate (i.e., 238.95 percent) is not subject to change.5 For additional information regarding the Department's separate rates determinations, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    5See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2013- 2014, 81 FR 39905, 39908 (June 20, 2016) (“AR2 Final Results”).

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Act. The Department preliminarily determined that both respondents' reported U.S. sales were constructed export price (“CEP”) sales and calculated CEPs in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Given that the PRC is an NME country, within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, the Department calculated NV in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying the preliminary results of this review, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public 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 found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the POR:

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Canadian Solar International Limited/Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Changshu), Inc./Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Luoyang)Inc./CSI Cells Co., Ltd./CSI-GCL Solar Manufacturing (YanCheng) Co., Ltd./CSI Solar Power (China) Inc 30.42 Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science and Technology Co., Ltd./Yancheng Trina Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd./Changzhou Trina Solar Yabang Energy Co., Ltd./Turpan Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Hubei Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd 7.72 Chint Solar (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd 13.97 ERA Solar Co., Ltd 13.97 ET Solar Energy Limited 13.97 Hengdian Group DMEGC Magnetics Co., Ltd 13.97 JA Solar Technology Yangzhou Co., Ltd 13.97 Jiawei Solarchina (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd 13.97 Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd 13.97 JingAo Solar Co., Ltd 13.97 Lightway Green New Energy Co., Ltd 13.97 Ningbo ETDZ Holdings, Ltd 13.97 Risen Energy Co., Ltd 13.97 Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd 13.97 Shanghai JA Solar Technology Co., Ltd 13.97 Shenzhen Sungold Solar Co., Ltd 13.97 Shenzhen Topray Solar Co., Ltd 13.97 Star Power International Limited 13.97 Systemes Versilis, Inc 13.97 Taizhou BD Trade Co., Ltd 13.97 tenKsolar (Shanghai) Co., Ltd 13.97 Toenergy Technology Hangzhou Co., Ltd 13.97 Wuxi Tianran Photovoltaic Co., Ltd 13.97 Yingli Energy (China) Company Limited/Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Tianjin Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Hengshui Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Lixian Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Baoding Jiasheng Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd./Beijing Tianneng Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Hainan Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd./Shenzhen Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd 13.97 Zhejiang Era Solar Technology Co., Ltd 13.97 Zhejiang Sunflower Light Energy Science & Technology Limited Liability Company 13.97
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to parties the calculations performed for these preliminary results of review within five days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.6 Rebuttal briefs may be filed no later than five days after case briefs are due and may respond only to arguments raised in the case briefs.7 A table of contents, list of authorities used, and an executive summary of issues should accompany any briefs submitted to the Department. The summary should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.8

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(ii).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2), (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, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.9 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants in, and a list of the issues to be discussed at, the hearing. Oral arguments at the hearing will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a date and time to be determined.10 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date of the hearing.

    9See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    All submissions, with limited exceptions, must be filed electronically using ACCESS.11 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on the due date. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with the APO/Dockets Unit in Room 18022 and stamped with the date and time of receipt by 5 p.m. ET on the due date.12

    11See generally 19 CFR 351.303.

    12See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements); Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Unless otherwise extended, the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised in any briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results of review, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results of this review, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.13 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review. For each individually examined respondent in this review whose weighted-average dumping margin in the final results of review is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), the Department intends to calculate importer-specific assessment rates, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).14 Where the respondent reported reliable entered values, the Department intends to calculate importer-specific ad valorem assessment rates by aggregating the amount of dumping calculated for all U.S. sales to the importer and dividing this amount by the total entered value of the sales to the importer.15 Where the importer did not report entered values, the Department intends to calculate an importer-specific assessment rate by dividing the amount of dumping for reviewed sales to the importer by the total sales quantity associated with those transactions. In addition, the Department will calculate an estimated ad valorem importer-specific assessment rate to determine whether this rate is de minimis, however, the Department will direct CBP to assess importer-specific assessment rates based on the resulting per-unit rates, where appropriate.16 Where an importer-specific ad valorem assessment rate is not zero or de minimis, the Department will instruct CBP to collect the appropriate duties at the time of liquidation. Where either the respondent's weighted average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific ad valorem assessment rate is zero or de minimis, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.17

    13See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    14See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012) (“Final Modification”).

    15See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    16Id.

    17See Final Modification, 77 FR at 8103.

    Pursuant to Departmental practice, for entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales database submitted by an exporter individually examined during this review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the rate for the PRC-wide entity.18 Additionally, 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 CBP case number will be liquidated at the rate for the PRC-wide entity.

    18See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011), for a full discussion of this practice.

    In accordance with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, the final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on POR entries and for future deposits of estimated antidumping duties, where applicable.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit for antidumping duties equal to the weighted-average amount by which NV exceeds U.S. price. 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 of this notice, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For the exporters listed above, the cash deposit rate will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), then the cash deposit rate will be zero for that exporter); (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 recently completed segment of this proceeding; (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 rate for the PRC-wide entity (i.e., 238.95 percent 19 ) and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise that 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.

    19See AR2 Final Results, 81 FR 39908.

    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 and/or countervailing 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 and/or countervailing duties has occurred, and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties and/or an increase in the amount of antidumping duties by the amount of the countervailing duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    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 and 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments 5. Selection of Respondents 6. Single Entity Treatment 7. Discussion of the Methodology a. NME Country b. Separate Rates c. Application of Partial FA and AFA d. Surrogate Country e. Date of Sale f. Fair Value Comparisons g. U.S. Price h. Normal Value i. Section 777A(f) of the Act j. Currency Conversion 8. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-30854 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-122-857] Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective December 15, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Pedersen at (202) 482-2769 or Robert Galantucci at (202) 482-2923, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petition

    On November 25, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of certain softwood lumber products (softwood lumber) from Canada, filed in proper form, on behalf of the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION) (hereinafter, Petitioner).1

    1See Letter from Petitioner, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada,” November 25, 2016 (the Petition), at Volume II. The COALITION is an ad hoc association whose members are: Collum's Lumber Products, L.L.C., Hankins, Inc., Potlatch Corporation, Rex Lumber Company, Seneca Sawmill Company, Sierra Pacific Industries, Stimson Lumber Company, Swanson Group, Weyerhaeuser Company, Carpenters Industrial Council, Giustina Land and Timber Company, Sullivan Forestry Consultants, Inc., and the U.S. Lumber Coalition, Inc. Id., Volume I at 2.

    On November 30, 2016, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.2 Petitioner filed responses to these requests on December 1, 2016.3 On December 7, 2016, in consultations the Department held with respect to the companion CVD case on imports of softwood lumber from Canada, the Government of Canada (GOC) provided comments on, and requested the Department poll the industry to determine, industry support.4 On December 8, 2016, Petitioner provided a response to the GOC comments on industry support.5

    2See Letter from the Department to Petitioner concerning general issues entitled “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Supplemental Questions,” dated November 30, 2016 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire); see also Letter from the Department to Petitioner concerning antidumping matters entitled “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Supplemental Questions,” dated November 30, 2016 (Antidumping Supplemental Questionnaire).

    3See Letter from Petitioner to the Department entitled “Supplement to the Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Response to the Department's Supplemental Questions,” dated December 1, 2016 (Petition Supplement).

    4See Memorandum from Robert Galantucci to the file entitled “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Consultation Documents,” dated December 13, 2016 (Consultation Document Memorandum), at Attachment 1 (Letter from the Government of Canada to the Department entitled, “Certain Softwood Lumber from Canada: Submission of Consultations Paper,” dated December 7, 2016).

    5See Consultation Document Memorandum, at Attachment 2 (Letter from Petitioner to the Department entitled, “Comments on Government of Canada's Consultations Paper,” dated December 8, 2016); see also Consultation Document Memorandum, at Attachment 3 (Memorandum to the File Re: Consultations with Officials from the Government of Canada, dated December 7, 2016, which references the GOC comments.).

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), Petitioner alleges that imports of softwood lumber from Canada are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, Petitioner states that the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioner supporting its allegations.

    The Department finds that Petitioner filed this Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(F) of the Act. As discussed in the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition section, below, the Department also finds that Petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to initiation of the requested AD investigation.6

    6See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section below.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on November 25, 2016, the period of investigation (POI) is, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is certain softwood lumber products from Canada. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Appendix to of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.7 As a result of these exchanges, the scope of the Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petition. The class or kind of merchandise covered by this initiation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects that clarification.

    7See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire and Petition Supplement.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,8 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope). The Department will consider all comments received from parties and, if necessary, will consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determinations in this investigation and the companion countervailing duty investigation concurrently being initiated. If scope comments include factual information,9 all such factual information should be limited to public information. The Department requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 4, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information (and also should be limited to public information), must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, which is the first business day ten calendar days after the initial comments deadline.10

    8See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 2007).

    9See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21).

    10See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1) (“For both electronically filed and manually filed documents, if the applicable due date falls on a non-business day, the Secretary will accept documents that are filed on the next business day.”)

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments and information must be filed on the records of the AD investigation and the concurrent CVD investigation.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).11 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    11See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    The Department is giving interested parties an opportunity to provide comments on the appropriate physical characteristics of softwood lumber to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to report the relevant costs of production accurately as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe softwood lumber, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaires, all product characteristics comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EST on January 18, 2017. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information (and should be limited to public information), must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EST on January 30, 2017, which is the first business day 10 calendar days after the initial comments deadline.12 All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above.

    12See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1) (“For both electronically filed and manually filed documents, if the applicable due date falls on a non-business day, the Secretary will accept documents that are filed on the next business day.”).

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,13 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.14

    13See section 771(10) of the Act.

    14See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, Petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of this investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that softwood lumber constitutes a single domestic like product and we analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.15

    15 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this investigation, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada (Canada AD Initiation Checklist) at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Softwood Lumber Products (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit (CRU), Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether Petitioner has standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. To establish industry support, Petitioner provided actual 2015 production data of the domestic like product for all U.S. softwood lumber producers that support the Petition.16 Petitioner also estimated the 2015 softwood lumber production of those U.S. softwood lumber producers/sawmills whose workers are represented by the Carpenters Industrial Council, a recognized union and a member of the COALITION.17 Petitioner estimated total 2015 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry based on production data published by Lumber Track, adjusted to account for any flooring and siding produced outside sawmills that may have not been included in the published production data.18 Petitioner compared the total production of the supporters of the Petition to the estimated total production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.19 We relied upon data Petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.20

    16See Petition, Volume I, at 6-7 and Exhibit 10; see also Petition Supplement, at 8-9 and Exhibit 10.

    17See id. at 6-9 and Exhibits 10 and 14.

    18Id., at 4-6 and Exhibits 2 and 56.

    19See id. at 4-10 and Exhibit 10; see also Petition Supplement, at 8-9 and Exhibit 10.

    20See Canada AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    On December 7, 2016, we received comments on industry support from the GOC.21 Petitioner responded to the GOC's Comments on December 8, 2016.22 For further discussion of these comments, see the Canada AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    21See Consultation Document Memorandum, at Attachment 1; see also Consultation Document Memorandum, at Attachment 3.

    22See Consultation Document Memorandum, at Attachment 1.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, Petition Supplement, letters from the GOC and Petitioner, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that Petitioner has established industry support.23 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers and workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).24 Second, the domestic producers and workers have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers and workers who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.25 Finally, the domestic producers and workers have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers and workers who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.26 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    23See Canada AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    24See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Canada AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    25See Canada AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    26Id.

    The Department finds that Petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(F) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that it is requesting the Department initiate.27

    27Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    Petitioner alleges that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, Petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.28

    28See Petition, Volume I, at 34 and Exhibit 27.

    Petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; mill closures and layoffs; and adverse impact on the domestic industry's key trade and financial indicators, including financial performance, production, and capacity utilization.29 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.30

    29Id., at 28-30, 34-67 and Exhibits 2, 3, 19, 24, 26-27, 29, 32, 34, 36-53, and 59-60; see also Petition Supplement, at 9 and Exhibit 59.

    30See Canada AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada (Attachment III).

    Allegations of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegations of sales at less-than-fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate an investigation of imports of softwood lumber from Canada. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the initiation checklist, issued concurrently with this notice.31

    31See generally Canada AD Initiation Checklist.

    Export Price

    Petitioner based U.S. price on five quoted sales offers to customers in the United States for Spruce Pine Fir (SPF) softwood lumber and kiln-dried Douglas Fir (DF) softwood lumber produced in, and exported from, Canada.32 Petitioner made deductions from U.S. price for movement expenses consistent with the delivery terms.33 Petitioner also deducted from U.S. price domestic brokerage and handling expenses and early payment discount expenses.34

    32See Canada AD Initiation Checklist; see also Petition, Volume II, at 2-12 and Exhibit 72.

    33See Canada AD Initiation Checklist; see also Petition, Volume II, at 6-12 and Exhibits 72, 73, and 75.

    34See Canada AD Initiation Checklist; see also Petition, Volume II, at 6-7, 10-12 and Exhibits 72, 73, and 76.

    NV Based on Home Market Sales

    Petitioner provided home market price information based on a price quote for SPF lumber produced in, and offered for sale in, Canada.35 Petitioner stated that the home market price quote was for SPF lumber identical to the SPF lumber in U.S. Offers 1 and 2.36 Petitioner made deductions from the home market price for inland freight charges and payment discounts.37

    35See Canada AD Initiation Checklist at 9; see also Petition, Volume II, at 12 and Exhibit 77; General Issues Supplement, at Exhibit 77.

    36See Canada AD Initiation Checklist; see also Petition, Volume II, at 12-13.

    37See Canada AD Initiation Checklist at 9; see also Petition, Volume II, at 13-14 and Exhibits 73 and 77; General Issues Supplement, at Exhibit 77.

    NV Based on Constructed Value

    For U.S. price Offers 3, 4, and 5, Petitioner was unable to obtain information regarding home market prices and, therefore, calculated NV based on constructed value (CV).38 Pursuant to section 773(e) of the Act, CV consists of the cost of manufacturing (COM), selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, financial expenses, packing expenses, and profit. Petitioner calculated COM based on publicly available sources containing detailed region or province-specific log and sawmill production costs.39 Specifically, Petitioner relied on the information reported in the Wood Markets' Cost Benchmark Report and Quarterly Update publications, adjusted for contemporaneity and to reflect more specific product costs where information was publicly available, as well as information published by provincial offices in Canada.40 To determine the SG&A, and financial expense rates, Petitioner relied on the audited financial statements of a Canadian lumber producer.41 Petitioner also relied on the audited financial statements of the same producer that was used for calculating the SG&A, and financial expenses to calculate the profit rate.42

    38See Canada AD Initiation Checklist at 10-13; see also Petition, Volume II, at 15-16. In accordance with section 505(a) of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, amending section 773(b)(2) of the Act, for all of the investigations, the Department will request information necessary to calculate the cost of production (COP) and CV to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales of the foreign like product have been made at prices that represent less than the COP of the product. The Department will no longer require a COP allegation to conduct this analysis.

    39See Canada AD Initiation Checklist; see also Petition, Volume II, at 17-19.

    40See Petition, Volume II, at 17-34 and Exhibits 69, 78, 82, 85, 87, 94, and 95.

    41See Canada AD Initiation Checklist at 11.

    42Id.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by Petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of softwood lumber from Canada, are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV in accordance with sections 773(a) and (e) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for softwood lumber range from 20.12 percent to 53.08 percent.43

    43See Petition Supplement at 10; see also Revised Exhibit 73; Canada AD Initiation Checklist at 15.

    Initiation of Less-than-Fair-Value Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petition on softwood lumber from Canada, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of softwood lumber for Canada are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA), which made numerous amendments to the Act.44 The TPEA does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the International Trade Commission (ITC).45 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this AD investigation.46

    44See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Pub. L. 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    45See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice).

    46Id., at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Critical Circumstances

    Petitioner alleges, based on trade statistics and documented prior knowledge of an impending trade case, that there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that critical circumstances exist with regard to imports of softwood lumber from Canada.47

    47See Petition, Volume I, at 67-78.

    Section 733(e)(1) of the Act states that if a petitioner alleges critical circumstances, the Department will find that such circumstances exist, at any time after the date of initiation, when there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that under, subparagraph (A)(i), there is a history of dumping and there is material injury by reason of dumped imports in the United States or elsewhere of the subject merchandise, or (ii) the person by whom, or for whose account, the merchandise was imported knew or should have known that the exporter was selling the subject merchandise at less than its fair value and that there was likely to be material injury by reason of such sales, and (B) there have been massive imports of the subject merchandise over a relatively short period. Section 351.206(h)(2) of the Department's regulations provides that, generally, imports must increase by at least 15 percent during the “relatively short period” to be considered “massive” and section 351.206(i) defines a “relatively short period” as normally being the period beginning on the date the proceeding begins (i.e., the date the petition is filed) 48 and ending at least three months later. The regulations also provide, however, that if the Department “finds that importers, or exporters and producers, had reason to believe, at some time prior to the beginning of the proceeding, that a proceeding was likely,” the Department “may consider a period of not less than three months from that earlier time.” 49

    48See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(40) (providing that a proceeding begins on the date of the filing of a petition).

    49See id.

    Petitioner alleges that there is a history of dumping and material injury by reason of dumped imports of softwood lumber, and that U.S. importers knew or should have known that softwood lumber was being sold at less-than-fair value and that there was likely to be material injury by reason of such sales.50 Petitioner notes that, in a previous investigation, the Department made a final affirmative antidumping determination on softwood lumber imports from Canada.51 Additionally, in the final results of two administrative reviews of the resulting order on softwood lumber, and in the preliminary results of a third review, the Department found that softwood lumber from Canada continued to be sold for less-than-fair value.52

    50Id. at 67-78.

    51Id. at 76.

    52Id.

    Petitioner also asserts that there have been massive imports of softwood lumber over a relatively short period. Petitioner contends that, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.206(i), the Department should evaluate the level of imports during a period prior to the filing of the Petition, because importers and foreign exporters and producers had reason to believe that an antidumping duty petition was likely.53 In particular, Petitioner provided news articles and industry publications to demonstrate that importers and foreign exporters and producers were aware that the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) expired on October 12, 2015, and that after October 12, 2016, the domestic industry in the United States would once again be permitted to file an AD petition.54 Accordingly, Petitioner asserts that importers and foreign exporters and producers were aware that they had a one-year period following the expiration of the SLA to ship subject merchandise without being subject to antidumping duties.55 Therefore, to consider whether imports of softwood lumber were massive over a relatively short period of time, Petitioner contends that the Department should compare import levels during January 2015 through October 2015 (base period) with import levels during November 2015 through August 2016 (comparison period).56 Based on Petitioner's calculation, the import volume of softwood lumber surged 25.56 percent between the base and comparison period, and the value of imports surged 18.11 percent.57 Petitioner asserts that because the surge in imports constituted more than a 15 percent change, import volumes of softwood lumber are massive, as defined in the Department's regulations.

    53Id. at 69-70.

    54Id. at 70-72 and Exhibits 39, 64, 65, 67. Petitioner notes that there was a one-year “standstill” period during which domestic industry was not permitted to file an AD petition. Id. at 70-72.

    55Id. at 72-73.

    56Id. at 73-74.

    57Id.

    Petitioner requests that the Department make a preliminary finding of critical circumstances within 45 days of the filing of the Petition.58 Section 732(e) of the Act states that when there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect (1) there is a history of dumping in the United States or elsewhere of the subject merchandise, or (2) the person by whom, or for whose account, the merchandise was imported knew, or should have known, that the exporter was selling the subject merchandise at less-than-fair value, the Department may request Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to compile information on an expedited basis regarding entries of the subject merchandise.

    58Id. at 69.

    Taking into consideration the foregoing, we will analyze this matter further. We will monitor imports of softwood lumber from Canada and may request that CBP compile information on an expedited basis regarding entries of subject merchandise.59 If, at any time, the criteria for a finding of critical circumstances are established, we will issue a critical circumstances determination at the earliest possible date.60

    59See Section 732(e) of the Act.

    60See Policy Bulletin 98/4, 63 FR 55364 (October 15, 1998).

    Respondent Selection

    Based on information reasonably available to it, Petitioner identified over 400 companies in Canada as producers/exporters of softwood lumber.61 Following standard practice in AD investigations involving market economy countries, in the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, where appropriate, the Department intends to select mandatory respondents based on CBP data for U.S. imports of softwood lumber from Canada during the period of investigation under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix. The Department also intends to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO on the record within five business days of publication of this Federal Register notice. Interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data must do so within seven calendar days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of this investigation. Parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five calendar days after the deadline for the initial comments.

    61See Petition, Volume I, at 28 and Exhibit 61.

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Comments for this investigation 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, by 5:00 p.m. EST, by the dates noted above. We intend to finalize our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petition have been provided to the GOC via ACCESS. Because of the particularly large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition,62 the Department considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the GOC, consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    62See Petition, Volume I, at Exhibit 61.

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of softwood lumber from Canada are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.63 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 64 otherwise, the investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    63See section 733(a) of the Act.

    64Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). Any party, when submitting factual information, must specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Specific time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in the investigation.

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.65 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 66 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    65See section 782(b) of the Act.

    66See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: December 15, 2016. Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is softwood lumber, siding, flooring and certain other coniferous wood (“softwood lumber products”). The scope includes:

    • Coniferous wood, sawn, or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, whether or not sanded, or whether or not finger-jointed, of an actual thickness exceeding six millimeters.

    • Coniferous wood siding, flooring, and other coniferous wood (other than moldings and dowel rods), including strips and friezes for parquet flooring, that is continuously shaped (including, but not limited to, tongued, grooved, rebated, chamfered, V-jointed, beaded, molded, rounded) along any of its edges, ends, or faces, whether or not planed, whether or not sanded, or whether or not end-jointed.

    • Coniferous drilled and notched lumber and angle cut lumber.

    • Coniferous lumber stacked on edge and fastened together with nails, whether or not with plywood sheathing.

    • Components or parts of semi-finished or unassembled finished products made from subject merchandise that would otherwise meet the definition of the scope above.

    Softwood lumber product imports are generally entered under Chapter 44 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). This chapter of the HTSUS covers “Wood and articles of wood.” Softwood lumber products that are subject to this investigation are currently classifiable under the following ten-digit HTSUS subheadings in Chapter 44: 4407.10.01.01; 4407.10.01.02; 4407.10.01.15; 4407.10.01.16; 4407.10.01.17; 4407.10.01.18; 4407.10.01.19; 4407.10.01.20; 4407.10.01.42; 4407.10.01.43; 4407.10.01.44; 4407.10.01.45; 4407.10.01.46; 4407.10.01.47; 4407.10.01.48; 4407.10.01.49; 4407.10.01.52; 4407.10.01.53; 4407.10.01.54; 4407.10.01.55; 4407.10.01.56; 4407.10.01.57; 4407.10.01.58; 4407.10.01.59; 4407.10.01.64; 4407.10.01.65; 4407.10.01.66; 4407.10.01.67; 4407.10.01.68; 4407.10.01.69; 4407.10.01.74; 4407.10.01.75; 4407.10.01.76; 4407.10.01.77; 4407.10.01.82; 4407.10.01.83; 4407.10.01.92; 4407.10.01.93; 4409.10.05.00; 4409.10.10.20; 4409.10.10.40; 4409.10.10.60; 4409.10.10.80; 4409.10.20.00; 4409.10.90.20; 4409.10.90.40; and 4418.90.25.00.

    Subject merchandise as described above may also be classified as stringers, square cut box-spring-frame components, fence pickets, truss components, pallet components, flooring, and door and window frame parts under the following ten-digit HTSUS subheadings in Chapter 44: 4415.20.40.00; 4415.20.80.00; 4418.90.46.05; 4418.90.46.20; 4418.90.46.40; 4418.90.46.95; 4421.90.70.40; 4421.90.94.00; and 4421.90.97.80.

    Although these HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-30780 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-122-858] Certain Softwood Lumber Products From Canada: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective December 15, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nicholas Czajkowski at (202) 482-1395, or Lana Nigro at (202)-482-0698, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petition

    On November 25, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received a countervailing duty (CVD) petition concerning imports of certain softwood lumber products (softwood lumber) from Canada,1 filed in proper form, on behalf of the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION) (hereinafter, Petitioner).2

    1See Letter from Petitioner, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada,” November 25, 2016 (Petition), at Volume III.

    2 The COALITION is an ad hoc association whose members include U.S. Lumber Coalition, Inc.; Collum's Lumber Products, L.L.C.; Hankins, Inc.; Potlatch Corporation; Rex Lumber Company; Seneca Sawmill Company; Sierra Pacific Industries; Stimson Lumber Company; Swanson Group; Weyerhaeuser Company; Carpenters Industrial Council; Giustina Land and Timber Company; and Sullivan Forestry Consultants, Inc. Id., Volume I at 2.

    On November 30 and December 2, 2016, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain aspects of the Petition.3 Petitioner filed responses to these requests on December 1 and 5, 2016.4 Further, Petitioner submitted revised versions of two exhibits originally provided in Volume III of the Petition.5 On December 7, 2016, in consultations the Department held with respect to the CVD petition, the Government of Canada (GOC) provided comments on, and requested the Department poll the industry to determine, industry support.6 On December 8, 2016, Petitioner provided a response to the GOC comments on industry support.7

    3See Letter from the Department, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Supplemental Questions,” November 30, 2016 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire); see also Letter from the Department, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Supplemental Questions,” December 2, 2016 (Countervailing Duty Petition Supplemental Questionnaire).

    4See Letter from Petitioner, “Supplement to the Petitions for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Response to the Department's Supplemental Questions” December 1, 2016 (Petition Supplement); see also Letter from Petitioner, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Response to Supplemental Questions,” December 5, 2016 (Countervailing Duty Petition Supplemental Questionnaire Response).

    5See Letter from Petitioner, “Supplement to the Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Correction of Production Errors” December 2, 2016.

    6See Letter from the Government of Canada, “Certain Softwood Lumber from Canada: Submission of Consultations Paper,” December 7, 2016 (GOC Comments).

    7See Letter from Petitioner, “Comments on Government of Canada's Consultations Paper,” December 8, 2016 (Petitioner's Response to GOC Comments); see also Memorandum to the File Re: Consultations with Officials from the Government of Canada, December 7, 2016 (CVD Consultations Memo), which references the GOC comments.

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), Petitioner alleges that the GOC and the governments of certain Canadian provinces are providing countervailable subsidies within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, to manufacturers, producers, or exporters of softwood lumber from Canada, and that imports of such softwood lumber products are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Additionally, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioner supporting its allegations of subsidy programs in Canada on which we are initiating a CVD investigation.

    The Department finds that Petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioner is an interested party, as defined by section 771(9)(F) of the Act. As discussed in the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, below, the Department also finds that Petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to initiation of the requested CVD investigation.

    Period of Investigation

    As discussed below in the section “Respondent Selection,” in the event the Department determines that the number of companies involved in the investigation is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, we intend to select company respondents using data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Should we conduct this investigation on a company-specific basis, the period of investigation would be January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.8

    8See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is certain softwood lumber products from Canada. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Appendix to this notice.

    Comments on the Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition accurately reflected the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.9 As a result of those exchanges, the scope of the Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petition. The class or kind of merchandise covered by this initiation, as described in the Appendix to this notice, reflects that clarification.

    9See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire Response.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,10 we are setting aside a period of time for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope). The Department will consider all comments received and, if necessary, consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determinations in this investigation and the companion antidumping duty investigation concurrently being initiated. If scope comments include factual information,11 all such factual information should be limited to public information. The Department requests that all interested parties submit scope comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information (and also should be limited to public information), must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, which is the first business day ten calendar days after the initial comments deadline.12

    10See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 2007).

    11See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21).

    12See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1) (“For both electronically filed and manually filed documents, if the applicable due date falls on a non-business day, the Secretary will accept documents that are filed on the next business day.”)

    The Department requests that any factual information parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments and information must be filed on the records of the CVD investigation and the concurrent AD investigation.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).13 An electronically-filed document must be successfully received, in its entirety, by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    13See 19 CFR 351.303 (describing general filing requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) (detailing the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011). Helpful information on using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx, and the ACCESS handbook is available at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filing%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to section 702(b)(4)(A) of the Act, the Department notified representatives of the GOC of its receipt of the Petition and provided them with the opportunity for consultations regarding the CVD allegations.14 On December 7, 2016, the Department held consultations with the GOC.15 All letters and memoranda pertaining to these consultations are available via ACCESS.

    14See Letter from the Department, “Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada: Invitation for Consultations to Discuss the Countervailing Duty Petition,” November 28, 2016.

    15See Department Memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Petition on Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada,” December 7, 2016.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,16 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.17

    16See section 771(10) of the Act.

    17See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, Petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of this investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that softwood lumber constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.18

    18 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada (Canada CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether Petitioner has standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. To establish industry support, Petitioner provided actual 2015 production data of the domestic like product for all U.S. softwood lumber producers that support the Petition.19 Petitioner also estimated the 2015 softwood lumber production of those U.S. softwood lumber producers/sawmills whose workers are represented by the Carpenters Industrial Council, a recognized union and a member of the COALITION.20 Petitioner estimated total 2015 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry based on production data published by Lumber Track, adjusted to account for any flooring and siding produced outside sawmills that may have not been included in the published production data.21 Petitioner compared the total production of the supporters of the Petition to the estimated total production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.22 We relied upon data Petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.23

    19See Petition, Volume I, at 6-7 and Exhibit 10; see also Petition Supplement, at 8-9 and Exhibit 10.

    20See Id. at 6-9 and Exhibits 10 and 14.

    21Id., at 4-6 and Exhibits 2 and 56.

    22See Id. at 4-10 and Exhibit 10; see also Petition Supplement, at 8-9 and Exhibit 10.

    23Id. For further discussion, see Canada CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    On December 7, 2016, we received comments on industry support from the GOC.24 Petitioner responded to the GOC's Comments on December 8, 2016.25 For further discussion of these comments, see the Canada CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    24See GOC Comments, at 5-9.

    25See Petitioner's Response to GOC Comments, at 4-7.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, the Petition Supplement, letters from the GOC and Petitioner, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that Petitioner has established industry support.26 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers and workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).27 Second, the domestic producers and workers have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers and workers who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.28 Finally, the domestic producers and workers have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers and workers who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.29 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    26See Canada CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    27See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Canada CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    28See Canada CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    29Id.

    The Department finds that Petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(F) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that it is requesting the Department initiate.30

    30See Canada CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Injury Test

    Because Canada is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from Canada materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    Petitioner alleges that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In addition, Petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.31

    31See Petition, Volume I, at 34 and Exhibit 27.

    Petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; mill closures and layoffs; and adverse impact on the domestic industry's key trade and financial indicators, including financial performance, production, and capacity utilization.32 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.33

    32Id., at 28-30, 34-67 and Exhibits 2, 3, 19, 24, 26-27, 29, 32, 34, 36-53, and 59-60; see also Petition Supplement, at 9 and Exhibit 59.

    33See Canada CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada.

    Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires the Department to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that (1) alleges the elements necessary for the imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting the allegations.

    Petitioner alleges that exporters/producers of softwood lumber in Canada benefited from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the GOC and the governments of certain Canadian provinces. The Department examined the Petition and finds that it complies with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether manufacturers, producers, and/or exporters of softwood lumber from Canada receive countervailable subsidies from the GOC and/or the governments of certain Canadian provinces, as alleged by Petitioner.

    On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA), which made numerous amendments to the Act.34 The TPEA does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.35 The amendments to sections 776 and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this CVD investigation.36 Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 33 of 38 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not to initiate on each program, see CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    34See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    35See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice).

    36Id., at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination in this investigation no later than 65 days after the date of initiation.

    Critical Circumstances

    Petitioner alleges, based on trade statistics and documented prior knowledge of an impending trade case, that there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that critical circumstances exist with regard to imports of softwood lumber from Canada.37

    37See Petition, Volume I, at 67-78.

    Section 703(e)(1) of the Act provides that if a petitioner alleges critical circumstances, the Department will find that such circumstances exist, at any time after the date of initiation, when there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect: (A) That “the alleged countervailable subsidy” is inconsistent with the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) of the World Trade Organization, and (B) that “there have been massive imports of the subject merchandise over a relatively short period.” Section 351.206(h)(2) of the Department's regulations provides that, generally, imports must increase by at least 15 percent during the “relatively short period” to be considered “massive” and section 351.206(i) defines a “relatively short period” as normally being the period beginning on the date the proceeding begins (i.e., the date the petition is filed) 38 and ending at least three months later.39 The regulations also provide, however, that, if the Department “finds that importers, or exporters or producers, had reason to believe, at some time prior to the beginning of the proceeding, that a proceeding was likely,” the Department “may consider a period of not less than three months from that earlier time.” 40

    38See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(40) (providing that a proceeding begins on the date of the filing of a petition).

    39See 19 CFR 351.206(i).

    40See id.

    Petitioner alleges that Canadian softwood lumber producers benefit from numerous Canadian government subsidies, which include subsidies that are contingent upon export performance. Specifically, Petitioner alleges that under the Export Development Canada: Export Guarantee Program, the GOC provides loan guarantees in support of working capital requirements in order to promote the export of subject merchandise.41

    41See Petition, Volume III, at 231-236.

    Petitioner also asserts that there have been massive imports of softwood lumber over a relatively short period. Petitioner contends that, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.206(i), the Department should evaluate the level of imports during a period prior to the filing of the Petition, because importers and foreign exporters and producers had reason to believe that a countervailing duty petition was likely.42 In particular, Petitioner provided news articles and industry publications to demonstrate that importers and foreign exporters and producers were aware that the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) expired on October 12, 2015, and that after October 12, 2016, the domestic industry in the United States would once again be permitted to file a CVD petition.43 Accordingly, Petitioner asserts that importers and foreign exporters and producers were aware that they had a one-year period following the expiration of the SLA to ship subject merchandise without being subject to countervailing duties.44 Therefore, to consider whether imports of softwood lumber were massive over a relatively short period of time, Petitioner contends that the Department should compare import levels during January 2015 through October 2015 (base period) with import levels during November 2015 through August 2016 (comparison period).45 Based on Petitioner's calculation, the import volume of softwood lumber surged 25.56 percent between the base and comparison periods, and the value of imports surged 18.11 percent.46 Petitioner asserts that because the surge in imports constituted more than a 15 percent change, import volumes of softwood lumber are massive, as defined in the Department's regulations.

    42See id. at 69-70.

    43See id. at 70-72 and Exhibits 39, 64, 65, 67. Petitioner notes that there was a one-year “standstill” period during which domestic industry was not permitted to file a CVD petition. Id. at 70-72.

    44See id. at 72-73.

    45See id. at 73-74.

    46See id.

    Petitioner requests that the Department make a preliminary finding of critical circumstances within 45 days of the filing of the Petition.47 Section 702(e) of the Act states that if “at any time after the initiation of an investigation under this subtitle, the administering authority finds a reasonable basis to suspect that the alleged countervailable subsidy is inconsistent with the {SCM} Agreement, the administering authority may request the Commissioner of Customs to compile information on an expedited basis regarding entries of the subject merchandise.”

    47See id. at 69.

    Taking into consideration the foregoing, we will analyze this matter further. We will monitor imports of softwood lumber products from Canada and may request that CBP compile information on an expedited basis regarding entries of subject merchandise.48 If, at any time, the criteria for a finding of critical circumstances are established, we will issue a critical circumstances determination at the earliest possible date.49

    48See Section 702(e) of the Act.

    49See Policy Bulletin 98/4, 63 FR 55364 (October 15, 1998).

    Respondent Selection

    Petitioner named hundreds of companies as producers/exporters of softwood lumber from Canada.50 The Department intends to follow its standard practice in CVD investigations and calculate company-specific subsidy rates in this investigation. In the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, where appropriate, the Department intends to select mandatory respondents based on CBP data for U.S. imports of softwood lumber from Canada during the period of investigation under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix. The Department also intends to release CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five business days of publication of this Federal Register notice. Interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data must do so within seven calendar days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of this investigation. Because a “company-specific” methodology is a departure from the “aggregate” methodology used in previous investigations of certain softwood lumber products from Canada,51 the Department invites comments regarding the appropriate subsidy rate methodology to use in this investigation. These comments are due within seven calendar days of publication of this Federal Register notice.

    50See Petition, Volume I, at 28 and Exhibit 61.

    51See e.g., Notice of Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Negative Critical Circumstances Determination: Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada, 67 FR 15545 (April 2, 2002) and Accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum. See also section 777A(e)(2)(B) of the Act

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Comments for this investigation 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, by 5:00 p.m. EST, by the dates noted above. We intend to finalize our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the GOC via ACCESS. Because of the particularly large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition,52 the Department considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the GOC consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    52See Petition, Volume I at Exhibit 61.

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days of the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of softwood lumber in Canada are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.53 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 54 otherwise, the investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    53See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    54See section 703(a)(1) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i) through (iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Specific time limits for submission of factual information, based on the type of factual information being submitted, are provided at 19 CFR 351.301. Parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different deadline after which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify the accuracy and completeness of that information.55 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the revised certification formats provided at the end of the Final Rule. 56 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    55See section 782(b) of the Act.

    56See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule). Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule are available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing letters of appearance, as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: December 15, 2016. Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is softwood lumber, siding, flooring and certain other coniferous wood (“softwood lumber products”). The scope includes:

    • Coniferous wood, sawn, or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, whether or not sanded, or whether or not finger-jointed, of an actual thickness exceeding six millimeters.

    • Coniferous wood siding, flooring, and other coniferous wood (other than moldings and dowel rods), including strips and friezes for parquet flooring, that is continuously shaped (including, but not limited to, tongued, grooved, rebated, chamfered, V-jointed, beaded, molded, rounded) along any of its edges, ends, or faces, whether or not planed, whether or not sanded, or whether or not end-jointed.

    • Coniferous drilled and notched lumber and angle cut lumber.

    • Coniferous lumber stacked on edge and fastened together with nails, whether or not with plywood sheathing.

    • Components or parts of semi-finished or unassembled finished products made from subject merchandise that would otherwise meet the definition of the scope above.

    Softwood lumber product imports are generally entered under Chapter 44 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). This chapter of the HTSUS covers “Wood and articles of wood.” Softwood lumber products that are subject to this investigation are currently classifiable under the following ten-digit HTSUS subheadings in Chapter 44: 4407.10.01.01; 4407.10.01.02; 4407.10.01.15; 4407.10.01.16; 4407.10.01.17; 4407.10.01.18; 4407.10.01.19; 4407.10.01.20; 4407.10.01.42; 4407.10.01.43; 4407.10.01.44; 4407.10.01.45; 4407.10.01.46; 4407.10.01.47; 4407.10.01.48; 4407.10.01.49; 4407.10.01.52; 4407.10.01.53; 4407.10.01.54; 4407.10.01.55; 4407.10.01.56; 4407.10.01.57; 4407.10.01.58; 4407.10.01.59; 4407.10.01.64; 4407.10.01.65; 4407.10.01.66; 4407.10.01.67; 4407.10.01.68; 4407.10.01.69; 4407.10.01.74; 4407.10.01.75; 4407.10.01.76; 4407.10.01.77; 4407.10.01.82; 4407.10.01.83; 4407.10.01.92; 4407.10.01.93; 4409.10.05.00; 4409.10.10.20; 4409.10.10.40; 4409.10.10.60; 4409.10.10.80; 4409.10.20.00; 4409.10.90.20; 4409.10.90.40; and 4418.90.25.00.

    Subject merchandise as described above may also be classified as stringers, square cut box-spring-frame components, fence pickets, truss components, pallet components, flooring, and door and window frame parts under the following ten-digit HTSUS subheadings in Chapter 44: 4415.20.40.00; 4415.20.80.00; 4418.90.46.05; 4418.90.46.20; 4418.90.46.40; 4418.90.46.95; 4421.90.70.40; 4421.90.94.00; and 4421.90.97.80.

    Although these HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-30774 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE962 Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the Endangered Black Abalone and the Endangered White Abalone AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of initiation of 5-year review; request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces its intent to conduct 5-year reviews for the black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii) and the white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). Both the black abalone and white abalone are listed as endangered under the ESA. NMFS is required by the ESA to conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that the listing classifications of the species are accurate. The 5-year reviews must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time. We request submission of any such information on black abalone and white abalone, particularly information on the status, threats, and recovery of the species that has become available since the final listing decision for white abalone in May 2001 and black abalone in January 2009.

    DATES:

    To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we must receive your information no later than February 21, 2017. However, we will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments by including NOAA-NMFS-2016-0146 by either of the following methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail:D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0146, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    • Mail or hand-deliver written information to Melissa Neuman, NMFS West Coast Region, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802.

    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the specified period. All comments received are a part of the public record and NMFS will generally post for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information submitted voluntarily by the sender is publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Neuman, NMFS West Coast Region, at 562-980-4115.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The white abalone was listed as endangered under the ESA on May 29, 2001 and the black abalone was listed as endangered under the ESA on January 14, 2009 (74 FR 1937). Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the ESA requires that we conduct a review of listed species at least once every five years. On the basis of such reviews under section 4(c)(2)(B), we determine whether a species should be delisted or reclassified from endangered to threatened or from threatened to endangered. Delisting a species must be supported by the best scientific and commercial data available and only considered if such data substantiates that the species is neither endangered nor threatened for one or more of the following reasons: (1) The species is considered extinct; (2) the species is considered to be recovered; or (3) the original data available when the species was listed, or the interpretation of such data, were in error. 50 CFR 424.11(d). Any change in Federal classification would require a separate rulemaking process. The ESA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing those species currently under active review. This notice announces our active reviews of the white abalone and black abalone, both currently listed as endangered.

    Background information on white abalone, including the endangered listing, is available on the NMFS Office of Protected Species Web site at: www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/invertebrates/abalone/white-abalone.html. Background information on black abalone, including the endangered listing, is available on the NMFS Office of Protected Species Web site at: www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/invertebrates/abalone/black-abalone.html.

    Determining If a Species Is Threatened or Endangered

    Section 4(a)(1) of the ESA requires that we determine whether a species is endangered or threatened based on one or more of the five following factors: (1) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (2) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (3) disease or predation; (4) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (5) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Section 4(b) also requires that our determination be made on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available after conducting a review of the status of the species and after taking into account those efforts, if any, being made by any State or foreign nation, to protect such species.

    Public Solicitation of New Information

    To ensure that the 5-year reviews are complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial data, we are soliciting new information from the public, governmental agencies, Tribes, the scientific community, industry, environmental entities, and any other interested parties concerning the status of white abalone and/or black abalone. The 5-year reviews consider the best scientific and commercial data that has become available since the listing determination for white abalone in May 2001 and for black abalone in January 2009. Categories of requested information include: (1) Species biology including, but not limited to, population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics; (2) habitat conditions including, but not limited to, amount, distribution, and important features for conservation; (3) status and trends of threats; (4) conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species, including monitoring data demonstrating effectiveness of such measures; (5) need for additional conservation measures; and (6) other new information, data, or corrections including, but not limited to, taxonomic or nomenclatural changes and improved analytical methods for evaluating extinction risk.

    If you wish to provide information for the 5-year reviews, you may submit your information and materials electronically or via mail (see ADDRESSES section). We request that all information be accompanied by supporting documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, or reprints of pertinent publications. We also would appreciate the submitter's name, address, and any association, institution, or business that the person represents; however, anonymous submissions will also be accepted.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2016. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30710 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF092 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a week-long work session that is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The GMT meeting will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, January 9, 2017, and end at close of business on Friday, January 13, 2017, to view the agenda see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Pacific Council, Large Conference Room, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, Oregon 97220-1384.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Kelly Ames, Pacific Council, 503-820-2426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda

    The primary purpose of the GMT working meeting is to prepare for the 2017 Council meetings, including the development of harvest specifications and management measures for 2019-2020. Specific agenda topics include revisions to the nearshore and non-nearshore projection models; review of the sablefish and lingcod discard mortality rates; and review of the latest West Coast Groundfish Observer Program data. A detailed agenda will be available on the Council's Web site prior to the meeting. The GMT may also address other assignments relating to groundfish management. No management actions will be decided by the GMT. The GMT's task will be to develop recommendations for consideration by the Pacific Council at its meetings in 2017.

    Although nonemergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may be discussed, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issues arising after publication of this document that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The public listening station is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt, at 503-820-2425 at least ten business days prior to the meeting.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30722 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has submitted a public information collection request (ICR) entitled AmeriCorps State and National Grantee Progress Report for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling the Corporation for National and Community Service, Carla Ganiel, at 202-606-6773 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    DATES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, within January 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) By fax to: 202-395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service; or

    (2) By email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose 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

    A 60-day Notice requesting public comment was published pursuant to the PRS, Public Law 104-13, (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), in the Federal Register on September 16, 2016, at 81 FR 63746. This comment period ended November 15, 2016. Five public comments were received from this Notice.

    Summary of comments by Category and CNCS response:

    Category 1: Statements of Support for a GPR Update. A total of four comments expressed support for updates to the GPR instructions. One commenter noted that the revised instructions eliminated duplication. Two commenters expressed support for changes made to narrative questions. One commenter expressed appreciation for CNCS's electronic reporting system.

    Response: CNCS agrees with these comments.

    Category 2: Time Estimate. Two comments addressed the time estimate. One commenter stated that the time estimate of 8 hours per GPR was accurate. One commenter stated that the time estimate should be set at 10 hours per GPR.

    Response: CNCS believes that the time required varies depending on the type of GPR and has adjusted time to reflect this variation. CNCS estimates ten hours for end-of-year GPRs, eight hours for mid-year GPRs and four hours for final GPRs and planning grants.

    Category 3: Demographic Indicators. Three comments addressed demographic indicators. Two commenters suggested removal of outdated demographic indicators in the Volunteer Generation Fund demographics. One commenter stated that new monitoring demographics in the Commission Support Grant GPR would increase burden, and two commenters questioned the utility and clarity of proposed demographic indicators related to monitoring activities.

    Response: CNCS has removed the indicators specified in the public comments from the Volunteer Generation Fund and Commission Support Grant GPRs.

    Category 4: Instructions. Two comments stated that the Commission-specific GPR guidance was difficult to understand.

    Response: This comment is outside the scope of the information request, which does not include Commission-specific GPR guidance.

    Category 5: Midyear GPR. Two comments recommended removing the requirement to explain unmet performance measure targets in the mid-year GPR.

    Response: CNCS agrees and has removed the requirement to explain unmet targets in the mid-year GPR.

    Category 6: Narratives. Four comments addressed GPR narrative questions. One commenter recommended an additional narrative question requiring national direct grantees to describe how they collaborate with State Commissions. Two commenters did not support removing narrative questions from the Volunteer Generation Fund GPR. Two commenters stated that the “other explanations” narrative should only be used to collect information specified in the GPR instructions.

    Response: The recommended question for national direct grantees would not provide enough useful information to justify its inclusion in the GPR. While some narratives have been removed from the Volunteer Generation Fund instructions to reduce burden and duplication, CNCS has revised one of the remaining narratives to collect additional information about VGF activity. CNCS intends that the “other explanations” narrative will only be used to collect information specified in the GPR instructions, primarily narrative responses that exceed character limits in other narrative fields in the electronic reporting system.

    Category 7: Previous GPR Instructions. CNCS received one comment on the previous version of the GPR instructions.

    Response: The current information collection replaces the previous version of the GPR instructions. This comment is therefore outside the scope of the information request.

    Category 8: GPR Processes. Four comments addressed GPR-related processes that are not part of the information collection itself. Two commenters stated that the GPR duplicates information collected in past performance and recommendation summaries required as part of the grant application process. Three commenters suggested that CNCS provide a list of GPR reporting requirements in the grant Terms & Conditions. One commenter recommended that there be one GPR for multiple prime grants in a state. One commenter recommended that CNCS make changes to its electronic reporting system so that grant amendments do not interfere with completion and submission of the GPR.

    Response: These comments are outside the scope of the information request. CNCS has attempted to address incomplete GPR data by requesting additional data during the application process. Data collection will remain in the GPR; however, comments will be shared with the application planning team. CNCS will add a list of GPR reporting requirements to the grant Terms & Conditions. In the current electronic reporting system it is not possible to aggregate data from multiple prime grants awarded in one state, but this is a goal for the reporting system currently under development. CNCS is currently pursuing changes to the existing electronic reporting system to address the issue of grant amendments that interfere with completion and submission of the GPR.

    Category 9: Timing. One comment was received concerning the timing of off-cycle performance measure data. Some programs may collect performance measure data after the GPR reporting period has ended, and one commenter recommended that CNCS develop a more useful way to collect off-cycle performance measure data.

    Response: CNCS will revise guidance about how to report off-cycle performance measure data in subsequent GPRs or the final GPR.

    Description: CNCS requires grantees of AmeriCorps State and National, School Turnaround AmeriCorps, Commission Support Grant, Commission Investment Funds, and the Volunteer Generation Fund to submit Grantee Progress Reports (GPRs). This information collection comprises the questions that grantees of these grant programs will answer to report progress to CNCS.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: AmeriCorps State and National Grantee Progress Report

    OMB Number: TBD.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: Grantees of AmeriCorps State and National, School Turnaround AmeriCorps, Commission Support Grant, Commission Investment Funds, and Volunteer Generation Fund.

    Total Respondents: 300 total respondents for AmeriCorps State and National and School Turnaround AmeriCorps. 52 respondents each for Commission Support Grants and Commission Investment Funds. 20 respondents for Volunteer Generation Fund.

    Frequency: Semiannual for AmeriCorps State and National and School Turnaround AmeriCorps operational grants with an additional final GPR at the end of the award period. Annual for Volunteer Generation Fund, Commission Support Grant and Commission Investment Funds. Average Time Per Response: 11 hours for AmeriCorps GPRs. 10 hours for all other GPRs.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 7,040.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Bill Basl, Director, AmeriCorps State and National.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30865 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the KC-46A Main Operating Base #4 Beddown AGENCY:

    United States Air Force, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Air Force (USAF) is issuing this notice to advise the public of the intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the KC-46A Main Operating Base #4 (MOB 4) Beddown. The EIS will assess the potential environmental consequences of various alternatives of the beddown of KC-46A tanker aircraft, associated infrastructure and personnel in support of the MOB 4 mission at an existing active duty, continental United States Air Force Base (AFB).

    DATES:

    USAF invites the public, stakeholders, and other interested parties to attend open house public scoping meetings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the following locations on the following dates:

    1. Travis AFB: January 10, 2017; Northern Solano Association of Realtors, Fairfield, California. 2. Fairchild AFB: January 12, 2017; The Lincoln Center, Lincoln Ballroom, Spokane, Washington. 3. Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst (JBMDL): January 17, 2017; New Hanover Township Senior Center, Cookstown, New Jersey. 4. Dover AFB: January 19, 2017; AMC Museum, Dover, Delaware. 5. Grand Forks AFB: January 24, 2017; Alerus Center, Hawk Meeting Room, Grand Forks, North Dakota. ADDRESSES:

    The project Web site (www.KC-46A-MOB4.com) provides more information on the EIS and can be used to submit scoping comments. Scoping comments may also be submitted to Mr. Bill Bushman, AFCEC/CZN; Attn: KC-46A MOB 4 EIS; 2261 Hughes Ave, Suite 155; JBSA Lackland, TX 78236-9853.

    Comments will be accepted at any time during the environmental impact analysis process. However, to ensure the USAF has sufficient time to consider public input in the preparation of the Draft EIS, scoping comments should be submitted to the Web site or the address listed above by February 3, 2017.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The MOB 4 mission includes the beddown of 24 or 36 KC-46A aircraft in two or three squadrons, respectively. The KC-46A aircraft will recapitalize the aging tanker fleet and would continue supporting the mission of providing worldwide refueling, cargo, and aeromedical evacuation support. The proposed basing alternatives for MOB 4 mission include Dover AFB, Delaware; Fairchild AFB, Washington; Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota; JBMDL, New Jersey; and Travis AFB, California.

    Scoping and Agency Coordination: To effectively define the full range of issues to be evaluated in the EIS, the USAF will determine the scope of the analysis by soliciting comments from interested local, state and federal elected officials and agencies, as well as interested members of the public and others. Implementation of the KC-46A MOB 4 mission at Dover AFB, Grand Forks AFB, JBMDL and Travis AFB would have the potential to be located in a floodplain and/or wetland. Consistent with the requirements and objectives of Executive Order (EO) 11990, “Protection of Wetlands,” and EO 11988, “Floodplain Management,” as amended by EO 13690, “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input,” state and federal regulatory agencies with special expertise in wetlands and floodplains will be contacted to request comment. Consistent with EO 11988, EO 13690, and EO 11990, this Notice of Intent initiates early public review of the alternatives that have the potential to be located in a floodplain and/or wetland. Scoping meetings will be held in the local communities near the alternative basing locations. The scheduled dates, times, locations, and addresses for the scoping meetings will also be published in local media a minimum of 15 days prior to the scoping meetings.

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30828 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket Number DARS-2016-0042; OMB Control Number 0704-0286] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Publicizing Contract Actions AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments regarding a proposed revision of an approved information collection requirement.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD announces the proposed revision of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection for use through March 31, 2017. DoD proposes that OMB extend its approval for use for three additional years beyond the current expiration date.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by February 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0286, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB Control Number 0704-0286 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Carrie Moore, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Carrie Moore, at 571-372-6093. The information collection requirements addressed in this notice are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfarspgi/current/index.html. Paper copies are available from Ms. Carrie Moore, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), DoD invites comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Title and OMB Number: Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS) Part 205, Publicizing Contract Actions, and DFARS 252-205-7000, Provision of Information to Cooperative Agreement Holders; OMB Control Number 0704-0286.

    Needs and Uses: DFARS 205.470 prescribes the use of the clause at DFARS 252.205-7000, Provision of Information to Cooperative Agreement Holders, in solicitations and contracts, including solicitations and contracts using Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items, which are expected to exceed $1,000,000. This clause implements 10 U.S.C. 2416. The Contractor need not provide the listing to a particular cooperative agreement holder more frequently than once a year. Upon receipt of a contractor's list, the cooperative agreement holder utilizes the information to help businesses identify and pursue contracting opportunities with DoD and expand the number of businesses capable of participating in Government contracts.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 6,272.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 6,272.

    Average Burden per Response: Approximately 1.1 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 6,899.

    Reporting Frequency: On occasion.

    Summary of Information Collection

    DFARS 205.470 prescribes the use of the clause at DFARS 252.205-7000, Provision of Information to Cooperative Agreement Holders, in solicitations and contracts, including solicitations and contracts using FAR part 12 procedures for the acquisition of commercial items, which are expected to exceed $1,000,000. The clause requires contractors to provide cooperative agreement holders, upon request, with a list of the contractor's employees or offices responsible for entering into subcontracts under DoD contracts. The list must include the business address, telephone number, and area of responsibility of each employee or office.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30668 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket Number DARS-2016-0044; OMB Control Number 0704-0231] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Service Contracting AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments regarding a proposed extension of an approved information collection requirement.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD announces the proposed extension of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection for use through March 31, 2017. DoD proposes that OMB extend its approval for use for three additional years beyond the current expiration date.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by February 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0231, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB Control Number 0704-0231 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Lee Renna, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Lee Renna, at 571-372-6095. The information collection requirements addressed in this notice are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfarspgi/current/index.html. Paper copies are available from Ms. Lee Renna, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), DoD invites comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Title and OMB Number: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Part 237, Service Contracting, associated DFARS Clauses at DFARS 252.237, and DD Form 2063, Record of Preparation and Disposition of Remains (Within CONUS); OMB Control Number 0704-0231.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection is used for the following purposes—

    • DFARS 252.237-7000(c)—to verify that the offeror is properly licensed in the state or other political jurisdiction where the offeror operates its professional practice.

    • DFARS 252.237-7011 and DD Form 2063, Record of Preparation and Disposition of Remains (Within CONUS)—to verify that the deceased's remains have been properly cared by the mortuary contractor.

    • DFARS 252.237-7024—this written plan, submitted concurrently with the proposal or offer, allows the contracting officer to assess the offeror's capability to continue providing contractually required services to support the DoD component's mission essential functions in an emergency.

    • DFARS 252.237-7023—allows the contracting officer to provide approval of updates to the contractor's plan, provided under 252.237-7024, to ensure that the contractor can continue to provide services in support of the DoD component's required mission essential functions in an emergency.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit and not-for profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 2,637.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.3, approximately.

    Annual Responses: 3,519.

    Average Burden per Response: 1.6, approximately.

    Annual Burden Hours: 5,801.

    Reporting Frequency: On occasion.

    Summary of Information Collection

    DFARS 237.270 prescribes the use of the provision at DFARS 252.237-7000, Notice of Special Standards, in solicitations for the acquisition of audit services. The provision requires the apparently successful offeror to submit evidence that it is properly licensed in the state or political jurisdiction it operates its professional practice.

    DFARS 237.7003 prescribes the use of the clause at 252.237-7011, Preparation History, in all mortuary service solicitations and contracts. The information collected is used to verify that the remains have been properly cared for and the DD Form 2063 is generally used for this purpose.

    DFARS 237.7603(b) prescribes the use of the provision at 252.237-7024, Notice of Continuation of Essential Contractor Services, in solicitations that require the acquisition of services to support a mission essential function. The provision requires the offeror to submit a written plan demonstrating its capability to continue to provide the contractually required services to support a DoD component's mission essential functions in an emergency.

    DFARS 237.7603(a) prescribes the use of the clause at DFARS 252.237-7023, Continuation of Essential Contractor Services, in solicitations and contracts for services in support of mission essential functions. The clause requires the contractor to maintain and update its written plan as necessary to ensure that it can continue to provide services to support the DoD component's mission essential functions in an emergency.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30669 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket Number DARS-2016-0045; OMB Control Number 0704-0253] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Subcontracting Policies and Procedures AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments regarding a proposed extension of an approved information collection requirement.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD announces the proposed extension of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection requirement for use through March 31, 2017. DoD proposes that OMB extend its approval for an additional three years.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by February 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0253, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB Control Number 0704-0253 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Mr. Tom Ruckdaschel, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting. Please allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by postal mail.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Tom Ruckdaschel, telephone 571-372-6088. The information collection requirements addressed in this notice are available at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfarspgi/current/index.html. Paper copies are available from Mr. Tom Ruckdaschel, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), DoD invites comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Title and OMB Number: Subcontracting Policies and Procedures—DoD FAR Supplement Part 244; OMB Control Number 0704-0253.

    Needs and Uses: Administrative contracting officers use this information in making decisions to approve or disapprove a contractors purchase system. The disapproval of a contractor's purchasing system would necessitate Government consent to individual subcontracts and possibly prompt a financial withhold or other Government rights and remedies.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Respondents: 36.

    Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Annual Responses: 72.

    Hours per Response: 8.

    Estimated Hours: 576.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Summary of Information Collection

    DFARS 244.305, entitled Granting, Withholding, or Withdrawing Approval, provides policy guidance for administrative contracting officers to determine the acceptability of the contractor's purchasing system and approve or disprove the system, at the completion of the in-plant portion of a contractor purchasing system review, and to pursue correction of any deficiencies with the contractor. DFARS clause 252.244-7001, Contractor Purchasing System Administration requires the contractor to respond within 30 days to a written initial determination from the contracting officer that identifies significant deficiencies in the contractor's purchasing system. The contracting officer will evaluate the contractor's response to this initial determination and notify the contractor in writing of any remaining significant deficiencies, the adequacy of any proposed or completed corrective action and system disapproval if the contracting officer determines that one or more significant deficiencies remain. If the contractor receives the contracting officer's final determination of significant deficiencies, the contractor has 45 days to either correct the significant deficiencies or submit an acceptable corrective action plan.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30667 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0067] 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 23, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Joint Civilian Orientation Conference Program (JCOC) Eligibility of Nominators and Candidates; JCOC Nomination Form, JCOC Registration Form, JCOC Medical Form; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Type of Request: New.

    Number of Respondents: 180.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 180.

    Average Burden per Response: 11 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 33.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to administer the JCOC Program; to verify the eligibility of nominators and candidates; and to select nominated individuals for participation in JCOC.

    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 16, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30767 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-556-000] Grady Wind Energy Center, LLC: Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request For Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Grady Wind Energy Center, LLC`s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is January 5, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30841 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14805-000] Island Hydroelectric Project; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On November 14, 2016, Island in the Sky Hydro, LLC, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the Island Hydroelectric Project (Island Project) to be located on the Blackstone River, in Central Falls, Providence County, Rhode Island. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of: (1) The existing 10-foot-high, 156-foot-long stone block dam with provisions for 12-inch-high flashboards; (2) an existing 26-acre impoundment with a storage capacity of 120-acre-feet and a normal maximum water surface elevation of 34.9 feet (National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929); (3) an existing trashrack and 14- to 40-foot-wide, 70-foot-long forebay; (4) an existing concrete and steel, 40-foot-wide, 70-foot-long powerhouse containing one turbine-generator unit with an installed capacity of 700 kilowatts; (5) a proposed 300-foot-long, 15-kilovolt transmission line connecting the powerhouse to the National Grid distribution system; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the Island Project would be about 4,360 megawatt-hours. The existing dam and appurtenant works are owned by the State of Rhode Island.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Ronald L. Johnson, Island in the Sky Hydro, LLC, PO Box 193, Thorndike, MA 01079; phone: (413) 883-7468.

    FERC Contact: Patrick Crile; phone: (202) 502-8042 or email: [email protected]

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14805-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14805) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30852 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-553-000] Niles Valley Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Niles Valley Energy LLC`s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is January 5, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30839 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 619-164] Pacific Gas and Electric Company and City of Santa Clara, California; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New Major License

    b. Project No.: 619-164

    c. Date Filed: December 12, 2016

    d. Applicant: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and City of Santa Clara, California

    e. Name of Project: Bucks Creek Hydropower Project

    f. Location: The Bucks Creek Project is located on Bucks, Grizzly, and Milk Ranch Creeks in Plumas County, California. Portions of the project are located within the Plumas National Forest.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791 (a)-825(r)

    h. Applicant Contact: Alan Soneda, PG&E, Mail Code N13C, P. 0. Box 770000, San Francisco, California 94177-0001; (415) 973-4054

    i. FERC Contact: Alan Mitchnick at (202) 502-6074 or [email protected]

    j. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    k. The Project Description:

    Bucks Lake Dam and Reservoir (Bucks Creek Development)

    The Bucks Lake dam consists of a rock-fill with concrete face dam. It has a structural height of 123 feet and a length of 1,320 feet. Bucks Creek dam impounds Bucks Lake, which extends 5 miles from the dam. Total storage in the 1,827-acre reservoir is approximately 105,605 acre-feet at the normal maximum water surface elevation of approximately 5,157 feet. From Bucks Lake, the project's water flow is released immediately downstream into Lower Bucks Lake.

    Three Lakes Dam and Reservoir, and Milk Ranch Conduit (Bucks Creek Development)

    The Three Lakes dam consists of a rock-fill dam with a structural height of 30 feet and a length of 584 feet. Three Lakes dam impounds the flow of Milk Ranch Creek, forming Upper Lake, Middle Lake, and Lower Lake, collectively known as Three Lakes reservoir. These water bodies are hydraulically linked and are approximately 0.75 mile from the dam. Total storage in the 40-acre reservoir is approximately 513 acre-feet at the normal maximum water surface elevation of approximately 6,074 feet.

    Milk Ranch conduit conveys the project's water flow from Three Lakes reservoir and feeder diversions to Lower Bucks Lake. The maximum capacity of the approximately 8-mile-long conduit is about 70 cubic foot per second (cfs). It collects additional flow from several diversions located on unnamed tributaries.

    Lower Bucks Lake Dam and Reservoir (Bucks Creek Development)

    The Lower Bucks Lake dam consists of a concrete arch dam with a structural height of 99 feet and a length of 500 feet. Lower Bucks Creek dam impounds Lower Bucks Lake, which extends approximately 1.1 miles from the dam. Total storage in the 136-acre reservoir is approximately 5,843 acre-feet at the normal maximum water surface elevation of approximately 5,022 feet. Water is conveyed from Lower Bucks Lake to the Grizzly powerhouse by the Grizzly powerhouse tunnel.

    Grizzly Powerhouse Tunnel (Grizzly Development)

    The 12,320-foot-long Grizzly powerhouse tunnel (including a 4,900-foot-long buried penstock) conveys the water flow from Lower Bucks Lake to Grizzly powerhouse. The maximum flow capacity is 400 cfs.

    Grizzly Powerhouse (Grizzly Development)

    The Grizzly powerhouse is a 65-foot-long by 55-foot-wide, steel frame and concrete building constructed from reinforced concrete, with a maximum capacity of 20 megawatts (MW) and an average annual generation production of 48.9 gigawatt-hours (GWh). Grizzly powerhouse discharges the project's water flow directly into the Grizzly forebay.

    A 3.2-mile-long, 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line transmits power from Grizzly powerhouse to PG&E's 115-kV Caribou-Sycamore transmission line, part of the interconnected system.

    Grizzly Forebay Dam and Reservoir (Bucks Creek Development)

    The Grizzly forebay dam consists of a concrete arch dam with a structural height of 98 feet and a length of 520 feet. Grizzly forebay dam impounds the Grizzly forebay, forming the Grizzly forebay reservoir that extends approximately 0.8 mile. Total storage in the 38-acre reservoir is approximately 1,112 acre-feet at the normal maximum water surface elevation of approximately 4,316 feet.

    Grizzly Forebay Tunnel (Bucks Creek Development)

    From Grizzly forebay, the project's water flow is conveyed through the horseshoe-shaped Grizzly forebay tunnel. The tunnel is 9,575-foot-long with two 4,786-foot-long penstocks leading to Bucks Creek powerhouse. The maximum flow capacity is 400 cfs.

    Bucks Creek Powerhouse (Bucks Creek Development)

    The project's water flow is conveyed through the Grizzly forebay tunnel to Bucks Creek powerhouse. The Bucks Creek powerhouse is a 47-foot-long by 132-foot-wide, steel frame and concrete building constructed from reinforced concrete. The powerhouse has a total maximum capacity of 65 MW with an average annual generation of 234.8 GWh. The powerhouse connects directly to the non-project switchyard adjacent to the powerhouse part of the interconnected transmission system.

    Bucks Creek powerhouse discharges the project's water flow in the North Fork Feather River, one mile upstream of Rock Creek powerhouse, part of PG&E's Rock Creek-Cresta Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 1962).

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Procedural Schedule:

    The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Notice of Acceptance/Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis February 2017. Filing of recommendations, preliminary terms and conditions, and fishway prescriptions April 2017. Commission issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) October 2017. Comments on Draft EIS December 2017. Modified Terms and Conditions February 2018. Commission Issues Final EIS May 2018.

    o. Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30851 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1967-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance filing per 4/21/2016 order-Docket No. EL13-88 re: Generator Deactivat to be effective 2/14/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5249.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/5/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2656-001.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: APS Response to Request for Additional Information to be effective 11/23/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-468-001.

    Applicants: Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing: Errata to Amendment J, K and P to be effective 10/14/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5182.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-563-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Administrative Filing for Collation Correction to be effective 12/16/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5082.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-565-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to OATT Definitions and Att Q RE: Refinements to PJM's Credit Policy to be effective 2/14/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-566-000.

    Applicants: Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Cost Reimbursement Agreement 2324-Niagara Mohawk and Erie Boulevard Hydropower to be effective 11/18/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-567-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Southampton Solar Affected System Operating Agreement to be effective 1/19/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-568-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-12-16_Attachment X-Quarterly Operating Limits to be effective 2/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-569-000.

    Applicants: National Choice Energy LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Baseline New to be effective 12/30/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30835 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-14-000] Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on December 15, 2016, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. submitted tariff filing per: Compliance Refund Report to be effective N/A, pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Letter Order issued to Indiana Municipal Power Agency on June 28, 2016.1

    1Indiana Municipal Power Agency, 155 FERC ¶ 61,317 (2016).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on January 5, 2017.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30850 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-554-000] Wolf Run Energy LLC: Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Wolf Run Energy LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is January 5, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30840 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-540-000] Wildwood Solar II, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Wildwood Solar II, LLC`s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is January 5, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30838 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-262-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2017 Non-Leap Year Rates Correction to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/27/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-263-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Remove Non-conforming Agmt from Tariff (PSEG 661) to be effective 12/15/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/27/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-264-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Housekeeping Filing to be effective 2/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5224.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/27/16.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-997-001.

    Applicants: Enable Mississippi River Transmission, L.

    Description: Compliance filing Compliance Filing in RP16-997-000 to be effective 12/15/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/27/16.

    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 16, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30837 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-261-000.

    Applicants: Bear Creek Storage Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing Annual Fuel Assessment

    Filed Date: 12/15/16

    Accession Number: 20161215-5059

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/27/16

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 15, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30836 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-130-001.

    Applicants: Nevada Power Company, Sierra Pacific Power Company, South Point Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Section 203 Market Power Mitigation Compliance Filing of Nevada Power Company, et. al.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5303.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/29/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-1982-014; ER10-1253-013; ER10-1252-013; ER10-1246-013.

    Applicants: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., Consolidated Edison Energy, Inc., Consolidated Edison Solutions, Inc.

    Description: Triennial Market Power Analysis for the Northeast region of the Con Edison Companies.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5306.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/13/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1882-002; ER10-2882-032; ER10-2886-030; ER13-1101-025; ER13-1541-024; ER14-661-014; ER14-787-018; ER15-1475-009; ER15-2593-008; ER15-54-008; ER15-55-008; ER16-1154-006; ER16-452-008; ER16-705-006; ER16-706-006;ER17-252-002.

    Applicants: Southern Power Company, Southern Turner Cimarron I, LLC, Boulder Solar Power, LLC, Spectrum Nevada Solar, LLC, Campo Verde Solar, LLC, SG2 Imperial Valley LLC, Macho Springs Solar, LLC, Lost Hills Solar, LLC, Blackwell Solar, LLC, North Star Solar, LLC, Desert Stateline LLC, Parrey, LLC, RE Tranquillity LLC, RE Garland A LLC, RE Garland LLC,2016 ESA Project Company, LLC.

    Description: Notification of Non-Material of Change in Status of Boulder Solar Power, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5307.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/5/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1969-002.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2016-12-15_Revisions to MISO-PJM JOA on coord of generator retirement studies to be effective 2/14/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5254.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/5/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-420-001.

    Applicants: Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2016-12-16 553, 554, 565-NSP NOC Filing-Amnd to be effective 11/29/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5055.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-556-000.

    Applicants: Grady Wind Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing: Application for Market-Based Tariff and Waivers to be effective 12/16/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/15/16.

    Accession Number: 20161215-5255.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/5/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-557-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Added Facilities and Interconnection Agreement to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-558-000.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to Ancillary Services Schedules to be effective 2/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5034.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-559-000.

    Applicants: Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LL, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: MAIT submits Agency Agreement No. 4593 among MetEd, Penelec and MAIT to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5044.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-560-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-12-16_RS 8 MISO-Manitoba Hydro SOA Resource Planning Revisions to be effective 2/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5049.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-561-000.

    Applicants: Cedar Creek II, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised Market-Based Rate Tariff Filing to be effective 2/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5059.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-562-000.

    Applicants: BP Energy Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised Market-Based Rate Tariff Filing to be effective 2/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20161216-5062.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/6/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 16, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30834 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [3060-XXXX] Information Collection Being Submitted for Emergency Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communication Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection(s), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. Comments are requested concerning: (a) Whether the proposed collection(s) of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection(s) of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) ways to further reduce the information burden for 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 Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid OMB Control Number.

    DATES:

    Written Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments should be submitted on or before January 12, 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 FCC contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Kimberly Keravuori, Office of Management and Budget, via fax at 202-395-5167 or via email at [email protected] Also, please submit your PRA comments to the FCC by email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nicole Ongele, Office of the Managing Director, FCC at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission is requesting that OMB approve this revised information collection under the emergency processing provisions of the PRA, 5 CFR 1320.13.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

    Title: Reverse Auction (Auction 1001) Incentive Payment Instructions from the Reverse Auction Winning Bidder.

    Form Number: FCC Form 1875.

    Type of Review: New collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit, not-for-profit institutions and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 750 respondents; 1,500 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96 (Spectrum Act) § 6403(a)(1).

    Total Annual Burden: 3,750 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No Cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The information collection includes information identifying bank accounts and providing account and routing numbers to access those accounts. FCC considers that information to be records not routinely available for public inspection under 47 CFR 0.457, and exempt from disclosure under FOIA exemption 4 (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)).

    Needs and Uses: The Federal Communications Commission seeks emergency processing under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 5 CFR 1320.13. The Commission is requesting OMB approval for this new information collection. The Spectrum Act mandates “a reverse auction to determine the amount of compensation that each broadcast television licensee would accept in return for voluntarily relinquishing some or all of its broadcast television spectrum usage rights in order to make spectrum available for assignment through a system of competitive bidding”.1 The Commission conducted notice-and-comment rulemaking to implement the Spectrum Act, and ruled in the Incentive Auction Report and Order that:

    1 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96 (Spectrum Act) § 6403(a)(1).

    “we adopt the Commission's proposal to require successful bidders in the reverse auction to submit additional information to facilitate incentive payments As mentioned in the NPRM, we envision that the information would be submitted on standardized incentive payment forms similar to the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) forms unsuccessful bidders in typical spectrum license auctions use to request refunds of their deposits and upfront payments. This information collection is necessary to facilitate incentive payments and should not be burdensome to successful bidders. Specifically, without further instruction and bank account information from successful bidders, the Commission would not know where to send the incentive payments.” [footnotes omitted] 2

    2 Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, GN Docket No. 12-268, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014) (“Incentive Auction R&O”) at 537.

    The information collection for which we are requesting approval is the standardized incentive payment form referred to in the paragraph above.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30764 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0717] 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 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 21, 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 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: 3060-0717.

    Title: Billed Party Preference for InterLATA 0+ Calls, CC Docket No. 92-77, 47 CFR Sections 64.703(a), 64.709, 64.710.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,418 respondents; 11,250,150 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 minute (.017 hours)-50 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual and on-occasion reporting requirements. Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is found at 47 U.S.C. 226, Telephone Operator Services, Pub. L. 101-435, 104 Stat. 986, codified at 47 CFR 64.703(a) Consumer Information, 64.709 Informational Tariffs, and 64.710 Operator Services for Prison Inmate Phones.

    Total Annual Burden: 205,023 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $138,750.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: An assurance of confidentiality is not offered because this information collection does not require the collection of personally identifiable information from individuals.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impacts(s).

    Needs and Uses: Pursuant to 47 CFR 64.703(a), Operator Service Providers (OSPs) are required to disclose, audibly and distinctly to the consumer, at no charge and before connecting any interstate call, how to obtain rate quotations, including any applicable surcharges. 47 CFR 64.710 imposes similar requirements on OSPs to inmates at correctional institutions. 47 CFR 64.709 codifies the requirements for OSPs to file informational tariffs with the Commission. These rules help to ensure that consumers receive information necessary to determine what the charges associated with an OSP-assisted call will be, thereby enhancing informed consumer choice in the operator services marketplace.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501-3520

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30762 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [3060-XXXX] Information Collection Being Submitted for Emergency Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communication Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection(s), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. 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 Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid OMB Control Number.

    DATES:

    Written Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments should be submitted on or before January 12, 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 FCC contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Kimberly Keravuori, Office of Management and Budget, via fax at 202-395-5167 or via email at [email protected] Also, please submit your PRA comments to the FCC by email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nicole Ongele, Office of the Managing Director, FCC at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments are requested concerning: (a) Whether the proposed collection(s) of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection(s) of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) ways to further reduce the information burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

    Title: Payment Instructions from the Eligible Entity Seeking Reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund.

    Form Number: FCC Form 1876.

    Type of Review: New collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit, not-for-profit institutions and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,000 respondents; 2,000 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 3 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96 (Spectrum Act) § 6403(b)(4)(A).

    Total Annual Burden: 6,000 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No Cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No Impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The information collection includes information identifying bank accounts and providing account and routing numbers to access those accounts. FCC considers that information to be records not routinely available for public inspection under 47 CFR 0.457, and exempt from disclosure under FOIA exemption 4 (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)).

    Needs and Uses: The Federal Communications Commission seeks emergency processing under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 5 CFR 1320.13. The Commission is requesting OMB approval for this new information collection. The Spectrum Act requires the Commission to reimburse broadcast television licensees for costs “reasonably incurred” in relocating to new channels assigned in the repacking process and Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) for costs reasonably incurred in order to continue to carry the signals of stations relocating to new channels as a result of the repacking process or a winning reverse auction bid.1

    1 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96 (Spectrum Act) § 6403(b)(4)(A)(i), (ii).

    The Commission decided through notice-and-comment rulemaking that it will issue all eligible broadcasters and MVPDs an initial allocation of funds based on estimated costs, which will be available for draw down (from individual accounts in the U.S. Treasury) as the entities incur expenses, followed by a subsequent allocation to the extent necessary. The reason for allowing eligible entities to draw down funds as they incur expenses is to reduce the chance that entities will be unable to finance necessary relocation changes.2

    2 Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, GN Docket No. 12-268, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014) (“Incentive Auction R&O”) at 609.

    The information collection for which we are requesting approval is necessary for eligible entities to instruct the Commission on how to pay the amounts the entities draw down, and for the entities to make certifications that reduce the risk of waste, fraud, abuse and improper payments.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-30765 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 4637—First National Bank of Keystone Keystone, West Virginia

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for First National Bank of Keystone, Keystone, West Virginia (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of First National Bank of Keystone on September 01, 1999.