Federal Register Vol. 81, No.25,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 25 (February 8, 2016)

Page Range6411-6743
FR Document

81_FR_25
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 6562 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 6430 - Elimination of Nonimmigrant Visa Exemption for Certain Caribbean Residents Coming to the United States as H-2A Agricultural WorkersPDF
81 FR 6571 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Overseas Schools Grant Status ReportPDF
81 FR 6501 - Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health; MeetingPDF
81 FR 6477 - Oklahoma Regulatory ProgramPDF
81 FR 6504 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 6479 - Virginia Regulatory ProgramPDF
81 FR 6518 - Commission To Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities; Announcement of MeetingsPDF
81 FR 6518 - Submission for OMB Review; Permits, Authorities, or FranchisesPDF
81 FR 6516 - Information Collection; Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction ProjectsPDF
81 FR 6537 - North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining Draft Petition Evaluation Document and Environmental Impact Statement-OSM-EIS-37PDF
81 FR 6519 - Submission for OMB Review; Evaluation of Export OffersPDF
81 FR 6524 - Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine; Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
81 FR 6503 - Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
81 FR 6541 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Department of Labor Generic Solution for “Touch-Base” ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 6543 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Self-Employment Training Demonstration EvaluationPDF
81 FR 6542 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety StandardsPDF
81 FR 6504 - Pure Magnesium From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 6542 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Short-Time Compensation GrantsPDF
81 FR 6489 - Trade Monitoring Procedures for Fishery Products; International Trade in Seafood; Permit Requirements for Importers and Exporters; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 6458 - Notification and Reporting of Aircraft Accidents or Incidents and Overdue Aircraft, and Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail, Cargo, and RecordsPDF
81 FR 6511 - Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control ActPDF
81 FR 6532 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Collection of Qualitative Feedback Through Focus Groups; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 6515 - Information Collection; Central Contractor RegistrationPDF
81 FR 6514 - Information Collection; Taxpayer Identification Number InformationPDF
81 FR 6517 - Information Collection; Accident Prevention Plans and RecordkeepingPDF
81 FR 6453 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor InhalerPDF
81 FR 6451 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Vicks® VapoInhaler®PDF
81 FR 6526 - Quarterly IRS Interest Rates Used in Calculating Interest on Overdue Accounts and Refunds on Customs DutiesPDF
81 FR 6528 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or HoldersPDF
81 FR 6528 - Approval of SGS North America, Inc., as a Commercial GaugerPDF
81 FR 6529 - Approval of SGS North America, Inc., as a Commercial GaugerPDF
81 FR 6525 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Exportation of Articles Under Special BondPDF
81 FR 6506 - Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Initiation of Expedited Review of the Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
81 FR 6488 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: DFARS Case 2016-D017, Independent Research and Development ExpensesPDF
81 FR 6520 - Proposed Revised Vaccine Information Materials for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B VaccinesPDF
81 FR 6460 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
81 FR 6507 - Fisheries of the U.S. Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR); U.S. Caribbean Data-Limited SpeciesPDF
81 FR 6459 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Directed Fishing With Trawl Gear by Fisheries Act Catcher Processors in Bycatch Limitation Zone 1 of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
81 FR 6533 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Eligibility of a Nonprofit Corporation/Housing Consultant CertificationPDF
81 FR 6535 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Validating Estimates of CPD Grantee Accrued ExpensesPDF
81 FR 6508 - Marine Mammals; File No. 18537PDF
81 FR 6509 - Marine Mammals; File Nos. 16193 and 17157PDF
81 FR 6534 - Final Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2016; RevisedPDF
81 FR 6551 - Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes: Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 6549 - Portland General Electric Company; Trojan Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation in Columbia County, OregonPDF
81 FR 6545 - Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Consideration of Approval of Transfer of Licenses and Conforming AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 6597 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons Pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation ActPDF
81 FR 6539 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Reinstatement, With Change, of a Previously Approved Collection for Which Approval Has Expired: 2016 Law Enforcement Administrative and Management Statistics (LEMAS) SurveyPDF
81 FR 6540 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension With Change, of a Previously Approved Collection Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Enrollment/National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) E-Check Enrollment Form, Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Officer/Employee Acknowledgement of Responsibilities Under the NICS FormPDF
81 FR 6514 - Notice of Proposals To Engage in or To Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 6509 - Technology Advisory Committee Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 6514 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 6514 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 6585 - Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Funding Round of the Capital Magnet FundPDF
81 FR 6598 - Sanctions Action Pursuant to Executive Order 13712PDF
81 FR 6584 - Agency Requests for Renewal of a Previously Approved Information Collection: Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC) Regional Field Offices Intake Form (DOT F 4500)PDF
81 FR 6578 - Notice of Funding Availability for the Small Business Transportation Resource Center ProgramPDF
81 FR 6576 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
81 FR 6573 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
81 FR 6544 - Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Establish an Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 6596 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons Pursuant to Executive Order 13288, as Amended by Executive Order 13391, and Executive Order 13469PDF
81 FR 6503 - Annual List of Newspapers to be used by the Alaska Region for Publication of Legal Notices of Proposed Projects and Activities Implementing Land and Resource Management Plans, Including Hazardous Fuel Reduction Projects, Subject to the Pre-Decisional Administrative Review ProcessPDF
81 FR 6510 - Notice of Availability: CPSC's Draft 2016-2020 Strategic PlanPDF
81 FR 6510 - Agency Information Collection Activities OMB ResponsesPDF
81 FR 6521 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 6531 - Gratuitous Services Agreement and Volunteer Release and Hold HarmlessPDF
81 FR 6530 - Infrastructure Assessments and TrainingPDF
81 FR 6529 - Technical Resource for Incident Prevention (TRIPwire) User RegistrationPDF
81 FR 6568 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 6536 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; UCAN Survey-National Initiative To Understand and Connect Americans and NaturePDF
81 FR 6479 - Prescriptions in Alaska and U.S. Territories and PossessionsPDF
81 FR 6537 - Proposed Appointment to the National Indian Gaming CommissionPDF
81 FR 6523 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension for a Currently Approved Collection, State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL)PDF
81 FR 6572 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Wes MyersPDF
81 FR 6572 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Firestorm UAVPDF
81 FR 6538 - Potassium Permanganate From ChinaPDF
81 FR 6532 - Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Certified Cargo Screening ProgramPDF
81 FR 6551 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 6565 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 6554 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 6552 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 21.1, Definitions, Relating to the Operation of the Attribution Feature of EDGX OptionsPDF
81 FR 6556 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 301PDF
81 FR 6562 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rules 503 and 515PDF
81 FR 6558 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Pilot Period for the Exchange's Supplemental Competitive Liquidity Provider ProgramPDF
81 FR 6560 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Options Regulatory FeePDF
81 FR 6555 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Extend the Implementation Date of the “No-Remuneration” IndicatorPDF
81 FR 6566 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Certain of Its Rules Related to Binary Return Derivatives ContractsPDF
81 FR 6512 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 6513 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 6501 - Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection; Importation and Transportation of Meat, Poultry, and Egg ProductsPDF
81 FR 6595 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Comment Request; Privacy of Consumer Financial InformationPDF
81 FR 6512 - Disability Advisory Committee; Announcement of Next MeetingPDF
81 FR 6535 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Screening and Eviction for Drug Abuse and Other Criminal ActivityPDF
81 FR 6489 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Western Alaska Community Development Quota ProgramPDF
81 FR 6524 - National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication; Disorders Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 6525 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 6525 - National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 6525 - National Library of Medicine; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 6481 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Department of Pesticide RegulationsPDF
81 FR 6598 - Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, as Required by Section 6039GPDF
81 FR 6483 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure or Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 6522 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 6538 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
81 FR 6613 - Agency Information Collection (Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services); Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 6508 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 6447 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Michigan Towns: Alpena, MI; and Muskegon, MIPDF
81 FR 6450 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Wilmington, OHPDF
81 FR 6448 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Minnesota Towns: Rochester, MN; and St. Cloud, MNPDF
81 FR 6454 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated EquipmentPDF
81 FR 6411 - Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-Formula Federal Assistance Programs-General Award Administrative Provisions and Specific Administrative ProvisionsPDF
81 FR 6475 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 6434 - Capital Magnet FundPDF
81 FR 6469 - Personnel Management in AgenciesPDF
81 FR 6462 - Financial Assistance Interior RegulationPDF
81 FR 6418 - Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan ProgramPDF
81 FR 6687 - Additions to List of Categorical Non-Waste FuelsPDF
81 FR 6615 - Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource ConservationPDF

Issue

81 25 Monday, February 8, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

See

Rural Housing Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Meetings: Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health, 6501 2016-02464 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Vaccine Information Materials for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B Vaccines; Revisions, 6520-6521 2016-02395 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Center on Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships Evaluation, 6521-6522 2016-02351 Procedures for Requests from Tribal Lead Agencies to use Child Care and Development Fund Funds for Construction or Major Renovation of Child Care Facilities, 6522-6523 2016-02297 Same-Sex Relationships: Updates to Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education, 6521 2016-02358 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings: Technology Advisory Committee, 6509-6510 2016-02375 Community Development Community Development Financial Institutions Fund RULES Capital Magnet Fund, 6434-6447 2016-02132 NOTICES Funding Availability: Capital Magnet Fund, 6585-6595 2016-02372 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Plan for Independent Living, 6523 2016-02348 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Privacy of Consumer Financial Information, 6595-6596 2016-02324 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Draft 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, 6510 2016-02360 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System PROPOSED RULES Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements: DFARS Case 2016-D017, Independent Research and Development Expenses, 6488-6489 2016-02396 Defense Department Defense Department See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping, 6517-6518 2016-02406 Central Contractor Registration, 6515-6516 2016-02408 Evaluation of Export Offers, 6519-6520 2016-02448 Permits, Authorities, or Franchises, 6518-6519 2016-02451 Taxpayer Identification Number Information, 6514-6515 2016-02407 Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, 6516-6517 2016-02450
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration RULES Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products -- Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler, 6453-6454 2016-02404 Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products -- Vicks VapoInhaler, 6451-6453 2016-02403 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Additions to List of Categorical Non-Waste Fuels, 6688-6743 2016-01866 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Department of Pesticide Regulations, 6481-6483 2016-02314 Texas; Infrastructure or Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 6483-6488 2016-02310 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 6510-6511 2016-02359 Test Data under the Toxic Substances Control Act, 6511-6512 2016-02412 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Amendment of Class E Airspace: Alpena, MI; and Muskegon, MI, 6447-6448 2016-02285 Rochester, MN; and St. Cloud, MN, 6448-6450 2016-02283 Wilmington, OH, 6450-6451 2016-02284 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 6475-6477 2016-02193 NOTICES Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: Firestorm UAV, 6572 2016-02345 Wes Myers, 6572-6573 2016-02347 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 6512-6513 2016-02327 2016-02328 Meetings: Disability Advisory Committee, 6512-6513 2016-02323 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Vision, 6573-6578 2016-02366 2016-02367 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 6514 2016-02373 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 6514 2016-02374 Proposals to Engage in or to Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking Activities, 6514 2016-02376 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: UCAN Survey—National Initiative to Understand and Connect Americans and Nature, 6536-6537 2016-02352 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, 6524 2016-02444 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Importation and Transportation of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products, 6501-6503 2016-02326 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 6596-6598 2016-02364 2016-02371 2016-02379 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Annual List of Newspapers To Be Used By the Alaska Region, etc., 6503 2016-02361 Meetings: Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee, 6503-6504 2016-02435 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping, 6517-6518 2016-02406 Central Contractor Registration, 6515-6516 2016-02408 Evaluation of Export Offers, 6519-6520 2016-02448 Permits, Authorities, or Franchises, 6518-6519 2016-02451 Taxpayer Identification Number Information, 6514-6515 2016-02407 Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, 6516-6517 2016-02450 Meetings: Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, 6518 2016-02452 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Gratuitous Services Agreement and Volunteer Release and Hold Harmless, 6531-6532 2016-02356 Infrastructure Assessments and Training, 6530-6531 2016-02355 Technical Resource for Incident Prevention User Registration, 6529-6530 2016-02354
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Eligibility of a Nonprofit Corporation/Housing Consultant Certification, 6533-6534 2016-02389 Screening and Eviction for Drug Abuse and Other Criminal Activity, 6535 2016-02322 Validating Estimates of CPD Grantee Accrued Expenses, 6535-6536 2016-02388 Final Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2016; Revised, 6534-6535 2016-02383 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

PROPOSED RULES Financial Assistance Interior Regulation, 6462-6469 2016-02039 NOTICES Proposed Appointment to the National Indian Gaming Commission, 6537 2016-02349
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, 6598-6613 2016-02312 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Pure Magnesium from the People's Republic of China, 6504-6506 2016-02425 Supercalendered Paper from Canada, 6506-6507 2016-02397 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Hospital Beds and Components Thereof, 6538-6539 2016-02296 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Potassium Permanganate from China, 6538 2016-02344 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2016 Law Enforcement Administrative and Management Statistics Survey, 6539-6540 2016-02378 Federal Firearms Licensee Enrollment/National Instant Criminal Background Check System E-Check Enrollment Form, etc., 6540-6541 2016-02377
Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Solution for Touch-Base Activities, 6541-6542 2016-02433 Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety Standards, 6542 2016-02426 Self-Employment Training Demonstration Evaluation, 6543-6544 2016-02428 Short-Time Compensation Grants, 6542-6543 2016-02423 Land Land Management Bureau PROPOSED RULES Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation, 6616-6686 2016-01865 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping, 6517-6518 2016-02406 Central Contractor Registration, 6515-6516 2016-02408 Evaluation of Export Offers, 6519-6520 2016-02448 Permits, Authorities, or Franchises, 6518-6519 2016-02451 Taxpayer Identification Number Information, 6514-6515 2016-02407 Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, 6516-6517 2016-02450 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration RULES Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment, 6454-6458 2016-02268 National Institute Food National Institute of Food and Agriculture RULES Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Federal Assistance Programs: General Award Administrative Provisions and Specific Administrative Provisions, 6411-6418 2016-02213 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 6525 2016-02316 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 6525 2016-02317 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 6524 2016-02318 National Library of Medicine, 6525 2016-02315 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Directed Fishing With Trawl Gear by Fisheries Act Catcher Processors in Bycatch Limitation Zone 1 of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 6459-6460 2016-02391 Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors using Trawl Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 6460-6461 2016-02394 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program, 6489-6500 2016-02319 Trade Monitoring Procedures for Fishery Products; International Trade in Seafood: Permit Requirements for Importers and Exporters Public Meetings, 6489 2016-02418 NOTICES Meetings: Fisheries of the U.S. Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review—U.S. Caribbean Data-Limited Species, 6507-6508 2016-02393 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 6508 2016-02293 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 18537, 6508-6509 2016-02385 Marine Mammals; File Nos. 16193 and 17157, 6509 2016-02384 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 6544-6545 2016-02365 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board RULES Notification and Reporting of Aircraft Accidents or Incidents and Overdue Aircraft, and Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail, Cargo, and Records, 6458-6459 2016-02413 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications for Direct Transfer of Licenses: Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, 6545-6549 2016-02380 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Portland General Electric Co.; Trojan Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, Columbia County, OR, 6549-6551 2016-02381 Meetings: Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes, 6551 2016-02382 Personnel Personnel Management Office PROPOSED RULES Personnel Management in Agencies, 6469-6475 2016-02112 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service RULES Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, 6418-6430 2016-01872 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 6504 2016-02462 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 6551-6552, 6554-6555, 6565 2016-02337 2016-02338 2016-02339 2016-02340 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 6562 2016-02490 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 6558-6560 2016-02333 EDGX Exchange, Inc., 6552-6554 2016-02336 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 6555-6556 2016-02331 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 6556-6558, 6562-6565 2016-02334 2016-02335 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 6560-6562 2016-02332 NYSE MKT, LLC, 6566-6568 2016-02330 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 6568-6571 2016-02353 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals Overseas Schools Grant Status Report, 6571-6572 2016-02471 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office PROPOSED RULES Oklahoma Regulatory Program, 6477-6479 2016-02463 Virginia Regulatory Program, 6479 2016-02460 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining, 6537-6538 2016-02449 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Small Business Transportation Resource Center Regional Field Offices Intake Form, 6584-6585 2016-02369 Funding Availability: Small Business Transportation Resource Center Program, 6578-6584 2016-02368
Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certified Cargo Screening Program, 6532 2016-02341 Treasury Treasury Department See

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Collection of Qualitative Feedback through Focus Groups, 6532-6533 2016-02409 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Elimination of Nonimmigrant Visa Exemption for Certain Caribbean Residents Coming to the United States as H-2A Agricultural Workers, 6430-6433 2016-02488 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Exportation of Articles under Special Bond, 6525-6526 2016-02398 Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or Holders, 6528 2016-02401 Commercial Gaugers and Laboratories; Accreditations and Approvals: SGS North America, Inc., 2016-02399 6528-6529 2016-02400 Quarterly IRS Interest Rates Used in Calculating Interest on Overdue Accounts and Refunds on Customs Duties, 6526-6527 2016-02402 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES Prescriptions in Alaska and U.S. Territories and Possessions, 6479-6481 2016-02350 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services, 6613 2016-02294 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Land Management Bureau, 6616-6686 2016-01865 Part III Environmental Protection Agency, 6688-6743 2016-01866 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.

To subscribe to the Federal Register Table of Contents LISTSERV electronic mailing list, go to http://listserv.access.thefederalregister.org and select Online mailing list archives, FEDREGTOC-L, Join or leave the list (or change settings); then follow the instructions.

81 25 Monday, February 8, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Institute of Food and Agriculture 7 CFR Part 3430 RIN 0524-AA58 Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-Formula Federal Assistance Programs—General Award Administrative Provisions and Specific Administrative Provisions AGENCY:

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is publishing as a final rule, a set of general and specific administrative requirements applicable to competitive and non-competitive non-formula programs. The purpose of this final rule is to implement sections of the Agriculture Act of 2014 making it necessary to modify the general administrative provisions as well as specific grant programs. The purpose of the final rule also is to adopt as final interim administrative provisions. Although this final rule becomes effective on the date of publication, NIFA is requesting comments for a 60-day period. See the ADDRESSES section for instructions for submitting comments.

DATES:

This final rule becomes effective on February 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

2. Email: [email protected] Include docket number NIFA-2016-001 in the subject line of the message.

3. Fax: 202-401-7752.

4. Mail: Paper, disk or CD-ROM submissions should be submitted to: Policy and Oversight Division, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 2201, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2201.

5. Hand Delivery/Courier: Policy and Oversight Division, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 2304, Waterfront Centre, 800 9th Street SW., Washington, DC 20024.

Instructions: All comments received must include the agency name and reference to docket number NIFA-2016-001. All comments received will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Maria Koszalka, Division Director, Policy and Oversight Division, Phone: 202-401-4325, Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Summary Authority

This rulemaking is authorized by section 1470 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA), as amended, 7 U.S.C. 3316.

Organization of 7 CFR Part 3430

A primary function of NIFA is the fair, effective, and efficient administration of Federal assistance programs implementing agricultural research, education, and extension programs. The awards made under the above authority are subject to the NIFA assistance regulations at 7 CFR part 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Federal Assistance Programs—General Award Administrative Provisions. NIFA's development and publication of this regulation for its non-formula Federal assistance programs serve to enhance its accountability and to standardize procedures across the Federal assistance programs it administers while providing transparency to the public. NIFA published 7 CFR part 3430 with subparts A through F as a final rule on September 4, 2009 (74 FR 45736-45752). These regulations apply to all Federal assistance programs administered by NIFA except for the formula grant programs identified in 7 CFR 3430.1(f), the Small Business Innovation Research programs with implementing regulations at 7 CFR part 3403, and the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), with implementing regulations at 7 CFR part 3431.

NIFA organized the regulation as follows: Subparts A through E provide administrative provisions for all competitive and noncompetitive non-formula Federal assistance programs. Subparts F and thereafter apply to specific NIFA programs.

NIFA is, to the extent practical, using the following subpart template for each program authority: (1) Applicability of regulations, (2) purpose, (3) definitions (those in addition to or different from § 3430.2), (4) eligibility, (5) project types and priorities, (6) funding restrictions, (7) matching requirements, and (8) duration of grant. Subparts F and thereafter contain the above seven components in this order. Additional sections may be added for a specific program if there are additional requirements or a need for additional rules for the program (e.g., additional reporting requirements).

Through this rulemaking, NIFA is making minor additions to Subparts A—General Information, B—Pre-award: Solicitation and Application, and E—Post-Award and Closeout of the administrative provisions in order to meet the new matching requirements and the application process for Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture designation identified in the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79 or the 2014 Farm Bill). In addition, sections of the 2014 Farm Bill make it necessary to modify administrative provisions for specific grant programs located in Subparts F, G, H, J and O. The rulemaking also will serve to finalize the administrative provisions located in Subpart I and to add a new Subpart L. Further details of these program-specific subparts are as follows.

Subpart F of 7 CFR Part 3430

Subpart F contains the administrative provisions for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). The purpose of SCRI is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by developing and disseminating science-based tools to address needs of specific crops and their regions. Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Subpart G of 7 CFR Part 3430

Subpart G contains the administrative provisions for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The purpose of AFRI is to make competitive grants for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education to address food and agricultural sciences, as defined under section 1404 of the National Agriculture Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3103).

Subpart H of 7 CFR Part 3430

Subpart H contains the administrative provisions for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative OREI) program. The OREI program is a competitive grant program that supports research and extension activities regarding organically grown and processed agricultural commodities in accordance with congressionally determined purposes. This program funds projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics.

Subpart I of 7 CFR Part 3430

Subpart I contains the administrative provisions for the Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants (406) Program. The 406 program provides funding for integrated, multifunctional agricultural research, extension, and education activities.

Subpart J of 7 CFR Part 3430

Subpart J contains the administrative provisions for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). BFRDP is a beginning farmer and rancher development program that provides local and regional training, education, outreach, mentoring and technical assistance initiatives for individuals who have not operated a farm or ranch, or have operated a farm or ranch for less than ten years. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis in accordance with legislatively determined focus areas.

Subpart L of 7 CFR Part 3430

Administrative provisions for the Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Program (NLGCA) are being added to Subpart L. NLGCA is a competitive program to assist the NLGCA Institutions in maintaining and expanding the capacity to conduct education, research, and outreach activities relating to agriculture, renewable resources, and other similar disciplines.

Subpart O of 7 CFR Part 3430

The administrative provisions for the Sun Grant Program are in Subpart O. The purpose of the Sun Grant Program is to provide a consortium of universities with a grant to support a North-Central, Southeastern, South-Central, Western, and Northeastern Sun Grant Center and a Western Insular Pacific Subcenter for the purpose of enhancing national energy security through the development, distribution, and implementation of biobased energy technologies; promoting diversification in, and the environmental sustainability of, agricultural production in the United States through biobased energy and product technologies; promoting economic diversification in rural areas of the United States through biobased energy and product technologies; and enhancing the efficiency of bioenergy and biomass research and development programs through improved coordination and collaboration among the Department of Agriculture, other appropriate Federal agencies (as determined by the Secretary), and Land Grant Institutions.

Definitions of Merit Review and Scientific Peer Review

Section 7301 of the 2014 Farm Bill amended section 103(a)(2) of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and

Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613(a)(2)) by adding relevance as part of merit review and extended the review to include agricultural research grants. Given the 7 CFR part 3430 definitions of merit review and scientific peer review already include relevance and encompass research, modifications to the administrative provisions for these 2014 Farm Bill items are not planned; however, input is welcomed.

II. Response to Comments and Revisions Included in the Final Rule Subparts A, B, and E

Matching—Currently, 7 CFR 3430.52, identifies that “the required percentage of matching, type of matching (e.g., cash and/or in-kind contributions), sources of match (e.g., non-Federal), and whether NIFA has any authority to waive the match will be specified in the subpart applicable to the specific Federal assistance program, as well as in the RFA.” This section will be modified to include the matching requirement of Section 7128 of the 2014 Farm Bill and the related exclusions and waivers, as appropriate.

Non-Land-Grant Designation—Since the non-land-grant designation affects an institution's eligibility for some NIFA funding, the plan is to modify § 3430.16, eligibility requirements, to identify the process to request NIFA's consideration (e.g., where, when, how) for non-land-grant designation, notification of NIFA's decision, timing, and termination of a non-land-grant declaration.

Merit Review—The 2014 Farm Bill also addresses merit review. Specifically, it adds “relevance” of research projects as part of their merit review, includes “research,” and increases the involvement of the Advisory Board. Given the definitions of merit review and scientific peer review already include relevance and encompass research, modifications to 7 CFR part 3430 for these 2014 Farm Bill items are not planned, but rather, will be addressed in the preamble instead of the final rule.

Subpart F

Section 7306 of the 2014 Farm Bill introduced changes to the Specialty Crop Research Initiative that require administrative revisions to the regulation governing the program.

Subpart G

Section 7404 of the 2014 Farm Bill amended the priority areas for the AFRI program making it necessary to modify the program's administrative provisions.

Subpart H

As a result of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill), NIFA published an interim final rule on September 9, 2010 (75 FR 54759). In response to the interim final rule, OREI received one comment from a professional organization, the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), who objected to the purpose and definition of Subpart H—OREI (7 U.S.C. 5925b) and recommended that the purpose and definitions be expanded to include education components. We note, that in regards to OFRF's recommendation to modify the “purpose” and “definition” to include education components, Section 7211 of the 2014 Farm Bill has generated the necessary change to accommodate the OFRF comment recommendation and NIFA will be making changes consistent with the comment and the 2014 Farm Bill. Additionally, through this final rule, NIFA will finalize the Subpart H portion of the interim final rule published on September 9, 2010 and will make the changes necessitated by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Subpart I

On September 9, 2010 (75 FR 54759) NIFA published an interim rule where NIFA proposed adding three subparts including Subpart I with a 60-day comment period. Subpart I included the standard elements of a subpart including applicability, purpose, definitions, eligibility, project types and priorities, funding restrictions, and matching requirements for the 406 program. No comments were received for Subpart I. Through this final rule, NIFA adopts Subpart I portion of the interim final rule published on September 9, 2010, as final without change.

Subpart J

Section 7409 of the 2014 Farm Bill introduced changes to the BFRDP to, for example, address new priorities and broaden the community of potential beneficiaries. These changes require administrative revisions to the regulation. These regulations apply to all recipients of Federal funds under the BFRDP. The proposed changes are intended to provide clear, transparent, and consistent guidance to stakeholders and potential applicants and recipients. For instance, the 2014 Farm Bill added emphasis for projects serving military veterans who wish to begin a career in agriculture, updated the focus areas that funded programs and services will address, and expanded the class of entities with experience in new agricultural producer training and outreach to which NIFA will give priority.

Subpart L

Section 7138 of the 2008 Farm Bill established the NLGCA program. Administrative provisions have not yet been established for the program. NIFA will establish administrative provisions in Subpart L for the program following the subpart template which, at a minimum, is to include: (1) Applicability of regulations, (2) purpose, (3) definitions (those in addition to or different from § 3430.2), (4) eligibility, (5) project types and priorities, (6) funding restrictions (including indirect costs), and (7) matching requirements.

Subpart O

Section 7516 of the 2014 Farm Bill introduced changes to the Sun Grant Program that require administrative revisions to the regulation governing the program.

III. Administrative Requirements for the Rulemaking

This rule concerns matters relating to `grants, benefits, or contracts,' 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), and is therefore exempt from the requirement of prior notice and comment.

Executive Order 12866

This action has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980

This final rule has been reviewed in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, (5 U.S.C. 601-612). The Department certifies that this final regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final regulation will affect institutions of higher education receiving Federal funds under this program. The U.S. Small Business Administration Size Standards define institutions as “small entities” if they are for-profit or nonprofit institutions with total annual revenue below $5,000,000 or if they are institutions controlled by governmental entities with populations below 50,000. The rule does not involve regulatory and informational requirements regarding businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

The Department certifies that this final rule has been assessed in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. (PRA). The Department concludes that this final rule does not impose any new information requirements or increase the burden hours. In addition to the SF-424 form families (i.e., Research and Related and Mandatory) and the SF-425 Federal Financial Report (FFR) No. 0348-0061, NIFA has three currently approved OMB information collections associated with this rulemaking: OMB Information Collection No. 0524-0042, NIFA REEport; No. 0524-0041, NIFA Application Review Process; and No. 0524-0026, Organizational Information.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

This final regulation applies to the following Federal financial assistance programs administered by NIFA including CFDA No. 10.309, Specialty Crop Research Initiative; CFDA No. 10.307, Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative; CFDA No. 10.303, Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program; CFDA No. 10.310, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI); CFDA No. 10.311, Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program; CFDA No. 10.326, Capacity Building for Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture; and CFDA No. 10.320, Sun Grant Program.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and Executive Order 13132

The Department has reviewed this final rule in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order No. 13132 and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., and has found no potential or substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. As there is no Federal mandate contained herein that could result in increased expenditures by State, local, or tribal governments, or by the private sector, the Department has not prepared a budgetary impact statement.

Clarity of This Regulation

Executive Order 12866 and the President's Memorandum of June 1, 1998, require each agency to write all rules in plain language. The Department invites comments on how to make this final rule easier to understand.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3430

Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural research, Education, Extension, Federal assistance.

Accordingly, the Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, adopts the interim rule amending 7 CFR part 3430 which was published at 75 FR 54759 on September 9, 2010, as a final rule with the following changes:

PART 3430—COMPETITIVE AND NONCOMPETITIVE NON-FORMULA FEDERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS—GENERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS 1. The authority citation for part 3430 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 3316; Pub. L. 106-107 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note).

Subpart A—General 2. In § 3430.2, add a definition in alphabetical order for “Certification of Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture status” to read as follows:
§ 3430.2 Definitions.

Certification of Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture status means an institution that followed NIFA's Process for Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA) Designation and received a certification of NLGCA designation from NIFA (see § 3430.16(c)).

Subpart B—Pre-Award: Solicitation and Application 3. In § 3430.16, add paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 3430.16 Eligibility requirements.

(d) Certification of NLGCA status. NIFA will make publically available (e.g., Federal Register) the process through which institutions may apply for designation as a NLGCA. The public notice will, at a minimum, include NLGCA criteria, instructions on how to request designation, information about how NIFA will respond to requests, and termination of NLGCA status.

Subpart E—Post-Award and Closeout 4. In § 3430.52, add paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) to read as follows:
§ 3430.52 Cost sharing and matching.

(a) * * *

(1) A recipient of a NIFA competitive grant programs that are awarded under a covered law provided in section 3371 of under the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 must provide funds, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both, from sources other than funds provided through such grant in an amount that is at least equal to the amount awarded by NIFA unless an exception applies. NIFA will determine program applicability of this match and include in the RFA for those programs: The match requirement, exceptions, waivers, and any other information necessary to determine applicability of the match requirement. In accordance with section 1492 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3371), as added by section 7128 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79), for grants awarded after October 1, 2014, the recipient of an award must provide funds, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both, from sources other than funds provided through such grant in an amount that is at least equal to the amount awarded by NIFA unless one of the exemptions described herein is applicable.

(2) The matching funds requirement does not apply to grants awarded:

(i) To a research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); or

(ii) To an entity eligible to receive funds under a capacity and infrastructure program (as defined in section 251(f)(1)(C) of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, 7 U.S.C. 6971(f)(1)(C)), including a partner of such an entity. Entities eligible to receive funds under a capacity and infrastructure program and exempt from the matching funds requirement include:

(A) 1862 Land-grant Institutions, including State Agricultural Experiment Stations receiving funding under the Hatch Act of 1887;

(B) 1890 Land-grant Institutions;

(C) 1994 Land-grant Institutions;

(D) Entities eligible to receive funds under the of Continuing Animal Health and Disease, Food Security, and Stewardship Research, Education, and Extension Program Funds—Capacity and Infrastructure Program (CIP);

(E) Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU);

(F) Insular Area Schools Eligible to Receive Funds from the Distance Education/Resident Instruction Grant Programs;

(G) Entities eligible to receive funds under the of McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Program Funds;

(H) Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA)—(for exemption from the new matching requirement, these applications must include NLGCA certification, see instructions for requesting certifications at http://www.nifa.usda.gov/form/form.html, and for attaching the certification in Part IV, B. of this RFA);

(I) Entities eligible to receive funds under a program established under section 1417(b) of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3152(b)), including:

(1) 1890 Institution Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program;

(2) Higher Education Challenge Grants Program;

(3) Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program; and

(4) Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program.

(J) Individual public or private, nonprofit Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions of higher education (see 20 U.S.C. 1059d).

5. Revise § 3430.54 to read as follows:
§ 3430.54 Indirect costs.

Indirect cost rates for grants and cooperative agreements shall be determined in accordance with 2 CFR part 200, unless superseded by another authority. Any restriction on indirect costs is to be identified in the request for applications as appropriate. Use of indirect costs as in-kind matching contributions is subject to § 3430.52(b).

Subpart F—Specialty Crop Research Initiative 6. In § 3430.201, revise paragraphs (a)(1) and (3) and add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 3430.201 Purpose.

(a)* * *

(1) Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics, such as—

(3) Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing).

(c) In addition to SCRI grants, NIFA will make competitive research and extension grants under the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension program (see § 3430.209).

7. In § 3430.202, designate the existing paragraph as paragraph (a) and add paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 3430.202 Definitions

(b) The following definitions apply to § 3430.209:

Citrus means edible fruit of the family Rutaceae, including any hybrid of such fruits and products of such hybrids that are produced for commercial purposes in the United States.

Citrus producer means any person that is engaged in the domestic production and commercial sale of citrus in the United States.

8. In § 3430.204: a. Designate the existing paragraph as paragraph (a); b. Remove the second sentence of newly designated paragraph (a); and c. Add paragraph (b).

The addition reads as follows:

§ 3430.204 Project types and priorities.

(b) In awarding grants under § 3430.208, priority will be given to grants that address the research and extension priorities established pursuant to section 1408A of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3123a).

9. Revise the heading for § 3430.207 to read as follows:
§ 3430.207 Duration of awards.
10. Add § 3430.208 to read as follows:
§ 3430.208 Review of applications.

In addition to the scientific peer review (see § 3430.33), NIFA will regularly conduct a panel of specialty crop industry representatives to review and rank applications for merit, relevance and impact.

11. Add § 3430.209 to read as follows:
§ 3430.209 Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program.

The purpose of this program is to award competitive grants to:

(a) Conduct scientific research and extension activities, technical assistance, and development activities to combat citrus diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive, which pose imminent harm to the United States citrus production and threaten the future viability of the citrus industry, including huanglongbing and the Asian Citrus Psyllid; and

(b) Provide support for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies discovered pursuant to research and extension activities funded through—

(1) The emergency citrus disease research and extension program; or

(2) Other research and extension projects intended to solve problems caused by citrus production diseases and invasive pests.

Subpart G—Agriculture and Food Research Initiative 12. In § 3430.309: a. In paragraph (b)(7), remove “and” from the end; b. In paragraph (b)(8), remove the period from the end and add a semicolon in its place; c. Add paragraphs (b)(9) and (10); d. In paragraph (d) introductory text, remove “Renewable energy” and add in its place “Bioenergy”; e. Redesignate paragraphs (d)(4), (5), and (6) as paragraphs (d)(5), (6), and (7), respectively, and add new paragraph (d)(4); f. In paragraph (f) introductory text, add “economics,” after “trade”; g. Redesignate paragraphs (f)(5) and (6) as paragraphs (f)(6) and (7), respectively, and add new paragraph (f)(5).

The additions read as follows:

§ 3430.309 Priority areas.

(b) * * *

(9) The research and development of surveillance methods, vaccines, vaccination delivery systems, or diagnostic tests for pests and diseases, including—

(i) Epizootic diseases in domestic livestock (including deer, elk, bison, and other animals of the family Cervidae); and

(ii) Zoonotic diseases (including bovine brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis) in domestic livestock or wildlife reservoirs that present a potential concern to public health; and

(10) The identification of animal drug needs and the generation and dissemination of data for safe and effective therapeutic applications of animal drugs for minor species and minor uses of such drugs in major species.

(d) * * *

(4) The effectiveness of conservation practices and technologies designed to address nutrient losses and improve water quality;

(f) * * *

(5) The economic costs, benefits, and viability of producers adopting conservation practices and technologies designed to improve water quality;

Subpart H—Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative 13. In § 3430.401, revise paragraphs (a), (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(6) to read as follows:
§ 3430.401 Purpose.

(a) The purpose of this program is to make competitive grants, in consultation with the Advisory Board, to support research, education and extension activities regarding organically grown and processed agricultural commodities.

(b) * * *

(1) Facilitating the development and improvement of organic agriculture production, breeding, and processing methods;

(2) Evaluating the potential economic benefits of organic agricultural production and methods to producers, processors, and rural communities;

(6) Conducting advanced on-farm research and development that emphasizes observation of, experimentation with, and innovation for working organic farms, including research relating to production, marketing, food safety, socioeconomic conditions, and farm business management;

§ 3430.402 [Removed and Reserved]
14. Remove and reserve § 3430.402. Subpart J—Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program 15. In § 3430.603, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 3430.603 Eligibility.

(c) A community-based or nongovernmental organization;

16. In § 3430.604, revise paragraphs (a)(1) through (14) to read as follows:
§ 3430.604 Project types and priorities.

(a) * * *

(1) Basic livestock, forest management, and crop farming practices;

(2) Innovative farm, ranch, and private, nonindustrial forest land transfer strategies;

(3) Entrepreneurship and business training;

(4) Financial and risk management training (including the acquisition and management of agricultural credit);

(5) Natural resource management and planning;

(6) Diversification and marketing strategies;

(7) Curriculum development;

(8) Mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships;

(9) Resources and referral;

(10) Farm financial benchmarking;

(11) Assisting beginning farmers or ranchers in acquiring land from retiring farmers and ranchers;

(12) Agricultural rehabilitation and vocational training for veterans;

(13) Farm safety and awareness; and

(14) Other similar subject areas of use to beginning farmers or ranchers.

§ 3430.605 [Amended]
17. In § 3430.605, in paragraph (b), revise the reference “§ 3430.5460” to read “§ 3430.54.”
18. In § 3430.608, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 3430.608 Review criteria.

(b) Partnership and collaboration. In making awards under this subpart, NIFA shall give priority to partnerships and collaborations that are led by or include nongovernmental, and community-based organizations, and school-based agricultural educational organizations with expertise in new agricultural producer training and outreach.

19. In § 3430.609, revise paragraph (a) and in paragraphs (c) and (d), remove the phrase “and an award for an educational enhancement team project”.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 3430.609 Other considerations.

(a) Set aside. (1) Not less than 5 percent of the funds used to carry out this subsection for a fiscal year shall be used to support programs and services that address the needs of—

(i) Limited resource beginning farmers or ranchers (see 3430.602);

(ii) Socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers (as defined in section 355(e) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 2003(e)) who are beginning farmers or ranchers; and

(iii) Farmworkers desiring to become farmers or ranchers.

(2) Each fiscal year, NIFA shall set aside not less than 5 percent of the funds to support the standard BFRDP projects under this subpart to support programs and services that address the needs of veteran farmers and ranchers (as defined in section 2501(e) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279(e)). Recipients of these funds may coordinate with a recipient of an award under section 1680 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 5933) in addressing the needs of veteran farmers and ranchers with disabilities.

20. Add subpart L to read as follows: Subpart L—Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Program Sec. 3430.800 Applicability. 3430.801 Purpose. 3430.802 Definitions. 3430.803 Eligibility. 3430.804 Project types and priorities. 3430.805 Funding restrictions. 3430.806 Matching requirements. 3430.807 Duration of grant. Authority:

7 U.S.C. 3316; Pub. L. 106-107 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note).

§ 3430.800 Applicability.

The regulations in this subpart apply to the program authorized under section 1473F of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA), as added by section 7138 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, (7 U.S.C. 3319i).

§ 3430.801 Purpose.

The purpose of this program is to make competitive grants to Non Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) Institutions to assist the NLGCA Institutions in maintaining and expanding the capacity to conduct education, research, and outreach activities relating to agriculture, renewable resources, and other similar disciplines.

§ 3430.802 Definitions.

The definitions applicable to the program under this subpart include:

Capacity building means enhancing and strengthening the quality and depth of an institution's research and academic programs as evidenced by its: faculty expertise, scientific and technical resources, research environment, curriculum, student experiential learning opportunities, scientific instrumentation, library resources, academic standing and racial, ethnic, or gender diversity of its faculty and student body, faculty and student recruitment and retention programs, and organizational structures and reward systems for attracting and retaining first-rate research and teaching faculty or students.

Citizen or national of the United States means:

(1) A citizen or native resident of a State; or,

(2) A person defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a) (22), who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.

Eligible participant means an individual who is a citizen or national of the United States as defined in this section.

Food and agricultural sciences means basic, applied, and developmental research, extension, and teaching activities in food and fiber, agricultural, renewable energy and natural resources, forestry, and physical and social sciences, including activities relating to the following:

(1) Animal health, production, and well-being.

(2) Plant health and production.

(c) Animal and plant germ plasm collection and preservation.

(3) Aquaculture.

(4) Food safety.

(5) Soil, water, and related resource conservation and improvement.

(6) Forestry, horticulture, and range management.

(7) Nutritional sciences and promotion.

(8) Farm enhancement, including financial management, input efficiency, and profitability.

(9) Home economics (Family and Consumer Sciences).

(10) Rural human ecology.

(11) Youth development and agricultural education, including 4-H clubs.

(12) Expansion of domestic and international markets for agricultural commodities and products, including agricultural trade barrier identification and analysis.

(13) Information management and technology transfer related to agriculture.

(14) Biotechnology related to agriculture.

(15) The processing, distributing, marketing, and utilization of food and agricultural products. (7 U.S.C. Section 3103).

Joint project proposal means:

(1) An application for a project:

(i) Which will involve the applicant institution working in cooperation with one or more other entities not legally affiliated with the applicant institution, including other schools, colleges, universities, community colleges, junior colleges, units of State government, private sector organizations, or a consortium of institutions; and

(ii) Where the applicant institution and each cooperating entity will assume a significant role in the conduct of the proposed project.

(2) To demonstrate a substantial involvement with the project, the applicant institution/organization submitting a joint project proposal must retain at least 30 percent but not more than 70 percent of the awarded funds and no cooperating entity may receive less than 10 percent of awarded funds. Only the applicant institution must meet the definition of an eligible institution/organization as specified in this RFA; other entities participating in a joint project proposal are not required to meet the definition of an eligible institution/organization.

Large-scale, Comprehensive Initiative (LCI) project proposal means:

(1) An application for a project:

(i) Which will involve the applicant institution/organization working in cooperation with two or more other entities not legally affiliated with the applicant institution, including other schools, colleges, universities, community colleges, junior colleges, units of State government, private sector organizations, or a consortium of institutions; and

(ii) Where the applicant institution and each cooperating entity will assume a significant role in the conduct of the proposed project.

(2) To demonstrate a substantial involvement with the project, the applicant institution/organization submitting a LCI proposal must retain at least 30 percent but not more than 70 percent of the awarded funds and no cooperating entity may receive less than 10 percent of awarded funds. Only the applicant institution must meet the definition of an eligible institution as specified in this RFA; other entities participating in a joint project proposal are not required to meet the definition of an eligible institution. LCI Project Proposals must support a multi-partner approach to solving a major state or regional challenge in agricultural sciences education at the postsecondary level. LCI Project Proposals are characterized by multiple partners (each providing a specific expertise) organized and led by a strong applicant with documented project management ability to organize and carry out the initiative.

Non-land-grant college of agriculture (NLGCA) means a public college or university offering a baccalaureate or higher degree in the study of agriculture or forestry. The terms “NLGCA Institution” and “non-land-grant college of agriculture” do not include:

(1) Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities; or

(2) Any institution designated under: a. the Act of July 2, 1862 (commonly known as the “First Morrill Act”; 7 U.S.C. 301 et seq., or the `1862 Land Grants');

(3) The Act of August 30, 1890 (commonly known as the “Second Morrill Act”) (7 U.S.C. 321 et seq., or the `1890 Land Grants');

(4) The Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-382; 7 U.S.C. 301 note, or the `1994 or Tribal Colleges Land Grants'); or

(5) Public Law 87-788 (commonly known as the “McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Act”) (16 U.S.C. 582a et seq.).

Outcomes means specific, measurable project results and benefits that, when assessed and reported; indicate the project's plan of operation has been achieved. Measurable outcomes include:

(1) Results are intended or unintended consequences of the project, (e.g., “. . . additional course materials now available online to reinforce student learning during non-classroom hours”);

(2) Products may be actual items or services acquired with funds, (e.g., “. . . mechanisms and content to transition existing course(s) or elements of course(s) for Web-based access” or “created new and innovative prevention and intervention initiatives”); and

(3) Impacts are a measure of the results by comparing what might have happened in the absence of the funded project, (e.g., “. . . an observed, overall increase in student learning based upon 8% higher average test scores of those students who both attended class and used the supplemental, Web-based course materials”.)

Regular project proposal means a proposal for a project:

(1) Where the applicant institution will be the sole entity involved in the execution of the project; or

(2) Which will involve the applicant institution and one or more other entities, but where the involvement of the other entity(ies) does not meet the requirements for a joint project proposal as defined in this section.

Sustainable Agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long-term—

(1) Satisfy human food and fiber needs;

(2) Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends;

(3) Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;

(4) Sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and

(5) Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.

Teaching and education mean formal classroom instruction, laboratory instruction, and practicum experience in the food and agricultural sciences and matters relating thereto (such as faculty development, student recruitment and services, curriculum development, instructional materials and equipment, and innovative teaching methodologies) conducted by colleges and universities offering baccalaureate or higher degrees.

§ 3430.803 Eligibility.

(a) Institution eligibility. Applications may only be submitted by a NLGCA institution. For the purposes of this program, the individual branches of a State college or university that are separately accredited as degree-granting institutions are treated as separate institutions, and are therefore eligible to apply for NLGCA Program awards. Separate branches or campuses of a college or university that are not individually accredited as degree-granting institutions are not treated as separate institutions, and are therefore not eligible to submit an application. Accreditation must be conferred by an agency or association recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

(b) Teacher or student eligibility. A teacher or student recipient receiving Federal funds from this grants program must be an eligible participant. Where eligibility is claimed under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22), documentary evidence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service as to such eligibility must be made available to NIFA upon request.

§ 3430.804 Project types and priorities.

(a) For each RFA, NIFA may develop and include the appropriate project types and focus areas based on the critical needs identified through stakeholder input and deemed appropriate by NIFA.

(b) The RFA will specify which of the following project types applicants may submit applications:

(1) Regular project proposal (the applicant executes the project without the requirement of sharing grant funds with other project partners);

(2) Conference/planning grant to facilitate strategic planning session(s);

(3) Joint project proposal (the applicant executes the project with assistance from at least one additional partner and must share grant funds with the additional partner(s)); and

(4) Large-scale (state or region) comprehensive initiatives (LCI) (Applicant + Two or more Partners).

§ 3430.805 Funding restrictions.

(a) Prohibition against construction. Grant funds awarded under this authority may not be used for the renovation or refurbishment of research, education, or extension space; the purchase or installation of fixed equipment in such space; or the planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of buildings or facilities.

(b) Prohibition on tuition remission. Tuition remission, on-campus room and board, academic fees or other financial assistance (scholarships or fellowships) are not allowed.

(c) Promotional items (e.g., T-shirts and other giveaways) and food functions (e.g., cookouts or other social or meal gatherings) are considered `entertainment' expenses, and are, therefore, also not allowed under this grants program.

§ 3430.806 Matching requirements.

There are no matching requirements for grants under this subpart.

§ 3430.807 Duration of grant.

The term of a Federal assistance award made for a NLGCA project shall not exceed 5 years. No-cost extensions of time beyond the maximum award terms will not be considered or granted.

Subpart O—Sun Grant Program
§ 3430.1001 [Amended]
21. In § 3430.1001, in paragraph (d), remove the words “the Department of Energy” and add in their place “other appropriate Federal agencies (as determined by the Secretary)”.
§ 3430.1002 [Amended]
22. In § 3430.1002, remove the definition for the term “gasification.”
§ 3430.1003 [Amended]
23. In § 3430.1003: a. In paragraph (a)(1), remove the words “at South Dakota State University”; b. In paragraph (a)(2), remove the words “at University of Tennessee at Knoxville”; c. In paragraph (a)(3), remove the words “at Oklahoma State University”; d. In paragraph (a)(4), remove the words “at Cornell University”; e. In paragraph (a)(5), remove the words “at Oregon State University”; and f. In paragraph (a)(6), remove the words “at the University of Hawaii”.
§ 3430.1004 [Amended]
24. In § 3430.1004, in paragraph (a)(1), remove the words “multistate research, extension, and education programs on technology development and multi-institutional and multistate integrated research, extension, and education programs on technology implementation” and add in their place the words “integrated, multistate research, extension, and education programs on technology development and technology implementation”.
§ 3430.1005 [Amended]
25. In § 3430.1005, in paragraph (b), remove the words “each of the five Centers” and add in their place the words “the Centers”.
§ 3430.1007 [Amended]
26. In § 3430.1007: a. In the first sentence of paragraph (a), remove the words “gasification” and “the Department of Energy” and add in their place the words “bioproducts” and “other appropriate Federal agencies” respectively; and b. Remove the second and third sentences of paragraph (a). c. Remove and reserve paragraph (b).
Done at Washington, DC, this 21 day of January, 2016. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2016-02213 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-22-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service 7 CFR Part 3555 RIN 0575-AC18 Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule follows publication of the December 9, 2013, interim final rule and makes changes in response to public comment and further consideration of certain issues by the Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) to the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP). The changes made by this final rule are designed to further improve and clarify Agency instructions while strengthening and enhancing the SFHGLP process by reducing regulations, improving customer service to achieve greater efficiency, flexibility and effectiveness. This rule will allow RHS to manage the program more effectively and reduce SFHGLP risk of loss.

DATES:

This rule is effective on March 9, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lilian Lipton, Finance and Loan Analyst, Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, STOP 0784, Room 2250, USDA Rural Development, South Agriculture Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0784, telephone: (202) 720-1452, email is [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866, Classification

This final rule has been determined to be non-significant by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Except where specified, all State and local laws and regulations that are in direct conflict with this rule will be preempted. Federal funds carry Federal requirements. No person is required to apply for funding under this program, but if they do apply and are selected for funding, they must comply with the requirements applicable to the Federal program funds. This rule is not retroactive. It will not affect agreements entered into prior to the effective date of the rule. Before any judicial action may be brought regarding the provisions of this rule, the administrative appeal provisions of 7 CFR part 11 must be exhausted.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effect of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, the Agency generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million, or more, in any one year. When such a statement is needed for a rule, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires the Agency to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule.

This final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

Environmental Impact Statement

This document has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, “Environmental Program.” It is the determination of the Agency that this action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, and, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Public Law 91-190, neither an Environmental Assessment nor an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The policies contained in this rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the States is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) the undersigned has determined and certified by signature of this document that this rule change will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule does not impose any significant new requirements on Agency applicants and borrowers, and the regulatory changes affect only Agency determination of program benefits for guarantees of loans made to individuals.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This executive order imposes requirements on Rural Development in the development of regulatory policies that have Tribal implications or preempt tribal laws. Rural Development has determined that the proposed rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian Tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes. Thus, this rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13175. If a Tribe determines that this rule has implications of which RD is not aware and would like to engage with RD on this rule, please contact RD's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected]

Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Consultation

This program/activity is not subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which require intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See the Notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, at 48 FR 29112, June 24, 1983; 49 FR 22675, May 31, 1984; 50 FR 14088, April 10, 1985).

Programs Affected

This program is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under Number 10.410, Very Low to Moderate Income Housing Loans (Section 502 Rural Housing Loans).

Paperwork Reduction Act

The information collection and record keeping requirements contained in this regulation have been approved by OMB in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The assigned OMB control number is 0575-0179.

E-Government Act Compliance

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

Non-Discrimination Policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at [email protected]

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and you wish to file either an EEO or program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

Persons with disabilities who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

I. Background Information

On December 9, 2013, at 78 FR 73928, RHS published for public comment an interim final rule (December 2013 interim final rule) to replace an existing rule and process that was outdated. The December 2013 interim final rule submitted for public comment was intended to make the process of utilizing the SFHGLP clearer and streamlined in an effort to achieve greater efficiency, flexibility and effectiveness in managing the SFHGLP. The principles that guided RHS in the development of this rule are included in the December 2013 interim final rule.

The public comment period for the December 2013 interim final rule closed on January 8, 2014. The effective date of implementation was to occur on September 1, 2014. In response to numerous requests to extend the implementation period and the desire of RHS to allow ample time for lenders and consumers to receive training and implement changes that occurred with the implementation of the interim final rule, RHS announced a delayed implementation date. This announcement was made by publication of a notice in the Federal Register on August 22, 2014 (79 FR 49659). Effective with the announcement on August 22, 2014, the effective date of the interim final rule was delayed from September 1, 2014, to December 1, 2014.

II. This Final Rule; Changes to the December 9, 2013, Interim Final Rule

This final rule follows publication of the December 9, 2013, interim final rule and takes into consideration the public comments received. The public comment period on the interim final rule closed on January 8, 2014. RHS received comments from twelve respondents consisting of eight lenders, an Agency employee and two interest groups. The comments were not substantive in nature, resulting in minor changes to the final rule. Most commenters were supportive of the interim final rule and commenters were satisfied with the technical guidance provided in the accompanying release of the Technical Handbook, “SFH Guaranteed Loan Program Technical Handbook” which accompanied the December 2013 interim final rule, available at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/regulations-guidelines/handbooks. RHS did not receive any comments that opposed the rule.

After careful consideration of the issues raised by the commenters, RHS will adopt an amended version of the interim final rule. None of the changes are considered material. Specifically RHS has made the following changes to the December 2013 interim final rule:

1. Editorial and technical changes. This rule clarifies terminology and provides editorial and technical changes to correct cross-references in the rule, punctuation, grammar and spelling at the following Sections:

§ 3555.5(d)(7) § 3555.101(b)(6)(x) and (xi) § 3555.103(a) § 3555.107(h) § 3555.151(h)(2) § 3555.151(i)(2) § 3555.256(b)(2)(vi) § 3555.306(f)(1)

2. Environmental requirements. This final rule will expand an applicant's ability to purchase a flood insurance policy at § 3555.5(d)(5) and (6) for a dwelling in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) from a private insurance company meeting the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 4012a (b)(1)(A). Additionally, the word “habitable” has been removed from the December 2013 interim final rule at § 3555.5(d)(7) to coincide with language utilized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

3. Discount points as an eligible loan purpose. RHS has reconsidered comments received in response to the 2013 interim final rule regarding discount points as a permissible loan purpose for moderate-income applicants at § 3555.101(b)(6)(vi). In reconsidering the comment, RHS will allow discount points in the final rule, as a permissible loan purpose, to “buy-down” the interest rate for moderate income applicants in addition to low-income applicants. The December 2013 interim final rule limited discount points as an eligible loan purpose to low-income applicants only. The Agency changed its position regarding discount points as an eligible loan purpose to allow all applicants the opportunity to lower the interest rate on the home loan. The Agency previously argued that moderate income borrowers were less likely to need to obtain a lower interest rate. Purchasing mortgage points is very common practice. It doesn't always make financial sense. Since this option may reduce the monthly mortgage payments and savings in accrued interest over the life of the loan, the Agency reconsidered its positon by allowing the applicant to determine if financing discount points will make financial sense for the applicant. This optional loan purpose is considered a prepaid mortgage cost, limiting the maximum loan amount to the appraised value of the collateral offered with the mortgage loan request. If utilized, the interest rate prior to reduction must be no greater than the maximum rate revealed at § 3555.104(a).

4. Loan terms. At § 3555.104(a)(3) under loan terms, the December 2013 interim final rule adopted the current Freddie Mac required net yield in addition to the existing Fannie Mae posted yield for 90-day delivery to establish the interest rate of the loan. Freddie Mac has now ceased publication of their net yield rate. The final rule will permit lenders to establish the interest rate with the current Fannie Mae posted yield for 90-day delivery (actual/actual) for 30-year fixed rate conventional loans plus 1 percent, rounded up to the nearest one-quarter of 1 percent and will remove language applicable to the Freddie Mac required net yield.

5. Combination construction and permanent loan. The December 2013 interim final rule limited a contractor or builder at § 3555.105(b)(6) to 25 units per year unless approved by the Agency. In response to comments, RHS is removing this language. Additionally, the final rule provides that the combination construction and permanent loan feature of the SFHGLP may be utilized for a manufactured home if the builder's contract includes the sum of the cost of the unit and all on-site installation costs. The December 2013 interim final rule prohibited manufactured homes as an eligible loan purpose for this feature at § 3555.105(c).

6. Credit qualifications. Section 3555.151(i)(3)(ii) required applicants who had entered into a bankruptcy debt restructuring plan to have 12 months of seasoned established credit after completion of the plan prior considering the applicants credit favorable. Respondents to the December 2013 interim final rule requested RHS align the language with that of like Federal programs. Like Federal programs, such as the U.S. Department of Housing Urban and Development and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs allow lenders to consider applicants favorable with a partially completed bankruptcy debt restructuring plan. Having considered the comments, the Agency will amend the final rule for continuity with like Federal programs. The final rule will allow applicants who have a 12 month pay out period under the bankruptcy debt restructuring plan elapsed to be considered satisfactory, provided payment performance was satisfactory and permission from the Trustee or Bankruptcy Judge is obtained to allow additional debt for the applicant.

7. Loan modification plan. The December 2013 interim final rule established language to extend the terms of a loan modification for up to 30 years from the date of the loan modification at § 3555.303(b)(3)(iii). However it limited the guarantee to the date and terms established at issuance of the guarantee. The guarantee would not apply beyond the original 30 year loan term. The final rule provides authority to extend the guarantee to coincide with the terms of a loan modification that meets the eligibility criteria as noted in § 3555.303.

8. Extended-term loan modification. The December 2013 interim final rule allowed lenders under special servicing options at § 3555.304(c) to extend the repayment term up to a maximum of 40 years from the date of loan modification through use of an extended-term loan modification. However, the December 2013 interim final rule at § 3555.304(a)(3) limited the existing guarantee to the terms of the loan note guarantee. The final rule provides authority to extend the guarantee to coincide with the terms of an extend-term loan modification meeting eligibility criteria of that section.

III. Discussion of Public Comments Received on the December 9, 2013, Interim Final Rule

The following section of the preamble presents a summary of substantive issues raised by the public in response to the December 2013 interim final rule and the RHS response to these issues.

§ 3555.4 Mediation and Appeals

Comment: The final rule should be modified to clarify that any participant receiving an adverse decision can appeal an RHS decision.

RHS Response: The Technical Handbook accompanying the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule sets forth the criteria for appeal in accordance with 7 CFR parts 1 and 11. Furthermore, notice of any administrative appeal rights will be included in adverse decision letters. The final rule has not been amended based upon this comment.

§ 3555.5 Environmental Requirements

Comment: The final rule should be amended to accept private flood insurance policies. The Biggert-Waters Flood Reform Act of 2012 promotes acceptance of flood insurance by private mortgage companies, as opposed to flood policies issued by the Federal Government as part of the National Flood Insurance Program.

RHS Response: The final rule has been amended based upon this comment. RHS will accept flood insurance by private mortgage companies that meet the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 4012a (b)(1)(A). The Technical Handbook accompanying publication of the December 2013 interim final rule outlined the eligibility of private flood insurance policies.

Comment. Amend the flood insurance language to ensure flood insurance coverage coincides with the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended.

RHS Response. Flood insurance coverage and policy details are clarified in the Technical Handbook implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule. RHS has not amended the final rule based upon this comment.

§ 3555.7 Exception Authority

Comment: The final rule should be amended to reflect the requirement that exception authority reasons be documented.

RHS Response: The Technical Handbook accompanying the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule clarified the internal requirements surrounding documenting and submitting a request for exception authority to the RHS Administrator. The Agency has not amended the final rule based upon this comment.

§ 3555.54 Sale of Loans to Approved Lenders

Comment: Provide clarification regarding the sale of loans to approved lenders. Specifically, provide clarification surrounding the liability of purchasing and servicing lenders for origination errors.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the final rule based upon these comments. Section 3555.54 addresses the sale of loans to approved lenders and sets forth the policies surrounding the eligibility of entities and obligations the participating lender is bound to. Approved lenders may be an originator, a servicer or may hold the loan. The eligibility of entities to become an approved lender and enter into a lender agreement is set forth at § 3555.51. A loan may be serviced by an entity that does not hold a valid lender agreement. The approved lender holding the loan remains responsible for the actions of the servicer. In reference to the purchasing lender's liability surrounding origination errors, § 3555.108(d) sets forth requirements surrounding indemnification when an approved originating lender fails to meet the criteria.

§ 3555.101 Loan Purposes

Comment: The respondent requests the cost to design and construct access to broadband services as an eligible loan purpose.

RHS Response: The Technical Handbook accompanying the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule clarified the requirements surrounding eligibility of broadband services. RHS has not amended the final rule based upon this comment.

Comment: Add language to § 3555.101(d)(3)(vi) to coincide with text in the preamble of the December 2013 interim final rule regarding refinancing as an eligible loan purpose. The respondent suggested adding language “unless otherwise provided by the Agency” to the last sentence of the section referenced in the final rule to coincide with language published in the December 2013 interim final rule preamble for clarification.

RHS Response: Paragraph (d)(3)(vi) of § 3555.101 is amended to correct an omission of language in the interim final rule that led to a discrepancy between the statement in the preamble to the text of that rule. Some documentation, costs and underwriting requirements of subparts D, E and F may not apply to a refinance transaction. The last sentence of paragraph (d)(3)(vi) of § 3555.101 is amended to read: “Documentation, costs, and underwriting requirements for subparts, D, E, and F of this part apply to refinances, unless otherwise provided by the Agency.

§ 3555.102 Loan Restrictions

Comment: The respondent requests RHS clarify the language in the final rule surrounding seller concession limitations. The respondent proposes additional language to exclude lender credits which can be contributed towards an applicant's closing costs. Additionally the respondent requests excluding a lender cure payment, as a result of undisclosed items on the Good Faith Estimate, from the maximum concession limitation.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the rule based upon this comment. Internal administrative procedures have been removed from the rule and are provided in the Technical Handbook implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule. The purpose of the Technical Handbook is to remove the detailed administrative instructions and allow for a responsive update to the handbook to mortgage industry changes. Details and guidance regarding seller concession limitations can be found in the Agency's Handbook. Should questions surrounding premium pricing and penalties for lender cures arise, the Technical Handbook will be updated to provide further guidance.

§ 3555.104 Loan Terms

Comment: As of January, 2013, Freddie Mac no longer publishes the Required Net Yield (RNY) information. Because it is not published, it is not feasible for lenders to be required to utilize this rate. The reference to this requirement should be removed.

RHS Response: RHS concurs with this respondent and has removed the language in the final rule that requires a comparison to the maximum interest rate of the loan to Freddie Mac's RNY. In addition, the final rule corrects the reference to the Web site containing information relevant to the calculation of maximum interest rate.

Comment: Respondent supports an extended repayment period of 40 years since credit unions may offer repayment terms of up to 40 years for residential mortgage loans.

RHS Response: RHS is unable to amend the final rule based upon this comment. The Housing Act of 1949 [42 U.S.C. 1472], as amended, limits the term of the guarantee to 30 years at section 502(h)(7)(A) of the Act.

§ 3555.105 Combination Construction and Permanent Loans

Comment: RHS should clarify language with additional detail surrounding contractor/builder method, the limitation of 25 units per year per builder and introductory language.

RHS Response: The Agency has amended the rule based upon this comment. The Agency will no longer limit the builder to 25 units per year without further approval by RHS. Instead the Agency will rely upon the lender and the technical guidelines set forth in the accompanying Technical Handbook implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule that provides the administrative instructions and detail of processing the combination construction and permanent loan feature and qualifying the builder for participation in the combination construction to permanent feature.

Comment: Respondent requests reference to “annual guarantee fee” be struck and replaced with “annual fee” at § 3555.105(d)(3).

RHS Response: The Agency agrees with the respondent and will amend the language at § 3555.105(d)(3) for language consistency to coincide with language in the final rule that implemented the annual fee published in the Federal Register (77 FR 40785) on July 11, 2012. The word “guarantee” will be removed from the section reference in the final rule.

§ 3555.107 Application for and Issuance of the Loan Guarantee

Comment: The Agency should amend the rule to allow a validity period for an appraisal of 180 days in lieu of 120 days. The respondent indicates the application process together with increased federal regulations surrounding mortgage loan processing is now lengthy and the appraisal could expire during the application process.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the final rule based upon this comment. The validity period of the appraisal report coincides with that of other Federal agencies, such as the US Department of Housing Urban and Development, along with Government Sponsored Enterprise (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) who require the age of the appraisal report to be no greater than four months old on the date of note. Additional technical guidance can be found in the Technical Handbook published and implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule.

§ 3555.108 Full Faith and Credit

Comment: The December 2013 interim final rule removed the clear distinction between the originating lender and servicing lender regarding indemnification. This may prevent servicing lenders from fully embracing the program limiting the benefits of servicing competition for the borrower and lenders.

RHS Response: RHS agrees to add the word “originating” to the sentence referencing the continued eligibility of the lender. The use of the word will further clarify the intent of indemnification when a lender fails to originate a loan in accordance with requirements. It will coincide with language in the final rule implementing indemnification for the SFHGLP that holds originating lenders accountable in the future should the Agency seek indemnification from the lender if a loss is paid under certain circumstances. The final rule implementing indemnification was published in the Federal Register (76 FR 31217) on May 31, 2011. The Technical Handbook accompanying the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule expands upon the details surrounding the criteria outlined.

§ 3555.151 Eligibility Requirements

Comment: One commenter requests clarification at § 3555.151(e) on how the “current home no longer adequately meets the applicant's needs” when considering eligibility of a household for the SFHGLP, who owns a home and intends to retain it.

RHS Response: The Agency has not amended the final rule based upon this comment. The Technical Handbook, released with the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule provides the administrative procedures and details surrounding the language in the December 2013 interim final rule. The Handbook expands upon further guidance and possible examples when a home no longer meets the needs of the applicant.

Comment: The respondent requests expanded language at § 3555.151(e)(4) to require documentation if the applicants are unable to secure conventional financing.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the substance of this provision in response to this comment. The Technical Handbook, implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule, which provides the administrative procedures, expands upon the criteria to confirm the applicant's eligibility for the SFHGLP, including eligibility for conventional financing. The applicant must be ineligible for conventional financing, based upon the criteria outlined in the Handbook, for a lender to continue with the application under the SFHGLP.

Comment: Amend the language to include missing text at § 3555.151(h)(2) to clarify language of a sentence. The sentence pertaining to repayment ability should read “The Handbook will define when a debt ratio waiver may be granted” as opposed to “The Handbook will define when a debt ratio may be granted.”

RHS Response: RHS agrees with this comment as recommended and will amend the final rule to correct an editorial omission of text in the December 2013 interim final rule.

Comment: Amend language at § 3555.151(i)(2) to clarify text to indicate “a loan's acceptance”.

RHS Response: RHS agrees with this editorial comment and will amend the text of the final rule to clarify the sentence.

Comment: The commenter proposes to amend the final rule at § 3555.151(i)(3)(ii) by allowing applicant(s) who are presently in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan to qualify if the applicant has been in the plan for at least 12 months and payments under the plan have been paid as agreed.

RHS Response: The Agency agrees with this comment. The mortgage industry and other like Federal Agencies offering insurance and guarantees allow the applicant to be in an active bankruptcy repayment plan, provided 12 months of the pay-out period under the bankruptcy has elapsed and the applicant's payment performance has been satisfactory with all required payments made on time, and written permission from the bankruptcy court to enter into the mortgage transaction is obtained. For those lenders who utilize the Agency's automated underwriting system, if the Chapter 13 bankruptcy has not been discharged for a minimum period of two years, the underwriting recommendation will generate a Refer underwriting recommendation requiring manual underwriting.

Comment: A concern was expressed that the language requiring credit counseling may be difficult to implement based on available financing for these programs. The commenter requests RHS to publish a list of counseling programs readily available to all applicants and lenders. Moreover, the commenter requests RHS to require Agency personnel when conditioning for credit counseling in response to a lender's request for Conditional Commitment confirm what credit counseling programs are available in the geographic area of the applicant.

RHS Response: The language in the December 2013 interim final rule is consistent with the language and process found at 7 CFR part 1980, subpart D, § 1980.309(d)(4), which expired upon implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule. Credit counseling remains a supported educational opportunity, carried out by the lender. The Section 502 direct lending program, administered under 7 CFR part 3550, at § 3550.11 requires the State Director to assess the availability of certified homeownership education providers in their respective states. A list of providers, including the reasonable costs, if any, to the participant is maintained by each state as a requirement to the referenced rule which is offered by RHS separate to the SFHGLP in each state. A list is available on each state Web site and can be accessed at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/. Therefore no change will be implemented to this final rule as a result of this comment.

§ 3555.152 Calculation of Income and Assets

Comment: Require applicant's to be employed, maintain employment and work towards paying off the loan.

RHS Response: RHS supports individual loan performance in order to fulfill its statutory obligation to the SFHGLP. The Agency has not changed the substance of the language as a result of this comment.

Comment: Section 3555.152(b)(2) requires lenders to obtain and verify household income for all household members in order to determine the income eligibility of the household for the SFHGLP. Verification of income for the past 24 months is a regulatory change over the previous rule governing the SFHGLP (7 CFR part 1980, subpart D, which expired with implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule) and is excessive and provides no additional benefit to the applicant or RHS.

RHS Response: Household income eligibility is a critical component of every application. Requiring lenders to verify and validate the income of all household members for the previous 2 years assures the public that only truly eligible households are provided assistance under the SFHGLP. Additionally this provision is consistent with language provided in RHS Section 502 direct lending program, found at 7 CFR part 3550 and was a recommendation by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in an audit (Audit Report 04703-02-Ch dated September 2011) of the SFHGLP. RHS has not amended the final rule based upon this comment.

§ 3555.202 Dwelling Requirements

Comment: Objection to removal of minimal thermal efficiency requirements for existing homes. The commenter was concerned language countered the Government's energy reduction and energy independence goals.

RHS Response: As noted in the preamble of the December 2013 interim final rule, thermal standards for existing homes was removed from the rule as published in the Federal Register (72 FR 70220) on December 11, 2007. The Agency will make no change to the present language in the final rule as a result of this comment. Energy efficient homes for both new and existing construction are encouraged as provided under § 3555.209 under the Rural Energy Plus loans.

Comment: One comment was received in regards to the amount of funds required to cover an interior or exterior escrow holdback. Under the rule that expired (7 CFR part 1980, subpart D) with implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule, the commenter felt the language should require escrow accounts for exterior development be funded at 150 percent of the cost of completion. The commenter requests the language in the final rule at § 3555.202(c) be amended to require their interpretation of the language found at the now expired 7 CFR part 1980, subpart D. The commenter cited risks of fund shortages, cost overruns and a builder's failure to complete improvements as their premise for modifying the language.

RHS Response: While the Agency appreciates the comment on this issue, the final rule regarding funding the escrow for future development is consistent with the practice found at the now expired 7 CFR part 1980, subpart D. Under the former rule and the December 2013 interim final rule, lenders are required to fund an escrow account in an amount sufficient to assure the completion of the remaining work. The language further encourages that amount to be 150 percent of the cost of completion, but may be higher if the lender determines a higher amount is needed. The final rule continues to encourage the lender to fund the escrow at a higher amount, if needed, but at a minimum requires the figure to be at least 100 percent of the cost of completion. Lenders may make an internal business decision to fund an escrow account at a higher amount. As a result of this comment, RHS will make no change to the language in the final rule.

§ 3555.205 Special Requirements for Condominiums

Comment: Clarity is requested in the language surrounding what requirements should be followed and when a condominium unit becomes ineligible for lending.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the substance of this provision in response to this comment. The Technical Handbook implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule, provides the administrative procedures and expands upon the detailed criteria to confirm requirements for lending on condominium units.

§ 3555.251 Servicing Responsibility

Comment: One respondent requested more detail in § 3555.251(c) surrounding the process of notification, the lender's rights and opportunities to cure deficiencies when it is determined by the Agency that an approved lender has failed to provide acceptable servicing.

RHS Response. The language in this final rule remains unchanged by RHS. The Technical Handbook implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule provides the details surrounding the expectations of loan servicing and monitoring responsibilities of lenders. When a lender has uncorrected performance problems, the Handbook outlines the actions the Agency will take regarding notification and appeal rights surrounding a termination.

§ 3555.252 Required Servicing Actions

Comment: One comment was received requesting § 3555.252(c)(2) of the final rule be amended to remove language requiring the borrower to notify the lender when damage occurs to the property.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the rule based on this comment. The Agency believes that the regulatory language is clear and consistent with standard industry practice requiring borrowers to notify the lender when damage is sustained to a property and hazard insurance proceeds will be disbursed. The Agency will issue additional guidance regarding insurance should it determine such clarification is necessary. Policy encompassing a lender's responsibility to processing of hazard insurance proceeds as a result of damage to the security is detailed in the accompanying Technical Handbook implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule.

Comment: The language at § 3555.252(d) should be revised to include exceptions to reporting to credit bureaus when loans are in Presidentially declared disaster areas and loans involving the Service members Civil Relief Act.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the rule based upon this comment. The provisions of the December 2013 interim final rule emphasize a lender's existing and continued responsibility to reporting defaulted mortgages to credit bureaus. Loans involving Service members Civil Relief Act will be subject to the provisions of the Act. Loans located in presidentially declared disaster areas may require special guidance. RHS will issue additional guidance should it determine clarification is necessary. The language as written pertains to the general servicing reporting requirements applicable to most SFHGLP loans.

§ 3555.254 Final Payments

Comment: One commenter requested RHS provide additional clarification regarding the release of security instruments. Presently the language at § 3555.254 indicates lenders may release security instruments only after full payment of all amounts have been received. The commenter indicated if a lender's decision is to not file a loss claim, the final decision to release security documents should lie with the lender.

RHS Response: The intent of the language is to ensure and enforce that lenders cannot release security documents until a satisfaction of the debt in full has occurred. In response to this comment, RHS has amended the rule to add clarification.

§ 3555.256 Transfer and Assumptions

Comment: The words “continue with guarantee” are confusing at § 3555.256(d)(2)(ii). The commenter requests clarity.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the rule based on this comment. The Agency believes that the regulatory language is clear in that RHS will continue with the guarantee, as opposed to voiding the guarantee in situations meeting the criteria of the section. RHS will issue additional guidance regarding a transfer that does not trigger the due-on-sale clause should it determine such clarification is necessary.

Comment: A respondent indicated § 3555.256(d)(2)(iii) should be clarified to confirm a concurrent loan assumption and modification could occur if a transferee meeting the criteria assumes the guaranteed loan when the loan is past due. The commenter found the language “re-amortized” in the section confusing since it is not listed under § 3555.10 Definition and abbreviations of the rule.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the rule based on this comment. When a transferee meets the criteria set forth in the section referenced, the regulatory language allows the transferee to assume on the rates and terms of the original promissory note and in the case of a delinquent account, allows the transferee “at the time the assumption agreement is executed” to bring the loan current through reamortization. RHS believes the language “at the time the assumption agreement is executed” is clear and concise that the two actions would be concurrent. Regarding the definition of reamortization, the Technical Handbook, accompanying the release of the December 2013 interim final rule provides an extensive list of terminology and definitions, including reamortization, while the rule addresses substantive definitions. Reamortization is a common mortgage industry term referring to modifying the loan.

Comment: The commenter requests clarification of § 3555.256(d)(3) and restrictions imposed for transfer of title triggering the due-on-sale clause.

RHS Response: RHS released a Technical Handbook with implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule, which provides the details and restrictions imposed for transfer of title triggering the due-on-sale clause. As a result of this comment, RHS has not modified the final rule.

§ 3555.257 Unauthorized Assistance

Comment: In reference to § 3555.277(b), a commenter questioned the lender's ability to prove the applicant's eligibility should the lender be challenged on inaccurate information in response to unauthorized assistance. Specifically in question was if the lender utilized RHS's automated underwriting system when submitting the loan to the Agency, how the lender would prove the applicant was eligible if the Agency's automated underwriting system rendered an acceptable recommendation.

RHS Response: Lenders are required to retain a permanent record of the applicant's request. The final underwriting recommendation obtained from the Agency's automated underwriting system becomes part of the lender's permanent record. Data reflected in the automated system must reflect and support information in the permanent file record retained by the lender. The records should support the lender's ability to prove the applicant's eligibility. Further, the Agency's automated underwriting system is a tool utilized to streamline the decision of the lender, but does not replace the lender's final determination to qualify the household for the SFHGLP or the loan request. No change to the final rule as a result of this comment has been made.

§ 3555.301 General Servicing Techniques

Comment: One comment was received in regards to language used surrounding past due accounts found at § 3555.301(e). Verbiage in the December 2013 interim final rule references months past due while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (12 CFR part 1026) measures payments past due in days. It was suggested the Agency align our language with CFPB.

RHS Response: RHS will amend the rule in Sections referencing months, as applicable, for continuity with CFPB when referencing the measurement of delinquent past due amounts. The Agency publishes, as a tool for lenders, a Loss Mitigation Guide. The Agency's Loss Mitigation Guide published at https://usdalinc.sc.egov.usda.gov/USDALincTrainingResourceLib.do currently provides for measurement in “months/days” format in response to CFPB language.

§ 3555.302 Protective Advances

Comment: One commenter requested clarification of protective advances for costs other than taxes and insurance. They questioned if this section pertained to advances incurred prior to a foreclosure sale, or those that occur once a foreclosure sale occurs.

RHS Response: RHS has not revised the substance of this provision in response to the comment. The Agency believes the language flow of the rule provides for a waterfall of loss mitigation workout alternatives from general servicing at § 3555.302, followed by traditional servicing (§ 3555.303), then by special loan servicing (§ 3555.304) prior to voluntary or involuntary liquidation (§§ 3555.305 and 3555.306). The language in these sections provides the guidance, expectations and flow of order for servicing non-performing loans. With consideration for the comment, this final rule makes one minor change to the wording of this provision by referring to the protective advance expense as advances prior to liquidation, for clarification.

§ 3555.303 Traditional Servicing Options

Comment: Several comments were received in regard to traditional servicing options. The majority of comments requested clarification on details surrounding servicing options, such as if the agreement needs to be in writing, the maximum interest rate for modifications, fees and costs included in a loan modification, and eligibility for trial payments.

RHS Response: RHS published a Technical Handbook which accompanied the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule. The Handbook provides the information which responds to the commenters request for detailed information for offering servicing options to homeowners. In response to comments, RHS has added clarification at § 3555.303(b)(3) to confirm that the loan modification must be a written agreement, the interest rate must be fixed, the rate of interest cannot exceed the original rate of the loan note guarantee issued and trial payments for traditional loan modifications are not required.

Comment: One comment received urged the Agency to adopt, as a servicing option, a moratorium of payments, similar to that offered in the Section 502 SFH Direct lending program offered by the Agency under 7 CFR part 3550.

RHS Response: Traditional and special loan servicing options provide for various forbearance agreements, which in part could temporarily suspend or reduce payments. The Agency believes the forbearance agreement option (see § 3555.10 definition of forbearance agreement) does provide for a moratorium (suspension) of payments temporarily, if warranted, based upon the circumstances of the loan serviced. The Technical Handbook accompanying the publication of the December 2013 interim final rule provides additional details and loss mitigation workout alternatives. RHS has not amended the rule based upon this comment.

Comment: RHS should extend the guarantee at § 3555.303(b)(3)(iii) to cover the full term of a loan modification as opposed to limiting the modification to the original term as referenced in the December 2013 interim final rule. The commenter feels it will expand a lender's ability to assist a homeowner become successful.

RHS Response: RHS agrees with the comment. To that end, the Agency has amended the final rule based on this comment to extend the guarantee to the loan term of the loan modification, provided the loan modification meets the eligibility criteria set forth in § 3555.303(b)(3).

§ 3555.304 Special Servicing Options

Comment: A comment was received regarding the required pre-modification trial payment period found at § 3555.304(b)(2). The commenter indicated that trial payment periods pre-modification decrease the flexibility to assist borrowers and could lead to greater losses for the Agency.

RHS Response: RHS disagrees with this comment in regards to trial payments required at § 3555.304(b)(2). In the waterfall of loss mitigation options, once the lender has determined the use of traditional loan servicing options will not cure the borrower default, the use of special loan servicing options are considered. The objective of special loan servicing options is to offer struggling homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure reduced monthly mortgage payments that are affordable and sustainable over the long-term. Trial payment periods allow a borrower to demonstrate recovery from the financial problem by making 3 or 4 payments at the modified amount, after which the delinquent amount is capitalized into the modified loan. A trial period will help ensure the borrower can meet the modified terms and verify the proposed servicing plan will succeed in helping the borrower afford their home. If they are unable to demonstrate their ability to make their modified mortgage payment before being placed into a permanent modification, the lender can assist with a more suitable alternative to foreclosure that meets the borrower's needs. Many loan servicers' guidelines, other than RHS, require a trial period. Trial payments are a mortgage industry standard. Additionally, this provision is included to minimize loss to the government. RHS has not amended the final rule based upon this comment.

Comment: Comments were received regarding the determination of the interest rate. Lenders requested reconsideration to the requirement to reduce an interest rate on an extended-term loan modification at § 3555.304(c). Historically rates have been low. Lenders viewed this requirement as an impediment to assisting borrowers who were delinquent or in imminent default. Additionally lenders questioned if the interest rate, at execution of the modification agreement, was required to meet the maximum allowable interest rate at noted at § 3555.304(c)(2).

RHS Response: Maximum interest rates cannot exceed the published rate as noted in § 3555.304(c)(2) if lowering the interest rate; or the interest rate of the loan guarantee issued. Reducing the rate is not a required condition to an extended-term loan modification in § 3555.305(c). RHS will amend the final rule to correct language at § 3555.304(c)(2) which references the maximum interest rate is tied to the date the loan modification is executed. Language will be corrected to indicate the maximum interest rate will be tied to when the loan modification is approved.

RHS Comment: Multiple comments were received regarding the waterfall of loss mitigation options that must be considered prior to utilizing a mortgage recovery advance in § 3555.304(c). Concern was expressed that lenders would be forced to utilize an extended-term loan modification with a 40 year term. When the loan is in a Ginnie Mae pool the lender must repurchase it to complete a loan modification. Requiring a 40 year term together with not extending the guarantee beyond the original maturity date subjects the lender to vulnerability that Ginnie Mae may not repurchase the loan after the modification occurs and that lenders may incur greater future losses if liquidated.

RHS Response: Pursuant to § 3555.304(c)(4), if the targeted mortgage payment to income ratio cannot be achieved using an extended-term loan modification, then the lender may consider a mortgage recovery advance. Before considering a mortgage recovery advance, the lender must extend the repayment term for 30 years from the date of loan modification. The lender may extend the repayment term for 40 years from the date of loan modification, but the lender is not required to do so before utilizing a mortgage recovery advance. This language affords the lenders the flexibility to adhere to specific investor loan modification term extension requirements while encouraging lenders to achieve the targeted mortgage payment to income ratio using the servicing option(s) that will be least expensive for the government. Use of the mortgage recovery advance is limited because the mortgage recovery advance will be most expensive for the government. By imposing restrictions, RHS will promote the reduction of mortgage foreclosures in a cost-effective manner. Language at this section is unchanged regarding extended-term loan modification from the final rule implementing special servicing options published August 26, 2010 (75 FR 52429) which became effective September 24, 2010. RHS has amended § 3555.305(c)(1) and (c) for clarity in response to comments.

Comment: One comment was received regarding the mortgage recovery advance special servicing option at § 3555.304(d). The commenter felt if the agency reimburses the lender for eligible advances, additional full financial risk and responsibility on the agency potentially will increase the cost to the overall SFHGLP.

RHS Response: Lenders will advance, after obtaining Agency approval, for any Mortgage Recovery Advance that meets the criteria set forth in the December 2013 interim final rule and supplemented by a Technical Handbook. Pursuant to § 3555.304(d)(7) and with language of the published final rule (75 FR 52429 published August 26, 2010) in connection with the introduction of special loan servicing options, the lender may file a request for partial loss claim to obtain reimbursement of the eligible funds advanced. The claim for reimbursement will be processed by the Agency in advance of any final loss claim reimbursement (occurring after liquidation)—provided the lender has secured adequate security and the borrower is eligible for the advance. A future loss claim filed by a lender after liquidation will be adjusted by any amount of mortgage recovery advance reimbursed to the lender by the Agency. Borrowers are not required to make any monthly or periodic payments on the Mortgage Recovery Advance as outlined in § 3555.304(d)(6)(ii). The mortgage recovery advance is due and payable pursuant to § 3555.304(d)(6)(iii). The Agency has made no change to their collection procedures presently exercised on loss payments paid that do not involve a mortgage recovery advance. In accordance with § 3555.304(d)(6)(v), RHS may pursue collection of the Federal debt from the borrower by any available means if the mortgage recovery advance is not repaid based on the terms in the promissory note and mortgage or deed-of-trust. This same approach is performed on loss payments that do not involve a mortgage recovery advance. Therefore, additional financial risk and responsibility to the Agency has not increased with publication of this rule. RHS has not amended the final rule based on this comment.

Comment: A comment was received questioning the maximum Mortgage Recovery Advance (MRA) at § 3555.304(d). The respondent questioned how the advance will be determined and if the MRA maximum is not advanced on an initial MRA, can the balance of the maximum calculation of MRA be applied to another future MRA.

RHS Response: RHS released a Technical Handbook and Loss Mitigation Guide with implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule. The handbook and guide outlines the details surrounding the eligibility and calculation of a maximum recovery advance. To be eligible, the lender must consider an extended-term loan modification of at least 30 years and set the interest rate not to exceed the maximum allowable rate as further outlined in § 3555.304(c)(1) and (2). If the targeted mortgage payment to income cannot be achieved using an extended-term loan modification, the lender may consider a mortgage recovery advance. The maximum mortgage recovery advance (up to 30 percent of the unpaid principal balance as of the date of default) consists of the sum of arrearages not to exceed 12 months of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI); legal fees and foreclosure costs related to a cancelled foreclosure action; and principal reduction as outlined in § 3555.304(d)(1) and (2). The principal deferment on the modified mortgage is determined by multiplying the unpaid principal balance by 30 percent and then reducing that amount by arrearages advanced to cure the default and any foreclosure costs incurred to that point. The principal deferment amount for a specific case shall be limited to the amount that will bring the borrower's total monthly mortgage payment to 31 percent of gross monthly income. In response to the comment, the following is an example of the calculation of a maximum Mortgage Recovery Advance when utilizing the Special Loan Servicing:

Example. Unpaid Principal Balance = $150,000

• Current Monthly Payment (PITI) = $1,220 (Principal and Interest = $920 + Taxes and Insurance = $300) • Current Other Recurring Debt = $800 • Monthly Gross Income = $3,500 • Number of Payments Past Due = 3 • Total Arrearage = $3,660 • Maximum Mortgage Recovery Advance = $150,000 × 30% = $45,000 • Maximum Monthly Mortgage Payment = $3,500 × 31% = $1,085 (Front Ratio) • Maximum Total Monthly Debt = $3,500 × 55% = $1,925 (Back Ratio)

Special loan servicing is permitted one time over the life of the loan. RHS has not amended the final rule in response to this comment.

Comment: One commenter felt the language in the December 2013 interim final rule changed the definition of the maximum mortgage recovery advance at § 3555.304(d).

RHS Response: The December 2013 interim final rule language at § 3555.304(d) incorporated the published final rule introducing the special loan servicing options available to lenders (75 FR 52429 published August 26, 2010). Details on eligibility, processing, approval, documentation requirements, and reimbursement to the lender can be found in the Technical Handbook and Loss Mitigation Guide implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule. RHS has not amended the final rule in response to this comment.

Comment: Clarification was requested on § 3555.304(d)(iv) on collecting the Mortgage Recovery Advance from the borrower. Concern was expressed if the lender was responsible for paying off the borrower's MRA once a borrower voluntarily or involuntarily transfers title to the property.

RHS Response: Pursuant to § 3555.304(d)(6) the lender must have the borrower execute a promissory note payable to RHS and a mortgage or deed-of-trust in recordable form perfecting a lien naming RHS as the security party for the amount of the mortgage recovery advance. The lender will record the mortgage or deed-of-trust in the appropriate local real estate records and provide the original promissory note to RHS. The Mortgage Recovery Advance will be interest free. Borrowers are not required to make any monthly or periodic payment; however, the borrower may voluntarily submit partial payment without incurring any prepayment penalty. The payment of the Mortgage Recovery Advance is not due until the earliest of (i) the maturity of the modified mortgage; (ii) the borrower transfers title to the property (by sale or by other voluntary or involuntary means), or (iii) a payoff of the mortgage. Pursuant to § 3555(d)(8) any RHS reimbursement issued for the Mortgage Recovery Advance to the lender on behalf of the borrower will be credited toward the maximum loan guarantee amount payable by the Agency under the guarantee. This credit or reduction in the ultimate loss claim payment is necessary since the Mortgage Recovery Advance is a partial claim under the guarantee. The lender is not expected to collect on the Mortgage Recovery Advance. RHS has not changed the final rule in response to this comment as § 3555.304(d) provides the provisions a lender must follow and additional administrative details are available through the Technical Handbook and Loss Mitigation Guide implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule.

§ 3555.305 Voluntary Liquidation

Comment: To be eligible for a voluntary liquidation option, § 3555.305(a)(3) indicates the borrower must presently occupy the property, unless non-occupancy is related to the same involuntary reason leading to the default. One comment was received asking for further relief and flexibility should the borrower act in good faith in vacating the premises to facilitate a pre-foreclosure sale or due to a financial hardship.

RHS Response: RHS has not amended the rule based upon this comment. Further guidance and detail is provided in the Technical Handbook accompanying the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule. To be eligible to participate in a voluntary liquidation, the borrower must occupy the property as their primary residence. A non-occupant borrower who seeks a voluntary liquidation option may be eligible should the lender verify that the need to vacate is related to the cause of the default, such as job loss (financial hardship), a mandatory employment transfer, divorce or death, for example. RHS feels the flexibility provided to allow non-occupant borrower eligibility for voluntary liquidation is a lenient standard and any further flexibility is not acceptable from a risk management perspective.

§ 3555.306 Liquidation

Comment: One commenter requested that the lender should be able to assign the loan to the government when the default occurs and prior to liquidation in accordance with the Housing Act of 1949.

RHS Response: The Housing Act of 1949, as amended, at section 502(h)(15) provides the option to the program to allow a lender to transfer a loan in default to the government prior to liquidation. RHS has not exercised this option. RHS has selected a more cost effective strategy by requiring lenders to liquidate and sell an acquired property, while RHS exercises oversight and verifies proper use of government funds. Should RHS exercise the language available in the Housing Act in the future, language will be published. RHS has not amended the final rule in response to this comment.

Comment: A respondent expressed concern regarding the requirement that in addition to a borrower paying all past-due amounts, advances and any foreclosure costs when reinstating an account in liquidation a borrower must have the ability to continue making the scheduled payments on the loan pursuant to language found at § 3555.306(c)(2). Clarification was requested on what actions by the lender are necessary to perform or comply with ensuring the borrower has the ability to continue making the scheduled payments on the loan if the loan is paid current and all fees are paid.

RHS Response: RHS has considered the language and action questioned. RHS has omitted reference to the borrower's ability to continue making scheduled payments when the loan is paid current and all fees are paid as noted in § 3555.306(c).

Comment: One respondent indicated § 3555.306(d)(3) seems to mandate creditors to force a debtor to reaffirm a debt. The respondent indicated most jurisdictions allow a “retain and pay” option, so that the debtor continues to pay the mortgage but is discharged of the personal liability by virtue of the Chapter 7 discharge. The respondent requested clarification on the language in the section in question.

RHS Response: Language in the § 3555.306(d)(3) provides the flexibility the respondent is seeking by instructing the lender to seek a reaffirmation under the criteria noted, whenever possible. RHS has not amended the final rule in response to this comment.

Comment: Concern was expressed by a respondent in reference to language found at § 3555.306(f)(3) of the December 2013 interim final rule. The respondent felt the language limited the lender in the sale of property once the marketing period for an acquired property expired. The language indicates it is the Agency's responsibility to obtain a liquidation value appraisal. Often times the lender's receipt of that appraisal is delayed. The respondent is seeking assurance the lender can continue to sell the property while waiting for the Agency to respond with the determined liquidation value. Additionally the respondent expressed concern on the balance of language at § 3555.306(f)(3) which limited accrued interest paid a loss claim to 90 days from the foreclosure sale or expiration of redemption period when calculating a loss claim request of the Agency.

RHS Response: Pursuant to § 3555.306(f)(3), to ensure the lender proactively seeks maximum recovery from the sale of the acquired property, RHS requires the lender to notify the Agency if the security property held for disposition remains unsold once the marketing period expires. The Agency orders a liquidation value appraisal in response to notification and provides the lender with the results of the report. With the value determined, a loss claim is calculated based upon a management sale factor, which estimates holding and resale costs. In response to the commenter who is seeking Agency approval to allow continued marketing while waiting for a liquidation value appraisal, once the marketing period has expired, and the lender has notified the Agency of the expiration, the loss claim will be calculated based upon a liquidation value appraisal pursuant to § 3555.354(b). Additionally, the referenced section caps accrued interest to the first 90 days of the marketing period. This requirement assures the program goals are met in a cost-effective manner and minimizes loss to the government. The Technical Handbook implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule provides an aggressive marketing and sales approach for lenders which when followed should result in a sale of acquired property within 90 days of foreclosure or redemption. As a result of guidance provided, RHS has not amended the final rule in response to this comment.

§ 3555.307 Assistance in Natural Disasters

Comment: Comments were received proposing slight phrase changes for clarification regarding special relief measures available when a natural disaster is designated found at § 3555.307(c).

RHS Response: The Agency has considered the request of commenters. While no substantive changes are made to the rule as written, the Agency has agreed to modify language slightly for clarification.

§ 3555.354 Loss Claim Procedures

Comment: One comment was received reporting the concern that RHS will no longer conduct an audit to determine why a loan failed and if there was reason to reduce or deny the loss claim.

RHS Response: Details surrounding processing loss claim requests and reduction or denial of a proposed claim can be found in the Technical Handbook accompanying the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule. The Handbook indicates the Agency will review each loss claim for adherence to program regulation and make any reductions and/or denial of loss claim with information provided by the lender. RHS has not amended the final rule based upon this comment.

Comment: One comment was received requesting the Agency to implement a partial claim payment option as provided for in the Housing Act of 1949, as amended.

RHS Response: The December 2013 interim final rule at § 3555.304(d)(7) provides for reimbursement from the Agency to the lender for a Mortgage Recovery Advance. This claim process is a partial claim payment filed by a lender in response to a Mortgage Recovery Advance under special servicing options (§ 3555.304). The Housing Act of 1949, as amended, at section 502(h)(14) provides this authority. The lender must comply with requirements set forth in § 3555.304(d)(7) when requesting a partial claim. Any future loss claim filed by a lender is adjusted by any amount of Mortgage Recovery Advance reimbursed to the lender by the Agency. RHS has not amended the final rule based on this comment since language in the December 2013 interim final rule provided for a partial claim payment under the guarantee in response to the Mortgage Recovery Advance by the lender.

Comment: Several comments were received in response to penalties imposed as a result of untimely submission of a disposition plan at acquisition or loss claim report once a property held by the lender is sold. Commenters felt the possible penalties implied were unduly harsh.

RHS Response: RHS establishes delivery timelines for lenders to report; file claims or update records for essential documents in the servicing, loss mitigation, liquidation, acquisition and loss claim process. Time lines establish prompt response requiring lenders to comply with corresponding expectations. Time lines for regulatory compliance, for example—filing a claim, require actions by the lender and impose penalties associated with non-compliance with those timelines. Establishing expected timelines are a common method in the mortgage industry to insure a lender is responsibly attentive and focuses with reasonable due diligence in carrying out tasks associated with non-performing borrowers. Curtailment or penalties on claims when reasonable diligence and/or reporting requirements are not met are common in the mortgage industry as with other federal agencies such as HUD or VA who insure or guarantee a lender's loan. The December 2013 interim final rule at § 3555.354 outlines what may occur should a lender fail to act timely. It also provides for extenuating circumstances beyond the lenders control by utilizing the language “may” be imposed when referring to denying or reducing a claim. This language allows flexibility the commenters are seeking based upon circumstances surrounding untimely filings. Additional detail regarding possible imposed penalties can be found in the Agency's Technical Handbook that accompanied the implementation of the December 2013 interim final rule. RHS has not amended the final rule in response to these comments.

§ 3555.355 Reducing or Denying the Claim

RHS Comment: A comment was submitted in response to language in the rule that allows the Agency to reduce or deny a claim when a lender failed to follow regulatory time frames in servicing and liquidating, including payment of real estate taxes or hazard insurance premiums when due. The commenter requested that the rule define that a direct correlation and casual connection between the lender's action or failure to act occurred which impaired the collateral and ultimately increased the loss.

RHS Response: In response to the comment, the RHS feels language at § 3555.355(a) is consistent with the commenter's request for flexibility in that it provides language indicating RHS may reduce or deny any loss claim by the portion of the loss determined was caused by the lender's action or failure to act. Additional detail surrounding time frames imposed and penalties for a lenders failure to act can be found in the Agency's Technical Handbook that was implemented with the December 2013 interim final rule. The final rule does not revise the Agency's approach to reducing or denying a claim for a lender's failure to comply with the conditions of the Loan Note Guarantee.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3555

Home improvement, Loan Programs—Housing and community development, Mortgage insurance, Mortgages, Rural areas.

For the reason stated in the preamble, chapter XVIII, part 3555, title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 3555—GUARANTEED RURAL HOUSING PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for part 3555 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301, 42 U.S.C. 1471et seq.

Subpart A—General 2. Amend § 3555.5 by revising paragraphs (d)(5) through (7) to read as follows:
§ 3555.5 Environmental requirements.

(d) * * *

(5) The lender must comply with Federally mandated flood insurance purchase requirements. Existing dwellings in a SFHA are not eligible under the SFHGLP unless flood insurance through the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available for the community and flood insurance, whether NFIP, “write your own,” or private flood insurance, is purchased by the borrower. The lender will require the borrower to obtain, and maintain for the term of the mortgage, flood insurance for any property located in a SFHA, listing the lender as a loss payee. Purchase of existing structures within the federally regulated floodplain will not require consideration of alternatives to avoid adverse effects and incompatible development in floodplains;

(6) The borrower must obtain, and continuously maintain for the life of the mortgage, flood insurance on the security property in an amount sufficient to protect the property securing the guaranteed loan. Flood insurance policies must be issued under the NFIP, or by a licensed property and casualty insurance company authorized to participate in NFIP's “Write Your Own” program or private flood insurance policy, as approved by the lender. Lenders are required to accept private flood insurance policies, when purchased by a borrower, that meet the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 4012a (b)(1)(A). Lenders remain responsible to ensure a private flood insurance policy meets the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 4012a (b)(1)(A).

(7) Rural Development will not guarantee loans for new or proposed homes in an SFHA unless the lender obtains a final Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a final Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) that removes the property from the SFHA, or performs an alternatives analysis in compliance with the Agencies National Environmental Policy Act regulation and obtains a FEMA elevation certificate that shows that the lowest floor (including basement) of the dwelling and all related building improvements are built at or above the 100-year flood plain elevation in compliance with the NFIP.

Subpart C—Loan Requirements
3. Amend § 3555.101 by revising paragraphs (b)(6)(vi), (b)(6)(x), (b)(6)(xi), and (d)(3)(vi) to read as follows:
§ 3555.101 Loan purposes.

(b) * * *

(6) * * *

(vi) Reasonable and customary loan discount points to reduce the note interest rate from the rate authorized in § 3555.104(a).

(x) The amount of the loan up-front guarantee fee required by § 3555.107(g).

(xi) The cost of establishing a cushion in the mortgage escrow account for payment of the annual fee required by § 3555.107(h), not to exceed 2 months.

(d) * * *

(3) * * *

(vi) Two options for refinancing can be offered. Lenders may offer a streamlined refinance for existing Section 502 Guaranteed loans, which does not require a new appraisal. Streamlined financing may not be available for existing Section 502 Direct loans. The lender will pay off the principal balance of the existing Section 502 Guaranteed loan. The new loan amount cannot include any accrued interest, closing costs or lender fees. The refinance up-front guarantee fee as established by the Agency can be included in the loan to be refinanced to the extent financing does not exceed the original loan amount. Lenders may offer non-streamlined refinancing for existing Section 502 Guaranteed or Direct loans, which requires a new and current market value appraisal. The new loan may include the principal and interest of the existing Agency loan, reasonable closing costs and lenders fees to extent there is sufficient equity in the property as determined by an appraisal. The appraised value may be exceeded by the amount of up-front guarantee fee financed, if any, when using the non-streamlined option. Documentation, costs, and underwriting requirements of subparts D, E, and F of this part apply to refinances, unless otherwise provided by the Agency.

4. Amend § 3555.103 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 3555.103 Maximum loan amount.

(a) Market value. The market value of the property as determined by an appraisal that meets Agency requirements plus the amount of the up-front loan guarantee fee required by § 3555.107(g), or

5. Amend § 3555.104 by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
§ 3555.104 Loan terms.

(a) * * *

(3) Does not exceed the Fannie Mae rate for 30 year fixed rate conventional loans, as authorized in Exhibit B of subpart A of part 1810 of this Chapter (RD Instruction 440.1, available in any Rural Development office) or online at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/regulations-guidelines and

6. Amend § 3555.105 by: a. Removing paragraph (b)(6)and redesignating paragraph (b)(7) as (b)(6); and b. Revising paragraphs (c)(1) and (d)(3). The revisions read as follows:
§ 3555.105 Combination construction and permanent loans.

(c) * * *

(1) The loan is to finance the construction and purchase of a single family housing residence. Condominiums are ineligible for combination construction and permanent loans.

(d) * * *

(3) Annual fees will begin in the month immediately following loan closing and will not be affected by loan reamortization following the completion of construction. Lenders may fund a lender imposed escrow account for borrower payments of the annual fee in accordance with § 3555.101(b)(6)(xi), as an eligible loan purpose, provided the market value of the property is not exceeded.

7. Amend § 3555.107 by revising paragraph (h) to read as follows:
§ 3555.107 Application for and issuance of the loan guarantee.

(h) Annual fee. The Agency may impose an annual fee of the lender not to exceed 0.5 percent of the average annual scheduled unpaid principal balance of the loan for the life of the loan to allow the Agency to reduce the up-front guarantee in § 3555.107(g). The annual fee will be applicable to purchase and refinance loan transactions. The annual fee may be passed on to the borrower by the lender. The Agency may assess a late charge to the lender if the annual fee is not paid by the due date, and the late charge may not be passed on to the borrower. Further administrative guidance is provided in the handbook.

8. Amend § 3555.108 by revising paragraph (d) introductory text to read as follows:
§ 3555.108 Full faith and credit.

(d) Indemnification. If the Agency determines that a lender did not originate a loan in accordance with the requirements in this part and the Agency pays a claim under the loan guarantee, the Agency may revoke the originating lender's eligibility status in accordance with subpart B and may also require the lender:

Subpart D—Underwriting the Applicant
2. Amend § 3555.151 by revising paragraphs (h)(2) introductory text, (i)(2), and (i)(3)(ii) to read as follows:
§ 3555.151 Eligibility requirements.

(h) * * *

(2) The repayment ratio may exceed the percentage specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section if certain compensating factors exist. The handbook will define when a debt ratio waiver may be granted. The automated underwriting system will take into account any compensating factors in determining whether the variance is appropriate. For manually underwritten loans, the lender must document compensating factors demonstrating that the household has higher repayment ability based on its capacity, willingness and ability to pay mortgage payments in a timely manner. The presence of compensating factors does not strengthen a ratio exception when multiple layers of risk, such as a marginal credit history, are present in the application. Acceptable compensating factors and supporting documentation for a proposed debt ratio waiver will be further defined and clarified in the handbook. Compensating factors include, but are not limited to:

(i) * * *

(2) A loan's acceptance by an Agency approved automated underwriting system eliminates the need for the lender to submit documentation of the credit qualification decision as loan approval requirements will be incorporated in the automated system.

(3) * * *

(ii) A bankruptcy in which debts were discharged within 36 months prior to the date of application by the applicant. A lender may give favorable consideration to applicants who have entered into a bankruptcy debt restructuring plan who have completed 12 months of consecutive payments. The payment performance must have been satisfactory with all required payments made on time, and the Trustee or the Bankruptcy Judge must approve of the new credit.

Subpart E—Underwriting the Property
3. Amend § 3555.208 by revising paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
§ 3555.208 Special requirements for manufactured homes.

(a) * * *

(2) Site development work properly completed to HUD, state and local government standards, as well as the manufacturer's requirements for installation on a permanent foundation.

Subpart F—Servicing Performing Loans
4. Revise § 3555.254 to read as follows:
§ 3555.254 Final payments.

Lenders may release security instruments only after payment for the satisfaction of the full debt, including any recapture, has been received and verified.

5. Amend § 3555.256 by revising paragraph (b)(2)(vi) to read as follows:
§ 3555.256 Transfer and assumptions.

(b) * * *

(2) * * *

(vi) A new guarantee fee, calculated based on the remaining principal balance, must be paid to Rural Development in accordance with § 3555.107(g).

Subpart G—Servicing Non-Performing Loans
6. Amend § 3555.301 by revising paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows:
§ 3555.301 General servicing techniques

(e) Communication. Before an account becomes 60 days past due and if there is no payment arrangement in place, the lender must send a certified letter to the borrower requesting an interview for the purpose of resolving the past due account.

(f) Prior to liquidation. Before an account becomes 60 days past due or before initiating liquidation, the lender must assess the physical condition of the property, determine whether it is occupied, and take necessary steps to protect the property.

7. In § 3555.302, revise the introductory text to read as follows:
§ 3555.302 Protective advances.

Lenders may pay the following pre-liquidation expenses necessary to protect the security property and charge the cost against the borrower's account.

8. Amend § 3555.303 by: a. Revising paragraphs (b)(3) introductory text and (b)(3)((i) and (iii); b. Adding paragraph (b)(3)(v); and c. Revising paragraph (c).

The revisions and addition read as follows:

§ 3555.303 Traditional servicing options.

(b) * * *

(3) Loan modification plan. A loan modification is a permanent change in one or more of the terms of a loan that results in a payment the borrower can afford and allows the loan to be brought current. A loan modification must be a written agreement.

(i) Loan modifications must be a fixed interest rate and cannot exceed the interest rate of the loan note guarantee issued.

(iii) If necessary to demonstrate repayment ability, the loan term after reamortization may be extended for up to 30 years from the date of the loan modification.

(v) The borrower is not required to complete a trial payment plan prior to making the scheduled payments amended by the traditional loan servicing loan modification.

(c) Terms of loan note guarantee. Use of traditional servicing options does not change the terms of the loan note guarantee except when the traditional servicing option meets the requirements of § 3555.303(b)(3)(iv). The loan guarantee will apply to loan terms extending beyond the 30 year loan term from the date of origination when a loan modification meets the criteria set forth in § 3555.303(b)(3)(iv).

8. Amend § 3555.304 by revising paragraphs (c) introductory text and (c)(1) and (2) to read as follows:
§ 3555.304 Special servicing options.

(c) Extended-term loan modification. The Lender may modify the loan by reducing the interest rate to a level at or below the maximum allowable interest rate and extending the repayment term up to a maximum of 40 years from the date of loan modification. The loan guarantee will apply to loan terms extending beyond the 30 year loan term from the date of origination when a loan modification meets the criteria set forth in this section.

(1) The interest rate must be fixed. The interest rate cannot exceed the interest rate of the loan note guarantee issued. When reducing the interest rate, the maximum rate is subject to paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(2) The Agency may establish the maximum allowable interest rate by publishing a notice of a change in interest rate. A notice of change in interest rate will be published as authorized in Exhibit B of subpart A of part 1810 of this chapter (RD Instruction 440.1, available in any Rural Development office) or online at http://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/regulations-guidelines/instructions. If the maximum allowable interest rate has not been so established, it shall be 50 basis points greater than the most recent Freddie Mac Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (U.S. average) rounded to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125%), as of the date the loan modification is approved.

9. Amend § 3555.306 by revising paragraphs (c) and (f)(1) to read as follows:
§ 3555.306 Liquidation.

(c) Unless State law imposes other requirements, the lender may reinstate an accelerated account if the borrower pays, or makes acceptable arrangements to pay, all past-due amounts, any protective advances, and any foreclosure-related costs incurred by the lender.

(f) * * *

(1) The lender must prepare and maintain a disposition plan on all acquired properties. The lender will submit the property disposition plan and any subsequent changes for Agency concurrence in a timely manner as specified by the Agency. The lender may obtain a waiver of the concurrence requirement as provided for in § 3555.301(h). The plan will include the proposed method for sale of the property, the estimated value based on an appraisal, minimum sale price, itemized estimated costs of the sale, and any other information that could impact the amount of loss on the loan.

10. Amend § 3555.307 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 3555.307 Assistance in natural disasters.

(c) Special relief measures. The servicer must evaluate on an individual case-by-case basis a mortgage that is (or becomes) seriously delinquent as the result of the borrower's incurring extraordinary damages or expenses related to the natural disaster. The servicer should document its individual mortgage file regarding all servicing actions taken during this time period. The lender must consider all special relief alternatives for disaster assistance available to the borrower prior to suspending collection and foreclosure activities. The suspension of servicing actions will expire 90 days from the declaration date of the natural disaster, unless otherwise extended by the Agency.

Dated: January 4, 2016. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-01872 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Part 212 [USCBP-2016-0003; CBP Dec. 16-03] RIN 1651-AB09 Elimination of Nonimmigrant Visa Exemption for Certain Caribbean Residents Coming to the United States as H-2A Agricultural Workers AGENCY:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION:

Interim final rule; solicitation of comments.

SUMMARY:

This interim final rule revises Department of Homeland Security regulations to eliminate the nonimmigrant visa exemption for certain Caribbean residents seeking to come to the United States as H-2A agricultural workers and the spouses or children who accompany or follow these workers to the United States. As a result, these nonimmigrants will be required to have both a valid passport and visa. The Department of State is revising its parallel regulations.

DATES:

Effective Date: The effective date of the rule is February 19, 2016.

Comment Date: Comments must be received by April 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Please submit comments, identified by docket number, by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments via docket number USCBP-2016-0003.

Mail: Border Security Regulations Branch, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Comments submitted will be available for public inspection in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and 19 CFR 103.11(b) on normal business days between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Border Security Regulations Branch, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC. Arrangements to inspect submitted comments should be made in advance by calling Mr. Joseph Clark at (202) 325-0118.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rafael Henry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, (202) 344-3251, or via email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on all aspects of this interim final rule. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also invites comments on the economic, environmental, or federalism effects of this rule. We urge commenters to reference a specific portion of the rule, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include data, information, or authorities that support such recommended change.

II. Background

In general, nonimmigrant aliens are required to present an unexpired passport and a valid unexpired visa in order to be admitted to the United States. See section 212(a)(7)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7)(B)(i)). However, either or both of these requirements may be waived by the Secretary of Homeland Security 1 and the Secretary of State, acting jointly, in specified situations, as provided in section 212(d)(4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(4)). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations list those classes of persons that are not required to present a visa (or a passport, in some cases). See 8 CFR 212.1.

1 Pursuant to sections 102(a), 441, 1512(d) and 1517 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, 6 U.S.C. 112(a), 251, 552(d), 557, and 8 CFR 2.1, the authorities of the Attorney General, as described in section 212 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182), were transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the reference to the Attorney General in the statute is deemed to refer to the Secretary.

The H-2A nonimmigrant classification applies to an alien seeking to enter the United States to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature in the United States. Generally, H-2A agricultural workers are required to possess and present both a passport and a valid unexpired H-2A visa when entering the United States. Certain residents of the Caribbean, however, are exempted by regulation from having to possess and present a valid unexpired H-2A visa, and only must possess and present a valid unexpired passport to be admitted to the United States as a temporary agricultural worker.

Specifically, a visa is currently not required for H-2A agricultural workers who are British, French, or Netherlands nationals, or nationals of Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, or Trinidad and Tobago, who have their residence in British, French, or Netherlands territory located in the adjacent islands of the Caribbean area, or in Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, or Trinidad and Tobago. 8 CFR 212.1(b)(1)(i). Additionally, a visa is currently not required for the spouse or child accompanying or following to join such an H-2A agricultural worker. 8 CFR 212.1(b)(1)(iii). The current regulation also provides that a visa is not required for the beneficiary of a valid, unexpired indefinite certification granted by the Department of Labor (DOL) for employment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, if the beneficiary is proceeding to those islands for such purpose and is a British, French, or Netherlands national, or national of Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, or Trinidad and Tobago, who has his or her residence in British, French, or Netherlands territory located in the adjacent islands of the Caribbean area, or in Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, or Trinidad and Tobago. The regulation also provides that a visa is not required for the spouse or child accompanying or following to join such a beneficiary. 8 CFR 212.1(b)(1)(ii)-(iii). Department of State (State) regulations also describe the visa exemption for these classes of Caribbean residents. See 22 CFR 41.2(e). However, as discussed below, the justification for providing this visa exemption for such beneficiaries and their spouses and children is now obsolete; further, this visa exemption creates a security loophole that could be exploited by persons who pose a danger to the United States.

The visa exemption for agricultural workers from the specified Caribbean countries dates back more than 70 years and was created primarily to address U.S. labor shortages during World War II by expeditiously providing a source of agricultural workers from the British Caribbean to meet the needs of agricultural employers in the southeastern United States. Given the passage of time, this basis for the exemption no longer justifies it.

Since H-2A agricultural workers from the specified Caribbean countries are exempt from the visa requirement, they do not undergo the same visa issuance process as H-2A applicants from other countries. The absence of a visa requirement for these H-2A workers means that these individuals do not undergo a face-to-face consular interview, the adjudication of the applicants eligibility and qualification for the intended position, screening for potential fraudulent employment, and the associated fingerprint and security checks prior to seeking admission at a U.S. port of entry. Further, in the absence of the visa requirement, there is significantly less advance opportunity for the U.S. Government to determine whether other requirements for H-2A classification, such as the bar to collection of prohibited fees from prospective H-2 workers, have been satisfied.

DHS, in conjunction with the Department of State (“State”), has determined that the nonimmigrant visa exemption for these classes of Caribbean residents, coming to the United States as H-2A agricultural workers or as the spouses or children accompanying or following these workers, is outdated and incongruent with the visa requirement for other H-2A agricultural workers from other countries. DHS and State believe that eliminating the visa exemption furthers the national security interests of the United States.

The application of the general visa requirement to the class of Caribbean agricultural workers described above will ensure that these applicants for admission, like other H-2A agricultural workers, are sufficiently screened via State's visa issuance process prior to arrival in the United States. In addition, the visa requirement will ensure that these persons possess evidence of the intended purpose of their stay in the United States upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry. This will lessen the possibility that persons who pose security risks to the United States and other potential immigration violators may improperly gain admission to the United States.

Furthermore, extending the visa requirement to these Caribbean H-2A agricultural workers will allow U.S. Government officials to interview prospective H-2A workers and will help to better ensure that such workers are protected from certain employment and recruitment-based abuses, including, but not limited to, the imposition of fees prohibited under 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5)(xi). In addition, the visa requirement will help ensure that agricultural workers have been informed, and are aware of, their rights and responsibilities before departing from their home countries to engage in H-2A agricultural work. See 8 U.S.C. 1375b.

As a result of the termination of the relevant worker program in the U.S. Virgin Islands, DOL no longer grants indefinite certifications for employment in the U.S. Virgin Islands. See section 3 of the Virgin Islands Nonimmigrant Alien Adjustment Act of 1982, Public Law 97-271, 96 Stat. 1157, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1255 note). Therefore, the visa exemption for certain Caribbean residents for the beneficiary of a valid, unexpired indefinite certification granted by DOL for employment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, if the beneficiary was proceeding to those islands for such purpose, or for the spouse or child accompanying or following to join such a beneficiary, set forth in 8 CFR 212.1(b)(1)(ii)-(iii), is now obsolete.

Accordingly, DHS, in conjunction with State, is eliminating the visa exemption for these Caribbean H-2A agricultural workers and the spouses or children accompanying or following these workers. 8 CFR 212.1(b)(1). This means that, in addition to a valid passport, these nonimmigrant aliens are now required to obtain a nonimmigrant visa prior to traveling to the United States. In order to obtain a visa, these nonimmigrant aliens will have to submit a visa application to and appear for an interview at the applicable U.S. embassy 2 or consulate, and undergo Department of State's visa screening process. Additionally, DHS, in conjunction with State, is eliminating the obsolete visa exemption for the beneficiaries of DOL indefinite certifications for employment in the U.S. Virgin Islands and their spouses and children. State is publishing a parallel amendment to 22 CFR 41.2(e) in the Federal Register.

2 See http://www.usembassy.gov/.

As a result of the elimination of 8 CFR 212.1(b)(1), current 8 CFR 212.1(b)(2) is being redesignated as 8 CFR 212.1(b). DHS is also making a technical correction updating the language in current 8 CFR 212.1(b)(2)(ii)(C) referring to “a current Certificate of Good Conduct issued by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Department” to refer to “a current certificate issued by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force” in new 8 CFR 212.1(b)(2)(iii).

III. Statutory and Regulatory Requirements A. Administrative Procedure Act

The implementation of this rule as an interim final rule, with provisions for post-promulgation public comments, is based on the good cause exception found in section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B)). There is reasonable concern that publication of the rule as a proposed rule, which would permit continuation of the current visa exemption, could lead to an increase in applications for admissions in bad faith by persons who would otherwise have been denied visas and are seeking to avoid the visa requirement and consular screening process during the period between the publication of a proposed and a final rule. Accordingly, DHS finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to publish this rule with prior notice and comment period. Under the good cause exception, this rule is exempt from the notice and comment and delayed effective date requirements of the APA.

In addition, DHS is of the opinion that eliminating the visa exemption and requiring a visa for Caribbean H-2A agricultural workers, and the spouses or children accompanying or following these workers, is a foreign affairs function of the U.S. Government under section 553(a) of the APA (5 U.S.C. 553(a)). As this rule implements this function, DHS is of the opinion that this rule is also exempt from the notice and comment and 30-day delayed effective date requirements of the APA by virtue of the foreign affairs exception in 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1). DHS is nevertheless providing the opportunity for the public to provide comments.

B. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. DHS is of the opinion this rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Orders 13563 and 12866, due to the foreign affairs exception described above. However, DHS has nevertheless reviewed the interim final rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in those Executive Orders.

Currently, British, French, and Netherlands nationals and nationals of Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, who have their residence in British, French, or Netherlands territory located in the adjacent islands of the Caribbean area or in Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, or Trinidad and Tobago, are not required to obtain a visa before traveling to the United States as H-2A agricultural workers. This rule would require these prospective H-2A agricultural workers to obtain a visa prior to travel to the United States. Any spouses or children of these workers will also now have to obtain a visa before being brought to the United States. Since more than 99 percent of such workers 3 came from Jamaica, our analysis will focus on that country. This rule will also eliminate the visa exemption for workers in the U.S. Virgin Islands pursuant to an unexpired indefinite certification granted by DOL. Because these certifications have been obsolete for many years,4 eliminating them will have no effect on the economy; hence, we will exclude this provision for the remainder of the analysis.

3 CBP's BorderStat Database (internal database), accessed November 2, 2015.

4See section 3 of the Virgin Islands Nonimmigrant Alien Adjustment Act of 1982, Pub. L. 97-271, 96 Stat. 1157, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1255 note).

Data on the number of visa applications Jamaican travelers would need to obtain as a result of this rule is not available. A USCIS database tracks the number of petitions for H-2A workers from Jamaica, but does not include the spouses or children who would now also need visas to travel to the United States. A CBP database tracks the number of Jamaican nationals arriving under the H-2A program, but counts multiple arrivals by a single person as separate arrivals. For the purposes of this analysis, we use the number of petitions as our primary estimate of the number of visas that would be needed under this rule. We use the number of total travelers from Jamaica under the H-2A program to illustrate the upper bound of costs that could result from this rule.

Employers petitioned on behalf of an annual average of 165 workers from Jamaica under this program from FY 2011-2013,5 and an annual average of 4,010 Jamaicans arrived during that time period,6 which includes arrivals by H-2A agricultural workers as well as their spouses and children. This number also includes multiple arrivals in the same year by the same individuals. Because the number of unique individuals arriving from Jamaica under the H-2A program is not available, we calculate costs based on a range of 165 (our primary estimate) to 4,010 prospective visa applicants. The current nonimmigrant visa application processing fee, also called the Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fee, is $190. We assume this fee will be paid by the employer for the workers and by the employees for their spouses and children. We estimate that the imposition of the fee will cost workers or employers in aggregate between $31,350 (our primary estimate) and $761,900 per year.

5 Communication with USCIS on August 7, 2014.

6 CBP's BorderStat Database (internal database), accessed August 4, 2014.

Under this rule, workers would have to apply for a visa using Form DS-160 and undergo an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate prior to traveling to the United States. According to the Paperwork Reduction Act estimate for Form DS-160, the Department of State estimates that the visa application takes 1.25 hours to complete. The interview itself typically lasts approximately 5-10 minutes; however, when accounting for potential wait time, the interview process may take up to 2 hours. Since the only U.S. embassy in Jamaica is in Kingston, visa applicants may have to travel up to 3.5 hours each way to appear for an interview, depending on their location. We therefore assume that filling out the D-160, traveling to and from the embassy for the visa interview, and the visa interview itself will require a total of 10.25 hours of the applicant's time. To the extent the actual time burden to travel to and from the interview is less than we estimated, costs would be lower. Using the average Jamaican wage rate of $3.25/hour 7 and a range of 165 to 4,010 workers per year, we estimate the cost of the time to Jamaican nationals in aggregate as a result of this rule to be between $5,497 (our primary estimate) and $133,583 per year. Combining this with the cost of the visa application fee, we estimate that the total annual cost of this rule is between $36,847 and $895,483.

7 Derived from International Labor Association's LABORSTA Internet Database. Available at http://laborsta.ilo.org/STP/guest. Accessed August 5, 2014. Our weekly wage estimate (14,826 Jamaican Dollars per week) is from the “Wages, by economic activity” report for all sectors in 2008. Our weekly hours worked estimate (40.7 hours per week) is from the “Hours of work, by economic activity” report for all sectors in 2008. We converted the wage rate to U.S. dollars using the currency converter available at http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter on August 5, 2014. 14,826 Jamaican Dollars divided by 40.7 hours per week, multiplied by 0.008913 Jamaican dollars per U.S. dollar = $3.25 U.S. dollars per hour.

We are unable to quantify the benefits of this rule; therefore we discuss the benefits qualitatively. Requiring these prospective H-2A agricultural workers to obtain visas will ensure that they are properly screened prior to arrival in the United States. This will lessen the possibility that a person who poses a security risk to the United States and other potential immigration violators may improperly gain admission to the United States. DHS has determined that visitors from the countries affected by this rule are not a lower security risk than those coming from other countries; therefore, CBP believes that they should be subject to the same screening prior to arriving at their port of entry. Also, prescreening and appearing before consular officers will provide greater opportunities to ensure compliance with DHS and DOL H-2A rules, including those regulatory provisions prohibiting charging fees to workers in connection with or as a condition of their employment or recruitment.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996, requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of a proposed rule on small entities when the agency is required to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking. A small entity may be a small business (defined as any independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act); a small not-for-profit organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people). Because this interim final rule is exempt from notice and comment rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 212

Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Immigration, Passports and visas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Amendments to Regulations

Part 212 of title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as set forth below:

PART 212—DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS: NONIMMIGRANT; WAIVERS; ADMISSION OF CERTAIN INADMISSIBLE ALIENS; PAROLE 1. The general authority citation for part 212 and the sectional authority citation for § 212.1(q) continue to read as follows: Authority:

8 U.S.C. 1101 and note, 1102, 1103, 1182 and note, 1184, 1187, 1223, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1255, 1359; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of Public Law 108-458); 8 CFR part 2.

Section 212.1(q) also issued under section 702, Public Law 110-229, 122 Stat. 754, 854.

2. In § 212.1, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 212.1 Documentary requirements for nonimmigrants.

(b) Nationals of the British Virgin Islands. A visa is not required of a national of the British Virgin Islands who has his or her residence in the British Virgin Islands, if:

(1) The alien is seeking admission solely to visit the Virgin Islands of the United States; or

(2) At the time of embarking on an aircraft at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, the alien meets each of the following requirements:

(i) The alien is traveling to any other part of the United States by aircraft as a nonimmigrant visitor for business or pleasure (as described in section 101(a)(15)(B) of the Act);

(ii) The alien satisfies the examining U.S. immigration officer at the port-of-entry that he or she is clearly and beyond doubt entitled to admission in all other respects; and

(iii) The alien presents a current certificate issued by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force indicating that he or she has no criminal record.

Date: January 19, 2016. Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2016-02488 Filed 2-4-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Community Development Financial Institutions Fund 12 CFR Part 1807 RIN 1559-AA00 Capital Magnet Fund AGENCY:

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, Department of the Treasury.

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for public comment.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Treasury is issuing an interim rule implementing the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), administered by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). This interim rule incorporates updates to the definitions, requirements and parameters for CMF implementation and administration. In addition, sections of the CMF interim rule regarding certain definitions and project level requirements are revised in order to facilitate alignment with other federal housing programs and ease of administration. These revisions are modeled after the credit requirements for Low Income Housing Credits (LIHTCs) under section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and the program requirements of the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME Program) authorized under Title II of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, as amended, and the HOME Program final rule published on July 24, 2013.

This interim rule also reflects requirements set forth in a final rule, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, adopted by the Department of the Treasury on December 19, 2014 (hereafter referred to as the Uniform Administrative Requirements). The Uniform Administrative Requirements constitute a government-wide framework for grants management codified by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), combining several OMB grants management circulars aimed at reducing the administrative burden for Recipients, and reducing the risk of waste, fraud and abuse of Federal financial assistance. The Uniform Administrative Requirements establish financial, administrative, procurement, and program management standards with which Federal award-making programs, including those administered by the CDFI Fund, and Recipients must comply. Accordingly, this interim rule includes revisions necessary to implement the Uniform Administrative Requirements, as well as to make certain technical corrections and certain programmatic updates, as well as provide clarifying language to existing program requirements.

DATES:

Effective date: February 8, 2016. All comments must be written and must be received in the offices of the CDFI Fund on or before April 8, 2016. The compliance date requirements for the collection of information in § 1807.902 is stayed indefinitely, pending Office of Management and Budget approval and assignment of an OMB control number.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments concerning this interim rule via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (please follow the instructions for submitting comments). All submissions must include the agency name and Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Information regarding the CDFI Fund and its programs may be obtained through the CDFI Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Marcia Sigal, CMF Program Manager, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) was established through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (the Act), Public Law 110-289, section 1131, as a trust fund, the appropriation to which was used to carry out a competitive grant program administered by the CDFI Fund. The mission of the CDFI Fund is to increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations and in distressed communities in the United States. Its long term vision is an America in which all people have access to affordable credit, capital and financial services.

The Act requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to set aside an amount equal to 4.2 basis points for each dollar of their unpaid principal balances of total new business purchases to be allocated to the Housing Trust Fund (administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development) and the Capital Magnet Fund. The Act also provides the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) with the authority to temporarily suspend these allocations upon certain findings. On November 13, 2008, the Director of the FHFA temporarily suspended the allocation of funds. On December 11, 2014, the Director of the FHFA terminated the temporary suspension of those allocations, directing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin setting aside and allocating funds to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. Accordingly, the CDFI Fund is promulgating this revised interim rule in anticipation of future Capital Magnet Fund application rounds.

Through the CMF, the CDFI Fund is authorized to make financial assistance grants to Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Nonprofit Organizations (if one of their principal purposes is the development or management of affordable housing). CMF Awards must be used to attract private financing for and increase investment in: (i) The Development, Preservation, Rehabilitation, and Purchase of Affordable Housing for primarily Extremely Low-, Very Low-, and Low-Income Families; and (ii) Economic Development Activities which, In Conjunction With Affordable Housing Activities will implement a Concerted Strategy to stabilize or revitalize a Low-Income Area or Underserved Rural Area.

All capitalized terms herein are defined in the definitions section of the interim rule, as set forth in 12 CFR 1807.104.

II. Comments on the December 3, 2010, Interim Rule

The comment period for the December 3, 2010, Interim Rule ended on February 1, 2011. The CDFI Fund received one written comment. The commenter asserted that the December 3, 2010, Interim Rule did not allow market-based Section 8 vouchers to be used to satisfy CMF affordability requirements and that the interim rule should make clear that, in the event a tenant or a unit in a Multi-family housing project receives a Federal or State rental subsidy, the maximum rent that can be charged is the amount allowable under such program. The commenter suggested that the interim rule should provide for a rent floor of the project's initial rents, in the event median incomes decrease. The commenter also suggested that the rent limitation should be adjusted by the number of bedrooms in the unit.

In this revised interim rule (at 12 CFR 1807.401(a) and (e)), the CDFI Fund incorporates the commenter's suggestions regarding Federal or State rental subsidy and the creation of a rent floor for projects. The CDFI Fund also adopts the commenter's suggestion that rent limitations be adjusted by the number of bedrooms in the unit (12 CFR 1807.401(a)).

III. Summary of Changes

Substantive revisions to the interim rule (meaning, revisions other than the insertion of new language that clarifies existing program requirements) fall generally into three categories: (i) Adoption of policy priorities, programmatic changes/clarifications, and technical corrections; (ii) alignment with the Uniform Administrative Requirements; and (iii) alignment with HOME Program requirements and with requirements to qualify for LIHTCs.

Recent efforts supported by the White House Rental Housing Policy Working Group, which established joint working groups comprised of staff from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have highlighted the need for alignment amongst federally subsidized affordable housing program requirements. The CDFI Fund has determined that Recipients' use of CMF Awards better aligns with LIHTCs (as opposed to benefits under the HOME Program) in several key respects, specifically with regard to Project-level requirements. Thus, this interim rule incorporates some requirements to qualify for LIHTCs and removes certain requirements that, in the December 10, 2010, CMF Program interim rule, were modeled after the HOME Program.

A. Section 1807.101, Summary: “Community Service Facilities” has been stricken as a stand-alone activity; instead, Community Service Facilities is embedded in the definition of Economic Development Activities. Per the Uniform Administrative Requirements, the use of the word “Awardee” is replaced with “Recipient,” and any reference to a CMF grant is replaced with “CMF Award” as defined in the definitions section, 12 CFR 1807.104.

B. Section 1807.102, Relationship to other CDFI Programs: The requirement for a Certified CDFI to be an operating entity for three years prior to the application deadline has been deleted; instead, this subsection establishes that restrictions for using CMF Awards in conjunction with other CDFI Program awards will be set forth in the applicable notices of funds, guarantee, or allocation availability.

C. Section 1807.104, Definitions: As noted above, the defined term “Awardee” is deleted and replaced with the new defined term “Recipient.” The term “Applicant” is now defined. The term “CMF Award” is now defined. The term “Development” is revised to clarify that any combination of the listed activities that result in Affordable Housing is “Development.” The term “Direct Administrative Expenses” is now defined. The definition of the term “Economic Development Activity” is revised by striking “purchase”; the term “acquisition” is used instead. The term “Effective Date” is now defined. “Eligible Income” is revised to provide adjustments for Family size. “Eligible Project Costs” is revised to strike “operations” as an eligible use of CMF Awards. “Extremely Low-Income” is revised to align with income limits published by HUD, including adjustments for Family size in the case of Homeownership. The defined term “Family” or “Families” is revised by removing the income categories to describe the household. The defined term “Homeownership” is updated and restructured based on HOME Program regulations. The defined term “Housing” is also revised to reflect HOME Program regulation updates. The defined term “Housing” is used in several places throughout the regulations to signify the intent of the defined term. Some of the structures and facilities excluded from the definition of Housing may meet the definition of Community Service Facilities. The term “In Conjunction With Affordable Housing Activities” has been modified in order to be consistent with standards in other CDFI Fund Programs that fund projects and activities based on proximity to intended beneficiaries and/or assessment of access to services for individuals intended to benefit from such programs (e.g., Healthy Foods Financing Initiative Financial Assistance under the CDFI Program). The term “Investment Period” is defined in § 1807.104. The term “Leveraged Costs” is revised to clarify that such costs are limited to Affordable Housing Activities and Economic Development Activities that exceed the dollar amount of the CMF Award. “Loan Guarantee” is revised to clarify that a loan that is guaranteed with the CMF Award must be used for Affordable Housing Activities and/or Economic Development Activities. “Loan Loss Reserves” is revised to clarify that cash reserves set aside to cover losses must be for Affordable Housing Activities and/or Economic Development Activities. The term “Low-Income” is revised to align with income limits published by HUD, including adjustments for Family size in the case of Homeownership. In the case of rental Housing, “Low-Income” is revised to allow for circumstances in which the qualifying Family occupies a unit that has a Federal or State rental subsidy. The term “Non-Metropolitan Area” is revised to align with and accommodate the OMB definition, which is periodically updated. The term “Non-Regulated CDFI” is deleted because it is not used in the interim rule. The term “Operations” is deleted in § 1807.104 since it is no longer an eligible activity in § 1807.301; a new term “Direct Administrative Expenses” is defined in § 1807.104. A new term, “Payment” is defined to describe the transmission of CMF Award dollars from the CDFI Fund to the Recipient. “Preservation” is revised to specify that refinancing must extend the existing affordability and use restrictions on the property by a minimum of 10 years or as otherwise specified in the Assistance Agreement. “Program Income” is defined to align with the Uniform Administrative Requirements. “Project” is defined to mean the Affordable Housing Activity and/or Economic Development Activity that is financed with a CMF Award. The term “Purchase” is revised to clarify that the purchasing Family and Single-family housing must meet the qualifications set forth in subparts D and E. “Underserved Rural Area” is restructured and revised to serve intended populations per the statute and allow the CDFI Fund to set forth an alternative definition of “Underserved Rural Area” for any given application round in the applicable NOFA and/or Assistance Agreement. “Uniform Administrative Requirements” is defined in § 1807.104 to reflect the Department of the Treasury's codification of the Office of Management and Budget's government-wide framework for grants management. The definition of the term “Very Low-Income” is revised to align with income limits published by HUD, including adjustments for Family size in the case of Homeownership.

D. Section 1807.107, Applicability of regulations for CMF awards: Section 1807.107 was added to address the applicability of this rule to the FY 2010 CMF application round and subsequent application rounds. The CDFI Fund has determined that this rule applies only to those CMF awards made pursuant to Notices of Funds Availability (NOFAs) published after the effective date of this interim rule, except for § 1807.902(e)(1)(i) regarding audited financial statements of Nonprofit Organization Recipients. As indicated at 2 CFR 200.110, the Uniform Administrative Requirements, subpart F—Audit Requirements applies to audits of Nonprofits of fiscal years beginning on or after December 26, 2014.

E. Section 1807.200, Applicant eligibility: In § 1807.200(a)(1), the eligibility requirement that a certifiable CDFI can apply is deleted because the CDFI Fund has determined that most Applicants can meet the program's eligibility requirements by being either a Certified CDFI or a Nonprofit Organization. The eligibility requirements for a Nonprofit Organization are revised in § 1807.200(a)(2)(iii) to no longer allow an entity to demonstrate its principal purpose of development or management of affordable housing through its staffing. Section 1807.200(a)(2)(iii) also states that the applicable Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) will indicate the percentage of a Nonprofit Organization Applicant's assets that must be dedicated to the development or management of affordable housing. Section 1807.200(b) is also revised to reflect these eligibility modifications.

F. Subpart C, Use of Funds/Eligible activities: Section 1807.300 is revised to clarify that Recipients must use their CMF Awards for the financing-related eligible activities set forth in § 1807.301 to attract private capital and increase investment in those activities in § 1807.300(a) and (b). Revisions to § 1807.300(b) reinforce the requirement that when a Recipient undertakes Economic Development Activities In Conjunction With Affordable Housing Activities, the Recipient must track and report on such Affordable Housing Activities if it was financed with a CMF Award. Sections 1807.300 and 1807.301 are revised by deleting “Community Service Facilities” as a stand-alone eligible activity; instead, “Community Service Facilities” is embedded in the definition of Economic Development Activities. As such, this term is deleted as a technical correction throughout the interim rule, when appropriate. Sections 1807.301 and 1807.302 are revised to eliminate “operations” as an eligible activity. The content of former § 1807.302(c) is now located in § 1807.302(b); the content of § 1807.302(d) is now located in § 1807.302(c). New § 1807.302(d) and (e) are added to clarify certain tracking and repayment requirements for Recipients that use CMF Award for Loan Guarantees or Loan Loss Reserves. Section 1807.302(f) states that Recipients may not use more than five (5) percent of its CMF Award for Direct Administrative Expenses. Section 1807.303 is added to address Program Income requirements.

G. Subpart D, Qualification as Affordable Housing: Section 1807.400 is revised to indicate that the CDFI Fund may establish greater commitments for deeper income targeting attributable to Eligible Project Costs in the applicable NOFA and/or Assistance Agreement. Section 1807.401 is revised in order to make general program clarifications and establish certain program requirements, many of which align with the requirements of the LIHTC Program and the HOME Program. For example, language was added to § 1807.401 to allow the CDFI Fund to set forth in the applicable NOFA requirements for successful applicants to serve targeted incomes that exceed the requirements of § 1807.401. The rent limitation in § 1807.401(a) is revised to align with requirements to qualify for LIHTCs and to account for rental subsidies in each of the income categories. Section 1807.401(c) and (e) are revised to align with requirements to qualify for LIHTCs. Section 1807.401(f) is revised to align with the HOME Program regulations' elimination of the U.S. Census long form for annual income determinations. Thus, the content of the former § 1807.401(f)(2)(i) is deleted and the content of the former § 1807.401(f)(2)(ii) is now located in § 1807.401(f)(2)(i). Similarly, the content of the former § 1807.401(f)(2)(iii) has moved up and is now located in § 1807.401(f)(2)(ii). Section 1807.401(g)(2) is revised to clarify rent restrictions when rent is subject to IRC sections 42(g)(2) and 42(h)(6). Section 1807.401(g)(3) is revised to clarify that any replacement unit must meet the affordability qualifications for the income category of the unit that is being replaced. Section 1807.402(a) and (b) are revised by replacing “acquisition” with “Purchase” to reflect the use of the new defined term. Section 1807.402(a)(5) is revised to clarify that, in the event of resale of CMF-financed Single-family housing to a non-qualifying family before the 10-year affordability period ends, the Recipient must use an equivalent amount of the CMF Award used for the applicable Affordable Housing Activity, whether recouped or not, to finance additional Affordable Housing Activities for a qualifying Family in the same income category for Homeownership.

H. Subpart E, Leveraging and Commitment Requirement: Section 1807.500(b) is revised to include the Assistance Agreement as a source for the required percentage of Leveraged Costs that must be funded by non-governmental sources. Section 1807.500(a)(1) is deleted because “operations” is no longer an eligible activity and defined term. Accordingly, the former § 1807.500(a)(2) is now § 1807.500(b)(2) and former § 1807.500(a)(3) is now § 1807.500(b)(2)(ii). Section 1807.500(b)(2)(iii) was added to address eligible Leveraged Costs for Economic Development Activities. The content of former § 1807.500(b) is deleted. Section 1807.501(a) is revised and section 1807.501(b) is added to account for the eligible activity “Purchase” to a qualifying Family, and § 1807.501(b)(3) is added to provide more accountability regarding Project Completion. Section 1807.501(c) and (d) are added to align with the Uniform Administrative Requirements regarding Payments. Section 1807.503 is revised to include property standards necessary to ensure that CMF Awards are invested in structures and units that are sound, decent, safe and sanitary; such standards are largely adopted from the HOME Program and the requirements to qualify for LIHTCs. Section 1807.503(a)(4) is added to address Project Completion in the case of Preservation. The content of the former § 1807.503(b)(2) is now located in § 1807.503(b)(2)(i) and a new § 1807.503(b)(2)(ii) is added to address disaster mitigation in regards to Project Completion. Section 1807.503(b)(2)(iii) is added to address lead-based paint. The content of former § 1807.503(b)(3) is now moved to § 1807.503(b)(4) and incorporates recent HOME Program updates. Thus, § 1807.503(b)(3) contains new content regarding Rehabilitation standards. The content of former § 1807.503(c) is moved to § 1807.503(a)(3).

I. Subpart F, Tracking Requirements: Section 1807.601 is renamed and revised to reflect that the Uniform Administrative Requirements apply to all CMF Awards and sets forth the CDFI Fund's policy that indirect costs are not allowed. Section 1807.602 also establishes the circumstances in which a CMF Award loses its so-called “Federal character.” Section 1807.602 is also revised to clarify that CMF Awards are Federal financial assistance for purposes of the applicability of Federal civil rights laws.

J. Subpart H, Evaluation and Selection of Applications: In § 1807.800(c)(3) “blight” is deleted as an ambiguous term.

K. Subpart I, Terms and Conditions of Assistance: Section 1807.900(c) is revised to clarify statutory requirements regarding notice and hearing. To align with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, § 1807.901 “Disbursement of funds” is renamed “Payment of funds” to reflect the transmission of CMF Award dollars from the CDFI Fund to the Recipient as a “Payment.” Section 1807.902(d) and (e) are revised to accommodate the audit requirements of the Uniform Administrative Requirements. Pursuant to revised § 1807.902(e)(1), Nonprofit Organizations that are not required to have their financial statements audited pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Requirements may still be subject to additional audit requirements, which will be set forth in the applicable NOFA and Assistance Agreement. In addition, § 1807.902(e)(2), “Performance Goal Reporting,” is renamed as “Annual Report” and revised to clarify and require the submission of performance and financial reporting in the form of an annual report, as further specified in the Assistance Agreement. Section 1807.902(e)(3) is added to clarify the compliance requirements for Insured CDFIs, Depository Institution Holding Companies, and State-Insured Credit Unions. Section 1807.902(e)(4) is added to convey that any reports under § 1807.902 may be subject to public inspection per the Freedom of Information Act. Section 1807.903 is revised to specify that in addition to all other Federal, state, and local laws, Recipients shall also comply with all applicable Federal environmental requirements.

IV. Rulemaking Analysis A. Executive Order (E.O.) 12866

It has been determined that this interim rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, a regulatory impact assessment is not required.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C 553), or any other law, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The collections of information contained in this interim rule will be reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and assigned the applicable, approved OMB Control Numbers associated with the CDFI Fund under 1559-XXXX. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. This document restates the collections of information without substantive change.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

This interim rule has been reviewed in accordance with the CDFI Fund's environmental quality regulations (12 CFR part 1815), promulgated pursuant to the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 (NEPA), which requires that the CDFI Fund adequately consider the cumulative impact proposed activities have upon the human environment. It is the determination of the CDFI Fund that the interim rule does not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, in accordance with the NEPA and the CDFI Fund's environmental quality regulations (12 CFR part 1815), neither an Environmental Assessment nor an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

E. Administrative Procedure Act

Because the revisions to this interim rule relate to loans and grants, notice and public procedure and a delayed effective date are not required pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2).

F. Comment

Public comment is solicited on all aspects of this interim rule. The CDFI Fund will consider all comments made on the substance of this interim rule, but it does not intend to hold hearings.

G. Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Number

Capital Magnet Fund—21.011.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1807

Community development, Grant programs—housing and community development, Reporting and record keeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 12 CFR part 1807 is revised to read as follows: PART 1807—CAPITAL MAGNET FUND Subpart A—General Provisions Sec. 1807.100 Purpose. 1807.101 Summary. 1807.102 Relationship to other CDFI Fund programs. 1807.103 Recipient not instrumentality. 1807.104 Definitions. 1807.105 Waiver authority. 1807.106 OMB control number. 1807.107 Applicability of regulations for CMF Awards. Subpart B—Eligibility 1807.200 Applicant eligibility. Subpart C—Eligible Purposes; Eligible Activities; Restrictions 1807.300 Eligible purposes. 1807.301 Eligible activities. 1807.302 Restrictions on use of CMF Award. 1807.303 Authorized uses of Program Income. Subpart D—Qualification as Affordable Housing 1807.400 Affordable Housing—general. 1807.401 Affordable Housing—Rental Housing. 1807.402 Affordable Housing—Homeownership. Subpart E—Leveraged Costs; Eligible Project Costs; Commitment Requirements 1807.500 Leveraged Costs; Eligible Project Costs. 1807.501 Commitments; Payments. 1807.502 CMF Award limits. 1807.503 Projection Completion; Property standards. Subpart F—Tracking Funds; Uniform Administrative Requirements; Nature of Funds 1807.600 Tracking funds. 1807.601 Uniform Administrative Requirements. 1807.602 Nature of funds. Subpart G—Notice of Funds Availability; Applications 1807.700 Notice of funds availability. Subpart H—Evaluation and Selection of Applications 1807.800 Evaluation and selection—general. 1807.801 Evaluation of applications. Subpart I—Terms and Conditions of CMF Award 1807.900 Assistance agreement. 1807.901 Payment of funds. 1807.902 Data collection and reporting. 1807.903 Compliance with government requirements. 1807.904 Lobbying restrictions. 1807.905 Criminal provisions. 1807.906 CDFI Fund deemed not to control. 1807.907 Limitation on liability. 1807.908 Fraud, waste and abuse. Authority:

12 U.S.C. 4569.

Subpart A—General Provisions
§ 1807.100 Purpose.

The purpose of the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) is to attract private capital for and increase investment in Affordable Housing Activities and related Economic Development Activities.

§ 1807.101 Summary.

(a) Through the CMF, the CDFI Fund competitively awards grants to CDFIs and qualified Nonprofit Organizations to leverage dollars for:

(1) The Development, Preservation, Rehabilitation or Purchase of Affordable Housing primarily for Low-Income Families; and

(2) Financing Economic Development Activities.

(b) The CDFI Fund will select Recipients to receive CMF Awards through a merit-based, competitive application process. CMF Awards may only be used for eligible uses set forth in subpart C of this part. Each Recipient will enter into an Assistance Agreement that will require it to leverage the CMF Award amount and abide by other terms and conditions pertinent to any assistance received under this part.

§ 1807.102 Relationship to other CDFI Fund programs.

Restrictions on applying for, receiving, and using CMF Awards in conjunction with awards under other programs administered by the CDFI Fund (including, but not limited to, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the CDFI Program, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program, and the New Markets Tax Credit Program) are as set forth in the applicable Notice of Funds Availability, Notice of Guarantee Availability, or Notice of Allocation Availability.

§ 1807.103 Recipient not instrumentality.

No Recipient shall be deemed to be an agency, department, or instrumentality of the United States.

§ 1807.104 Definitions.

For the purpose of this part:

Act means the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, as amended, Public Law 110-289, section 1131;

Affiliate means any entity that Controls, is Controlled by, or is under common Control with, an entity;

Affordable Housing means housing that meets the requirements set forth in subpart D of this part;

Affordable Housing Activities means the Development, Preservation, Rehabilitation, and/or Purchase of Affordable Housing;

Affordable Housing Fund means a revolving loan, grant or investment fund that is:

(1) Managed by the Recipient; and

(2) Uses its capital to finance Affordable Housing Activities;

Applicant means any entity submitting an application for a CMF Award;

Appropriate Federal Banking Agency has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1813(q), and includes, with respect to Insured Credit Unions, the National Credit Union Administration;

Appropriate State Agency means an agency or instrumentality of a State that regulates and/or insures the member accounts of a State-Insured Credit Union;

Assistance Agreement means a formal, written agreement between the CDFI Fund and a Recipient, which agreement specifies the terms and conditions of assistance under this part;

Capital Magnet Fund (or CMF) means the program authorized by the Act and implemented under this part;

CMF Award means the financial assistance in the form of a grant made by the CDFI Fund to a Recipient pursuant to this part;

Certified Community Development Financial Institution (or Certified CDFI) means an entity that has been determined by the CDFI Fund to meet the certification requirements set forth in 12 CFR 1805.201;

Committed means that the Recipient is able to demonstrate, in written form and substance that is acceptable to the CDFI Fund, a commitment for use of CMF Award, as set forth in § 1807.501;

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (or CDFI Fund) means the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, established pursuant to the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994, as amended, 12 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.;

Community Service Facility means the physical structure in which service programs for residents or service programs for the broader community (including, but not limited to, health care, childcare, educational programs including literacy and after school programs, job training, food and nutrition services, cultural programs, and/or social services) operate that, In Conjunction With Affordable Housing Activities, implements a Concerted Strategy to stabilize or revitalize a Low-Income Area or Underserved Rural Area;

Concerted Strategy means a formal planning document that evidences the connection between Affordable Housing Activities and Economic Development Activities. Such documents include, but are not limited to, a comprehensive, consolidated, or redevelopment plan, or some other local or regional planning document adopted or approved by the jurisdiction;

Control means:

(1) Ownership, control, or power to vote 25 percent or more of the outstanding shares of any class of Voting Securities of any company, directly or indirectly or acting through one or more other persons;

(2) Control in any manner over the election of a majority of the directors, trustees, or general partners (or individuals exercising similar functions) of any company; or

(3) The power to exercise, directly or indirectly, a controlling influence over the management, credit or investment decisions, or policies of any company;

Depository Institution Holding Company means a bank holding company or a savings and loan holding company as each are defined in the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1813(w);

Development means any combination of the following Project activities: Land acquisition, demolition of existing facilities, and construction of new facilities, which may include site improvement, utilities development and rehabilitation of utilities, necessary infrastructure, utility services, conversion, and other related activities resulting in Affordable Housing;

Direct Administrative Expenses means direct costs incurred by the Recipient, related to the financing of the Project as described in 2 CFR 200.413 of the Uniform Administrative Requirements;

Economic Development Activity means the development, preservation, acquisition and/or rehabilitation of Community Service Facilities and/or other physical structures in which neighborhood-based businesses operate which, In Conjunction With Affordable Housing Activities, implements a Concerted Strategy to stabilize or revitalize a Low-Income Area or Underserved Rural Area;

Effective Date means the date that the Assistance Agreement is effective; such date is determined by the CDFI Fund after the Recipient has returned an executed, original Assistance Agreement, along with all required supporting documentation, including the opinion of counsel, if required;

Eligible-Income means:

(1) Having, in the case of owner-occupied Housing units, annual income not in excess of 120 percent of the area median income adjusted for Family size in the same manner as HUD makes these adjustments for its other published income limits; and

(2) Having, in the case of rental Housing units, annual income not in excess of 120 percent of the area median income, adjusted for Family size in the same manner as HUD makes these adjustments for its published income limits;

Eligible Project Costs means Leveraged Costs plus those costs funded directly by a CMF Award;

Extremely Low-Income means:

(1) Having, in the case of owner-occupied Housing units, income not in excess of 30 percent of the area median income, adjusted for Family size, as determined by HUD, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 30 percent of the median for the area on the basis of HUD findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs or fair market rents, or unusually high or low Family incomes and

(2) Having, in the case of rental Housing units, income not in excess of 30 percent of the area median income, adjusted for Family size, as determined by HUD, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 30 percent of the median for the area on the basis of HUD findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs or fair market rents, or unusually high or low Family incomes;

Family or Families means households that reside within the boundaries of the United Sates (which shall encompass any State of the United States, the District of Columbia or any territory of the United States, including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands);

HOME Program means the HOME Investment Partnership Program established by the HOME Investment Partnerships Act under title II of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 12701 et seq.;

Homeownership means ownership in fee simple title interest in one- to four-unit Housing or in a condominium unit, or equivalent form of ownership approved by the CDFI Fund. The Recipient must determine whether ownership or membership in a cooperative or mutual housing project constitutes Homeownership under State law. The ownership interest is subject to the following additional requirements:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (1)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this definition, the land may be owned in fee simple or the homeowner may have a 99-year ground lease;

(i) For Housing located on Indian trust or restricted Indian lands, the ground lease must be for 50 years or more;

(ii) For Housing located in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, the ground lease must be 40 years or more;

(iii) For manufactured housing, the ground lease must be for a minimum period of 10 years or such other applicable time period regarding location set forth in this definition of Homeownership at the time of purchase by the homeowner;

(2) Ownership interest may not merely consist of a right to possession under a contract for deed, installment contract, or land contract (pursuant to which the deed is not given until the final payment is made);

(3) Ownership interest may only be subject to the restrictions on resale permitted under the Assistance Agreement and this part; mortgages, deeds of trust, or other liens or instruments securing debt on the property; or any other restrictions or encumbrances that do not impair the good and marketable nature of title to the ownership interest;

Housing means Single-family and Multi-family residential units including, but not limited to, manufactured housing and manufactured housing lots, permanent housing for disabled and/or homeless persons, transitional housing, single-room occupancy housing, and group homes. Housing also includes elder cottage housing opportunity (ECHO) units that are small, free- standing, barrier-free, energy-efficient, removable, and designed to be installed adjacent to existing single-family dwellings. Housing does not include emergency shelters (including shelters for disaster victims) or facilities such as nursing homes, convalescent homes, hospitals, residential treatment facilities, correctional facilities, halfway houses, housing for students, or dormitories (including farmworker dormitories);

HUD means the Department of Housing and Urban Development established under the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, 42 U.S.C. 3532 et seq.;

In Conjunction With Affordable Housing means:

(1) Physically proximate to; and

(2) Reasonably available to residents of Affordable Housing that is subject to Affordable Housing Activities. For a Metropolitan Area, In Conjunction With means located within the same census tract or within 1 mile of such Affordable Housing. For a Non-Metropolitan Area, In Conjunction With means located within the same county, township, or village, or within 10 miles of such Affordable Housing;

Insured CDFI means a Certified CDFI that is an Insured Depository Institution or an Insured Credit Union;

Insured Credit Union means any credit union, the member accounts of which are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund by the National Credit Union Administration pursuant to authority granted in 12 U.S.C. 1783 et seq.;

Insured Depository Institution means any bank or thrift, the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as determined in 12 U.S.C. 1813(c)(2);

Investment Period means the period beginning with the Effective Date and ending on the fifth year anniversary of the Effective Date, or such other period as may be established by the CDFI Fund in the Assistance Agreement;

Leveraged Costs means costs for Affordable Housing Activities and Economic Development Activities that exceed the dollar amount of the CMF Award, as further described in § 1807.500;

Loan Guarantee means the Recipient's use of CMF Award to support an agreement to indemnify the holder of a loan all or a portion of the unpaid principal balance in case of default by the borrower. The proceeds of the loan that is guaranteed with the CMF Award must be used for Affordable Housing Activities and/or Economic Development Activities;

Loan Loss Reserves means proceeds from the CMF Award that the Recipient will set aside in the form of cash reserves, or through accounting-based accrual reserves, to cover losses on loans, accounts, and notes receivable for Affordable Housing Activities and/or Economic Development Activities, or for related purposes that the CDFI Fund deems appropriate;

Low-Income means:

(1) Having, in the case of owner-occupied Housing units, income not in excess of 80 percent of area median income, adjusted for Family size, as determined by HUD, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 80 percent of the median for the area on the basis of HUD findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs or fair market rents, or unusually high or low Family incomes; and

(2) Having, in the case of rental Housing units, income not in excess of 80 percent of area median income, adjusted for Family size, as determined by HUD, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 80 percent of the median for the area on the basis of HUD findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs or fair market rents, or unusually high or low Family incomes;

Low-Income Area or LIA means a census tract or block numbering area in which the median income does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area in which such census tract or block numbering area is located. With respect to a census tract or block numbering area located within a Metropolitan Area, the median Family income shall be at or below 80 percent of the Metropolitan Area median Family income or the national Metropolitan Area median Family income, whichever is greater. In the case of a census tract or block numbering area located outside of a Metropolitan Area, the median Family income shall be at or below 80 percent of the statewide Non-Metropolitan Area median Family income or the national Non-Metropolitan Area median Family income, whichever is greater;

Low Income Housing Credits (or LIHTCs) means credits against income tax under section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, 26 U.S.C. 42;

Metropolitan Area means an area designated as such by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3504(e) and 31 U.S.C. 1104(d) and Executive Order 10253 (3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp., p. 758), as amended;

Multi-family housing means residential properties consisting of five or more dwelling units, such as a condominium unit, cooperative unit, apartment, or townhouse;

Non-Metropolitan Area means counties that are designated as Non-Metropolitan Counties by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3504(e) and 31 U.S.C. 1104(d) and Executive Order 10253 (3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp., p. 758), as amended, and as made available by the CDFI Fund for a specific application funding round;

Nonprofit Organization means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that is:

(1) Designated as a nonprofit or not-for-profit entity under the laws of the organization's State of formation; and

(2) Exempt from Federal income taxation pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

Participating Jurisdiction means a jurisdiction designated by HUD as such under the HOME Program in accordance with the requirements of 24 CFR 92.105;

Payment means the transmission of CMF Award dollars from the CDFI Fund to the Recipient;

Preservation means:

(1) Activities to refinance, with or without Rehabilitation, Single-family housing or Multi-family housing (rental) mortgages that, at the time of refinancing, are subject to affordability and use restrictions under the LIHTC statute or under State or Federal affordable housing programs, including but not limited to, the HOME Program, properties with Federal project-based rental assistance, or the USDA rental housing programs, hereinafter referred to as “similar State or Federal affordable housing programs,” where such refinancing has the effect of extending the term of any existing affordability and use restrictions on the properties by a minimum 10 years or as otherwise specified in the Assistance Agreement;

(2) Activities to refinance and acquire Single-family housing or Multi-family housing that, at the time of refinancing or acquisition, were subject to affordability and use restrictions under similar State or Federal affordable housing programs or under the LIHTC statute, by the former tenants of such properties, where such refinancing has the effect of extending the term of any existing affordability and use restrictions on the properties by a minimum 10 years or as otherwise specified in the Assistance Agreement;

(3) Activities to refinance the mortgages of owner-occupied, Single-family housing that, at the time of refinancing, are subject to affordability and use restrictions under similar State or Federal affordable housing programs, where such refinancing has the effect of extending the term of any existing affordability and use restrictions on the properties by a minimum 10 years or as otherwise specified in the Assistance Agreement;

(4) Activities to acquire Single-family housing or Multi-family housing, with or without Rehabilitation, with the commitment to subject the properties to the affordability qualifications set forth in subpart D of this part; or

(5) Activities to refinance, with or without Rehabilitation, Single-family housing or Multi-family housing, with the commitment to subject the properties to the affordability qualifications set forth in subpart D of this part;

Program Income means gross income, as further described in 2 CFR part 1000;

Project means the Affordable Housing Activity and/or Economic Development Activity that is financed with the CMF Award;

Project Completion means that all of the requirements set forth at § 1807.503 for a Project have been met;

Purchase means to provide direct financing to a Family for purposes of Homeownership. Before the Recipient provides any financing to a Family for Homeownership purposes, the Recipient must verify that the Family and the Single-family housing meet the qualifications set forth in subparts D and E of this part;

Recipient means an Applicant selected by the CDFI Fund to receive a CMF Award pursuant to this part;

Rehabilitation means any repairs and/or capital improvements that contribute to the long-term preservation, current building code compliance, habitability, sustainability, or energy efficiency of Affordable Housing;

Revolving Loan Fund means a pool of funds managed by the Applicant or the Recipient wherein repayments on loans for Affordable Housing Activities or Economic Development Activities are used to refinance additional loans;

Risk-Sharing Loan means loans for Affordable Housing Activities and/or Economic Development Activities in which the risk of borrower default is shared by the Applicant or Recipient with other lenders (e.g., participation loans);

Service Area means the geographic area in which the Applicant proposes to use the CMF Award, and the geographic area approved by the CDFI Fund in which the Recipient must use the CMF Award as set forth in its Assistance Agreement;

Single-family housing means a one- to four-Family residence, a condominium unit, a cooperative unit, a combination of manufactured housing and lot, or a manufactured housing lot;

State means the states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other territory of the United States;

State-Insured Credit Union means any credit union that is regulated by, and/or the member accounts of which are insured by, a State agency or instrumentality;

Subsidiary means any company that is owned or Controlled directly or indirectly by another company;

Underserved Rural Area means:

(1) A Non-Metropolitan Area that:

(i) Qualifies as a Low-Income Area; and

(ii) Is experiencing economic distress evidenced by 30 percent or more of resident households with one or more of these four housing conditions in the most recent census for which data are available:

(A) Lacking complete plumbing;

(B) Lacking complete kitchen;

(C) Paying 30 percent or more of income for owner costs or tenant rent; or

(D) Having more than 1 person per room;

(2) An area as specified in the applicable NOFA and/or Assistance Agreement;

Uniform Administrative Requirements means the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR part 1000);

Very Low-Income means:

(1) Having, in the case of owner-occupied Housing, income not greater than 50 percent of the area median income with adjustments for Family size, as determined by HUD, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 50 percent of the median for the area on the basis of HUD findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs or fair market rents, or unusually high or low Family incomes; and

(2) Having, in the case of rental Housing, income not greater than 50 percent of the area median income, with adjustments for Family size, as determined by HUD, except that HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 50 percent of the median for the area on the basis of HUD findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs or fair market rents, or unusually high or low Family incomes.

§ 1807.105 Waiver authority.

The CDFI Fund may waive any requirement of this part that is not required by law upon a determination of good cause. Each such waiver shall be in writing and supported by a statement of the facts and the grounds forming the basis of the waiver. For a waiver in an individual case, the CDFI Fund must determine that application of the requirement to be waived would adversely affect the achievement of the purposes of the Act. For waivers of general applicability, the CDFI Fund will publish notification of granted waivers in the Federal Register.

§ 1807.106 OMB control number.

The OMB control number for the CMF Award application is 1559-0036. The compliance date requirements for the collection of information in § 1807.902 is stayed indefinitely, pending Office of Management and Budget approval and assignment of an OMB control number.

§ 1807.107 Applicability of regulations for CMF Awards.

As of February 8, 2016, the regulations of this part are applicable for CMF Awards made pursuant to Notices of Funds Availability published after February 8, 2016.

Subpart B—Eligibility
§ 1807.200 Applicant eligibility.

(a) General requirements. An Applicant will be deemed eligible to apply for a CMF Award if it is:

(1) A Certified CDFI. An entity may meet the requirements described in this paragraph (a)(1) if it is:

(i) A Certified CDFI, as set forth in 12 CFR 1805.201,

(ii) A Certified CDFI that has been in existence as a legally formed entity as set forth in the applicable Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA); or

(2) A Nonprofit Organization having as one of its principal purposes the development or management of affordable housing. An entity may meet the requirements described in this paragraph (a)(2) if it:

(i) Has been in existence as a legally formed entity as set forth in the applicable NOFA;

(ii) Demonstrates, through articles of incorporation, by-laws, or other board-approved documents, that the development or management of affordable housing are among its principal purposes; and

(iii) Can demonstrate that a certain percentage, set forth in the applicable NOFA, of the Applicant's total assets are dedicated to the development or management of affordable housing.

(b) Eligibility verification. An Applicant shall demonstrate that it meets the eligibility requirements described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section by providing information described in the application, NOFA, and/or supplemental information, as may be requested by the CDFI Fund. For an Applicant seeking eligibility under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the CDFI Fund will verify that the Applicant is a Certified CDFI during the application eligibility review.

Subpart C—Eligible Purposes; Eligible Activities; Restrictions
§ 1807.300 Eligible purposes.

Each Recipient must use its CMF Award for the eligible activities described in § 1807.301 so long as such eligible activities increase private capital for and increase investment in:

(a) Development, Preservation, Rehabilitation, and/or Purchase of Affordable Housing for primarily Extremely Low-Income, Very Low-Income, and Low-Income Families; and/or

(b) Economic Development Activities.

(1) Economic Development Activity must support Affordable Housing;

(2) The Recipient may undertake Economic Development Activity In Conjunction With Affordable Housing Activities that are undertaken by parties other than the Recipient;

(3) If the Recipient uses its CMF Award to fund an Economic Development Activity In Conjunction With Affordable Housing Activity, it must track the resulting Affordable Housing, as set forth in subpart D of this part, to the extent the Affordable Housing was financed by the CMF Award. For the purposes of meeting the 10-year affordability period requirement, Recipients are not required to track Affordable Housing that was financed by sources other than the CMF Award.

§ 1807.301 Eligible activities.

The Recipient must use its CMF Award to finance and support Affordable Housing Activities and/or Economic Development Activities through the following eligible activities:

(a) To capitalize Loan Loss Reserves;

(b) To capitalize a Revolving Loan Fund;

(c) To capitalize an Affordable Housing Fund;

(d) To capitalize a fund to support Economic Development Activities;

(e) To make Risk-Sharing Loans; and

(f) To provide Loan Guarantees.

§ 1807.302 Restrictions on use of CMF Award.

(a) The Recipient may not use its CMF Award for the following:

(1) Political activities;

(2) Advocacy;

(3) Lobbying, whether directly or through other parties;

(4) Counseling services (including homebuyer or financial counseling);

(5) Travel expenses;

(6) Preparing or providing advice on tax returns;

(7) Emergency shelters (including shelters for disaster victims);

(8) Nursing homes;

(9) Convalescent homes;

(10) Residential treatment facilities;

(11) Correctional facilities; or

(12) Student dormitories.

(b) The Recipient shall not use the CMF Award to finance or support Projects that include:

(1) The operation of any private or commercial golf course, country club, massage parlor, hot tub facility, suntan facility, racetrack or other facility used for gambling, or any store the principal business of which is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises; or

(2) Farming activities (within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 2032A(e)(5)(A) or (B)), if, as of the close of the taxable year of the taxpayer conducting such trade or business, the sum of the aggregate unadjusted bases (or, if greater, the fair market value) of the assets owned by the taxpayer that are used in such a trade or business, and the aggregate value of the assets leased by the taxpayer that are used in such a trade or business, exceeds $500,000.

(c) In any given application round, no more than 30 percent of a CMF Award may be used for Economic Development Activities.

(d) Any Recipient that uses its CMF Award for a Loan Guarantee or Loan Loss Reserves must ensure the underlying loan(s) are made to support Affordable Housing Activities and Economic Development Activities. The Affordable Housing resulting from the Recipient's Loan Guarantee or Loan Loss Reserve shall be tracked for 10 years, as set forth in subpart D of this part.

(e) If loans that are made pursuant to a Loan Guarantee or Loan Loss Reserves are repaid during the Investment Period, the Recipient must use the repaid funds for Loan Guarantees or Loan Loss Reserves targeted to the income population (Extremely Low-Income, Very Low-Income, Low-Income) set forth in the Recipient's Assistance Agreement, for the duration of the Investment Period.

(f) The Recipient may not use more than five (5) percent of its CMF Award for Direct Administrative Expenses.

§ 1807.303 Authorized uses of Program Income.

(a) Program Income earned in the form of principal and equity repayments must be used by the Recipient for the approved, eligible CMF Award uses as further set forth in the Assistance Agreement for the duration of the Investment Period.

(b) Program Income earned in the form of interest payments, and all other forms of Program Income (except for that which is earned as described in paragraph (a) of this section, must be used by the Recipient as set forth in the Assistance Agreement and in accordance with 2 CFR part 1000.

Subpart D—Qualification as Affordable Housing
§ 1807.400 Affordable Housing—general.

Each Recipient that uses its CMF Award for Affordable Housing Activities must ensure that 100 percent of Eligible Project Costs are attributable to Affordable Housing; meaning, that they comply with the affordability qualifications set forth in this subpart for Eligible-Income Families. Further, as a subset of said 100 percent, greater than 50 percent of the Eligible Project Costs must be attributable to Affordable Housing that comply with the affordability qualifications set forth in this subpart for Low-Income, Very Low-Income, or Extremely Low-Income Families, or as further set forth in the applicable NOFA and/or Assistance Agreement.

§ 1807.401 Affordable Housing—Rental Housing.

To qualify as Affordable Housing, each rental Multi-family housing Project financed with CMF Award must have at least 20 percent of the units occupied by any combination of Low-Income, Very Low-Income, or Extremely Low-Income Families and must comply with the rent limits set forth herein. However, the CDFI Fund may require a greater percentage of the units per Project to be income-targeted and/or require a specific targeted income commitment in any given application round, as set forth in the NOFA and Assistance Agreement for that application round.

(a) Rent limitation. The gross rent limits for Affordable Housing are determined under the provisions in IRC section 42(g)(2). In this determination, if this part imposes an income restriction on a unit that is greater than 60 percent of area median income, adjusted for Family size, then the provisions of IRC section 42(g)(2) are applied as if that income restriction on the unit satisfied IRC section 42(g)(1). The maximum rent is a rent that does not exceed:

(1) For an Eligible-Income Family, 30 percent of the annual income of a Family whose annual income equals 120 percent of the area median income, with adjustments for number of bedrooms in the unit, as set forth in IRC section 42(g)(2).

(2) For a Low-Income Family, 30 percent of the annual income of a Family whose annual income equals 80 percent of the area median income, with adjustments for number of bedrooms in the unit, as set forth in IRC section 42(g)(2). If the unit or tenant receives Federal or State rental subsidy, and the Family pays as a contribution towards rent not more than 30 percent of the Family's income, the maximum rent (i.e., tenant contribution plus rental subsidy) is the rent allowable under the Federal or State rental subsidy program;

(3) For a Very Low-Income Family, 30 percent of the annual income of a Family whose annual income equals 50 percent of the area median income, with adjustments for number of bedrooms in the unit as described in paragraph (a) of this section. If the unit or tenant receives Federal or State rental subsidy, and the Family pays as a contribution towards rent not more than 30 percent of the Family's income, the maximum rent (i.e., tenant contribution plus rental subsidy) is the rent allowable under the Federal or State rental subsidy program; or

(4) For an Extremely Low-Income Family, 30 percent of the annual income of a Family whose annual income equals 30 percent of the area median income, with adjustments for number of bedrooms in the unit as described in paragraph (a) of this section. If the unit or tenant receives Federal or State rental subsidy, and the Family pays as a contribution toward rent not more than 30 percent of the Family's income, the maximum rent (i.e., tenant contribution plus rental subsidy) is the rent allowable under the Federal or State rental subsidy program.

(b) Nondiscrimination against rental assistance subsidy holders. The Recipient shall require that the owner of a rental unit cannot refuse to lease the unit to a Section 8 Program certificate or voucher holder (24 CFR part 982, Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance: Unified Rule for Tenant-Based Assistance under the Section 8 Rental Certificate Program and the Section 8 Rental Voucher Program) or to the holder of a comparable document evidencing participation in a HOME tenant-based rental assistance program because of the status of the prospective tenant as a holder of such certificate, voucher, or comparable HOME tenant-based assistance document.

(c) Initial rent schedule and utility allowances. The Recipient shall ensure that utility allowances and submetering rules are consistent with regulations concerning utility allowances and submetering in buildings that are subject to gross rent restrictions under IRC section 42(g)(2).

(d) Periods of affordability. Housing under this section must meet the affordability requirements for not less than 10 years, beginning after Project Completion and at initial occupancy. The affordability requirements apply without regard to the term of any loan or mortgage or the transfer of ownership and must be imposed by deed restrictions, covenants running with the land, or other recordable mechanisms. Other recordable mechanisms must be approved in writing and in advance by the CDFI Fund. The affordability restrictions may terminate upon foreclosure or transfer in lieu of foreclosure. However, the affordability restrictions shall be revived according to the original terms if, during the original affordability period, the owner of record before the foreclosure, or deed in lieu of foreclosure, or any entity that includes the former owner or those with whom the former owner has or had family or business ties, obtains an ownership interest in the Project.

(e) Subsequent rents during the affordability period. Any increase in rent for a CMF-financed unit requires that tenants of those units be given at least 30 days prior written notice before the implementation of the rent increase. Regardless of changes in annual rents and in median income over time, the CMF rents for a Project are not required to be lower than the CMF rent limits for the Project in effect at the time when the Project is Committed for use.

(f) Tenant income determination. (1) Each year during the period of affordability, the tenant's income shall be re-examined; tenant income examination and verification is ultimately the responsibility of the Recipient. Annual income shall include income from all household members. The Recipient must require the Project owner to obtain information on rents and occupancy of Affordable Housing financed or assisted with a CMF Award in order to demonstrate compliance with this section.

(2) One of the following two definitions of “annual income” must be used to determine whether a Family is income-eligible:

(i) Adjusted gross income as defined for purposes of reporting under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040 series for individual Federal annual income tax purposes; or

(ii) “Annual Income” as defined at 24 CFR 5.609 (except that when determining the income of a homeowner for an owner-occupied Rehabilitation Project, the value of the homeowner's principal residence may be excluded from the calculation of Net Family Assets, as defined in 24 CFR 5.603).

(3) Although either of the above two definitions of “annual income” is permitted, in order to calculate adjusted income, exclusions from income set forth at 24 CFR 5.611 shall be applied.

(4) The CDFI Fund reserves the right to deem certain government programs, under which a Low-Income Family is a recipient, as income eligible for purposes of meeting the tenant income requirements under this section.

(g) Over-income tenants. (1) CMF-financed or assisted units continue to qualify as Affordable Housing despite a temporary noncompliance caused by increases in the incomes of existing tenants if actions satisfactory to the CDFI Fund are being taken to ensure that all vacancies are filled in accordance with this section until the noncompliance is corrected.

(2) Tenants whose incomes no longer qualify must pay rent no greater than the lesser of the amount payable by the tenant under State or local law or 30 percent of the Family's annual income, except if the gross rent of a unit is subject to the restrictions in IRC section 42(g)(2) or the restrictions in an extended low-income housing commitment under IRC section 42(h)(6), then the tenants of that unit must pay rent governed by those restrictions. Tenants who no longer qualify as Eligible-Income are not required to pay rent in excess of the market rent for comparable, unassisted units in the neighborhood.

(3) If the income of a tenant of a CMF-financed or assisted unit no longer qualifies, the Recipient may designate another unit, within the CMF-financed or assisted Project, as a replacement unit that meets the affordability qualifications for the same income category as the original unit, as further set forth in the Recipient's Assistance Agreement. If there is not an available replacement unit, the Recipient must fill the first available vacancy with a tenant that meets the affordability qualifications for the same income category of the original unit as necessary to maintain compliance with the CMF requirements and the Assistance Agreement.

§ 1807.402 Affordable Housing—Homeownership.

(a) Purchase with or without Rehabilitation. A Recipient that uses the CMF Award for the eligible activities set forth in § 1807.301 for Purchase must ensure the purchasing Family and Housing meets the affordability requirements of this subpart.

(1) The Housing must be Single-family housing.

(2) The Single-family housing price does not exceed 95 percent of the median purchase price for the area as used in the HOME Program and as determined by HUD and the applicable Participating Jurisdiction.

(3) The Single-family housing must be purchased by a qualifying Family as set forth in § 1807.400. The Single-family housing must be the principal residence of the Family throughout the period described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

(4) Periods of affordability. Single-family housing under this section must meet the affordability requirements for at least 10 years at the time of purchase by the Family.

(5) Resale. To ensure that CMF Awards are being used for qualifying Families for the entire 10-year affordability period, recoupment and redeployment or resale strategies must be imposed by the Recipient. A recoupment strategy must ensure that, in the event the qualifying homeowner sells the Housing before the end of the 10-year affordability period and the new homeowner does not meet the affordability qualifications set forth in § 1807.400, an amount equal to the amount of the CMF Award investment in the Housing, whether recouped or not, is used to finance additional Affordable Housing Activities for a qualifying Family in the same income category for Affordable Housing Homeownership in the manner set forth in this section, except that the Housing must meet the affordability requirements only for the remaining duration of the affordability period. The Recipient may design and implement its own recoupment strategy. Deed restrictions, covenants running with the land, or other similar mechanisms may be used as the mechanism to impose a resale strategy. The Recipient shall report to the CDFI Fund the event of resale and/or recoupment and redeployment of the CMF Award, or an equivalent amount, in the manner described in the Assistance Agreement. The affordability restrictions may terminate upon occurrence of any of the following termination events: Foreclosure, transfer in lieu of foreclosure, or assignment of an FHA-insured mortgage to HUD. The Recipient may use purchase options, rights of first refusal or other preemptive rights to purchase the Housing before foreclosure to preserve affordability. The affordability restrictions shall be revived according to the original terms if, during the original affordability period, the owner of record before the termination event, obtains an ownership interest in the Housing. If there is a sale of Single-family housing funded by a CMF Award prior to the completion of the 10-year affordability period, the Recipient must demonstrate that it placed into service Single-family housing targeting the same income population (i.e., Extremely Low-Income, Very Low-Income, Low-Income) as the original Single-family housing, as set forth in the Assistance Agreement, financed with an equivalent amount to the recouped portion of the CMF Award, that will be tracked for the duration of the affordability period of the original Single-family housing.

(b) Rehabilitation not involving Purchase. Single-family housing that is currently owned by a qualifying Family, as set forth in § 1807.400, qualifies as Affordable Housing if it meets the requirements of this paragraph (b).

(1) The estimated value of the Single-family housing, after Rehabilitation, does not exceed 95 percent of the median purchase price for the area, as used in the HOME Program and as determined by the applicable Participating Jurisdiction; or

(2) The Single-family housing is the principal residence of a qualifying Family as set forth in § 1807.400, at the time that the CMF Award is Committed to the Single-family housing.

(3) Single-family housing under this paragraph (b) must meet the affordability requirements for at least 10 years after Rehabilitation is completed or meet the resale provisions of paragraph (a)(5) of this section.

(c) Ownership interest. The ownership in the Single-family housing assisted under this section must meet the definition of Homeownership as defined in § 1807.104.

(d) New construction without Purchase. Newly constructed Single-family housing that is built on property currently owned by a Family that will occupy the Single-family housing upon completion, qualifies as Affordable Housing if it meets the requirements under paragraph (a) of this section.

(e) Converting rental units to Homeownership units for existing tenants. CMF-financed rental units may be converted to Homeownership units by selling, donating, or otherwise conveying the units to the existing tenants to enable the tenants to become homeowners in accordance with the requirements of this section. The Homeownership units are subject to a minimum period of affordability equal to the remaining affordability period.

Subpart E—Leveraged Costs; Eligible Project Costs; Commitment Requirements
§ 1807.500 Leveraged Costs; Eligible Project Costs.

(a) Each CMF Award must result in Eligible Project Costs in an amount that equals at least 10 times the amount of the CMF Award or some higher standard established by the CDFI Fund in the Recipient's Assistance Agreement. Such Eligible Project Costs must be for Affordable Housing Activities and Economic Development Activities, as set forth in the Assistance Agreement.

(b) Leveraged Costs. (1) The applicable NOFA and/or the Assistance Agreement may set forth a required percentage of Leveraged Costs that must be funded by non-governmental sources.

(2) The Recipient must report to the CDFI Fund all Leveraged Costs, with the following limitations:

(i) No costs attributable to prohibited uses as set forth in § 1807.302(a) and (b) may be reported as Leveraged Costs;

(ii) All Leveraged Costs attributable to Affordable Housing Activities must be for Affordable Housing, as set forth in § 1807.401 or § 1807.402, and as further described in the Assistance Agreement;

(iii) All eligible Leveraged Costs attributable to Economic Development Activities shall be described in the Assistance Agreement.

(c) Recipients must report Leveraged Costs information through forms or electronic systems provided by the CDFI Fund. Consequently, Recipients must maintain appropriate documentation, such as audited financial statements, wire transfers documents, pro-formas, and other relevant records, to support such reports.

§ 1807.501 Commitments; Payments.

(a) The CMF Award must be Committed by the Recipient for use by the date designated in its Assistance Agreement.

(b) The Recipient must evidence such commitment with a written, legally binding agreement to provide CMF Award proceeds to the qualifying Family, developer or project sponsor for a Project whose:

(1) Construction can reasonably be expected to start within 12 months of the commitment agreement date;

(2) Property title will be transferred within 6 months of the commitment agreement date; or

(3) Construction schedule ensures Project Completion within 5 years of a date specified in the Assistance Agreement.

(c) The CDFI Fund will make Payment of CMF Award based on a deployment schedule contained in the CMF Award application, in addition to any other documentation and/or forms that the CDFI Fund may require.

(d) Upon receipt of CMF Award, the Recipient must make an initial disbursement of said CMF Award by the date designated in its Assistance Agreement. The CDFI Fund may make Payment of CMF Award in a lump sum or other manner, as determined appropriate by the CDFI Fund. The CDFI Fund will not provide any Payment until the Recipient has satisfied all conditions set forth in the applicable NOFA and Assistance Agreement.

§ 1807.502 CMF Award limits.

An eligible Applicant and its Subsidiaries and Affiliates may not be awarded more than 15 percent of the aggregate funds available for CMF Awards during any year.

§ 1807.503 Project Completion; Property standards.

(a) Upon Project Completion, the Project must be placed into service by the date designated in the Assistance Agreement. Project Completion occurs, as determined by the CDFI Fund, when:

(1) All necessary title transfer requirements and construction work have been performed;

(2) The property standards of paragraph (b) of this section have been met; and

(3) The final drawdown of the CMF Award has been made to the project sponsor or developer;

(4) When a CMF Award is used for Preservation, Project Completion occurs when the refinance and/or Rehabilitation is completed in addition to the requirements set forth in this paragraph (a).

(b) By the Project Completion date, the Project must meet the requirements of this part, including the following property standards (which must be met for a period of at least 10 years after the Project Completion date):

(1) Projects that are constructed or Rehabilitated with a CMF Award must meet all applicable State and local codes, Rehabilitation standards, ordinances, and zoning requirements at the time of Project Completion or, in the absence of a State or local building code, the International Residential Code or International Building Code (as applicable) of the International Code Council.

(2) In addition, Projects must meet the following requirements:

(i) Accessibility. The Project must meet all applicable accessibility requirements set forth at 24 CFR part 8, which implements section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), and Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12131-12189) implemented at 28 CFR parts 35 and 36, as applicable. Multi-family housing, as defined in 24 CFR 100.201, must also meet all applicable design and construction requirements set forth in 24 CFR 100.205, which implements the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601-3619).

(ii) Disaster mitigation. The Project must meet all applicable State and local codes, ordinances, or other disaster mitigation requirements (e.g., earthquake, hurricanes, flooding, wild fires), or other requirements as the Department of Housing and Urban Development has established in 24 CFR part 93.

(iii) Lead-based paint. The Project must meet all applicable lead-based paint requirements, including those set forth in 24 CFR part 35.

(3) Rehabilitation standards. In addition, all Rehabilitation that is financed with a CMF Award must meet the following requirements:

(i) For rental Housing, if the remaining useful life of one or more major systems is less than the 10-year period of affordability, the Recipient must ensure that, at Project Completion, the developer or Project sponsor establishes a replacement reserve and that monthly payments are made to the reserve that are adequate to repair or replace the systems as needed. Major systems include: Structural support; roofing; cladding and weatherproofing (e.g., windows, doors, siding, gutters); plumbing; electrical; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

(ii) For Homeownership Single-family housing, the Recipient must ensure that, at Project Completion, the Housing is decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair. The Recipient must ensure that timely corrective and remedial actions are taken by the Project owner to address identified life threatening deficiencies.

(4) Manufactured housing. Construction of all manufactured housing must meet the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards set forth in 24 CFR part 3280. These standards preempt State and local laws or codes, which are not identical to the Federal standards for the new construction of manufactured housing. The installation of all manufactured housing units must comply with applicable State and local laws or codes. In the absence of such laws or codes, the installation must comply with the manufacturer's written instructions for installation of manufactured housing units. Manufactured housing that is rehabilitated using a CMF Award must meet the requirements set out in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

Subpart F—Tracking Funds; Uniform Administrative Requirements; Nature of Funds
§ 1807.600 Tracking funds.

The Recipient shall develop and maintain an internal tracking and reporting system that ensures that the CMF Award is used in accordance with this part and the Assistance Agreement.

§ 1807.601 Uniform Administrative Requirements.

The Uniform Administrative Requirements apply to all CMF Awards.

§ 1807.602 Nature of funds.

CMF Awards are Federal financial assistance with regard to the application of Federal civil rights laws. CMF Award funds retain their Federal character until the end of the Investment Period.

Subpart G—Notice of Funds Availability; Applications
§ 1807.700 Notice of funds availability.

Each Applicant must submit a CMF Award application in accordance with the applicable Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) published in the Federal Register. The NOFA will advise prospective Applicants on how to obtain and complete an application and will establish deadlines and other requirements. The NOFA will specify application evaluation factors and any limitations, special rules, procedures, and restrictions for a particular application round. After receipt of an application, the CDFI Fund may request clarifying or technical information on the materials submitted as part of the application.

Subpart H—Evaluation and Selection of Applications
§ 1807.800 Evaluation and selection—general.

Each Applicant will be evaluated and selected, at the sole discretion of the CDFI Fund, to receive a CMF Award based on a review process that will include a paper or electronic application, and may include an interview(s) and/or site visit(s), and that is intended to:

(a) Ensure that Applicants are evaluated on a merit basis and in a fair and consistent manner;

(b) Ensure that each Recipient can successfully meet its leveraging goals and achieve Affordable Housing Activity and Economic Development Activity impacts;

(c) Ensure that Recipients represent a geographically diverse group of Applicants serving Metropolitan Areas and Underserved Rural Areas across the United States that meet criteria of economic distress, which may include:

(1) The percentage of Low-Income Families or the extent of poverty;

(2) The rate of unemployment or underemployment;

(3) The extent of disinvestment;

(4) Economic Development Activities that target Extremely Low-Income, Very Low-Income, and Low-Income Families within the Recipient's Service Area; and

(5) Any other criteria the CDFI Fund shall set forth in the applicable NOFA; and

(d) Take into consideration other factors as set forth in the applicable NOFA.

§ 1807.801 Evaluation of applications.

(a) Eligibility and completeness. An Applicant will not be eligible to receive a CMF Award if it fails to meet the eligibility requirements described in § 1807.200 and in the applicable NOFA, or if the Applicant has not submitted complete application materials. For the purposes of this paragraph (a), the CDFI Fund reserves the right to request additional information from the Applicant, if the CDFI Fund deems it appropriate.

(b) Substantive review. In evaluating and selecting applications to receive assistance, the CDFI Fund will evaluate the Applicant's likelihood of success in meeting the factors set forth in the applicable NOFA including, but not limited to:

(1) The Applicant's ability to use a CMF Award to generate additional investments, including private sources of funding;

(2) The need for affordable housing in the Applicant's Service Area;

(3) The ability of the Applicant to obligate amounts and undertake activities in a timely manner; and

(4) In the case of an Applicant that has previously received assistance under any CDFI Fund program, the Applicant's level of success in meeting its performance goals, reporting requirements, and other requirements contained in the previously negotiated and executed assistance, allocation or award agreement(s) with the CDFI Fund, any undisbursed balance of assistance, and compliance with applicable Federal laws.

(c) The CDFI Fund may consider any other factors that it deems appropriate in reviewing an application, as set forth in the applicable NOFA, the application and related guidance materials.

(d) Consultation with appropriate regulatory agencies. In the case of an Applicant that is a Federally regulated financial institution, the CDFI Fund may consult with the Appropriate Federal Banking Agency or Appropriate State Agency prior to making a final award decision and prior to entering into an Assistance Agreement.

(e) Recipient selection. The CDFI Fund will select Recipients based on the criteria described in paragraph (b) of this section and any other criteria set forth in this part or the applicable NOFA.

Subpart I—Terms and Conditions of CMF Award
§ 1807.900 Assistance agreement.

(a) Each Applicant that is selected to receive a CMF Award must enter into an Assistance Agreement with the CDFI Fund. The Assistance Agreement will set forth certain required terms and conditions for the CMF Award that may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) The amount of the CMF Award;

(2) The approved uses of the CMF Award;

(3) The approved Service Area;

(4) The time period by which the CMF Award proceeds must be Committed;

(5) The required documentation to evidence Project Completion; and

(6) Performance goals that have been established by the CDFI Fund pursuant to this part, the NOFA, and the Recipient's application.

(b) The Assistance Agreement shall provide that, in the event of fraud, mismanagement, noncompliance with the Act or these regulations, or noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the Assistance Agreement, on the part of the Recipient, the CDFI Fund, in its discretion, may make a determination to:

(1) Require changes in the performance goals set forth in the Assistance Agreement;

(2) Revoke approval of the Recipient's application;

(3) Reduce or terminate the CMF Award;

(4) Require repayment of any CMF Award that have been paid to the Recipient;

(5) Bar the Recipient from applying for any assistance from the CDFI Fund; or

(6) Take such other actions as the CDFI Fund deems appropriate or as set forth in the Assistance Agreement.

(c) Prior to making a determination that the Recipient has failed to comply substantially with the Act or these regulations or an Assistance Agreement, the CDFI Fund shall provide the Recipient with reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing.

§ 1807.901 Payment of funds.

CMF Awards provided pursuant to this part may be provided in a lump sum payment or in some other manner, as determined appropriate by the CDFI Fund. The CDFI Fund shall not provide any Payment under this part until a Recipient has satisfied all conditions set forth in the applicable NOFA and Assistance Agreement.

§ 1807.902 Data collection and reporting.

(a) Data; General. The Recipient must maintain such records as may be prescribed by the CDFI Fund that are necessary to:

(1) Disclose the manner in which the CMF Award is used, including providing documentation to demonstrate Project Completion;

(2) Demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this part and the Assistance Agreement; and

(3) Evaluate the impact of the CMF Award.

(b) Customer profiles. The Recipient must compile such data on the gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, or other information on individuals that are benefiting from the CMF Award, as the CDFI Fund shall prescribe in the Assistance Agreement. Such data will be used to determine whether residents of the Recipient's Service Area are adequately served and to evaluate the impact of the CMF Award.

(c) Access to records. The Recipient must submit such financial and activity reports, records, statements, and documents at such times, in such forms, and accompanied by such reporting data, as required by the CDFI Fund or the U.S. Department of the Treasury to ensure compliance with the requirements of this part and to evaluate the impact of the CMF Award. The United States Government, including the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Comptroller General, and their duly authorized representatives, shall have full and free access to the Recipient's offices and facilities and all books, documents, records, and financial statements relating to use of Federal funds and may copy such documents as they deem appropriate and audit or provide for an audit at least annually. The CDFI Fund, if it deems appropriate, may prescribe access to record requirements for entities that receive a CMF Award from the Recipient.

(d) Retention of records. The Recipient shall comply with all applicable record retention requirements set forth in the Uniform Administrative Requirements (as applicable) and the Assistance Agreement.

(e) Data collection and reporting—(1) Financial reporting, (i) All Nonprofit Organization Recipients that are required to have their financial statements audited pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, must submit their single-audits by a time set forth in the applicable NOFA or Assistance Agreement. Nonprofit Organization Recipients (excluding Insured CDFIs and State-Insured Credit Unions) that are not required to have financial statements audited pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, must submit to the CDFI Fund a statement signed by the Recipient's authorized representative or certified public accountant, asserting that the Recipient is not required to have a single-audit pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Requirements as indicated in the Assistance Agreement. In such instances, the CDFI Fund may require additional audits to be performed and/or submitted to the CDFI Fund as stated in the applicable Notice of Funds Availability and Assistance Agreement.

(ii) For-profit Recipients (excluding Insured CDFIs and State-Insured Credit Unions) must submit to the CDFI Fund financial statements audited in conformity with generally accepted auditing standards as promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants by a time set forth in the applicable NOFA or Assistance Agreement.

(iii) Insured CDFIs are not required to submit financial statements to the CDFI Fund. The CDFI Fund will obtain the necessary information from publicly available sources. State-Insured Credit Unions must submit to the CDFI Fund copies of the financial statements that they submit to the Appropriate State Agency.

(2) Annual report. (i) The Recipient shall submit a performance and financial report that shall be specified in the Assistance Agreement (annual report). The annual report consists of several components which may include, but are not limited to, a report on performance goals and measures, explanation of any Recipient noncompliance, and such other information as may be required by the CDFI Fund. The annual report components shall be specified and described in the Assistance Agreement.

(ii) The CDFI Fund will use the annual report to collect data to assess the Recipient's compliance with its performance goals and the impact of the CMF and the CDFI industry.

(iii) The Recipient is responsible for the timely and complete submission of the annual report, even if all or a portion of the documents actually are completed by another entity. If such other entities are required to provide information for the annual report, or such other documentation that the CDFI Fund might require, the Recipient is responsible for ensuring that the information is submitted timely and complete. The CDFI Fund reserves the right to contact such other entities and require that additional information and documentation be provided.

(iv) The CDFI Fund's review of the compliance of an Insured CDFI, a Depository Institution Holding Company or a State-Insured Credit Union with the terms and conditions of its Assistance Agreement may also include information from the Appropriate Federal Banking Agency or Appropriate State Agency, as the case may be.

(f) Public access. The CDFI Fund shall make reports described in this section available for public inspection after deleting or redacting any materials necessary to protect privacy or proprietary interests.

§ 1807.903 Compliance with government requirements.

In carrying out its responsibilities pursuant to an Assistance Agreement, the Recipient shall comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances, Uniform Administrative Requirements, and Executive Orders. Furthermore, Recipients must comply with the CDFI Fund's environmental quality regulations (12 CFR part 1815) as well as all other Federal environmental requirements applicable to Federal awards.

§ 1807.904 Lobbying restrictions.

No CMF Award may be expended by a Recipient to pay any person to influence or attempt to influence any agency, elected official, officer or employee of a State or local government in connection with the making, award, extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any State or local government contract, grant, loan or cooperative agreement as such terms are defined in 31 U.S.C. 1352.

§ 1807.905 Criminal provisions.

The criminal provisions of 18 U.S.C. 657 regarding embezzlement or misappropriation of funds are applicable to all Recipients and insiders.

§ 1807.906 CDFI Fund deemed not to control.

The CDFI Fund shall not be deemed to control a Recipient by reason of any CMF Award provided under the Act for the purpose of any applicable law.

§ 1807.907 Limitation on liability.

The liability of the CDFI Fund and the United States Government arising out of any CMF Award shall be limited to the amount of the CMF Award. The CDFI Fund shall be exempt from any assessments and other liabilities that may be imposed on controlling or principal shareholders by any Federal law or the law of any State. Nothing in this section shall affect the application of any Federal tax law.

§ 1807.908 Fraud, waste and abuse.

Any person who becomes aware of the existence or apparent existence of fraud, waste or abuse of a CMF Award should report such incidences to the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Mary Ann Donovan, Director, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
[FR Doc. 2016-02132 Filed 2-3-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4810-70-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7483; Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-23] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Michigan Towns: Alpena, MI; and Muskegon, MI AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends the legal description of the Class E surface area airspace and Class E airspace designated as an extension at Alpena County Regional Airport, Alpena, MI, and Muskegon County Airport, Muskegon, MI, eliminating the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) part-time status, and updates the geographic coordinates of Muskegon County Airport, to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, March 31, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

In a review of the airspace, the FAA found the airspace for Alpena County Regional Airport, Alpena, MI, and Muskegon County Airport, Muskegon, MI, as published in FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, does not require part time status. This is an administrative change removing the part time NOTAM information from the legal descriptions for the above airports.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6002 and 6004, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.9Z dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This action amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by eliminating the NOTAM information that reads, “This Class E airspace is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.” from the regulatory text of the Class E surface area airspace and Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D, at Alpena County Regional Airport, Alpena, MI, and Muskegon County Airport, Muskegon, MI. Additionally, the geographic coordinates of the Muskegon County Airport are being updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

This is an administrative change amending the description for the above Michigan airports to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database, and does not affect the boundaries, or operating requirements of the airspace; therefore, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. AGL MI E2 Alpena, MI (Amended) Alpena County Regional Airport (Lat. 45°04′41″ N., long. 83°33′37″ W.) Alpena VORTAC (Lat. 45°04′58″ N., long. 83°33′25″ W.)

Within a 4.4-mile radius of the Alpena County Regional Airport, and within 2.5 miles each side of the Alpena VORTAC 350° radial, extending from the 4.4-mile radius of the airport to 7 miles north of the VORTAC, and within 2.5 miles each side of the Alpena VORTAC 187° radial, extending from the 4.4-mile radius of the airport to 7 miles south of the VORTAC.

AGL MI E2 Muskegon, MI (Amended) Muskegon County Airport, MI (Lat. 43°10′04″ N., long. 086°14′08″ W.)

Within a 4.2-mile radius of the Muskegon County Airport and within 1.3 miles each side of the Muskegon VORTAC 271° radial extending from the VORTAC to the 4.2-mile radius of Muskegon County Airport.

Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. AGL MI E4 Alpena, MI (Amended) Alpena County Regional Airport, MI (Lat. 45°04′41″ N., long. 83°33′37″ W.) Alpena VORTAC (Lat. 45°04′58″ N., long. 83°33′25″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within 2.5 miles each side of the Alpena VORTAC 350° radial, extending from the 4.4-mile radius of Alpena County Regional Airport to 7 miles north of the VORTAC, and within 2.5 miles each side of the Alpena VORTAC 187° radial, extending from the 4.4-mile radius of the airport to 7 miles south of the VORTAC.

AGL MI E4 Muskegon, MI (Amended) Muskegon County Airport, MI (Lat. 43°10′04″ N., long. 086°14′08″ W.) Muskegon VORTAC (Lat. 43°10′09″ N., long. 086°02′22″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within 1.3 miles each side of the Muskegon VORTAC 271° radial extending from the VORTAC to the 4.2-mile radius of the Muskegon County Airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 27, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2016-02285 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7484; Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-24] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Minnesota Towns: Rochester, MN; and St. Cloud, MN AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends the legal description of the Class E surface area airspace and Class E airspace designated as an extension, at Rochester International Airport, Rochester, MN, and St. Cloud Regional Airport, St. Cloud, MN, eliminating the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) part-time status. This action also updates the geographic coordinates of Rochester International Airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, March 31, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

In a review of the airspace, the FAA found the Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace designated as an extension, for Rochester International Airport, Rochester, MN, and St. Cloud Regional Airport, St. Cloud, MN, as published in FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, does not require part time status. This is an administrative change removing the part time NOTAM information from the legal descriptions for the above airports.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6002 and 6004 of FAA Order 7400.9Z dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This action amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by eliminating the NOTAM information that reads, “This Class E airspace is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.” from the regulatory text of Class E surface area airspace and Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D, at Rochester International Airport, Rochester, MN, and St. Cloud Regional Airport, St. Cloud, MN. Additionally, the geographic coordinates of the Rochester International Airport are being updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

This is an administrative change amending the description for the above Minnesota airports to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database, and does not affect the boundaries, or operating requirements of the airspace; therefore, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. AGL MN E2 Rochester, MN (Amended) Rochester International Airport, MN (Lat. 43°54′30″ N., long. 92°30′00″ W.) Rochester VOR/DME (Lat. 43°46′58″ N., long. 92°35′49″ W.)

Within a 4.3-mile radius of Rochester International Airport, and within 3.1 miles each side of the Rochester VOR/DME 028° radial, extending from the 4.3-mile radius to 7 miles southwest of the airport.

AGL MN E2 St. Cloud, MN (Amended) St. Cloud Regional Airport, MN (Lat. 45°32′48″ N., long. 94°03′36″ W.) St. Cloud VOR/DME (Lat. 45°32′58″ N., long. 94°03′31″ W.)

Within a 4.1-mile radius of St. Cloud Regional Airport and within 2.4 miles each side of the St. Cloud VOR/DME 143° radial, extending from the 4.1-mile radius to 7.2 miles southeast of the airport.

Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. AGL MN E4 Rochester, MN (Amended) Rochester International Airport, MN (Lat. 43°54′30″ N., long. 92°30′00″ W.) Rochester VOR/DME (Lat. 43°46′58″ N., long. 92°35′49″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within 3.1 miles each side of Rochester VOR/DME 028° radial, extending from the 4.3-mile radius to 7 miles southwest of the airport.

AGL MN E4 St. Cloud, MN (Amended) St. Cloud Regional Airport, MN (Lat. 45°32′48″ N., long. 94°03′36″ W.) St. Cloud VOR/DME (Lat. 45°32′58″ N., long. 94°03′31″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within 2.4 miles each side of St. Cloud VOR/DME 143° radial extending from the 4.1-mile radius of St. Cloud Regional Airport to 7.2 miles southeast of the airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 27, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2016-02283 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7486; Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-26] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Wilmington, OH AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends the legal description of Class E surface area airspace and Class E airspace designated as an extension at Wilmington Air Park, Wilmington, OH, eliminating the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) part-time status. This action also updates the airport name of Wilmington Air Park, Wilmington, OH, to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, March 31, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

In a review of the airspace, the FAA found the airspace for Wilmington Air Park, Wilmington, OH, as published in FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, does not require part time status. This is an administrative change removing the part time NOTAM information from the legal description for the airport.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6002 and 6004, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.9Z dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This action amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by eliminating the NOTAM information that reads, “This Class E airspace is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.” from the regulatory text of the Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D, at Wilmington Air Park, Wilmington, OH, formerly Airborne Airpark.

This is an administrative change amending the description for Wilmington Air Park to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database, and does not affect the boundaries, or operating requirements of the airspace; therefore, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. AGL OH E2 Wilmington, OH (Amended) Wilmington, Wilmington Air Park, OH (Lat. 39°25′41″ N., long. 083°47′32″ W.) Wilmington, Hollister Field Airport, OH (Lat. 39°26′15″ N., long. 083°42′30″ W.)

Within a 4.2-mile radius of Wilmington Air Park, and within 3.7 miles each side of the Midwest VOR/DME 215° radial extending from the 4.2-mile radius of Wilmington Air Park to 7 miles southwest of the airport, and within 3.7 miles each side of the Midwest VOR/DME 041° radial extending from the 4.2-mile radius of the airport to 7 miles northeast of the airport, excluding that portion of airspace within a 1-mile radius of Hollister Field Airport.

Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. AGL OH E4 Wilmington, OH (Amended) Wilmington, Wilmington Air Park, OH (Lat. 39°25′41″ N., long. 083°47′32″ W.) Wilmington, Hollister Field Airport, OH (Lat. 39°26′15″ N., long. 083°42′30″ W.) Midwest VOR/DME (Lat. 39°25′47″ N., long. 083°48′04″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within 3.7 miles each side of the Midwest VOR/DME 215° radial, extending from the 4.2-mile radius of Wilmington Air Park to 7 miles southwest of the airport, and within 3.7 miles each side of the Midwest VOR/DME 041° radial extending from the 4.2-mile radius of the airport to 7 miles northeast of the airport, excluding that portion of airspace within a 1-mile radius of Hollister Field Airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 29, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2016-02284 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-367] RIN 1117-AB39 Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Vicks® VapoInhaler® AGENCY:

Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule adopts the interim final rule, with a correction to spelling of the manufacturer's name that was published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2015. The Drug Enforcement Administration is amending the table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products to update the listing for Vicks® VapoInhaler®, containing 50 mg levmetamfetamine in a nasal decongestant inhaler, marketed by The Procter & Gamble Company. This over-the-counter, non-narcotic drug product is excluded from provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on February 8, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Barbara J. Boockholdt, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Legal Authority

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and they are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purpose of this action. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II.

The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring an adequate supply is available for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety.

Under the CSA, each controlled substance is classified into one of five schedules based upon its potential for abuse, its currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the degree of dependence the drug or other substance may cause. 21 U.S.C. 812. The initial schedules of controlled substances established by Congress are found at 21 U.S.C. 812(c) and the current list of all scheduled substances is published at 21 CFR part 1308.

The CSA states that the Attorney General shall by regulation exclude any nonnarcotic drug which contains a controlled substance from the application of the CSA, if such drug may, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. 301 et seq., be lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription. 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1). Such exclusions apply only to specific nonnarcotic drugs following suitable application to the DEA in accordance with 21 CFR 1308.21. The current table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products is found in 21 CFR 1308.22. The authority to exclude such substances has been delegated to the Administrator of the DEA, 28 CFR 0.100, and redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control, section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

Background

This final rule adopts, with a change to the spelling of the manufacturer's name, the interim final rule, “Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Vicks® VapoInhaler® ” that was published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2015. 80 FR 65635. The correct spelling of the manufacturer's name is “The Procter & Gamble Company.” The interim final rule contained a typographical error in which “Procter” was inadvertently spelled as “Proctor.”

On February 9, 2012, pursuant to the application process of § 1308.21, the DEA received correspondence from The Procter & Gamble Company (“P&G”) notifying the DEA that it had reduced the quantity of l-desoxyephedrine (levmetamfetamine) from 113 mg to 50 mg in their Vicks® InhalerTM product which is currently excluded under § 1308.22. Levmetamfetamine is controlled in schedule II as an isomer of methamphetamine. 21 CFR 1308.12(d)(2). P&G requested that the DEA update the current exclusion for its Vicks® InhalerTM and indicated it had acquired Richardson-Vicks, Inc. (including its subsidiary, the Vick Chemical Company). The company stated that the product name has been modified from Vicks® InhalerTM to Vicks® VapoInhaler® and that the change included a corresponding National Drug Code (NDC) number reassignment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Furthermore, P&G stated that the nomenclature for the active ingredient/controlled substance had been changed from l-desoxyephedrine to levmetamfetamine. P&G indicated that nothing in the formulation change affects other aspects of the drug delivery system.

Based on the application and other information received, including the quantitative composition of the substance and labeling and packaging information, the DEA determined that this product may, under the FD&C Act, be lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription. 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1). In addition, the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control found that the active ingredient in this drug product (levmetamfetamine) is a schedule II controlled substance and is not a narcotic drug as defined by 21 U.S.C. 802(17). The Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control therefore found and concluded that this product continues to meet the criteria for exclusion from the CSA pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1).

The interim final rule provided an opportunity for interested persons to submit written comments on the rule on or before December 28, 2015. The DEA received one comment in response to the publication of the interim final rule which was a request from P&G for a correction to the spelling of their name. As noted above, the spelling has been corrected in this final rule.

This exclusion only applies to the finished drug product in the form of an inhaler (in the exact formulation detailed in the application for exclusion), which is lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription under the FD&C Act. The extraction or removal of the active ingredient (levmetamfetamine) from the inhaler shall negate this exclusion and result in the possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

Regulatory Analyses Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

This regulation has been developed in accordance with the Executive Orders 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b) and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” The DEA has determined that this rule is not “a significant regulatory action,” and accordingly this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. As discussed above, this product was previously exempted under a different company name. As discussed in the interim final rule, this action will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612) applies to rules that are subject to notice and comment. The DEA determined, as explained in the interim final rule, that public notice and comment were impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Consequently, the RFA does not apply. Although the RFA does not apply to this rulemaking, the DEA has reviewed the potential impacts of this final rule and determined that it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As discussed above and in the interim final rule, this product was previously exempted under a different company name. The Deputy Assistant Administrator, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, has reviewed this regulation and by approving it certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12988

This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote simplification and burden reduction.

Executive Order 13132

This rulemaking does not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. The rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

Executive Order 13175

This rule does not have tribal implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13175. This rule does not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

As stated in the interim final rule, the DEA has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., that this action would not result in any Federal mandate that may result “in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year * * *.” Therefore, neither a Small Government Agency Plan nor any other action is required under provisions of the UMRA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

As stated in the interim final rule, this rule does not impose a new collection of information requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521. This action would not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Congressional Review Act

This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Congressional Review Act (CRA)). This rule will not result in: An annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, the interim final rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2015 (80 FR 65635), is adopted as final with the following change:

PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 1308 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), unless otherwise noted.

2. Amend § 1308.22, in the table, by removing the company name, “Proctor & Gamble Co., The” and adding in its place “Procter & Gamble Co., The”. Dated: February 2, 2016. Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control.
[FR Doc. 2016-02403 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-409] RIN 1117-ZA30 Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler AGENCY:

Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2015. The Drug Enforcement Administration is amending the table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products to update the company name for the drug product Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler (containing 50 milligrams levmetamfetamine) to Aphena Pharma Solutions—New York, LLC. This over-the-counter, nonnarcotic drug product is excluded from the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on February 8, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Barbara J. Boockholdt, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Legal Authority

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and they are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purpose of this action. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II.

The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring an adequate supply is available for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety.

Under the CSA, each controlled substance is classified into one of five schedules based upon its potential for abuse, its currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the degree of dependence the drug or other substance may cause. 21 U.S.C. 812. The initial schedules of controlled substances established by Congress are found at 21 U.S.C. 812(c) and the current list of all scheduled substances is published at 21 CFR part 1308.

The CSA states that the Attorney General shall by regulation exclude any nonnarcotic drug which contains a controlled substance from the application of the CSA, if such drug may, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. 301 et seq., be lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription. 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1). Such exclusions apply only to specific nonnarcotic drugs following suitable application to the DEA in accordance with 21 CFR 1308.21. The current table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products is found in 21 CFR 1308.22. The authority to exclude such substances has been delegated to the Administrator of the DEA, 28 CFR 0.100, and redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control, section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

Background

This final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule, “Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler” that was published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2015. 80 FR 65632.

On December 10, 2013, pursuant to the application process of § 1308.21, the DEA received correspondence from Aphena Pharma Solutions—New York, LLC (Aphena Pharma) stating that it had acquired Classic Pharmaceuticals LLC and requesting that the current exclusion for the drug product Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler be transferred to Aphena Pharma. Aphena Pharma also stated that the manufacturing process (i.e., facility) and the formulation for the drug product Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler had not changed.

Based on the application and other information received, the DEA determined that this product may, under the FD&C Act, be lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription. 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1). In addition, the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control found that the active ingredient in this drug product (levmetamfetamine) is a schedule II controlled substance 1 and is not a narcotic drug as defined by 21 U.S.C. 802(17). The Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control therefore found and concluded that this drug product continues to meet the criteria for exclusion from the CSA pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1).

1 Levmetamfetamine is controlled in schedule II of the CSA because it is an isomer of methamphetamine.

The interim final rule provided an opportunity for interested persons to submit written comments on the rule on or before December 28, 2015. The DEA received one comment in response to the publication of the interim final rule voicing support for the action. The DEA appreciates the support for the rule.

This exclusion only applies to the finished drug product in the form of an inhaler (in the exact formulation detailed in the application for exclusion), which is lawfully sold under the FD&C Act over-the-counter without a prescription. The extraction or removal of the active ingredient (levmetamfetamine) from the inhaler shall negate this exclusion and result in the possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

Regulatory Analyses Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

This regulation has been developed in accordance with the Executive Orders 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b) and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” The DEA has determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action, and accordingly this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. As discussed above, this product was previously exempted under a different company name. As discussed in the interim final rule, this action will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or tribal governments or communities; create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612) applies to rules that are subject to notice and comment. The DEA determined, as explained in the interim final rule, that public notice and comment were impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Consequently, the RFA does not apply. Although the RFA does not apply to this rulemaking, the DEA has reviewed the potential impacts of this final rule and determined that it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As discussed above and in the interim final rule, this product was previously exempted under a different company name. The Deputy Assistant Administrator, in accordance with the RFA, has reviewed this regulation and by approving it certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12988

This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote simplification and burden reduction.

Executive Order 13132

This rulemaking does not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. The rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

Executive Order 13175

This rule does not have tribal implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13175. This rule does not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

The DEA has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., that this action would not result in any Federal mandate that may result “in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year * * *.” Therefore, neither a Small Government Agency Plan nor any other action is required under provisions of the UMRA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule does not impose a new collection of information requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521. This action would not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Congressional Review Act

This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Congressional Review Act (CRA)). This rule will not result in: An annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, the interim final rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2015 (80 FR 65632), is adopted as a final rule without change.

Dated: February 2, 2016. Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control.
[FR Doc. 2016-02404 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0073] RIN 2127-AL27 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment AGENCY:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

NHTSA is amending the side marker requirements contained in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) on lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment for vehicles 80 inches or more in width and less than 30 feet long. This final rule adopts the amendments proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), published on December 4, 2012. These amendments will restore the side marker photometry requirements for motor vehicles under thirty feet in length that were in place prior to the 2007 final rule that reorganized the standard. Restoration of the side marker requirements will have no negative impact on safety or function and will allow motor vehicle manufacturers to avoid unnecessary modifications to their side marker lamps with no added safety or functional benefit.

DATES:

Effective Date: August 8, 2016. Compliance Date: Optional early compliance as discussed below.

Petitions for Reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must be received not later than March 24, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Any petitions for reconsideration should refer to the docket number of this document and be submitted to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Docket Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For technical issues: Mr. Wayne McKenzie, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: (202) 366-1729) (Fax: (202) 366-7002).

For legal issues: Mr. John Piazza, Office of the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: (202) 366-2992) (Fax: (202) 366-3820).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Side marker lamps have been required by FMVSS No. 108 since it was promulgated as one of the initial Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards in 1967.1 The main purpose of side marker lamps is to indicate the overall length of the vehicle. The photometric requirements are meant to ensure that the side marker lamps are sufficiently visible from a range of viewing angles. This final rule addresses an unintentional change NHTSA made to the photometric requirements for side marker lamps when it reorganized FMVSS No. 108 in 2007.2 Before considering the changes made by this final rule, it is useful to briefly examine the evolution of the side marker requirements before 2007.

1See 32 FR 2408 (Feb. 3, 1967).

2 72 FR 68234 (Dec. 4, 2007). The reorganized standard did not take effect until December 1, 2012. 76 FR 48009 (Aug. 8, 2011).

Relevant to the present rulemaking is a change that was made to the side marker requirements in 1980 in response to a petition for rulemaking from Chrysler Corporation.3 At the time of the Chrysler petition, FMVSS No. 108 required that the photometric requirements for side marker lamps be met at test points 45 degrees outboard and inboard of the lateral center line passing through the lamps. FMVSS No. 108, however, permitted an additional compliance option for vehicles less than 80 inches in width. This additional compliance option had the effect of relaxing the inboard photometry requirements for the side marker lamps.4 Chrysler—which wanted to use a common side marker design for its single-wheeled (less than 80 inches wide) and its dual-wheeled (greater than 80 inches wide) pickup trucks—petitioned to make this compliance option available to all vehicles regardless of width. NHTSA agreed with Chrysler that eligibility for the additional compliance option should not depend on a vehicle's width, but did not agree that it should be available to all vehicles. The agency explained that the additional compliance option would not be appropriate for vehicles that are 30 feet or longer.5 Accordingly, the 1980 final rule revised FMVSS No. 108 by deleting the words “80 inches in overall width” and substituting “30 feet in overall length.”

3 45 FR 45287 (July 3, 1980).

4 Specifically, under this additional compliance option, the photometric requirements could be met for all inboard test points at a distance of 15 feet from the vehicle and on a vertical plane that is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and located midway between the front and rear side marker lamps. This results in an angle of less than 45 degrees instead of the fixed 45 degrees that was otherwise required, so that the side marker lamp was effectively permitted to illuminate a smaller area than it otherwise would have been required to illuminate. See 45 FR 45287 (July 3, 1980) (citing 49 CFR 571.108, S4.1.1.8).

5 This is because testing of side marker lamps is done at a distance of 15 feet perpendicular to the vehicle and at a 45 degree angle. At such a distance and angle, only a vehicle 30 feet long or under would have both of its side marker lamps visible.

The next change to the side marker requirements relevant to this final rule occurred in 2007, when NHTSA reorganized FMVSS No. 108. The reorganization was intended to streamline the regulatory text and clarify the standard's requirements. That final rule made the standard more user-friendly by significantly reducing the number of third-party documents, such as SAE 6 standards, incorporated by reference. Prior to the reorganization, FMVSS No. 108 would, in many instances, specify requirements by simply referencing an SAE standard (which contained the requirements), instead of explicitly specifying those requirements in the text of FMVSS No. 108. However, when the standard was reorganized in 2007, requirements contained in the referenced third-party standards were included directly in the regulatory text, instead of incorporating the requirements by referencing the standard that contained those requirements. The agency explained that the reorganization was administrative in nature and that the FMVSS No. 108 requirements were not being increased, decreased, or substantively modified.

6 The Society of Automotive Engineers (now SAE International). SAE is an organization that develops technical standards based on best practices.

However, the newly revised version of FMVSS No. 108 inadvertently changed the alternative compliance option for side marker lamps. Prior to the reorganization, side marker lamps were required to conform to SAE Standard J592e (July 1972) (i.e., the requirements were specified using incorporation by reference). In addition, the pre-reorganization regulatory text also explicitly specified the alternative compliance option that was the subject of the 1980 final rule.7 The side marker lamp requirements specified in SAE J592e (July 1972) also included (in a footnote) an alternative compliance option for vehicles less than 80 inches wide. This was the same compliance option for which the agency had deleted the words “80 inches in overall width” and added the words “30 feet in overall length” in the 1980 final rule. When NHTSA reorganized FMVSS No. 108 in 2007, the requirements contained in SAE Standard J592e (July 1972) were included directly into the regulatory text of FMVSS No. 108, thus eliminating the incorporation by reference; 8 this included the width-based compliance option that we had deleted from FMVSS No. 108 in 1980. Accordingly, the 2007 reorganization specified the alternative compliance option that for each motor vehicle less than 30 feet in overall length and less than 2032 mm [80 inches] in overall width, the minimum photometric intensity requirements for a side marker lamp may be met for all inboard test points at a distance of 15 feet from the vehicle and on a vertical plane that is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and located midway between the front and rear side marker lamps.9

7 The 1980 final rule placed this requirement in S4.1.1.8. Due to subsequent amendments, at the time of the 2007 reorganization, the requirement was in S5.1.1.8.

8 The requirements were placed in a new table, Table X.

9 See S7.4.13.2.

Therefore, the agency inadvertently added back into FMVSS No. 108 the same width-based language it had deleted in 1980. This had the effect of substantively changing the side marker requirements by limiting the vehicles that were eligible for the additional compliance option. Before the reorganization, vehicles less than 30 feet long were eligible; after the rewrite, a vehicle had to be both less than 30 feet long and less than 80 inches wide. The agency did not cite within its analysis in the 2007 final rule the 1980 rulemaking that replaced the width criterion with the length criterion.10

10 The agency did receive comments to the NPRM to reorganize FMVSS No. 108 that stated that the agency's proposal to add the width criterion to the side marker requirements was a substantive change to the side marker requirements. However, these comments did not cite the 1980 rulemaking that had deleted the width criterion.

II. 2012 Side Marker NPRM

To address this change, NHTSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on December 4, 2012.11 As we explained in the NPRM, based on our communications with vehicle manufacturers, a petition for rulemaking from the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers, and our review of the 1980 final rule, NHTSA recognized that the 2007 rewrite erroneously added the width requirement back into the standard. This inadvertent change might have required manufacturers to perform costly redesigns in order to comply with the 2007 final rule. Accordingly, the NPRM proposed to restore the pre-reorganization side marker requirements for vehicles that are 80 inches or more in width and less than 30 feet long. Considering the cost manufacturers would have to incur as a result of the modifications in the 2007 final rule, NHTSA announced in the 2012 NPRM that it would not pursue compliance actions against manufacturers that install side marker lamps on vehicles that are 80 inches or more in width and less than 30 feet long that fail to meet the 45 degree inboard photometric requirements of the 2007 final rule, provided that they meet the photometric requirements at a distance of 15 feet from the vehicle and on a vertical plane that is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and located midway between the front and rear side marker lamps. NHTSA stated that this enforcement policy would be effective until the rulemaking was completed. That enforcement policy will end as of the effective date of this final rule.

11 77 FR 71752, Dec. 4, 2012.

III. Comments on the NPRM

NHTSA received only three comments in response to the 2012 NPRM. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (the “Alliance”) stated that it agrees with NHTSA's analysis of the situation surrounding the changes to FMVSS No. 108 during the administrative reorganization process as well as the proposed revisions. The Alliance stated that the proposed changes would bring the side marker photometry requirements back in line with the original intent of the 1980 final rule and restore the requirements that were in force prior to the 2007 final rule. The Alliance also commented that the phrase “. . . and less than 80 inches (2m) in overall width” should be deleted from footnote 1 of Table X to ensure there is no ambiguity concerning the application of side marker lamp inboard photometry requirements.

General Motors submitted a comment in support of the change to the proposal and stated that the proposed changes would restore the previous requirements and would have no overall effect on safety.

The European Commission submitted a comment requesting an extension of the comment period to February 5, 2013.

IV. Agency Comment Analysis and Agency Decision

NHTSA has carefully considered the comments submitted in this rulemaking. We have reviewed the comments received from GM and the Alliance and agree with the rationale presented. Having received no information to the contrary, we are amending S7.4.13.2 of FMVSS No. 108 to delete the phrase “and less than 2032 mm in overall width,” consistent with the proposal. This revision will restore the photometric requirements in FMVSS No. 108 for side marker lamps on vehicles less than 30 feet in length so that the requirements may be met for all inboard test points at a distance of 15 feet from the vehicle on a vertical plane that is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and located midway between the front and rear side marker lamps, regardless of the width of the vehicle.

We have also decided to adopt the Alliance's proposed revision to footnote 1 of Table X. The text in the footnote that the Alliance proposes to delete—“and less than 80 inches (2m) in overall width”—is essentially the same as the text we are deleting from S7.4.13.2. Similarly revising this footnote will make the requirements stated in the footnote consistent with the requirements stated in S7.4.13.2.

With respect to the comment from the European Commission, NHTSA chose not to extend the comment period formally because we stated in the NPRM that the agency would consider late comments to the extent practicable. Given that this final rule is being published several years after the NPRM and we did not receive any additional comments or requests to extend the comment period, we consider this comment resolved.

V. Effective Date

In the NPRM we proposed an effective date of 30 days after publication of the final rule. Under the Safety Act, a FMVSS typically is not effective before the 180th day after the standard is published. We did not receive any comments concerning the proposed effective date. Therefore, in keeping with typical practice, this final rule will be effective August 8, 2016, with optional early compliance. We believe that specifying a later effective date for this final rule will not have any adverse effects or prejudice regulated entities. Moreover, providing for optional early compliance will allow manufacturers to immediately benefit from the flexibility afforded by the revised side marker requirements the same as if the effective date were earlier. NHTSA's compliance policy stated in the 2012 NPRM is terminated as of the effective date of this final rule.

VI. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

NHTSA has considered the impact of this rulemaking action under Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and the DOT's regulatory policies and procedures. This final rule was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under E.O. 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.” It is not considered to be significant under E.O. 12866 or the Department's regulatory policies and procedures.

This final rule restores requirements to the standard that were unintentionally changed during the administrative revision of the standard. Because this final rule merely restores previously existing requirements it is not expected to have any costs. This final rule allows manufacturers to avoid the cost of redesigning the side marker lamps for dual-wheeled pickup trucks because these vehicles can now continue to meet the side marker photometry requirements for narrower vehicles. Because there are not any costs associated with this rulemaking and only minor benefits, we have not prepared a separate economic analysis for this rulemaking.

B. Executive Order 13609: Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

The policy statement in section 1 of Executive Order 13609 provides, in part:

The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements.

NHTSA is not aware of any conflicting regulatory approach taken by a foreign government concerning the subject matter of this rulemaking.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 60l et seq., NHTSA has evaluated the effects of this action on small entities. I hereby certify that this rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The final rule would affect manufacturers of motor vehicle light equipment, but the entities that qualify as small businesses would not be significantly affected by this rulemaking because the agency is restoring requirements that previously existed in an older version of the regulation. This rulemaking is not expected to affect the cost of manufacturing motor vehicle lighting equipment.

D. Executive Order 13132

NHTSA has examined this rule pursuant to Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and concluded that no additional consultation with States, local governments or their representatives is mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The agency has concluded that the rulemaking would not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The final rule would 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.”

NHTSA rules can preempt in two ways. First, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act contains an express preemption provision: “When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter.” 49 U.S.C. 30103(b)(1). It is this statutory command by Congress that preempts any non-identical State legislative and administrative law addressing the same aspect of performance.

The express preemption provision set forth above is subject to a savings clause under which “[c]ompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from liability at common law.” 49 U.S.C. 30103(e). Pursuant to this provision, State common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle manufacturers that might otherwise be preempted by the express preemption provision are generally preserved.

However, the Supreme Court has recognized the possibility, in some instances, of implied preemption of such State common law tort causes of action by virtue of NHTSA's rules, even if not expressly preempted. This second way that NHTSA rules can preempt is dependent upon there being an actual conflict between an FMVSS and the higher standard that would effectively be imposed on motor vehicle manufacturers if someone obtained a State common law tort judgment against the manufacturer, notwithstanding the manufacturer's compliance with the NHTSA standard. Because most NHTSA standards established by an FMVSS are minimum standards, a State common law tort cause of action that seeks to impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers will generally not be preempted. However, if and when such a conflict does exist—for example, when the standard at issue is both a minimum and a maximum standard—the State common law tort cause of action is impliedly preempted. See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000).

Pursuant to Executive Order 13132 and 12988, NHTSA has considered whether this rule could or should preempt State common law causes of action. The agency's ability to announce its conclusion regarding the preemptive effect of one of its rules reduces the likelihood that preemption will be an issue in any subsequent tort litigation.

To this end, the agency has examined the nature (e.g., the language and structure of the regulatory text) and objectives of this rule and finds that this rule, like many NHTSA rules, prescribes only a minimum safety standard. As such, NHTSA does not intend that this rule preempt state tort law that would effectively impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers than that established by this rule. Establishment of a higher standard by means of State tort law would not conflict with the minimum standard announced here. Without any conflict, there could not be any implied preemption of a State common law tort cause of action.

E. National Environmental Policy Act

NHTSA has analyzed this final rule for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that implementation of this action would not have any significant impact on the quality of the human environment.

F. Paperwork Reduction Act

Under the procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. This final rule would not establish any new information collection requirements.

G. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) (Pub. L. 104-113), “all Federal agencies and departments shall use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies and departments.” This final rule would not adopt or reference any new industry or consensus standards that were not already present in FMVSS No. 108.

H. Civil Justice Reform

With respect to the review of the promulgation of a new regulation, section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform” (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996) requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect; (2) clearly specifies the effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) clearly specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) specifies whether administrative proceedings are to be required before parties file suit in court; (6) adequately defines key terms; and (7) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. This document is consistent with these requirements.

Pursuant to this Order, NHTSA notes as follows. The preemptive effect of this final rule is discussed above. NHTSA notes further that there is no requirement that individuals submit a petition for reconsideration or pursue other administrative proceeding before they may file suit in court.

I. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This final rule would not result in expenditures by State, local or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector in excess of $100 million annually.

J. Executive Order 13211

Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 18, 2001) applies to any rulemaking that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as defined under E.O. 12866, and is likely to have a significantly adverse effect on the supply of, distribution of, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. This rulemaking is not subject to E.O. 13211.

K. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. 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.

L. Privacy Act

Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78).

Regulatory Text List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, Tires.

In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA is amending 49 CFR part 571 as set forth below.

PART 571—FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for part 571 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30166: delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.

2. Section 571.108 is amended by revising paragraph S7.4.13.2 and footnote 1 of Table X to read as follows:
§ 571.108 Standard No. 108; Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.

S7.4.13.2 Inboard photometry. For each motor vehicle less than 30 feet in overall length, the minimum photometric intensity requirements for a side marker lamp may be met for all inboard test points at a distance of 15 feet from the vehicle and on a vertical plane that is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and located midway between the front and rear side marker lamps.

Table X—Side Marker Lamp Photometry Requirements

(1) Where a side marker lamp installed on a motor vehicle less than 30 feet in overall length has the lateral angle nearest the other required side marker lamp on the same side of the vehicle reduced from 45° by design as specified by S7.4.13.2, the photometric intensity measurement may be met at the lesser angle.

Issued in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2016 under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95. Mark R. Rosekind, Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-02268 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD 49 CFR Part 830 [Docket No. NTSB-AS-2012-0001] RIN 3147-AA11 Notification and Reporting of Aircraft Accidents or Incidents and Overdue Aircraft, and Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail, Cargo, and Records AGENCY:

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

ACTION:

Final rule; confirmation of effective date.

SUMMARY:

The NTSB publishes confirmation of an amendment to its regulations concerning notification and reporting requirements with regard to aircraft accidents or incidents, titled, “Immediate notification.” The regulation requires reports of Airborne Collision and Avoidance System (ACAS) resolution advisories issued under certain specific circumstances. In a Direct Final Rule published December 15, 2015, the NTSB narrowed the ACAS reporting requirement, consistent with the agency's authority to issue non-controversial amendments to rules. The NTSB also updated its contact information for notifications. This document confirms the changes and the effective date.

DATES:

The final rule published December 15, 2015 (80 FR 77586) becomes effective February 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

A copy of this final rule, published in the Federal Register, is available for inspection and copying in the NTSB's public reading room, located at 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-2000. Alternatively, a copy of the rule is available on the NTSB Web site, at http://www.ntsb.gov, and at the government-wide Web site on regulations, at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Scott Dunham, National Resource Specialist—ATC, Office of Aviation Safety, (202) 314-6387.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

As described in the NTSB's preamble summarizing the direct final rule, in 2010, the NTSB added a requirement for notification of reports of Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) resolution advisories issued either (i) when an aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan and compliance with the advisory is necessary to avert a substantial risk of collision between two or more aircraft, or (ii) to an aircraft operating in class A airspace. 75 FR 922 (Jan. 7, 2010).

In collecting such reports since 2010, the NTSB has determined it no longer needs reports of ACAS resolution advisories issued to an aircraft operating in class A airspace. This final rule confirms the NTSB will now only require reports of such resolution advisories when an aircraft operating on an IFR flight plan my comply with the advisory in order to avert a substantial risk of collision between two or more aircraft. As a result, pursuant to its regulations governing rulemaking, the NTSB issued a direct final rule to amend 49 CFR 830.5(a)(10), as described above. 80 FR 77586 (Dec. 15, 2015).

In addition to the removal of a portion of section 830.5(a)(10), the NTSB also amended a footnote that accompanies the first paragraph of section 830.5. The footnote previously contained outdated contact information for NTSB regional offices. The NTSB has updated this footnote to refer the public to www.ntsb.gov or the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290, should the operators need to contact the NTSB to inform the agency of an accident or incident. This document confirms both the change to section 830.5(a)(10) and the updated text of the footnote.

The NTSB's rule on the direct final rulemaking procedure, codified at 49 CFR 800.44, states a direct final rule makes changes to a regulation which will take effect on a certain date unless the NTSB receives an adverse comment or a notice of intent to file an adverse comment. Id. § 800.44(d). Section 800.44 also defines “adverse comment” for purposes of the direct final rulemaking procedure. Comments on the NTSB's change to section 830.5(a)(10) and the updated footnote accompanying section 830.5 were due by January 14, 2016. The NTSB did not receive any comments. Therefore, as indicated in the direct final rule, the changes will become effective on February 16, 2016.

Legal Analyses and Effective Date

This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.” Therefore, Executive Order 12866 does not require a Regulatory Assessment, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed this proposed rule under Executive Order 12866.

This rule does not require an analysis under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1501-1571, or the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347. The NTSB has also analyzed these amendments in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132, “Federalism.” This final rule does not contain any regulations that would: (1) Have a substantial direct effect on the states, the relationship between the national government and the states, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government; (2) impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments; or (3) preempt state law. Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 13132 do not apply.

The NTSB is also aware that the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires each agency to review its rulemaking to assess the potential impact on small entities, unless the agency determines a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The NTSB certifies this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Regarding other Executive Orders and statutory provisions, this final rule also complies with all applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. In addition, the NTSB has evaluated this rule under: Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights”; Executive Order 13045, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks”; Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”; Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use”; and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, 15 U.S.C. 272 note. The NTSB has concluded this rule does not contravene any of the requirements set forth in these Executive Orders or statutes, nor does it prompt further consideration with regard to such requirements.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 830

Aircraft accidents, Aircraft incidents, Aviation safety, Overdue aircraft notification and reporting, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: February 3, 2016. Christopher A. Hart, Chairman.
[FR Doc. 2016-02413 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7533-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887-5172-02] RIN 0648-XE429 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Directed Fishing With Trawl Gear by Fisheries Act Catcher Processors in Bycatch Limitation Zone 1 of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing with trawl gear, other than pelagic trawl gear for walleye pollock, by American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher processors in Bycatch Limitation Zone 1 of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the sideboard limit of the 2016 bycatch allowance of red king crab in Zone 1 specified for AFA trawl catcher processors in the BSAI.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 3, 2016, though 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

The sideboard limit of the 2016 bycatch allowance of red king crab in Zone 1 specified for the AFA trawl catcher processors in the BSAI is 606 crab as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015).

In accordance with § 679.64(a)(2) and (3), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the sideboard limit of red king crab in Zone 1 specified for the AFA catcher processors in the BSAI will be caught. Therefore, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing with trawl gear in Zone 1, other than pelagic trawl gear for walleye pollock, by AFA trawl catcher processors in the BSAI.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of directed fishing with trawl gear, other than pelagic trawl gear for walleye pollock, by AFA trawl catcher processors in Zone 1 of the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notification providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of February 1, 2016.

The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

This action is required by § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: February 3, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-02391 Filed 2-3-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 140918791-4999-02] RIN 0648-XE426 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; modification of a closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the A season allowance of the 2016 total allowable catch apportioned to catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 4, 2016, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2016. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., February 23, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2014-0118, by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0118, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. Regulations governing sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR part 680.

NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on January 1, 2016 pursuant to the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (80 FR 10250, February 25, 2015) and inseason adjustment (81 FR 188, January 5, 2016).

NMFS has determined that as of February 1, 2016, approximately 200 metric tons of Pacific cod remain in the A season allowance of the 2016 Pacific cod apportionment for catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully use the 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the opening of directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notification providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of February 1, 2016.

The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until February 23, 2016.

This action is required by § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: February 3, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-02394 Filed 2-3-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
81 25 Monday, February 8, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary 2 CFR Part 1403 [4334-63 167DOI02DM DS62400000 DLSN00000.000000 DX62401] RIN 1090-AB11 Financial Assistance Interior Regulation AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, Interior.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

This proposed rule establishes the Financial Assistance Interior Regulation (FAIR). The FAIR supplements the OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Omni-Circular), which was adopted The Department of the Interior (Department) on December 19, 2014. This proposed rule would consolidate the Department's financial assistance regulations and policies derived from the OMB Omni-Circular.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before April 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments on the rulemaking through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Please use Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1090-AB08 in your message. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. James McCaffery, Deputy Director, Office of Acquisition and Property Management, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 4262 MIB, Washington, DC 20240; telephone (202) 513-0695; or email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published its Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (referred to as the “Omni-Circular,” 78 FR 78590). The Omni-Circular provided a government-wide framework for Federal awards management; and streamlined administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for Federal awards including grants and cooperative agreements.

The Omni-Circular required Federal agencies to promulgate regulations implementing the policies and procedures applicable to Federal awards by December 26, 2014. On December 19, 2014, the Department published a final rule to adopt the OMB Omni-Circular in full as 2 CFR 1402, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards [79 FR 75867]. Subsequently, on December 22, 2014, the Department issued memoranda to supplement the following provisions of the OMB Omni-Circular: (1) Indirect Cost Rates for Federal Financial Assistance Awards and Agreements; (2) Conflict of Interest and Mandatory Disclosures for Financial Assistance; (3) Financial Assistance Application and Merit review Processes; and (4) Financial Assistance Awards for For-Profit Entities, Foreign Public Entities, and Foreign Organizations.

When the Omni-Circular became effective, it superseded many of the Department's existing financial assistance policies. The Department adopted the Omni-Circular in full and has addressed the Department's unique statutory requirements. The Department's adoption of the Omni-Circular is codified at 2 CFR part 1402. The Department intends to add supplemental rules or regulations for financial assistance through the establishment of the Financial Assistance Interior Regulation (FAIR). The FAIR will be codified at 2 CFR part 1403.

Invitation to Comment: This action represents an administrative simplification and is not intended to make any substantive changes to 2 CFR part 200 policies and procedures. In soliciting comments on these actions, the Department therefore is not seeking to revisit substantive issues resolved during the development and finalization of the Omni-Circular.

II. Effect on Prior Issuances

All Department of the Interior non-regulatory program manuals, handbooks and other materials that are inconsistent with 2 CFR part 200 and 2 CFR parts 1400 and 1402 are superseded, except to the extent that they are (1) required by statute; or (2) authorized in accordance with Omni-Circular Section 200.101, Applicability.

Except to the extent inconsistent with the regulations in all existing Department of the Interior regulations in 25 CFR parts 23, 27, 39, 40, 41, 256, 272, 278, and 276; 30 CFR parts 725, 735, 884, 886, and 890; 36 CFR parts 60, 61, 63, 65, 67, 72, and 800; 43 CFR parts 26 and 32; and 50 CFR parts 80, 81, 82, 83, and 401 are not superseded by these regulations; nor are any information collection approvals for financial assistance forms that have been granted under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

III. Required Determinations

1. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563). Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this proposed rule is not significant.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866, calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. E.O. 13563 directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public, where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives.

2. Regulatory Flexibility Act. This proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The Department of the Interior generally does not award grants to small businesses. The vast majority of Interior grants are awarded to States, local governments, and not-for-profit institutions.

3. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This proposed rule is not a major rule under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2)). This rule does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. The Department generally does not award grants to small businesses. This proposed rule will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions. This proposed rule does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This proposed rule establishes regulations for the Department of the Interior financial assistance. The Department's financial assistance is typically offered to States, local governments and not-for-profit institutions. It would not affect business relationships, employment, investment, productivity, innovations, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete internationally.

4. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. This proposed rule (1) does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year; (2) does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments, or the private sector (3) does not impose requirements on State, local, or tribal governments; and (4) is a reorganization of existing requirements and does not impose any new regulations. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

5. Takings (E.O. 12630). Under the criteria in section 2 of E.O. 12630, this proposed rule does not have significant takings implications. It does not impose any obligations on the public that would result in a taking. A takings implication assessment is not required.

6. Federalism (E.O. 13132). Under the criteria in section 1 of E.O. 13132, this proposed rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. It would not substantially and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and state governments. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

7. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988). This proposed rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. Specifically, this rule (1) meets the criteria of section 3(a) of this E.O. requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and (2) meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) of this E.O. requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

8. Consultation with Indian tribes (E.O. 13175). The Department strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a commitment to consultation and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the Department's consultation policy and under the criteria in E.O. 13175 and have determined that it has no substantial direct effect on Federally recognized Indian tribes and that consultation under the Department's tribal consultation policy is not required. This rule does not apply to tribal awards made in accordance with the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Pub. L. 93-638, 88 Stat. 2204), as amended. However, this rule does apply to discretionary grants or cooperative agreements awarded to Tribes pursuant to Sec. 9 of Pub. L. 93-638 when mutually agreed to by the Secretary of the Interior and the tribal organization involved.

9. Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq. Information collected in the financial assistance application process will be collected and managed in accordance with Omni-Circular section 200.206, Standard application requirements. However this rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) is not required. We may not conduct or sponsor, and you are not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

10. National Environmental Policy Act. This proposed rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required.

11. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211). This proposed rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in E.O. 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

12. Plain Language. We are required by section 1(b)(12) of E.O. 12866 and section 3(b)(1)(B) of E.O. 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must (1) be logically organized; (2) use the active voice to address readers directly; (3) use common, everyday words and clear language rather than jargon; (4) be divided into short sections and sentences; and (5) use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

List of Subjects in 2 CFR Part 1403

Financial assistance, Grant administration, Grant programs.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of the Interior proposes to amend 2 CFR chapter XIV by adding part 1403 to read as follows:

PART 1403—FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE INTERIOR REGULATION Sec. 1403.100 What is the purpose of this part? 1403.101 To whom does the Financial Assistance Interior Regulation (FAIR) apply? 1403.102 Does the FAIR include any exceptions to OMB guidance? 1403.103 Does the Department have any other policies or procedures award recipients must follow? 1403.104-1403.110 [Reserved]. 1403.111 What terms do I need to know? 1403.112 What is conflict of interest? 1403.113 What are mandatory disclosures for financial assistance? 1403.114-1403.203 [Reserved] 1403.204 What is the financial assistance application and merit review process? 1403.205 [Reserved] 1403.206 What are the FAIR requirements for domestic for-profit and foreign entities? 1403.207 What specific conditions apply? 1403.208-1403.400 [Reserved] 1403.401 What are the policies, procedures, and general decision-making criteria for deviations from negotiated indirect cost rates? 1403.402-1403.999 [Reserved] Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 2 CFR part 200.

§ 1403.100 What is the purpose of this part?

The Financial Assistance Interior Regulation (FAIR) serves as the regulatory structure for the Department's financial assistance regulations that implement or supplement the OMB Omni-Circular, 2 CFR part 200.

§ 1403.101 To whom does the Financial Assistance Interior Regulation (FAIR) apply?

The FAIR applies to all the Department of the Interior grant-making organizations and to any non-Federal entity that applies for, receives, operates, or expends funds from a Department Federal financial assistance award, cooperative agreement or grant.

§ 1403.102 Does the FAIR include any exceptions to OMB Guidance?

The FAIR does not apply to tribal awards made in accordance with the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Public Law 93-638, 88 Stat. 2204), as amended. However, the FAIR does apply to discretionary grants or cooperative agreements awarded to Tribes pursuant to section 9 of Public Law 93-638 when mutually agreed to by the Secretary of the Interior and the tribal organization involved. The FAIR applies to all financial assistance awards within the Department, except where otherwise provided by Statute. Grants Officers must document statutory exceptions in the official award file.

§ 1403.103 Does the Department have any other policies or procedures award recipients must follow?

Award recipients must follow bureau/office program specific policies and procedures and applicable government-wide requirements. In the event that a bureau's or office's specific policies and procedures conflict with 2 CFR part 200 or this part, the bureau/office will adhere to the provisions of 2 CFR part 200 and this part unless the policy/procedures are required by law.

§ 1403.104-1403.110 [Reserved]
§ 1403.111 What terms do I need to know?

(a) Conflict of interest is any relationship or matter which might place the recipient, its employees, and/or its subrecipients in a position of conflict, real or apparent, between their responsibilities under the agreement and any other interests. Conflicts of interest also include, but are not limited to, direct or indirect financial interests, personal relationships, and business relationships including positions of trust in outside organizations, consideration of future employment arrangements with a different organization, or decision-making affecting the award that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question the impartiality of the Recipient and/or recipient's employees and subrecipients in the matter.

(b) Discretionary Federal financial assistance means Federal awards including grants and cooperative agreements that are awarded at the discretion of the agency.

(c) Employment means:

(1) In any capacity, even if otherwise permissible, by any applicant or potential applicant for a Federal financial assistance award;

(2) Employment within the last 12 months with a different organization applying for some portion of the award's approved project activities and funding to complete them OR expected to apply for and to receive some portion of the award; and/or

(3) Employment with a different organization of any member of the organization employee's household or a relative with whom the organization's employee has a close personal relationship who is applying for some portion of the award's approved project activities and funding to complete them, OR expected to apply for and to receive some portion of the award.

Non-Federal entity means a State, local government, Indian tribe, institution of higher education, or nonprofit organization that carries out a Federal award as a recipient or subrecipients.

(d) Personal relationship means a Federal award program employee's spouse and/or dependent children, or other members of an employee's household, which may compromise or impair the fairness and impartiality of the Proposal Evaluator and Advisor and Grants Officer in the review, selection, award, and management of a financial assistance award.

(e) Recipient means a non-Federal entity that receives a Federal award directly from a Federal awarding agency to carry out an activity under a Federal program. The term recipient does not include subrecipients.

(f) Subrecipient means a non-Federal entity that receives a subaward from a pass-through entity to carry out part of a Federal program, but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such program. A subrecipient may also be a recipient of other Federal awards directly from a Federal awarding agency.

§ 1403.112 What is conflict of interest?

(a) Non-Federal entities must disclose in writing any potential conflict of interest to the Department awarding agency or pass-through entity and the Department's Office of Inspector General in accordance with 2 CFR 200.112, Conflict of interest. Proposal evaluators and advisors, including members of evaluation committees, must render impartial, technically sound, and objective assistance and advice to protect the integrity of the proposal evaluation and award selection process. A Federal employee is prohibited from participating in his or her government capacity in any particular matter when the employee, his or her spouse, minor child, outside business associate, or a person or organization with whom the employee is negotiating or has an arrangement for prospective employment, has a financial interest in the particular matter (see 18 U.S.C. 208).

(b) Employees are prohibited from having a direct or indirect financial interest that conflicts substantially or appears to conflict substantially with his or her government duties and responsibilities (see 5 CFR 2635.402 and 5 CFR 2635.502). Employees are also prohibited from engaging in, either directly or indirectly, a financial transaction resulting from or primarily relying on information obtained through his or her government employment (see 5 CFR 2635.702 and 5 CFR 2635.703). In addition, 43 CFR 20.401-403 contains other regulations concerning conflicts of interest involving employees of specific bureaus and offices. Employee Responsibility and Conduct Regulations for the Department are contained in 43 CFR part 20, 5 CFR 2634, 5 CFR 2635, and 5 CFR 2640.

(c) With the exception of contracting personnel, proposal evaluators and advisors are not required to file a Statement of Employment and Financial Interest (DI-210) unless they occupy positions identified in 5 CFR 2634.202 and 5 CFR 2634.904. Therefore, upon receipt of a Memorandum of Appointment, each proposal evaluator and advisor must sign and return a Conflict of Interest Certificate to the Grants Officer or official responsible for the review. If an actual or potential conflict of interest exists, the appointee may not evaluate or provide advice on a potential applicant's proposal until the conflict has been resolved with the servicing Ethics Counselor. Signed certificates from all proposal evaluators and advisors must be retained in the master file for the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

(d) During the evaluation process, each proposal evaluator and advisor must assure that there are no financial or employment interests which conflict or give the appearance of conflicting with his or her duty to evaluate proposals impartially and objectively. Examples of situations which may be prohibited or represent a potential conflict of interest may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Financial interest, including ownership of stocks and bonds, in a firm which submits, or is expected to submit, an application in response to the funding opportunity;

(2) Outstanding financial commitments to any applicant or potential applicant;

(3) Employment in any capacity, even if otherwise permissible, by any applicant or potential applicant;

(4) Employment within the last 12 months by any applicant or potential applicant;

(5) Any non-vested pension or reemployment rights, or interest in profit sharing or stock bonus plan, arising out of the previous employment by an applicant or potential applicant;

(6) Employment of any member of the immediate family by any applicant or potential applicant;

(7) Positions of trust that may include employment, past or present, as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, agent, attorney, consultant, or contractor;

(8) A close personal relationship that may include a spouse, dependent child or member of the proposal evaluator's household that may compromise or impair the fairness and impartiality of the proposal evaluator or advisor and grants officer during the proposal evaluation and award selection process, and the management of an award; and

(9) Negotiation of outside employment with any applicant or potential applicant.

(e) Each proposal evaluator and advisor must immediately disclose in writing to the Grants Officer or the individual responsible for the review as soon as it becomes known that an actual or potential conflict of interest exists. The Grants Officer must obtain the assistance of the servicing Ethics Counselor in order to reach an opinion or resolution. A record of the disposition of all conflict of interest situations must be included in the award file.

(f) All Department financial assistance awards must include the following term and condition prohibiting recipient, recipient employee and subrecipient conflicts of interest:

Conflict of Interest

The recipient must establish safeguards to prohibit its employees and subrecipients from using their positions for purposes that constitute or present the appearance of a personal or organizational conflict of interest. The recipient is responsible for notifying the Grants Officer in writing of any actual or potential conflicts of interest that may arise during the life of this award. Conflicts of interest include any relationship or matter which might place the recipient or its employees in a position of conflict, real or apparent, between their responsibilities under the agreement and any other outside interests. Conflicts of interest may also include, but are not limited to, direct or indirect financial interests, close personal relationships, positions of trust in outside organizations, consideration of future employment arrangements with a different organization, or decision-making affecting the award that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question the impartiality of the recipient and/or recipient's employees and subrecipients in the matter.

The Grants Officer and the servicing Ethics Counselor will determine if a conflict of interest exists. If a conflict of interest exists, the Grants Officer will determine whether a mitigation plan is feasible. Mitigation plans must be approved by the Grants Officer in writing. Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a manner that satisfies the government may be cause for termination of the award.

Failure to make required disclosures may result in any of the remedies described in 2 CFR 200.338, including suspension or debarment (see also 2 CFR part 180).

§ 1403.113 What are mandatory disclosures for financial assistance?

The non-Federal entity or applicant for a Federal award must disclose in writing, in a timely manner, to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity all violations of Federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the Federal award. Failure to make required disclosures can result in any of the remedies described in 2 CFR 200.338 (see also 2 CFR part 180 and 31 U.S.C. 3321). A non-Federal entity or applicant for a the Department award must disclose, in a timely manner, in writing to the Department awarding agency or pass-through entity, and to the Department's Office of Inspector General, all violations of Federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the Federal award.

§ 1403.114-1403.203 [Reserved]
§ 1403.204 What is the financial assistance application and merit review process?

(a) This merit review process does not apply to instruments such as intra- and inter-agency agreements, international agreements (excluding grants and cooperative agreements with foreign recipients), memoranda of understanding or agreement, cooperative research and development agreements, concession contracts, permits, or fixed price awards.

(b) This merit review process must be described or incorporated by reference in the applicable funding opportunity announcement (see 2 CFR part 200 appendix I and 2 CFR 200.203). It is also important for the Department's bureaus and offices to create review systems for discretionary programs that are noncompetitive that consider statutory or regulatory provisions, a business evaluation, risk assessment, and other applicable government-wide pre-award considerations.

(c) Actions required—(1) Competition in grant and cooperative agreement awards. Maximum competition in grant and cooperative agreement awards is expected in awarding discretionary funds, unless otherwise directed by Congress. When grants and cooperative agreements are awarded competitively, the Department requires that the competitive process be fair and impartial, that all applicants be evaluated only on the criteria stated in the announcement, and that no applicant receive an unfair competitive advantage. Synopses of all announcements for open competition, and all modifications/amendments to announcements for open competition, must be posted on Grants.gov (www.grants.gov).

(2) Independent objective evaluation of financial assistance applications and proposals. Announcements and competitions for assistance and agreements must provide for an objective and unbiased process for reviewing applications submitted in response to the announcement and for selecting applicants for award. This requires a comprehensive, impartial, and objective examination of applications based on the criteria contained in the announcement by individuals who have no conflicts of interest with respect to the competing proposal/applications or applicants. Bureaus and offices must exercise due diligence to ensure that applications are reviewed and evaluated by qualified reviewers; applications are scored on the basis of announced criteria; consideration is given to the level of applicant risk and past performance; applications are ranked; and funding determinations are made. Awarding officials must check the System for Award Management (SAM) immediately prior to award to verify that the awardee is not suspended, debarred or otherwise ineligible at the time of award. The SAM review must include a review of the recipient organization's name and principal staff.

(3) Evaluation and Selection Plan for Funding Opportunity Announcements. Bureaus and offices must develop an Evaluation and Selection Plan in concert with the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to ensure consistency, and to outline and document the selection process. The Evaluation and Selection Plan should be finalized prior to the release of the FOA. An Evaluation and Selection Plan is comprised of five basic elements:

(i) Merit review factors and sub-factors;

(ii) A rating system (e.g., adjectival, color coding, numerical, or ordinal);

(iii) Evaluation standards or descriptions which explain the basis for assignment of the various rating system grades/scores;

(iv) Program policy factors; and

(v) The basis for selection.

(4) Basic review standards. Bureaus and offices must initially screen new applications/proposals to ensure that they meet the following standards before they are subjected to a detailed evaluation utilizing a merit review process. The review system should include three phases: initial screening, threshold review and a merit review. Bureaus and offices may remove an application from funding consideration if it does not pass the Basic Eligibility Screening.

(5) Basic eligibility screening. The initial stage is to consider the timeliness of the application submission, applicant eligibility, and completeness of the documents submitted for review. All applications should be screened to ensure that:

(i) The application meets the requirements of the applicable funding opportunity;

(ii) The applicant meets the eligibility requirements detailed in the funding opportunity;

(iii) The applicant entity and principal investigator/key personnel are not suspended, debarred, or otherwise described as ineligible in the System for Award Management; and

(iv) The application contains a properly executed Standard Form (SF)-424, Application for Financial Assistance, SF-424B or SF-424D, Assurances, Detailed Budget Review Sheets; and, if applicable, the SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying.

(6) Completeness. Bureaus and offices may return applications/proposals that are incomplete or otherwise fail to meet the requirements of the Grants.gov FOA to the sender to be corrected or modified/supplemented by the sender. Until the application/proposal meets the above requirements, it shall not be given detailed evaluation. Bureaus and offices may use discretion to determine the length of time for applicants to resolve application deficiencies.

(7) Timeliness. In a competitive review process, bureaus and offices shall consider the timeliness of the application submission. Applications that are submitted beyond the announced deadline date shall be removed from the review process.

(8) Threshold screening. Bureaus and offices are responsible for screening applications and proposals for the adequacy of the budget and compliance with statutory and other requirements. The SF-424 and Detailed Budget Worksheets must be reviewed in accordance with Department of the Interior policy on Financial Assistance Cost Reviews. Bureaus and offices must also consider risk thresholds at this stage of the process. Elements to be considered include organization; single audit submissions, past performance; availability of necessary resources, equipment, or facilities; financial strength and management capabilities; procurement procedures; or procedures for selecting and monitoring subrecipients or sub-vendors, if applicable.

(9) Merit review evaluation screening. This is the final review stage where the technical merit of the application/proposal is reviewed. In the absence of a program rule or statutory requirement, program officials should develop criteria that include all aspects of technical merit. Bureaus and offices should develop criteria that are conceptually independent of each other, but all-encompassing when taken together. While criteria will vary, the basic criteria should focus reviewers' attention on the project's underlying merit (i.e., significance, approach, and feasibility). The criteria should focus not only on the technical details of the proposed project but also on the broader importance or potential impact of the project. The criteria should be easily understood. If the criteria are susceptible to varying interpretations, reviewers will use their own interpretation. Program policy factors may be used during the selection process to provide for consideration of factors that are important to the fulfillment of agency program objectives.

§ 1403.205 [Reserved]
§ 1403.206 What are the FAIR requirements for domestic for-profit and foreign entities?

The Omni-Circular and the Department's FAIR Omni-Circular supplement apply to for-profit entities, foreign public entities or foreign organizations except where the Federal awarding agency determines that the application of these subparts would be inconsistent with the international obligations of the United States or the statute or regulations of a foreign government (see definitions in 2 CFR 200.46 and 2 CFR 200.47).

(a) Requirements for domestic for-profit entities. (1) Section 1403.207 contains standard award terms and conditions that bureaus and offices must always apply to for-profit entities; and terms and conditions that bureaus and offices may apply to for-profit entities. Bureaus and offices must always incorporate into awards to domestic for-profit organizations the award terms and conditions that always apply, either directly or by reference.

(2) Bureaus and offices may apply the administrative guidelines in 2 CFR part 200 subparts A through D; the cost principles at 48 CFR part 1, subpart 31.2; and the procedures for negotiating indirect costs detailed in section 1403.401 of the FAIR, to domestic for-profit entities

(3) Depending on the nature of a particular program, offices and bureaus may alternatively develop program-specific administrative guidelines for domestic for-profits based on the requirements in 2 CFR part 200 subparts A through D, but may not apply more restrictive requirements than the requirements in 2 CFR part 200 subparts A through D unless approved by OMB through a request to the Director, Office of Acquisition and Property Management.

(b) Requirements for foreign entities. Section 1403.207 of the FAIR contains standard award terms and conditions for foreign entities that include terms and conditions that bureaus and offices must always apply to foreign entities; and terms and conditions that bureaus and offices may apply to foreign entities. Bureaus and offices must always incorporate the terms and conditions that always apply to awards to foreign entities, either directly or by reference. All applicable award terms and conditions apply unless the foreign recipient provides conclusive evidence to the Departmental grant making program, and the program agrees, that application of a particular requirement is inconsistent with the international obligations of the United States or the laws or regulations of a foreign government to which the recipient is subject.

(c) Restrictions on foreign awards. Bureaus and offices must not fund projects in countries determined by the U.S. Department of State to have provided support for acts of international terrorism (see http://www.state.gov/j/ct/list/c14151.htm for more information), and are therefore subject to sanctions that restrict U.S. foreign assistance and other financial transactions, without proper licenses administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Controls (see http://www.treasury.gov/resourcecenter/sanctions/Pages/default.aspx for more information).

(d) Method of payment for foreign awards. Foreign recipients must not register in or be paid through the Department of the Treasury's Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP). Foreign recipients with bank accounts in the United States are paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) through the Automated Clearing House (ACH). Foreign recipients with bank accounts outside of the United States are paid electronically through the Department of the Treasury's International Treasury Services (ITS) system. The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 requires that all Federal agency payments be made electronically. However, Treasury regulations do allow for some exceptions, including or certain foreign entities. Refer to Department of the Interior guidance on Electronic Funds Transfer Waiver Process at https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/migrated/pam/programs/acquisition/upload/DIAPR-2012-06-Amendment-1-Electronic-Funds-Transfer-Waiver-Process-2.pdf for more information.

(e) Requirements for award terms and conditions. Bureau and office award terms and conditions must be managed in accordance with the requirements in 2 CFR 200.210.

§ 1403.207 What specific conditions apply?

(a) Mandatory award terms and conditions for domestic for-profit entities. The award terms and conditions in:

(1) 2 CFR part 25, Universal Identifier and System for Award Management;

(2) 2 CFR part 170, Reporting Subawards and Executive Compensation;

(3) 2 CFR part 175, Award Term for Trafficking in Persons;

(4) 2 CFR part 1400, Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non-procurement);

(5) 2 CFR part 1401, Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance); and

(6) 43 CFR part 18, New Restrictions on Lobbying, always apply to domestic for-profit entities.

(b) Submission of an application for financial assistance also represents the applicant's certification of the statements in 43 CFR part 18, appendix A, Certification Regarding Lobbying.

(c) The terms and conditions of 41 U.S.C. 4712, Pilot Program for Enhancement of Recipient and Subrecipient Employee Whistleblower Protection, apply to all awards issued after July 1, 2013 and shall remain in effect until January 1, 2017.

(d) Bureaus and offices shall include the terms and conditions of 41 U.S.C. 6306, Prohibition on Members of Congress Making Contracts with the Federal Government, 41 U.S.C. 6306; and Executive Order 13513, Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging while Driving, in all awards to domestic for-profit entities.

(e) Whistleblower protection clause. Recipients must insert the following clause in all subawards and contracts related to the prime award that are over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold:

 All awards and related subawards and contracts over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, and all employees working on applicable awards and related subawards and contracts, are subject to the whistleblower rights and remedies in accordance with the pilot program on award recipient employee whistleblower protections established at 41 U.S.C. 4712 by section 828 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239).

(f) Recipients, their subrecipients and contractors that are awarded contracts over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold related to an applicable award, shall inform their employees, in writing, in the predominant language of the workforce, of the employee whistleblower rights and protections under 41 U.S.C. 4712.

(g) Discretionary award terms and conditions for domestic for-profit entities. The award terms and conditions in 2 CFR part 200, subparts A through E; and 48 CFR part 1, subpart 31.2, Contracts with Commercial Organizations, apply only when the Federal program specifically incorporates them into a for-profit recipient's notice of award.

(f) Indirect cost rates. For information on indirect cost rate negotiations, contact the Interior Business Center (IBC) Indirect Cost Services Division by telephone at (916) 566-7111 or by email at [email protected] Visit the IBC Indirect Cost Services Division Web site at http://www.doi.gov/ibc/services/Indirect_Cost_Services/index.cfm for more information.

(g) Mandatory award terms and conditions for foreign public entities. (1) The award terms and conditions in 2 CFR part 25, Universal Identifier and System for Award Management; 2 CFR part 170, Reporting Subawards and Executive Compensation; 2 CFR part 175, Award Term for Trafficking in Persons (applicable to private entity subrecipients of foreign public entities); 2 CFR part 1401, Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance); and 43 CFR part 18, New Restrictions on Lobbying, always apply to all foreign public entities (see definition in 2 CFR 200.46) and foreign organizations (see definition in 2 CFR 200.47). Submission of an application for financial assistance also represents the applicant's certification of the statements in 43 CFR part 18, appendix A, Certification Regarding Lobbying.

(2) Bureaus and offices must also include the terms and conditions of 41 U.S.C. 6306, Prohibition on Members of Congress Making Contracts with Federal Government; and Executive Order 13513, Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving, in awards to foreign public entities.

(h) Discretionary award terms and conditions for foreign public entities and foreign organizations. (1) The award terms and conditions in 2 CFR part 200 subparts A through E apply to foreign public entities and foreign organizations only when the Federal program specifically incorporates them into a foreign recipient's notice of award. Foreign public entities are also subject to the requirements specific to States, with the following exceptions:

(2) State payment procedures in 2 CFR 200.305(a) do not apply. Foreign public entities must follow the payment procedures in 2 CFR 200.305(b)).

(3) The requirements of 2 CFR part 6 200.321, Contracting with Small and Minority Businesses, Women's Business Enterprises, and Labor Surplus Area Firms; and 2 CFR 200.322, Procurement of Recovered Materials, do not apply.

(4) Foreign non-profit organizations (see definition in 2 CFR 200.70) are subject to the requirements specific to domestic non-profit organizations.

(5) Foreign institutions of higher education (IHEs) (institutions located outside the United States that meet the definition in 20 U.S.C. 1001) are subject to requirements specific domestic to IHEs.

(i) Cost principles. Foreign public entities are subject to the cost principles in 48 CFR part 1, subpart 31.2. Foreign hospitals (i.e., a facility licensed as a hospital under the law of any foreign governmental entity or a facility operated as a hospital by a foreign public entity) are subject to the cost principles in 45 CFR part 74, appendix E.

(j) Indirect costs. (1) The provisions of 2 CFR part 200, appendix IV, Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate Determination for Nonprofit Organizations, apply to foreign non-profit organizations.

(2) The provisions of 2 CFR part 200 appendix VII, States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals, apply to foreign public entities. Foreign for-profit entities may contact the Interior Business Center (IBC) Indirect Cost Services by telephone at (916) 566-7111 or by email at [email protected], or visit the IBC Indirect Cost Services Web site athttp://www.doi.govgov/ibc/services/Indirect_Cost_Services/index.cfm for more information.

(3) The provisions of 45 CFR part 74, appendix E, Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Research and Development under Grants and Contracts with Hospitals, apply to foreign hospitals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the cognizant agency for indirect costs for foreign hospitals. Visit the HHS Cost Allocation Services Web site at https://rates.psc.gov/ for more information.

(4) Indirect costs for institutes of higher education are negotiated with HHS in accordance with 2 CFR part 200 appendix III, Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate Determination for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). Visit the HHS Cost Allocation Services Web site at https://rates.psc.gov/ for more information.

(5) The applicable standard award terms and conditions will apply unless the recipient provides conclusive evidence for an exception. In granting the exception, the bureau/office agrees that the application of a particular requirement is inconsistent with the international obligations of the United States or the laws or regulations of a foreign government to which the recipient is subject. Such case-by-case exceptions are allowable under 2 CFR 200.102(b).

(6) The immunities provided to public international organizations under the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288-288f) are not considered waived unless they are expressly waived in writing by an authorized official at the organization. Signing the SF-424 Assurances or accepting an award does not constitute an express waiver of such immunities. The SF-424 Assurances form also states that “certain of these assurances may not be applicable to your project or program.” For a list of public international organizations awarded immunities under the International Organizations Immunities Act (see the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), at 9 FAM 41.24, Exhibit I).

§ 1403.208-1403.400 [Reserved]
§ 1403.401 What are the policies, procedures, and general decision-making criteria for deviations from negotiated indirect cost rates?

(a) The provisions of 2 CFR 200.414(c) require Federal agencies to accept federally negotiated indirect cost rates. Federal agencies may use a rate different from the negotiated rate for a class of awards or a single Federal award only when required by Federal statute or regulation, or when approved by a Federal awarding agency head or delegate based upon documented justification described within 2 CFR 200.414(c)(3). In addition, the Department accepts indirect cost rates that have been reduced or removed voluntarily by the proposed recipient of the award, on an award-specific basis. The following policies, procedures and general decision-making criteria apply for deviations from negotiated indirect cost rates for financial assistance programs and agreements.

(1) Distribution basis. For all deviations to the Federal negotiated indirect cost rate, including statutory, regulatory, programmatic, and voluntary, the basis of direct costs against which the indirect cost rate is applied must be:

(i) The same base identified in the recipient's negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, if the recipient has a federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement; or

(ii) The modified total direct cost (MTDC) base, in cases where the recipient does not have a federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement or, with prior approval of the Awarding Agency, when the recipient's federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement base is only a subset of the MTDC (such as salaries and wages) and the use of the MTDC still results in an overall reduction in the total indirect cost recovered. The MTDC is the base defined by 2 CFR 200.68.

(iii) In cases where the recipient does not have a federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, under no circumstances will the Department use a modified rate based upon Total Direct Cost or other base not identified in the federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement or defined within 2 CFR 200.68. The purpose of this restriction is to ensure that the reduced rate is applied against a base that does not include any potentially distorting items (such as pass-through funds, subcontracts in excess of $25,000, and participant support costs); and is based on the requirements outlined in 2 CFR 200.68; 2 CFR 200.414(f); 2 CFR part 200 appendix III, section C.2.; 2 CFR part 200 appendix IV, section B.3.f.; and appendix VII, section C.2.c.

(2) Indirect cost rate deviation required by statute or regulation. In accordance with 2 CFR 200.414(c)(1), a Federal agency must use a rate other than the Federal negotiated rate where required by Federal statute or regulation. For such instances within the Department, the official award file must document the specific statute or regulation that required the deviation.

(3) Indirect cost rate reductions used as cost-share. Instances where the recipient elects to use a rate lower than the federally negotiated indirect cost rate, and uses the balance of the unrecovered indirect costs to meet a cost-share or matching requirement required by the program and/or statute, are not considered a deviation from 2 CFR 200.414(c), as the federally negotiated indirect cost rate is being applied under the agreement in order to meet the terms and conditions of the award.

(4) Programmatic indirect cost rate deviation approval process. The following requirements apply for review, approval, and posting of programmatic indirect cost rate waivers:

(5) Program qualifications. Programs that have instituted a program-wide requirement and governance process for deviations from federally negotiated indirect cost rates may qualify for a programmatic deviation approval.

(6) Deviation requests. Deviation requests must be submitted by the responsible senior program manager to the Department Office of Acquisition and Property Management. The request for deviation approval must include a description of the program, and the governance process for negotiating and/or communicating to recipients the indirect cost rate requirements under the program. The program must make its governance documentation, rate deviations, and other program information publicly available.

(7) Approvals. Programmatic deviations must be approved, in writing, by the Director, Office of Acquisition and Property Management. Approved deviations will be made publicly available along with the governance documentation for the program.

(8) The following programs are approved to use an indirect cost rate that deviates from the federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreements:

(i) Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (CRU) Program;

(ii) Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) Program; and

(iii) Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

(9) Voluntary indirect cost rate reduction. On an award-specific basis, an applicant and/or proposed recipient may elect to reduce or eliminate the indirect cost rate applied to costs under that award. The election must be voluntary and cannot be required by the awarding official, funding opportunity announcement, program, or other non-statutory or non-regulatory requirements. For these award-specific and voluntary reductions, the Department can accept the lower rate provided the official file clearly documents the recipient's voluntary election.

(10) Unrecovered indirect costs. In accordance with 2 CFR 200.405, indirect costs not recovered due to deviations to the federally negotiated rate are not allowable for recovery via any other means.

(b) [Reserved]

§ 1403.402-1403.999 [Reserved]
Dated: January 20, 2016. Kristen J. Sarri, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Policy, Management and Budget.
[FR Doc. 2016-02039 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-P
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR PART 250 RIN 3206-AL98 Personnel Management in Agencies AGENCY:

Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Personnel Management is issuing proposed regulations that introduce updated systems and regulatory definitions for managing human resources in the Federal Government. The rulemaking also proposes to reduce and clarify the reporting procedures that agencies are required to follow, creates a data-driven review process (HRStat); and describes workforce planning methods that agencies are required to follow.

Additionally, the proposed regulation aligns Strategic Human Capital Management to the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-352). It also sets forth the new Human Capital Framework (HCF), which replaces the Human Capital Assessment Accountability Framework (HCAAF).

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before April 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by RIN number 3206-AL98, using any of the following methods:

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

Mail: Veronica Villalobos, Principal Deputy Associate Director, Employee Services, Office of Personnel Management, Room 7460, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information contact Jan Chisolm-King by email at [email protected] or by telephone at (202) 606-1958.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing proposed regulations to revise 5 CFR part 250, subpart B, Strategic Human Capital Management and 5 CFR part 250, subpart C, Employee Surveys.

5 CFR part 250, subpart B, implements the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 1103(c) and the Chief Human Capital Officers Act (CHCO Act). Section 1103(c)(1) requires OPM to design a set of systems, including appropriate metrics, for assessing the management of human capital by Federal agencies and to define those systems in regulation. Section 1103(c)(2) requires OPM to define the systems in regulations and include standards addressing a series of specified topics. Subpart B of part 250 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, contains those regulations. Subpart B also provides an avenue for Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs) to carry out their required functions under 5 U.S.C. 1402(a).

Current regulations implement 5 U.S.C. 1103(c) by adopting the systems currently comprising the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) to constitute the systems required by 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(1) and to provide the systems definitions and standards required by 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2). The HCAAF is a framework that integrates four human capital systems—Strategic Planning and Alignment, Talent Management, Performance Culture, and Evaluation. These systems define practices for the effective and efficient management of human capital and support the steps involved in the planning and goal setting, implementation, and evaluation of human capital policies, programs, and initiatives in the Federal Government.

Proposed August 2011 Regulations

In August, 2011, OPM issued proposed regulations (FR Doc No: 2011-19844) that sought to make several changes to the regulatory definitions related to the strategic management of human capital. The current regulations implement 5 U.S.C. 1103(c) by adopting the systems comprising the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) to constitute the systems required by 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(1) and to provide the systems definitions and standards required by 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2). Having the HCAAF written into regulation makes it difficult to keep current. OPM concluded in 2011, as it does again today, that it would be more effective to provide definitions in the regulations that establish broad, overarching concepts, and to treat some of the system-specific material in the framework as guidance that is subject to change as Federal human capital management evolves. This removal of the HCAAF from the stated regulation into guidance would allow OPM to refresh aspects of the framework, without requiring a change to the specific regulations, thereby encouraging flexibility and adaptability. An additional change in the earlier proposal was the elimination of the requirement for the Strategic Human Capital Plan (SHCP) and Human Capital Management Report (HCMR) to reduce the burden of reporting requirements for the agencies.

In addition, the earlier proposed regulation would have clarified requirements imposed by two separate legal authorities. In the past, there was some confusion regarding whether agencies must establish separate accountability systems in order to satisfy the statutory requirements of 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2)(F) and any requirement OPM previously imposed under Civil Service Rule X (5 CFR 10.2). The proposed regulations were expected to make clear that the requirements of these two legal authorities are satisfied by the establishment of the Human Capital Accountability System (HCAS) set forth in section 250.205 of the proposed regulation.

Recent Developments

OPM did not make the proposed regulation final because of several developments that required additional changes to what had been written in the proposed regulation. One major change was the enactment of the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-352), and the issuance of the Diversity and Inclusion Executive Order (E.O. 13583).

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act (GPRAMA)

Before the enactment of GPRAMA, agencies were required to develop Strategic Human Capital Plans that identified human capital (HC) strategies and resources that support agency missions and strategic goals. Under GPRAMA, agency strategic HC plans are no longer required; however, agencies must now integrate the human capital strategies and resources within their agency strategic plan. Human Capital Management Reports (HCMRs) also were eliminated. Implementation guidance for GPRAMA states that CHCOs will address in their Annual Performance Plan, “how performance goals are to be achieved with respect to training, skills, and other HC resources required to meet those performance goals” (Pub. L. 111-352).

This information was previously reported in the agency HCMR. OPM is now introducing a requirement that agencies develop a process to monitor how the design and implementation of their respective human capital policies and programs support an agency's mission and strategic goals. Thus, the Annual Performance Plan and annual Human Capital Operation Plan (HCOP) will eliminate the requirement currently stated in section 250.203 to maintain a human capital plan.

In addition, the Diversity and Inclusion Executive Order supports the elimination of the SHCP and the HCMR through its emphasis on report consolidation—

review applicable directives to agencies related to the development or submission of agency human capital and other workforce plans and reports in connection with recruitment, hiring, promotion, retention, professional development, and training policies and practices, and develop a strategy for consolidating such agency plans and reports where appropriate and permitted by law (E.O. 13583, Sec. 2(b)(ii)) HCAAF Revitalization

A third reason that OPM did not make the proposed regulation final was because at the same time new regulations and executive orders were being proposed, OPM launched an initiative called Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) Revitalization. The intent of the initiative was to update the set of systems and standards that have direct impact on how agencies carry out the planning, implementation, and evaluation of their HC initiatives/programs. The HCAAF Revitalization initiative identified innovative approaches that will help ensure that the framework continues to add value to Federal human capital professionals and program managers. As part of this revitalization effort, OPM conducted a thorough analysis of the current HCAAF framework, including a review of the initial goals and objectives of the framework, its flexibility, and how effectively it has been used in the current Federal environment, and identification of implementation challenges. Data on the current HCAAF and how it is used was obtained through the following venues:

• Interviews conducted with a wide range of subject matter experts (SMEs) knowledgeable about the HCAAF;

• administration of a questionnaire to human resources directors and program managers throughout the Federal Government;

• reviews of relevant documentation/literature provided by OPM, academic, and practitioner communities; and

• a roundtable meeting of noted human capital practitioners and experts from public and private sectors.

Based on this exhaustive review, OPM concluded that it would be more effective to discharge its obligations under 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2) by developing a Human Capital Framework (HCF) that is composed of four systems—Strategic Planning and Alignment, Performance Culture, Talent Management, and Evaluation.

New Human Capital Framework

The Human Capital Framework (HCF) is a framework that integrates four human capital systems—Strategic Planning and Alignment, Talent Management, Performance Culture, and Evaluation. These systems define good practices for effective and efficient human capital management and support the steps involved in the planning and goal setting, implementation, and evaluation of human capital initiatives in the Federal Government.

The proposed framework contains standards and focus areas. A standard is a consistent practice within human capital management in which agencies strive towards in each of the four HCF systems. The standards ensure that an agency's human capital management strategies, plans, and practices: (1) Are integrated with strategic plans, annual performance plans and goals, and other relevant budget, and acquisition plans; (2) contain measurable and observable performance targets; (3) are communicated in an open and transparent manner to facilitate cross-agency collaboration to achieve mission objectives; and (4) inform the development of human capital management priority goals for the Federal Government. The introduction of standards and monitoring of how they are implemented fosters an environment to establish progress measures. Focus areas are sound approaches that further define the system and must be integrated within agency strategic plans, annual performance plans and goals that contain measurable and observable performance targets and are communicated in an open and transparent manner to facilitate cross-agency collaboration to achieve mission objectives.

Finally, the proposed framework will include resources that can assist in the development, implementation, and monitoring of sound strategic human capital practices.

Proposed Regulation

OPM is now issuing proposed regulations to revise 5 CFR part 250, subpart B, Strategic Human Capital Management. The proposed regulation will:

• Revise definitions to better align with statute.

• Implement 5 U.S.C 1103 by adopting the proposed new systems as required by 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(1) and the proposed new systems, definitions, and standards as required by 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2). This new framework will integrate four human capital systems—Strategic Planning and Alignment, Performance Culture, Talent Management, and Evaluation. We expect that the new systems and system definitions will facilitate more effective alignment of human capital programs with agency mission objectives.

• Define the new systems and include the new standards as required by 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2) as a set of overarching concepts in regulation to be supplemented with details in guidance. OPM continues to believe that, under the current regulation, the incorporation of the full text of the HCAAF to satisfy the 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2) requirements has proven to undermine the original concept of the HCAAF with respect to flexibility and adaptability. The original HCAAF document was integrated several years ago into a web-based Resource Center that was updated based on feedback, analysis, and emerging agency practices and results. Once the entire text of the HCAAF was brought into regulation, it became difficult to keep current. OPM concluded that it would be more effective to discharge its obligations under 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2) by providing definitions in the regulations that establish broad, overarching concepts, and treating the specific material in the HCAAF as guidance that can be updated, as appropriate, as Federal human capital management evolves. This will allow OPM to refresh some aspects of the framework without requiring a change to the specific regulations thus encouraging flexibility and adaptability.

• Create the Human Capital Strategic Review (HCSR) process. The HCSRs will:

○ Enable OPM and agencies to monitor progress with achieving organizational outcomes by the presentation of synthesized evidence and information (indicators, evaluations/audits, and HRStat reviews);

○ provide OPM with the opportunity to identify cross-cutting themes to position OPM to develop governmentwide policies and strategies;

○ afford agencies with the opportunity to receive feedback from OPM to improve strategies and evaluation processes; and

○ identify opportunities for improvement that will enable decision making that leads to the prioritization of resources.

• Institutionalize a human capital performance improvement process, referred to as “HRStat” that identifies, measures, and analyzes human capital data to improve human capital outcomes. HRStat, a data-driven review process, will drive performance and alignment of achieving human capital goals related to the agency mission.

• Define the annual Human Capital Operation Plan, which supports an Agency Performance Plan.

• Restructure the requirements of Subpart B of Part 250 for agencies by removing the regulatory requirement for the HCMR. OPM proposes to monitor agency outcomes in human capital management through the Human Capital Evaluation Framework.

• Introduce workforce planning methods agencies are required to follow.

• Ensure consistency by clearly defining key human capital management terms.

The purpose of these proposed changes is to focus the regulations on the specific requirements that are the most significant for establishing and maintaining efficient and effective human capital management systems now and into the future, while providing agencies with flexibility in determining how they will accomplish their human capital activities.

Employee Survey Enhancements

5 CFR part 250, subpart C, implements the requirements of section 1128 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Pub. L. 108-136, sec.1128, codified at 5 U.S.C. 7101 note). Section 1128 of Public Law. 108-136 requires each Executive agency to conduct an annual survey of its employees to assess leadership and management practices that contribute to agency performance and employee satisfaction as it relates to five enumerated areas of work life. The law also requires OPM to “issue regulations prescribing survey questions that should appear on all agency surveys.” In addition, the law requires agencies to make the survey results available to the public and post the results on their Web sites, unless the head of the agency determines that doing so would jeopardize or negatively impact national security.

Survey Background

OPM issued a final regulation (5 CFR part 250, subpart C) including 45 specific survey questions on August 24, 2006. The requirement was for agencies to conduct an annual survey (“Annual Employee Survey”) with prescribed questions beginning in calendar year 2007. OPM's centralized Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) administration includes these survey questions. When the FEVS is administered governmentwide the burden for individual agencies to administer its own survey is alleviated. To modernize the survey, OPM is issuing proposed regulations to revise 5 CFR part 250, subpart C, Employee Surveys. The proposed regulation will:

• Reduce the number of specifically prescribed questions in the regulation:

A critical review of the FEVS questions currently in regulation was conducted by: (1) A cross-governmental agency task force convened by OPM (2011); and (2) by university researchers and published in the Public Administration Review (PAR) (Fernandez, Resh, Moldogaziev, and Oberfield, 2015) for the purpose of reviewing and revising the current questions. These reviews led to the formation of a group of OPM psychologists tasked with addressing these recommendations to further advance the survey program.

The cross-governmental agency task force, made up of survey experts from several agencies (e.g., ODNI, DOD, OMB, DOI, VA) reviewed the FEVS through a stepwise process of data analysis, stakeholder engagement, solicitation of expert opinion and input from OMB and recommended a concise subset of questions critical to the intent of the original statute.

The PAR article, which reviewed more than 40 research articles based on FEVS data, indicates the validity of the FEVS would largely benefit from a revision to include stronger, relevant and unambiguous questions as well as questions that capture a single concept. The study also addressed the notion that in a revision of survey questions, the selection of relevant concepts and proper instrumentation should be grounded in a thorough review of the literature and sound theoretical reasoning.

The group of OPM psychologists analyzed and confirmed the external recommendations and proposed a final set of 11 questions that were selected based on adherence to and measurement of the areas in statute. The identified questions exhibit appropriate properties as metrics as reflected through psychometric analysis; and are clear and unambiguous in nature. These independent efforts support the inclusion of the set of questions proposed in this regulation. OPM will address specific item concerns at the conclusion of the open comment period.

• Modify the definitions of the terms used in the questions in regulation. Definitions were modified and clarified in response to comments received during the course of FEVS administration from (1) survey respondents, (2) agency leaders, and (3) the Senior Executive Association; and

• Modify the requirement for notification to OPM. Process improvements achieved by technical advances eliminate the regulatory need for agencies to submit data to OPM as OPM can readily access data from posts of agency results to their Web sites as required under § 250.303(a).

Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review

The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with E.O. 13563 and 12866.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This document does not contain proposed information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

I certify that these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 250

Authority for personnel actions in agencies, Employee surveys, Strategic human capital management.

Office of Personnel Management. Beth F. Cobert, Acting Director.

Accordingly, OPM is proposing to amend title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 250—PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT IN AGENCIES Subpart B—Strategic Human Capital Management 1. Subpart B is revised to read as follows: Subpart B—Strategic Human Capital Management Sec. 250.201 Coverage and purpose. 250.202 Definitions. 250.203 Strategic human capital management. 250.204 Agency roles and responsibilities. 250.205 Metrics. 250.206 Consequences of improper agency actions. Subpart B—Strategic Human Capital Management Authority:

5 U.S.C. 105; 5 U.S.C. 1103 (a)(7), (c)(1), and (c)(2); 5 U.S.C. 1401; 5 U.S.C. 1402(a); 31 U.S.C. 1115(a)(3); 31 U.S.C. 1115(f); 31 U.S.C. 1116(d)(5); Public Law 103-62; Public Law 107-296; Public Law 108-136, 1128; Public Law 111-352; 5 C.F.R 10.2; FR Doc No: 2011-19844; E.O. 13583; E.O. 13583, Sec 2(b)(ii)

§ 250.201 Coverage and purpose.

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 1103(c), this subpart defines a set of systems, including standards and metrics, for assessing the management of human capital by Federal agencies. These regulations apply to all Executive agencies as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105 and support the performance planning and reporting that is required by sections 1115(a)(3) and (f) and 1116(d)(5) of title 31, United States Code.

§ 250.202 Definitions.

Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) is the agency's senior leader whose primary duty is to:

(1) Advise and assist the head of the agency and other agency officials in carrying out the agency's responsibilities for selecting, developing, training, and managing a high-quality, productive workforce in accordance with merit system principles; and

(2) Implement the rules and regulations of the President, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the laws governing the civil service within the agency.

CHCO agency is an Executive agency, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 105, which is required by 5 U.S.C. 1401 to appoint a CHCO.

Director of OPM is, among other things, the President's advisor on actions that may be taken to promote an efficient civil service and a systematic application of the merit system principles, including recommending policies relating to the selection, promotion, transfer, performance, pay, conditions of service, tenure, and separation of employees. The Director of OPM provides governmentwide leadership and direction in the strategic management of the Federal workforce.

Evaluation system is an agency's overarching system for evaluating the results of all human capital planning to inform the agency's continuous process improvement efforts. This system also is used for ensuring compliance with all applicable statutes, rules, regulations, and agency policies.

Federal Workforce Strategic Priorities Report is a strategic human capital report, published by OPM by the first Monday in February of any year in which the term of the President commences. The report communicates key governmentwide human capital priorities and suggested strategies. The report informs agency strategic and human capital planning.

Focus areas are areas that agencies and human capital practitioners must focus on to achieve a system's standard.

HRStat is a strategic human capital performance evaluation process that identifies, measures, and analyzes human capital data to inform the impact of agency human capital on organizational results and to improve human capital outcomes. HRStat is a component of an agency's strategic planning and alignment, and evaluation systems that are part of the Human Capital Framework..

Human Capital Evaluation Framework underlies the three human capital evaluation mechanisms (e.g., HRStat, Audits, and Human Capital Strategic Reviews) to create a central evaluation framework that integrates the outcomes from each to provide OPM and agencies with an understanding of how human capital policies and programs are supporting missions.

Human Capital Framework (HCF) provides comprehensive guidance on the principles of strategic human capital management in the Federal Government. The framework provides direction on human capital planning, implementation, and evaluation in the Federal environment.

Human Capital Operation Plan (HCOP) is an agency's annual human capital implementation document, which describes how an agency will support the human capital elements stated within its Annual Performance Plan (APP). Program specific workforce investments and strategies (e.g., hiring, closing skills gaps, etc.) should be incorporated into the APPs as appropriate. The HCOP should clearly execute each of the four systems of the HCF. The HC Strategy, HCOP, and HCSR should align with GPRAMA annual performance plans and timelines.

Human Capital Strategic Review (HCSR) is OPM's annual review of an agency's design and implementation of its HCOP, independent audit, and HRStat programs to support mission accomplishment and human capital outcomes.

Independent audit program is a component of an agency's evaluation system designed to review all human capital management systems and select human resources transactions to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and legal and regulatory compliance.

Skills gap is a variance between the current and projected workforce size and skills needed to ensure an agency has a cadre of talent available to meet its mission, and make progress towards its goals and objectives.

Standard is a consistent practice within human capital management in which agencies strive towards in each of the four HCF systems. The standards ensure that an agency's human capital management strategies, plans, and practices:

(1) Are integrated with strategic plans, annual performance plans and goals, and other relevant budget, finance, and acquisition plans;

(2) Contain measurable and observable performance targets;

(3) Are communicated in an open and transparent manner to facilitate cross-agency collaboration to achieve mission objectives; and

(4) Inform the development of human capital management priority goals for the Federal Government.

§ 250.203 Strategic human capital management systems and standards.

Strategic human capital management systems, standards, and focus areas are defined within the Human Capital Framework (HCF). The four systems described below provide definitions and standards for human capital planning, implementation, and evaluation. OPM may augment the definitions and standards set forth in this section with additional focus areas that the Director of OPM will publish in such form as the Director determines appropriate. The HCF systems and standards are:

(a) Strategic planning and alignment. A system that ensures agency human capital programs are aligned with agency mission, goals, and objectives through analysis, planning, investment, and measurement. The standards for the strategic planning and alignment system require an agency to ensure an agency's human capital management strategies, plans, and practices—

(1) Integrate strategic plans, annual performance plans and goals, and other relevant budget, finance, and acquisition plans;

(2) Contain measurable and observable performance targets; and

(3) Communicate in an open and transparent manner to facilitate cross-agency collaboration to achieve mission objectives.

(b) Talent management. A system that promotes a high-performing workforce, identifies and closes skills gaps, and implements and maintains programs to attract, acquire, develop, promote, and retain quality and diverse talent. The standards for the Talent Management system require an agency to—

(1) Plan for and manage current and future workforce needs;

(2) Design, develop, and implement proven strategies and techniques and practices to attract, hire, develop, and retain talent; and

(3) Make progress toward closing any knowledge, skill, and competency gaps throughout the agency.

(c) Performance culture. A system that engages, develops, and inspires a diverse, high-performing workforce by creating, implementing, and maintaining effective performance management strategies, practices, and activities that support mission objectives. The standards for the performance culture system require an agency to have—

(1) Strategies and processes to foster a culture of engagement and collaboration;

(2) A diverse, results-oriented, high-performing workforce; and

(3) A performance management system that differentiates levels of performance of staff, provides regular feedback, and links individual performance to organizational goals.

(d) Evaluation. A system that contributes to agency performance by monitoring and evaluating outcomes of its human capital management strategies, policies, programs, and activities by meeting the following standards—

(1) Ensuring compliance with merit system principles; and

(2) Identifying, implementing, and monitoring process improvements.

§ 250.204 Agency roles and responsibilities.

(a) An agency must use the systems and standards established in this part, and any metrics that OPM subsequently provides in guidance, to plan, implement, evaluate and improve human capital policies and programs. These policies and programs must—

(1) Align with Executive branch policies and priorities, as well as with individual agency missions, goals, and strategic objectives. Agencies must align their human capital management strategies to support the Federal Workforce Strategic Priorities Report, agency strategic plan, agency performance plan, and budgets prepared under OMB Circular A-11;

(2) Be based on comprehensive workforce planning and analysis;

(3) Monitor and address skills gaps within governmentwide and agency-specific mission critical occupations by using comprehensive data analytic methods and gap closure strategies;

(4) Recruit, hire, develop, and retain an effective workforce, especially in the agency's mission-critical occupations;

(5) Ensure leadership continuity by implementing and evaluating recruitment, development, and succession plans for leadership positions;

(6) Implement a knowledge management process to ensure continuity in knowledge sharing among employees at all levels within the organization;

(7) Sustain an agency culture that engages employees by defining, valuing, eliciting, and rewarding high performance; and

(8) Hold the agency head, executives, managers, human capital officers, and human capital staff accountable for efficient and effective strategic human capital management, in accordance with merit system principles.

(b) Each agency must meet the statutory requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act (GPRAMA) by including within the Annual Performance Plan (APP) human capital practices that are aligned to the APP. The human capital portion of the APP must include performance goals and indicators. Guidance on preparing the human capital portions of an agency's APP can be found in OMB Circular A-11, part 6, section 200.

(c) An agency's Deputy Secretary, or equivalent, is responsible for ensuring that the agency's strategic plan includes a description of the operational processes, skills and technology, and human capital information required to achieve the agency's goals and objectives. Specifically, the Deputy Secretary, or equivalent will—

(1) Allocate resources;

(2) Ensure the agency incorporates applicable priorities identified within the Federal Workforce Strategic Priorities Report and is working to close governmentwide and agency-specific skills gaps; and

(3) Participate with the senior management team in their agency's (at a minimum) quarterly HRStat reviews.

(d) Each agency must develop an annual Human Capital Operation Plan (HCOP) in support of the Federal human capital assessment and agency APP, to be reviewed annually, and updated if needed, as part of the agency's efforts to improve its human capital processes. The HCOP must demonstrate how an agency's human capital implementation strategies will meet an agency's mission and strategic goals (e.g., human capital policies, goals, objectives, and day-to-day operational needs). The HCOP will be made available to OPM upon request. Guidance on preparing the human capital portions of an agency's APP can be found in OMB Circular A-11, part 6, section 200. The HCOP must—

(i) Be established through the coordination of a working group that is led by the agency's Chief Human Capital Officer and which should include the agency's Chief Operating Officer (COO), Performance Improvement Officer (PIO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Director to ensure that budget, technology, and performance processes are integrated to support human capital strategies and outcomes;

(ii) Support the design and implementation of the human capital strategy by approving the agency four-year annual Human Capital Operation Plan (AHCOP);

(iii) Be used to inform the development of an agency's strategic plan, because an agency's human capital can affect whether or not a strategy or strategic goal is achieved;

(iv) Explicitly describe the agency-specific skill and competency gaps that must be closed through the use of agency selected human capital strategies;

(v) Include annual human capital performance goals and measures that will support the evaluation of the agency's human capital strategies, through HRStat reviews, and that are aligned to support mission accomplishment;

(vi) Reflect the systems and standards defined in 250.203 above, consistent with their agency strategic plan and annual performance plan, to address strategic human capital priorities and goals; and

(vii) Address the governmentwide priorities identified in the Federal Workforce Strategic Priorities Report.

(e) Each agency must participate with OPM in a Human Capital Strategic Review (HCSR). The HCSR will be conducted during the evaluation phase and OPM will issue guidance about the HCSR requirements.

(f) The Chief Human Capital Officer must design, implement and monitor agency human capital policies and programs that—

(i) Ensure human capital activities support merit system principles;

(ii) Use the OPM designated method to identify governmentwide and agency-specific skills gaps;

(iii) Demonstrate how the agency is using the principles within the Human Capital Framework (HCF) to address strategic human capital priorities and goals;

(iv) Use the HRStat reviews, in coordination with the agency Performance Improvement Officer (PIO), to assess the agency's progress toward meeting its strategic and performance goals;

(v) Implement the HRStat Maturity guidelines specified by OPM;

(vi) Use HRStat reviews to evaluate their agency's progress;

(vii) Establish and maintain an Evaluation System to evaluate human capital outcomes that is—

(A) Formal and documented; and

(B) Approved by OPM;

(viii) Maintain an independent audit program, subject to full OPM participation and evaluation, to review periodically all human capital management systems and the agency's human resources transactions to ensure legal and regulatory compliance. An agency must—

(A) Take corrective action to eliminate deficiencies identified by OPM, or through the independent audit, and to improve its human capital management programs and its human resources processes and practices; and

(B) Based on OPM or independent audit findings, issue a report to its leadership and OPM containing the analysis, results, and corrective actions taken; and

(ix) Improve strategic human capital management by adjusting strategies and practices, as appropriate, after assessing the results of performance goals, indicators, and business analytics.

(g) The agency's human capital policies and programs must support the implementation and monitoring of the governmentwide Strategic Human Capital Strategy, which is published by OPM every four years, and—

(1) Improve strategic human capital management by using performance goals, indicators, and business analytics to assess results of the human capital management strategies planned and implemented;

(2) Ensure human capital activities support merit systems principles;

(3) Adjust human capital management strategies and practices in response to outcomes identified during quarterly data-driven reviews of human capital performance to improve organizational processes; and

(4) Use the governmentwide and agency-specific human capital strategies to inform resource requests (e.g., staff full-time equivalents, training, analytical software, etc.) into the agency's annual budget process.

§ 250.205 System metrics.

OPM reserves the right to provide additional guidance regarding metrics as the need arises.

§ 250.206 Consequences of improper agency actions.

If OPM finds that an agency has taken an action contrary to a law, rule, regulation, or standard that OPM administers, OPM may require the agency to take corrective action. OPM may suspend or revoke a delegation agreement established under 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2) at any time if it determines that the agency is not adhering to the provisions of the agreement. OPM may suspend or withdraw any authority granted under this chapter to an agency, including any authority granted by delegation agreement, when OPM finds that the agency has not complied with qualification standards OPM has issued, instructions OPM has published, or the regulations in this chapter. OPM also may suspend or withdraw these authorities when it determines that doing so is in the interest of the civil service for any other reason.

Subpart C—Employee Surveys 2. Subpart C is revised to read as follows: Subpart C—Employee Surveys Sec. 250.301 Definitions. 250.302 Survey requirements. 250.303 Availability of results. Subpart C—Employee Surveys Authority:

5 U.S.C. 105; 5 U.S.C. 7101 note; Public Law 108-136

§ 250.301 Definitions.

Agency means an Executive agency, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105.

Senior leaders are the heads of departments/agencies and their immediate leadership team responsible for directing the policies and priorities of the department/agency. May hold either a political or career appointment and is typically a member of the senior executive service.

Managers are those in management positions who typically supervise one or more supervisors.

Supervisors are first-line supervisors typically responsible for employees' performance appraisals and leave approval. Does not supervise other supervisors.

§ 250.302 Survey requirements.

(a) Each executive agency must conduct an annual survey of its employees to assess topics outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, Pub. L. 108-136, sec.1128, codified at 5 U.S.C. 7101.

(b) Each executive agency may include additional survey questions unique to the agency in addition to the employee survey questions prescribed by OPM under paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) The 11 prescribed survey questions are listed in the following table:

(1) Leadership and Management practices that contribute to agency performance My work unit has the job-relevant skills necessary to accomplish organizational goals. Managers communicate the goals of the organization. (2) Employee Satisfaction with— (i) Leadership Policies and Practices How satisfied are you with your involvement in decisions that affect your work? How satisfied are you with the information you receive from management on what's going on in your organization? (ii) Work Environment The people I work with cooperate to get the job done. My workload is reasonable. (iii) Rewards and Recognition In my work unit, differences in performance are recognized in a meaningful way. How satisfied are you with the recognition you receive for doing a good job? (iv) Opportunities for professional development and growth I am given a real opportunity to improve my skills in my organization. My talents are used well in the workplace. (v) Opportunity to contribute to achieving organizational mission I know how my work relates to the agency's goals.
§ 250.303 Availability of results.

(a) Each agency will make the results of its annual survey available to the public and post the results on its Web site unless the agency head determines that doing so would jeopardize or negatively impact national security. The posted survey results will include the following:

(1) The agency's evaluation of its survey results;

(2) How the survey was conducted;

(3) Description of the employee sample, unless all employees are surveyed;

(4) The survey questions and response choices with the prescribed questions identified;

(5) The number of employees surveyed and number of employees who completed the survey; and

(6) The number of respondents for each survey question and each response choice.

(b) Data must be collected by December 31 of each calendar year. Each agency must post the beginning and ending dates of its employee survey and either the survey results described in paragraph (a) of this section, or a statement noting the decision not to post, no later than 120 days after the agency completes survey administration. OPM may extend this date under unusual circumstances.

[FR Doc. 2016-02112 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-39-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0462; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-144-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of wire chafing damage, which caused an electrical arc to an adjacent hydraulic tube located on the forward bulkhead of the main landing gear (MLG) wheel well, resulting in a hole in a hydraulic tube and consequent total loss of system B hydraulic fluid. This proposed AD would require an inspection for chafing damage of wire bundles and a hydraulic tube in the right side of the MLG wheel well, and corrective action if necessary; and installation of clamps between the wire bundles and hydraulic tube. We are proposing this AD to prevent chafing damage, which could result in electrical arcing that can cause a hole in the hydraulic tube and consequent loss of hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in a fire in the MLG wheel well.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 24, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet. 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-2016-0462.

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-2016-0462; 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:

Sean J. Schauer, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6479; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-0462; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-144-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

Discussion

We have received a report of damage to wire W6128-0506-10. The wire had chafed and arced to an adjacent hydraulic tube located on the forward bulkhead of the MLG wheel well. The chafing and electrical arc created a small hole in a system B hydraulic tube and caused damage to the wire bundle, which resulted in a ground fault detection on the system A electrical motor-driven pump (EMDP). The small hole led to a total loss of system B hydraulic fluid and the ground fault resulted in removal of power from the system A EMDP and illumination of the system A EMDP low power light. An investigation found that there was not sufficient separation between the wire bundles W6128, W8122, and the adjacent hydraulic tube at that location. This condition, if not corrected, could result in electrical arcing that can cause a hole in the hydraulic tube and consequent loss of hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in a fire in the MLG wheel well.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-29A1119, dated August 4, 2015. The service information describes procedures for doing an inspection for chafing damage of the wire bundles and hydraulic tube in the right side of the MLG wheel well, corrective actions, and installation of clamps and an optional spacer between the wire bundles and hydraulic tube. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination

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

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-0462.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 1,270 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection and Installation 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $9 $179 $227,330

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2016-0462; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-144-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by March 24, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-29A1119, dated August 4, 2015.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29, Hydraulic power.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of wire chafing damage, which caused an electrical arc to an adjacent hydraulic tube located on the forward bulkhead of the main landing gear (MLG) wheel well, resulting in a hole in a hydraulic tube and consequent total loss of system B hydraulic fluid. We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing damage, which could result in electrical arcing that can cause a hole in the hydraulic tube and consequent loss of hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in a fire in the MLG wheel well.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Corrective Action and Clamp Installation

    Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD:

    (1) Do a detailed inspection for chafing damage of the wire bundles and hydraulic tube in the right side of the MLG wheel well, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-29A1119, dated August 4, 2015. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (2) Install new clamps and an optional spacer between the wire bundles and hydraulic tube in the right side of the MLG wheel well, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-29A1119, dated August 4, 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)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Sean J. Schauer, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6479; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 27, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02193 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 936 [SATS No. OK-037-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2015-0006; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 167S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 16XS501520] Oklahoma Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma regulatory program (Oklahoma program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Oklahoma proposes revisions to its regulations regarding: Permit eligibility for permits with violations on lands eligible for remining; permit suspension or rescission posting locations and appeal procedures; requiring GPS coordinates for aspects of permit maps; topsoil removal distances; blasting records requirements; annual reporting requirements; temporary cessation of operations requirements; casing and sealing temporary underground openings; right of entry requirements; surface drainage associated with auger mining; correcting reference errors; updating addresses; and correcting spelling and grammatical errors. Oklahoma intends to revise its program to be no less effective than the Federal regulations and to improve operational efficiency.

    This document gives the times and locations that the Oklahoma program and this proposed amendment to that program are available for your inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written comments on the amendment, and the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested.

    DATES:

    We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4:00 p.m., central time, March 9, 2016. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on March 4, 2016. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., central time on February 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. OK-037-FOR, by any of the following methods:

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1645 South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128-4629.

    Fax: (918) 581-6419.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been assigned Docket ID OSM-2015-0006. If you would like to submit comments go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comment Procedures” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to review copies of the Oklahoma program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, you must go to the address listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE's Tulsa Field Office or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at www.regulations.gov.

    Elaine Ramsey, Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1645 South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128-4629.

    Telephone: (918) 581-6430.

    Email: [email protected]

    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following location: Oklahoma Department of Mines, 2915 N. Classen Blvd., Suite 213, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106-5406. Telephone: (405) 427-3859.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elaine Ramsey, Director, Tulsa Field Office. Telephone: (918) 581-6430.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Oklahoma Program II. Description of the Proposed Amendment III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Oklahoma Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its program includes, among other things, “. . . State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this Act . . .; and rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to this Act.” See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Oklahoma program on January 19, 1981. You can find background information on the Oklahoma program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Oklahoma program in the January 19, 1981, Federal Register (46 FR 4902). You can also find later actions concerning the Oklahoma program and program amendments at 30 CFR 936.10, 936.15, and 936.16.

    II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated September 25, 2015 (Administrative Record No. OK-1003), Oklahoma sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Oklahoma submitted the proposed amendment on its own initiative. Below is a summary of Oklahoma's proposed changes. The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at www.regulations.gov.

    Oklahoma proposes to make substantive changes to Title 460. Department of Mines: Chapter 20, The Permanent Regulations Governing the Coal Reclamation Act of 1979, in the following subchapters. Additionally, Oklahoma plans on making several non-substantive changes throughout its regulations regarding updating addresses, correcting reference errors, grammatical corrections, and spelling errors.

    1. Subchapter 15. Requirements for Permits and Permit Processing

    Oklahoma proposes to revoke section 460:20-15-6.7(a)(2)(A) regarding permits issued before September 30, 2004.

    Oklahoma proposes to add new a requirement that suspension or rescission notices be posted at the field office closest to the permit area at 460:20-15-10.1(c)(2)

    Oklahoma proposes to clarify the suspension and rescission appeal process at 460:20-15-10.1(d) and (e).

    2. Subchapter 29. Underground Mining Permit Applications: Minimum Requirements for Information on Environmental Resources

    Oklahoma proposes to add the requirements for GPS coordinates for each building on permit application maps at section 460:20-29-10(4).

    Oklahoma proposes to add the permitting requirement to list the depth to mined coal in section 460:20-29-11(a)(5).

    3. Subchapter 43. Permanent Program Performance Standards: Surface Mining Standards

    Oklahoma proposes to add language regarding minimum topsoil removal distance from the active pit in section 460:20-43-7(a)(1).

    Oklahoma proposes to add new language regarding blasting records in section 460:20-43-23.

    Oklahoma proposes to add new language regarding annual reporting requirements for contemporaneous reclamation in section 460:20-43-37(2).

    Oklahoma proposes to add new language regarding qualification standards for temporary cessation of operations in section 460:20-43-49(a) and (c).

    4. Subchapter 45. Permanent Program Performance Standards: Underground Mining Activities

    Oklahoma proposes to add language regarding casing and sealing underground openings during temporary cessation of operations in section 460:20-45-5(c).

    Oklahoma proposes to add language regarding right of entry information in section 460:20-45-17(b).

    5. Subchapter 47. Special Permanent Program Performance Standards: Auger Mining

    Oklahoma proposes to add new language regarding surface drainage during auger mining operations in section 460:20-47-4(d).

    III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve the amendment, it will become part of the State program.

    Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written comments, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent State or Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

    Public Availability of Comments

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

    Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4:00 p.m., central time on February 23, 2016. If you are disabled and need reasonable accommodations to attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests an opportunity to speak, we will not hold a hearing.

    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, if possible, that each person who speaks at the public hearing provide us with a written copy of his or her comments. The public hearing will continue on the specified date until everyone scheduled to speak has been given an opportunity to be heard. If you are in the audience and have not been scheduled to speak and wish to do so, you will be allowed to speak after those who have been scheduled. We will end the hearing after everyone scheduled to speak and others present in the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

    Public Meeting

    If only one person requests an opportunity to speak, we may hold a public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with us to discuss the amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings are open to the public and, if possible, we will post notices of meetings at the locations listed under ADDRESSES. We will make a written summary of each meeting a part of the administrative record.

    IV. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

    When a State submits a program amendment to OSMRE for review, our regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(h) require us to publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment, its text or a summary of its terms, and an opportunity for public comment. We conclude our review of the proposed amendment after the close of the public comment period and determine whether the amendment should be approved, approved in part, or not approved. At that time, we will also make the determinations and certifications required by the various laws and executive orders governing the rulemaking process and include them in the final rule.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 936

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: October 15, 2015. Ervin J. Barchenger, Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region. Note:

    This document was received by the Office the Federal Register on February 3, 2016.

    [FR Doc. 2016-02463 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 946 [SATS No. VA-127-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2015-0003; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 67F 167S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 33F 16XS501520] Virginia Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of the public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are reopening the public comment period on the proposed amendment to the Virginia regulatory program (the Virginia program) published on October 22, 2015. The comment period is being reopened in order to afford the public more time to comment. Virginia is proposing to revise its regulations in light of legislative changes made by the General Assembly of Virginia. If approved, the proposed amendment would incorporate these legislative changes into the approved State program. Additionally, the state regulations would be amended to revise the language of the public participation regulations to clarify proof of publication, remove the self-bonding instrument, and remove duplicate pool bond regulations already addressed under the Code of Virginia.

    DATES:

    We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.), March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. VA-127-FOR, Docket ID: OSM-2015-003 by any of the following methods:

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Earl Bandy, Field Office Director, Knoxville Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 710 Locust Street, 2nd Floor, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902.

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comment Procedures” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015, (80 FR 63933).

    Docket: For access to the docket to review copies of the Virginia program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, you must go to the address listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE's Knoxville Field Office or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at www.regulations.gov.

    Mr. Earl Bandy, Field Office Director, Knoxville Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 710 Locust Street, 2nd Floor, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. Telephone: (865) 545-4103 ext 186. Email: [email protected]

    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following location: Mr. Harve A. Mooney, Legal Services Officer, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, 3405 Mountain Empire Road, Big Stone Gap, Virginia 24219. Telephone: (276) 523-8271. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Earl Bandy, Field Office Director, Knoxville Field Office. Telephone: (865) 545-4103 ext 186. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 22, 2015, we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would revise the Virginia program (80 FR 63933) (Administrative Record No. VA 2026). The amendment involves statutory provisions of the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1979 (VASMCRA) and regulation changes that revise the language of the public participation regulations to clarify proof of publication, remove the self-bonding instrument, and remove duplicate pool bond regulations already addressed under the Code of Virginia.

    On November 18, 2015, we received a request from an attorney representing Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards and the Sierra Club to extend the public comment period (Administrative Record No. VA 2027). We are granting the request to afford the public more time to comment on the amendment.

    The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: December 9, 2015. Thomas D. Shope, Regional Director, Appalachian Region.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02460 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AP42 Prescriptions in Alaska and U.S. Territories and Possessions AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to remove its medical regulation that governs medications provided in Alaska and territories and possessions of the United States because this regulation is otherwise subsumed by another VA medical regulation related to provision of medications that are prescribed by non-VA providers.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by VA on or before April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted: By mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulations Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; by fax to (202) 273-9026; or through http://www.Regulations.gov. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900—[WP2013-04]—Prescriptions in Alaska and U.S. Territories and Possessions.” All comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System at http://www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristin J. Cunningham, Director, Business Policy, Chief Business Office (10NB6), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20420; (202) 382-2508. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under section 1712(d) of title 38 United States Code (U.S.C.), VA must furnish medications to veterans who receive increased compensation or pension benefits by reason of being permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance, if such medications are prescribed for the treatment of any injury or illness suffered by such veteran. Section 1712(d) is distinct from the more general authority under 38 U.S.C. 1710 to provide medications to veterans as hospital care and medical services; veterans under section 1712(d) do not have to be receiving VA hospital care or medical services as a condition of VA furnishing medications to treat their injury or illness. VA originally promulgated two regulations on October 4, 1967, to implement section 1712(d), in title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 17.60d and 17.60e. See 32 FR 13816. Because section 1712(d) does not require these certain veterans to be receiving VA hospital care or medical services as a condition of receiving medications from VA, § 17.60d provided that VA pharmacies would fill prescriptions for these veterans if such prescriptions were “not part of authorized Veterans Administration hospital or outpatient care,” and were “ordered by a private or non-VA” provider, and if the medications were “prescribed as specific therapy in the treatment of any of the veteran's illnesses or injuries.” See 32 FR 13816 (October 4, 1967). Section 17.60e, in turn, addressed geographic areas that, at the time, did not have VA pharmacies—§ 17.60e provided that in those areas without VA pharmacies, VA may reimburse the cost of prescriptions that otherwise would have been filled under § 17.60d. See 32 CFR 13816 (October 4, 1967). The intent of § 17.60e was to supplement § 17.60d, to ensure that eligible veterans under section 1712(d) and § 17.60d were able to have their medications furnished by VA, even if such veterans lived in Alaska and territories and possessions of the U.S. where there were no VA pharmacies.

    Sections 17.60d and 17.60e were renumbered as §§ 17.96 and 17.97, respectively, and § 17.97 was further revised at that time to remove reference to the former § 17.60d and to insert a reference to the relevant section 1712 authority. See 61 FR 21964 (May 13, 1996). Section 17.96 was later revised to permit the filling of prescriptions by non-VA pharmacies in state homes under contract with VA. 63 FR 37779 (July 14, 1998). Sections 17.96 and 17.97 relate to the same cohort of veterans for whom VA is authorized to provide prescription medication under section 1712(d), and § 17.97 was intended to supplement § 17.96, although the supplementing effect of § 17.97 is not as apparent as when these regulations were first promulgated as §§ 17.60d and 17.60e. Because the same cohort of veterans is at issue in §§ 17.96 and 17.97, and because § 17.96 already provides for the filling of prescriptions in non-VA pharmacies, a separate § 17.97 to address prescriptions in non-VA pharmacies (pharmacies in areas without VA pharmacies) is no longer necessary. We would, therefore, remove § 17.97 and mark it reserved for future use, and would revise § 17.96 to clarify that any non-VA pharmacy under contract with VA may be used, not just those non-VA pharmacies in state homes.

    Effect of Rulemaking

    The Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to be revised by this rulemaking, would represent the exclusive legal authority on this subject. No contrary rules or procedures would be authorized. All VA guidance would be read to conform with this proposed rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance would be superseded by this rulemaking.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. This proposed rule would directly affect only individuals and would not directly affect small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this amendment would be exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

    Executive Order 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action,” requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this proposed rule have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are 64.007, Blind Rehabilitation Centers; 64.008, Veterans Domiciliary Care; 64.009, Veterans Medical Care Benefits; 64.010, Veterans Nursing Home Care; 64.011, Veterans Dental Care; 64.012, Veterans Prescription Service; 64.014, Veterans State Domiciliary Care; 64.015, Veterans State Nursing Home Care; 64.018, Sharing Specialized Medical Resources; 64.019, Veterans Rehabilitation Alcohol and Drug Dependence; 64.022, Veterans Home Based Primary Care; and 64.024, VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert D. Snyder, Interim Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on January 29, 2016, for publication.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 17

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Alcoholism, Claims, Day care, Dental health, Drug abuse, Health care, Health facilities, Health professions, Health records, Homeless, Mental health programs, Nursing homes, Veterans.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. William F. Russo, Director, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, we propose to amend 38 CFR part 17 as follows:

    PART 17—MEDICAL 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501, and as noted in specific sections.

    2. Amend § 17.96 by revising the introductory paragraph to read as follows:
    § 17.96 Medication prescribed by non-VA physicians.

    Any prescription, which is not part of authorized Department of Veterans Affairs hospital or outpatient care, for drugs and medicines ordered by a private or non-Department of Veterans Affairs doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the prescription is written, shall be filled by a Department of Veterans Affairs pharmacy or a non-VA pharmacy under contract with VA, to include non-VA pharmacy in a state home under contract with VA for filling prescriptions for patients in state homes, provided:

    [§ 17.97 Removed and Reserved]
    3. Remove § 17.97 and mark as reserved for future use.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02350 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0807; FRL-9941-94-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Department of Pesticide Regulations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (CDPR) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from pesticides. We are proposing to approve these rules to regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act). We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0807 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    This proposal addresses additions and amendments to Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations (3 CCR) made by CDPR Regulation 12-001 (“Nonfumigant Regulations”). Table 1 lists the new and amended regulations with the dates that they were adopted by the CDPR and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Adopted/amended Submitted CDPR 3 CCR 6452 Reduced VOC Emissions Field Fumigation Methods 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6452.2 VOC Emission Limits 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6558 Recommendations for Use of Nonfumigants in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) Ozone Nonattainment Area (NAA) 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6577 Sales of Nonfumigants for Use in the SJV Ozone NAA 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6864 Criteria for Identifying Pesticides as Toxic Air Contaminants 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6880 Criteria to Designate Low-VOC or High-VOC Nonfumigant Pesticide Products 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6881 Annual VOC Emissions Inventory Report 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6883 Recommendation Requirements in the SJV Ozone NAA 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6884 SJV Ozone NAA Use Prohibitions 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6886 Dealer Responsibilities for the SJV Ozone NAA 05/23/13 02/04/15

    On August 4, 2015, the submittal for CDPR's Nonfumigant Regulations was deemed by operation of law to meet the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

    B. Are there other versions of these rules?

    There are no previous versions of 3 CCR 6558, 6577, 6864, 6880, 6883, 6884, or 6886 in the SIP. We approved earlier versions of 3 CCR 6452, 6452.2 and 6452.4 (now 6881) into the SIP on October 26, 2012 (77 FR 65294).

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

    VOCs help produce ground-level ozone, smog and PM, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires States to submit regulations that control VOC emissions. The overall purpose of the new and amended regulations is to regulate certain nonfumigant pesticide products applied to certain crops in the SJV ozone NAA when VOC emissions meet or exceed 95% of the 18.1 tons per day limit on VOC emissions, or 17.2 tons per day. CDPR added or revised the rules specified above largely to establish limits on the sale and use of high-VOC formulations of nonfumigant pesticide products that contain abamectin, chlorpyrifos, gibberellins, or oxyfluorfen as their primary active ingredient, for use on any of the following seven crops: Alfalfa, almond, citrus, cotton, grape, pistachio, and walnut. These restrictions are only triggered when the VOC emissions meet or exceed 17.2 tons per day, as reported in the CDPR's Annual VOC Emissions Inventory Report. They apply only during the May-October “ozone season.” Once high-VOC product prohibitions are in effect, they must remain in effect until the “hypothetical emissions” (i.e., the estimated VOC emissions if the prohibitions were not in effect) for pesticides in the SJV ozone NAA comply with the 17.2 tons per day limit for at least two consecutive years. The rules include a calculation to determine the “hypothetical emissions.” The rules also require pest control dealers to provide customers written information about these restrictions and to indicate on the invoice that the written information was provided. Pest control advisors are prohibited from recommending a restricted nonfumigant product, unless it qualifies under an exception.

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

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

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

    Generally, SIP rules must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for each category of sources covered by a Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document as well as each major source of VOCs in ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate or above (see CAA section 182(b)(2)). Because there are no relevant EPA CTG documents and because there are no major sources of VOCs for nonfumigant pesticides, nonfumigant pesticides are not subject to RACT requirements. However, nonfumigant pesticide use is subject to other VOC limits and requirements described in the TSD.

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

    1. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” EPA, May 25, 1988 (the Bluebook, revised January 11, 1990). 2. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies,” EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001 (the Little Bluebook). B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

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

    C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rules

    The TSD describes additional rule revisions that we recommend for the next time the local agency modifies the rules but are not currently the basis for rule disapproval.

    E. Public Comment and Proposed Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA proposes to fully approve the submitted rules because we believe they fulfill all relevant requirements. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal until March 9, 2016. Unless we receive convincing new information during the comment period, we intend to publish a final approval action that will incorporate these rules into the federally enforceable SIP.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the CDPR rules as described in Table 1 of this notice. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents available electronically through www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: January 14, 2016. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02314 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953; FRL-9941-96-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure or Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve elements of State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions from the State of Texas for Ozone (O3) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These submittals address how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS (infrastructure SIPs or i-SIPs). These i-SIPs ensure that the State's SIP is adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953 at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Sherry Fuerst, (214) 665-6454, [email protected] 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: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherry Fuerst, telephone (214) 665-6454, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with her or Bill Deese at (214) 665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    On March 12, 2008, we revised the primary and secondary O3 NAAQS (hereafter the 2008 O3 NAAQS) 1 to 0.075 parts per million (ppm), expressed to three decimal places, based on a 3-year average of the fourth-highest maximum 8-hour average concentration. (73 FR 16436, March 27, 2008).2 Primary NAAQS protect public health and secondary NAAQS protect the public welfare (CAA section 109).

    1 The previous O3 NAAQS were issued in 1997. The 1997 primary and secondary NAAQS were established as 0.08 ppm not to be exceeded as determined by the 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour concentrations (62 FR 38856, July 18, 1997).

    2 Although the effective date of the Federal Register notice for the final rule was May 27, 2008, the rule was signed by the Administrator and publicly disseminated on March 12, 2008. Therefore, the deadline for submittal of infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 O3 NAAQS was March 12, 2011.

    Likewise, on January 22, 2010, we revised the primary national ambient air quality standard (hereafter the 2010 NO2 NAAQS) 3 for oxides of nitrogen as measured by nitrogen dioxide (NO2), for 1-hour standard at a level of 100 ppb, based on the 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations, to supplement the existing annual standard. We also established requirements for a NO2 monitoring network that includes monitors at locations where maximum NO2 concentrations are expected to occur, including within 50 meters of major roadways, as well as monitors sited to measure the area-wide NO2 concentrations that occur more broadly across communities. (75 FR 6474, February 9. 2010).4

    3 The previous NO2 NAAQS was issued in 1996. It established a primary and secondary standards of for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as 0.053 parts per million (ppm) (100 micrograms per meter cubed (g/m3)) annual arithmetic average. (61 FR 52852, October 8, 1996).

    4 Although the effective date of the Federal Register notice for the final rule was April 12, 2010, the rule was signed by the Administrator and publicly disseminated on January 22, 2010. Therefore, the deadline for submittal of infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 NO2 NAAQS was January 22, 2013.

    Each state must submit an i-SIP within three years after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) of the CAA includes a list of specific elements the i-SIP must meet. We issued guidance addressing the i-SIP elements for NAAQS.5 The Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) submitted i-SIP revisions to address these revised NAAQS.

    5 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    We are proposing to approve the Texas i-SIP submittals for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.6 Copies of these SIP submissions are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    6 Additional information on: The history of the O3 and NO2 NAAQS, its levels, forms and, determination of compliance; EPA's approach for reviewing i-SIPs; the details of the SIP submittal and EPA's evaluation; the effect of recent court decisions on i-SIPs; the statute and regulatory citations in the Texas SIP specific to this review; the specific i-SIP applicable CAA and our regulatory citations; Federal Register Notice citations for Texas SIP approvals; Texas' minor New Source Review program and our approval activities; and, Texas' Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program can be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD).

    II. EPA's Evaluation of Texas' 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS Infrastructure Submissions

    Below is a summary of our evaluation of the Texas i-SIP for the relevant elements of 110(a)(2) we are proposing to approve. Texas provided demonstrations of how the existing Texas SIP meets the requirements of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS on December 7, 2012, and for the 2008 O3 NAAQS on December 13, 2012. A detailed discussion of our evaluation can be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD) for this action. The TSD can be accessed through www.regulations.gov (e-docket EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953).

    (A) Emission limits and other control measures: The SIP must include enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means or techniques, schedules for compliance and other related matters as needed to implement, maintain and enforce each of the NAAQS.7

    7 The specific nonattainment area plan requirements of section 110(a)(2)(I) are subject to the timing requirements of section 172, not the timing requirement of section 110(a)(1). Thus, section 110(a)(2)(A) does not require that states submit regulations or emissions limits specifically for attaining the 2008 O3 or NO2 NAAQS. Those SIP provisions are due as part of each state's attainment plan, and will be addressed separately from the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A). In the context of an infrastructure SIP, we are not evaluating the existing SIP provisions for this purpose. Instead, EPA is only evaluating whether the state's SIP has basic structural provisions for the implementation of the NAAQS.

    The Texas Clean Air Act (TCAA) provides the TCEQ, its Chairman, and its Executive Director with broad legal authority. They can adopt emission standards and compliance schedules applicable to regulated entities; emission standards and limitations and any other measures necessary for attainment and maintenance of national standards; and, enforce applicable laws, regulations, standards and compliance schedules, and seek injunctive relief. This authority has been employed in the past to adopt and submit multiple revisions to the Texas SIP. The approved SIP for Texas is documented at 40 CFR part 52.2270. TCEQ's air quality rules and standards are codified at Title 30, Part 1 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC). Numerous parts of the regulations codified into 30 TAC necessary for implementing and enforcing the NAAQS have been adopted into the SIP.

    (B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: The SIP must provide for establishment and implementation of ambient air quality monitors, collection and analysis of ambient air quality data, and providing the data to EPA upon request.

    The TCAA provides the authority allowing the TCEQ to collect air monitoring data, quality-assure the results, and report the data. TCEQ maintains and operates a monitoring network to measure levels of Ozone and NO2, as well as other pollutants, in accordance with EPA regulations specifying siting and monitoring requirements. All monitoring data is measured using EPA approved methods and subject to the EPA quality assurance requirements. TCEQ submits all required data to us, following the EPA regulations. The Texas statewide monitoring network was approved into the SIP on May 31, 1972 (37 FR 10842, 10895), was revised on March 7, 1978 (43 FR 9275) and it undergoes recurrent annual review by us.8 In addition, TCEQ conducts a recurrent assessment of its monitoring network every five years, as required by EPA rules. The most recent of these 5-year monitoring network assessments was conducted by TCEQ and approved by us in December of 2010.9 The TCEQ Web site provides the monitor locations and posts past and current concentrations of criteria pollutants measured in the State's network of monitors.10

    8 A copy of the 2015 Annual Air Monitoring Network Plan and our approval letter are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    9 A copy of TCEQ's 2010 5-year ambient monitoring network assessment and our approval letter are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    10 See http://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/sites/mon_sites.html and http://www17.tceq.texas.gov/tamis/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.welcome.

    (C) Program for enforcement of control measures: The SIP must include the following three elements: (1) A program providing for enforcement of emission limits and other control measures; (2) a program for the regulation of the modification and construction of stationary sources as necessary to protect the applicable NAAQS (i.e., state-wide permitting of minor sources); and (3) a permit program to meet the major source permitting requirements of the CAA (for areas designated as attainment or unclassifiable for the NAAQS in question).

    (1) Enforcement of SIP Measures. As noted earlier, the State statutes provide authority for the TCEQ, its Chairman, and its Executive Director to enforce the requirements of the TCAA, and any regulations, permits, or final compliance orders. These statutes also provide the TCEQ, its Chairman, and its Executive Director with general enforcement powers. Among other things, they can file lawsuits to compel compliance with the statutes and regulations; commence civil actions; issue field citations; conduct investigations of regulated entities; collect criminal and civil penalties; develop and enforce rules and standards related to protection of air quality; issue compliance orders; pursue criminal prosecutions; investigate, enter into remediation agreements; and issue emergency cease and desist orders. The TCAA also provides additional enforcement authorities and funding mechanisms.

    (2) Minor New Source Review. The SIP is required to include measures to regulate construction and modification of stationary sources to protect the NAAQS. The Texas minor NSR permitting requirements are approved as part of the SIP.11

    11 We are not proposing to approve or disapprove the existing Texas minor NSR program to the extent that it may be inconsistent with the regulations governing this program. We have maintained that the CAA does not require that new infrastructure SIP submissions correct any defects in existing EPA-approved provisions of minor NSR programs in order for us to approve the infrastructure SIP for element C (e.g., 76 FR 41076-41079). We believe that a number of states may have minor NSR provisions that are contrary to the existing regulations for this program. The statutory requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) provide for considerable flexibility in designing minor NSR programs.

    (3) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit program. The Texas PSD portion of the SIP covers all NSR regulated pollutants as well as the requirements for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS and has been approved by EPA.

    (D) Interstate and international transport: The requirements for interstate transport of O3 and NO2 emissions are that the SIP contain adequate provisions prohibiting O3 and NO2 emission transport to other states which will (1) contribute significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS, (2) interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS, (3) interfere with measures required to prevent significant deterioration or (4) interfere with measures to protect visibility (CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)). In addition, states must comply with requirements to prevent transport of international air pollution (CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii)).

    The Texas i-SIP submittal discussed the requirements of the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D). We plan to evaluate and take action on the portion of the i-SIP pertaining to emissions which will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the O3 NAAQS at a later time (110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)). With regard to emissions which will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NO2 NAAQS, TCEQ included an interstate transport technical analysis in its submittal. In summary, the analysis found that there are some days where air is transported from Texas to areas in neighboring states that have monitors. However, the reactivity of NO2, coupled with the distance from major Texas areas of NO2 emissions make it highly unlikely that Texas NO2 emissions significantly impact other states. States surrounding Texas are measuring attainment of the NO2 NAAQS; therefore, Texas NO2 sources are not contributing to an exceedance or interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in neighboring states. We agree with the technical analysis regarding emissions which will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NO2 NAAQS.

    Because Texas has a fully approved Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) SIP addressing all regulated new source review pollutants, we propose to approve the transport portion of both submittals. Revisions to the PSD SIP were approved on October 22, 2014 (79 FR 66626, November 10, 2014).

    We proposed to disapprove the portion of the SIPs addressing visibility protection for both O3 and NO2 in an earlier action (80 FR 74818, December 16, 2014). We will take action on the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) portion of the Texas O3 and NO2 i-SIP in future rulemaking.

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires that the SIP contain adequate provisions insuring compliance with the applicable requirements of section 126 (relating to interstate pollution abatement) and 115 (relating to international pollution abatement). Texas meets the section 126 requirements as it has a fully approved PSD SIP and no source or sources have been identified by us as having any interstate impacts under section 126 in any pending action related to any air pollutant. Texas meets the section 115 requirements as there are no final findings by us that Texas air emissions affect other countries. Therefore, we propose to approve the portion of the Texas O3 and NO2 i-SIP submittals pertaining to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii).

    (E) Adequate authority, resources, implementation, and oversight: The SIP must provide for the following: (1) Necessary assurances that the state (and other entities within the state responsible for implementing the SIP) will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state or local law to implement the SIP, and that there are no legal impediments to such implementation; (2) requirements relating to state boards; and (3) necessary assurances that the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of any plan provision for which it relies on local governments or other entities to carry out that portion of the plan. Both elements (A) and (E) address the requirement that there is adequate authority to implement and enforce the SIP and that there are no legal impediments.

    These i-SIP submissions for the 2008 O3 NAAQS and 2010 NO2 NAAQS describe the SIP regulations governing the various functions of personnel within the TCEQ, including the administrative, technical support, planning, enforcement, and permitting functions of the program.

    With respect to funding, the TCAA requires TCEQ to establish an emissions fee schedule for sources in order to fund the reasonable costs of administering various air pollution control programs and authorizes TCEQ to collect additional fees necessary to cover reasonable costs associated with processing of air permit applications. We conduct periodic program reviews to ensure that the state has adequate resources and funding to, among other things, implement and enforce the SIP.

    As required by the CAA, the Texas statutes and the SIP stipulate that any board or body, which approves permits or enforcement orders, must have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive any “significant portion” of their income from persons subject to permits and enforcement orders or who appear before the board on issues related to the CAA or the TCAA. The members of the board or body, or the head of an agency with similar powers, are required to adequately disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

    With respect to assurances that the State has responsibility to implement the SIP adequately when it authorizes local or other agencies to carry out portions of the plan, the Texas statutes and the SIP designate the TCEQ as the primary air pollution control agency.

    (F) Stationary source monitoring system: The SIP must provide for the establishment of a system to monitor emissions from stationary sources and to submit periodic emission reports. It must require the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources, to monitor emissions from such sources. The SIP shall also require periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from such sources, and require that the state correlate the source reports with emission limitations or standards established under the CAA. These reports must be made available for public inspection at reasonable times.

    The TCAA authorizes the TCEQ to require persons engaged in operations which result in air pollution to monitor or test emissions and to file reports containing information relating to the nature and amount of emissions. There are also SIP-approved state regulations pertaining to sampling and testing and requirements for reporting of emissions inventories In addition, SIP-approved rules establish general requirements for maintaining records and reporting emissions.

    The TCEQ uses this information, in addition to information obtained from other sources, to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, developing control and maintenance strategies, identifying sources and general emission levels, and determining compliance with SIP-approved regulations and additional EPA requirements. The SIP requires this information be made available to the public. Provisions concerning the handling of confidential data and proprietary business information are included in the SIP-approved regulations. These rules specifically exclude from confidential treatment any records concerning the nature and amount of emissions reported by sources.

    (G) Emergency authority: The SIP must provide for authority to address activities causing imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare or the environment and to include contingency plans to implement such authorities as necessary.

    The TCAA provides TCEQ with authority to address environmental emergencies, and TCEQ has contingency plans to implement emergency episode provisions. Upon a finding that any owner/operator is unreasonably affecting the public health, safety or welfare, or the health of animal or plant life or property, the TCAA and 30 TAC chapters 35 and 118 authorize TCEQ to, after a reasonable attempt to give notice, declare a state of emergency and issue without hearing an emergency special order directing the owner/operator to cease such pollution immediately.

    The “Texas Air Quality Control Contingency Plan for Prevention of Air Pollution Episodes” is part of the Texas SIP. However, because of the low levels of NO2 and O3 emissions emitted and monitored statewide, Texas is not required to have contingency plans for the 2008 O3 or 2010 NO2 NAAQS. However, to provide additional protection, the State has general emergency powers to address any possible dangerous air pollution episode if necessary to protect the environment and public health.

    (H) Future SIP revisions: States must have the authority to revise their SIPs in response to changes in the NAAQS, availability of improved methods for attaining the NAAQS, or in response to an EPA finding that the SIP is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS.

    The TCAA authorizes the TCEQ to revise the Texas SIP, as necessary, to account for revisions of an existing NAAQS, establishment of a new NAAQS, to attain and maintain a NAAQS, to abate air pollution, to adopt more effective methods of attaining a NAAQS, and to respond to EPA SIP calls concerning NAAQS adoption or implementation.

    (I) Nonattainment areas: The CAA section 110(a)(2)(I) requires that in the case of a plan or plan revision for areas designated as nonattainment areas, states must meet applicable requirements of part D of the CAA, relating to SIP requirements for designated nonattainment areas.

    In 2012, we designated all areas in the United States as “unclassifiable/attainment” for the one-hour NO2 NAAQS (77 FR 9532). All NO2 monitors in Texas and neighboring states have design values below the 2010 annual NO2 NAAQS, which is 0.053 ppm or 53 ppb and below the one-hour NO2 NAAQS of 100 ppb. Texas currently has two nonattainment areas for the 2008 eight-hour ozone NAAQS; the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) marginal nonattainment area and the Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) moderate nonattainment area. The rest of the counties in Texas are designated unclassifiable/attainment for the 2008 eight hour O3 NAAQS. For additional information on the Texas ozone nonattainment areas (past and present) please refer to the TSD.

    However, as noted earlier, we do not expect infrastructure SIP submissions to address subsection (I). The specific SIP submissions for designated nonattainment areas, as required under CAA title I, part D, are subject to different submission schedules than those for section 110 infrastructure elements. Instead, we will take action on part D attainment plan SIP submissions through a separate rulemaking process governed by the requirements for nonattainment areas, as described in part D.

    (J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD and visibility protection: The SIP must meet the following three CAA requirements: (1) Section 121, relating to interagency consultation regarding certain CAA requirements; (2) section 127, relating to public notification of NAAQS exceedances and related issues; and (3) prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection.

    (1) Interagency consultation: As required by the TCAA, there must be a public hearing before the adoption of any regulations or emission control requirements, and all interested persons are given a reasonable opportunity to review the action that is being proposed and to submit data or arguments, either orally or in writing, and to examine the testimony of witnesses from the hearing. In addition, the TCAA provides the TCEQ the power and duty to establish cooperative agreements with local authorities, and consult with other states, the federal government and other interested persons or groups in regard to matters of common interest in the field of air quality control. Furthermore, the Texas PSD SIP rules mandate that the TCEQ shall provide for public participation and notification regarding permitting applications to any other state or local air pollution control agencies, local government officials of the city or county where the source will be located, tribal authorities, and Federal Land Manager (FLMs) whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification. Additionally, the State's PSD SIP rules require the TCEQ to consult with FLMs regarding permit applications for sources with the potential to impact Class I Federal Areas. The SIP also includes a commitment to consult continually with the FLMs on the review and implementation of the visibility program, and the State recognizes the expertise of the FLMs in monitoring and new source review applicability analyses for visibility and has agreed to notify the FLMs of any advance notification or early consultation with a new or modifying source prior to the submission of a permit application. Likewise, the State's Transportation Conformity SIP rules provide for interagency consultation, resolution of conflicts, and public notification.

    (2) Public Notification: The i-SIP submissions from Texas provide the SIP regulatory citations requiring the TCEQ to regularly notify the public of instances or areas in which any NAAQS are exceeded. Included in the SIP are the rules for TCEQ to advise the public of the health hazard associated with such exceedances; and enhance public awareness of measures that can prevent such exceedances and of ways in which the public can participate in the regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality. In addition, as discussed for infrastructure element B above, the TCEQ air monitoring Web site provides quality data for each of the monitoring stations in Texas; this data is provided instantaneously for certain pollutants, such as ozone. The Web site also provides information on the health effects of lead, ozone, particulate matter, and other criteria pollutants.

    (3) PSD and Visibility Protection: The PSD requirements for this element are the same as those addressed under element (C) above. The Texas SIP requirements relating to visibility and regional haze are not affected when we establish or revise a NAAQS. Therefore, we believe that there are no new visibility protection requirements due to the revision of the NAAQS, and consequently there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations pursuant to infrastructure element (J).

    (K) Air quality and modeling/data: The SIP must provide for performing air quality modeling, as prescribed by EPA, to predict the effects on ambient air quality of any emissions of any NAAQS pollutant, and for submission of such data to EPA upon request.

    The TCEQ has the power and duty, under the TCAA to develop facts and investigate providing for the functions of environmental air quality assessment. Past modeling and emissions reductions measures have been submitted by the State and approved into the SIP. In addition to the ability to perform modeling for nonattainment SIPs, Texas has the ability to perform modeling on a case by case permit basis consistent with their SIP-approved PSD rules and with our guidance.

    The TCAA authorizes and requires TCEQ to cooperate with the federal government and local authorities concerning matters of common interest in the field of air quality control, thereby allowing the agency to make such submissions to the EPA.

    (L) Permitting Fees: The SIP must require each major stationary source to pay permitting fees to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, to cover the cost of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and, if the permit is issued, the costs of implementing and enforcing the terms of the permit. The fee requirement applies until a fee program established by the state pursuant to Title V of the CAA, relating to operating permits, is approved by EPA.

    See the discussion for element (E) above for the description of the mandatory collection of permitting fees outlined in the SIP.

    (M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: The SIP must provide for consultation and participation by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP.

    See discussion for element (J)(1) and (2) above for a description of the SIP's public participation process, the authority to advise and consult, and the PSD SIP's public participation requirements. Additionally, the TCAA also requires initiation of cooperative action between local authorities and the TCEQ, between one local authority and another, or among any combination of local authorities and the TCEQ for control of air pollution in areas having related air pollution problems that overlap the boundaries of political subdivisions, and entering into agreements and compacts with adjoining states and Indian tribes, where appropriate. TCEQ has a long history of successful cooperation with affected local entities. The transportation conformity component of the Texas SIP requires that interagency consultation and opportunity for public involvement be provided before making transportation conformity determinations and before adopting applicable SIP revisions on transportation-related issues.

    IV. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve portions of the December 13, 2012 and December 7, 2012, infrastructure SIP submissions from Texas, which address the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. Specifically, we are proposing to approve the following infrastructure elements, or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i) (portions pertaining to PSD for O3 and 2010 NO2 and portions pertaining to nonattainment and interference with maintenance for NO2), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (K), (L), and (M). Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in Texas SIP, we believe that Texas has the infrastructure in place to address the applicable required elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) (except otherwise noted) to ensure that the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS are implemented in the state.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this 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 proposed rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Interstate transport of pollution, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Visibility.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: January 26, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02310 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 215 and 252 RIN 0750-AI84 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: DFARS Case 2016-D017, Independent Research and Development Expenses AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD is seeking information that will assist in the development of a revision to the DFARS to ensure that substantial future independent research and development (IR&D) expenses as a means to reduce evaluated bid prices in competitive source selections are evaluated in a uniform way during competitive source selections. In addition to the request for written comments on this proposed rulemaking, DoD will hold a public meeting to hear the views of interested parties.

    DATES:

    Submission of comments: Interested parties should submit written comments to the address shown below on or before April 8, 2016, to be considered in the development of any proposed DFARS rule.

    Public meeting: A public meeting will be held in the General Services Administration (GSA), Central Office Auditorium, 1800 F Street NW., Washington DC, 20405, on March 3, 2016, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., local time. The GSA Auditorium is located on the main floor of the building.

    Individuals wishing to attend the public meeting should register by February 25, 2016, to ensure adequate accommodations, to facilitate entry into the building, and to create an attendee list for secure entry to the GSA building for anyone who is not a Federal Government employee with a Government badge. Interested parties may register at the Web site, http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/IR&D.html, by providing the following information:

    • Company or organization name;

    • Names, telephone numbers and email addresses of persons planning to attend;

    • Last four digits of social security number for each attendee (non-Federal employees only); and

    • Identify if company or organization desires to make a presentation; limit to one presentation per company or organization. Presentations will be limited to approximately 10 minutes as time permits.

    One valid, government-issued photo identification card will be required to enter the building. Non-U.S. citizens may use their valid passport as photo identification. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes early to accommodate security procedures.

    Special Accommodations: The public meeting location is physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Mark Gomersall, telephone 703-602-0302, at least 10 working days prior to the meeting date.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by DFARS Case 2016-D017, using any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering “DFARS Case 2016-D017” under the heading “Enter keyword or ID” and selecting “Search.” Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “DFARS Case 2016-D017.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “DFARS Case 2016-D017” on your attached document.

    Email: [email protected] Include DFARS Case 2016-D017 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6099.

    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 (allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Mark Gomersall, telephone 571-372-6099; facsimile 571-372-6101.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    As expressed in the “Implementation Directive for Better Buying Power 3.0—Achieving Dominant Capabilities Through Technical Excellence and Innovation,” dated April 9, 2015, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics noted a concern when “promised future IRAD [Independent Research and Development] expenditures are used to substantially reduce the bid price on competitive procurements. In these cases, development price proposals are reduced by using a separate source of government funding (allowable IRAD overhead expenses spread across the total business) to gain a price advantage in a specific competitive bid. This is not the intended purpose of making IRAD an allowable cost.”

    DoD is considering a proposed approach whereby solicitations would require offerors to describe in detail the nature and value of prospective IR&D projects on which the offeror would rely to perform the resultant contract. Then, as a standard approach, DoD would evaluate proposals in a manner that would take into account that reliance by adjusting the total evaluated price to the Government, for evaluation purposes only, to include the value of related future IR&D projects.

    II. Solicitation of Public Comment

    DoD is seeking comments on this planned approach in order to assist in the development of a proposed DFARS rule. Specifically, the Department is interested in understanding whether the planned approach would achieve the objective of treating the proposed use of substantial future IR&D expenses as a means to reduce evaluated bid prices in competitive source selections in a uniform manner that is consistent with the objective of making IR&D an allowable cost.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 215 and 252

    Government procurement.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02396 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Parts 216 and 300 RIN 0648-AX63 Trade Monitoring Procedures for Fishery Products; International Trade in Seafood; Permit Requirements for Importers and Exporters; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Marine Fisheries Service will hold a public webinar to present details of a previously issued proposed rule (which published December 29, 2015) for electronic filing of seafood trade documents and will allow time for questions from the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Wednesday, September, 17, 2016, from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. eastern standard time. Written comments on the proposed rule (December 29, 2015; 80 FR 81251) must be received by February 29, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    For information about connecting and system requirements to attend the webinar, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/slider_stories/2015/12/itds_proposed_rule.html. Participants are encouraged to use their telephone for the audio portion of the meeting. Instructions for audio access will be on the Web page referenced above and will be shown on the screen before joining the webinar.

    Public comment on the proposed rule should be submitted by February 29, 2016 through www.regulations.gov by accessing docket NOAA-NMFS-2009-0124.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Wildman, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection; telephone: (301) 427-8350.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 29, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule (80 FR 81251) to integrate three currently paper-based seafood trade monitoring programs within the scope of electronic data collection through the U.S. government-wide International Trade Data System. Background information on the proposed rule is provided at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2009-0124. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the public of the proposed requirements for filing entries and exports within the International Trade Data System. Following the presentation of the proposed rule, a question and answer session will be accommodated as time allows. Public comment on the proposed rule should be submitted by February 29, 2016 through www.regulations.gov by accessing docket NOAA-NMFS-2009-0124.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mark Wildman at (301) 427-8350 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Steven Wilson, Acting Director, Office for International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02418 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150430410-6046-01] RIN 0648-BF05 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 109 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). If approved, this proposed rule would amend regulations governing the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program to support increased participation in the groundfish CDQ fisheries (primarily Pacific cod) by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 feet (ft) (14.0 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear. Specifically, this proposed rule would exempt operators of registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear from the requirement to obtain and carry a License Limitation Program license when groundfish CDQ fishing. The proposed rule also would reduce observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA when groundfish CDQ fishing, and implement new in-season management and catch accounting requirements to properly account for the harvest of groundfish and halibut and the accrual of halibut prohibited species catch in these fisheries. In addition to the proposed regulations necessary to implement Amendment 109, NMFS proposes to remove a table in the regulations because it is no longer necessary. This action is intended to facilitate increased participation by residents of CDQ communities in the groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and to support economic development in western Alaska. This action is necessary to promote the goals of the CDQ Program, and to promote the goals and objectives of the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0060, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0060, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter“N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis/Environmental Assessment (RIR/IRFA/EA) prepared for this action (collectively the “Analysis”) is available from http://www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to NMFS Alaska Region, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, Attn: Ellen Sebastian, Records Officer; in person at NMFS Alaska Region, 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK; and by email to [email protected] or faxed to 202-395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sally Bibb, 907-586-7389.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for Action

    NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.). Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679.

    The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and NMFS manage fishing for Pacific halibut through regulations established under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act). The IPHC promulgates regulations governing the halibut fishery under the Convention between the United States and Canada for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea (Convention). The IPHC's regulations are subject to approval by the Secretary of State with concurrence of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). NMFS publishes the IPHC's regulations as annual management measures pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62.

    The Halibut Act, at sections 773c(a) and (b), provides the Secretary with general responsibility to carry out the Convention and the Halibut Act. In adopting regulations that may be necessary to carry out the purposes and objectives of the Convention and the Halibut Act, the Secretary is directed to consult with the Secretary of the department in which the U.S. Coast Guard is operating, currently the Department of Homeland Security.

    The Halibut Act, at section 773c(c), also provides the Council with authority to develop regulations, including limited access regulations, that are in addition to, and not in conflict with, approved IPHC regulations. Regulations developed by the Council may be implemented by NMFS only after approval by the Secretary. The Council exercised this authority to allocate halibut to the CDQ Program as part of the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program for the commercial halibut and sablefish fisheries, codified at 50 CFR part 679, under the authority of section 773 of the Halibut Act and section 303(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1853(b)).

    The Council submitted Amendment 109 for review by the Secretary, and a notice of availability of Amendment 109 was published in the Federal Register on January 20, 2016, with comments invited through March 21, 2016. Comments may address Amendment 109 or this proposed rule, but must be received by March 21, 2016 to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on Amendment 109. All comments received by that date, whether specifically directed to Amendment 109, or to this proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on Amendment 109.

    Background

    If approved, this proposed rule would amend regulations governing the CDQ Program to support increased participation in the groundfish CDQ fisheries (primarily Pacific cod) by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear. The proposed rule would exempt operators of registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear to obtain and carry a License Limitation Program (LLP) license when groundfish CDQ fishing. This proposed rule also would reduce observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA when groundfish CDQ fishing and implement new in-season management and catch accounting requirements to properly account for the harvest of groundfish and halibut and the accrual of halibut prohibited species catch in these fisheries. This proposed rule is intended to facilitate increased participation by residents of CDQ communities in the BSAI groundfish CDQ fisheries and to support economic development in western Alaska. The proposed rule would benefit the six CDQ groups and the operators of the small hook-and-line catcher vessels that the CDQ groups authorize to fish on their behalf by reducing the costs of participating in the groundfish CDQ fisheries.

    The following sections describe the fisheries and the current management programs affected by the proposed action: (1) Overview of the CDQ Program, (2) Regulatory Constraints on Local Small-Scale Groundfish CDQ Fisheries, (3) Need for the Proposed Action, and (4) The Proposed Rule.

    Overview of the CDQ Program

    The CDQ Program is an economic development program associated with federally managed fisheries in the BSAI. The purpose of the CDQ Program is to provide western Alaska communities with the opportunity to participate and invest in BSAI fisheries, to support economic development in western Alaska, to alleviate poverty and provide economic and social benefits for residents of western Alaska, and to achieve sustainable and diversified local economies in western Alaska. Regulations establishing the CDQ Program were first implemented in 1992. Congress amended the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 1996 through the Sustainable Fisheries Act (Pub. L. 104-297) to include specific provisions governing the CDQ Program. There are 65 communities eligible to participate in the CDQ Program. Each community is represented by one of six CDQ groups. The 65 eligible communities and the CDQ groups that collectively represent these 65 communities are identified in the Magnuson-Stevens Act at section 305(i)(1)(D) and in Table 7 to 50 CFR part 679.

    CDQ Program Halibut and Groundfish Fisheries

    The CDQ Program is a catch share program that allocates a portion of the BSAI total allowable catch (TAC) for specific crab and groundfish species, a portion of the commercial catch limits assigned by the IPHC, and portions of certain prohibited species catch (PSC) limits to the CDQ Program. These amounts are then further allocated among the six CDQ groups as allocations that may be transferred among the CDQ groups (with the exception of Chinook salmon prohibited species quota (PSQ), which may be transferred to other authorized American Fisheries Act entities). The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires allocations to the CDQ Program of specific percentages of the “total allowable catch, guideline harvest level, or other annual catch limit . . . in each directed fishery” of the BSAI annual catch limits (section 305(i)(1)(B)). The Magnuson-Stevens Act also specifies the percentage allocations among the six CDQ groups (section 305(i)(1)(C)).

    The CDQ Program allocates crab, groundfish, and halibut for harvest by the CDQ groups. The groundfish species allocated to the CDQ Program are pollock, Pacific cod, sablefish, yellowfin sole, Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, rock sole, flathead sole, Pacific ocean perch, and Atka mackerel. A complete list of the amount of groundfish allocated to the CDQ Program can be found in the 2015 and 2016 annual harvest specifications final rule (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015). The 2015 apportionments of crab, groundfish, and halibut to each CDQ group are listed in the annual CDQ Program allocation report at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cdq/allocations/annualmatrix2015.pdf.

    One of the most effective ways the CDQ groups can meet the purposes of the CDQ Program is to use the CDQ allocations to create local small-scale commercial fisheries. Local small-scale CDQ fisheries directly provide opportunities for residents of the CDQ communities to earn income from the sale of the commercially harvested fish. Residents of CDQ communities participate almost exclusively in local small-scale fisheries. For purposes of this preamble, “local small-scale” means CDQ fisheries prosecuted by catcher vessels that are less than or equal to 46 ft LOA, using hook-and-line gear, and homeported or operated from CDQ communities. Catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA are commonly used in the CDQ halibut fishery as described later in this preamble.

    Not all species can be easily or readily harvested in local small-scale fisheries. Many groundfish and crab species are only effectively harvested in large industrial-scale fisheries due to the gear required (e.g., trawl gear is required to effectively harvest pollock and most flatfish species; pot gear is required to effectively harvest crab) or due to the great distance of the fishery from most of the CDQ communities (e.g., Atka mackerel and Pacific ocean perch are primarily harvested in the Aleutian Islands at substantial distance from most CDQ communities).

    Two species that are allocated to CDQ groups and that have been effectively harvested in local small-scale fisheries in the BSAI are halibut and Pacific cod. Both halibut and Pacific cod can be effectively harvested by small vessels using hook-and-line gear. Residents of CDQ communities commonly use hook-and-line gear because it is relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain relative to other gear types such as trawl and pot gear, and can be operated on small vessels.

    Currently, the majority of the local small-scale CDQ fisheries involve the harvest of the halibut CDQ allocations. By IPHC regulation, halibut must be harvested by hook-and-line gear. The halibut CDQ allocations typically are harvested by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA (14.0 m) using hook-and-line gear. As shown in Table 3-11 of the Analysis, the halibut CDQ fishing fleet ranged from 215 to 246 vessels from 2009 through 2013. Table 3-13 in the Analysis shows that in 2012 (the most recent year of complete data in the Analysis on the length of vessels harvesting halibut CDQ), 217 of the 239 catcher vessels fishing for halibut CDQ were less than or equal to 32 ft LOA, 9 were from 33 ft (10.1 m) LOA to 46 ft LOA, and only 13 vessels were greater than 46 ft LOA.

    In recent years, the exploitable biomass of halibut in the BSAI has declined, particularly over the last four years. This has resulted in a declining halibut CDQ allocation as well. For example, the total halibut CDQ allocations were 2,128,000 pounds in 2011 and 797,080 pounds in 2015. The decrease in halibut CDQ allocations has resulted in decreasing opportunities for residents of CDQ communities to earn income important to themselves and their local economies. More information about the status of the halibut stock and halibut CDQ fisheries is in Sections 3.7 and 5.2 of the Analysis.

    Pacific cod is an economically valuable groundfish species. It is valuable both to participants in the CDQ Program and to those harvesting Pacific cod outside of the CDQ Program (i.e., participants in the non-CDQ fisheries). Pacific cod stocks have increased in abundance over the same period that halibut stocks have declined in abundance. In the BSAI, the overfishing level, acceptable biological catch, and subsequent TAC for Pacific cod have generally increased over the past 5 years. As of 2015, Pacific cod abundance is currently higher than at any time since 1995. The Pacific cod biomass is projected to maintain its relatively high abundance or possibly increase in 2016 and future years. More information about Pacific cod and the Pacific cod CDQ fisheries is in Section 3.6 and Section 5.1 of the Analysis.

    In the non-CDQ Pacific cod fisheries, small hook-and-line catcher vessels have demonstrated an ability to harvest Pacific cod in the BSAI. For example, in 2014, five hook-and-line catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA harvested over 2,000 mt of Pacific cod in the non-CDQ Pacific cod fisheries in the Bering Sea (BS). (See Section 3.6.2 of the Analysis for additional detail on the non-CDQ Pacific cod fisheries.)

    However, small catcher vessels have demonstrated very little current participation in the Pacific cod CDQ fisheries. As shown in Table 3-13 of the Analysis, of the approximately 240 catcher vessels fishing for halibut CDQ in 2012, only four of these catcher vessels harvested Pacific cod, and the amount harvested was very small (2 mt). Instead, the CDQ groups harvest most of their Pacific cod CDQ allocations with catcher/processors greater than 60 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear. These larger vessels can more efficiently harvest the CDQ allocations, can fish in the times and areas when and where Pacific cod are available, and can absorb the costs of the fisheries management and catch monitoring requirements associated with these fisheries. In addition, many of the CDQ groups own a portion of one or more hook-and-line catcher/processors, so in addition to receiving royalties for the lease of the Pacific cod CDQ, the CDQ group also earns a share of the profits from the catcher/processors. Finally, and most importantly for this proposed rule, there are regulatory constraints that limit the use of small catcher vessels in the groundfish CDQ fisheries. These constraints are described in more detail in the “LLP Requirements in the CDQ Fisheries” and “Observer Coverage Requirements in the CDQ Groundfish and Halibut Fisheries” sections of the preamble.

    CDQ Program Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limits

    In addition to allocations of groundfish, halibut, and crab for harvest, the CDQ groups also receive annual allocations of certain BSAI PSC limits to account for the catch of those prohibited species in the groundfish CDQ fisheries. Prohibited species may be caught by a vessel when fishing for groundfish in the BSAI. A PSC limit is an apportioned, non-retainable amount of fish or crab provided to a groundfish fishery to limit the bycatch of that prohibited species in that particular groundfish fishery.

    The CDQ Program receives annual allocations of the BSAI PSC limits for halibut, Chinook salmon, non-Chinook salmon, red king crab, Chionoecetes (C.) opilio crab, and C. bairdi crab. The annual allocation of a portion of a PSC limit to the CDQ Program is referred to as a PSQ reserve, and the annual allocation of the PSQ reserve among the CDQ groups is referred to as PSQ (see definitions for these terms at § 679.2).

    The PSQ allocations in the CDQ Program are managed in the same manner as PSC limits in the non-CDQ fisheries. These requirements are described in regulations at §§ 679.32 and 679.7(d)(5). The halibut PSQs are transferable only among the CDQ groups. Operators of vessels groundfish fishing in the BSAI are prohibited from retaining Pacific halibut, unless the vessel operator is authorized to retain halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ. However, halibut often is incidentally caught when groundfish fishing because halibut can occur in the same areas and at the same time of year as the groundfish fisheries occur. The operator of a vessel engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in the BSAI must minimize catch of Pacific halibut prohibited species (see regulations at § 679.21(b)(2)). NMFS accrues estimates of halibut PSC to the halibut PSC limit or to a PSQ limit in all BSAI hook-and-line fisheries for Pacific cod, including the Pacific cod CDQ fisheries.

    Regulatory Constraints on Local Small-Scale Groundfish CDQ Fisheries

    There are two regulatory constraints that limit the ability for CDQ groups to develop local small-scale groundfish fisheries, and more specifically local small-scale Pacific cod CDQ fisheries. These are (1) LLP requirements in the CDQ fisheries, and (2) observer coverage requirements in the CDQ groundfish and halibut fisheries. These constraints are described in the following sections of the preamble.

    LLP Requirements in the CDQ Fisheries

    In 2000, NMFS established the LLP to limit the amount of fishing capacity relative to available fishery resources (63 FR 52642, October 1, 1998). The LLP limits the number, size, and specific operation of vessels fishing for groundfish in the BSAI, based on historical participation. With several exceptions noted below, a vessel is required to be named on an LLP license before it can be used to conduct directed fishing for “LLP groundfish” in the Gulf of Alaska or BSAI. LLP license requirements do not apply to vessels that directed fish only for halibut because halibut is not defined as an LLP groundfish species (see § 679.2). Vessels that are groundfish CDQ fishing in the BSAI are required to obtain and carry an LLP license (groundfish CDQ fishing is defined in § 679.2). LLP licenses are transferable. Vessel owners who were not initially issued an LLP license must obtain an LLP license through transfer from a current LLP license holder in order to directed fish for LLP groundfish.

    There are three exceptions at § 679.4(k)(2) to the LLP license requirement that apply to vessels in the CDQ and non-CDQ fisheries in the BSAI:

    • Vessels that do not exceed 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA;

    • vessels that do not exceed 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and that are using jig gear (but no more than 5 jig machines, 1 line per machine, and 15 hooks per line); and

    • certain vessels constructed for, and used exclusively in, CDQ fisheries.

    NMFS assigns endorsements for specific areas (e.g., Bering Sea or Aleutian Islands), specific gear (e.g., non-trawl or trawl), and operation type (e.g., catcher vessel or catcher/processor) on LLP licenses. Each license has a maximum length overall (MLOA) designation that restricts the length of the vessel that can be named on that LLP license. In addition, most vessels directed fishing for Pacific cod must be named on an LLP license with a Pacific cod endorsement for the appropriate area, gear, and operation type. Catcher vessels less than 60 ft LOA are not required to have a Pacific cod endorsement on their LLP license to fish for Pacific cod in the BSAI.

    Therefore, specific to this proposed rule, catcher vessels less than or equal to 32 ft LOA that are groundfish CDQ fishing are not required to have an LLP license. Catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA that are using hook-and-line gear and groundfish CDQ fishing must have an LLP license endorsed by area, gear, and operation type, and have the appropriate MLOA designation. However, catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA are not required to have a Pacific cod species endorsement on their LLP license. Additional information on the LLP is available in the final rule implementing the LLP (63 FR 52642, October 1, 1998), and in subsequent amendments to the LLP.

    Observer Coverage Requirements in the CDQ Groundfish and Halibut Fisheries

    The North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program) provides the regulatory framework for NMFS-certified observers (observers) to collect information necessary for the conservation and management of the federally managed fisheries off Alaska. Regulations governing observer coverage (50 CFR part 679, subpart E) place all vessels and processors in the federally managed groundfish and halibut fisheries off Alaska into one of two observer coverage categories: (1) Full observer coverage, and (2) partial observer coverage. Additional information about observer coverage requirements and the vessel operator's responsibilities when required to carry an observer can be found at § 679.51(e) and in the preamble to the final rule implementing the restructured Observer Program (77 FR 70062, November 21, 2012).

    Any catcher vessel participating in a catch share program with transferable PSC allocations is assigned to the full observer coverage category when the vessel is participating in these catch share programs. As described in an earlier section of this preamble, the CDQ Program is a catch share program with transferable PSC allocations. Therefore, NMFS assigns catcher vessels that participate in CDQ fisheries in which the catch of halibut accrues to the CDQ group's transferable halibut PSQ to the full observer coverage category. Relevant to this proposed rule, catcher vessels groundfish CDQ fishing using hook-and-line gear, including those directed fishing for Pacific cod CDQ, are in the full observer coverage category because the discard of halibut by these vessels accrues to the CDQ group's halibut PSQ.

    NMFS assigns catcher vessels that are halibut CDQ fishing or sablefish CDQ fishing with fixed gear to the partial observer coverage category, as it does for catcher vessels groundfish CDQ fishing with pot or jig gear. These catcher vessels are required to have an observer on board the vessel if selected for observer coverage (see § 679.51(a)(1)). These catcher vessels are in the partial observer coverage category because the catch of prohibited species in these fisheries does not accrue to a PSQ.

    Full observer coverage requirements can impose significant costs on the owners of vessels that are groundfish CDQ fishing, particularly owners of small vessels, such as those that are less than or equal to 46 ft LOA. Obtaining an observer for all groundfish CDQ fishing would likely be cost prohibitive for the CDQ groups and vessel owners given the revenue for these small vessels. Section 3.6.6.2 of the Analysis provides additional detail on the costs of placing observers on board small vessels in the BSAI.

    Need for the Proposed Action

    In October 2013, the Council received a proposal from the representatives of all six of the CDQ groups to revise certain Federal regulations that restrict the ability of fishermen in CDQ communities to harvest allocations of Pacific cod CDQ with small hook-and-line catcher vessels. In particular, representatives for the CDQ groups identified LLP license and full observer coverage regulations as limitations on the ability of CDQ community fishermen to retain Pacific cod CDQ when participating in the CDQ fisheries. In addition, the CDQ groups reported that recent declines in halibut CDQ allocations could prevent the CDQ Program from meeting its economic development objectives, and the ability to develop a local small-scale Pacific cod CDQ fishery would help to offset the lost halibut harvesting and processing opportunities in the CDQ communities. In response, the Council reviewed and developed a series of analyses that resulted in this proposed action.

    The Council recommended its preferred alternative in February 2015. The Council's preferred alternative would (1) exempt operators of registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear from the requirement to obtain and carry an LLP license when groundfish CDQ fishing; (2) place catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear in the partial observer coverage category when they are groundfish CDQ fishing; (3) allow halibut caught by operators of catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing to accrue as either halibut CDQ, halibut IFQ, or halibut PSC, on a trip-by-trip basis; and (4) implement new in-season management and catch accounting procedures to properly account for the harvest of groundfish and halibut and the accrual of halibut PSC by operators of catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear when halibut or groundfish CDQ fishing. Additional details about the specific management measures NMFS proposes to implement the Council's preferred alternative are described below in the section titled “The Proposed Rule.”

    The Council's preferred alternative is intended to provide a regulatory structure for the harvest of groundfish CDQ that provides opportunities for the small catcher vessels that fish on behalf of a CDQ group to retain additional Pacific cod and other groundfish in the halibut CDQ fishery, or to develop separate Pacific cod or other groundfish CDQ fisheries without triggering LLP license and full observer coverage requirements. The Council's preferred alternative also is intended to provide additional fishing opportunities to small catcher vessel operators in CDQ communities who have had reduced harvest opportunities due to lower halibut abundance and the resulting lower halibut CDQ allocations. This proposed action is intended to provide the regulatory flexibility necessary for the CDQ groups to develop diversified local small-scale halibut and groundfish fisheries.

    LLP Exemption

    The Council determined that a new LLP exemption for registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing was necessary to encourage the retention and sale of groundfish CDQ in the halibut fisheries and to encourage the development of directed fisheries for groundfish CDQ by vessel operators delivering catch to processors located in CDQ communities. Exemption from the LLP would remove a barrier created by the lack of LLP licenses available for small hook-and-line catcher vessels fishing on behalf of a CDQ group. The Council determined and NMFS agrees that this limited exemption to the LLP license requirements would not undermine the objectives of the LLP because it would apply only to registered small catcher vessels when groundfish CDQ fishing. Because the CDQ groups receive specific harvest allocations, the Council determined and NMFS agrees that providing a limited exemption to these registered catcher vessels would not result in increased harvests overall in the BSAI groundfish fisheries, or contribute to a “race for fish” among fishery participants.

    As noted earlier in this preamble, there are approximately 240 vessels that fish for halibut out of CDQ communities. Under current regulations, operators of vessels that are greater than 32 ft LOA are prohibited from also conducting directed fishing for CDQ groundfish or non-CDQ groundfish when they are halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ fishing unless they have an LLP license with the necessary endorsements. The Council recommended that the exemption apply only to catcher vessels that are less than or equal to 46 ft LOA because approximately 95 percent of the approximately 240 catcher vessels currently active in halibut CDQ fisheries are within this size class. In addition, the CDQ groups recommended the 46-ft-LOA threshold because the largest vessel that is owned by a resident of a CDQ community that participates in the halibut CDQ fisheries is 46 ft LOA. Therefore, although the Council recognized that there are catcher vessels greater than 46 ft LOA fishing for halibut CDQ that do not have LLPs, the focus of this proposed action is on the smaller vessels because those vessels generally are owned and operated by residents of the CDQ communities and fish out of those communities.

    Nine of the approximately 240 catcher vessels that fish for halibut out of the CDQ communities are greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA. Only two of these nine catcher vessels are already assigned LLP licenses. Currently, all of the LLP licenses with the appropriate MLOA, gear endorsement (i.e., non-trawl gear), and operation type (i.e., catcher vessel) that could be used on the seven catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA that do not have LLP licenses are assigned to other non-CDQ vessels actively fishing in the BSAI. Based on the information available, it does not appear that LLP licenses with the necessary endorsements for these seven small vessels are available for transfer. Therefore, the exemption to LLP requirements for catcher vessels that are less than or equal to 46 ft LOA would provide additional groundfish harvest opportunities to the owners and operators of vessels based in CDQ communities. Additional detail about the limitations to obtaining an appropriately endorsed LLP license for the catcher vessels less than 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear is provided in Section 3.6.6.1 of the Analysis.

    The Council also recommended that each CDQ group register any catcher vessel eligible for the LLP license exemption with NMFS in order for the exemption to apply. The CDQ vessel registration list would clearly identify those eligible vessels that are exempt from the LLP license requirements. It is important to note that the LLP license exemption would not apply until an eligible vessel is successfully registered by a CDQ group representative. The Council also recommended that an LLP exemption letter be issued to each vessel operator, and that each vessel operator maintain a legible copy of the LLP exemption letter on board the vessel at all times when fishing for groundfish CDQ. Maintaining a legible copy of the LLP exemption letter on board the vessel would provide documentation that the vessel is exempt from the LLP requirements, should the vessel be boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard or NMFS' Office of Law Enforcement. Although the CDQ vessel registration list of vessels eligible for the LLP exemption would be available on NMFS' Web site, vessel boardings can occur in areas with no access to the internet. In these cases, the LLP exemption letter would provide initial documentation that the vessel is exempt from the LLP, which could later be confirmed by checking the CDQ vessel registration list. More information about the CDQ vessel registration system and the LLP exemption letter is in the section below titled “The Proposed Rule.”

    Observer Coverage

    The Council recommended placing the hook-and-line catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA that are groundfish CDQ fishing in the partial observer coverage category to remove a significant financial and operational barrier to further development of the local small-scale groundfish CDQ fisheries. In making this recommendation, the Council recognized that it is likely that few CDQ small vessels would be required to carry an observer under the existing deployment strategy and deployment rates for vessel in the partial observer coverage category (see Section 3.12 of the Analysis for additional detail on observer deployment). However, the Council determined and NMFS agrees that the benefits that would come with increased participation in local small-scale groundfish CDQ fisheries would justify the moving these vessels from full observer coverage to partial observer coverage. Additionally, the Council and NMFS determined that NMFS could adequately account for harvests and discards in these local small-scale groundfish CDQ fisheries with certain modifications to the catch accounting procedures.

    To establish effective catch accounting for hook-and-line catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA that are groundfish CDQ fishing, the Council recommended that NMFS modify catch accounting procedures as described below in the “Catch Accounting and Fisheries Management” section of the preamble.

    Catch Accounting and Fisheries Management

    When the halibut fishery is open, the Council's preferred alternative would allow the CDQ groups to decide on a trip-by-trip basis whether a groundfish CDQ fishing trip by a hook-and-line catcher vessel less than or equal to 46 ft LOA would be supported by halibut CDQ, halibut IFQ, or by halibut PSC. When the halibut fishery is closed, the CDQ groups could conduct groundfish CDQ fishing by hook-and-line catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA supported by halibut PSC. The Council determined and NMFS agrees that the allowance for trip-by-trip accounting would provide the maximum flexibility for the CDQ groups and vessel operators to increase the harvest of Pacific cod CDQ as part of a halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ fishery, or as a separate Pacific cod fishery in which halibut PSC would accrue. This allowance is consistent with the purpose of the proposed action. NMFS would manage the removals of halibut and debit them from the proper account as described in “The Proposed Rule” section of this preamble.

    Catch Accounting

    The Council determined and NMFS agrees that the local small-scale groundfish CDQ fisheries would be managed by NMFS with in-season fishery closures and a separate component of a CDQ group's halibut PSQ that would be called the “small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit.” The determination of whether halibut PSC would accrue to the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit for the groundfish CDQ landing would depend on the presence or absence of halibut in the landing. As long as the halibut fishery is open and at least one halibut is reported as halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ in the groundfish CDQ landing, NMFS would not accrue any estimates of halibut PSC from this landing to the CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit. When the halibut fishery is closed, or if the halibut fishery is open and no halibut are reported in the landing, NMFS would accrue an estimate of halibut PSC to the CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit. Once a vessel operator retains one halibut, he or she would be required to retain all legal-size halibut caught for the remainder of that fishing trip as either halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ.

    The Council and NMFS determined that establishing small catcher vessel halibut PSC limits for each CDQ group fishing with small hook-and-line catcher vessels would meet two important objectives. First, it would maintain the precedent the Council has set to require full observer coverage for any catcher vessels in catch share programs with transferable PSC allocations while allowing small hook-and-line catcher vessels to fish for groundfish CDQ without being subject to full observer coverage. Second, it would establish a method for assessing halibut PSC for the small hook-and-line catcher vessels based on the same methods used for other small hook-and-line catcher vessels active in the non-CDQ groundfish fisheries. More information about the management of the small vessel groundfish CDQ fisheries is in the section below titled “The Proposed Rule.”

    Under the Council's preferred alternative, all other regulations not specifically exempted or modified would continue to apply to the small hook-and-line catcher vessels when groundfish CDQ fishing. These include area closures and vessel monitoring system (VMS) requirements that apply to all hook-and-line catcher vessels directed fishing for CDQ and non-CDQ Pacific cod. Additional detail on regulations that are currently applicable to small hook-and-line catcher vessels is provided in Section 2.1 of the Analysis and is not repeated here.

    The Proposed Rule

    The following paragraphs describe the provisions of the proposed rule. The proposed rule would revise regulations at 50 CFR part 679 to implement Amendment 109 and the Council's preferred alternative to: (1) Exempt registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear from the requirement to obtain and carry an LLP license when groundfish CDQ fishing; (2) add fishery management and monitoring requirements for the small hook-and-line catcher vessels to § 679.32(c); and (3) place catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear into the partial observer coverage category when groundfish CDQ fishing. In addition to these changes, the proposed rule would remove an unnecessary cross reference table for observer coverage from § 679.51(f).

    LLP Exemption

    The current LLP exemptions are codified at § 679.4(k)(2). The proposed rule would add a new paragraph (vi) to § 679.4(k)(2) to establish a new LLP exemption for registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing. The operators of catcher vessels eligible for the LLP exemption would not be required to obtain and carry an LLP license when they are groundfish CDQ fishing if certain vessel registration requirements are met prior to groundfish CDQ fishing.

    The proposed rule would establish the requirements for the NMFS online CDQ vessel registration system (“the CDQ vessel registration system”) at paragraph (m) of § 679.5. The CDQ group representative would be required to register each eligible catcher vessel for exemption from the LLP license requirements through the CDQ vessel registration system. The CDQ group representative would be required to log into the CDQ vessel registration system using the CDQ group's existing NMFS ID and password and provide the information required on the computer screen. NMFS would add each vessel successfully registered to the CDQ vessel registration list on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

    The CDQ group representative could add eligible catcher vessels to the CDQ vessel registration list at any time during the groundfish fishing year (January 1 to December 31); there would be no deadline for vessel registration with NMFS. Because registered vessels would be required to have a legible copy of the LLP exemption letter described below on board the vessel before the vessel operator starts groundfish CDQ fishing, the CDQ group representative and the vessel operator would have to allow for sufficient time to complete the registration process prior to the start of groundfish CDQ fishing by the vessel.

    With each successful registration, the CDQ vessel registration system would provide the CDQ group representative with an LLP exemption letter documenting that the vessel is eligible for the LLP exemption when groundfish CDQ fishing. The CDQ group representative would be responsible for providing a copy of the LLP exemption letter to the vessel operator. The vessel operator would be required to maintain a legible copy of the LLP exemption letter on board the named vessel at all times when that vessel is groundfish CDQ fishing. NMFS would not provide the LLP exemption letter directly to vessel operators.

    The LLP exemption letter also would provide printable confirmation to the CDQ group of a successfully completed vessel registration. Once registered, a vessel would remain on the CDQ vessel registration list until removed by a CDQ group. The proposed rule does not include a requirement that the CDQ groups re-register vessels annually.

    A CDQ group representative would have the ability to remove a vessel from the CDQ vessel registration list at any time by logging into the CDQ vessel registration system and following the applicable instructions. In removing a vessel from the CDQ vessel registration list, the CDQ group representative would be required to certify (1) that the vessel operator had been given notice by the CDQ group that the vessel was going to be removed from the list, and (2) that the vessel operator was not groundfish CDQ fishing at the time of removal. The CDQ vessel registration system would provide a printable confirmation that a vessel had been removed from the CDQ vessel registration list. Once a vessel is removed from the CDQ vessel registration list, that vessel would no longer be exempt from the LLP requirements, even if the operator was still in possession of the LLP exemption letter. The proposed rule would not require a CDQ group representative to remove registered vessels when they are participating in a non-CDQ fishery.

    In order to receive the exemption from the LLP license requirements, both active registration through the CDQ vessel registration system and a legible copy of the LLP exemption letter on board the vessel would be required. To further clarify the vessel operator's responsibility, the proposed rule would add a new prohibition at § 679.7(d)(8) to prohibit the operator of a vessel eligible for the LLP exemption from conducting groundfish CDQ fishing without having a legible copy of the LLP exemption letter issued to a CDQ group for that vessel on board the vessel. In addition, the proposed rule would add a new prohibition at § 679.7(d)(9) to prohibit a CDQ group representative from removing a vessel from the CDQ vessel registration list without first providing notice to the operator of the registered vessel that the vessel is being removed from the CDQ vessel registration list, or when the vessel is groundfish CDQ fishing.

    Catch Accounting and Fishery Monitoring Requirements

    The proposed rule would create a new paragraph (c)(3)(iii) in § 679.32 for the catch accounting and fishery monitoring requirements that would apply to catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing and to the CDQ groups authorizing these vessels. Current regulations at § 679.32(c)(3)(i)(D) and (c)(3)(ii)(D) would continue to apply to catcher vessels greater than 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing.

    The proposed rule would establish catch accounting procedures that provide CDQ groups and vessel operators with the opportunity to retain halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ when groundfish CDQ fishing. If the vessel operator is relying on halibut CDQ from a CDQ group to support the retained catch of legal-size halibut during a fishing trip, the CDQ group would be required to provide adequate halibut CDQ to this vessel operator to account for all the legal-size halibut caught by the vessel during the entire fishing trip. A CDQ group's halibut PSQ would not be reduced if halibut is present in the landing. Landed halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ would accrue to the account balance of the permit holder identified by the processor in the landing report based on the permits held by the vessel operator or persons on board the vessel.

    The operator of a hook-and-line catcher vessel less than or equal to 46 ft LOA who retains any halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ during the groundfish CDQ fishing trip would be required to retain all legal-size halibut caught during that fishing trip. The Council and NMFS determined that this regulatory provision is necessary to ensure proper accounting for halibut and to reduce halibut discards in the small vessel groundfish CDQ fishery. In this situation, NMFS would assume that the vessel operator retained all legal-size halibut and that the only halibut released from the fishing gear would be sub-legal-size halibut. NMFS would continue to account for sub-legal-size halibut as wastage associated with the halibut fishery and it would not accrue to any halibut PSC limit. Under the proposed rule, as long as at least one halibut was included in the groundfish CDQ landing, NMFS would not accrue any estimates of halibut PSC from the small vessel groundfish CDQ fisheries to the CDQ group's halibut PSQ or to any component of the BSAI halibut PSC limit.

    If no halibut are included in a groundfish CDQ landing, NMFS would accrue an estimate of halibut PSC to the CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit (described below). NMFS would estimate the halibut PSC associated with these types of groundfish CDQ fishing trips using halibut PSC rates as calculated by NMFS, and apply the halibut PSC rates when halibut fishing is closed or when halibut fishing is open but no halibut are included in a landing.

    Under the proposed rule, NMFS would create a new quota category available to each CDQ group called the “small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit.” If a CDQ group wants to have a small hook-and-line catcher vessel groundfish CDQ fishery, the CDQ group would be required to transfer halibut PSQ from its halibut PSQ to its small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit through a CDQ Transfer Request under § 679.5(n). CDQ groups that do not want to have a local small-scale groundfish CDQ fishery would not have to transfer any halibut PSQ to this account. Each CDQ group would, in collaboration with NMFS, decide the appropriate amount of halibut PSQ to transfer to the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit based on the amount of groundfish CDQ it wanted to allocate to its small hook-and-line catcher vessel groundfish CDQ fishery and the expected use of halibut PSC in that fishery.

    With the exception of sablefish CDQ fishing, which will continue to be managed under § 679.32(c)(1), the proposed rule would prohibit groundfish CDQ fishing by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear unless NMFS publishes notification in the Federal Register authorizing a CDQ group to conduct such fishing. In deciding whether to authorize groundfish CDQ fishing by these vessels, NMFS would consider whether a CDQ group has sufficient halibut in its small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit to support groundfish CDQ fishing by these catcher vessels.

    If NMFS determines that a CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit has been or will be reached, NMFS would issue a notice in the Federal Register prohibiting groundfish CDQ fishing by the small hook-and-line catcher vessels fishing for that CDQ group. NMFS would be responsible for issuing fishing closures to the small hook-and-line catcher vessel groundfish CDQ fisheries to maintain halibut PSC by these vessels within the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit established by a CDQ group. NMFS would manage these fisheries to stay within the applicable CDQ groups' halibut PSC amount to the best of its ability, and would manage the small hook-and-line catcher vessel groundfish CDQ fishery conservatively to ensure that these PSC limits are not exceeded.

    Even with conservative management, it is possible that a small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit could be exceeded due to the high degree of variability in halibut PSC rates that can occur in hook-and-line fisheries. If NMFS is unable to close a CDQ group's small catcher vessel groundfish CDQ fishery before it exceeds the amount of halibut PSC allocated to the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit, NMFS would not consider this a violation, and NMFS would not require the CDQ group to transfer an amount of halibut PSQ needed to cover the negative balance. However, the proposed rule would allow a CDQ group to voluntarily choose to transfer additional halibut PSQ to bring the balance of its small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit to zero.

    If a CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit has a negative balance at the end of the groundfish fishing year (December 31), and if the CDQ group has remaining halibut PSQ on that date, NMFS would transfer an amount of halibut PSQ into the CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit to bring the balance of the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit to zero. NMFS would make this administrative transfer only after all fishing by a CDQ group is completed for the year, after data from the fishing year is finalized, and if the CDQ group had sufficient remaining halibut PSQ.

    The CDQ Program currently receives an allocation of 393 mt of halibut PSC, which is further allocated among the CDQ groups in annual halibut PSQ allocations to individual CDQ groups that range from 25 mt to 135 mt. Between 2010 and 2014, none of the CDQ groups fully used their halibut PSQ, and all CDQ groups had remaining halibut PSQ at the end of the year. Therefore, NMFS has determined that, should an administrative transfer be warranted, a CDQ group will likely have sufficient halibut PSQ to accommodate the transfer. However, if a CDQ group does not have a sufficient amount of halibut PSQ to cover a negative balance in the CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit, NMFS would not undertake an administrative transfer and there would be no regulatory or compliance consequences to the CDQ group.

    The proposed rule also would permit a CDQ group to transfer halibut from its small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit back to the CDQ group's halibut PSQ. In reviewing a request to transfer halibut from the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit back to the CDQ group's halibut PSQ, NMFS would consider the status of CDQ fisheries through the end of the year and anticipated halibut PSC rates for any remaining groundfish CDQ fishing by vessels managed under the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit for the requesting CDQ group.

    Observer Coverage

    The proposed rule would add paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) to § 679.51 and revise § 679.51(a)(2)(i)(C)(2) to place catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA that are using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing in the partial observer coverage category. This new paragraph is proposed as paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) because a separate proposed rule implementing Amendment 112 to the FMP and Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska is proposing to add a new paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) to § 679.51 (see 80 FR 81262; December 29, 2015).

    Under current regulations, the owners or operators of vessels in the partial observer coverage category are placed in an observer selection pool based on the requirements of the Annual Deployment Plan (ADP). Since implementation of the ADP process in 2013, vessels less than 40 ft. (12.2 m) LOA have been placed in the “no selection pool.” These vessels are not required to carry observers or register fishing trips with NMFS. Vessels 40 ft LOA or greater are in the “trip selection pool” and must log all of their fishing trips in the Observer Declare and Deploy System (ODDS). This is an online system for registering fishing trips and receiving information about whether a particular trip is selected for observer coverage. If selected for observer coverage, the catcher vessel is required to carry an observer. Operators of vessels selected for observer coverage are required to comply with all vessel responsibilities in § 679.51(e)(1). More information about logging trips in ODDS is on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site under “Frequently Asked Questions” about the Observer Program (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/observers/).

    Hook-and-line catcher vessels engaged in halibut CDQ fishing have been in the partial observer coverage category since 2013. Operators of vessels 40 ft LOA or greater have been logging halibut CDQ fishing trips and should be familiar with the requirements for partial observer coverage. Most of the small hook-and-line catcher vessels that are expected to participate in separate Pacific cod CDQ fisheries under the proposed action are owned or operated by people who have participated in the halibut CDQ fisheries (see Section 3.7 of the Analysis). Therefore, the requirements and procedures for partial observer coverage should be familiar to them. If a vessel operator retains groundfish CDQ during a halibut CDQ fishing trip, no additional trips will need to be logged in ODDS. If a vessel operator makes separate fishing trips to target Pacific cod CDQ, the vessel operator would be required to log these new fishing trips in ODDS, and to carry an observer if selected to do so.

    Other Regulatory Change

    The proposed rule would remove the table in § 679.51(f) that summarizes the observer coverage requirements for different management programs and industry sectors. Prior to Observer Program Restructuring (77 FR 70062, November 21, 2012), this table was located at the beginning of subpart E as table of contents or guide to observer coverage requirements. However, with the reorganization of observer coverage requirements in the 2012 rule and the placement of this table at the end of § 679.51, it no longer serves its previous function as a table of contents for the section. Therefore, NMFS proposes to remove the table.

    Classification

    Pursuant to sections 304(b)(1)(A) and 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendment 109 to the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    An initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) was prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A further description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained earlier in the preamble to this proposed rule. A copy of the IRFA is available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the analysis follows.

    The proposed action would directly regulate two classes of small entities: (1) The six CDQ groups, which are non-profit corporations that represent the 65 western Alaska communities that are eligible to participate in the CDQ Program; and (2) the owners and operators of small hook-and-line catcher vessels who are authorized by a CDQ group to harvest groundfish or halibut CDQ allocations.

    The RFA recognizes and defines three kinds of small entities: (1) Small businesses, (2) small non-profit organizations, and (3) small government jurisdictions. The CDQ groups are considered small entities due to their status as non-profit corporations. According to Section 1.2.1 of the Analysis, the six CDQ groups had total revenues of approximately $311.5 million in 2011, primarily from royalties on the lease of pollock CDQ allocations. Between 1992 and 2011, the CDQ groups accumulated net assets worth approximately $803 million, including ownership of small local processing plants, catcher vessels, and catcher/processors that participate in the groundfish, crab, salmon, and halibut fisheries.

    The Small Business Administration has established size standards for all major industry sectors in the United States. A business primarily involved in finfish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual gross receipts not in excess of $20.5 million, for all its affiliated operations worldwide.

    It is difficult to predict how many small hook-and-line catcher vessels may participate in the future under the proposed action because no catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear currently are conducting directed fishing for groundfish CDQ. The best estimate of the upper bound of the number of future participants in the small catcher vessel Pacific cod CDQ fisheries is the maximum of 278 vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA that participated in the halibut CDQ fisheries from 2000 to 2013. NMFS assumes that all of the vessels that could be directly regulated by this action would be small entities based on estimated revenues of less than $20.5 million for all vessels and their known affiliations.

    The proposed action contains three new reporting and recordkeeping requirements that affect small entities. First, each CDQ group that authorizes catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear to fish for groundfish CDQ with an exemption from the LLP would be required to register the vessel in an online CDQ vessel registration system developed and maintained by NMFS. All six CDQ groups would then be subject to the vessel registration requirement if they had vessels participating.

    Second, operators of registered catcher vessels greater than 32 ft LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear that would be exempt from the LLP license requirements would be required to maintain a legible copy of an LLP exemption letter on board the vessel at all times when groundfish CDQ fishing. The LLP exemption letter would be generated through the CDQ vessel registration system when a CDQ group registered an eligible vessel. Each CDQ group representative would be required to provide this letter to the vessel operator. All six CDQ groups and all vessel operators could be subject to this requirement.

    Third, small catcher vessels fishing for groundfish CDQ under the proposed action would be placed in the partial observer coverage category. Vessels subject to observer coverage are determined annually through the Observer Program's Annual Deployment Plan (ADP). Since inception of the ADP process in 2013, vessels less than 40 ft. LOA have been placed in the “no selection pool” and have had no additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements. Vessels 40 ft LOA or greater are in the “trip selection pool” and must log all of their fishing trips in the Observer Declare and Deploy System (ODDS). This is an online system for registering fishing trips and receiving information about whether a particular trip is selected for observer coverage.

    Vessels between 40 ft LOA and 46 ft LOA already log their halibut CDQ and halibut IFQ fishing trips in ODDS. Therefore, if these vessels are combining groundfish CDQ fishing with halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ fishing, they would not incur any additional reporting requirements associated with placement in the partial observer coverage category because the halibut trips already are in partial observer coverage. However, if any of these vessels starts fishing for groundfish CDQ separate from their halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ fishing trips, then those additional fishing trips would be required to be logged in ODDS. The cost of logging trips in ODDS would represent an additional cost associated with the new small catcher vessel groundfish CDQ fisheries.

    The RFA requires identification of any significant alternatives to the proposed rule that accomplish the stated objectives of the proposed action, consistent with applicable statutes, and that would minimize any significant economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities. As noted in the IRFA, the proposed action is expected to create a net benefit for the directly regulated small entities. The benefits of the proposed action are expected to outweigh the reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance costs described in the previous section.

    The Council considered a status quo alternative (Alternative 1), and two action alternatives (Alternatives 2 and 3) to the preferred alternative (Alternative 4). Neither Alternative 2 nor 3 would have provided more benefits to the directed regulated small entities or reduced reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance costs more than the preferred alternative that would be implemented by this proposed rule.

    Under Alternative 2, the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of Pacific cod in the halibut CDQ fisheries would have been increased so the operators of the small hook-and-line vessels could retain more Pacific cod when halibut CDQ fishing and still be considered directed fishing for halibut rather than directed fishing for Pacific cod. Alternative 2 was considered because the more costly LLP license requirements, observer coverage requirements, and VMS requirements do not apply to vessels halibut CDQ fishing in the BSAI (except that the VMS requirements apply to vessels halibut fishing in the Aleutian Islands). Increasing the MRAs for Pacific cod when halibut CDQ fishing would allow the small vessels to retain more Pacific cod without triggering requirements that apply to vessels directed fishing for Pacific cod. The Council did not select this alternative because the preferred alternative would accomplish a similar outcome to Alternative 2 without creating a situation where vessels with the same catch composition were defined as fishing for halibut in the CDQ fisheries and fishing for Pacific cod in the non-CDQ fisheries. Alternative 2 would have increased monitoring and enforcement costs relative to the preferred alternative.

    The Council also considered Alternative 3, which would have created a new type of LLP license specific to the small CDQ vessels. This approach was an alternative to providing an exemption to the LLP, as is proposed in the preferred alternative. However, this alternative would not necessarily have resulted in a reduction in reporting, recordkeeping, and compliance costs in comparison to the proposed action. Issuing a new CDQ LLP license would have required applications to NMFS and the issuance of a CDQ LLP license with certain conditions. Alternative 3 would have increased costs relative to the preferred alternative.

    No relevant Federal rules have been identified that would duplicate or overlap with the proposed action.

    Collection-of-Information Requirements

    This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). These requirements have been submitted to OMB for approval. The information collections are presented by OMB control number. OMB Control No. 0648-0269

    Public reporting burden for CDQ Vessel Registration to add or remove vessels online that are exempt from the LLP license requirements is estimated to average five minutes per individual response and five minutes for maintenance of the LLP exemption letter on board a vessel that is groundfish CDQ fishing. The Groundfish/Halibut CDQ and Prohibited Species Quota (PSQ) Transfer Request is mentioned in this proposed rule, but no changes occur in the individual response for each requirement. OMB Control No. 0648-0318

    The Observer Declare and Deploy System (ODDS) is mentioned in this proposed rule, but the individual response for each requirement is not changed. OMB Control No. 0648-0334

    The individual response for each requirement of the LLP mentioned in this rule is not changed.

    Public comment is sought regarding: Whether this proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of the collection of information to NMFS at the ADDRESSES above, and email to [email protected], or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679

    Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

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

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 679 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 679 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 111-281

    2. In § 679.4 a. In paragraph (k)(2)(iv) remove the words “license, or” and add in their place “license” and in paragraph k)(2)(v) remove “Area” and add in its place “Area, or”. b. Add paragraph (k)(2)(vi):

    The addition to read as follows:

    § 679.4 Permits.

    (k) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (vi) The operator of a catcher vessel that is greater than 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA, that does not exceed 46 ft (14.0 m) LOA, and that is registered by a CDQ group following the procedures described in § 679.5(m) may use hook-and-line gear to conduct groundfish CDQ fishing without a groundfish license.

    § 679.4 [Amended]
    7. At each of the locations shown in the “Location” column, remove the phrase indicated in the “Remove” column and replace it with the phrase indicated in the “Add” column for the number of times indicated in the “Frequency” column. Location Remove Add Frequency § 679.4(k)(2)(iv) license; or license; 1 § 679.4(k)(2)(v) Area Area; or 1 3. In § 679.5, add paragraph (m) to read as follows:
    § 679.5 Recordkeeping and reporting (R&R).

    (m) CDQ Vessel Registration—(1) Registration. The representative for a CDQ group must register each vessel that is to receive the exemption from the LLP license requirements at § 679.4(k)(2)(vi) through the CDQ vessel registration system available on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov). The CDQ group representative must log into the CDQ vessel registration system and provide the information required on the computer screen. NMFS will add each vessel successfully registered to the CDQ vessel registration list on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

    (2) Responsibility. The CDQ group representative must successfully complete vessel registration through the CDQ vessel registration system before the vessel may be used to conduct groundfish CDQ fishing under § 679.32(c)(3)(iii) without an LLP license. By using the CDQ group's NMFS ID and password and submitting the vessel registration request, the CDQ group representative certifies that all information is true, correct, and complete.

    (3) LLP exemption letter. The CDQ vessel registration system will provide the CDQ group representative with an LLP exemption letter documenting that the registered vessel is exempt from the LLP when groundfish CDQ fishing. The CDQ group representative must provide a copy of the LLP exemption letter to the operator of the registered vessel named in the LLP exemption letter. The operator of the registered vessel named in the LLP exemption letter must maintain a legible copy of the LLP exemption letter on board the registered vessel at all times when that vessel is groundfish CDQ fishing.

    (4) Removing a vessel from the CDQ vessel registration list. A CDQ group representative may remove a vessel from the CDQ vessel registration system by logging into the online system and following the applicable instructions. A CDQ group representative may remove a registered vessel from the CDQ vessel registration list at any time but must certify at the time of removal that the vessel operator had been given notice by the CDQ group that the vessel is going to be removed from the list and that the vessel is not groundfish CDQ fishing at the time of removal. A vessel that is successfully removed from the CDQ vessel registration list is no longer exempt from the LLP requirements under § 679.4(k).

    4. In § 679.7, add paragraphs (d)(8) and (9) to read as follows:
    § 679.7 Prohibitions.

    (d) * * *

    (8) For an operator of a catcher vessel greater than 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA and less than or equal to 46 ft (14.0 m) LOA using hook-and-line gear and that is registered by a CDQ group under § 679.5(m), to conduct groundfish CDQ fishing without a legible copy of the LLP exemption letter issued to a CDQ group for that vessel on board the vessel.

    (9) For a CDQ group representative, to remove a vessel from the CDQ vessel registration list under § 679.5(m)(4) without first providing notice to the operator of the registered vessel that the vessel is being removed from the CDQ vessel registration list or when the vessel operator is groundfish CDQ fishing.

    5. In § 679.32, a. Add a new first sentence to paragraphs (c)(3)(i)(D) and (c)(3)(ii)(D); and b. Add paragraph (c)(3)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 679.32 Groundfish and halibut CDQ catch monitoring.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (D) Observed catcher vessels using nontrawl gear. This paragraph applies to all observed catcher vessels using nontrawl gear, except those catcher vessels regulated under paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section.* * *

    (ii) * * *

    (D) Observed catcher vessels using nontrawl gear. This paragraph applies to all observed catcher vessels using nontrawl gear, except those catcher vessels regulated under paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section.* * *

    (iii) Groundfish CDQ fishing by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear—(A) Applicability. Regulations in this paragraph apply to the operators of catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft (14.0 m) LOA using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing and to the CDQ groups authorizing the operators of these vessels to harvest groundfish CDQ or halibut CDQ.

    (B) Halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ. If any halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ are retained during a fishing trip on board a vessel described in paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(A) of this section, the following requirements apply:

    (1) The vessel operator must retain all legal-size halibut caught during that entire fishing trip.

    (2) The vessel operator must have sufficient halibut IFQ or halibut CDQ available to account for the catch of all legal-size halibut caught during the entire fishing trip.

    (3) If the vessel operator is relying on halibut CDQ from a CDQ group to support the retained catch of legal-size halibut during a fishing trip, the CDQ group must provide adequate halibut CDQ to this vessel operator to account for all of the legal-size halibut caught by the vessel during the entire fishing trip.

    (C) Halibut PSC. If halibut CDQ or halibut IFQ are not retained during a fishing trip on board a vessel described in paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(A) of this section, the following requirements apply:

    (1) The vessel operator must discard all halibut caught during the fishing trip.

    (2) Small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit. The CDQ group representative may transfer halibut from a CDQ group's halibut PSQ to its small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit. To do so, the CDQ representative must submit a transfer request using the procedures described in § 679.5(n). In reviewing a request to transfer halibut PSQ to a CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit, NMFS will consider whether the amount of halibut to be transferred to the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit is sufficient to support groundfish CDQ fishing by the catcher vessels that the CDQ group plans to authorize to conduct groundfish CDQ fishing. The transfer is not effective until approved by NMFS. The CDQ group representative also may transfer halibut from a CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit back to its halibut PSQ by submitting a transfer request using the procedures described in § 679.5(n). In reviewing a request to transfer halibut from the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit back to the CDQ group's halibut PSQ, NMFS will consider the status of CDQ fisheries through the end of the year and anticipated halibut PSC rates for any remaining groundfish CDQ fishing by vessels managed under the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit for the requesting CDQ group.

    (3) Fishery closures. Directed fishing for groundfish CDQ, except sablefish CDQ managed under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear is prohibited unless the Regional Administrator publishes notification in the Federal Register authorizing such directed fishing. In deciding whether to authorize directed fishing, NMFS will consider whether a CDQ group has sufficient halibut in its small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit to support directed fishing for groundfish CDQ by these catcher vessels. Upon determining that a CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit has been or will be reached, the Regional Administrator will publish notification in the Federal Register prohibiting directed fishing for all groundfish CDQ species, except sablefish CDQ, by catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear fishing for that CDQ group. If the estimated halibut PSC by vessels described in paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(A) of this section exceeds the balance of the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit on December 31 of any year, and if the CDQ group has remaining halibut PSQ on that date, NMFS will transfer an amount of halibut PSQ into the CDQ group's small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit to bring the balance of the small catcher vessel halibut PSC limit to zero. NMFS will make the determination about whether such an administrative transfer is necessary after data from the fishing year is finalized.

    6. In § 679.51: a. Remove § 679.51 introductory text and paragraph (f); b. Add paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D); and c. Revise paragraph (a)(2)(i)(C)(2) to read as follows:
    § 679.51 Observer requirements for vessels and plants.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (D) A catcher vessel less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing under § 679.32(c)(3)(iii).

    (2) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) * * *

    (2) Using trawl gear or hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing (see § 679.2), except for catcher vessels less than or equal to 46 ft LOA using hook-and-line gear when groundfish CDQ fishing under § 679.32(c)(3)(iii); or

    [FR Doc. 2016-02319 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 25 Monday, February 8, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0007] Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health; Meeting AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice to inform the public of an upcoming meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health. The meeting is being organized by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to discuss matters of animal health.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held February 23, 24, and 25, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. central standard time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Marriott Dallas/Addison Quorum, 14901 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75254.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mrs. R.J. Cabrera, Designated Federal Officer, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 34, Riverdale, MD 20737; phone (301) 851-3478; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health (the Committee) advises the Secretary of Agriculture on matters of animal health, including means to prevent, conduct surveillance on, monitor, control, or eradicate animal diseases of national importance. In doing so, the Committee will consider public health, conservation of natural resources, and the stability of livestock economies.

    Tentative topics for discussion at the meeting include:

    • Chronic Wasting Disease Program;

    • One Health

    ○ Zoonotic Diseases,

    ○ National List of Reportable Animal Diseases, and

    ○ U.S. Department of Agriculture Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan;

    • Scrapie Program;

    • Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Availability;

    • Emerging Disease Response; and

    • Comprehensive Integrated Animal Health Surveillance.

    A final agenda will be posted on the Committee Web site by February 15, 2016.

    Those wishing to attend the meeting in person must complete a brief registration form by clicking on the “SACAH Meeting Sign-up” button on the Committee's Web site (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/sacah). Members of the public may also join the meeting via teleconference in “listen-only” mode. Participants who wish to listen in on the teleconference may do so by dialing 1-800-619-4086 and then entering the public passcode, 2236462#.

    Due to time constraints, members of the public will not have an opportunity to participate in the Committee's discussions. However, questions and written statements for the Committee's consideration may be submitted up to 5 working days before the meeting. They may be sent to [email protected] or mailed to the person listed in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Statements filed with the Committee must include the name of the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, the docket number listed in this notice, and specify that they pertain to the February 2016 Committee meeting.

    This notice of meeting is given pursuant to section 10 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 3rd day of February 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02464 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0045] Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection; Importation and Transportation of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products AGENCY:

    Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to renew the approved information collection regarding the importation and transportation of meat, poultry, and egg products. The approval for this information collection will expire on May 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this information collection. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.

    Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Docket Clerk, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2015-0045. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, go to the FSIS Docket Room at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-164, Washington, DC 20250-3700 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gina Kouba, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250; (202) 720-5627.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Importation and Transportation of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products.

    OMB Control Number: 0583-0094.

    Type of Request: Renewal of an approved information collection.

    Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary of Agriculture (7 CFR 2.18, 2.53) as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), the Poultry Products and Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). FSIS protects the public by verifying that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and correctly labeled.

    FSIS is planning to request a renewal of this approved information collection because it is due to expire on May 31, 2016. This information collection includes (1) foreign inspection certificates required by FSIS to export meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States (9 CFR 327.2 and 381.196); (2) documentation required by FSIS for official import establishments to pre-stamp imported product with the inspection legend before reinspection is complete (9 CFR 327.10(d) and 381.204(f)); and (3) documentation required to transport meat and poultry shipments under seal (FSIS Form 7350-1, Request and Notice of Shipment of Sealed Meat and Poultry) (9 CFR 325.5).

    (1) Foreign countries that wish to export meat, poultry, and egg products to the United States must establish eligibility to do so by putting in place inspection systems are “equivalent to” the U.S. inspection system (9 CFR 327.2 and 381.196) and by annually certifying that they continue to do so. Meat, poultry, and egg products intended for importation into the U.S. must be accompanied by an inspection certificate signed by an official of the foreign government responsible for the inspection and certification of the product (9 CFR 327.4, 381.197, and 590.915).

    (2) Import establishments that wish to pre-stamp imported product with the inspection legend before FSIS inspection is complete must submit a letter to FSIS that explains and requests approval for the establishment's pre-stamping procedure (9 CFR 327.10(d) and 381.204(f)).

    (3) Unless accounted for in an establishment's HACCP plan, meat and poultry products that do not bear the mark of inspection and that are to be shipped from one official establishment to another for further processing must be transported under USDA seal to prevent such unmarked product from entering into commerce (9 CFR 325.5). To track product shipped under seal, FSIS requires the shipping establishment to complete FSIS Form 7350-1, which identifies the type, amount, and weight of the product.

    FSIS has made the following estimates on the basis of an information collection assessment.

    Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it takes each respondent an average of 29.6 hours per year to complete the foreign inspection certificates, pre-stamp documentation, and documentation required to transport meat and poultry shipments.

    Respondents: Importers, establishments, foreign governments.

    Estimated No. of Respondents: 136.

    Estimated No. of Annual Responses per Respondent: 650.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4,026 hours.

    Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from Gina Kouba, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence SW., Room 6077, South Building, Washington, DC 20250, (202) 690-6510.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both FSIS, at the addresses provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253.

    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.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax: (202) 690-7442.

    Email: [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC, on: February 2, 2016. Alfred V. Almanza, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02326 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Annual List of Newspapers to be used by the Alaska Region for Publication of Legal Notices of Proposed Projects and Activities Implementing Land and Resource Management Plans, Including Hazardous Fuel Reduction Projects, Subject to the Pre-Decisional Administrative Review Process AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice lists the newspapers that Ranger Districts, Forests, and the Regional Office of the Alaska Region will use to publish legal notices of the opportunity to object to proposed projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans, including hazardous fuel reduction projects authorized under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. The intended effect of this action is to inform interested members of the public which newspapers will be used to publish legal notice of actions subject to the pre-decisional administrative review process at 36 CFR 218, thereby allowing them to receive constructive notice of the proposed actions, to provide clear evidence of timely notice, and to achieve consistency in administering the pre-decisional review process.

    DATES:

    Publication of legal notices in the listed newspapers begins on March 1, 2016. This list of newspapers will remain in effect until it is superceded by a new list, published in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Robin Dale, Alaska Region Group Leader for Appeals, Litigation, FOIA & Records; Forest Service, Alaska Region; P.O. Box 21628; Juneau, Alaska 99802-1628.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robin Dale; Alaska Region Group Leader for Administrative Reviews, Litigation, FOIA & Records; (907) 586-9344.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice provides the list of newspapers that Responsible Officials in the Alaska Region will use to give notice of projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans, including hazardous fuel reduction projects authorized under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, subject to the pre-decisional administrative review process at 36 CFR 218. The timeframe for objection to a proposed project subject to this process shall be based on the date of publication of the legal notice of the project in the newspaper of record identified in this notice. The newspapers to be used for giving notice of Forest Service projects in the Alaska Region are as follows:

    Alaska Regional Office

    Decisions of the Alaska Regional Forester: Juneau Empire, published daily except Saturday and official holidays in Juneau, Alaska; and the Alaska Dispatch News, published daily in Anchorage, Alaska.

    Chugach National Forest

    Decisions of the Forest Supervisor and the Glacier and Seward District Rangers: Alaska Dispatch News, published daily in Anchorage, Alaska.

    Decisions of the Cordova District Ranger: Cordova Times, published weekly in Cordova, Alaska.

    Tongass National Forest

    Decisions of the Forest Supervisor and the Craig, Ketchikan/Misty, and Thorne Bay District Rangers: Ketchikan Daily News, published daily except Sundays and official holidays in Ketchikan, Alaska.

    Decisions of the Admiralty Island National Monument Ranger, the Juneau District Ranger, the Hoonah District Ranger, and the Yakutat District Ranger: Juneau Empire, published daily except Saturday and official holidays in Juneau, Alaska.

    Decisions of the Petersburg District Ranger: Petersburg Pilot, published weekly in Petersburg, Alaska.

    Decisions of the Sitka District Ranger: Daily Sitlca Sentinel, published daily except Saturday, Sunday, and official holidays in Sitka, Alaska.

    Decisions of the Wrangell District Ranger: Wrangell Sentinel, published weekly in Wrangell, Alaska.

    Supplemental notices may be published in any newspaper, but the time frames for filing objections will be calculated based upon the date that legal notices are published in the newspapers of record listed in this notice.

    Dated: January 15, 2016. Beth G. Pendleton, Regional Forester.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02361 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-M
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee; Meeting AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ipnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held March 11, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Idaho Panhandle National Forests Supervisor's Office located at 3815 Schreiber Way, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83815.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Idaho Panhandle national Forests Supervisor's Office in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shoshana Cooper, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 208-765-7211 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    1. Proposal review and recommendations.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by February 29, 2016 to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Shoshana Cooper, RAC Coordinator, 3815 Schreiber Way, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 83815; or by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 208-765-7426.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: February 1, 2016. Mary Farnsworth, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02435 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development administers rural utilities programs through the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). RUS invites comments on the following information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by April 8, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. FAX: (202) 720-8435. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) 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; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. FAX: (202) 720-8435.

    Title: Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance Grants, 7 CFR 1778.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0110.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance Grants pursuant to 7 CFR 1778 and awards grants to qualified rural communities that have experienced a significant decline in quality or quantity of water or expect such a decline to be imminent. Grants under this RUS program may be made to public bodies and private nonprofit corporations serving rural areas. Public bodies include counties, cities, townships, incorporated towns and villages, boroughs, authorities, districts, and other political subdivisions of a state. Public bodies also include Indian Tribes on Federal and State reservations and other Federally-recognized Indian tribal groups in rural areas. Applicants will provide information to be collected as part of the application and grant process through documentation, certifications, or completed application forms. These procedures are codified at 7 CFR part 1778.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 4 hours per response.

    Respondents: Not-for-profit Institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 100.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 400 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Rebecca Hunt, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 205-3660, FAX (202) 720-8435 or email: [email protected]

    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 records.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02462 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-832] Pure Magnesium From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on pure magnesium from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”). The period of review (“POR”) is May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015. This review covers Tianjin Magnesium International, Co., Ltd. (“TMI”) and Tianjin Magnesium Metal Co., Ltd. (“TMM”) (collectively “TMI/TMM”).1 The Department preliminarily finds that TMI/TMM did not have reviewable entries during the POR. The Department invites interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    1 The Department initiated the instant review on both TMM and TMI. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 37588, 37593 (July 1, 2015) (“Initiation Notice”). In the 2011-2012 review of the order, the Department determined TMM and TMI to be collapsed and treated as a single company for purposes of the proceeding. See Pure Magnesium From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2011-2012, 79 FR 94 (January 2, 2014) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 5. As this collapsing determination remains unchallenged in this review, the preliminary results of this review cover the single TMM/TMI company. This is consistent with the Department's treatment of the single TMM/TMI company under identical circumstance in the prior 2013-2014 no shipments administrative review (see Pure Magnesium from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014, 80 FR 26541 (May 8, 2015)).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: February 8, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shanah Lee, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6386.

    Scope of the Order

    Merchandise covered by the order is pure magnesium regardless of chemistry, form or size, unless expressly excluded from the scope of the order. Pure magnesium is a metal or alloy containing by weight primarily the element magnesium and produced by decomposing raw materials into magnesium metal. Pure primary magnesium is used primarily as a chemical in the aluminum alloying, desulfurization, and chemical reduction industries. In addition, pure magnesium is used as an input in producing magnesium alloy. Pure magnesium encompasses products (including, but not limited to, butt ends, stubs, crowns and crystals) with the following primary magnesium contents:

    (1) Products that contain at least 99.95% primary magnesium, by weight (generally referred to as “ultra pure” magnesium);

    (2) Products that contain less than 99.95% but not less than 99.8% primary magnesium, by weight (generally referred to as “pure” magnesium); and

    (3) Products that contain 50% or greater, but less than 99.8% primary magnesium, by weight, and that do not conform to ASTM specifications for alloy magnesium (generally referred to as “off-specification pure” magnesium).

    “Off-specification pure” magnesium is pure primary magnesium containing magnesium scrap, secondary magnesium, oxidized magnesium or impurities (whether or not intentionally added) that cause the primary magnesium content to fall below 99.8% by weight. It generally does not contain, individually or in combination, 1.5% or more, by weight, of the following alloying elements: aluminum, manganese, zinc, silicon, thorium, zirconium and rare earths.

    Excluded from the scope of the order are alloy primary magnesium (that meets specifications for alloy magnesium), primary magnesium anodes, granular primary magnesium (including turnings, chips and powder) having a maximum physical dimension (i.e., length or diameter) of one inch or less, secondary magnesium (which has pure primary magnesium content of less than 50% by weight), and remelted magnesium whose pure primary magnesium content is less than 50% by weight.

    Pure magnesium products covered by the order are currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheadings 8104.11.00, 8104.19.00, 8104.20.00, 8104.30.00, 8104.90.00, 3824.90.11, 3824.90.19 and 9817.00.90. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Background

    On May 1, 2015, the Department published a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on pure magnesium from the PRC for the period May 1, 2014 through April 30, 2015.2 On May 29, 2015, U.S. Magnesium LLC (“U.S. Magnesium”), a domestic producer and Petitioner in the underlying investigation of this case, made a timely request that the Department conduct an administrative review of TMI and TMM.3 On July 1, 2015, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of this antidumping duty administrative review.4 On July 23 and 28, 2015, TMM and TMI, respectively, separately submitted letters to the Department certifying that they did not export pure magnesium for consumption in the United States during the POR.5

    2See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 24898 (May 1, 2015).

    3See letter from U.S. Magnesium, “Pure Magnesium From the People's Republic of China: Request for Administrative Review,” dated May 29, 2015.

    4See Initiation Notice.

    5See Letter from TMM, “Pure Magnesium from the People's Republic of China; A-570-832; Certification of No Sales by Tianjin Magnesium Metal, Co., Ltd.,” dated July 23, 2015; see also letter from TMI, “Pure Magnesium from {t}he People's Republic of China; A-570-832; Certification of No Sales by Tianjin Magnesium International, Co., Ltd.,” dated July 28, 2014. We note this letter was timely filed and received on the record of the instant review on July 28, 2015, and, as such, the July 28, 2014, date of this letter was likely a typographical error.

    On January 21, 2016, the Department placed on the record information obtained in response to a query to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) concerning imports into the United States of subject merchandise during the POR.6 This information indicates that there were no entries of subject merchandise during the POR exported by TMI or TMM. In addition, on December 5, 2015, the Department notified CBP that it was in receipt of a no-shipment certification from TMI and TMM and requested CBP to report any contrary information within 10 days.7 CBP did not report any contrary information.

    6See Memorandum to the File, “2014-2015 Administrative Review of Pure Magnesium from the People's Republic of China: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Data,” dated January 21, 2016 (“CBP Data Query”).

    7See Memorandum to the File, “Transmit No Shipment Inquiry to the File,” dated December 4, 2015, containing Customs Message #527305 (“CBP No Shipment Inquiry”).

    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement & Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now February 5, 2016.8

    8See Memorandum to the File from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S for Enforcement & Compliance, “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    As noted in the “Background” section above, TMI and TMM each submitted timely-filed certifications indicating that it had no shipments of subject merchandise to the United States during the POR. The Department's review of CBP data supports this certification; 9 CBP did not provide any evidence that contradicts TMI or TMM's claim of no shipments,10 and no interested party provided comment concerning the results of the CBP query.

    9See CBP Data Query.

    10See CBP No Shipment Inquiry.

    Therefore, based on TMI and TMM's certification and analysis information of the record, the Department preliminarily determines that TMI/TMM did not have any reviewable entries during the POR. In addition, the Department finds that consistent with its assessment practice in non-market economy (“NME”) cases, it is appropriate not to rescind the review in part in this circumstance but, rather, to complete the review with respect to TMI/TMM and to issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.11

    11See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011) and the “Assessment Rates” section, below.

    Public Comment

    Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results and may submit case briefs and/or written comments within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii). Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, will be due five days after the due date for case briefs, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(d). Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument a statement of the issue, a summary of the argument not to exceed five pages, and a table of statutes, regulations, and cases cited, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. All documents must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. An electronically-filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.12 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    12See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review. Additionally, pursuant to a recently announced refinement to its assessment practice in NME cases, if the Department continues to determine that an exporter under review had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.13

    13 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For TMI/TMM, which claimed no shipments, the cash deposit rate will remain unchanged from the rate assigned to TMI/TMM in the most recently completed review of the company; (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters who are not under review in this segment of the proceeding but who have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the PRC-wide rate of 141.49 percent; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter(s) that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    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 off antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    This administrative review and notice are in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    Dated: February 1, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02425 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-122-854] Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Initiation of Expedited Review of the Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is initiating an expedited review of the countervailing duty order on supercalendered paper from Canada with respect to Catalyst Pulp and Paper Sales Inc., Catalyst Paper Corporation, and Catalyst Paper (USA) (collectively, Catalyst) and Irving Paper Limited (Irving).

    DATES:

    Effective date: February 8, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dana Mermelstein or Toby Vandall, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-1391 and (202) 482-1664, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 10, 2015, the Department published the countervailing duty order on supercalendered paper from Canada.1 On December 15 and 16, 2015, the Department received requests from Catalyst and Irving, respectively, to conduct an expedited review of this countervailing duty order.2 Irving supplemented its request on January 6, 2015.3 Catalyst and Irving, companies that were not selected for individual examination during the investigation, made these requests pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(k).

    1See Supercalendered Paper From Canada: Countervailing Duty Order, 80 FR 76668 (December 10, 2015).

    2See letter from Catalyst, “Supercalendered Paper from Canada: Catalyst's Request for Expedited Review,” (December 15, 2015). See also letter from Irving, “Supercalendered Paper from Canada: Expedited Review Request of Irving Paper Limited Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(k),” (December 16, 2015).

    3See letter from Irving, “Supercalendered Paper from Canada: Supplement to Expedited Review Request of Irving Paper Limited Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(k),” (January 6, 2015).

    Initiation of Expedited Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.214(k)(1)(i)-(iii), Catalyst and Irving each certified that they exported the subject merchandise to the United States during the period of investigation; that they were not affiliated with an exporter or producer that the Department individually examined in the investigation; and that they informed the Government of Canada, as the government of the exporting country, that the government will be required to provide a full response to the Department's questionnaire.

    Therefore, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.214(k), we are initiating an expedited review of the countervailing duty order on supercalendered paper from Canada. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(i)(1) and (k)(3), we intend to issue the preliminary results of this expedited review not later than 180 days from the date of initiation of this review.4 As specified by 19 CFR 351.214(k)(3)(i), the period of review will be the same as the original period of investigation, i.e., January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

    4 Under 19 CFR 351.214(k)(i)(2), this period may be extended to 300 days.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(k)(3)(iii), the final results of this expedited review will not be the basis for the assessment of countervailing duties. Instead, this expedited review is intended to establish individual cash deposit rates for Catalyst and Irving, or to exclude from the countervailing duty order a company for which the final results of review are zero or de minimis, as provided in 19 CFR 351.214(k)(3)(iv).

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective orders in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 and 351.306.

    Dated: February 1, 2016. Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02397 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries of the U.S. Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR); U.S. Caribbean Data-Limited Species AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 46 Review Workshop for U.S. Caribbean Data-Limited Species.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 46 assessment of the U.S. Caribbean Data-Limited Species will consist of: A Data/Assessment Workshop; a series of Assessment webinars; and a Review Workshop.

    DATES:

    The SEDAR 46 Review Workshop will be held from 9 a.m. on February 23, 2016 until 6 p.m. on February 25, 2016. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The SEDAR 46 Review Workshop will be held at the Mayfair Hotel and Spa, 3000 Florida Avenue, Miami, FL 33133; telephone: (800) 321-2211.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; telephone: (843) 571-4366 or toll free (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The items of discussion in the Review Workshop agenda are as follows:

    The Review Panel participants will review the stock assessment reports to determine if they are scientifically sound.

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

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02393 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a public meeting of the Scientific Uncertainty Subcommittee of the Scientific and Statistical Committee.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, beginning at 10 a.m. and conclude by 4 p.m. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will at the DoubleTree by Hilton Baltimore-BWI Airport; 890 Elkridge Landing Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to conduct a peer review of recent analyses conducted by the Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Southern Demersal Working Group (SDWG) relative to stock delineation in the population dynamics models being developed for the northern stock (Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to Maine) of black sea bass (Centropristis striata). The results of this review will help guide the SDWG in the treatment of issues related to specification of spatial stock structure in the operating model for this species.

    Special Accommodations

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

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02293 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD224 Marine Mammals; File No. 18537 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application for permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Division of Wildlife Conservation, Juneau, AK [Responsible Party: Robert Small, Ph.D.], has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 18537.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 18537 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rosa L. González or Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject amendment to Permit No. 18537 is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226), and the Fur Seal Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.).

    Permit No. 18537, issued on August 8, 2014 (79 FR 19578), authorizes takes of Steller sea lions during aerial, vessel, and ground surveys in support of the long-term Steller sea lions research program. It also authorizes incidental disturbance of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and northern fur (Callorhinus ursinus), harbor (Phoca vitulina), spotted (Phoca largha), ribbon (Histriophoca fasciata), ringed (Phoca hispida hispida), and bearded (Erignathus barbatus) seals during research activities, and annual unintentional mortality of 5 Steller sea lions from the Western Distinct Population Segment (wDPS) and 10 Steller sea lions from the Eastern DPS. See tables in permit for numbers of takes by species, stock and activity. The permit is valid through August 31, 2019.

    The permit holder is requesting the permit be amended to increase the number of California and Steller (wDPS) sea lions taken during aerial surveys from 4,725 to 10,000, and from 48,000 to 75,000, respectively. The request is in response to observed trends within recent years of increasing northerly movement of California sea lions, and as a result of this, an increase in observed animals in the current research area. In addition, the use of more sophisticated equipment has provided better resolution and quality of images taken, and, therefore, higher differentiation among pinnipeds observed. The permit holder also requests authorization to increase the volume on a single blood draw from Steller sea lions from up to 1 ml/kg to up to 4 ml/kg. The increase would support research projects related to the impacts of contaminants on immune and endocrine parameters in young Steller sea lions.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activities proposed are consistent with the Preferred Alternative in the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Steller Sea Lion and Northern Fur Seal Research (NMFS 2007), and that issuance of the permit would not have a significant adverse impact on the human environment.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Dr. Perry F. Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02385 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XB160 Marine Mammals; File Nos. 16193 and 17157 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that two major permit amendments have been issued: Permit No. 16193-01 has been issued to Todd Robeck, D.V.M, Ph.D., Sea World Parks and Entertainment Corp, 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA 92109; and, Permit No. 17157-02 has been issued to Stephen John Trumble, Ph.D., Baylor University, 101 Bagby Ave., Waco, TX 76706.

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit amendments and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Skidmore or Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 8, 2015, notices were published in the Federal Register (File No. 16193-01, 80 FR 76276; and File No. 17157-02, 80 FR 76278) that requests for amendments had been submitted by the above-named applicants to amend their permits to receive, import, and export specimens from marine mammals for scientific research. The requested permit amendments have been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    Permit No. 16193, issued on August 28, 2012, authorizes the permit holder to receive, import, and export cetacean and pinniped specimens to study reproductive physiology, including endocrinology, gamete biology, and cryophysiology. Permit No. 16193-01 amends the authorization to include unlimited samples from up to 300 wild Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) annually.

    Permit No. 17157, issued on July 18, 2012, and amended on November 7, 2014, authorizes the receipt, import and export of up to 25 earplugs annually of each of the following species of whale: blue (Balaenoptera musculus), sei (B. borealis), minke (B. acutorostrata), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), gray (Eschrichtius robustus), bowhead (Balaena mysticetus), fin (B. physalus), and sperm (Physeter macrocephalus). The samples may be obtained from natural history museums as well as from collections in Barrow, Alaska, of bowhead whale subsistence harvests.

    Permit No. 17157-02 authorizes an increase in the number of animals that samples that may be received, imported, and exported from 25 to 100 individuals annually. In addition, the permit has been amended to authorize the receipt, import, and export of baleen samples from blue and fin whales.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    As required by the ESA, issuance of this permit was based on a finding that such permit: (1) Was applied for in good faith; (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered species; and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Perry F. Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02384 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Technology Advisory Committee Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) announces that on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, from 9:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., the CFTC's Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) will hold a rescheduled public meeting at the CFTC's Washington, DC headquarters. The TAC meeting previously scheduled for January 26, 2016, from 9:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., was canceled due to inclement weather that closed the Federal Government. The TAC will discuss: (1) The Commission's proposed Regulation Automated Trading (Reg AT); (2) swap data standardization and harmonization; and (3) blockchain and the potential application of distributed ledger technology to the derivatives market.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 from 9:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Members of the public who wish to submit written statements in connection with the meeting should submit them by Monday, February 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place in the Conference Center at the CFTC's headquarters, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581. Written statements should be submitted by mail to: Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, attention: Office of the Secretary, or by electronic mail to: [email protected] Please use the title “Technology Advisory Committee” in any written statement you submit. Any statements submitted in connection with the committee meeting will be made available to the public, including publication on the CFTC Web site, www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ward P. Griffin, TAC Designated Federal Officer, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, (202) 418-5425.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public may also listen to the meeting by telephone by calling a domestic toll-free telephone or international toll or toll-free number to connect to a live, listen-only audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their first name, last name, and affiliation. Instructions for domestic and international calls will be posted on the CFTC's Web site, http://www.cftc.gov, on the page for the meeting, under Related Documents. After the meeting, a transcript of the meeting will be published through a link on the CFTC's Web site, http://www.cftc.gov. All written submissions provided to the CFTC in any form will also be published on the CFTC's Web site. Persons requiring special accommodations to attend the meeting because of a disability should notify the contact person above.

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(a)(2).

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02375 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2016-0002] Notice of Availability: CPSC's Draft 2016-2020 Strategic Plan AGENCY:

    U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) has drafted a Strategic Plan for 2016-2020. CPSC seeks comments from the public on the draft plan.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2016-0002, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions by mail/hand delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to:http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be submitted in writing.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the docket number CPSC-2016-0002, into the “Search” box, and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anne Inserra, Office of Financial Management, Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone: (301) 504-7421; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CPSC is an independent federal regulatory agency with a public health and safety mission to protect the public from the unreasonable risks of injury and death from consumer products. The CPSC is providing notice that the agency is seeking public comments on its new draft 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

    Under the draft new Strategic Plan, the CPSC's mission is “Keeping Consumers Safe.” The agency's overarching vision is “A nation free from unreasonable risks of injury and death from consumer products.” The CPSC will work to achieve four strategic goals that will contribute to realizing the agency's vision and achieving its mission. CPSC's programs will align with the strategic goals, and staff will implement strategies to achieve the strategic goals. The strategic goals are:

    1. Cultivate the most effective consumer product safety workforce.

    2. Prevent hazardous products from reaching consumers.

    3. Respond quickly to address hazardous consumer products in the marketplace and with consumers.

    4. Communicate useful information quickly and effectively to better inform decisions.

    The draft 2016-2020 Strategic Plan sets out how the CPSC will pursue the four strategic goals. The draft Strategic Plan is available on the Commission's Web site at: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/About-CPSC/Agency-Reports/Performance-and-Budget/.

    The CPSC seeks comments on all aspects of the draft 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. CPSC has a wide range of external stakeholders from industry, trade associations, consumer groups, nonprofits, and standards development organizations, as well as from the international, congressional, federal, state, and local sectors. The agency looks forward to receiving comments from all individuals and entities involved in, and affected by, the CPSC's activities. Please provide comments as directed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02360 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9928-97-OEI] Agency Information Collection Activities OMB Responses AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) responses to Agency Clearance requests, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR chapter 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Courtney Kerwin (202) 566-1669, or email at [email protected] and please refer to the appropriate EPA Information Collection Request (ICR) Number.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB Responses to Agency Clearance Requests OMB Approvals

    EPA ICR Number 1723.07; Importation of Nonroad Engines and Recreational Vehicles (Renewal); 40 CFR 85, 40 CFR part 89, 40 CFR part 90, 40 CR part 91, 40 CFR part 92, 40 CFR part 94, and 40 CFR part 1068; was approved without change on 5/20/2015; OMB Number 2060-0320; expires on 5/31/2016.

    EPA ICR Number 0222.10; EPA's Light-Duty In-Use Vehicle Testing Program (Renewal); was approved with change on 5/14/2015; OMB Number 2060-0086; expires on 5/31/2018.

    EPA ICR Number 1907.09; Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements Regarding the Sulfur Content of Motor Vehicle Gasoline under the Tier 2 Rule (Final Rule for Tier 3) (Revision); 40 CFR 80, subpart O, 40 CFR 80.210, 40 CFR 80.270, 40 CFR 80.330, 40 CFR 80.340, 40 CFR 80.370, 40 CFR 80.380, 40 CFR 80.400, and 40 CFR 80.415; was approved without change on 5/13/2015; OMB Number 2060-0437; expires on 5/31/2018.

    EPA ICR Number 2489.01; Willingness to Pay Survey for Salmon Recovery in the Willamette Watershed (New); was approved with change on 5/8/2015; OMB Number 2080-0081; expires on 5/31/2018.

    EPA ICR Number 2410.03; NESHAP for Group I Polymers and Resins (Renewal); 40 CFR 63, subparts A and U; was approved without change on 5/7/2015; OMB Number 2060-0665; expires on 5/31/2018.

    EPA ICR Number 1693.08; Plant-Incorporated Protectants; CBI Substantiation and Adverse Effects Reporting (Renewal); 40 CFR 174.71 and 40 CFR part 174.9; was approved without change on 5/6/2015; OMB Number 2070-0142; expires on 5/31/2018.

    EPA ICR Number 1781.07; NESHAP for Pharmaceutical Production (Renewal); 40 CFR 63, subparts A and GGG; was approved without change on 5/6/2015; OMB Number 2060-0358; expires on 5/31/2018.

    EPA ICR Number 1807.07; NESHAP for Pesticide Active Ingredient Production (Revision); 40 CFR 63, subpart A and 40 CFR 63, subpart MMM; was approved without change on 5/6/2015; OMB Number 2060-0370; expires on 6/30/2015.

    EPA ICR Number 2031.07; Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Request for Applications from Critical use Exemption for the Phase-out of Methyl Bromide (Change); 40 CFR 82; was approved without change on 5/5/2015; OMB Number 2060-0482; expires on 5/31/2018.

    EPA ICR Number 1131.11; NSPS for Glass Manufacturing Plants (Renewal); 40 CFR 60 Subpart A and 40 CFR 60 Subpart CC; was approved with change on 5/4/2015; OMB Number 2060-0054; expires on 5/31/2018.

    EPA ICR Number 1125.07; NESHAP for Beryllium Rocket Motor Fuel Firing (Renewal); 40 CFR 61, subparts A and D; was approved with change on 5/4/2015; OMB Number 2060-0394; expires on 5/31/2018.

    Comment Filed

    EPA ICR Number 2502.01; TSCA Sections 402 and Section 404 Training, Certification, Accreditation and Standards for Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation, Repair and Painting (Proposed Rule); 40 CFR 745.225; OMB filed comment on 5/6/2015.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collections Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02359 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-6077; FRL-9941-65] Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control Act AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is announcing its receipt of test data submitted pursuant to a test rule issued by EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As required by TSCA, this document identifies each chemical substance and/or mixture for which test data have been received; the uses or intended uses of such chemical substance and/or mixture; and describes the nature of the test data received. Each chemical substance and/or mixture related to this announcement is identified in Unit I. under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Kathy Calvo, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8089; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Chemical Substances and/or Mixtures

    Information about the following chemical substances and/or mixtures is provided in Unit IV.: D-erythro-hex-2-enonic acid, gamma-lactone, monosodium salt (CAS RN 6381-77-7).

    II. Federal Register Publication Requirement

    Section 4(d) of TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2603(d)) requires EPA to publish a notice in the Federal Register reporting the receipt of test data submitted pursuant to test rules promulgated under TSCA section 4 (15 U.S.C. 2603).

    III. Docket Information

    A docket, identified by the docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0677, has been established for this Federal Register document that announces the receipt of data. Upon EPA's completion of its quality assurance review, the test data received will be added to the docket for the TSCA section 4 test rule that required the test data. Use the docket ID number provided in Unit IV. to access the test data in the docket for the related TSCA section 4 test rule.

    The docket for this Federal Register document and the docket for each related TSCA section 4 test rule is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    IV. Test Data Received

    This unit contains the information required by TSCA section 4(d) for the test data received by EPA.

    D-erythro-hex-2-enonic acid, gamma-lactone, monosodium salt (CAS RN 6381-77-7)

    1. Chemical Use(s): Antioxidant in food applications for which the vitamin activity of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is not required. Specifically, the compound is most frequently used to develop and retain the coloring and taste in meat products. It is also used for seafood products, fruit, and vegetable preservation, in beverages, and as a developing agent in photographic applications.

    2. Applicable Test Rule: Chemical testing requirements for second group of high production volume chemicals (HPV2), 40 CFR 799-5087.

    3. Test Data Received: The following listing describes the nature of the test data received. The test data will be added to the docket for the applicable TSCA section 4 test rule and can be found by referencing the docket ID number provided. EPA reviews of test data will be added to the same docket upon completion.

    Aquatic Toxicity Studies (Fish) (Daphnid) (C1). The docket ID number assigned to this data is EPA-HQ-OPPT-2007-0531.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Maria J. Doa, Director, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02412 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0017] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communication 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 comments should be submitted on or before March 9, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0017.

    Title: Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, FCC 2100, Schedule D.

    Form Number: FCC Form 2100, Schedule D.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government.

    Number of Respondents/Responses: 550 respondents; 550 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 1.5 hours per response.

    Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement; On occasion reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 825 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $66,446.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 154(i), 301, 303, 307, 308 and 309 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extend of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: In FCC 15-175, low power television and TV translator stations be permitted to share a channel. FCC Form 2100, Schedule D will be used to license channel sharing between these types of stations. FCC Form 2100, Schedule D was modified to allow applicants to propose that their stations be licensed on a shared basis.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02328 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [DA 16-98] Disability Advisory Committee; Announcement of Next Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces the date of the next meeting of the Commission's Disability Advisory Committee (Committee or DAC). The meeting is open to the public. During this meeting, members of the Committee will receive and discuss summaries of activities and recommendations from its subcommittees.

    DATES:

    The Committee's next meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST).

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, in the Commission Meeting Room.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elaine Gardner, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau: 202-418-0581 (voice); email: [email protected]; or Suzy Rosen Singleton, Alternate DAC Designated Federal Officer, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau: 202-510-9446 (VP/voice), at the same email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee was established in December 2014 to make recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability matters within the jurisdiction of the Commission, and to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in proceedings before the Commission. The Committee is organized under, and operated in accordance with, the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The Committee held its first meeting on March 17, 2015.

    At its February 23, 2016 meeting, the Committee is expected to receive and consider a report on the activities of its Communications Subcommittee; a report and recommendation from its Emergency Communications Subcommittee regarding the provision of N-1-1 services through telecommunications relay services; an update from its Emergency Subcommittee regarding improvements to Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) proposed by the FCC in November 2015; a recommendation from its Relay & Equipment Distribution Subcommittee regarding the compatibility of the Commission's Accessible Communication for Everyone (“ACE”) platform with Next-Generation 911 services; a recommendation from its Technology Transitions Subcommittee regarding ways to address the transition to real-time text; and recommendations from its Video Programming Subcommittee regarding (1) interagency collaboration to address access to captioning and video description in places of public accommodations and other venues, such as aircraft, where video programming may be shown; and (2) questions for the Commission to consider in a rulemaking that may address the number of television programming hours that must be video described. The Committee will also (1) receive a report on the communication needs of deaf people with mobility disabilities from Mark Hill, President of the Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization; (2) hear presentations from Commission staff on recent activities; and (3) discuss new issues for its consideration.

    A limited amount of time may be available on the agenda for comments and inquiries from the public. The public may comment or ask questions of presenters via the email address [email protected] The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. If making a request for an accommodation, please include a description of the accommodation you will need and tell us how to contact you if we need more information. Make your request as early as possible by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY). Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. The meeting will be webcast with open captioning, at: www.fcc.gov/live.

    To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Federal Communications Commission. Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02323 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0700] 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 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before April 8, 2016. 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: 3060-0700.

    Title: Open Video Systems Provisions, FCC Form 1275.

    Form Number: FCC Form 1275.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; and State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 280 respondents; 4,672 respondents.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; Third party disclosure requirement; On occasion reporting requirement.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 to 20 hours.

    Total Annual Burden: 9,855 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: None.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Section 302 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: Section 302 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act provides for specific entry options for telephone companies wishing to enter the video programming marketplace, one option being to provide cable service over an “open video system” (“OVS”). The rule sections that are covered by this collection relate to OVS.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02327 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than March 4, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Wintrust Financial Corporation, Rosemont, Illinois; to merge with Generations Bancorp, Inc. and thereby indirectly acquire Foundations Bank, both in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 3, 2016. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02374 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Notice of Proposals To Engage in or To Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking Activities

    The companies listed in this notice have given notice under section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1843) (BHC Act) and Regulation Y, (12 CFR part 225) to engage de novo, or to acquire or control voting securities or assets of a company, including the companies listed below, that engages either directly or through a subsidiary or other company, in a nonbanking activity that is listed in § 225.28 of Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.28) or that the Board has determined by Order to be closely related to banking and permissible for bank holding companies. Unless otherwise noted, these activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Each notice is available for inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notice also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the question whether the proposal complies with the standards of section 4 of the BHC Act.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding the applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than February 23, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Merchants Bancorp, Carmel, Indiana; to engage in extending credit and servicing loans through a joint venture, Arclight Financial, LLC, Cinnaminson, New Jersey, pursuant to section 225.28(b)(1).

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 3, 2016. Michael J. Lewandowski, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02376 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than February 23, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Chapelle Davis, Assistant Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. VHS Grantor Retained Annuity Trust #1, Martha Sigmon Spurlock, as trustee, and Charles Kenneth Spurlock, Jr., both of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and Rachel Sigmon West, Harrogate, Tennessee, all acting in concert; to acquire additional voting shares of Commercial Bancgroup, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of Commercial Bank, both in Harrogate, Tennessee.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 3, 2016. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02373 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0097; Docket 2016-0053; Sequence 6] Information Collection; Taxpayer Identification Number Information AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning Taxpayer Identification Number Information.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0097, Taxpayer Identification Number Information, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0097, Taxpayer Identification Number Information”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0097, Taxpayer Identification Number Information” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0097, Taxpayer Identification Number Information.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0097, Taxpayer Identification Number Information, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential 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. Curtis E. Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, Contract Policy Division, GSA, 202-501-1448 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Purpose

    In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 7701(c), a contractor doing business with a Government agency is required to furnish its Tax Identification Number (TIN) to that agency. Also, 31 U.S.C. 3325(d) requires the Government to include, with each certified voucher prepared by the Government payment office and submitted to a disbursing official, the TIN of the contractor receiving payment under the voucher. 26 U.S.C. 6050M, as implemented in the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations at Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), requires heads of Federal executive agencies to report certain information to the IRS. 26 U.S.C. 6041 and 6041A, as implemented in 26 CFR, in part, requires payors, including Government agencies, to report to the IRS, on form 1099, payments made to certain contractors.

    To comply with the requirements of 31 U.S.C. 7701(c) and 3325(d), reporting requirements of 26 U.S.C. 6041, 6041A, and 6050M, and implementing regulations issued by the IRS in 26 CFR, FAR clause 52.204-3, Taxpayer Identification, requires a potential Government contractor to submit, among other information, its TIN. The TIN may be used by the Government to collect and report on any delinquent amounts arising out of the contractor's relationship with the Government. A contractor is not required to provide its TIN on each contract in accordance with FAR clause 52.204-3, Taxpayer Identification, when FAR clause 52.204-7, Central Contractor Registration, is inserted in contracts. FAR clause 52.204-7 requires a potential Federal contractor to provide its TIN in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 39,428.

    Responses per Respondent: 3.

    Total Responses: 118,284.

    Hours per Response: .10.

    Total Burden Hours: 11,828.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0097, Taxpayer Identification Number Information, in all correspondence.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02407 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0159; Docket 2016-0053; Sequence 4] Information Collection; Central Contractor Registration AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning the Central Contractor Registration database.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0159, Central Contractor Registration, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0159, Central Contractor Registration.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0159, Central Contractor Registration” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0159, Central Contractor Registration.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0159, Central Contractor Registration, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential 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. Curtis E. Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Policy, GSA, 202-501-1448, or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Purpose

    The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 4.11 prescribes policies and procedures for requiring contractor registration in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database. The CCR is the primary vendor database for the U.S. Federal Government. CCR collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions.

    Both current and potential Federal Government vendors are required to register in CCR in order to be awarded contracts by the Federal Government. Vendors are required to complete a one-time registration to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. Vendors must update or renew their registration at least once per year to maintain an active status.

    The CCR validates the vendor information and electronically share the secure and encrypted data with Federal agency finance offices to facilitate paperless payments through electronic funds transfer. Additionally, CCR shares the data with Federal Government procurement and electronic business systems.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 110,350.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 110,350.

    Hours per Response: 1.7141.

    Total Burden Hours: 189,151.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control Number 9000-0159, Central Contractor Registration, in all correspondence.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02408 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0175; Docket 2016-0053; Sequence 5] Information Collection; Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding a new OMB information clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve a new information collection requirement regarding Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0175, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0175, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0175, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0175, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0175, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential 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. Edward Loeb, Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, at telephone 202-501-0650 or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    FAR 22.501 prescribes policies and procedures to implement Executive Order 13502, February 6, 2009 which encourages Federal agencies to consider the use of a project labor agreement (PLA), as they may decide appropriate, on large-scale construction projects, where the total cost to the Government is more than $25 million, in order to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement. A PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project. FAR 22.503(b) provides that an agency may, if appropriate, require that every contractor and subcontractor engaged in construction on the project agree, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more labor organizations if the agency decides that the use of project labor agreements will—

    (1) Advance the Federal Government's interest in achieving economy and efficiency in Federal procurement, producing labor-management stability, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations governing safety and health, equal employment opportunity, labor and employment standards, and other matters; and,

    (2) Be consistent with law.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 70.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 70.

    Hours per Response: 1.

    Total Burden Hours: 70.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0175, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, in all correspondence.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02450 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0060; Docket 2016-0053; Sequence 5] Information Collection; Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for an extension of an information collection requirement regarding an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0060, Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping by any of the following methods:

    • Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.

    • Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for Information Collection 9000-0060, Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0060, Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0060, Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping” on your attached document.

    • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0060, Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0060, Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change tohttp://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential 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. Curtis E. Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, Contract Policy Division, GSA, telephone 202-501-1448 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    The FAR clause at 52.236-13, Accident Prevention, requires Federal construction contractors to keep records of accidents incident to work performed under the contract that result in death, traumatic injury, occupational disease or damage to property, materials, supplies or equipment. Records of personal inquiries are required by the Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations (OSHA). The records maintained by the contractor are used to evaluate compliance and may be used in workmen's compensation cases. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires records of damage to property, materials, supplies or equipment to provide background information when claims are brought against the Government.

    If the contract involves work of a long duration, or hazardous nature, the contracting officer shall insert the clause with its alternate that requires the contractor to submit a written proposed plan for implementing the clause. The plan shall include an analysis of the significant hazards to life, limb, and property inherent in performing the contract and a plan for controlling the hazards. The Accident Prevention Plan (APP) is analyzed by the contracting officer along with the agency safety representatives to determine if the proposed plan will meet the requirements of safety regulations and applicable statutes.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 215.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 215.

    Hours per Response: 22.

    Total Burden Hours: 4,730.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary; whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0060, Accident Prevention Plans and Recordkeeping, in all correspondence.

    Dated: February 3,2016. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02406 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-CECANF-2016-03; Docket No. 2016-0004; Sequence No. 3] Commission To Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities; Announcement of Meetings AGENCY:

    Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, General Services Administration.

    ACTION:

    Meetings notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), a Federal Advisory Committee established by the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012, will hold conference calls open to the public on the following dates: Sunday, February 14, 2016, and Monday, February 15, 2016.

    DATES:

    The meeting on Sunday, February 14, 2016, will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST). The meeting on Monday, February 15, 2016, will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST).

    ADDRESSES:

    CECANF will convene these meetings via conference call. Submit comments, identified by “Notice-CECANF-2016-03,” by either of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for “Notice-CECANF-2016-03.” Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Notice-CECANF-2016-03.” Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, organization name (if any), and “Notice-CECANF-2016-03” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, 1800 F Street NW., Room 7003D, Washington, DC 20405, Attention: Tom Hodnett (CD) for CECANF.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite “Notice-CECANF-2016-03” in all correspondence related to this notice. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check http://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:

    Visit the CECANF Web site at https://eliminatechildabusefatalities.sites.usa.gov/ or contact Patricia Brincefield, Communications Director, at 202-818-9596, General Services Administration, 1800 F Street NW., Room 7003D, Washington, DC 20405, Attention: Tom Hodnett (CD) for CECANF.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: CECANF was established to develop a national strategy and recommendations for reducing fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect.

    Agenda: Commission members will deliberate on the final report.

    Attendance at the Meetings: Individuals interested in participating by teleconference should dial 1-888-289-4573 and then enter 6966324#. Detailed meeting minutes will be posted within 90 days of the meeting. Members of the public will not have the opportunity to ask questions or otherwise participate in the meeting.

    However, members of the public wishing to comment should follow the steps detailed under the heading Addresses in this publication or contact the Commission via the CECANF Web site at https://eliminatechildabusefatalities.sites.usa.gov/contact-us/.

    The reason CECANF is providing less than 15 calendar days' notice for this meeting, is because of the short timeframe allowed for Commissioners to hold a final deliberation on the draft report before its publication date.

    Dated: February 1, 2016. Karen White, Executive Assistant.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02452 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0053; Docket 2015-0055; Sequence 25] Submission for OMB Review; Permits, Authorities, or Franchises AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension of a previously existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning permits, authorities, or franchises for regulated transportation. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 70217 on November 13, 2015. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0053, Permits, Authorities, or Franchises”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0053, Permits, Authorities, or Franchises” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0053, Permits, Authorities, or Franchises.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite “Information Collection 9000-0053, Permits, Authorities, or Franchises,” in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential 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. Michael O. Jackson, Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, GSA 202-208-4949 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    The FAR requires insertion of clause 52.247-2, Permits, Authorities, or Franchises, when regulated transportation is involved. The clause requires the contractor to indicate whether it has the proper authorization from the Federal Highway Administration (or other cognizant regulatory body) to move material. The contractor may be required to provide copies of the authorization before moving material under the contract. The clause also requires the contractor, at its expense, to obtain and maintain any permits, franchises, licenses, and other authorities issued by State and local governments. The Government may request to review the documents to ensure that the contractor has complied with all regulatory requirements.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 255.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 255.

    Hours per Response: 0.5.

    Total Burden Hours: 128.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405 telephone 202-501-4755.

    Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0053, Permits, Authorities, or Franchises, in all correspondence.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02451 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0057; Docket 2015-0055; Sequence 24] Submission for OMB Review; Evaluation of Export Offers AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning “Information Collection 9000-0057, Evaluation of Export Offers.” A notice was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 65761 on October 27, 2015. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by inputting “Information Collection 9000-0057, Evaluation of Export Offers” under the heading “Enter Keyword or ID” and selecting “Search”. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0057, Evaluation of Export Offers”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0057, Evaluation of Export Offers” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0057, Evaluation of Export Offers.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection “Information Collection 9000-0057, Evaluation of Export Offers” in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential 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. Curtis E. Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, GSA, 202-501-4082 or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Purpose

    Offers submitted in response to Government solicitations must be evaluated and awards made on the basis of the lowest laid down cost to the Government at the overseas port of discharge, via methods and ports compatible with required delivery dates and conditions affecting transportation know at the time of evaluation. FAR provision 52.247-51, “Evaluation of Export Offers,” is required for insertion in Government solicitations when supplies are to be exported through Contiguous United States (CONUS) ports and offers are solicited on a free onboard (f.o.b.) origin or f.o.b. destination basis. The provision has three alternates, to be used (1) when the CONUS ports of export are DoD water terminals, (2) when offers are solicited on an f.o.b. origin only basis, and (3) when offers are solicited on an f.o.b. destination only basis. The provision collects information regarding the vendor's preference for delivery ports. The information is used to evaluate offers [on the basis of shipment through the port resulting in the lowest cost to the Government.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 100.

    Responses per Respondent: 4.

    Annual Responses: 400.

    Hours per Response: 0.25.

    Total Burden Hours: 100.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary; whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control Number “9000-0057, Evaluation of Export Offers” in all correspondence.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02448 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Docket No. CDC-2016-0015] Proposed Revised Vaccine Information Materials for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B Vaccines AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) (42 U.S.C. 300aa-26), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) develops vaccine information materials that all health care providers are required to give to patients/parents prior to administration of specific vaccines. HHS/CDC seeks written comment on the proposed updated vaccine information statements for hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0015, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Written comments should be addressed to Suzanne Johnson-DeLeon, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop A-19, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Skip Wolfe ([email protected]), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop A-19, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-660), as amended by section 708 of Public Law 103-183, added section 2126 to the Public Health Service Act. Section 2126, codified at 42 U.S.C. 300aa-26, requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and disseminate vaccine information materials for distribution by all health care providers in the United States to any patient (or to the parent or legal representative in the case of a child) receiving vaccines covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

    Development and revision of the vaccine information materials, also known as Vaccine Information Statements (VIS), have been delegated by the Secretary to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Section 2126 requires that the materials be developed, or revised, after notice to the public, with a 60-day comment period, and in consultation with the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, appropriate health care provider and parent organizations, and the Food and Drug Administration. The law also requires that the information contained in the materials be based on available data and information, be presented in understandable terms, and include:

    (1) A concise description of the benefits of the vaccine,

    (2) A concise description of the risks associated with the vaccine,

    (3) A statement of the availability of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and

    (4) Such other relevant information as may be determined by the Secretary.

    The vaccines initially covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program were diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella and poliomyelitis vaccines. Since April 15, 1992, any health care provider in the United States who intends to administer one of these covered vaccines is required to provide copies of the relevant vaccine information materials prior to administration of any of these vaccines. Since then, the following vaccines have been added to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, requiring use of vaccine information materials for them as well: Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), varicella (chickenpox), pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus, hepatitis A, meningococcal, human papillomavirus (HPV), and seasonal influenza vaccines. Instructions for use of the vaccine information materials are found on the CDC Web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/index.html.

    HHS/CDC is proposing updated versions of the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine information statements.

    The vaccine information materials referenced in this notice are being developed in consultation with the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, the Food and Drug Administration, and parent and health care provider groups.

    We invite written comment on the proposed revised vaccine information materials entitled “Hepatitis A Vaccine: What You Need to Know” and “Hepatitis B Vaccine: What You Need to Know.” Copies of the proposed vaccine information materials are available at http://www.regulations.gov (see Docket Number CDC-2016-0015). Comments submitted will be considered in finalizing these materials. When the final materials are published in the Federal Register, the notice will include an effective date for their mandatory use.

    Sandra Cashman, Executive Secretary, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02395 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Same-sex relationships: Updates to Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education.

    OMB No.: New Collection.

    Description: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will examine how healthy marriage programs currently approach, and could approach, serving sexual minority populations, that is, lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations. ACF expects to collect and analyze data from a range of information collection efforts—including interviews with program administrators, program managers, healthy marriage and relationship programming experts, and focus groups with program applicants and program attendees—to propose methods and practices for serving such couples/individuals/youth.

    Respondents: Current program applicants and participants, program managers and facilitators, and experts in the field.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument
  • (and appendix No.)
  • Total/
  • annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours per response
  • Annual burden hours
    Focus Group Guide for Adult Applicants (Instrument #1) 18 1 1.5 27 Focus Group Guide for Adult Attendees (Instrument #2) 36 1 1.5 54 Focus Group Guide for Youth (Instrument #3) 36 1 1.5 54 Interview Guide with Experts (Instrument #4) 12 1 1 12 Interview Guide with Program Managers (Instrument #5) 10 1 1 10 Interview Guide with Facilitators (Instrument #6) 10 1 1 10 Staff Recruitment Script 90 1 .25 23

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 190.

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20201, Attn: OPRE Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, ACF Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02358 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-73-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: National Center on Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (NCEHS-CCP) Evaluation.

    OMB No.: New Collection.

    Description: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded 275 Early Head Start expansion and Early Head Start-child care partnership grants (EHS-CCP) in 50 states; Washington, DC; Puerto Rico; and the Northern Mariana Islands. These grants will allow new or existing Early Head Start programs to partner with local child care centers and family child care providers to expand high-quality early learning opportunities for infants and toddlers from low-income families.

    NCEHS-CCP will support the effective implementation of new EHS-CCP grants by disseminating information through training and technical assistance (T/TA) and resources and materials. NCEHS-CCP is primarily targeted to T/TA providers working directly with the EHS-CCP grantees (including Office of Head Start (OHS) and Office of Child Care (OCC) National Centers, regional training and technical assistance (T/TA) specialists, and implementation planners and fiscal consultants). State and federal agencies (including OHS and OCC federal staff, Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) administrators, Head Start state and national collaboration office directors), as well as EHS-CCP grantees will also find helpful information on partnerships through NCEHS-CCP's resources.

    NCEHS-CCP at ZERO TO THREE is proposing to conduct a descriptive study of NCEHS-CCP that will provide information that will document the activities and progress of NCEHS-CCP toward its goals and objectives. Findings from the evaluation will be translated into action steps to inform continuous quality improvement of NCEHS-CCP.

    The proposed data collection activities for the descriptive study of NCEHS-CCP will include the following components:

    Stakeholder survey. Web-based surveys will be conducted in the spring of 2016 and 2018 with key stakeholders (including regional T/TA specialists, CCDF administrators, Head Start state and national collaboration office directors, and implementation planners and fiscal consultants). The stakeholder survey will collect information about the types of support they received from NCEHS-CCP in the past year, their satisfaction with the support, how the T/TA informed their work with EHS-CCP grantees, and how support could be improved.

    Stakeholder telephone interviews. Semi-structured telephone interviews will be conducted in spring of 2017 and 2019 with a purposively selected group of stakeholders that complete the stakeholder survey. The interviews will explore in more detail the types of T/TA support participants received from NCEHS-CCP, how that support has informed their work with EHS-CCP grantees, their satisfaction with the support, successes and challenges, and suggestions for improvement.

    A 60-Day Federal Register Notice was published for this study on October 27, 2015. This 30-Day Federal Register Notice covers the following data collection activities: (1) Stakeholder survey, and (4) stakeholder telephone interviews.

    Respondents: Respondents include regional T/TA specialists, CCDF administrators, Head Start state and national collaboration office directors, and implementation planners and fiscal consultants.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    Stakeholder survey 350 1 2 0.5 175 Stakeholder telephone interviews 150 1 1 1.0 75

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 250.

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20201. Attention Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02351 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects

    Title: Procedures for Requests from Tribal Lead Agencies to use Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Funds for Construction or Major Renovation of Child Care Facilities.

    OMB No.: 0970-0160.

    Description: The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, as amended, allows Indian Tribes to use Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) grant awards for construction and renovation of child care facilities. A tribal grantee must first request and receive approval from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) before using CCDF funds for construction or major renovation. This information collection contains the statutorily-mandated uniform procedures for the solicitation and consideration of requests, including instructions for preparation of environmental assessments in conjunction with the National Environmental Policy Act. The proposed draft procedures update the procedures that were originally issued in August 1997 and incorporate changes made by the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, which now allows for a waiver to the requirement that the use of funds for construction or renovation does not result in the decrease in child care services. Respondents will be CCDF tribal grantees requesting to use CCDF funds for construction or major renovation.

    Respondents: Tribal Child Care Lead Agencies acting on behalf of Tribal Governments.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden
  • hours per
  • response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Construction or Major Renovation of Tribal Child Care Facilities 5 1 20 100

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 100.

    In compliance with the requirements of Section 506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02297 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension for a Currently Approved Collection, State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) AGENCY:

    Independent Living Administration, Administration for Community Living, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing that the proposed collection of information listed below has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow public comment in response to the notice.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by email to [email protected], Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Veronica Hogan, Administration for Community Living, Washington, DC 20201. Telephone: (202) 795-7365; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) Public Law (105-220) for the State Independent Living (SILS) and Centers for Independent Living (CIL) program authorized by title VII, chapter 1, of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA, Pub. L. 113-128) [Rehabilitation Act]. States are required to submit an approvable SPIL in order to receive federal funding under the State Independent Living Services (SILS) and Centers for Independent Living (CIL) programs authorized by title VII, chapter 1, of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Pub. L. 105-220). The SPIL encompasses the activities planned by the state to achieve its specified independent living objectives and reflects the state's commitment to comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements during the three years covered by the plan. Part I of the SPIL is a series of assurances, or statements of compliance, based on legal and regulatory provisions governing the SILS and CIL programs. Part II of the SPIL consists of narrative sections in which the state describes its independent living objectives, services, activities and operational details.

    If the SPIL is not extended and the data collection not conducted, ACL will not be authorized to fund the IL programs and, as a result, the availability of independent living services in the states will be severely limited.

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency request or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, ACL is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document. With respect to the following collection of information, ACL invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of ACL's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of ACL's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, 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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    The Independent Living Program is required by federal statute and regulation requires the collection of this information every three years. The three-year period for the next SPIL is FY 2017-2019. The SPIL provided in writing to the Administration for Community Living, Administration on Disabilities, Independent Living Administration. The five core services are: Advocacy, information and referral, independent living skills training, peer counseling, and transition services. WIOA included three prongs to the 5th core service:

    • Facilitating the transition of individuals with significant disabilities from nursing homes and other institutions to home and community-based residences, with the requisite supports and services;

    • Provide assistance to individuals with significant disabilities who are at risk of entering institutions so that the individuals may remain in the community, and

    • Facilitate the transition of youth who are individuals with significant disabilities, who were eligible for individualized education programs under section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (20 U.S.C. 1414(d)), and who have completed their secondary education or otherwise left school, to postsecondary life.

    ILA to track grant activities and create the annual reports, to Congress. ACL estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows: 56 SPIL respond annually which should be an average burden of 3,360 hours per State per year.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Kathy Greenlee, Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02348 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine; Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Statement of Organizations, Functions, and Delegations of Authority The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that it has reorganized the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine (OFVM), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) by establishing the new Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP). ODSP will consist of the Evaluation and Research Staff and the Regulatory Implementation Staff. This reorganization resulted in the retitling of the OFVM, CFSAN, Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements (ONLDS) to the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling (ONFL), and the abolishment of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs (DDSP) under ONLDS. This new organizational structure was approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services on XXXXX and effective upon signature.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Helio Chaves, Acting Associate Director for Management, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2471.

    I. Part D, Chapter D-B, (Food and Drug Administration), the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority for the Department of Health Human Services (35 FR 3685, February 25, 1970; 60 FR 56605, November 9, 1995; 64 FR 36361, July 6, 1999; 72 FR 50112, August 30, 2007; 74 FR 41713, August 18, 2009; and 76 FR 45270, July 28, 2011) is amended to reflect the transfer of DDSP functions and personnel into ODSP to better align the mission and day-to-day activities of DDSP. The reorganization brings more prominence to dietary supplements, which is a noteworthy interest to Congress, increasing the ability to recruit resources and expertise to ODSP, and allowing for a more strategic approach in how ODSP resources are utilized. ODSP will focus on ensuring the integrity of product identity, enhancing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliance even further through more enforcement and more education, increased attention to products with acute health hazards, finding efficiencies in New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) review process, and greater attention to claim substantiation. This reorganization is explained in Staff Manual Guides 1230A.1, 1231.20, and 1231.21.

    FDA, OVFM, CFSAN has been restructured as follows:

    DJJH ORGANIZATION. CFSAN is headed by the Center Director and includes the following organizational units:

    Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (DJJH) Office of the Center Director (DJJHA) Office of Management (DJJHB) Office of Analytics and Outreach (DJJHC) Office of Food Safety (DJJHD) Office of Cosmetics and Colors (DJJHE) Office of Regulatory Science (DJJHF) Office of Food Additive Safety (DJJHG) Office of Compliance (DJJHH) Office of Applied Research and Safety Assessment (DJJHI) Office of Regulations, Policy and Social Sciences (DJJHJ) Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling (DJJHK) Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (DJJHL)

    DJJHK ORGANIZATION. ONFL is headed by the Office Director and includes the following organizational units:

    Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling (DJJHK) Food Labeling and Standards Staff Nutrition Programs Staff

    DJJHL ORGANIZATION. ODSP is headed by the Office Director and includes the following organizational units:

    Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (DJJHL) Evaluation and Research Staff Regulatory Implementation Staff

    II. Delegations of Authority. Pending further delegation, directives, or orders by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, all delegations and re-delegations of authority made to officials and employees of affected organizational components will continue in them or their successors pending further re-delegations, provided they are consistent with this reorganization.

    III. Electronic Access. Persons interested in seeing the completed Staff Manual Guide can find it on FDA's Webs site at: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/StaffManualGuides/default.htm.

    Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3101.) Dated: December 22, 2015. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02444 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication; Disorders Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, NIDCD.

    The meeting will be closed to the public as indicated below in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended for the review, discussion, and evaluation of individual intramural programs and projects conducted by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, including consideration of personnel qualifications and performance, and the competence of individual investigators, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Board of Scientific Counselors, NIDCD.

    Date: March 8, 2016.

    Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Room 3C05, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Andrew J. Griffith, Ph.D., MD, Director, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 35A Convent Drive, GF 103 Rockville, MD 20892, 301-496-1960, [email protected]

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/about/groups/bsc/, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.173, Biological Research Related to Deafness and Communicative Disorders, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 2, 2016. Sylvia Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02318 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the National Library of Medicine Special Emphasis Panel, February 25, 2016, 12:00 p.m. to 04:00 p.m., National Library of Medicine, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 301, Bethesda, MD 20817 which was published in the Federal Register on January 26, 2016 (81 FR 4319).

    The meeting of the Special Emphasis Panel will be held on March 25, 2016 instead of February 25, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. and will end at 4:00 p.m. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02315 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Time-Sensitive Obesity.

    Date: March 18, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Two Democracy Plaza, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Michele L. Barnard, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Branch, DEA, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Room 753, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-2542, (301) 594-8898, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; PAR-13-305 Collaborative Interdisciplinary Team Science (R24): Pharmacological Action of Anti-Diabetes Drugs.

    Date: March 30, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Two Democracy Plaza, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Ann A. Jerkins, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Branch, DEA, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Room 759, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-5452, 301-594-2242, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; K12 UroEpi.

    Date: March 30, 2016.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Two Democracy Plaza, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Barbara A. Woynarowska, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Branch, DEA, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Room 754, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-5452, (301) 402-7172, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.847, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Research; 93.848, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Research; 93.849, Kidney Diseases, Urology and Hematology Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 2, 2016. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02317 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Grant Review for NHLBI K Award Recipients.

    Date: March 1, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda Marriott Suites, 6711 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20817.

    Contact Person: Melissa E Nagelin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Scientific Review/DERA National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7202, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-0297, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.233, National Center for Sleep Disorders Research; 93.837, Heart and Vascular Diseases Research; 93.838, Lung Diseases Research; 93.839, Blood Diseases and Resources Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 2, 2016. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02316 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0004] Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Exportation of Articles Under Special Bond AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; Extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: Application for Exportation of Articles under Special Bond (CBP Form 3495). This is a proposed extension of an information collection that was previously approved. CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected. This document is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before March 9, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Tracey Denning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, at 202-325-0265.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (80 FR 62085) on October 15, 2015, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10. CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13; 44 U.S.C. 3507). The comments should address: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden, including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology; and (e) the annual costs to respondents or record keepers from the collection of information (total capital/startup costs and operations and maintenance costs). The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the CBP request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. In this document, CBP is soliciting comments concerning the following information collection:

    Title: Application for Exportation of Articles under Special Bond.

    OMB Number: 1651-0004.

    Form Number: CBP Form 3495.

    Abstract: CBP Form 3495, Application for Exportation of Articles Under Special Bond, is an application for exportation of articles entered under temporary bond pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1202, Chapter 98, subchapter XIII, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, and 19 CFR 10.38. CBP Form 3495 is used by importers to notify CBP that the importer intends to export goods that were subject to a duty exemption based on a temporary stay in this country. It also serves as a permit to export in order to satisfy the importer's obligation to export the same goods and thereby get a duty exemption. This form is accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/forms?title=3495&=Apply.

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to the information being collected.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 500.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 30.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 15,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,000.

    Dated: February 1, 2016. Tracey Denning, Agency Clearance Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02398 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Quarterly IRS Interest Rates Used in Calculating Interest on Overdue Accounts and Refunds on Customs Duties AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    General notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice advises the public that the quarterly Internal Revenue Service interest rates used to calculate interest on overdue accounts (underpayments) and refunds (overpayments) of customs duties remain unchanged from the previous quarter. For the calendar quarter beginning January 1, 2016, the interest rates for overpayments will be 2 percent for corporations and 3 percent for non-corporations, and the interest rate for underpayments will be 3 percent for both corporations and non-corporations. This notice is published for the convenience of the importing public and U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: January 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael P. Dean, Revenue Division, Collection and Refunds Branch, 6650 Telecom Drive, Suite #100, Indianapolis, Indiana 46278; telephone (317) 614-4882.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1505 and Treasury Decision 85-93, published in the Federal Register on May 29, 1985 (50 FR 21832), the interest rate paid on applicable overpayments or underpayments of customs duties must be in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code rate established under 26 U.S.C. 6621 and 6622. Section 6621 provides different interest rates applicable to overpayments: One for corporations and one for non-corporations.

    The interest rates are based on the Federal short-term rate and determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on behalf of the Secretary of the Treasury on a quarterly basis. The rates effective for a quarter are determined during the first-month period of the previous quarter.

    In Revenue Ruling 2015-23, the IRS determined the rates of interest for the calendar quarter beginning January 1, 2016, and ending on March 31, 2016. The interest rate paid to the Treasury for underpayments will be the Federal short-term rate (1%) plus two percentage points (2%) for a total of three percent (3%) for both corporations and non-corporations. For corporate overpayments, the rate is the Federal short-term rate (1%) plus one percentage point (1%) for a total of two percent (2%). For overpayments made by non-corporations, the rate is the Federal short-term rate (1%) plus two percentage points (2%) for a total of three percent (3%). These interest rates are subject to change for the calendar quarter beginning April 1, 2016, and ending June 30, 2016.

    For the convenience of the importing public and U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel the following list of IRS interest rates used, covering the period from before July of 1974 to date, to calculate interest on overdue accounts and refunds of customs duties, is published in summary format.

    Beginning date Ending
  • date
  • Under-payments
  • (percent)
  • Over-payments
  • (percent)
  • Corporate overpayments
  • (Eff. 1-1-99)
  • (percent)
  • 070174 063075 6 6 070175 013176 9 9 020176 013178 7 7 020178 013180 6 6 020180 013182 12 12 020182 123182 20 20 010183 063083 16 16 070183 123184 11 11 010185 063085 13 13 070185 123185 11 11 010186 063086 10 10 070186 123186 9 9 010187 093087 9 8 100187 123187 10 9 010188 033188 11 10 040188 093088 10 9 100188 033189 11 10 040189 093089 12 11 100189 033191 11 10 040191 123191 10 9 010192 033192 9 8 040192 093092 8 7 100192 063094 7 6 070194 093094 8 7 100194 033195 9 8 040195 063095 10 9 070195 033196 9 8 040196 063096 8 7 070196 033198 9 8 040198 123198 8 7 010199 033199 7 7 6 040199 033100 8 8 7 040100 033101 9 9 8 040101 063001 8 8 7 070101 123101 7 7 6 010102 123102 6 6 5 010103 093003 5 5 4 100103 033104 4 4 3 040104 063004 5 5 4 070104 093004 4 4 3 100104 033105 5 5 4 040105 093005 6 6 5 100105 063006 7 7 6 070106 123107 8 8 7 010108 033108 7 7 6 040108 063008 6 6 5 070108 093008 5 5 4 100108 123108 6 6 5 010109 033109 5 5 4 040109 123110 4 4 3 010111 033111 3 3 2 040111 093011 4 4 3 100111 033116 3 3 2
    Dated: February 3, 2016. R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02402 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0057] Agency Information Collection Activities: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or Holders AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; Extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or Holders. This is a proposed extension of an information collection that was previously approved. CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected. This document is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before March 9, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Tracey Denning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, at 202-325-0265.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (80 FR 60396) on October 6, 2015, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10. CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13; 44 U.S.C. 3507). The comments should address: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden, including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology; and (e) the annual costs to respondents or record keepers from the collection of information (total capital/startup costs and operations and maintenance costs). The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the CBP request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. In this document, CBP is soliciting comments concerning the following information collection:

    Title: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or Holders.

    OMB Number: 1651-0057.

    Abstract: Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1304, requires each imported article of foreign origin, or its container, to be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article or container permits, with the English name of the country of origin. The marking informs the ultimate purchaser in the United States of the name country in which the article was manufactured or produced. The marking requirements for containers are provided for by 19 CFR 134.22(b).

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 250.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 40.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 seconds.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 41.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Tracey Denning, Agency Clearance Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02401 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Approval of SGS North America, Inc., as a Commercial Gauger AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of approval of SGS North America, Inc., as a commercial gauger.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that SGS North America, Inc., has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of April 29, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective dates: The approval of SGS North America, Inc., as a commercial gauger became effective on April 29, 2015. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for April 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Approved Gauger and Accredited Laboratories Manager, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202-344-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.13, that SGS North America, Inc., 2800 Loop 197 South, Texas City, TX 77590, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.13. SGS North America, Inc., is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the American Petroleum Institute (API):

    API
  • chapters
  • Title
    3 Tank gauging. 7 Temperature Determination. 8 Sampling. 12 Calculations. 17 Maritime Measurements.

    Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific gauger service this entity is approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344-1060. The inquiry may also be sent to [email protected] Please reference the following Web site for the current CBP Approved Gaugers and Accredited Laboratories List.

    http://www.cbp.gov/about/labs-scientific/commercial-gaugers-and-laboratories Dated: January 29, 2016. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02400 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Approval of SGS North America, Inc., as a Commercial Gauger AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of approval of SGS North America, Inc., as a commercial gauger.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that SGS North America, Inc., has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of August 11, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective Dates: The approval of SGS North America, Inc., as a commercial gauger became effective on August 2015. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for August 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Approved Gauger and Accredited Laboratories Manager, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202-344-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.13, that SGS North America, Inc., 4701 East Napoleon (Hwy 90), Sulphur, LA 70663, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.13. SGS North America, Inc., is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the American Petroleum Institute (API):

    API
  • chapters
  • Title
    3 Tank gauging. 7 Temperature Determination. 8 Sampling. 12 Calculations. 17 Maritime Measurements.

    Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific gauger service this entity is approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344-1060. The inquiry may also be sent to [email protected] Please reference the following Web site for the current CBP Approved Gaugers and Accredited Laboratories List.

    http://www.cbp.gov/about/labs-scientific/commercial-gaugers-and-laboratories Dated: January 29, 2016. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02399 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No. DHS-2012-0022] Technical Resource for Incident Prevention (TRIPwire) User Registration AGENCY:

    National Protection and Programs Directorate, DHS.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice and request for comments; Extension of previously approved collection: 1670-0028.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security Headquarters (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), Protective Security Coordination Division (PSCD), Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) will submit the following Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). NPPD is soliciting comments concerning New Information Collection Request—Technical Resource for Incident Prevention (TRIPwire) User Registration. DHS previously published this ICR in the Federal Register on September 4, 2015, for a 60-day public comment period. DHS received no comments. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until March 9, 2016. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB. Comments should be addressed to OMB Desk Officer, DHS, Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Comments must be identified by “DHS-2012-0022” and may be submitted by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 395-5806.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number for this action. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dennis Malloy, DHS/NPPD/IP/PSCD/OBP, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    TRIPWire is OBP's online, collaborative, information-sharing network for bomb squad, law enforcement, and other emergency services personnel to learn about current terrorist improvised explosive device (IED) tactics, techniques, and procedures, including design and emplacement considerations. TRIPwire was established as an IED information-sharing resource under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 19 (HSPD-19), which calls for a unified national policy for the prevention and detection of, protection against, and response to terrorist use of explosives in the United States. Users from Federal, State, local, and tribal government entities; as well as business and for-profit industries can register through the TRIPwire Secure Portal. The TRIPwire portal contains sensitive information related to terrorist use of explosives, and, therefore, user information is needed to verify eligibility and access to the system. TRIPwire applicants must provide their full name, assignment, citizenship, job title, employer name, professional address and contact information, as well as an Employment Verification Contact and their contact information. The system does not store sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) such as social security numbers. The collection of PII by TRIPwire to establish user accounts occurs in accordance with the DHS Privacy Impact Assessment PIA-015, “DHS Web Portals,” DHS/ALL-004—General Information Technology Access Account Records System (GITAARS) November 27, 2012, 77 FR 70792, and DHS/ALL-002—Department of Homeland Security Mailing and Other Lists System November 25, 2008, 73 FR 71659. Participation in TRIPwire is voluntary. However, those who choose to participate are required to complete the registration process to obtain access. This requirement is designed to measure users' suitability to access the secure environment.

    The information collected during the TRIPwire user registration process is reviewed electronically by the TRIPwire team to vet the user's “need to know,” which determines their eligibility for and access to TRIPwire. Memberships are re-verified annually based on the information users provide upon registration or communication with the TRIPwire help desk analysts. The information collected is for internal TRIPwire and OBP use only.

    Analysis

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Protective Security Coordination Division, Office for Bombing Prevention.

    Title: Technical Resource for Incident Prevention (TRIPwire) User Registration.

    OMB Number: 1670-0028.

    Frequency: Once.

    Affected Public: Federal, State, local, and tribal government entities, business, and for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 3,500 respondents (estimate).

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 10 minutes.

    Total Burden Hours: 595 annual burden hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

    Total Recordkeeping Burden: $0 (This assessment resides on the TRIPwire Portal, and there is no cost associated with the recordkeeping of TRIPwire-related information.)

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): $16,006.

    Dated: February 1, 2016. David Epperson, Chief Information Officer, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02354 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-9P-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No. DHS-2014-0010] Infrastructure Assessments and Training AGENCY:

    National Protection and Programs Directorate, DHS.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice and request for comments; Reinstatement, with change, of a previously approved collection: 1670-0009.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), Infrastructure Information Collection Division (IICD), Infrastructure Protection Gateway (IP Gateway) Program will submit the following Information Collection Request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until March 9, 2016. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and questions about this Information Collection Request should be forwarded to DHS/NPPD/IP/IICD, 245 Murray Lane SW., Mail Stop 0602, Arlington, VA 20598-0602. Emailed requests should go to Kimberly Sass, [email protected] Written comments should reach the contact person listed no later than March 9, 2016. Comments must be identified by “DHS-2014-0010”and may be submitted by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: Include the docket number in the subject line of the message.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number for this action. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kimberly Sass, DHS/NPPD/IP/IICD, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the direction of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7 (2003), Presidential Policy Directive-21, and the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2013); NPPD/IP has developed the IP Gateway, a centrally managed repository of infrastructure capabilities allowing the Critical Infrastructure (CI) community to work in conjunction with each other toward the same goals. This collection encompasses three IP Gateway functions: General User Registration, Chemical Security Awareness Training Registration, and a User Satisfaction Survey. Upon requesting access to the IP Gateway, the multi-screen registration form requests the user's full name, work address, contact information Protected Critical Infrastructure (PCII) training status, citizenship status, supervisor and sponsor information, and additional questions related to the user's role in using the information. Upon registering for Chemical Security Awareness Training, a collection form requests the trainee's desired username, password, proposed secret question & response, and company type, size, name, & location. For the voluntary User Satisfaction Survey, the collection form requests information regarding the user's job duties, types of information sought via the IP Gateway, access patterns, and system usability ratings. The survey information will be used to evaluate program and training performance as well as to gather any additional requirements for future IP Gateway system updates.

    Analysis

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Infrastructure Information Collection Division.

    Title: Infrastructure Assessments and Training.

    OMB Number: 1670-0009.

    Frequency: Annually, quarterly, monthly, and weekly.

    Affected Public: Chief Information Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Technology Officers, and Federal and State, local, tribal and territorial communities involved in the protection of CI.

    Number of Respondents: 9000 respondents (estimate).

    Estimated Time per Respondent: .5 hours (estimate).

    Total Burden Hours: 4,500 annual burden hours (estimate).

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

    Total Recordkeeping Burden: $0.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): $106,515.50 (estimate).

    Dated: February 1, 2016. David Epperson, Chief Information Officer, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02355 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-9P-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No. DHS-2015-0028] Gratuitous Services Agreement and Volunteer Release and Hold Harmless AGENCY:

    National Protection and Programs Directorate, DHS.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; New Information Collection Request: 1670—NEW.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), Protective Security Coordination Division (PSCD), Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP), will submit the following Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). NPPD is soliciting comments concerning New Information Collection Request, Gratuitous Services Agreement and Volunteer Release and Hold Harmless form. DHS previously published this ICR in the Federal Register on August 20, 2015 (80 FR 50649), for a 60-day public comment period. DHS received no comments. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until March 9, 2016. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to DHS/NPPD/IP/PSCD/OBP, 245 Murray Lane SW., Mail Stop 0612, Washington, DC 20528-0612. Emailed requests should go to [email protected] Comments must be identified by DHS-2015-0028 and may be submitted by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 395-5806.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number for this action. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    DHS/NPPD/IP/PSCD/OBP, 245 Murray Lane SW., Mail Stop 0612, Washington, DC 20528-0612 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gratuitous Services Agreement and Volunteer Release and Hold Harmless form will be provided to participants of OBP trainings. The participants will be emergency response personnel training with DHS OBP personnel. The collection of this information is necessary in the case that an individual who acts as a volunteer role player in support of official OBP training sustains an injury or death during the performance of his or her supporting role. If legal action is taken, this information can serve as a “hold harmless” statement/agreement by the Government. The purpose of the Gratuitous Services Agreement is to establish that no monies, favors or other compensation will be given or received by either parties involved.

    Analysis

    Agency: Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Protective Security Coordination Division, Office for Bombing Prevention.

    Title: Gratuitous Services Agreement and Volunteer Release and Hold Harmless form.

    OMB Number: 1670-NEW.

    Frequency: Varies.

    Affected Public: Participants in OBP training to include, but not limited to, emergency response personnel, firefighters, police officers, emergency medical teams, and emergency management personnel.

    Number of Respondents: 750 respondents (estimate).

    Estimated Time per Respondent: .2 hours.

    Total Burden Hours: 150 annual burden hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

    Total Recordkeeping Burden: $0.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): $6,831.00.

    Dated: February 1, 2016. David Epperson, Chief Information Officer, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02356 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-9P-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration [Docket No. TSA-2009-0018] Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Certified Cargo Screening Program AGENCY:

    Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has forwarded the Information Collection Request (ICR), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 1652-0053, abstracted below to OMB for renewal in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. TSA published a Federal Register notice, with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments, of the following collection of information on November 30, 2015, 80 FR 74786. The collection involves: (1) Applications from entities that wish to become Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSFs); (2) personally identifiable information to allow TSA to conduct security threat assessments on certain individuals employed by the CCSFs; (3) standard security programs or submission of a proposed modified security program or amendment to a security program; and (4) recordkeeping requirements for CCSFs. TSA is seeking the renewal of the ICR for the continuation of the Certified Cargo Screening Program in order to secure passenger aircraft carrying cargo.

    DATES:

    Send your comments by March 9, 2016. A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB. Comments should be addressed to Desk Officer, Department of Homeland Security/TSA, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina A. Walsh, TSA PRA Officer, Office of Information Technology (OIT), TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6011; telephone (571) 227-2062; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation is available at http://www.reginfo.gov. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting comments to—

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Information Collection Requirement

    Title: Certified Cargo Screening Program.

    Type of Request: Renewal of one currently approved ICR.

    OMB Control Number: 1652-0053.

    Forms(s): The forms used for this collection of information include CCSF Facility Profile Application (TSA Form 419B), CCSF Principal Attestation (TSA Form 419D), Security Profile (TSA Form 419E), and the Security Threat Assessment Application (TSA Form 419F).

    Affected Public: The collections of information that make up this ICR involve entities other than aircraft operators and include facilities upstream in the air cargo supply chain, such as shippers, manufacturers, warehousing entities, distributors, third party logistics companies, and indirect air carriers located in the United States.

    Abstract: TSA is seeking continued approval from OMB for the collection of information contained in the ICR. Companies seeking to become CCSFs are required to submit an application to TSA at least 90 calendar days before the intended date of operation, to include quantity, make, and model of the technology(ies) used to screen cargo. Prior to certification, the CCSF must also submit to an assessment of its facility by TSA. Once certified, the CCSF must operate in accordance with a TSA-approved security program. CCSFs must also collect personal information and submit such information to TSA so that TSA may conduct security threat assessments for individuals with unescorted access to cargo, and who have responsibility for screening cargo under title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) parts 1544, 1546, 1548, and 1549. CCSFs must also maintain screening, training, and other security-related records of compliance.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 18,290.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 7125.24 hours annually.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Christina A. Walsh, Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02341 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0126] Agency Information Collection Activities: Collection of Qualitative Feedback Through Focus Groups; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection notice was previously published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2015, at 80 FR 71817, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. USCIS did receive one comment in connection with the 60-day notice.

    DATES:

    The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until March 9, 2016. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, must be directed to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer via email at [email protected] Comments may also be submitted via fax at (202) 395-5806 (This is not a toll-free number). All submissions received must include the agency name and the OMB Control Number 1615-0126.

    You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make. For additional information please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, Acting Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140, Telephone number (202) 272-8377 (This is not a toll-free number. Comments are not accepted via telephone message). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283; TTY (800) 767-1833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2012-0004 in the search box. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection Request: Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Collection of Qualitative Feedback through Focus Groups.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: No Agency Form Number; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit. The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback USCIS means information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but not responses to statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide information on customer and stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, and/or focus attention on areas where communication, training, or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders and contribute directly to the improvement of program management. Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful information, but it will not be generalized to the overall population. This data collection will not be used to generate quantitative information that is designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 3000 respondents × 1.5 hours per response.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 4,500 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $0.

    Dated: February 3, 2016. Samantha Deshommes, Acting Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02409 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5913-N-04] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Eligibility of a Nonprofit Corporation/Housing Consultant Certification AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theodore F. Toon, Director Multifamily Housing Development, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410, email [email protected] or telephone 202-402-1142. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Eligibility of a Nonprofit Corporation/Housing Consultant Certification.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0057.

    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: HUD-3433, HUD-3434, HUD-3435, HUD-92531.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: The information collected on the “Eligibility of a Nonprofit Corpoeration/Houisng Consultant Certification” document provides HUD with vital information to determine whether the sponsor has qualifications necessary for successful sponsorship of housing projects. HUD-3433 provides a description of the relationship between the nonproftit and profit motivated entities involve in the transaction. HUD-3434 provides a determination of eligibility or ineligibility of the nonprofits before initial endorsement. Form HUD-92531 assure the consultant certifies that no payment has been or will be received either in the form of stock, options to buy stock or compensatory professional or financial services from any parties to the transaction.

    Respondents: Nonprofit sponsors or Nonprofit mortgagors.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 70.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 80.

    Frequency of Response: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: 2.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 36.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Janet M. Golrick, Associate General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing—Associate Deputy Federal Housing Commissioner.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02389 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5885-N-04] Final Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2016; Revised AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Final Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Fair Market Rents (FMRs), Update.

    SUMMARY:

    Today's notice updates the FY 2016 FMRs for Oakland-Fremont, CA HUD Metro FMR Area, based on surveys conducted in December 2015 by the area public housing agencies (PHAs). The FY 2016 FMRs for these areas reflect the estimated 40th percentile rent levels trended to April 1, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The FMRs published in this notice are effective on February 8, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information on the methodology used to develop FMRs or a listing of all FMRs, please call the HUD USER information line at 800-245-2691 or access the information on the HUD USER Web site: http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html. FMRs are listed at the 40th or 50th percentile in Schedule B. For informational purposes, 40th percentile recent-mover rents for the areas with 50th percentile FMRs will be provided in the HUD FY 2016 FMR documentation system at http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmrs/docsys.html?data=fmr16 and 50th percentile rents for all FMR areas are published http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/50per.html.

    Questions related to use of FMRs or voucher payment standards should be directed to the respective local HUD program staff. Questions on how to conduct FMR surveys or concerning further methodological explanations may be addressed to Marie L. Lihn or Peter B. Kahn, Economic and Market Analysis Division, Office of Economic Affairs, Office of Policy Development and Research, telephone 202-402-2409. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. (Other than the HUD USER information line and TDD numbers, telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FMRs appearing in the following table supersede the values found in Schedule B that became effective on December 11, 2015, and were printed in the December 11, 2015 Federal Register (80 FR 77124) (available from HUD at: http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html.

    The FMRs for the affected area are revised as follows:

    2016 Fair Market Rent Area FMR by number of bedrooms in unit 0 BR 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4 BR Oakland-Fremont, CA HUD Metro FMR Area 1380 1663 2103 2932 3268 Dated: January 26, 2016. Katherine M. O'Regan, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development & Research.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02383 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5916-N-01] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Screening and Eviction for Drug Abuse and Other Criminal Activity AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, PIH, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arlette Mussington, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., (L'Enfant Plaza, Room 2206), Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202-402-4109, (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Mussington.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Screening and Eviction for Drug Abuse and Other Criminal Activity.

    OMB Approval Number: 2577-0232.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: The information and collection requirements consist of PHA screening requirements to obtain criminal conviction records from law enforcement agencies to prevent admission of criminals into the public housing and Section 8 programs and to assist in lease enforcement and eviction of those individuals in the public housing and Section 8 programs who engage in criminal activity.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): State, Local or Tribal Government, Public Housing Agencies, (PHAs), Individuals or Households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 3946.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 5,497,832.

    Frequency of Response: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: 1.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 2,118,814 hours.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: January 29, 2016. Merrie Nichols-Dixon, Deputy Director, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02322 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5910-N-01] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Validating Estimates of CPD Grantee Accrued Expenses AGENCY:

    The Office of Community Planning and Development, HUD

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Enzel, Director, OTAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email [email protected] or telephone 202-402-5557. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Validating Estimates of CPD Grantee Accrued Expenses.

    OMB Approval Number: 2506—New.

    Type of Request: New.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use:

    Respondents: Grantees.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 200.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 200.

    Frequency of Response: Yearly.

    Average Hours per Response: 4hrs.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 4hrs.

    Information
  • collection
  • Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of
  • response
  • Responses
  • per annum
  • Burden hour per response Annual burden hours Hourly cost per response Annual cost
    200 Annually 200 4 4 0.00 0.00 Total 200 Annually 200 4 4 0.00 0.00
    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Harriet Tregoning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02388 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R5-NCTC-2016-N018; FF09X35000-167-FXGO16610900600] Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; UCAN Survey—National Initiative To Understand and Connect Americans and Nature AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. We summarize the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. We may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    You must submit comments on or before March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments and suggestions on this information collection to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-5806 (fax) or [email protected] (email). Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail), or [email protected] (email). Please include “1018-UCAN Survey” in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this ICR, contact Hope Grey at [email protected] (email) or 703-358-2482 (telephone). You may review the ICR online at http://www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to review Department of the Interior collections under review by OMB.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Information Collection Request

    OMB Control Number: 1018—New.

    Title: UCAN Survey—National Initiative to Understand and Connect Americans and Nature.

    Service Form Number: None.

    Type of Request: Request for a new OMB control number.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 8,950.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Frequency of Collection: One time.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 8,950.

    Completion Time per Response: 20 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,983.

    Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

    Abstract: Nature and the outdoors have always been an important part of the fabric of American life. However, there are major questions about the present and future role of nature and the outdoors in our increasingly diverse, technologically oriented, and rapidly changing society. For our programs to remain relevant to American life today and tomorrow, we must be aware of public sentiment toward the part nature plays in the quality of our lifestyles.

    It is for these reasons that we plan to use a quantitative survey to collect information on the attitudes that the public maintains towards the natural environment; the effects of contact with nature on participants' health and quality of life; the extent of contact with nature and obstacles to greater contact with nature; general knowledge of nature and wildlife; concerns toward selected environmental issues; and socio-demographic variables. Results will help improve the design and delivery of new or existing programs aimed at engaging the public in nature-related activities (e.g., outreach and educational programming at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries).

    Comments Received and Our Responses

    On May 19, 2015, we published in the Federal Register (80 FR 28638) a notice of our intent to request that OMB approve this information collection. In that notice, we solicited comments for 60 days, ending on July 20, 2015. We received one comment. The commenter objected to the use of taxpayer dollars for the survey, but did not address the information collection requirements. We did not make any changes to the survey based on this comment.

    Request for Public Comments

    We again invite comments concerning this information collection on:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask OMB and us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Tina A. Campbell, Chief, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02352 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary [15XD5141GM DGM000000.000000 6100.241A0 DN18000000] Proposed Appointment to the National Indian Gaming Commission AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act provides for a three-person National Indian Gaming Commission. One member, the Chair, is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Two associate members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary). Before appointing members, the Secretary is required to provide public notice of a proposed appointment and allow a comment period. Notice is hereby given of the proposed appointment of Kathryn Isom-Clause as an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Commission for a term of 3 years.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before March 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to the Director, Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 7328, Washington, DC 20240.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Michael Hoenig, National Indian Gaming Commission, c/o Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 1621, Washington, DC 20240; telephone (202) 632-7003; facsimile (202) 632-7066.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq., established the National Indian Gaming Commission (Commission), composed of three full-time members. Commission members serve for a term of 3 years. The Chair is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The two associate members are appointed by the Secretary. Before appointing an associate member to the Commission, the Secretary is required to “publish in the Federal Register the name and other information the Secretary deems pertinent regarding a nominee for membership on the Commission and . . . allow a period of not less than thirty days for receipt of public comments.” See 25 U.S.C. 2704(b)(2)(B).

    The Secretary proposes to appoint Kathryn Isom-Clause as an associate member of the Commission for a term of 3 years. Ms. Isom-Clause is a citizen of the Taos Pueblo and is well qualified to be a member of the National Indian Gaming Commission by virtue of her extensive background and experience in Indian gaming, as well as a broad spectrum of other Native American issues.

    In her current position as Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior, Ms. Isom-Clause provides policy guidance to the Assistant Secretary on gaming matters, including the review and analysis of revenue allocation plans, tribal-state gaming compacts, and environmental compliance issues. In addition to her work on gaming issues, Ms. Isom-Clause chairs and participates on a number of working groups and committees covering a variety of issues important to Indian Affairs. Before serving as Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, Ms. Isom-Clause served as an attorney representing tribal clients throughout the United States.

    Ms. Isom-Clause's experience with Indian gaming specifically, as well as her wide experience in Federal Indian law and policy, makes her a highly qualified candidate for membership on the National Indian Gaming Commission. Her extensive knowledge and experience will enrich the Commission's deliberations and contribute to informed decisions that promote the integrity and economic viability of Indian gaming.

    Ms. Isom-Clause does not have any financial interests that would make her ineligible to serve on the Commission under 25 U.S.C. 2704(b)(5)(B) or (C).

    Any person wishing to submit comments on this proposed appointment of Kathryn Isom-Clause may submit written comments to the address listed above. Comments must be received by March 9, 2016.

    Dated: February 2, 2016. Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02349 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 167S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 16XS501520] North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining Draft Petition Evaluation Document and Environmental Impact Statement—OSM-EIS-37 AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Reopening of the public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 11, 2015, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) announced the availability for public review and comment of the draft Petition Evaluation Document and Environmental Impact Statement (PED/EIS) for the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area Petition to Find Certain Lands Unsuitable for Surface Coal Mining Operations. The comment period ended on January 25, 2016. After receiving multiple requests for additional time to prepare and submit comments, OSMRE has decided to reopen the comment period for submitting comments regarding the draft PED/EIS. The comment period is reopened through February 26, 2016.

    DATES:

    Electronic or written comments: OSMRE will accept electronic or written comments, data, and information in response to the draft PED/EIS received no later than February 26, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted using any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments: http://www.osmre.gov/programs/rcm/TNLUM.shtm. Please follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail/Hand-Delivery/Courier: Earl D. Bandy Jr., Director—Knoxville Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, John J. Duncan Federal Building, 710 Locust Street, 2nd Floor Knoxville, Tennessee 37902.

    You may review the draft PED/EIS online at http://www.osmre.gov/programs/rcm/TNLUM.shtm. You also may review these documents in person at the location listed below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Earl D. Bandy Jr., Director—Knoxville Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, John J. Duncan Federal Building, 710 Locust Street, 2nd Floor, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. Telephone: 865-545-4103. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 11, 2015, OSMRE announced the availability for public review and comment of the draft Petition Evaluation Document and Environmental Impact Statement for the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area Petition to Find Certain Lands Unsuitable for Surface Coal Mining Operations. 80 FR 77018 (Dec. 11, 2015). The notice provided for the submission of comments by January 25, 2016.

    OSMRE received multiple requests, including a letter from five members of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation, that OSMRE provide additional time for the public to prepare and submit comments. In response to these requests, OSMRE is reopening the public comment period to allow interested parties to provide OSMRE with written comments in response to the draft PED/EIS.

    OSMRE will consider any comments in response to the draft PED/EIS received by midnight of February 26, 2016, and deems any comments received by that time to be timely submitted.

    Authority:

    40 CFR 1506.1, 40 CFR 1506.6.

    Dated: February 1, 2016. Thomas D. Shope, Regional Director, Appalachian Region.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02449 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-125 (Fourth Review)] Potassium Permanganate From China Determination

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject five-year review, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, that revocation of the antidumping duty order on Potassium Permanganate from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Background

    The Commission, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), instituted this review on September 1, 2015 (80 FR 52743) and determined on December 7, 2015 that it would conduct an expedited review (80 FR 79097, December 18, 2015).

    The Commission made this determination pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)). It completed and filed its determination in this review on February 2, 2016.2 The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4590 (January 2016), entitled Potassium Permanganate from China: Investigation No. 731-TA-125 (Fourth Review).

    2 The Commission has the authority to toll statutory deadlines during a period when the federal government is closed. Because the Commission was closed on January 25 and 26, 2016 due to inclement weather in Washington, DC, the Commission tolled the statutory deadline in this review by two days.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: February 2, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02344 Filed 2-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain Hospital Beds, and Components Thereof DN 3117; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing under section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.8(b)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS.1 and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    1 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at USITC.2 The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS.3 Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    2 United States International Trade Commission (USITC): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of Stryker Corporation on February 1, 2016. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain hospital beds, and components thereof. The complaint names as respondents Umano Médical Inc. of Canada; and Umano Médical World Inc. of Canada. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order, a cease and desist order, and impose a bond upon respondents' alleged infringing articles during the 60-day Presidential review period pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1337(j).

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or section 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy,