Federal Register Vol. 81, No.36,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 36 (February 24, 2016)

Page Range9081-9329
FR Document

81_FR_36
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 9327 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to LibyaPDF
81 FR 9117 - Commercial Zones at International Border With MexicoPDF
81 FR 9214 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Public Housing Agency (PHA) 5-Year and Annual PlanPDF
81 FR 9215 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Public Housing Capital Fund ProgramPDF
81 FR 9168 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9168 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 9197 - KSB Shipping & Logistics LLC v. Direct Container Line aka Vanguard Logistics; Notice of Filing of Complaint and AssignmentPDF
81 FR 9197 - Notice of Agreement FiledPDF
81 FR 9225 - NASA Advisory Council; Aeronautics Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 9213 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Previous Participation CertificationPDF
81 FR 9212 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Manufactured Housing SurveyPDF
81 FR 9203 - Request for Expressions of Interest From Coverage Organizations; Coverage Organizations Interested in Providing Input Regarding Private Payer Coverage to Medical Device Sponsors Who Request Their Participation in a Pre-Submission Meeting With the Food and Drug AdministrationPDF
81 FR 9201 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9196 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10227, Champion Bank, Creve Coeur, MOPDF
81 FR 9122 - Country-by-Country Reporting; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 9169 - Open Meeting of the Information Security and Privacy Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 9226 - Human Factors EngineeringPDF
81 FR 9164 - National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning RulePDF
81 FR 9168 - Foreign-Trade Zone 70-Detroit, Michigan; Application for Reorganization (Expansion of Service Area) Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
81 FR 9226 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 9109 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atchafalaya River, Morgan City, LAPDF
81 FR 9161 - Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Pesticide ResiduesPDF
81 FR 9224 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Modification Under the Clean Water ActPDF
81 FR 9230 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 9229 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 9211 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; The Declaration Process: Requests for Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA), Requests for Supplemental Federal Disaster Assistance, Appeals, and Requests for Cost Share AdjustmentsPDF
81 FR 9210 - Technical Mapping Advisory Council MeetingPDF
81 FR 9242 - Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Fables Across Time: Kalila and Dimna” ExhibitionPDF
81 FR 9242 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus” ExhibitionPDF
81 FR 9225 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 9205 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9171 - Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 9196 - Notice of Annual Adjustment of the Cap on Average Total Assets That Defines Community Financial InstitutionsPDF
81 FR 9174 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 9159 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 17 to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management PlanPDF
81 FR 9165 - Caribou-Targhee National Forest; Ashton/Island Park Ranger Station; Idaho; Buffalo TSIPDF
81 FR 9248 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9217 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference Advisory; Committee on Rules of Appellate ProcedurePDF
81 FR 9121 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
81 FR 9122 - Reauthorization of the United States Grain Standards Act; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
81 FR 9161 - Board for International Food and Agricultural Development; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 9198 - Availability of Draft Toxicological Profiles; Jet Fuels and 1-BromopropanePDF
81 FR 9105 - Establishment of the Lamorinda Viticultural AreaPDF
81 FR 9245 - Proposed Information Collections; Comment Request (No. 58)PDF
81 FR 9172 - Community Broadband SummitPDF
81 FR 9220 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Chemtos, LLCPDF
81 FR 9220 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Insys Therapeutics, Inc.PDF
81 FR 9217 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Cayman Chemical CompanyPDF
81 FR 9219 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals, Inc.PDF
81 FR 9219 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc.PDF
81 FR 9169 - Export Trade Certificate of ReviewPDF
81 FR 9176 - DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 9175 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PaducahPDF
81 FR 9176 - Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 9089 - Change of Controlling Agency for Selected Restricted Areas; North CarolinaPDF
81 FR 9163 - North Central Idaho Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 9162 - Trinity County Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 9163 - Notice of New Fee SitesPDF
81 FR 9180 - Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 9179 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725J); Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
81 FR 9182 - Essential Reliability Services and the Evolving Bulk-Power System-Primary Frequency ResponsePDF
81 FR 9192 - Notice Revising Post-Technical Conference Comment SchedulePDF
81 FR 9182 - Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
81 FR 9193 - West-Wide Must-Offer Requirements; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective DatePDF
81 FR 9177 - Dominion Transmission, Inc.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Leidy South ProjectPDF
81 FR 9178 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 9180 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 9139 - Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; Withdrawal of Finding and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Liberty Reserve S.A.PDF
81 FR 9192 - Billing Procedures for Annual Charges for Recompensing the United States for the Use, Occupancy, and Enjoyment of Federal Lands; Notice of Statement of Annual Charges for the Use of Government Lands for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
81 FR 9180 - Energy Resources USA Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 9177 - Energy Resources USA Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 9193 - Flambeau Hydro, LLC; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
81 FR 9181 - Platte River Midstream, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
81 FR 9193 - Belliveau, Robert G.; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 9198 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 9200 - Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 9216 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Federal Subsistence Regulations and Associated FormsPDF
81 FR 9194 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9197 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 9209 - Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 9227 - Information Collection: Operators' LicensesPDF
81 FR 9228 - Information Collection: Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive MaterialPDF
81 FR 9167 - National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning RulePDF
81 FR 9173 - Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9090 - Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower LicenseesPDF
81 FR 9242 - Noise Exposure Map Notice for Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 9194 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
81 FR 9235 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Require Registration as Securities Traders of Associated Persons Primarily Responsible for the Design, Development or Significant Modification of Algorithmic Trading StrategiesPDF
81 FR 9233 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 341A(a)(4) To Provide for Web-Based Delivery of the Exchange's Continuing Education ProgramPDF
81 FR 9231 - Order Granting Limited Exemptions From Exchange Act Rule 10b-17 and Rules 101 and 102 of Regulation M to WisdomTree Put Write Strategy Fund Pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 10b-17(b)(2) and Rules 101(d) and 102(e) of Regulation MPDF
81 FR 9202 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Outcomes Evaluation Survey for Graduates of the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner's Fellowship ProgramPDF
81 FR 9208 - National Cancer Institute Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 9206 - National Institute of Mental Health Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 9207 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 9208 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 9209 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 9205 - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering: Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 9206 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 9173 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request-Safety Standard for Omnidirectional Citizens Band Base Station AntennasPDF
81 FR 9223 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New CollectionPDF
81 FR 9221 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New CollectionPDF
81 FR 9222 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New CollectionPDF
81 FR 9221 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Relief of Disabilities and Application for Restoration of Explosives Privileges (ATF Form 5400.29)PDF
81 FR 9224 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Tobacco Inventory Report (ATF Form 5200.25)PDF
81 FR 9224 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; National Firearms Act (NFA) Responsible Person Questionnaire (ATF Form 5320.23)PDF
81 FR 9170 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing PermitsPDF
81 FR 9243 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9082 - Federal Reserve Bank Capital StockPDF
81 FR 9114 - Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation; GA; Redesignation of the Atlanta, GA, 1997 Annual PM2.5PDF
81 FR 9139 - Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Dog ManagementPDF
81 FR 9081 - Educational Meetings on the Final Rule on Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived From Such Fish; Educational Meetings for Importers InspectionPDF
81 FR 9151 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 27PDF
81 FR 9109 - Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Extension of Permitting and Registration Deadlines for True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian CountryPDF
81 FR 9123 - Affirmative Action for Individuals With Disabilities in the Federal GovernmentPDF
81 FR 9251 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon and Puget Sound SteelheadPDF

Issue

81 36 Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Contents Agency Agency for International Development NOTICES Meetings: Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, 9161 2016-03862 Agency Toxic Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry NOTICES Draft Toxicological Profiles; Jet Fuels and 1-Bromopropane, 9198 2016-03861 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau RULES Establishment of Viticultural Areas: Lamorinda, 9105-9109 2016-03860 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9245-9248 2016-03859 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9198-9201 2016-03820 2016-03821 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9201-9202 2016-03908 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Atchafalaya River, Morgan City, LA, 9109 2016-03895 NOTICES Meetings: Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee, 9209-9210 2016-03816 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9168 2016-03917 2016-03918
Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Safety Standard for Omnidirectional Citizens Band Base Station Antennas, 9173 2016-03778 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9173-9174 2016-03812 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 9174-9175 2016-03871 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Manufacturers of Controlled Substances Registrations: Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Grafton, WI, 9219-9220 2016-03853 Chemtos, LLC, 9220 2016-03856 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Cayman Chemical Co., Ann Arbor, MI, 9217-9219 2016-03854 Insys Therapeutics, Inc., Round Rock, TX, 9220 2016-03855 Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc., Athens, GA, 9219 2016-03852 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee, 9176-9177 2016-03848 DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, 9176 2016-03850 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah, 9175-9176 2016-03849
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Georgia—Redesignation of the Atlanta, 1997 Annual PM2.5 Nonattainment Area to Attainment, 9114-9116 2016-03743 Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Extension of Permitting and Registration Deadlines for True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production, 9109-9113 2016-03623 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission PROPOSED RULES Affirmative Action for Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Government, 9123-9139 2016-03530 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Restricted Areas Change of Controlling Agency for North Carolina, 9089-9090 2016-03845 NOTICES Noise Exposure Maps: Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA, 9242-9243 2016-03807 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9194 2016-03802 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9194-9196 2016-03818 Terminations of Receiverships: Champion Bank, Creve Coeur, MO, 9196 2016-03907 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: The Declaration Process: Requests for Preliminary Damage Assessment, etc., 9211-9212 2016-03885 Meetings: Technical Mapping Advisory Council, 9210-9211 2016-03882 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Fee Schedules for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower Licensees, 9090-9105 2016-03809 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9179-9180 2016-03838 Annual Charges for the Use of Government Lands for Fiscal Year 2016, 9192 2016-03829 Combined Filings, 9178-9181 2016-03831 2016-03832 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Dominion Transmission, Inc.; Leidy South Project, 9177-9178 2016-03833 Essential Reliability Services and the Evolving Bulk-Power System—Primary Frequency Response, 9182-9192 2016-03837 Filings: Richardson, Alan C. and Chahley, Kris, 9180 2016-03839 Robert G. Belliveau, 9193 2016-03824 License Applications: Flambeau Hydro, LLC, 9193-9194 2016-03826 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Platte River Midstream, LLC, 9181 2016-03825 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., 9182 2016-03835 Post-Technical Conference Comment Schedule Revisions: PJM Interconnection, LLC, et al., 9192-9193 2016-03836 Preliminary Permit Applications: Energy Resources USA Inc., 9177, 9180 2016-03827 2016-03828 Refund Effective Dates: West-Wide Must-Offer Requirements, 9193 2016-03834 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency NOTICES Annual Adjustment of the Cap on Average Total Assets that Defines Community Financial Institutions, 9196-9197 2016-03872 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 9197 2016-03915 Complaints and Assignments: KSB Shipping and Logistics LLC v. Direct Container Line aka Vanguard Logistics, 9197 2016-03916 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Commercial Zones at International Border with Mexico, 9117-9121 2016-04029 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9243-9245 2016-03754 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System RULES Federal Reserve Bank Capital Stock, 9082-9089 2016-03747 NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 9197-9198 2016-03817 Financial Crimes Financial Crimes Enforcement Network PROPOSED RULES Withdrawal of Finding Regarding Liberty Reserve S.A., 9139 2016-03830 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Subsistence Regulations and Associated Forms, 9216-9217 2016-03819 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Outcomes Evaluation Survey for Graduates of the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner's Fellowship Program, 9202-9203 2016-03791 Request for Expressions of Interest: Private Payer Coverage to Medical Device Sponsors Who Request Their Participation in a Pre-Submission Meeting with the Food and Drug Administration, 9203-9204 2016-03909 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service RULES Meetings: Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the order Siluriformes and Products Derived from Such Fish; Educational Meetings for Importers Inspection, 9081-9082 2016-03727 NOTICES Meetings: Codex Alimentarius Commission Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues, 9161-9162 2016-03892 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Applications for Reorganization under Alternative Site Framework: Foreign-Trade Zone 70; Detroit, MI, 9168 2016-03899 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Charter Renewals: National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule, 9164-9165 2016-03900 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Caribou-Targhee National Forest; Ashton/Island Park Ranger Station; Idaho; Buffalo TSI, 9165-9167 2016-03868 Meetings: National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule, 9167-9168 2016-03813 North Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee, 9163-9164 2016-03844 Trinity County Resource Advisory Committee, 9162-9163 2016-03843 New Fee Sites, 9163 2016-03841 Grain Inspection Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration PROPOSED RULES Reauthorization of the United States Grain Standards Act, 9122 2016-03863 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9205 2016-03875 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Manufactured Housing Survey, 9212-9213 2016-03912 Previous Participation Certification, 9213-9214 2016-03913 Public Housing Agency 5-Year and Annual Plan, 9214-9215 2016-03920 Public Housing Capital Fund Program, 9215-9216 2016-03919 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Country-by-Country Reporting; Correction, 9122 2016-03906 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Export Trade Certificates of Review, 9169 2016-03851 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure, 9217 2016-03865 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9221-9223 2016-03775 2016-03776 2016-03777 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Firearms Act Responsible Person Questionnaire, 9224-9225 2016-03772 Relief of Disabilities and Application for Restoration of Explosives Privileges, 9221-9222 2016-03774 Tobacco Inventory Report; Correction, 9224 2016-03773 Proposed Consent Decrees Under the Clean Water Act, 9224 2016-03891
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: NASA Advisory Council, Aeronautics Committee, 9225 2016-03914 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board, 9169-9170 2016-03905 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 9207-9208 2016-03783 2016-03784 National Cancer Institute, 9208 2016-03786 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 9209 2016-03782 National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 9205 2016-03781 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 9206-9207 2016-03779 2016-03780 National Institute of Mental Health, 9206 2016-03785 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Critical Habitat for Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon and Puget Sound Steelhead, 9252-9325 2016-03409 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska, 9121 2016-03864 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 27, 9151-9159 2016-03624 Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 17, 9159-9160 2016-03870 NOTICES Application for Exempted Fishing Permits, 9170-9171 2016-03760 National Park National Park Service PROPOSED RULES Special Regulations: Areas of the National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Dog Management, 9139-9151 2016-03731 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research, 9225-9226 2016-03876 2016-03896 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Meetings: Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, 9171-9172 2016-03873 Community Broadband Summit, 9172-9173 2016-03857 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Operators' Licenses, 9227-9228 2016-03815 Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive Material, 9228-9229 2016-03814 Human Factors Engineering, 9226-9227 2016-03904 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 9229-9231 2016-03887 2016-03888 2016-03889 2016-03890 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Libya; Continuation of National Emergency (Notice of February 22, 2016), 9327-9329 2016-04124 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Orders Granting Limited Exemptions: WisdomTree Put Write Strategy Fund, 9231-9233 2016-03792 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 9235-9242 2016-03794 NYSE MKT, LLC, 9233-9235 2016-03793 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Fables Across Time—Kalila and Dimna, 9242 2016-03879 Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus, 9242 2016-03878 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9248-9249 2016-03866
Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 9252-9325 2016-03409 Part III Presidential Documents, 9327-9329 2016-04124 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 36 Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service 9 CFR Parts 300, 441, 530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 537, 539, 540, 541, 544, 548, 550, 552, 555, 557, 559, 560, and 561 [Docket No. FSIS-2016-0009] Educational Meetings on the Final Rule on Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived From Such Fish; Educational Meetings for Importers Inspection AGENCY:

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notification of educational meetings.

SUMMARY:

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing a series of educational meetings to discuss the Final Rule, FSIS Docket No. FSIS-2008-0031, “Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived from Such Fish,” as it pertains to importers. The meetings are scheduled for March 2016.

DATES:

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

• The first meeting will be held in Newark, NJ on Tuesday, March 3, 2016; 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET, at the Rutgers University—Newark, School of Public Affairs, The Great Hall, 15 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102. For directions and parking instructions please visit: https://www.newark.rutgers.edu/directions-and-parking.

• The second meeting will be held in Los Angeles, CA on Tuesday, March 17, 2016; 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. PT, at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 W. Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

• The third meeting will be held in Houston, TX on Tuesday, March 24, 2016; 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. CT, at the Hilton Houston North, 12400 Greenspoint Drive, Houston, TX 77060.

If there is sufficient interest, meetings may also be held in Miami, FL and Norfolk, VA. The objective of the meetings is to provide information to importers on bringing Siluriformes fish and fish products into the United States. Further information on these meetings will be posted on the FSIS Web site at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings and through the FSIS Constituent Update.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Evelyn Gomez, Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training, (202) 418-8903 or email at [email protected], regarding additional information about this meeting or to arrange for special accommodations. The final rule may be accessed from the FSIS Web site at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/interim-and-final-rules.

Registration: To pre-register for the meetings, including Miami, FL and Norfolk, VA, please go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings. The cutoff dates for pre-registration are as follows:

• Newark, NJ: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 • Los Angeles, CA: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 • Houston, TX: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 • Miami, FL and Norfolk, VA: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Questions regarding the mandatory inspection of fish of the order Siluriformes and products derived from such fish may be directed to [email protected]
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On December 2, 2015 (80 FR 75590), FSIS published the final rule to establish a mandatory inspection program for fish of the order Siluriformes and products derived from these fish. The final regulations implement the provisions of the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills, which amended the Federal Meat Inspection Act, mandating FSIS inspection of Siluriformes fish and fish products.

On March 1, 2016, the final rule on Siluriformes fish and fish products goes into effect. By this date, foreign countries seeking to continue exporting Siluriformes fish and fish products to the United States during an 18-month transitional period are required to submit documentation showing that they have laws or other legal measures in place that provide authority to regulate the growing and processing of fish for human food and to assure compliance with the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory requirements in 21 CFR 123, Fish and Fishery Products. The foreign countries are also required to submit lists of establishments that currently export and will continue to export Siluriformes fish and fish products to the United States.

Foreign countries seeking to continue to export Siluriformes fish and fish products to the United States after the transitional period has expired are required to submit to FSIS, by September 1, 2017, adequate documentation showing the equivalence of their Siluriformes inspection systems with that of the United States. Foreign countries submitting such documentation by the deadline are permitted to continue exporting Siluriformes fish and fish products to the United States while FSIS undertakes an evaluation as to equivalency.

The purpose of the educational meetings for importers is to provide information on the final rule's requirements, with a primary focus on the process for importing Siluriformes fish and fish products into the United States during the 18-month transitional period and on the date of full enforcement. Other topics presented will include the labeling requirements for imported Siluriformes fish and fish products, the FSIS sampling of these imported products, and the enforcement of the requirements.

For more information on the mandatory inspection of Siluriformes fish and fish products, visit the FSIS Web site: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/inspection/siluriformes.

Register

Those planning to attend the meetings are invited to pre-register. To pre-register for any of the meetings, including Miami, FL and Norfolk, VA, please go to [email protected] Persons requiring sign language accommodations should contact Ms. Evelyn Gomez 15 business days prior to the meeting.

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 18, 2016. Alfred V. Almanza, Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-03727 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 209 [Regulation I; Docket No. R-1533] RIN 7100-AE 47 Federal Reserve Bank Capital Stock AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

ACTION:

Interim final rule with request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The Board of Governors (Board) requests public comment on an interim final rule that amends Regulation I to establish procedures for payment of dividends by the Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks) to implement the provisions of section 32203 of the “Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act.” The interim final rule sets out the dividend rates applicable to Reserve Bank depository institution stockholders and amends provisions of Regulation I regarding treatment of accrued dividends when a Reserve Bank issues or cancels Federal Reserve Bank capital stock.

DATES:

This interim final rule is effective on February 24, 2016. Comments on the interim final rule must be received on or before April 29, 2016. Comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act burden estimates must be received on or before April 29, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

When submitting comments, please consider submitting your comments by email or fax because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Board may be subject to delay. You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. R-1533, RIN 7100-AE 47, by any of the following methods:

Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.cfm.

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

Email: [email protected] Include docket number in the subject line of the message.

Fax: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

Mail: Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

All public comments are available from the Board's Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.cfm as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street NW. (between 18th and 19th Streets NW.), Washington, DC 20006 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Evan Winerman, Counsel (202/872-7578), Legal Division; or Kimberly Zaikov, Financial Project Leader (202/452-2256), Reserve Bank Operations and Payments Systems Division. Users of Telecommunication Device for Deaf (TDD) only, call (202) 263-4869.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview

Regulation I governs the issuance and cancellation of capital stock by the Reserve Banks. Under section 5 of the Federal Reserve Act 1 and Regulation I,2 a member bank must subscribe to capital stock of the Reserve Bank of its district in an amount equal to six percent of the member bank's capital and surplus. The member bank must pay for one-half of this subscription on the date that the Reserve Bank approves its application for capital stock, while the remaining half of the subscription shall be subject to call by the Board.3

1 12 U.S.C. 287.

2 12 CFR 209.4(a).

3 12 U.S.C. 287 and 12 CFR 209.4(c)(2).

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the “Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act” (“FAST Act”).4 Section 32203 of the FAST Act amended the provisions of section 7(a)(1) of the Federal Reserve Act,5 which governs dividend payments to Reserve Bank stockholders. Until the FAST Act amendments to section 7(a)(1) became effective on January 1, 2016, all member banks were entitled to a six percent dividend on their paid-in capital stock.6 Section 7(a)(1) continues to provide for a six percent dividend for stockholders with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets, but now provides that stockholders with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets shall receive a dividend on paid-in capital stock equal to the lesser of six percent and “the rate equal to the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of such dividend.” The FAST Act also added Section 7(a)(1)(C) to the Federal Reserve Act, which provides that the Board must adjust the $10 billion threshold for total consolidated assets annually to reflect the change in the Gross Domestic Product Price Index, published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

4 Pub. L. 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312 (2015). See https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr22/BILLS-114hr22enr.pdf/.

5 12 U.S.C. 289(a)(1).

6 Section 7(a)(1)(A) provided the following until January 1, 2016: “In General. After all necessary expenses of a Federal reserve bank have been paid or provided for, the stockholders of the bank shall be entitled to receive an annual dividend of 6 percent on paid-in capital stock.”

Prior to the amendments published today, Regulation I did not address the timing of payment of dividends to Federal Reserve Bank stockholders (other than, as discussed below, the payment of accrued dividends when a Reserve Bank issues new stock or cancels existing stock). Before the enactment of the FAST Act, the Reserve Banks' longstanding practice was to make dividend payments on paid-in capital stock each year on the last business days of June and December at the annualized rate of six percent (that is, a dividend payment of 3 percent twice per year). As discussed further below, the Board is amending Regulation I to implement the new dividend rate structure mandated by the FAST Act. The Reserve Banks will continue their practice of making semi-annual dividend payments, although at a new rate for larger institutions.

In addition, Regulation I contains provisions with respect to the treatment of accrued dividends when a Reserve Bank issues new stock or cancels existing stock. These Regulation I provisions implement portions of sections 5, 6, and 9 of the Federal Reserve Act, which were not amended by the FAST Act.7 Section 5 provides that (1) when a Reserve Bank issues new shares to a stockholder, the stockholder must pay the Reserve Bank for accrued dividends at a monthly rate of one-half of one percent from the last dividend and, correspondingly, (2) when a stockholder reduces or liquidates its holding of Reserve Bank stock, the Reserve Bank must pay the stockholder for accrued dividends at a monthly rate of one-half of one percent from the last dividend. Similarly, sections 6 and 9(10) of the Federal Reserve Act state that, when a member bank becomes insolvent or voluntarily withdraws from Reserve Bank membership, the Reserve Bank shall pay accrued dividends on the bank's cancelled stock at a monthly rate of one-half of one percent. Prior to the amendments published today, Regulation I adopted the approach described in sections 5, 6, and 9(10) of the Federal Reserve Act, providing in § 209.4(d) and 209.4(e)(1) that dividends for subscriptions to, and cancellations of, Reserve Bank stock shall accrue at a monthly rate of one-half of one percent. As discussed below, the interim final rule adjusts the accrued dividend rates for larger institutions to be consistent with the rate adopted in the FAST Act.

7 12 U.S.C. 287, 288, and 328.

II. Description of Interim Final Rule A. Dividend Payment Rate

The interim final rule amends Regulation I to include a new paragraph, § 209.4(e), addressing the rate for dividend payments by the Reserve Banks. Section 209.4(e)(1)(i) implements the FAST Act provision requiring that banks with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets receive a dividend on their Reserve Bank capital stock at an annual rate of the lesser of six percent and the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of the dividend. Section 209.4(e)(1)(ii) provides that banks with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets will continue to receive a dividend at an annual rate of six percent. Section 209.4(e)(3) provides that dividends are cumulative.8

8 Section 7(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Reserve Act, 12 U.S.C. 289(a)(1)(B), states that “[t]he entitlement to dividends . . . shall be cumulative.”

Section 209.4(e)(2) provides that each dividend “will be adjusted to reflect the period from the last dividend payment date to the current dividend payment date according to the dividend proration basis.” Section 209.1(d)(2) in turn defines “dividend proration basis” as “the use of a 360-day year of 12 30-day months for purposes of computing dividend payments.” Thus, under the interim final rule, a semi-annual dividend payment to a stockholder with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets would continue to be calculated as three percent of paid-in capital. A semi-annual dividend payment to a stockholder with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets would be calculated as the lesser of three percent or one-half of the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of the dividend.

B. Payment of Accrued Dividends for Subscriptions to Reserve Bank Stock

As discussed above, section 5 of the Federal Reserve Act provides that, when a stockholder subscribes to new capital stock, it must pay for accrued dividends on that new stock at a monthly rate of one-half of one percent from the last dividend (i.e., a monthly rate derived from a six percent annual rate). Prior to the amendments published today, Regulation I adopted the same approach in § 209.4(d). This requirement ensures that the stockholder will not be overcompensated at the next dividend payment, because the stockholder has paid in advance for the portion of the stockholder's next dividend payment attributable to the period for which the member bank did not own the stock.

Although section 5 of the Federal Reserve Act continues to provide that a stockholder should pay for accrued dividends at a monthly rate of one-half of one percent from the last dividend, section 7 of the Federal Reserve Act now provides that stockholders with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets will receive an annual dividend at the lesser of six percent and the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of the dividend. Applying sections 5 and 7 literally could cause a larger stockholder to overpay for accrued dividends if it paid at a rate based on a six percent annual rate but received its next dividend payment at an annual rate below six percent (assuming the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note at the applicable auction was below six percent).

The Board believes that, when a stockholder with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets subscribes to additional Reserve Bank capital stock, the best way to reconcile the conflict between sections 5 and 7 of the Federal Reserve Act is to require the stockholder to pay for accrued dividends at an annual rate of the lesser of six percent and the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the previous dividend payment date (that is, the rate used for the previous dividend payment to stockholders with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets), prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment date and the date of subscription. This approach would allow a larger stockholder to pay for accrued dividends at a rate that is generally close to the dividend rate the stockholder will earn at the next dividend payment. This approach also resolves the statutory conflict in favor of giving effect to the most recent Congressional act regarding the payment of dividends as provided in the FAST Act. Accordingly, the interim final rule adopts this approach in § 209.4(c)(1)(ii)(A). Conversely, § 209.4(c)(1)(ii)(B) provides that stockholders with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets will continue to pay for accrued dividends at an annual rate of six percent (prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment date and the date of subscription), as those stockholders will continue to receive a six percent annual dividend.

The interim final rule provides at § 209.4(c)(3) for an adjustment at the next annual dividend if a stockholder pays for accrued dividends at a rate that is different from the annualized rate that the stockholder ultimately receives at the next scheduled dividend payment date. This adjustment would equal the difference between the accrued dividends the stockholder paid for the additional subscription and the portion of the next dividend payment attributable to that additional subscription, prorated to cover the period from the last dividend payment date to the subscription date.9

9 For example, if a stockholder pays for three months of accrued dividends on $1,000 of stock at a prorated 0.2% monthly rate (derived from a 2.4% annual rate at the last auction held prior to the previous dividend), and the stockholder ultimately receives its next dividend at a prorated 0.3% monthly rate (derived from a 3.6% annual rate at the last auction held prior to the next dividend), the Reserve Bank would reduce the stockholder's next dividend payment by the difference between (a) the accrued dividends that the stockholder paid on the date of subscription (i.e., $1,000 * (3 months/12 months) * 0.2%, or $6) and (b) the dividend payment attributable to the stock subscription based on the rate from last auction held prior to the next dividend payment date (i.e., $1,000 * (3 months/12 months) * 0.3%, or $9). The Reserve Bank would therefore reduce the stockholder's next dividend payment by $3. Conversely, if the same stockholder paid for accrued dividends at a 0.3% monthly rate but then received its next dividend at a 0.2% monthly rate, the Reserve Bank would increase the stockholder's next dividend payment by $3.

C. Payment of Accrued Dividends for Cancellations of Reserve Bank Stock

As discussed above, three provisions of the Federal Reserve Act (sections 5, 6, and 9(10)) state that, when a Reserve Bank cancels stock, the Reserve Bank shall pay the stockholder for accrued dividends at a monthly rate of one-half of one percent from the last dividend (i.e., a monthly rate derived from a six percent annual rate). Prior to the amendments published today, Regulation I adopted the same approach in § 209.4(e)(1). These provisions of the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation I now conflict with section 7 of the Federal Reserve Act, which provides (following passage of the FAST Act) that stockholders with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets will receive an annual dividend at the lesser of six percent and the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of the dividend.

The Board believes that, when a Reserve Bank cancels stock held by a stockholder with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, the best way to reconcile sections 5, 6, and 9(10) of the Federal Reserve Act with section 7 of the Federal Reserve Act is to require the Reserve Bank to pay the stockholder for accrued dividends at an annual rate of the lesser of six percent and the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the date of cancellation, prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment date and the date of cancellation. As noted above, this approach also resolves the statutory conflict between sections 5, 6, and 9(10), on the one hand, and section 7 on the other, in favor of the most recent Congressional act regarding dividends expressed in the FAST Act. Accordingly, the interim final rule adopts this approach in § 209.4(d)(1)(ii)(A). Conversely, § 209.4(d)(1)(ii)(B) provides that, when a Reserve Bank cancels stock of a stockholder with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets, the Reserve Bank will pay the stockholder for accrued dividends at an annual rate of six percent (prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment date and the date of cancellation), as those stockholders will continue to receive a six percent annual dividend.

D. Total Consolidated Assets: Definition and Inflation Adjustment

The dividend rate to which a stockholder is entitled under Section 7 of the Federal Reserve Act (as amended by the FAST Act) depends on the stockholder's “total consolidated assets.” The interim final rule amends Regulation I to include a new paragraph, § 209.1(d)(3), that generally defines total consolidated assets by reference to total assets reported on the stockholder's most recent December 31 Consolidated Report of Condition and Income (Call Report).10 The only exceptions to this approach are that, when a bank joins the Federal Reserve System or when a member bank merges with another entity and the surviving bank continues to be a Reserve Bank stockholder, the new member bank or the surviving bank must report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion in its application for capital stock. To that end, the interim final rule amends § 209.2(a) to require that a bank seeking to join the Federal Reserve System report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion in its application for capital stock. Similarly, the interim final rule adds a new paragraph, § 209.3(d)(3), that requires a surviving bank to report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when it submits its next application for additional capital stock.

10 The Board has also moved, without revision, the definition of “capital stock and surplus” to the definitions in new § 209.1(d).

Section 7(a)(1)(C) of the Federal Reserve Act (added by the FAST Act) requires that the Board make an annual inflation adjustment to the total consolidated asset threshold that determines the dividend rate to which a Reserve Bank is entitled. The interim final rule implements this provision at § 209.4(f). The Board expects to make this adjustment using the final second quarter estimate of the Gross Domestic Product Price Index for each year, published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

III. Effective Date; Solicitation of Comments

This interim final rule is effective immediately. Pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), notice and comment are not required prior to the issuance of a final rule if an agency, for good cause, finds that “notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” 11 Similarly, a final rule may be published with an immediate effective date if an agency finds good cause and publishes such with the final rule.12

11 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

12 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

Consistent with section 553(b)(B) of the APA, the Board finds that there is good cause to issue this rule as an interim final rule because the rule is necessary to provide immediate guidance to the Reserve Banks regarding the issuance and cancellation of stock, which are governed by the provisions of the FAST Act that became effective on January 1, 2016. The Board finds that obtaining notice and comment prior to issuing the interim final rule would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The Board finds for the same reasons that there is good cause to publish the interim final rule with an immediate effective date.

Although notice and comment are not required prior to the effective date of this interim final rule, the Board believes that public comment on how it implements the FAST Act could help improve that implementation. Consequently, the Board invites comment on all aspects of this rulemaking and will review those comments before adopting a final rule.

IV. Regulatory Analysis A. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

In accordance with section 4 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., the Board is publishing an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for the interim final rule. The RFA generally requires an agency to assess the impact a rule is expected to have on small entities. Under size standards established by the Small Business Administration, banks and other depository institutions are considered “small” if they have less than $550 million in assets.13 The RFA requires an agency either to provide a regulatory flexibility analysis or to certify that the interim final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

13 13 CFR 121.201.

The interim final rule implements amended provisions of the Federal Reserve Act providing that Reserve Bank stockholders with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets will receive a dividend at an annual rate equal to the lower of six percent and the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of such dividend (with such dividend prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment date and the current dividend payment date). The interim final rule also provides that, if a Reserve Bank cancels stock of a stockholder with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, the Reserve Bank will pay the stockholder accrued dividends at an annual rate of the lesser of six percent and the high yield of the most recent 10-year Treasury note auction held prior to the date of cancellation, prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment date and the cancellation date. Finally, the interim final rule provides that, if a Reserve Bank issues new stock to a stockholder with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, the stockholder will pay accrued dividends on such stock at an annual rate of the lesser of six percent and the high yield of the most recent 10-year Treasury note auction held prior to the previous dividend payment date (prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment date and the subscription date). The next regular dividend payment to that stockholder would be adjusted to account for the difference between the rate at which the stockholder paid for accrued dividends and the rate at which the stockholder receives the regular dividend payment.

Under the interim final rule, Reserve Bank stockholders with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets will continue to receive a dividend on their Reserve Bank stock at an annual rate of six percent (prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment and the current dividend payment). If a Reserve Bank issues new stock to, or cancels existing stock of, a stockholder with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets, the stockholder or the Reserve Bank would (respectively) continue to pay accrued dividends on such stock at an annual rate of six percent (prorated to cover the period between the last dividend payment date and the subscription date or the cancellation date). Additionally, the interim final rule continues to allow Reserve Banks to pay dividends semiannually to all stockholders, including banks with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets.

The only new requirement that the interim final rule imposes on stockholders with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets is that such a stockholder must report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when the stockholder applies for (1) new capital stock upon joining the Federal Reserve System or (2) additional capital stock upon merging with another entity. Excluding these two situations, a Reserve Bank will determine the total consolidated assets of all stockholders by reference to the stockholder's most recent December 31 Call Report. The interim final rule requires the Board to make an annual inflation adjustment to the $10 billion total consolidated asset threshold.

As noted above, a depository institution is “small” for purposes of the RFA if it has less than $550 million of assets. The only effect of the interim final rule on stockholders with less than $550 million of assets is to require such stockholders to report whether their total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when they join the Federal Reserve System or merge with another entity. These reporting requirements will have a minimal economic impact on stockholders that are small entities. The Board expects that existing banks and banks that are in the process of organization can readily calculate their total consolidated assets. The Board currently requires that a bank file an application form with the Reserve Bank in whose district it is located if the bank wishes to join the Federal Reserve System or if the bank must increase or decrease its holding of Reserve Bank stock.14 The Board will revise these forms to require that, when a bank applies for membership or applies for new stock after merging with another entity, the bank report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion.

14See FR 2030 (application for capital stock for organizing national banks); FR 2030A (application for capital stock for nonmember state banks that are converting to national banks); FR 2083A (application for capital stock by state banks (except mutual savings banks) and national banks that are converting to state banks); FR 2083B (application for capital stock by mutual savings banks); FR 2056 (application for adjustment in holding of Reserve Bank stock).

The RFA requires a description of any significant alternatives that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and that minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on small entities. In this circumstance, there is no feasible alternative to requiring that a bank in the process of organization report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when it applies to join the System, because such banks will not have filed a Call Report before applying for membership. With respect to measuring the total consolidated assets of a surviving bank after a merger, the Reserve Banks could alternatively (1) refer to the total assets reported by the surviving bank on its most recent December 31 Call Report or (2) add the total assets of the surviving bank and the nonsurviving bank as reported on each bank's most recent December 31 Call Report. These alternative approaches to measuring total consolidated assets in the merger context would reduce the reporting burden on small entities, but they would not provide timely and accurate notice to a Reserve Bank of whether a merger has caused a surviving bank's total consolidated assets to exceed $10 billion. The Board believes that requiring surviving banks to report whether total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when they apply for additional capital stock is a minimal reporting burden of an amount that is known by the banks and serves the intent of the FAST Act.

The Board does not believe that the interim final rule duplicates, overlaps, or conflicts with any other Federal rules. In light of the foregoing, the Board does not believe that the interim final rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Nonetheless, the Board seeks comment on whether the interim final rule imposes undue burdens on, or has unintended consequences for, small organizations, and whether there are ways such potential burdens or consequences could be minimized in a manner consistent with the Federal Reserve Act.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

In accordance with section 3512 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) (PRA), the Board may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control numbers are 7100-0042 and 7100-0046. The Board reviewed the interim final rule under the authority delegated to the Board by OMB. The interim final rule contains requirements subject to the PRA. The reporting requirements are found in §§ 209.2(a) and 209.3(d)(3).

Comments are invited on:

a. Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions, including whether the information has practical utility;

b. The accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the information collections, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

c. Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

d. Ways to minimize the burden of the information collections on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

e. Estimates of capital or startup costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

All comments will become a matter of public record. Comments on aspects of this notice that may affect reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure requirements and burden estimates should be sent to: Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW., Washington, DC 20551. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer by mail to U.S. Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., #10235, Washington, DC 20503 or by facsimile to 202-395-5806, Attention, Agency Desk Officer.

Proposed Revisions, With Extension for Three Years, of the Following Information Collections:

(1) Title of Information Collection: Applications for Subscription to, Adjustment in Holding of, and Cancellation of Federal Reserve Bank Stock.

Agency Form Number: FR 2030, FR 2030a, FR 2056, FR 2086, FR 2086a, FR 2087.

OMB Control Number: 7100-0042.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit.

Respondents: National, State Member, and Nonmember banks.

Abstract: These application forms are required by the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation I. These forms must be used by a new or existing member bank (including a national bank) to request the issuance, and adjustment in, or cancellation of Federal Reserve Bank stock. The forms must contain certain certifications by the applicants, as well as certain other financial and shareholder data that is needed by the Federal Reserve to process the request.

Current Actions: The dividend rate to which a Reserve Bank stockholder is entitled under Section 7 of the Federal Reserve Act (as amended by the FAST Act) depends on the stockholder's “total consolidated assets.” Section 209.2(a) requires a bank to report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when it applies for membership in the Federal Reserve System. Section 209.3(d)(3) requires a bank to report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when it applies for additional capital stock after merging with another entity. The Board is proposing to revise FR 2030, FR 2030a, and FR 2056 to require that a bank report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when it applies to join the Federal Reserve System or applies for additional capital stock after merging with another entity. The proposed revisions would increase the estimated average hours per response for FR 2030 and FR 2030a by half an hour. The proposed revisions would increase the estimated average hours per response for FR 2056 by one-quarter of an hour. The Board is not proposing to revise FR 2086, FR 2086A, and FR 2087. The draft reporting forms are available on the Board's public Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx.

Estimated annual reporting hours: FR 2030: 4 hours; FR 2030a: 2 hours; FR 2056: 1000 hours; FR 2086: 5 hours; FR 2086a: 40 hours; FR 2087: 1 hour.

Estimated average hours per response: FR 2030: 1 hour; FR 2030a: 1 hour; FR 2056: 0.75 hours; FR 2086: 0.5 hours; FR 2086a: 0.5 hours; FR 2087: 0.5 hours.

Number of respondents: FR 2030: 4; FR 2030a: 2; FR 2056: 1,333; FR 2086: 10; FR 2086a: 79; FR 2087: 1.

(2) Title of Information Collection: Application for Membership in the Federal Reserve System.

Agency Form Number: FR 2083, FR 2083A, FR 2083B, and FR 2083C.

OMB Control Number: 7100-0046.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit.

Respondents: Newly organized banks that seek to become state member banks, or existing banks or savings institutions that seek to convert to state member bank status.

Abstract: The application for membership is a required one-time submission that collects the information necessary for the Federal Reserve to evaluate the statutory criteria for admission of a new or existing state bank into membership in the Federal Reserve System. The application collects managerial, financial, and structural data.

Current Actions: The dividend rate to which a Reserve Bank stockholder is entitled under Section 7 of the Federal Reserve Act (as amended by the FAST Act) depends on the stockholder's “total consolidated assets.” Section 209.2(a) requires a bank to report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when it applies for membership in the Federal Reserve System. The Board is proposing to revise FR 2083A and FR 2083B to require that a bank report whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10 billion when it applies to join the Federal Reserve System. The proposed revisions would increase the estimated average hours per response by half an hour. The Board is not proposing to revise FR 2083 or FR 2083C. The draft reporting forms are available on the Board's public Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx. The estimated annual reporting hours listed below, and the estimated average hours per response, are cumulative totals for FR 2083, FR 2083A, FR 2083B, and FR 2083C.

Estimated annual reporting hours: 207 hours.

Estimated average hours per response: 4.5 hours.

Number of respondents: 46.

C. Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act

Section 302 of Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act (12 U.S.C. 4802) generally requires that regulations prescribed by Federal banking agencies which impose additional reporting, disclosures or other new requirements on insured depository institutions take effect on the first day of a calendar quarter which begins on or after the date on which the regulation is published in final form unless the agency determines, for good cause published with the regulation, that the regulation should become effective before such time. The final rule will be effective on February 24, 2016. The first day of a calendar quarter which begins on or after the date on which the final rule will be published is April 1, 2016. As discussed below, the Board has determined for good cause that the regulation should take effect on February 24, 2016.

The FAST Act amendments to Section 7(a)(1) of the Federal Reserve Act, which will affect the dividend rate that the Reserve Banks pay to stockholders with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, became effective on January 1, 2016. Before April 1, 2016 (the first day of the next calendar quarter), the Reserve Banks may need to issue new stock to (1) a bank that is applying for membership in the Federal Reserve System or (2) a bank that is increasing its holding of Reserve Bank stock following a merger. A Reserve Bank must have a reliable report of such a bank's total consolidated assets before it can issue stock. The Board therefore finds, for good cause, that this interim final rule shall be effective on [insert date of publication].

D. Plain Language

Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act requires the Board to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The Board invites your comments on how to make this interim final rule easier to understand. For example:

• Has the Board organized the material to suit your needs? If not, how could this material be better organized?

• Are the requirements in the interim final rule clearly stated? If not, how could the interim final rule be more clearly stated?

• Does the interim final rule contain language or jargon that is not clear? If so, which language requires clarification?

• Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing) make the interim final rule easier to understand? If so, what changes to the format would make the interim final rule easier to understand?

• What else could the Board do to make the regulation easier to understand?

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 209

Banks and banking, Federal Reserve System, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities.

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board will amend Regulation I, 12 CFR part 209, as follows:

PART 209—FEDERAL RESERVE BANK CAPITAL STOCK (REGULATION I) 1. The authority citation for part 209 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 12 U.S.C. 222, 248, 282, 286-288, 289, 321, 323, 327-328, and 466.

2. Amend § 209.1 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a) and (b) and adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 209.1 Authority, purpose, scope, and definitions.

(a) Authority. This part is issued pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 222, 248, 282, 286-288, 289, 321, 323, 327-328, and 466.

(b) Purpose. The purpose of this part is to implement the provisions of the Federal Reserve Act relating to the issuance and cancellation of Federal Reserve Bank stock upon becoming or ceasing to be a member bank, or upon changes in the capital and surplus of a member bank, of the Federal Reserve System. This part also implements the provisions of the Federal Reserve Act relating to the payment of dividends to member banks.

(d) Definitions. For purposes of this part—

(1) Capital Stock and Surplus. Capital stock and surplus of a member bank means the paid-in capital stock 2 and paid-in surplus of the bank, less any deficit in the aggregate of its retained earnings, gains (losses) on available for sale securities, and foreign currency translation accounts, all as shown on the bank's most recent report of condition. Paid-in capital stock and paid-in surplus of a bank in organization means the amount which is to be paid in at the time the bank commences business.

2 Capital stock includes common stock and preferred stock (including sinking fund preferred stock).

(2) Dividend proration basis means the use of a 360-day year of 12 30-day months for purposes of computing dividend payments.

(3) Total consolidated assets means the total assets on the stockholder's balance sheet as reported by the stockholder on its Consolidated Report of Condition and Income (Call Report) as of the most recent December 31, except in the case of a new member or the surviving stockholder after a merger “total consolidated assets” means (until the next December 31 Call Report becomes available) the total consolidated assets of the new member or the surviving stockholder at the time of its application for capital stock.

3. In § 209.2, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 209.2 Banks desiring to become member banks.

(a) Application for stock or deposit. Each national bank in process of organization,3 each nonmember state bank converting into a national bank, and each nonmember state bank applying for membership in the Federal Reserve System under Regulation H, 12 CFR part 208, shall file with the Federal Reserve Bank (Reserve Bank) in whose district it is located an application for stock (or deposit in the case of mutual savings banks not authorized to purchase Reserve Bank stock 4 ) in the Reserve Bank. This application for stock must state whether the applicant's total consolidated assets exceed $10,000,000,000. The bank shall pay for the stock (or deposit) in accordance with § 209.4 of this part.

3 A new national bank organized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation under section 11(n) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1821(n)) should not apply until in the process of issuing stock pursuant to section 11(n)(15) of that act. Reserve Bank approval of such an application shall not be effective until the issuance of a certificate by the Comptroller of the Currency pursuant to section 11(n)(16) of that act.

4 A mutual savings bank not authorized to purchase Federal Reserve Bank stock may apply for membership evidenced initially by a deposit. (See § 208.3(a) of Regulation H, 12 CFR part 208.) The membership of the savings bank shall be terminated if the laws under which it is organized are not amended to authorize such purchase at the first session of the legislature after its admission, or if it fails to purchase such stock within six months after such an amendment.

4. Amend § 209.3 as follows: a. Revise the section heading. b. Revise the paragraph (d) subject heading and paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2)(i). c. Add paragraph (d)(3).

The revisions and addition read as follows:

§ 209.3 Cancellation of Reserve Bank stock; reporting of total consolidated assets following merger.

(d) Exchange of stock on merger or change in location; reporting of total consolidated assets following merger—(1) Merger of member banks in the same Federal Reserve District. Upon a merger or consolidation of member banks located in the same Federal Reserve District, the Reserve Bank shall cancel the shares of the nonsurviving bank (or in the case of a mutual savings bank not authorized to purchase Reserve Bank stock, shall credit the deposit to the account of the surviving bank) and shall credit the appropriate number of shares on its books to (or in the case of a mutual savings bank not authorized to purchase Reserve Bank stock, shall accept an appropriate increase in the deposit of) the surviving bank, subject to paragraph (d)(3) of § 209.4.

(2) * * *

(i) The Reserve Bank of the member bank's former District, or of the nonsurviving member bank, shall cancel the bank's shares and transfer the amount paid in for those shares, plus accrued dividends (as specified in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of § 209.4) and subject to paragraph (d)(3) of § 209.4 (or, in the case of a mutual savings bank member not authorized to purchase Federal Reserve Bank stock, the amount of its deposit, adjusted in a like manner), to the Reserve Bank of the bank's new District or of the surviving bank; and

(3) Statement of total consolidated assets. When a member bank merges with another entity and the surviving bank remains a Reserve Bank stockholder, the surviving stockholder must state whether its total consolidated assets exceed $10,000,000,000 in its next application for additional capital stock.

5. Amend § 209.4 as follows: a. Revise the section heading. b. Remove paragraph (b). c. Redesignate paragraphs (c) through (e) as paragraphs (b) through (d). d. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (c) and (d). e. Add paragraphs (e) and (f).
§ 209.4 Amounts and payments for subscriptions and cancellations; timing and rate of dividends.

(c) Payment for subscriptions. (1) Upon approval by the Reserve Bank of an application for capital stock (or for a deposit in lieu thereof), the applying bank shall pay the Reserve Bank—

(i) One-half of the subscription amount; and

(ii) Accrued dividends equal to the paid-in subscription amount in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section multiplied by—

(A) In the case of a bank with total consolidated assets of more than $10,000,000,000, an annual rate equal to the lesser of the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the date of the last dividend payment and 6 percent, adjusted to reflect the period from the last dividend payment date to the subscription date according to the dividend proration basis.

(B) In the case of a bank with total consolidated assets of $10,000,000,000 or less, 6 percent, adjusted to reflect the period from the last dividend payment date to the subscription date according to the dividend proration basis.

(2) Upon payment (and in the case of a national banks in organization or state nonmember bank converting into a national bank, upon authorization or approval by the Comptroller of the Currency), the Reserve Bank shall issue the appropriate number of shares by crediting the bank with the appropriate number of shares on its books. In the case of a mutual savings bank not authorized to purchase Reserve Bank stock, the Reserve Bank will accept the deposit or addition to the deposit in place of issuing shares. The remaining half of the subscription or additional subscription (including subscriptions for deposits or additions to deposits) shall be subject to call by the Board.

(3) If the dividend rate applied at the next scheduled dividend payment date is based on a different annual rate than the rate used to compute the amount of the accrued dividend payment pursuant to paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, the amount of the dividends paid at the next scheduled dividend payment date should be adjusted accordingly. The amount of the adjustment should equal the difference between—

(i) The accrued dividend payment pursuant paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, and

(ii) The result of multiplying the subscription amount paid pursuant to paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section by the dividend rate applied at the next scheduled dividend payment, adjusted to reflect the period from the last dividend payment date to the subscription date according to the dividend proration basis.

(d) Payment for cancellations. (1) Upon approval of an application for cancellation of Reserve Bank capital stock, or (in the case of involuntary termination of membership) upon the effective date of cancellation specified in § 209.3(c)(3), the Reserve Bank shall—

(i) Reduce the bank's shareholding on the Reserve Bank's books by the number of shares required to be canceled and shall pay the paid-in subscription of the canceled stock; and

(ii) Pay accrued dividends equal to the paid-in subscription of the canceled stock in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section multiplied by—

(A) In the case of a bank with total consolidated assets of more than $10,000,000,000, an annual rate equal to the lesser of the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the date of cancellation and 6 percent, adjusted to reflect the period from the last dividend payment date to the cancellation date according to the dividend proration basis; or

(B) In the case of a bank with total consolidated assets of $10,000,000,000 or less, 6 percent, adjusted to reflect the period from the last dividend payment date to the cancellation date according to the dividend proration basis.

(2) The sum of the payments under paragraph (d)(1) of this section cannot exceed the book value of the stock.5

5 Under sections 6 and 9(10) of the Act, a Reserve Bank is under no obligation to pay unearned accrued dividends on redemption of its capital stock from an insolvent member bank for which a receiver has been appointed or from state member banks on voluntary withdrawal from or involuntary termination of membership.

(3) In the case of any cancellation of Reserve Bank stock under this Part, the Reserve Bank may first apply such sum to any liability of the bank to the Reserve Bank and pay over the remainder to the bank (or receiver or conservator, as appropriate).

(e) Dividend. (1) After all necessary expenses of a Reserve Bank have been paid or provided for, the stockholders of a Reserve Bank shall be entitled to receive a dividend on paid-in capital stock of—

(i) in the case of a bank with total consolidated assets of more than $10,000,000,000, the lesser of the annual rate equal to the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of such dividend and an annual rate of 6 percent, or

(ii) in the case of a bank with total consolidated assets of $10,000,000,000 or less, an annual rate of 6 percent.

(2) The dividend pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section will be adjusted to reflect the period from the last dividend payment date to the current dividend payment date according to the dividend proration basis.

(3) The entitlement to dividends under paragraph (e)(1) of this section shall be cumulative.

(f) Annual adjustment to total consolidated assets. The dollar amounts for total consolidated assets specified in paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this section and §§ 209.2 and 209.3 shall be adjusted annually to reflect the change in the Gross Domestic Product Price Index, published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 18, 2016. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary to the Board.
[FR Doc. 2016-03747 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0151; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASO-10] RIN 2120-AA66 Change of Controlling Agency for Selected Restricted Areas; North Carolina AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 73 to update the controlling agency for restricted areas R-5302A, B and C, Albemarle Sound, NC; restricted areas R-5313A, B, C and D, Long Shoal Point, NC; and restricted areas R-5314A, B, C, D, E, F, H and J, Dare County, NC. Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) has delegated controlling agency authority for the above restricted areas to the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, Radar Air Traffic Control Facility (RATCF). There are no changes to the boundaries; designated altitudes; time of designation or activities conducted within the restricted areas.

DATES:

Effective date: 0901 UTC, March 31, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Paul Gallant, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

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 the 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 updates the controlling agency for restricted areas R-5302A, B and C; R-5313A, B, C and D; and R-5314A, B, C, D, E, F, H and J, in North Carolina to promote the efficient use of airspace.

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 73 by changing the controlling agency for restricted areas R-5302A, B and C; R-5313A, B, C and D; and R-5314A, B, C, D, E, F, H and J, in North Carolina, from “FAA, Washington ARTCC” to “MCAS Cherry Point Approach Control.” The change will promote real-time activation and de-activation of the restricted areas and enhance air traffic efficiency in the surrounding area.This change does not affect the boundaries, times of designation, designated altitudes or activities conducted within the restricted areas; therefore, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this action only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that 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 5-6.5d. This action is an administrative modification of the technical descriptions of the affected restricted areas to update the name of the controlling agency. It does not alter the dimensions, altitudes, or times of designation of the restricted areas; therefore, it is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exists that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 73, as follows:

PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 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.

§ 73.53 [Amended]
2. Section 73.53 is amended as follows: R-5302A Albemarle Sound, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5302B Albemarle Sound, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5302C Albemarle Sound, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5313A Long Shoal Point, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5313B Long Shoal Point, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5313C Long Shoal Point, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5313D Long Shoal Point, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5314A Dare County, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5314B Dare County, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5314C Dare County, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5314D Dare County, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5314E Dare County, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5314F Dare County, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5314H Dare County, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

R-5314J Dare County, NC [Amended]

By removing the current controlling agency and adding in its place:

Controlling agency. USMC, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Approach Control.

Issued in Washington, DC, on February 17, 2016. Leslie M. Swann, Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
[FR Doc. 2016-03845 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 11 [Docket No. RM11-6-000] Annual Update to Fee Schedule for the Use of Government Lands by Hydropower Licensees AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with of the Commission's regulations, the Commission, by its designee, the Executive Director, issues this annual update to the fee schedule in Appendix A to Part 11, which lists per-acre rental fees by county (or other geographic area) for use of government lands by hydropower licensees.

DATES:

This rule is effective February 24, 2016. Updates to Appendix A to Part 11 with the fee schedule of per-acre rental fees by county (or other geographic area) are applicable from October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2015 (Fiscal Year 2016).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Norman Richardson, Financial Management Division, Office of the Executive Director, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6219, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Annual Update to Fee Schedule Issued February 18, 2016

Section 11.2 of the Commission's regulations provides a method for computing reasonable annual charges for recompensing the United States for the use, occupancy, and enjoyment of its lands by hydropower licensees.1 Annual charges for the use of government lands are payable in advance, and are based on an annual schedule of per-acre rental fees published in Appendix A to Part 11 of the Commission's regulations.2 This notice updates the fee schedule in Appendix A to Part 11 for fiscal year 2016 (October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016).

1Annual Charges for the Use of Government Lands, Order No. 774, 78 FR 5256 (January 25, 2013), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,341 (2013).

2 18 CFR part 11 (2016).

Effective Date

This Final Rule is effective February 24, 2016. The provisions of 5 U.S.C. 804, regarding Congressional review of final rules, do not apply to this Final Rule because the rule concerns agency procedure and practice and will not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. This Final Rule merely updates the fee schedule published in the Code of Federal Regulations to reflect scheduled adjustments, as provided for in section 11.2 of the Commission's regulations.

List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 11

Public lands.

By the Executive Director.

Anton C. Porter, Executive Director, Office of the Executive Director.

In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission amends Part 11, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows.

PART 11—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for Part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

16 U.S.C. 792-828c; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352.

2. Appendix A to Part 11 is revised to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 11—Fee Schedule for FY 2016 State County Fee/
  • acre/
  • yr
  • Alabama Autauga $60.42 Baldwin 105.25 Barbour 59.80 Bibb 55.47 Blount 96.06 Bullock 57.58 Butler 64.23 Calhoun 80.55 Chambers 68.82 Cherokee 90.41 Chilton 77.55 Choctaw 49.52 Clarke 54.08 Clay 65.42 Cleburne 72.59 Coffee 69.71 Colbert 74.57 Conecuh 52.66 Coosa 54.81 Covington 59.63 Crenshaw 53.65 Cullman 110.44 Dale 66.37 Dallas 48.52 DeKalb 100.22 Elmore 83.96 Escambia 60.06 Etowah 94.11 Fayette 56.16 Franklin 55.63 Geneva 57.15 Greene 53.68 Hale 55.30 Henry 59.10 Houston 68.85 Jackson 69.08 Jefferson 119.20 Lamar 39.07 Lauderdale 78.54 Lawrence 80.89 Lee 99.83 Limestone 107.56 Lowndes 45.65 Macon 64.99 Madison 98.24 Marengo 47.14 Marion 58.74 Marshall 100.26 Mobile 107.43 Monroe 52.03 Montgomery 69.38 Morgan 98.70 Perry 46.41 Pickens 54.67 Pike 60.23 Randolph 74.31 Russell 59.80 St. Clair 101.51 Shelby 111.03 Sumter 37.62 Talladega 76.92 Tallapoosa 63.83 Tuscaloosa 78.41 Walker 68.16 Washington 44.66 Wilcox 44.49 Winston 68.79 Alaska Aleutian Islands Area 1.00 Anchorage Area1 164.97 Fairbanks Area 29.62 Juneau Area1 1,276.89 Kenai Peninsula 56.78 All Areas 10.01 Arizona Apache 3.05 Cochise 22.17 Coconino 3.30 Gila 5.18 Graham 9.14 Greenlee 24.70 La Paz 20.33 Maricopa 89.60 Mohave 7.63 Navajo 4.09 Pima 8.25 Pinal 37.64 Santa Cruz 24.17 Yavapai 24.94 Yuma 114.25 Arkansas Arkansas 55.82 Ashley 61.14 Baxter 56.14 Benton 93.34 Boone 54.14 Bradley 73.50 Calhoun 51.75 Carroll 53.51 Chicot 56.09 Clark 38.88 Clay 67.29 Cleburne 57.61 Cleveland 81.97 Columbia 45.41 Conway 54.46 Craighead 67.51 Crawford 63.16 Crittenden 58.46 Cross 53.51 Dallas 33.67 Desha 58.69 Drew 53.04 Faulkner 69.00 Franklin 47.93 Fulton 33.70 Garland 77.61 Grant 47.41 Greene 71.92 Hempstead 43.09 Hot Spring 54.04 Howard 49.62 Independence 44.07 Izard 37.17 Jackson 52.96 Jefferson 61.03 Johnson 50.62 Lafayette 42.57 Lawrence 56.25 Lee 58.85 Lincoln 58.82 Little River 35.38 Logan 47.27 Lonoke 58.53 Madison 57.19 Marion 42.38 Miller 41.80 Mississippi 59.96 Monroe 50.59 Montgomery 52.75 Nevada 39.93 Newton 46.43 Ouachita 46.88 Perry 51.30 Phillips 54.93 Pike 44.88 Poinsett 64.59 Polk 55.80 Pope 57.77 Prairie 52.64 Pulaski 72.35 Randolph 42.41 St. Francis 49.80 Saline 74.06 Scott 46.25 Searcy 35.09 Sebastian 56.04 Sevier 49.14 Sharp 38.25 Stone 41.07 Union 53.33 Van Buren 52.22 Washington 86.53 White 54.11 Woodruff 52.51 Yell 47.80 California Alameda 43.81 Alpine 34.05 Amador 31.23 Butte 60.33 Calaveras 25.90 Colusa 43.12 Contra Costa 66.89 Del Norte 69.20 El Dorado 65.32 Fresno 65.79 Glenn 36.46 Humboldt 20.51 Imperial 55.60 Inyo 6.18 Kern 35.21 Kings 47.89 Lake 48.34 Lassen 15.30 Los Angeles 98.92 Madera 60.45 Marin 49.45 Mariposa 16.70 Mendocino 31.86 Merced 61.43 Modoc 13.67 Mono 22.37 Monterey 38.84 Napa 173.09 Nevada 86.01 Orange 173.51 Placer 84.67 Plumas 14.10 Riverside 81.08 Sacramento 56.65 San Benito 22.58 San Bernardino 106.83 San Diego 142.62 San Francisco 1,001.26 San Joaquin 80.11 San Luis Obispo 33.45 San Mateo 89.71 Santa Barbara 58.47 Santa Clara 53.29 Santa Cruz 98.37 Shasta 22.24 Sierra 11.94 Siskiyou 16.19 Solano 44.12 Sonoma 116.08 Stanislaus 76.51 Sutter 52.55 Tehama 23.64 Trinity 9.05 Tulare 59.82 Tuolumne 36.77 Ventura 124.03 Yolo 44.80 Yuba 45.99 Colorado Adams 25.14 Alamosa 25.51 Arapahoe 29.49 Archuleta 37.59 Baca 9.74 Bent 8.14 Boulder 100.03 Broomfield 34.31 Chaffee 52.93 Cheyenne 13.61 Clear Creek 48.02 Conejos 26.56 Costilla 19.23 Crowley 5.99 Custer 26.65 Delta 58.09 Denver 949.16 Dolores 25.25 Douglas 87.91 Eagle 68.94 Elbert 21.14 El Paso 19.63 Fremont 40.94 Garfield 48.62 Gilpin 49.58 Grand 40.02 Gunnison 49.32 Hinsdale 92.64 Huerfano 15.12 Jackson 18.25 Jefferson 96.14 Kiowa 11.95 Kit Carson 19.82 Lake 32.51 La Plata 51.04 Larimer 53.95 Las Animas 7.09 Lincoln 8.36 Logan 15.21 Mesa 58.94 Mineral 76.01 Moffat 12.78 Montezuma 19.38 Montrose 50.26 Morgan 24.96 Otero 11.42 Ouray 49.71 Park 23.30 Phillips 31.68 Pitkin 97.97 Prowers 12.03 Pueblo 12.84 Rio Blanco 23.26 Rio Grande 41.37 Routt 38.81 Saguache 26.01 San Juan 22.40 San Miguel 25.51 Sedgwick 22.25 Summit 58.18 Teller 35.12 Washington 17.11 Weld 34.63 Yuma 23.98 Connecticut Fairfield 307.01 Hartford 319.64 Litchfield 288.14 Middlesex 355.76 New Haven 317.53 New London 261.16 Tolland 250.92 Windham 192.81 Delaware Kent 210.36 New Castle 261.29 Sussex 206.52 Florida Alachua 100.50 Baker 121.04 Bay 96.95 Bradford 78.07 Brevard 101.08 Broward 427.89 Calhoun 39.65 Charlotte 94.62 Citrus 123.63 Clay 65.72 Collier 83.70 Columbia 84.70 DeSoto 474.68 Dixie 87.69 Duval 73.61 Escambia 129.49 Flagler 91.12 Franklin 79.14 Gadsden 36.27 Gilchrist 82.72 Glades 62.22 Gulf 57.07 Hamilton 78.12 Hardee 53.89 Hendry 77.02 Hernando 75.76 Highlands 156.73 Hillsborough 54.85 Holmes 169.03 Indian River 52.70 Jackson 72.00 Jefferson 62.88 Lafayette 78.65 Lake 77.00 Lee 140.76 Leon 177.10 Levy 102.72 Liberty 111.52 Madison 50.51 Manatee 62.88 Marion 104.37 Martin 174.63 Dade 122.88 Monroe 354.34 Nassau 89.37 Okaloosa 67.73 Okeechobee 85.75 Orange 156.19 Osceola 73.71 Palm Beach 132.38 Pasco 126.27 Pinellas 562.81 Polk 102.32 Putnam 103.23 St. Johns 66.07 St. Lucie 89.88 Santa Rosa 146.99 Sarasota 122.42 Seminole 88.83 Sumter 99.89 Suwannee 74.94 Taylor 71.05 Union 66.73 Volusia 114.60 Wakulla 65.40 Walton 53.70 Washington 53.66 Georgia Appling 59.25 Atkinson 67.54 Bacon 73.30 Baker 69.47 Baldwin 61.94 Banks 139.03 Barrow 139.00 Bartow 112.11 Ben Hill 64.19 Berrien 67.13 Bibb 82.69 Bleckley 58.90 Brantley 73.20 Brooks 83.58 Bryan 74.21 Bulloch 61.28 Burke 57.00 Butts 88.16 Calhoun 55.45 Camden 55.17 Candler 60.29 Carroll 112.24 Catoosa 143.46 Charlton 51.63 Chatham 130.65 Chattahoochee 52.64 Chattooga 77.91 Cherokee 240.07 Clarke 142.92 Clay 41.85 Clayton 141.02 Clinch 68.58 Cobb 309.63 Coffee 66.62 Colquitt 74.34 Columbia 124.26 Cook 69.63 Coweta 125.08 Crawford 78.04 Crisp 52.89 Dade 80.03 Dawson 196.95 Decatur 72.32 DeKalb 70.35 Dodge 55.74 Dooly 59.35 Dougherty 82.94 Douglas 166.81 Early 54.35 Echols 66.78 Effingham 70.32 Elbert 89.52 Emanuel 53.97 Evans 65.48 Fannin 164.62 Fayette 154.63 Floyd 98.63 Forsyth 278.25 Franklin 136.98 Fulton 171.58 Gilmer 155.42 Glascock 46.76 Glynn 99.27 Gordon 121.41 Grady 77.88 Greene 81.65 Gwinnett 261.55 Habersham 145.42 Hall 207.84 Hancock 86.65 Haralson 106.61 Harris 121.54 Hart 131.12 Heard 87.88 Henry 145.14 Houston 78.39 Irwin 64.34 Jackson 140.17 Jasper 87.63 Jeff Davis 84.05 Jefferson 50.55 Jenkins 47.55 Johnson 45.46 Jones 80.38 Lamar 97.12 Lanier 86.23 Laurens 51.91 Lee 72.82 Liberty 53.46 Lincoln 70.16 Long 62.32 Lowndes 89.52 Lumpkin 227.61 McDuffie 64.85 McIntosh 142.13 Macon 56.85 Madison 72.54 Marion 65.32 Meriwether 80.26 Miller 62.38 Mitchell 72.38 Monroe 86.30 Montgomery 43.72 Morgan 110.62 Murray 108.50 Muscogee 130.02 Newton 106.89 Oconee 182.78 Oglethorpe 81.96 Paulding 165.60 Peach 101.20 Pickens 169.94 Pierce 60.26 Pike 92.37 Polk 91.26 Pulaski 66.24 Putnam 96.23 Quitman 53.97 Rabun 179.11 Randolph 48.97 Richmond 67.06 Rockdale 176.71 Schley 57.51 Screven 54.00 Seminole 68.39 Spalding 132.33 Stephens 133.43 Stewart 49.67 Sumter 57.29 Talbot 52.73 Taliaferro 55.74 Tattnall 70.29 Taylor 51.25 Telfair 48.15 Terrell 59.82 Thomas 84.62 Tift 80.38 Toombs 60.01 Towns 149.63 Treutlen 45.39 Troup 100.75 Turner 60.33 Twiggs 63.30 Union 152.22 Upson 79.97 Walker 98.89 Walton 135.84 Ware 62.45 Warren 51.09 Washington 52.32 Wayne 69.50 Webster 44.86 Wheeler 37.77 White 173.77 Whitfield 122.65 Wilcox 61.72 Wilkes 70.29 Wilkinson 54.00 Worth 65.39 Hawaii Hawaii 162.75 Honolulu 411.14 Kauai 154.91 Maui 200.49 Idaho Ada 60.37 Adams 17.40 Bannock 20.68 Bear Lake 16.26 Benewah 18.16 Bingham 25.57 Blaine 32.69 Boise 16.23 Bonner 49.95 Bonneville 26.51 Boundary 39.12 Butte 17.62 Camas 16.97 Canyon 61.00 Caribou 16.03 Cassia 26.80 Clark 16.66 Clearwater 21.53 Custer 26.34 Elmore 23.41 Franklin 22.96 Fremont 25.54 Gem 31.59 Gooding 43.81 Idaho 15.96 Jefferson 29.97 Jerome 43.93 Kootenai 47.34 Latah 20.62 Lemhi 25.42 Lewis 16.04 Lincoln 30.03 Madison 37.91 Minidoka 39.66 Nez Perce 19.25 Oneida 13.58 Owyhee 14.04 Payette 34.56 Power 17.30 Shoshone 68.41 Teton 37.66 Twin Falls 35.35 Valley 28.28 Washington 11.42 Illinois Adams 132.27 Alexander 88.53 Bond 173.24 Boone 183.38 Brown 106.77 Bureau 196.33 Calhoun 101.78 Carroll 183.08 Cass 149.74 Champaign 213.17 Christian 202.86 Clark 131.54 Clay 127.55 Clinton 156.57 Coles 188.77 Cook 280.37 Crawford 133.81 Cumberland 145.66 DeKalb 192.45 De Witt 210.26 Douglas 203.73 DuPage 186.02 Edgar 175.85 Edwards 107.74 Effingham 155.20 Fayette 119.32 Ford 202.99 Franklin 99.30 Fulton 140.54 Gallatin 117.65 Greene 150.95 Grundy 203.96 Hamilton 96.93 Hancock 153.32 Hardin 94.69 Henderson 165.74 Henry 182.91 Iroquois 182.11 Jackson 105.43 Jasper 135.65 Jefferson 96.49 Jersey 157.88 Jo Daviess 130.00 Johnson 80.93 Kane 237.60 Kankakee 177.05 Kendall 232.48 Knox 183.88 Lake 211.26 La Salle 278.37 Lawrence 131.13 Lee 202.62 Livingston 192.45 Logan 192.32 McDonough 188.17 McHenry 216.08 McLean 219.03 Macon 209.72 Macoupin 166.48 Madison 170.86 Marion 112.49 Marshall 185.39 Mason 156.54 Massac 95.79 Menard 169.32 Mercer 162.60 Monroe 138.66 Montgomery 159.48 Morgan 178.93 Moultrie 205.84 Ogle 185.62 Peoria 185.29 Perry 109.01 Piatt 231.71 Pike 131.64 Pope 69.75 Pulaski 107.71 Putnam 168.52 Randolph 119.39 Richland 117.68 Rock Island 166.95 St. Clair 169.05 Saline 112.93 Sangamon 197.27 Schuyler 117.21 Scott 155.87 Shelby 161.66 Stark 199.14 Stephenson 182.11 Tazewell 199.18 Union 94.92 Vermilion 188.57 Wabash 142.21 Warren 185.32 Washington 138.70 Wayne 119.69 White 120.02 Whiteside 183.18 Will 209.72 Williamson 118.01 Winnebago 169.46 Woodford 207.51 Indiana Adams 155.03 Allen 165.20 Bartholomew 157.27 Benton 172.79 Blackford 113.12 Boone 165.13 Brown 107.10 Carroll 182.66 Cass 144.83 Clark 113.12 Clay 116.60 Clinton 178.55 Crawford 68.53 Daviess 173.36 Dearborn 108.94 Decatur 142.39 DeKalb 118.51 Delaware 141.82 Dubois 119.68 Elkhart 215.87 Fayette 124.36 Floyd 142.66 Fountain 128.37 Franklin 122.49 Fulton 134.43 Gibson 142.59 Grant 149.28 Greene 105.49 Hamilton 171.99 Hancock 152.99 Harrison 98.50 Hendricks 156.10 Henry 132.52 Howard 169.98 Huntington 145.90 Jackson 122.62 Jasper 164.10 Jay 175.67 Jefferson 94.72 Jennings 104.26 Johnson 162.99 Knox 151.08 Kosciusko 156.97 LaGrange 199.28 Lake 151.79 LaPorte 162.79 Lawrence 84.89 Madison 161.29 Marion 171.86 Marshall 139.21 Martin 108.04 Miami 135.63 Monroe 129.28 Montgomery 149.45 Morgan 131.72 Newton 151.82 Noble 129.34 Ohio 95.26 Orange 93.32 Owen 90.88 Parke 111.55 Perry 80.24 Pike 114.29 Porter 160.35 Posey 128.37 Pulaski 137.87 Putnam 112.32 Randolph 136.13 Ripley 109.14 Rush 162.93 St. Joseph 164.30 Scott 96.10 Shelby 163.90 Spencer 103.55 Starke 117.27 Steuben 120.04 Sullivan 111.78 Switzerland 94.39 Tippecanoe 180.12 Tipton 195.44 Union 132.59 Vanderburgh 113.22 Vermillion 127.14 Vigo 103.72 Wabash 138.27 Warren 157.61 Warrick 129.95 Washington 88.87 Wayne 138.54 Wells 169.38 White 182.96 Whitley 137.47 Iowa Adair 125.45 Adams 115.10 Allamakee 114.09 Appanoose 79.60 Audubon 178.64 Benton 193.56 Black Hawk 213.67 Boone 202.34 Bremer 206.80 Buchanan 196.61 Buena Vista 195.77 Butler 183.10 Calhoun 206.06 Carroll 201.74 Cass 146.50 Cedar 192.28 Cerro Gordo 177.80 Cherokee 199.02 Chickasaw 191.92 Clarke 90.56 Clay 198.02 Clayton 128.33 Clinton 190.44 Crawford 185.48 Dallas 180.39 Davis 78.90 Decatur 80.10 Delaware 193.22 Des Moines 149.45 Dickinson 189.33 Dubuque 163.36 Emmet 195.20 Fayette 184.44 Floyd 171.64 Franklin 178.21 Fremont 164.67 Greene 186.69 Grundy 215.34 Guthrie 155.45 Hamilton 217.76 Hancock 186.55 Hardin 198.02 Harrison 156.15 Henry 132.16 Howard 176.77 Humboldt 204.52 Ida 181.96 Iowa 162.29 Jackson 142.95 Jasper 166.71 Jefferson 123.11 Johnson 184.14 Jones 179.61 Keokuk 133.63 Kossuth 203.98 Lee 114.43 Linn 180.25 Louisa 153.97 Lucas 77.05 Lyon 221.07 Madison 131.45 Mahaska 150.76 Marion 119.65 Marshall 177.57 Mills 169.36 Mitchell 197.68 Monona 147.24 Monroe 85.03 Montgomery 150.42 Muscatine 168.62 O'Brien 228.92 Osceola 188.73 Page 134.90 Palo Alto 201.70 Plymouth 197.14 Pocahontas 204.72 Polk 189.10 Pottawattamie 188.56 Poweshiek 163.02 Ringgold 91.70 Sac 198.95 Scott 217.66 Shelby 181.59 Sioux 244.13 Story 210.15 Tama 174.35 Taylor 102.63 Union 92.27 Van Buren 93.18 Wapello 110.60 Warren 137.12 Washington 163.76 Wayne 86.67 Webster 197.14 Winnebago 180.92 Winneshiek 159.77 Woodbury 160.18 Worth 164.77 Wright 193.29 Kansas Allen 36.81 Anderson 41.06 Atchison 56.77 Barber 32.03 Barton 41.32 Bourbon 38.16 Brown 86.23 Butler 46.39 Chase 35.75 Chautauqua 30.45 Cherokee 49.10 Cheyenne 41.75 Clark 23.99 Clay 55.65 Cloud 52.49 Coffey 40.23 Comanche 24.28 Cowley 37.76 Crawford 44.15 Decatur 40.20 Dickinson 53.18 Doniphan 94.86 Douglas 75.23 Edwards 56.25 Elk 33.44 Ellis 35.13 Ellsworth 34.96 Finney 37.93 Ford 32.09 Franklin 61.19 Geary 51.11 Gove 33.91 Graham 34.76 Grant 35.13 Gray 35.19 Greeley 39.21 Greenwood 37.13 Hamilton 26.66 Harper 40.00 Harvey 67.75 Haskell 36.31 Hodgeman 28.34 Jackson 46.39 Jefferson 58.98 Jewell 50.88 Johnson 114.40 Kearny 34.20 Kingman 37.66 Kiowa 32.49 Labette 39.18 Lane 33.91 Leavenworth 85.28 Lincoln 39.38 Linn 46.39 Logan 31.11 Lyon 41.12 McPherson 59.51 Marion 55.59 Marshall 70.97 Meade 32.16 Miami 82.54 Mitchell 59.05 Montgomery 40.79 Morris 38.72 Morton 22.31 Nemaha 74.40 Neosho 39.47 Ness 27.45 Norton 34.93 Osage 42.87 Osborne 36.11 Ottawa 49.62 Pawnee 48.04 Phillips 32.98 Pottawatomie 50.28 Pratt 42.18 Rawlins 45.97 Reno 47.35 Republic 69.89 Rice 42.11 Riley 48.21 Rooks 34.60 Rush 34.20 Russell 30.12 Saline 52.09 Scott 40.00 Sedgwick 62.64 Seward 30.35 Shawnee 65.60 Sheridan 50.58 Sherman 45.01 Smith 42.77 Stafford 46.59 Stanton 29.19 Stevens 36.15 Sumner 47.25 Thomas 56.21 Trego 34.60 Wabaunsee 38.75 Wallace 33.25 Washington 61.52 Wichita 35.78 Wilson 37.89 Woodson 36.28 Wyandotte 126.76 Kentucky Adair 68.29 Allen 78.82 Anderson 83.13 Ballard 90.76 Barren 78.56 Bath 52.05 Bell 51.88 Boone 164.58 Bourbon 113.53 Boyd 62.22 Boyle 90.83 Bracken 55.88 Breathitt 38.14 Breckinridge 63.99 Bullitt 97.23 Butler 53.95 Caldwell 72.96 Calloway 79.16 Campbell 117.17 Carlisle 75.46 Carroll 70.35 Carter 46.88 Casey 54.18 Christian 92.13 Clark 87.56 Clay 42.48 Clinton 69.19 Crittenden 57.42 Cumberland 45.55 Daviess 103.60 Edmonson 63.45 Elliott 36.21 Estill 49.28 Fayette 243.07 Fleming 55.92 Floyd 39.28 Franklin 98.26 Fulton 93.09 Gallatin 80.72 Garrard 65.92 Grant 81.62 Graves 86.49 Grayson 60.55 Green 60.42 Greenup 47.21 Hancock 75.02 Hardin 93.49 Harlan 35.28 Harrison 72.82 Hart 59.18 Henderson 97.40 Henry 89.16 Hickman 92.83 Hopkins 77.42 Jackson 48.48 Jefferson 230.27 Jessamine 145.98 Johnson 46.68 Kenton 116.30 Knott 36.08 Knox 46.65 Larue 91.29 Laurel 91.99 Lawrence 37.78 Lee 50.75 Leslie 115.93 Letcher 61.69 Lewis 39.18 Lincoln 66.39 Livingston 56.75 Logan 89.33 Lyon 54.02 McCracken 82.09 McCreary 47.75 McLean 100.30 Madison 80.49 Magoffin 39.55 Marion 71.82 Marshall 81.56 Martin 134.27 Mason 68.75 Meade 86.53 Menifee 47.68 Mercer 90.13 Metcalfe 60.18 Monroe 62.92 Montgomery 73.16 Morgan 34.04 Muhlenberg 61.99 Nelson 89.69 Nicholas 57.58 Ohio 65.29 Oldham 166.65 Owen 61.52 Owsley 35.98 Pendleton 63.15 Perry 32.18 Pike 35.58 Powell 42.41 Pulaski 77.26 Robertson 48.21 Rockcastle 54.22 Rowan 56.88 Russell 82.16 Scott 121.97 Shelby 130.21 Simpson 111.03 Spencer 83.59 Taylor 74.22 Todd 98.43 Trigg 78.96 Trimble 84.19 Union 109.47 Warren 96.20 Washington 68.29 Wayne 60.65 Webster 85.19 Whitley 57.82 Wolfe 39.68 Woodford 217.53 Louisiana Acadia 56.11 Allen 53.14 Ascension 88.99 Assumption 77.07 Avoyelles 57.38 Beauregard 63.16 Bienville 60.16 Bossier 85.04 Caddo 68.85 Calcasieu 64.90 Caldwell 62.62 Cameron 44.48 Catahoula 61.39 Claiborne 63.67 Concordia 58.36 De Soto 68.50 East Baton Rouge 145.32 East Carroll 69.26 East Feliciana 75.40 Evangeline 53.65 Franklin 57.66 Grant 53.96 Iberia 79.28 Iberville 45.59 Jackson 71.57 Jefferson 96.20 Jefferson Davis 57.47 Lafayette 64.87 Lafourche 120.63 La Salle 54.31 Lincoln 84.15 Livingston 145.35 Madison 62.40 Morehouse 59.87 Natchitoches 61.39 Orleans 391.71 Ouachita 73.75 Plaquemines 31.93 Pointe Coupee 69.39 Rapides 64.30 Red River 49.41 Richland 58.07 Sabine 80.42 St. Bernard 42.04 St. Charles 54.78 St. Helena 84.63 St. James 89.02 St. John the Baptist 73.59 St. Landry 60.82 St. Martin 62.53 St. Mary 63.41 St. Tammany 185.00 Tangipahoa 104.13 Tensas 55.57 Terrebonne 56.71 Union 73.56 Vermilion 65.72 Vernon 79.92 Washington 89.65 Webster 88.07 West Baton Rouge 94.84 West Carroll 53.99 West Feliciana 66.73 Winn 61.14 Maine Androscoggin 64.76 Aroostook 36.06 Cumberland 123.95 Franklin 54.87 Hancock 85.09 Kennebec 72.40 Knox 95.92 Lincoln 88.12 Oxford 64.22 Penobscot 50.90 Piscataquis 43.32 Sagadahoc 95.44 Somerset 53.52 Waldo 47.11 Washington 39.50 York 122.98 Maryland Allegany 91.87 Anne Arundel 304.58 Baltimore 248.32 Calvert 198.24 Caroline 160.69 Carroll 214.22 Cecil 190.85 Charles 169.74 Dorchester 137.08 Frederick 199.79 Garrett 110.68 Harford 217.38 Howard 288.34 Kent 179.21 Montgomery 267.56 Prince George's 207.52 Queen Anne's 195.81 St. Mary's 173.68 Somerset 143.92 Talbot 173.94 Washington 157.34 Wicomico 165.30 Worcester 157.08 Massachusetts Barnstable 822.05 Berkshire 161.93 Bristol 336.21 Dukes 225.93 Essex 480.01 Franklin 140.23 Hampden 169.27 Hampshire 186.07 Middlesex 441.14 Nantucket 614.59 Norfolk 559.69 Plymouth 265.35 Suffolk 4,725.88 Worcester 215.27 Michigan Alcona 63.34 Alger 53.79 Allegan 124.47 Alpena 63.21 Antrim 93.12 Arenac 72.30 Baraga 48.01 Barry 103.42 Bay 104.40 Benzie 108.33 Berrien 145.29 Branch 92.34 Calhoun 95.53 Cass 102.90 Charlevoix 95.72 Cheboygan 64.51 Chippewa 42.16 Clare 73.67 Clinton 112.91 Crawford 85.95 Delta 50.70 Dickinson 57.46 Eaton 96.73 Emmet 82.15 Genesee 100.50 Gladwin 73.28 Gogebic 68.18 Grand Traverse 138.57 Gratiot 117.19 Hillsdale 89.49 Houghton 46.06 Huron 135.19 Ingham 105.99 Ionia 108.36 Iosco 69.45 Iron 51.68 Isabella 98.91 Jackson 99.33 Kalamazoo 120.90 Kalkaska 79.09 Kent 152.21 Keweenaw 65.39 Lake 67.50 Lapeer 118.82 Leelanau 174.91 Lenawee 105.43 Livingston 126.00 Luce 59.64 Mackinac 53.98 Macomb 143.50 Manistee 74.71 Marquette 52.94 Mason 74.19 Mecosta 77.63 Menominee 52.13 Midland 93.55 Missaukee 78.61 Monroe 118.30 Montcalm 86.69 Montmorency 59.05 Muskegon 133.30 Newaygo 92.44 Oakland 222.76 Oceana 83.70 Ogemaw 68.86 Ontonagon 44.01 Osceola 65.90 Oscoda 68.31 Otsego 65.65 Ottawa 167.80 Presque Isle 55.74 Roscommon 68.24 Saginaw 99.17 St. Clair 97.09 St. Joseph 123.53 Sanilac 113.98 Schoolcraft 42.19 Shiawassee 92.96 Tuscola 118.04 Van Buren 115.50 Washtenaw 132.39 Wayne 193.39 Wexford 73.99 Minnesota Aitkin 47.13 Anoka 161.30 Becker 72.63 Beltrami 45.42 Benton 91.85 Big Stone 104.31 Blue Earth 171.46 Brown 147.53 Carlton 50.07 Carver 154.88 Cass 51.07 Chippewa 138.17 Chisago 116.41 Clay 94.08 Clearwater 44.89 Cook 126.84 Cottonwood 146.89 Crow Wing 69.19 Dakota 151.74 Dodge 164.37 Douglas 82.29 Faribault 150.37 Fillmore 122.66 Freeborn 145.82 Goodhue 144.85 Grant 96.69 Hennepin 220.19 Houston 92.31 Hubbard 60.26 Isanti 99.57 Itasca 50.37 Jackson 163.37 Kanabec 61.36 Kandiyohi 128.51 Kittson 46.89 Koochiching 31.45 Lac qui Parle 117.28 Lake 87.83 Lake of the Woods 39.84 Le Sueur 148.33 Lincoln 103.68 Lyon 138.97 McLeod 143.99 Mahnomen 54.41 Marshall 56.38 Martin 164.01 Meeker 111.23 Mille Lacs 73.60 Morrison 74.17 Mower 160.09 Murray 150.90 Nicollet 173.50 Nobles 158.22 Norman 80.01 Olmsted 146.32 Otter Tail 66.98 Pennington 48.56 Pine 53.94 Pipestone 140.38 Polk 77.61 Pope 98.03 Ramsey 245.32 Red Lake 46.79 Redwood 169.12 Renville 161.90 Rice 153.24 Rock 187.97 Roseau 31.75 St. Louis 50.27 Scott 166.51 Sherburne 115.01 Sibley 160.26 Stearns 104.31 Steele 160.40 Stevens 119.45 Swift 136.80 Todd 63.20 Traverse 118.92 Wabasha 125.60 Wadena 47.69 Waseca 157.25 Washington 220.26 Watonwan 163.40 Wilkin 104.35 Winona 125.30 Wright 143.35 Yellow Medicine 122.39 Mississippi Adams 56.16 Alcorn 48.30 Amite 87.08 Attala 46.61 Benton 41.31 Bolivar 62.59 Calhoun 47.71 Carroll 48.62 Chickasaw 47.81 Choctaw 51.05 Claiborne 52.05 Clarke 61.01 Clay 42.41 Coahoma 65.28 Copiah 59.16 Covington 76.11 DeSoto 68.35 Forrest 88.41 Franklin 66.31 George 86.98 Greene 56.29 Grenada 47.29 Hancock 102.58 Harrison 160.41 Hinds 59.33 Holmes 54.28 Humphreys 57.16 Issaquena 49.62 Itawamba 51.95 Jackson 97.76 Jasper 51.69 Jefferson 54.83 Jefferson Davis 51.37 Jones 82.52 Kemper 44.96 Lafayette 58.03 Lamar 93.23 Lauderdale 61.78 Lawrence 69.58 Leake 69.29 Lee 49.49 Leflore 52.21 Lincoln 77.57 Lowndes 54.93 Madison 67.77 Marion 76.76 Marshall 51.05 Monroe 45.25 Montgomery 46.03 Neshoba 79.74 Newton 53.89 Noxubee 55.93 Oktibbeha 57.00 Panola 49.78 Pearl River 82.81 Perry 74.08 Pike 91.93 Pontotoc 47.07 Prentiss 40.60 Quitman 52.11 Rankin 77.38 Scott 65.41 Sharkey 59.33 Simpson 70.87 Smith 76.50 Stone 94.59 Sunflower 50.50 Tallahatchie 58.19 Tate 51.95 Tippah 42.12 Tishomingo 47.94 Tunica 69.90 Union 53.63 Walthall 77.44 Warren 48.59 Washington 55.02 Wayne 75.40 Webster 46.74 Wilkinson 58.16 Winston 56.22 Yalobusha 47.10 Yazoo 54.34 Missouri Adair 64.57 Andrew 93.66 Atchison 128.02 Audrain 100.64 Barry 66.81 Barton 55.42 Bates 59.70 Benton 55.03 Bollinger 53.02 Boone 95.93 Buchanan 90.87 Butler 83.82 Caldwell 59.90 Callaway 86.03 Camden 57.30 Cape Girardeau 82.47 Carroll 82.51 Carter 43.77 Cass 87.34 Cedar 47.98 Chariton 78.26 Christian 82.24 Clark 69.87 Clay 112.75 Clinton 90.24 Cole 76.68 Cooper 74.81 Crawford 54.76 Dade 57.73 Dallas 61.25 Daviess 73.29 DeKalb 74.18 Dent 42.19 Douglas 42.75 Dunklin 99.26 Franklin 98.01 Gasconade 64.54 Gentry 69.41 Greene 96.95 Grundy 60.62 Harrison 65.66 Henry 55.92 Hickory 51.11 Holt 100.02 Howard 66.81 Howell 49.56 Iron 42.39 Jackson 106.30 Jasper 61.54 Jefferson 89.71 Johnson 69.64 Knox 78.49 Laclede 57.92 Lafayette 111.24 Lawrence 67.47 Lewis 76.19 Lincoln 102.68 Linn 63.62 Livingston 76.78 McDonald 60.92 Macon 65.23 Madison 48.44 Maries 51.37 Marion 93.76 Mercer 58.42 Miller 58.48 Mississippi 109.33 Moniteau 71.02 Monroe 82.28 Montgomery 90.90 Morgan 69.67 New Madrid 116.77 Newton 67.86 Nodaway 85.60 Oregon 40.97 Osage 53.91 Ozark 42.75 Pemiscot 95.24 Perry 70.36 Pettis 72.04 Phelps 60.59 Pike 91.13 Platte 102.35 Polk 54.40 Pulaski 51.27 Putnam 54.30 Ralls 84.51 Randolph 69.24 Ray 71.88 Reynolds 38.51 Ripley 47.23 St. Charles 111.63 St. Clair 43.61 Ste. Genevieve 60.69 St. Francois 66.15 St Louis 108.67 Saline 105.91 Schuyler 58.61 Scotland 77.31 Scott 107.35 Shannon 43.97 Shelby 93.53 Stoddard 115.65 Stone 62.37 Sullivan 48.91 Taney 51.64 Texas 43.21 Vernon 56.77 Warren 102.15 Washington 50.52 Wayne 40.22 Webster 68.78 Worth 59.34 Wright 47.33 Montana Beaverhead 23.49 Big Horn 9.29 Blaine 12.59 Broadwater 24.09 Carbon 24.80 Carter 11.32 Cascade 22.22 Chouteau 16.90 Custer 8.48 Daniels 10.87 Dawson 9.43 Deer Lodge 33.96 Fallon 9.24 Fergus 18.22 Flathead 105.19 Gallatin 55.66 Garfield 10.40 Glacier 14.38 Golden Valley 11.87 Granite 26.88 Hill 13.64 Jefferson 23.88 Judith Basin 18.80 Lake 33.65 Lewis and Clark 31.91 Liberty 12.80 Lincoln 79.04 McCone 10.11 Madison 26.38 Meagher 20.25 Mineral 93.68 Missoula 58.32 Musselshell 10.40 Park 53.76 Petroleum 9.24 Phillips 12.11 Pondera 17.09 Powder River 11.61 Powell 19.93 Prairie 11.87 Ravalli 102.29 Richland 12.59 Roosevelt 13.32 Rosebud 8.69 Sanders 25.01 Sheridan 12.48 Silver Bow 33.04 Stillwater 29.41 Sweet Grass 22.64 Teton 22.14 Toole 15.11 Treasure 10.58 Valley 10.45 Wheatland 10.79 Wibaux 9.85 Yellowstone 16.09 Nebraska Adams 128.93 Antelope 103.92 Arthur 10.32 Banner 18.81 Blaine 12.52 Boone 107.68 Box Butte 26.08 Boyd 33.59 Brown 17.50 Buffalo 91.31 Burt 127.43 Butler 120.87 Cass 141.51 Cedar 107.68 Chase 48.04 Cherry 12.98 Cheyenne 21.80 Clay 125.39 Colfax 129.27 Cuming 131.04 Custer 46.36 Dakota 117.23 Dawes 18.17 Dawson 75.89 Deuel 24.40 Dixon 101.32 Dodge 137.08 Douglas 151.89 Dundy 33.19 Fillmore 134.67 Franklin 72.53 Frontier 35.85 Furnas 57.20 Gage 85.29 Garden 14.93 Garfield 24.22 Gosper 77.32 Grant 13.50 Greeley 78.88 Hall 109.20 Hamilton 157.48 Harlan 75.31 Hayes 31.61 Hitchcock 31.51 Holt 51.12 Hooker 10.81 Howard 72.04 Jefferson 95.95 Johnson 62.17 Kearney 129.05 Keith 45.41 Keya Paha 18.93 Kimball 21.19 Knox 67.76 Lancaster 111.89 Lincoln 35.09 Logan 27.76 Loup 18.11 McPherson 10.93 Madison 117.69 Merrick 93.75 Morrill 22.54 Nance 83.49 Nemaha 99.37 Nuckolls 92.16 Otoe 104.93 Pawnee 63.21 Perkins 55.49 Phelps 110.03 Pierce 105.63 Platte 124.29 Polk 145.18 Red Willow 38.94 Richardson 93.14 Rock 26.32 Saline 117.69 Sarpy 145.57 Saunders 128.69 Scotts Bluff 45.62 Seward 122.91 Sheridan 16.92 Sherman 57.87 Sioux 13.99 Stanton 106.88 Thayer 100.71 Thomas 12.28 Thurston 123.34 Valley 53.96 Washington 147.16 Wayne 106.82 Webster 69.14 Wheeler 29.93 York 137.57 Nevada Carson City 28.77 Churchill 18.47 Clark 28.09 Douglas 22.43 Elko 51.65 Esmeralda 18.72 Eureka 43.21 Humboldt 22.21 Lander 3.81 Lincoln 13.79 Lyon 4.98 Mineral 7.63 Nye 5.72 Pershing 22.38 Storey 16.89 Washoe 3.30 White Pine 16.47 New Hampshire Belknap
  • Carroll
  • 137.47
  • 119.57
  • Cheshire 73.67 Coos 60.05 Grafton 74.84 Hillsborough 163.45 Merrimack 100.00 Rockingham 186.92 Strafford 123.41 Sullivan 99.09 New Jersey Atlantic 294.97 Bergen 1,009.12 Burlington 231.91 Camden 301.26 Cape May 276.15 Cumberland 192.38 Essex 1,519.67 Gloucester 285.13 Hudson 306.29 Hunterdon 392.69 Mercer 486.27 Middlesex 471.34 Monmouth 516.71 Morris 554.21 Ocean 369.82 Passaic 747.07 Salem 189.03 Somerset 490.76 Sussex 255.53 Union 3,018.86 Warren 244.93 New Mexico Bernalillo 21.18 Catron 7.99 Chaves 6.72 Cibola 5.84 Colfax 7.40 Curry 10.81 De Baca 4.62 Dona Ana 33.44 Eddy 8.36 Grant 7.01 Guadalupe 4.97 Harding 5.28 Hidalgo 4.62 Lea 6.33 Lincoln 6.61 Los Alamos 285.20 Luna 7.92 McKinley 5.88 Mora 10.37 Otero 7.85 Quay 6.26 Rio Arriba 13.52 Roosevelt 9.11 Sandoval 6.49 San Juan 7.05 San Miguel 9.76 Santa Fe 15.81 Sierra 5.35 Socorro 9.20 Taos 21.90 Torrance 6.79 Union 6.87 Valencia 17.61 New York Albany 80.70 Allegany 45.58 Bronx 67.71 Broome 68.30 Cattaraugus 49.25 Cayuga 83.73 Chautauqua 53.78 Chemung 62.70 Chenango 47.79 Clinton 52.74 Columbia 136.01 Cortland 49.64 Delaware 64.91 Dutchess 135.10 Erie 77.05 Essex 54.95 Franklin 43.75 Fulton 55.93 Genesee 68.56 Greene 97.30 Hamilton 47.46 Herkimer 50.20 Jefferson 42.71 Kings 20,638.99 Lewis 43.49 Livingston 75.46 Madison 53.19 Monroe 92.48 Montgomery 59.87 Nassau 477.43 New York 67.71 Niagara 59.70 Oneida 51.86 Onondaga 82.17 Ontario 83.92 Orange 144.21 Orleans 67.65 Oswego 52.67 Otsego 58.47 Putnam 142.39 Queens 133.53 Rensselaer 89.49 Richmond 4,591.66 Rockland 2,255.74 St. Lawrence 36.92 Saratoga 124.78 Schenectady 89.95 Schoharie 59.35 Schuyler 74.42 Seneca 76.70 Steuben 47.76 Suffolk 304.64 Sullivan 95.90 Tioga 51.24 Tompkins 71.81 Ulster 131.32 Warren 104.11 Washington 63.19 Wayne 64.55 Westchester 419.36 Wyoming 68.17 Yates 103.03 North Carolina Alamance 122.96 Alexander 155.13 Alleghany 125.24 Anson 97.14 Ashe 148.32 Avery 181.70 Beaufort 79.70 Bertie 70.47 Bladen 85.83 Brunswick 112.20 Buncombe 224.30 Burke 138.67 Cabarrus 191.02 Caldwell 143.98 Camden 74.09 Carteret 85.73 Caswell 75.04 Catawba 140.82 Chatham 129.38 Cherokee 149.85 Chowan 82.63 Clay 130.13 Cleveland 107.34 Columbus 79.08 Craven 80.68 Cumberland 81.39 Currituck 106.59 Dare 100.59 Davidson 160.05 Davie 161.09 Duplin 106.30 Durham 223.68 Edgecombe 68.68 Forsyth 216.67 Franklin 111.38 Gaston 158.09 Gates 90.75 Graham 157.15 Granville 107.11 Greene 101.70 Guilford 161.29 Halifax 61.84 Harnett 139.48 Haywood 165.17 Henderson 203.60 Hertford 62.39 Hoke 83.55 Hyde 64.15 Iredell 156.82 Jackson 251.81 Johnston 127.32 Jones 69.56 Lee 109.00 Lenoir 88.01 Lincoln 145.28 McDowell 150.43 Macon 199.00 Madison 141.18 Martin 73.51 Mecklenburg 536.97 Mitchell 137.46 Montgomery 106.89 Moore 138.86 Nash 99.42 New Hanover 371.12 Northampton 68.26 Onslow 99.58 Orange 174.52 Pamlico 75.04 Pasquotank 82.37 Pender 110.28 Perquimans 84.62 Person 99.03 Pitt 82.96 Polk 191.21 Randolph 124.98 Richmond 107.41 Robeson 76.60 Rockingham 105.48 Rowan 147.53 Rutherford 105.22 Sampson 103.66 Scotland 93.88 Stanly 134.07 Stokes 100.33 Surry 119.63 Swain 164.06 Transylvania 230.46 Tyrrell 66.37 Union 147.27 Vance 90.23 Wake 249.69 Warren 66.82 Washington 78.69 Watauga 194.90 Wayne 107.54 Wilkes 126.28 Wilson 99.55 Yadkin 137.36 Yancey 169.05 North Dakota Adams 21.57 Barnes 59.80 Benson 34.58 Billings 21.07 Bottineau 36.15 Bowman 20.13 Burke 22.44 Burleigh 37.66 Cass 76.65 Cavalier 50.90 Dickey 60.30 Divide 17.29 Dunn 24.41 Eddy 35.79 Emmons 31.50 Foster 49.97 Golden Valley 22.54 Grand Forks 56.22 Grant 24.68 Griggs 48.80 Hettinger 30.00 Kidder 24.75 LaMoure 57.86 Logan 27.36 McHenry 24.05 McIntosh 31.47 McKenzie 19.73 McLean 35.12 Mercer 25.48 Morton 27.36 Mountrail 24.35 Nelson 31.44 Oliver 27.32 Pembina 68.96 Pierce 27.49 Ramsey 37.26 Ransom 48.90 Renville 43.28 Richland 79.46 Rolette 30.07 Sargent 63.48 Sheridan 25.02 Sioux 23.91 Slope 22.81 Stark 36.32 Steele 49.50 Stutsman 46.72 Towner 34.31 Traill 77.62 Walsh 63.61 Ward 41.14 Wells 43.28 Williams 19.93 Ohio Adams 76.46 Allen 141.13 Ashland 122.26 Ashtabula 87.47 Athens 74.29 Auglaize 161.42 Belmont 89.31 Brown 96.22 Butler 156.12 Carroll 99.29 Champaign 143.13 Clark 137.22 Clermont 136.38 Clinton 132.55 Columbiana 129.84 Coshocton 91.61 Crawford 125.03 Cuyahoga 457.06 Darke 189.57 Defiance 119.72 Delaware 158.59 Erie 125.73 Fairfield 127.47 Fayette 146.17 Franklin 164.30 Fulton 148.40 Gallia 86.91 Geauga 189.47 Greene 160.59 Guernsey 76.69 Hamilton 194.51 Hancock 126.37 Hardin 130.54 Harrison 80.33 Henry 150.77 Highland 96.65 Hocking 95.75 Holmes 155.52 Huron 119.79 Jackson 63.10 Jefferson 73.58 Knox 127.64 Lake 201.66 Lawrence 65.20 Licking 130.71 Logan 132.98 Lorain 125.47 Lucas 154.31 Madison 136.02 Mahoning 132.68 Marion 127.47 Medina 169.94 Meigs 64.84 Mercer 209.77 Miami 152.31 Monroe 61.63 Montgomery 156.45 Morgan 64.17 Morrow 125.07 Muskingum 87.14 Noble 68.04 Ottawa 126.94 Paulding 129.47 Perry 96.82 Pickaway 128.00 Pike 84.84 Portage 138.75 Preble 140.39 Putnam 134.31 Richland 132.55 Ross 96.35 Sandusky 125.77 Scioto 75.12 Seneca 130.14 Shelby 158.99 Stark 147.27 Summit 225.73 Trumbull 107.04 Tuscarawas 102.33 Union 137.19 Van Wert 167.63 Vinton 64.84 Warren 190.97 Washington 71.48 Wayne 166.60 Williams 102.23 Wood 155.48 Wyandot 134.31 Oklahoma Adair 52.36 Alfalfa 37.61 Atoka 36.95 Beaver 17.66 Beckham 29.24 Blaine 31.49 Bryan 46.87 Caddo 35.39 Canadian 50.97 Carter 41.78 Cherokee 62.71 Choctaw 38.93 Cimarron 13.36 Cleveland 82.69 Coal 33.34 Comanche 36.55 Cotton 29.80 Craig 42.14 Creek 47.30 Custer 35.46 Delaware 61.36 Dewey 26.79 Ellis 21.10 Garfield 37.94 Garvin 41.81 Grady 42.60 Grant 36.12 Greer 22.66 Harmon 25.20 Harper 20.14 Haskell 40.06 Hughes 33.01 Jackson 26.49 Jefferson 26.76 Johnston 35.56 Kay 35.79 Kingfisher 36.05 Kiowa 25.44 Latimer 35.26 Le Flore 52.53 Lincoln 45.61 Logan 49.85 Love 45.78 McClain 54.05 McCurtain 46.11 McIntosh 40.78 Major 29.70 Marshall 44.26 Mayes 55.90 Murray 36.68 Muskogee 46.70 Noble 37.71 Nowata 43.86 Okfuskee 33.77 Oklahoma 82.00 Okmulgee 47.66 Osage 27.92 Ottawa 61.03 Pawnee 35.23 Payne 50.04 Pittsburg 36.02 Pontotoc 46.54 Pottawatomie 46.47 Pushmataha 30.10 Roger Mills 27.29 Rogers 65.19 Seminole 37.34 Sequoyah 52.99 Stephens 33.54 Texas 21.17 Tillman 26.56 Tulsa 96.19 Wagoner 64.23 Washington 44.26 Washita 31.72 Woods 28.71 Woodward 29.31 Oregon Baker 19.10 Benton 111.76 Clackamas 254.07 Clatsop 104.51 Columbia 103.47 Coos 60.76 Crook 17.12 Curry 64.19 Deschutes 132.16 Douglas 58.09 Gilliam 9.37 Grant 15.17 Harney 10.31 Hood River 357.94 Jackson 88.21 Jefferson 12.08 Josephine 189.38 Klamath 27.79 Lake 19.17 Lane 128.55 Lincoln 90.33 Linn 91.18 Malheur 22.11 Marion 149.63 Morrow 17.92 Multnomah 224.70 Polk 115.70 Sherman 11.23 Tillamook 117.91 Umatilla 30.75 Union 29.15 Wallowa 23.78 Wasco 14.18 Washington 176.55 Wheeler 12.20 Yamhill 172.61 Pennsylvania Adams 164.15 Allegheny 138.76 Armstrong 75.72 Beaver 126.65 Bedford 97.25 Berks 233.31 Blair 120.23 Bradford 97.55 Bucks 323.42 Butler 125.04 Cambria 86.32 Cameron 51.49 Carbon 172.44 Centre 142.65 Chester 344.23 Clarion 77.73 Clearfield 69.76 Clinton 142.58 Columbia 123.59 Crawford 74.34 Cumberland 205.23 Dauphin 119.60 Delaware 363.39 Elk 90.07 Erie 90.53 Fayette 87.47 Forest 63.41 Franklin 175.04 Fulton 95.83 Greene 79.21 Huntingdon 100.94 Indiana 73.71 Jefferson 68.38 Juniata 132.71 Lackawanna 128.89 Lancaster 329.97 Lawrence 108.11 Lebanon 278.19 Lehigh 219.36 Luzerne 118.22 Lycoming 112.33 McKean 54.32 Mercer 90.07 Mifflin 129.25 Monroe 207.01 Montgomery 370.07 Montour 144.39 Northampton 216.43 Northumberland 128.99 Perry 133.04 Philadelphia 1,194.06 Pike 48.33 Potter 72.39 Schuylkill 169.51 Snyder 153.28 Somerset 69.30 Sullivan 81.22 Susquehanna 107.42 Tioga 90.53 Union 141.99 Venango 81.45 Warren 61.79 Washington 120.03 Wayne 98.24 Westmoreland 125.30 Wyoming 105.64 York 198.78 Puerto Rico All Areas 170.53 Rhode Island Bristol 580.58 Kent 195.88 Newport 505.19 Providence 329.72 Washington 269.54 South Carolina Abbeville 72.26 Aiken 98.95 Allendale 57.58 Anderson 113.73 Bamberg 57.68 Barnwell 63.47 Beaufort 88.08 Berkeley 92.90 Calhoun 72.75 Charleston 162.33 Cherokee 78.97 Chester 73.43 Chesterfield 71.32 Clarendon 47.91 Colleton 70.24 Darlington 64.19 Dillon 67.77 Dorchester 89.58 Edgefield 76.98 Fairfield 72.68 Florence 57.68 Georgetown 61.29 Greenville 169.19 Greenwood 62.69 Hampton 62.43 Horry 78.54 Jasper 70.76 Kershaw 79.62 Lancaster 102.50 Laurens 88.24 Lee 58.98 Lexington 103.74 McCormick 46.03 Marion 60.61 Marlboro 56.47 Newberry 70.60 Oconee 138.21 Orangeburg 65.82 Pickens 145.17 Richland 91.43 Saluda 74.28 Spartanburg 129.26 Sumter 60.41 Union 57.35 Williamsburg 54.33 York 131.01 South Dakota Aurora 63.03 Beadle 76.45 Bennett 15.08 Bon Homme 77.95 Brookings 113.75 Brown 77.88 Brule 60.80 Buffalo 31.57 Butte 16.52 Campbell 34.04 Charles Mix 62.80 Clark 67.64 Clay 118.06 Codington 71.64 Corson 17.45 Custer 30.60 Davison 90.56 Day 51.02 Deuel 78.78 Dewey 15.28 Douglas 76.18 Edmunds 58.53 Fall River 13.75 Faulk 51.92 Grant 79.88 Gregory 32.60 Haakon 16.05 Hamlin 95.37 Hand 50.92 Hanson 99.97 Harding 11.21 Hughes 52.39 Hutchinson 87.76 Hyde 37.11 Jackson 21.22 Jerauld 52.52 Jones 19.42 Kingsbury 88.59 Lake 108.95 Lawrence 37.87 Lincoln 145.22 Lyman 26.76 McCook 113.39 McPherson 40.84 Marshall 59.66 Meade 17.99 Mellette 19.09 Miner 85.76 Minnehaha 137.38 Moody 135.98 Pennington 18.65 Perkins 14.35 Potter 53.36 Roberts 67.57 Sanborn 63.47 Shannon 12.28 Spink 79.45 Stanley 24.49 Sully 41.64 Todd 13.65 Tripp 29.83 Turner 115.22 Union 133.81 Walworth 39.54 Yankton 110.58 Ziebach 12.68 Tennessee Anderson 156.13 Bedford 101.88 Benton 59.75 Bledsoe 93.48 Blount 181.59 Bradley 145.00 Campbell 99.61 Cannon 82.58 Carroll 65.32 Carter 139.63 Cheatham 113.84 Chester 51.39 Claiborne 81.75 Clay 74.08 Cocke 97.78 Coffee 94.38 Crockett 75.62 Cumberland 101.51 Davidson 165.86 Decatur 57.32 DeKalb 85.55 Dickson 88.75 Dyer 66.85 Fayette 83.75 Fentress 85.51 Franklin 103.91 Gibson 82.38 Giles 78.31 Grainger 101.38 Greene 108.04 Grundy 76.35 Hamblen 124.84 Hamilton 150.73 Hancock 61.25 Hardeman 68.08 Hardin 67.48 Hawkins 93.91 Haywood 96.18 Henderson 58.85 Henry 74.08 Hickman 63.82 Houston 60.49 Humphreys 75.82 Jackson 77.15 Jefferson 143.97 Johnson 127.00 Knox 204.48 Lake 87.75 Lauderdale 83.38 Lawrence 70.62 Lewis 69.38 Lincoln 89.88 Loudon 144.57 McMinn 109.24 McNairy 57.52 Macon 91.28 Madison 67.18 Marion 78.45 Marshall 80.45 Maury 97.28 Meigs 93.84 Monroe 120.17 Montgomery 114.91 Moore 94.04 Morgan 91.38 Obion 84.95 Overton 86.65 Perry 52.82 Pickett 77.45 Polk 119.17 Putnam 115.41 Rhea 93.28 Roane 135.57 Robertson 129.80 Rutherford 130.04 Scott 75.28 Sequatchie 86.28 Sevier 158.00 Shelby 122.27 Smith 70.85 Stewart 70.08 Sullivan 147.33 Sumner 129.67 Tipton 79.11 Trousdale 102.74 Unicoi 146.93 Union 76.98 Van Buren 99.21 Warren 95.14 Washington 171.09 Wayne 53.69 Weakley 79.35 White 100.41 Williamson 196.65 Wilson 118.17 Texas Anderson 62.16 Andrews 8.32 Angelina 80.24 Aransas 43.29 Archer 25.00 Armstrong 26.71 Atascosa 49.77 Austin 103.84 Bailey 20.46 Bandera 68.45 Bastrop 94.97 Baylor 26.40 Bee 47.42 Bell 77.82 Bexar 108.79 Blanco 120.13 Borden 14.87 Bosque 61.49 Bowie 57.65 Brazoria 77.15 Brazos 95.83 Brewster 11.91 Briscoe 21.19 Brooks 27.00 Brown 52.00 Burleson 72.99 Burnet 84.46 Caldwell 84.02 Calhoun 44.60 Callahan 38.37 Cameron 74.65 Camp 66.13 Carson 23.38 Cass 52.35 Castro 27.89 Chambers 50.73 Cherokee 62.77 Childress 19.53 Clay 40.09 Cochran 17.09 Coke 26.55 Coleman 38.43 Collin 134.74 Collingsworth 21.15 Colorado 84.08 Comal 133.34 Comanche 61.02 Concho 40.21 Cooke 83.03 Coryell 61.81 Cottle 15.72 Crane 14.99 Crockett 16.01 Crosby 21.73 Culberson 8.70 Dallam 23.95 Dallas 117.18 Dawson 20.04 Deaf Smith 25.13 Delta 46.41 Denton 155.29 DeWitt 66.39 Dickens 18.61 Dimmit 39.61 Donley 27.38 Duval 33.16 Eastland 50.50 Ector 12.29 Edwards 31.92 Ellis 49.23 El Paso 80.84 Erath 81.70 Falls 49.49 Fannin 65.08 Fayette 107.62 Fisher 27.51 Floyd 29.10 Foard 18.77 Fort Bend 104.06 Franklin 72.90 Freestone 53.36 Frio 51.90 Gaines 24.65 Galveston 91.58 Garza 17.63 Gillespie 108.25 Glasscock 22.74 Goliad 52.54 Gonzales 82.11 Gray 22.55 Grayson 95.48 Gregg 98.63 Grimes 98.21 Guadalupe 91.35 Hale 30.11 Hall 19.60 Hamilton 63.08 Hansford 23.51 Hardeman 22.23 Hardin 78.58 Harris 135.76 Harrison 72.29 Hartley 25.54 Haskell 18.80 Hays 157.55 Hemphill 18.80 Henderson 75.69 Hidalgo 77.19 Hill 57.24 Hockley 26.36 Hood 103.80 Hopkins 56.25 Houston 57.02 Howard 19.28 Hudspeth 14.29 Hunt 77.66 Hutchinson 19.38 Irion 23.85 Jack 49.71 Jackson 53.71 Jasper 80.01 Jeff Davis 12.20 Jefferson 42.12 Jim Hogg 33.92 Jim Wells 46.44 Johnson 103.61 Jones 28.27 Karnes 66.01 Kaufman 86.37 Kendall 121.66 Kenedy 16.71 Kent 21.69 Kerr 66.93 Kimble 45.04 King 15.44 Kinney 30.56 Kleberg 47.87 Knox 19.63 Lamar 49.62 Lamb 54.95 Lampasas 29.41 La Salle 63.81 Lavaca 74.49 Lee 81.28 Leon 63.69 Liberty 63.65 Limestone 48.06 Lipscomb 20.52 Live Oak 48.69 Llano 68.74 Loving 5.05 Lubbock 47.07 Lynn 22.87 McCulloch 47.07 McLennan 65.85 McMullen 35.70 Madison 71.12 Marion 56.51 Martin 26.24 Mason 60.16 Matagorda 50.38 Maverick 29.95 Medina 66.01 Menard 37.07 Midland 36.40 Milam 91.00 Mills 56.48 Mitchell 20.04 Montague 63.53 Montgomery 150.05 Moore 23.85 Morris 53.36 Motley 18.74 Nacogdoches 64.07 Navarro 52.16 Newton 50.92 Nolan 28.56 Nueces 39.36 Ochiltree 25.44 Oldham 14.99 Orange 84.43 Palo Pinto 61.18 Panola 53.40 Parker 127.37 Parmer 26.43 Pecos 12.90 Polk 69.44 Potter 13.91 Presidio 11.72 Rains 64.10 Randall 25.51 Reagan 12.36 Real 37.54 Red River 42.25 Reeves 6.83 Refugio 23.19 Roberts 16.71 Robertson 60.83 Rockwall 148.31 Runnels 32.88 Rusk 55.55 Sabine 69.05 San Augustine 58.70 San Jacinto 72.04 San Patricio 40.59 San Saba 61.94 Schleicher 23.54 Scurry 21.60 Shackelford 27.76 Shelby 74.39 Sherman 27.38 Smith 96.21 Somervell 98.94 Starr 44.98 Stephens 35.54 Sterling 13.40 Stonewall 18.26 Sutton 23.98 Swisher 23.41 Tarrant 161.07 Taylor 28.78 Terrell 9.88 Terry 28.94 Throckmorton 30.46 Titus 65.43 Tom Green 28.97 Travis 97.52 Trinity 58.89 Tyler 74.30 Upshur 72.74 Upton 14.93 Uvalde 50.79 Val Verde 14.48 Van Zandt 81.09 Victoria 58.25 Walker 84.59 Waller 158.69 Ward 9.40 Washington 141.00 Webb 27.51 Wharton 64.58 Wheeler 20.87 Wichita 30.30 Wilbarger 25.41 Willacy 46.44 Williamson 98.72 Wilson 75.92 Winkler 9.21 Wise 96.94 Wood 72.49 Yoakum 20.55 Young 35.16 Zapata 29.70 Zavala 39.01 Utah Beaver 20.80 Box Elder 12.52 Cache 36.74 Carbon 12.68 Daggett 22.24 Davis 67.51 Duchesne 8.67 Emery 17.70 Garfield 23.67 Grand 6.03 Iron 19.64 Juab 12.49 Kane 14.68 Millard 14.63 Morgan 16.40 Piute 30.52 Rich 10.48 Salt Lake 49.26 San Juan 3.89 Sanpete 22.41 Sevier 31.43 Summit 23.75 Tooele 12.43 Uintah 6.59 Utah 55.51 Wasatch 39.75 Washington 38.07 Wayne 42.04 Weber 60.62 Vermont Addison 79.90 Bennington 109.63 Caledonia 83.54 Chittenden 112.81 Essex 48.89 Franklin 73.53 Grand Isle 99.92 Lamoille 95.68 Orange 81.31 Orleans 63.85 Rutland 71.34 Washington 105.33 Windham 104.94 Windsor 99.62 Virginia Accomack 97.04 Albemarle 231.85 Alleghany 82.28 Amelia 81.16 Amherst 96.55 Appomattox 75.40 Arlington 1,423.59 Augusta 165.66 Bath 110.32 Bedford 117.30 Bland 85.39 Botetourt 115.71 Brunswick 55.27 Buchanan 69.97 Buckingham 81.49 Campbell 79.04 Caroline 109.29 Carroll 90.19 Charles City 99.46 Charlotte 60.14 Chesterfield 115.31 Clarke 141.10 Craig 208.65 Culpeper 83.94 Cumberland 170.79 Dickenson 94.99 Dinwiddie 78.58 Essex 79.50 Fairfax 80.63 Fauquier 401.32 Floyd 210.11 Fluvanna 95.92 Franklin 134.97 Frederick 93.83 Giles 156.29 Gloucester 69.97 Goochland 133.12 Grayson 144.51 Greene 111.08 Greensville 182.17 Halifax 53.72 Hanover 60.83 Henrico 147.39 Henry 174.16 Highland 71.49 Isle of Wight 89.50 James City 94.16 King and Queen 232.12 King George 81.79 King William 133.25 Lancaster 98.86 Lee 121.24 Loudoun 58.32 Louisa 317.15 Lunenburg 151.52 Madison 63.02 Mathews 167.25 Mecklenburg 163.97 Middlesex 68.18 Montgomery 102.07 Nelson 129.15 New Kent 121.30 Northampton 146.29 Northumberland 114.35 Nottoway 79.47 Orange 82.61 Page 178.63 Patrick 155.73 Pittsylvania 88.34 Powhatan 64.34 Prince Edward 151.69 Prince George 84.80 Prince William 111.28 Pulaski 233.74 Rappahannock 81.39 Richmond 223.54 Roanoke 76.32 Rockbridge 113.20 Rockingham 113.76 Russell 186.81 Scott 57.49 Shenandoah 54.98 Smyth 147.75 Southampton 73.84 Spotsylvania 70.63 Stafford 162.31 Surry 242.74 Sussex 119.72 Tazewell 94.83 Warren 60.30 Washington 58.65 Westmoreland 140.80 Wise 188.99 Wythe 104.23 York 94.69 Chesapeake City 72.98 Suffolk 89.66 Virginia Beach City 132.16 Washington Adams 20.01 Asotin 13.84 Benton 44.50 Chelan 142.39 Clallam 202.59 Clark 205.65 Columbia 17.49 Cowlitz 141.29 Douglas 16.56 Ferry 6.91 Franklin 47.58 Garfield 15.40 Grant 55.71 Grays Harbor 34.17 Island 231.40 Jefferson 148.50 King 348.37 Kitsap 429.86 Kittitas 71.86 Klickitat 23.16 Lewis 102.30 Lincoln 18.08 Mason 134.83 Okanogan 21.56 Pacific 56.18 Pend Oreille 49.64 Pierce 231.17 San Juan 215.00 Skagit 123.29 Skamania 165.24 Snohomish 260.94 Spokane 46.22 Stevens 25.56 Thurston 141.23 Wahkiakum 76.27 Walla Walla 33.91 Whatcom 187.80 Whitman 22.72 Yakima 29.30 West Virginia Barbour 52.13 Berkeley 153.53 Boone 46.30 Braxton 43.60 Brooke 51.93 Cabell 79.93 Calhoun 40.57 Clay 49.93 Doddridge 50.20 Fayette 65.53 Gilmer 39.27 Grant 63.40 Greenbrier 75.66 Hampshire 96.03 Hancock 78.20 Hardy 75.66 Harrison 56.50 Jackson 58.87 Jefferson 183.26 Kanawha 57.73 Lewis 52.50 Lincoln 53.90 Logan 51.97 McDowell 63.97 Marion 57.47 Marshall 58.63 Mason 56.37 Mercer 59.27 Mineral 80.16 Mingo 37.80 Monongalia 82.40 Monroe 60.87 Morgan 119.20 Nicholas 68.07 Ohio 61.67 Pendleton 62.03 Pleasants 51.53 Pocahontas 58.70 Preston 65.80 Putnam 68.17 Raleigh 66.33 Randolph 48.40 Ritchie 42.63 Roane 45.77 Summers 58.60 Taylor 66.17 Tucker 81.56 Tyler 48.97 Upshur 61.87 Wayne 50.13 Webster 58.50 Wetzel 48.70 Wirt 43.80 Wood 62.20 Wyoming 55.27 Wisconsin Adams 101.57 Ashland 48.22 Barron 73.29 Bayfield 53.19 Brown 142.07 Buffalo 88.12 Burnett 64.39 Calumet 144.55 Chippewa 71.43 Clark 81.87 Columbia 132.05 Crawford 70.87 Dane 158.63 Dodge 140.23 Door 106.58 Douglas 45.50 Dunn 86.84 Eau Claire 78.63 Florence 81.57 Fond du Lac 130.97 Forest 53.91 Grant 109.00 Green 114.57 Green Lake 118.99 Iowa 104.52 Iron 60.43 Jackson 80.98 Jefferson 135.75 Juneau 80.62 Kenosha 131.92 Kewaunee 113.95 La Crosse 87.60 Lafayette 128.19 Langlade 72.51 Lincoln 64.71 Manitowoc 138.24 Marathon 76.37 Marinette 79.48 Marquette 89.79 Menominee 33.65 Milwaukee 247.70 Monroe 83.96 Oconto 85.70 Oneida 109.72 Outagamie 138.04 Ozaukee 146.84 Pepin 86.06 Pierce 103.64 Polk 74.67 Portage 86.22 Price 49.79 Racine 142.72 Richland 78.86 Rock 144.62 Rusk 53.32 St. Croix 110.65 Sauk 101.64 Sawyer 60.03 Shawano 94.08 Sheboygan 137.29 Taylor 57.32 Trempealeau 83.73 Vernon 86.45 Vilas 140.17 Walworth 160.63 Washburn 65.01 Washington 152.74 Waukesha 170.94 Waupaca 100.59 Waushara 90.57 Winnebago 110.08 Wood 82.42 Wyoming Albany 9.42 Big Horn 25.57 Campbell 9.69 Carbon 9.42 Converse 6.32 Crook 14.86 Fremont 14.57 Goshen 13.02 Hot Springs 11.70 Johnson 10.17 Laramie 12.03 Lincoln 30.13 Natrona 10.44 Niobrara 8.98 Park 23.46 Platte 12.03 Sheridan 13.79 Sublette 22.52 Sweetwater 3.39 Teton 53.26 Uinta 12.31 Washakie 14.86 Weston 7.83 1 Pursuant to Annual Charges for the Use of Government Lands, Order No. 774, 78 FR 5256 (January 25, 2013), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,341 (2013) Commission-licensed projects occupying U.S. Federal lands in the Anchorage Area or Juneau Area will be charged at the Kenai Peninsula per-acre value.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03809 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2015-0007; T.D. TTB-133; Ref: Notice No. 151] RIN 1513-AC17 Establishment of the Lamorinda Viticultural Area AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; Treasury decision.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) establishes the approximately 29,369-acre “Lamorinda” viticultural area in Contra Costa County, California. The viticultural area lies entirely within the larger San Francisco Bay viticultural area and the multicounty Central Coast viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective March 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jesse Longbrake, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 066.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013 (superseding Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these provisions.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of AVAs. Petitions to establish an AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the area within the proposed AVA boundary is nationally or locally known by the AVA name specified in the petition;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed AVA;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed AVA distinctive and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the proposed AVA boundary;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA, with the boundary of the proposed AVA clearly drawn thereon; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Lamorinda Petition

    TTB received a petition from Patrick L. Shabram, on behalf of the Lamorinda Wine Growers Association, proposing the establishment of the “Lamorinda” AVA. The proposed Lamorinda AVA is located in Contra Costa County, California, and contains the cities of Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda. The proposed viticultural area lies in the northeast portion of the established San Francisco Bay AVA (27 CFR 9.157) and also within the larger, multicounty Central Coast AVA (27 CFR 9.75).

    The proposed AVA covers approximately 29,369 acres and has 46 commercially-producing vineyards that cover approximately 139 acres. The petition states that the individual vineyards are small, each covering less than 5 acres, due to the hilly terrain and the largely suburban nature of the region. However, three much larger commercial vineyards covering a total of 130 acres are either in the early development or public review stages. There are also six bonded wineries currently within the proposed AVA.

    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the proposed Lamorinda AVA are its topography, geology, soils, and climate. The terrain of the proposed AVA is composed of moderate-to-steep hills with narrow valleys. The steep hillsides prevent the use of machinery for vineyard work within the proposed AVA, requiring instead that the work be done by hand. The proposed AVA is suitable for both cool- and warm-climate varietals because the hilly terrain results in disparate levels of sunlight at different elevations. The terrain of the proposed AVA contrasts with the steeper, more rugged terrain to the south and west and the lower, flatter plains to the north and east. Additionally, the proposed Lamorinda AVA is characterized by a distinct suburban land use pattern which tends to provide property owners with enough room to plant vineyards large enough for commercial viticulture. This contrasts with the more urban and densely populated areas to the east and west.

    The dominant geological formation of the proposed Lamorinda AVA is the Orinda Formation, while the Briones and Mulholland Formations are also present. These underlying geological formations affect viticulture in the proposed AVA due to their role in forming the soils of the region. Other geographic formations dominate the surrounding area.

    The soils of the proposed AVA have high levels of clay attributable to the weathering of the clay-rich Orinda Formation. Typically, clay-rich soils have high water-holding capacities, but within the proposed AVA the thinness of the soils, steepness of terrain, and presence of sand in the soils allow rapid runoff of excess water. These features reduce the risk of vineyard diseases and rot normally associated with soils with high water-holding capacities. In contrast to the clay-rich soils of the proposed AVA, the soils to the west, south, and southeast are characterized by sedimentary and volcanic materials; soils to the north are typically fine-grained bay mud; and soils to the east are characterized by deeper, coarser alluvial deposits.

    Finally, the proposed Lamorinda AVA generally has a warmer climate than the surrounding areas to the north, south, and west. The high ridgelines present to the north and west of the proposed AVA limit the amount of cool marine air and fog that enters the region from San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and Suisun Bay, resulting in higher growing degree day (GDD) 1 accumulations within the region. This allows vineyards in the proposed AVA to support slower-maturing varieties of grapes which require longer growing seasons. The regions to the north, south, and west are more exposed to marine air and fog and have lower GDD accumulations than the proposed AVA. The area due east and further inland from the proposed AVA receives less marine air and fog, and experiences higher GDD accumulations than the proposed AVA.

    1 In the Winkler climate classification system, annual heat accumulation during the growing season, measured in annual GDDs, defines climatic regions. One GDD accumulates for each degree Fahrenheit that a day's mean temperature is above 50 degrees, the minimum temperature required for grapevine growth. See Albert J. Winkler, General Viticulture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), pages 61-64.

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments Received

    TTB published Notice No. 151 in the Federal Register on April 14, 2015 (80 FR 19895), proposing to establish the Lamorinda AVA. In the notice, TTB summarized the evidence from the petition regarding the name, boundary, and distinguishing features for the proposed AVA. The notice also compared the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA to the surrounding areas. For a detailed description of the evidence relating to the name, boundary, and distinguishing features of the proposed AVA, and for a detailed comparison of the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA to the surrounding areas, see Notice No. 151.

    In Notice No. 151, TTB solicited comments on the accuracy of the name, boundary, and other required information submitted in support of the petition. In addition, given the proposed Lamorinda AVA's location within the existing San Francisco Bay AVA and the larger, multicounty Central Coast AVA, TTB solicited comments on whether the evidence submitted in the petition regarding the distinguishing features of the proposed AVA sufficiently differentiates it from the existing San Francisco Bay AVA and the larger, multicounty Central Coast AVA. Finally, TTB requested comments on whether the geographic features of the proposed AVA are so distinguishable from the surrounding San Francisco Bay AVA and the larger, multicounty Central Coast AVA that the proposed Lamorinda AVA should no longer be part of the established AVAs. The comment period closed June 15, 2015.

    Comments Received

    In response to Notice No. 151, TTB received a total of 12 comments. Commenters were primarily local residents and members of the wine industry from the Lamorinda region, including vineyard owners, winemakers, and a retail wine shop proprietor. Commenters also included wine industry members from outside of the Lamorinda region who work with Lamorinda-based industry members in various capacities. All of the comments generally supported the establishment of the proposed AVA due to the unique microclimates, soils, and geology of the Lamorinda region. Comments also emphasized the strong sense of community identity and commitment to local wines in Lamorinda, and suggested that the establishment of the Lamorinda AVA will help Lamorinda consumers to identify and buy local wines. Further, some comments noted that because the San Francisco Bay and Central Coast AVAs are so large and diverse, they do not necessarily reflect the specific characteristics of Lamorinda grapes and wines, and as a result, establishing the Lamorinda AVA will help wine industry members in the region differentiate themselves from others within the larger AVAs.

    The comments did not raise any new issues concerning the proposed Lamorinda AVA, and TTB received no comments opposing its establishment. TTB received one comment (comment 3) in response to its question of whether the proposed Lamorinda AVA is so distinguishable from the established San Francisco Bay AVA and the Central Coast AVA that the proposed AVA should not be part of the established AVAs. While the commenter noted his belief that the proposed AVA's combination of climate, soil, and topography is different from most, if not all, other winegrowing areas in the San Francisco Bay and Central Coast AVAs, the commenter supported finalizing the rulemaking as proposed in the interest of the expedient establishment of a Lamorinda AVA.

    TTB Determination

    After careful review of the petition and the comments received in response to Notice No. 151, TTB finds that the evidence provided by the petitioner supports the establishment of the Lamorinda AVA. Accordingly, under the authority of the FAA Act, section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and parts 4 and 9 of the TTB regulations, TTB establishes the “Lamorinda” AVA in Contra Costa County, California, effective 30 days from the publication date of this document.

    TTB has also determined that the Lamorinda AVA will remain part of the established San Francisco Bay AVA and the larger, multicounty Central Coast AVA. As discussed in Notice No. 151, both the San Francisco Bay AVA and the Lamorinda AVA are characterized by climates heavily influenced by marine air and fog from San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. However, as compared to other portions of the San Francisco Bay AVA, the Lamorinda AVA is more isolated from cool marine air due to the higher surrounding elevations and is also less affected by the heavy diurnal fog that characterizes the more coastal portions of the San Francisco Bay AVA.

    Further, as discussed in Notice No. 151, the large, 1 million-acre Central Coast AVA is only distinguished by the fact that all of its included counties experience marine climate influence due to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The Lamorinda AVA is located within the Central Coast AVA and, like the larger AVA, experiences mild marine breezes and nocturnal marine fog. However, due to its much smaller size, the proposed AVA has greater uniformity in geographical features such as topography, temperature, and soils, than the larger, multicounty Central Coast AVA.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the Lamorinda AVA in the regulatory text published at the end of this final rule.

    Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the regulatory text.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name or with a brand name that includes an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in 27 CFR 4.25(e)(3). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See 27 CFR 4.39(i)(2) for details.

    With the establishment of this AVA, its name, “Lamorinda,” will be recognized as a name of viticultural significance under § 4.39(i)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(3)). The text of the regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, wine bottlers using the name “Lamorinda” in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, will have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin.

    The establishment of the Lamorinda AVA will not affect any existing AVA, and any bottlers using “San Francisco Bay” or “Central Coast” as an appellation of origin or in a brand name for wines made from grapes grown within the San Francisco Bay AVA or the Central Coast AVA, respectively, will not be affected by the establishment of this new AVA. The establishment of the Lamorinda AVA will allow vintners to use “Lamorinda”, “San Francisco Bay”, and “Central Coast” as appellations of origin for wines made primarily from grapes grown within the Lamorinda AVA if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of an AVA name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    Drafting Information

    Jesse Longbrake of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this final rule.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    The Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB amends title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.254 to read as follows:
    § 9.254 Lamorinda.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Lamorinda”. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, “Lamorinda” is a term of viticultural significance.

    (b) Approved maps. The four United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:24,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Lamorinda viticultural area are titled:

    (1) Walnut Creek, CA, 1995;

    (2) Las Trampas Ridge, CA, 1995;

    (3) Oakland East, CA, 1997; and

    (4) Briones Valley, CA, 1995.

    (c) Boundary. The Lamorinda viticultural area is located in Contra Costa County, California. The boundary of the Lamorinda viticultural area is as described below:

    (1) The beginning point is on Walnut Creek map at the water tank (known locally as the Withers Reservoir) at the end of an unnamed light-duty road known locally as Kim Road, in the Cañada del Hambre y Las Bolsas Land Grant.

    (2) From the beginning point, proceed south-southeast in a straight line approximately 0.8 mile to the 833-foot peak marked “Hump 2;” then

    (3) Proceed southeast in a straight line approximately 1.7 miles to the marked 781-foot peak south of the shared Lafayette-Walnut Creek corporate boundary line and north of an unnamed light-duty road known locally as Peaceful Lane; then

    (4) Proceed southeast in a straight line approximately 0.3 mile to the marked 610-foot peak southwest of an unnamed light-duty road known locally as Secluded Place; then

    (5) Proceed south-southwest in a straight line approximately 1.7 miles to an unidentified benchmark at the end of an unnamed unimproved road known locally as Diablo Oaks Way in section 33, T1N/R2W; then

    (6) Proceed southeast in a straight line approximately 0.5 mile, crossing onto the Las Trampas map, and continuing another 0.9 mile to the substation at the southeast corner of section 4, T1S/R2W; then

    (7) Proceed southeast in a straight line approximately 2.3 miles to the 1,827-foot summit of Las Trampas Peak, section 22, T1S/R2W; then

    (8) Proceed south-southeast in a straight line approximately 2.1 miles to the 2,024-foot benchmark marked “Rock 2” in section 26, T1S/R2W; then

    (9) Proceed west-southwest in a straight line approximately 2.7 miles to the marked 1,057-foot peak in section 29, T1S/R2W; then

    (10) Proceed west-southwest in a straight line approximately 2 miles to the intersection of the 1,000-foot elevation line with the Contra Costa-Alameda County line in section 31, T1S/R2W; then

    (11) Proceed northwest in a straight line approximately 0.4 mile, crossing onto the Oakland East map, then continuing another 0.1 mile to the 1,121-foot peak in section 30, T1S/R2W; then

    (12) Proceed northwest in a straight line approximately 3.6 miles to the 1,301-foot peak in section 15, T1S/R3W; then

    (13) Proceed northwest in a straight line approximately 1.6 miles to the 1,634-foot peak in section 9, T1S/R3W; then

    (14) Proceed northwest in a straight line approximately 2.2 miles to the communication tower on the Contra Costa-Alameda County line in section 5, T1S/R3W; then

    (15) Proceed north in a straight line approximately 0.1 mile, crossing onto the Briones Valley map, then continuing another 0.6 mile to the 1,905-foot summit of Vollmer Peak in the El Sobrante Land Grant; then

    (16) Proceed north-northeast in a straight line approximately 3 miles, crossing over to the 1,027-foot peak in the Boca de la Cañada del Pinole Land Grant, to the Orinda corporate boundary line; then

    (17) Proceed generally east along the Orinda corporate boundary line approximately 3.3 miles to the water tank at the 1,142-foot elevation in the Boca de la Cañada del Pinole Land Grant; then

    (18) Proceed east-northeast in a straight line approximately 1.2 miles to the 1,357-foot benchmark marked “Russell” in the Boca de la Cañada del Pinole Land Grant; then

    (19) Proceed northwest in a straight line approximately 0.8 mile to the 1,405-foot peak in the Boca de la Cañada del Pinole Land Grant; then

    (20) Proceed east-northeast in a straight line approximately 0.5 mile, crossing onto the Walnut Creek map, then continuing another 1.1 miles to the beginning point.

    Signed: January 11, 2016. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. Approved: January 22, 2016. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary, (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2016-03860 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0130] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atchafalaya River, Morgan City, LA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of temporary deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Morgan City Railroad Bridge across the Atchafalaya River (also known as Berwick Bay), mile 17.5 [Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Morgan City-Port Allen Alternate Route), mile 0.3] in Morgan City, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. This deviation is necessary to perform maintenance needed for the operation of the bridge. This deviation allows for the bridge to remain closed-to-navigation for eight-consecutive hours in the morning and five-consecutive hours in the evening with an opening in the middle to pass vessels for a five-day period.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 11 a.m. on March 2 through 9 p.m. on March 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0130] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Donna Gagliano, Bridge Administration Branch, Coast Guard, telephone (504) 671-2128, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The BNSF Railway requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule of the Morgan City Railroad Bridge. These repairs are necessary for the operation of the bridge. This deviation is to install new Conley joints on the four bases on the east and west ends of the bridges and transition rails on the east and west side of the bridge's north and south sides. The draw currently operates under 33 CFR 117.5.

    For the purposes of this deviation, the bridge will not be required to open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. From 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., the bridge will be opened for the passage of vessels. The bridge will again be closed-to-navigation from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. From 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. the bridge will be maintained in the open position. The closure will begin at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 and continue through 9 p.m. on March 6, 2016.

    The vertical clearance of the bridge is 4 feet above mean high water, elevation 8.2 feet NGVD in the closed-to-navigation position and 73 feet above mean high water in open-to-navigation position. Navigation on the waterway consists of tugs with tows, oil industry related work and crew boats, commercial fishing vessels and some recreational crafts.

    Vessels able to pass the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and the Morgan City-Port Allen Landside route through Amelia, LA can be used as an alternate route. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge, so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: February 19, 2016. David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03895 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 49 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0606; FRL-9942-64-OAR] RIN 2060-AS27 Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Extension of Permitting and Registration Deadlines for True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing three final amendments to the “Federal Minor New Source Review (NSR) Program in Indian Country” (we refer to this rule as the “Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule”). We are amending the Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule to extend the NSR minor source permitting deadline for true minor sources in the oil and natural gas sector from March 2, 2016, to October 3, 2016. We are also finalizing two amendments to conform the minor source registration deadline to the permitting deadline change.

    DATES:

    The final rule is effective on February 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0606. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general questions, please contact Mr. Christopher Stoneman, Outreach and Information Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (C304-01), Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number (919) 541-0823; fax number (919) 541-0072; email address: [email protected] For questions about the applicability of this action to a particular source, please contact the appropriate EPA Regional contact for your state:

    • EPA Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin)—Ms. Genevieve Damico, Air Permits Section, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Mail Code AR-18J, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604; telephone (312) 353-4761; fax (312) 385-5501; email address: [email protected]

    • EPA Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)—Ms. Bonnie Braganza, Air Permits Section, Multimedia Permitting and Planning Division, Environmental Protection Agency Region 6, Mail Code 6MM, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202; telephone number (214) 665-7340; fax number (214) 665-6762; email address: [email protected]

    • EPA Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming)—Ms. Claudia Smith, Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency Region 8, Mail Code 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202; telephone number (303) 312-6520; fax number (303) 312-6520; email address: [email protected]

    • EPA Region 9 (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Pacific Islands)—Ms. Lisa Beckham, Permits Office, Air Division, Environmental Protection Agency Region 9, AIR-3, 75 Hawthorn Street, San Francisco, California 94105; telephone number (415) 972-3811; fax number (415) 947-3579; email address: [email protected]

    • All other EPA Regions—Contact the permit reviewer for minor sources in Indian country for your EPA Region. You can find the list of the EPA permit reviewers at: http://www.epa.gov/air/tribal/tribalnsr.html. Scroll down to the heading, “Existing Source Registration,” and click on “Reviewing Authority” to access “Environmental Protection Agency's Reviewing Authorities for Permits.”

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by this final rule include owners and operators of true minor emission sources in all industry groups planning to locate or already located in Indian country. Categories and entities potentially affected by this action are expected to include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Table 1—Source Categories Affected by This Action Industry category NAICS Code a Examples of regulated entities/description of industry category Oil and Gas Production/Operations 21111 Exploration for crude petroleum and natural gas; drilling, completing, and equipping wells; operation of separators, emulsion breakers, desilting equipment, and field gathering lines for crude petroleum and natural gas; and all other activities in the preparation of oil and gas up to the point of shipment from the producing property. Production of crude petroleum, the mining and extraction of oil from oil shale and oil sands, the production of natural gas, sulfur recovery from natural gas, and the recovery of hydrocarbon liquids from oil and gas field gases. Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction 211111 Exploration, development and/or the production of petroleum or natural gas from wells in which the hydrocarbons will initially flow or can be produced using normal pumping techniques or production of crude petroleum from surface shales or tar sands or from reservoirs in which the hydrocarbons are semisolids. Natural Gas Liquid Extraction 211112 Recovery of liquid hydrocarbons from oil and gas field gases; and sulfur recovery from natural gas. Drilling Oil and Gas Wells 213111 Drilling oil and gas wells for others on a contract or fee basis, including spudding in, drilling in, redrilling, and directional drilling. Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations 213112 Performing support activities on a contract or fee basis for oil and gas operations (except site preparation and related construction activities) such as exploration (except geophysical surveying and mapping); excavating slush pits and cellars, well surveying; running, cutting, and pulling casings, tubes, and rods; cementing wells, shooting wells; perforating well casings; acidizing and chemically treating wells; and cleaning out, bailing, and swabbing wells. Engines (Spark Ignition and Compression Ignition) for Electric Power Generation 2211** Provision of electric power to support oil and natural gas production where access to the electric grid is unavailable. a North American Industry Classification System.

    This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be potentially affected by this action. To determine whether your facility could be affected by this action, you should examine the applicability criteria in the final Federal Minor NSR Program in Indian Country (40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49.153), as well as the proposed Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) applicability in 40 CFR 49.101.1 If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, contact the appropriate person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    1 “Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions from True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country,” 80 FR 56554, September 18, 2015, http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-21025.pdf.

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

    In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this final rule will also be available on the World Wide Web. Following signature by the EPA Administrator, a copy of this final rule will be posted in the regulations and standards section of our NSR home page located at http://www.epa.gov/nsr and on the tribal NSR page at http://www.epa.gov/air/tribal/tribalnsr.html.

    II. Background

    In July 2011, the EPA finalized a rule that includes a minor NSR permitting program for sources in Indian country and a major source NSR permitting program for sources in nonattainment areas of Indian country. The minor source part of the permitting program is officially titled the “Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country,” but we generally refer to it as the “Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule.” 2 We call a permit issued under this program a minor NSR permit. Under the rule issued in 2011, new and modified minor sources and major sources that make minor modifications, located in reservation areas of Indian country and other areas of Indian country for which tribal jurisdiction has been demonstrated, were required to obtain a permit prior to beginning construction (a pre-construction permit) beginning on September 2, 2014. On June 16, 2014, we extended the NSR minor source permitting deadline for true minor sources in the oil and natural gas sector from September 2, 2014, to March 2, 2016.3

    2 The Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule is a component of “Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country, Final Rule” 76 FR 38747 (July 1, 2011) that applies to new and modified minor sources and minor modifications at major sources. It is codified at 40 CFR 49.151-49.161.

    3 “Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country Amendments to the Registration and Permitting Deadlines for True Minor Sources,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 79 FR 34231, June 16, 2014, https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-06-16/pdf/2014-14030.pdf.

    Pursuant to section 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act, the EPA finds that there is good cause to make this final rule effective upon publication in the Federal Register. At present, beginning March 2, 2016, new and modified true minor oil and natural gas sources subject to the Federal Minor New Source Review Program in Indian Country must obtain a permit prior to commencing construction. On September 18, 2015, the EPA proposed a FIP that would, among other matters, serve to satisfy this requirement.4 The EPA believes that the extension of the March 2, 2016, deadline in today's final rule is necessary to avoid imposing an unnecessary regulatory burden on these sources pending the EPA taking final action on the proposed FIP. In the absence of the extension, new and modified true minor sources in the oil and natural gas sector would need to obtain source-specific permits, thereby incurring a significant and potentially unnecessary burden. In order to avoid this circumstance, given the immediacy of the March 2, 2016 deadline, the EPA is making today's final rule effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

    4 “Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions from True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country,” 80 FR 56554, September 18, 2015, http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-21025.pdf.

    III. Purpose

    On September 18, 2015, the EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking 5 that included several amendments to the Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule. In this action, we are finalizing only three of those amendments. We are finalizing the amendment to extend the permitting compliance deadline for true minor sources in the oil and natural gas sector operating or proposing to operate in reservation areas of Indian country and other areas of Indian country for which tribal jurisdiction has been demonstrated. We are also conforming the registration provisions to this extension with two additional amendments. We will address the other proposed changes to the Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule, as well as the proposed FIP, in a separate final rulemaking. Today's changes are necessary to avoid the potentially unnecessary burden of sources in the oil and natural gas sector needing to obtain source-specific permits while we complete action on the proposed FIP. The changes will provide a level of certainty to the regulated industry, tribes and other parties pending completion of action on the proposed FIP.

    5 “Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions from True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country,” 80 FR 56554, September 18, 2015, http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-21025.pdf.

    IV. What final action is the EPA taking on amendments to the Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule?

    Today's final rule promulgates three amendments to the Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule. We proposed other regulatory changes in our September 18, 2015, proposal, but are taking final action on only these three amendments.

    First, we are revising the deadline under § 49.151(c)(1)(iii)(B) by which new and modified true minor sources in the oil and natural gas sector that are located in (or planning to locate in) reservation areas of Indian country or other areas of Indian country for which tribal jurisdiction has been demonstrated must obtain a minor NSR permit prior to beginning construction. We are extending the deadline from March 2, 2016, to October 3, 2016, for all true minor sources (both new and modified true minor sources and minor modifications at existing major sources) within the oil and natural gas sector located in Indian country.6

    6 Typically, sources in the oil and natural gas sources sector will be assigned to one of the following NAICS codes: 21111 Oil and gas production/operations; 211111 Crude petroleum and natural gas extraction; 211112 Natural gas liquid extraction; 213111 Drilling oil and gas wells; 213112 Support activities for oil and gas operations; and 221210 Natural gas distribution.

    Second, we are revising § 49.151(c)(1)(iii)(A) to conform the registration deadline to the extended permitting deadline in § 49.151(c)(1)(iii)(B).

    Finally, we are revising § 49.160(c)(1)(ii) to conform the registration deadline to the extended permitting deadline in § 49.151(c)(1)(iii)(B).

    V. Summary of Significant Comments and Responses

    We received comments from three industry commenters on the permitting deadline extension (and associated registration requirements) in the September 18, 2015, proposed rule. The discussion below provides a summary of the comments, and our responses to those comments, that relate to the changes discussed in Section IV above and that we are addressing in today's final rule. The remaining comments on the September 18, 2015, proposed rule will be addressed in a separate final rulemaking.

    Two commenters supported the extension, while the third commenter was concerned that the extension would not provide adequate time to obtain required permits for affected facilities needing site-specific permits. The commenter maintained that turnaround times for site-specific permits typically extend beyond one year, which is a timeframe that would make it impossible to meet the October 3, 2016, deadline. The commenter recommended that an extension of 18 months would be the minimum needed to provide a reasonable assurance that all permits will be issued before the deadline.

    The EPA is establishing October 3, 2016, as the revised permitting and registration deadline, and we do not believe that an extension beyond that date is necessary. The commenter has not provided any compelling information to indicate that a further extension is needed. Sources have been able to submit an application for a source-specific permit since the effective date of the Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule. Therefore, in determining the length of the extension, we have not regarded as paramount whether the extension provides sufficient time to obtain a site-specific permit. If a site-specific application is still in process after October 3, 2016, nothing in the FIP that EPA proposed on September 18, 2015, would prevent such permit applications from proceeding past the extended date.

    The proposed FIP would apply to new true minor sources and minor modifications at existing true minor sources in the production segment of the oil and natural gas sector that are locating in or expanding on Indian reservations or in other areas of Indian country over which tribal jurisdiction has been demonstrated. The FIP, if finalized as proposed, would satisfy the minor source permitting requirement under the Federal Indian Country Minor NSR rule. The FIP proposes to require compliance with emission limitations and other requirements from certain federal emission standards as written at the time of construction or modification for a range of equipment and processes present at oil and natural gas production facilities. If the EPA finalizes the FIP before October 3, 2016, then we would have in place by October 3, 2016, a streamlined permitting option in the form of a FIP for new and modified oil and natural gas minor sources that want to construct or modify in Indian country.

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

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA. OMB has previously approved the information collection activities contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control number 2060-0003. This action merely extends the deadline for when true minor sources in the oil and natural gas sector locating or located in areas covered by the Federal Minor New Source Review Program in Indian Country must obtain a site-specific minor source permit prior to commencing construction and register. It does not contain any new information collection activities.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. The EPA analyzed the impact of streamlined permitting on small entities in promulgating the Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country (76 FR 38748, July 1, 2011). The EPA determined that that action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This action merely implements a particular aspect of the Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country. We have, therefore, concluded that this action will have no net regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate, as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. It simply provides an extension for sources to comply with the Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country. The Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country (and not this action) imposes the obligation that true minor sources in areas covered by the rule obtain a minor source NSR permit. This action merely extends the deadline for meeting that obligation.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It 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.

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

    This action has tribal implications. However, it will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. The EPA conducted outreach on the September 18, 2015, proposed rule via on-going monthly meetings with tribal environmental professionals. The EPA offered consultation on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that preceded the proposal to elected tribal officials and the following tribes requested a consultation, which was held on July 18, 2014, with the tribes and/or their representatives: MHA (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara) Nations (Three Affiliated Tribes), Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and Crow Nation.7

    7 “Managing Air Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country,” 79 FR 32502, June 5, 2014, https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-06-05/pdf/2014-12951.pdf.

    At the consultation, the tribes present expressed three main concerns regarding federal regulation of oil and natural gas activity in Indian country. First, the tribes noted that many areas of Indian country are facing difficult economic circumstances and are in need of economic development to improve the quality of life of tribal members; revenue from oil and natural gas activity in many areas provides that economic development. Second, they stated that oil and natural gas activity in Indian country is already regulated by other federal government agencies and that the EPA does not need to add to the burden. The tribes expressed a desire to manage their own resources without undue interference from the federal government. Third, the tribes expressed a need for additional resources so that they can implement their own environmental programs in their lands.

    We will continue to provide outreach to tribal environmental professionals and offer to consult with tribal leadership as we further finalize the September 18, 2015, proposed action.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children.

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations. This action implements certain aspects of the Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country.

    Our primary goal in developing this program is to ensure that air resources in areas covered by the Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country will be protected in the manner intended by the Clean Air Act (CAA). This action will help facilitate implementation of the Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country and provide the EPA sufficient time to take final action on a proposed FIP with a comprehensive set of control requirements for new and modified true minor sources in the production segment of the oil and natural gas sector. Through the proposed FIP, we seek to establish a mechanism that provides an effective and efficient method for implementing a preconstruction permitting program for true minor sources in areas covered by the Federal Minor Source New Source Review Program in Indian Country, helping promote economic development by minimizing delays in new construction, and providing a process comparable to those programs operated outside of Indian county.

    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. The EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This rule will be effective upon date of publication, i.e., on February 24, 2016.

    L. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by April 25, 2016. Any such judicial review is limited to only those objections that are raised with reasonable specificity in timely comments. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review, nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Under section 307(b)(2) of the CAA, the requirements of this final action may not be challenged later in civil or criminal proceedings brought by us to enforce these requirements.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 49

    Environmental protection, Administrative practices and procedures, Air pollution control, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: February 12, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, EPA is amending 40 CFR part 49 as follows:

    PART 49—INDIAN COUNTRY: AIR QUALITY PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT 1. The authority citation for part 49 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

    2. Section 49.151 is amended by revising paragraphs (c)(1)(iii)(A) and (B) to read as follows:
    § 49.151 Program overview.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (A) If you own or operate an existing true minor source in Indian country (as defined in § 49.152(d)), you must register your source with the reviewing authority in your area by March 1, 2013. If your true minor source is not an oil and natural gas source, and you commence construction after August 30, 2011, and before September 2, 2014, you must also register your source with the reviewing authority in your area within 90 days after the source begins operation. If your true minor source is an oil and natural gas source, and you commence construction after August 30, 2011, and before October 3, 2016, you must register your source with the reviewing authority in your area within 90 days after the source begins operation. You are exempt from these registration requirements if your true minor source is subject to § 49.138.

    (B) If your true minor source is not an oil and natural gas source and you wish to begin construction of a new true minor source or a modification at an existing true minor source on or after September 2, 2014, you must first obtain a permit pursuant to §§ 49.154 and 49.155 (or a general permit/permit by rule pursuant to § 49.156, if applicable). If your true minor source is an oil and natural gas source and you wish to begin construction of a new true minor source or a modification at an existing true minor source on or after October 3, 2016, you must first obtain a permit pursuant to §§ 49.154 and 49.155 (or a general permit/permit by rule pursuant to § 49.156, if applicable). The proposed new source or modification will also be subject to the registration requirements of § 49.160, except for sources that are subject to § 49.138.

    3. Section 49.160 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(1)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 49.160 Registration program for minor sources in Indian country.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) If your true minor source is not an oil and natural gas source and you commence construction after August 30, 2011, and before September 2, 2014, you must register your source with the reviewing authority within 90 days after the source begins operation. If your true minor source is an oil and natural gas source, and you commence construction after August 30, 2011, and before October 3, 2016, you must register your source with the reviewing authority within 90 days after the source begins operation.

    [FR Doc. 2016-03623 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0084; FRL-9942-61- Region 4] Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation; GA; Redesignation of the Atlanta, GA, 1997 Annual PM2.5 Nonattainment Area to Attainment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 30, 2012, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, through the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), submitted a request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redesignate the Atlanta, Georgia, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) nonattainment area (hereafter referred to as the “Atlanta Area” or “Area”) to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and a related state implementation plan (SIP) revision containing a maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area. EPA is taking the following separate final actions related to the August 30, 2012, redesignation request and SIP revision: Determining that the Atlanta Area is continuing to attain the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS; approving into Georgia's SIP the State's plan for maintaining the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in the Atlanta Area (maintenance plan), including the associated motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and direct PM2.5 for the year 2024; and redesignating the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Additionally, EPA finds the 2024 MVEBs for the Atlanta Area adequate for the purposes of transportation conformity.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective February 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0084. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joel Huey, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Huey may be reached by phone at (404) 562-9104 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    I. What is the background for the actions?

    On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated the first air quality standards for PM2.5. EPA promulgated an annual standard at a level of 15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3), based on a 3-year average of annual mean PM2.5 concentrations. In the same rulemaking, EPA promulgated a 24-hour standard of 65 μg/m3, based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour concentrations. On October 17, 2006, EPA retained the annual average NAAQS at 15 μg/m3 but revised the 24-hour NAAQS to 35 μg/m3, based again on the 3-year average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour concentrations. See 71 FR 61144.

    On January 5, 2005, and supplemented on April 14, 2005, EPA designated the Atlanta Area as nonattainment for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. 1 See 70 FR 944 and 70 FR 19844, respectively. On November 13, 2009, EPA promulgated designations for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS and designated the Atlanta Area as unclassifiable/attainment for that standard. See 74 FR 58688. EPA did not promulgate designations for the 2006 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS because that NAAQS was essentially identical to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    1 The Atlanta Area is comprised of twenty whole counties and two partial counties in Georgia: Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding, Walton, and portions of Heard and Putnam Counties.

    On August 30, 2012, Georgia submitted a request to EPA for redesignation of the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS and a related SIP revision containing a maintenance plan for the Area. In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) published on January 11, 2016, EPA proposed to determine that the Atlanta Area is continuing to attain the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS; to approve, as a revision to the Georgia SIP, the State's 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS maintenance plan, including the 2024 MVEBs for NOX and direct PM2.5, for the Atlanta Area; and to redesignate the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. 2 See 81 FR 1144. In that notice, EPA also notified the public of the status of the Agency's adequacy determination for the NOX and direct PM2.5 MVEBs for the Area. No adverse comments were received on the January 11, 2016, proposed rulemaking. The details of Georgia's submittal and the rationale for EPA's actions are further explained in the NPR.

    2 In section IX of EPA's January 11, 2016, NPR, EPA inadvertently referenced “NOX and VOC MVEBs” where the notice should have read “NOX and PM2.5 MVEBs,” consistent with numerous other such references in the notice. See 81 FR 1161, 2nd and 3rd columns.

    II. What are the effects of these actions?

    Approval of the redesignation request changes the legal designation of the counties in the Atlanta Area, found at 40 CFR 81.311, from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Approval of Georgia's associated SIP revision also incorporates a plan into the SIP for maintaining the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in the Atlanta Area as described in the NPR. The maintenance plan establishes NOX and direct PM2.5 MVEBs for 2024 for the Area and includes contingency measures to remedy any future violations of the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS and procedures for evaluation of potential violations. The 2024 NOX and PM2.5 MVEBs are 44,430 tons per year (tpy) and 2,281 tpy, respectively, for the Area.

    III. Final Actions

    EPA is taking three separate final actions regarding Georgia's request to redesignate the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS and associated SIP revision. First, EPA is determining that the Atlanta Area is continuing to attain the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Second, EPA is approving and incorporating the maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area, including the NOX and direct PM2.5 MVEBs for 2024, into the Georgia SIP. Third, EPA is determining that Georgia has met the criteria under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) for the Atlanta Area for redesignation from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. On this basis, EPA is approving Georgia's redesignation request for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for the Atlanta Area. As mentioned above, approval of the redesignation request changes the official designation of the counties in the Atlanta Area for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS from nonattainment to attainment, as found at 40 CFR part 81.

    EPA is also notifying the public that EPA finds the newly-established NOx and direct PM2.5 MVEBs for the Atlanta Area adequate for the purpose of transportation conformity. Within 24 months from this final rule, the transportation partners must demonstrate conformity to the new NOX and direct PM2.5 MVEBs pursuant to 40 CFR 93.104(e)(3).

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(d), EPA finds that there is good cause for this action to become effective immediately upon publication. This is because a delayed effective date is unnecessary due to the nature of a redesignation to attainment, which relieves the Area from certain CAA requirements that would otherwise apply to it. The immediate effective date for this action is authorized under both 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1), which provides that rulemaking actions may become effective less than 30 days after publication if the rule grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction, and section 553(d)(3), which allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule. The purpose of the 30-day waiting period prescribed in section 553(d) is to give affected parties a reasonable time to adjust their behavior and prepare before the final rule takes effect. Today's rule, however, does not create any new regulatory requirements such that affected parties would need time to prepare before the rule takes effect. Rather, today's rule relieves the State of various requirements for the Atlanta Area. For these reasons, EPA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) for this action to become effective on the date of publication of this action.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment and the accompanying approval of the maintenance plan under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) are actions that affect the status of geographical area and do not impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those required by state law. A redesignation to attainment does not in and of itself impose any new requirements, but rather results in the application of requirements contained in the CAA for areas that have been redesignated to attainment. Moreover, 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 CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For these reasons, these actions:

    • Are 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);

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

    • are 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.);

    • do 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);

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

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

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

    • are 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,

    • will not have disproportionate human health or environmental effects under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by April 25, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks.

    Dated: February 8, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney. Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR parts 52 and 81 are amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart L—Georgia 2. Section 52.570(e) is amended by adding an entry for “1997 Annual PM2.5 Maintenance Plan for the Atlanta Area” to the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.570 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Georgia Non-Regulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submittal date/effective date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1997 Annual PM2.5 Maintenance Plan for the Atlanta Area Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton Counties in their entireties and portions of Heard and Putnam Counties 8/30/12 2/24/16 [Insert citation of publication]
    PART 81-DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 3. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    4. In § 81.311, the table entitled “Georgia—1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS” is amended under “Atlanta, GA:” by revising the entries for the counties to read as follows:
    § 81.311 Georgia Georgia—1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS [Primary and secondary] Designated area Designation a Date 1 Type Classification Date 2 Type Atlanta, GA: Barrow County 2/24/16 Attainment Bartow County 2/24/16 Attainment Carroll County 2/24/16 Attainment Cherokee County 2/24/16 Attainment Clayton County 2/24/16 Attainment Cobb County 2/24/16 Attainment Coweta County 2/24/16 Attainment DeKalb County 2/24/16 Attainment Douglas County 2/24/16 Attainment Fayette County 2/24/16 Attainment Forsyth County 2/24/16 Attainment Fulton County 2/24/16 Attainment Gwinnett County 2/24/16 Attainment Hall County 2/24/16 Attainment Heard County (part) 2/24/16 Attainment The northeast portion that extends north of 33 degrees 24 minutes (north) to the Carroll County border and east of 85 degrees 3 minutes (west) to the Coweta County border Henry County 2/24/16 Attainment Newton County 2/24/16 Attainment Paulding County 2/24/16 Attainment Putnam County (part) 2/24/16 Attainment The area described by U.S. Census 2000 block group identifier 13-237-9603-1 Rockdale County 2/24/16 Attainment Spalding County 2/24/16 Attainment Walton County 2/24/16 Attainment *         *         *         *         *         *         * a Includes Indian Country located in each county or area, except as otherwise specified. 1 This date is 90 days after January 5, 2005, unless otherwise noted. 2 This date is July 2, 2014, unless otherwise noted.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03743 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 372 [Docket No FMCSA-2015-0372] RIN 2126-AB86 Commercial Zones at International Border With Mexico AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; interim final rule and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA issues a final rule establishing the New Mexico Commercial Zone in Dona Ana County and Luna County, NM. This action is required by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The Agency also issues an interim final rule establishing an expanded commercial zone for the City of El Paso, TX, which now includes the new Tornillo-Guadalupe international bridge and port of entry on the border with Mexico. Additionally, through this action, FMCSA provides clarification on the definition of the San Luis, AZ commercial zone. The Agency is interested in receiving public comments regarding what should constitute the eastern boundary for the FMCSA's commercial zone for the City of El Paso, TX, that would include the new Tornillo-Guadalupe international bridge, port of entry, and public access roads O.T. Smith Road and Texas Farm-to-Market Road 3380 (M.F. Aguilera Highway) to Interstate Highway 10.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The additions of 49 CFR 372.245 (final rule) and 372.247 (interim final rule) are both effective on February 24, 2016.

    Comment Period Date: Comments only on the amendments to § 372.247 (interim final rule), related to the City of El Paso, TX's commercial zone, must be received on or before March 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System Docket ID [FMCSA-2015-0372] using any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 0590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The online Federal document management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online.

    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bryan Price, Chief, North American Borders Division, FMCSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Telephone (202) 680-4831; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Legal Basis

    The statutes authorizing FMCSA to regulate certain economic activities of motor carriers provide for several exemptions. One of them, the “commercial zone” exemption, now set out in 49 U.S.C. 13506(b)(1), provides that, except to the extent FMCSA finds it necessary to exercise jurisdiction to carry out the transportation policy of 49 U.S.C. 13101, FMCSA has no jurisdiction under 49 U.S.C. subtitle IV, part B1 over transportation provided entirely in a municipality, in contiguous municipalities, or in a zone that is adjacent to, and commercially a part of, the municipality or municipalities, except when the transportation is under common control, management, or arrangement for a continuous carriage or shipment to or from a place outside the municipality, municipalities, or zone. The statute does not specify the geographic limits of a commercial zone. From the outset commercial zone limits have usually been established by agency rulemaking under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 13301(a). Authority to administer the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 13506 has been delegated by the Secretary to the Administrator of FMCSA. 49 CFR 1.87(a)(3).

    1 This commercial zone exemption thus applies only to commercial regulations applicable to motor carriers, such as the requirements for operating authority set out in 49 U.S.C. 13901-13904 and 49 CFR parts 365, and 390. Mexico-domiciled motor carriers operating in commercial zones at the international border are required to obtain certificates of registration under 49 U.S.C. 13902(c) and 49 CFR part 368. At one time, motor carrier operations in commercial zones were exempt from most safety regulations, but since 1989, such operations have been subject to all of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, with one very limited exception for certain drivers. 49 U.S.C. 31136(f), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; General, 53 FR 18042, 18044-49 (May 19, 1988) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; General; Exempt Intracity Zone; Foreign Motor Carriers, 54 FR 12200 (Mar. 24, 1989).

    Although the promulgation of a rule to establish a commercial zone would ordinarily involve the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment, the Administrative Procedure Act does permit their omission for good cause, when “notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). In addition, a final rule that is “a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption” may be made effective on less than the 30 days' notice that is usually required. 5 U.S.C. 553(d).

    The establishment of the New Mexico Commercial Zone changes is a nondiscretionary ministerial action that can be taken without issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking and receiving public comment, in accordance with the good cause exception available to Federal agencies under the Administrative Procedure Act.

    Due to the imminent opening of the Tornillo-Guadalupe port of entry to commercial traffic to and from Mexico, it is critical that motor carriers, drivers, and law enforcement recognize the expanded commercial zone for the City of El Paso. However, the Agency is still interested in receiving public comments related to establishing boundaries specific to this commercial zone. Therefore, this second action is published as an interim final rule also in accordance with the good cause exception available to Federal agencies under the Administrative Procedure Act.

    Background

    In the 1930s, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) established commercial zones under authority of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935.2 Originally, the ICC defined commercial zones on a case-by-case basis. According to a June 26, 1978, report by the U.S. General Accounting Office titled, “ICC's Expansion of Unregulated Motor Carrier Commercial Zones Has Had Little or No Effect on Carriers and Shippers, CED-78-124”,3 the ICC established a population-mileage formula by rule in 1946,4 with the idea that population and mileage “provided a reasonably accurate definition of commercial zones because urban development normally expands in all directions from the central city.” Those general rules, which were revised by the ICC in 1976,5 are now found at 49 CFR 372.239, 372.241 and 372.243. The ICC also allowed municipalities “to request specifically defined zones if [the municipalities] believed the territory included by the population-mileage formula was too small.” A number of such specifically defined commercial zones are established in 49 CFR part 372.

    2 For example, see 2 FR 2498, Nov. 18, 1937, “Los Angeles, Calif. Commercial Zone” decision, and 2 FR 2500, Nov. 18, 1937, “Order Relative to Los Angeles, Calif. Commercial Zone.”

    3 See http://www.gao.gov/assets/130/123259.pdf.

    4 11 FR 14693, Dec. 27, 1946.

    5 41 FR 56652, Dec. 29, 1976.

    When the ICC was dissolved (ICC Termination Act of 1995, Public Law 104-88, 109 Stat. 803, (December 29, 1995)), its remaining authorities to regulate motor carrier transportation were transferred to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as the successor agency. Responsibility for administration of these authorities was later transferred to FMCSA in the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, Public Law 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748 (Dec. 9, 1999).

    New Mexico Commercial Zone

    Section 4031 of Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, Public Law 105-178, 112 Stat. 419 (June 9, 1998) (TEA-21) provided for the designation of a New Mexico Commercial Zone, comprised of two counties in New Mexico: Dona Ana County and Luna County. The new zone is limited to use by motor carriers of property. There are two border crossings between Mexico and the United States within this commercial zone; Santa Teresa, and Columbus, NM. This new commercial zone went into effect on the date of enactment of the TEA-21 Act, June 9, 1998. However, FHWA did not codify these changes in its regulations at that time.

    The responsibilities of the ICC, first transferred to FHWA, were subsequently transferred to FMCSA upon its establishment on January 1, 2000. When FMCSA became aware of the fact that the regulations at 49 CFR part 372, subpart B—Commercial Zones, were not updated to include the New Mexico Commercial Zone comprising these two counties in New Mexico, the Agency included the codification of this commercial zone in the “Unified Registration System” (URS) notice of proposed rulemaking.6 No comments were received on this issue. However, this codification was not included in the Oct. 23, 2013, final rule.7 Today's final rule corrects that oversight.

    6 70 FR 28990, at 29052, May 19, 2005.

    7 78 FR 52608.

    FMCSA finds that there is good cause for omitting notice and an opportunity for public comment on the rule codifying the New Mexico Commercial Zone. Notice and comment is unnecessary because TEA-21 established the commercial zone in 1998. In any case, an opportunity for public comment was already provided in the URS rulemaking and no comments were received.

    City of El Paso, TX Commercial Zone

    The County of El Paso submitted a Presidential Permit application on April 14, 2003, to the U.S. Department of State for review/approval of a replacement port of entry location for the Fabens-Caseta International Bridge (connecting Fabens, TX to Caseta, Chihuahua, Mexico). The Department of State issued the Presidential Permit on March 16, 2005, for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the bridge pursuant to Executive Order 11423, “Delegation of Functions to Secretary of State Respecting Certain Facilities Constructed and Maintained on United States Borders.” 8

    8 33 FR 11741, Aug. 16, 1968.

    Presidential Permit 05-01 is titled “Authorizing the County of El Paso, TX, to Construct, Operate, and Maintain an International Bridge, Its Approaches and Facilities, at the International Boundary Between the United States and Mexico.” This permit, with conditions, granted El Paso County the authority to construct, operate, and maintain an international bridge. The permit noted that the name of the bridge was proposed as the “Tornillo-Guadalupe New International Bridge.” The bridge was to be constructed, “approximately 1,950 feet upstream” from the existing Fabens-Caseta International Bridge. The permit specified that, “[T]he proposed Tornillo International Bridge will facilitate passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, and pedestrian traffic.” In June 2011, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced the kick-off of construction of the new port facility, including a six-lane replacement bridge. The scope of this project required GSA to secure Congressional approval of the project's prospectus.

    The new bridge and port of entry facilities on both sides of the international border have been completed and were opened to personally owned vehicles and pedestrians on February 4, 2016. The new bridge and port of entry facilities are expected to be opened to commercial traffic in March 2016.

    The commercial zone of the City of El Paso is currently defined by the general provisions of 49 CFR 372.239, 372.241 and 372.243 to include the municipality, all municipalities contiguous to the City of El Paso, and all other municipalities and all unincorporated areas that are adjacent to the City of El Paso including, “when the base municipality has a population of 500,000 but less than 1 million [El Paso had a population of 649,121 as of the 2010 census], all unincorporated areas within 15 miles of its corporate limits and all of any other municipality any part of which is within 15 miles of the corporate limits of the base municipality.” 49 CFR 372.241(c)(6). The unincorporated communities of Tornillo, TX, the intersection 9 of Interstate Highway 10 with O.T. Smith Road and Texas Farm-to-Market Road 3380 (M.F. Aguilera Highway), as well as the area near the location of the new port of entry, are more than 15 miles from the closest municipal boundary of the City of El Paso. Those areas are thus not included as part of the current El Paso commercial zone.

    9 A map depicting the intersection of Interstate 10 with O.T. Smith Road and Farm-to-Market Road 3380 is included in the draft EA's Appendix A as Figure 4 at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FMCSA-2015-0372-0001.

    As a result, FMCSA must establish a commercial zone for the City of El Paso that clearly includes the new border crossing, which, unlike the current border crossing, will be used by motor carriers of both property and passengers. The expanded commercial zone must also include the intersection of Interstate 10 with O.T. Smith Road and Texas Farm-to-Market Road 3380 so that trucks and buses that have FMCSA authority to operate only within the current El Paso commercial zone may use the new international bridge and will be able to drive to and from the intersection of Interstate 10 and O.T. Smith Road/Farm-to-Market Road 3380.

    The specific description of the commercial zone for the City of El Paso set out below in new 49 CFR 372.247 includes all of the area presently within the commercial zone under the general rule in 49 CFR 372.241. It adds a provision expanding the zone to include all unincorporated areas within 15 miles of the corporate boundaries of the City of San Elizario. The City of San Elizario (located southeast of the City of El Paso) was incorporated on November 18, 2013, under the general laws of TX and is thus included within the present commercial zone of the City of El Paso because it is within 15 miles of the boundary of the City of El Paso. By expanding the zone to include those unincorporated areas within 15 miles of the boundaries of San Elizario, the new commercial port of entry and the roads and highways providing access to the port of entry will be within the commercial zone of the City of El Paso. This expanded commercial zone 10 would add 84 square miles to the existing El Paso commercial zone.

    10 A map depicting the expanded commercial zone under the EA's alternative 2 is included in the draft EA's Appendix A as Figure 2.

    FMCSA seeks comment on whether the boundary of the expanded commercial zone should instead be the eastern boundary 11 of the County of El Paso (except where the current commercial zone extends beyond the eastern county boundary—these areas would still be included). This expanded commercial zone alternative would add 106 square miles to the existing commercial zone, about 22 square miles more than the unincorporated areas within 15 miles of the boundaries of San Elizario in this interim final rule. Those are areas not included in either the current or the expanded commercial zone established by this interim final rule.

    11 A map depicting the expanded commercial zone under the EA's alternative 3 is included in the draft EA as Figure 3.

    This change will also provide enforcement personnel with the direction needed to determine if motor carriers are operating within the proper commercial zone. In view of the imminent opening of the new port of entry to commercial motor vehicle traffic, FMCSA is establishing this specifically defined commercial zone for the City of El Paso as an interim final rule but, as indicated above, with an opportunity for public comment before the Agency issues a final rule on this commercial zone. FMCSA finds that because of the imminent opening of the expanded port of entry to commercial traffic, it would be in the public interest to issue this interim final rule.

    Effective Date of Final Rules

    The final rule recognizing the statutory creation of the New Mexico Commercial Zone and the interim final rule establishing the expanded commercial zone for the City of El Paso either recognize or grant an exemption, and therefore are made effective upon publication, as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1).

    City of San Luis, AZ Commercial Zone

    On October 22, 2014, FMCSA received a letter from the Southwest Arizona Port User Association (SWAPUA) requesting confirmation that the City of Yuma, AZ is included in the commercial zone of San Luis, AZ as a “contiguous municipality” with the city of San Luis, AZ. The San Luis, AZ commercial zone is not one of the named commercial zones in Part 372. However, San Luis is a “municipality” as defined in § 372.239. FMCSA confirmed that the City of San Luis and the City of Yuma have common boundaries and, therefore, are determined to be contiguous. As a result, it is the determination of the FMCSA that the San Luis commercial zone extends throughout the City of Yuma (49 CFR 372.241(b)) and extends 6 air-miles beyond the corporate boundaries of the municipality of San Luis in other areas.

    No amendment to existing regulation is needed to address the interpretation requested regarding the Cities of San Luis and Yuma, AZ.

    Rulemaking Analyses Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    FMCSA has determined that this action is not a significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821, Jan. 18, 2011), or within the meaning of the DOT regulatory policies and procedures (44 FR 1103, Feb. 26, 1979). Thus, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) did not review this document. We expect the final rule and the interim final rule will have no costs, as they exempt motor carriers from obtaining FMCSA operating authority when they operate in interstate or foreign commerce wholly within the New Mexico, or El Paso commercial zones; therefore, a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601-612), FMCSA is not required to complete a regulatory flexibility analysis, because, as discussed earlier in the legal basis section, this action is not subject to notice and comment under section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act.12

    12 5 U.S.C 553(b).

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The final rule and interim final rule will not impose an unfunded Federal mandate, as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532, et seq.), that will result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $155 million (which is the value of $100 million in 1995 dollars after adjusting for inflation to 2014 dollars) or more in any 1 year.

    E.O. 13132 (Federalism)

    A rule has implications for Federalism under section 1(a) of Executive Order 13132 if it has “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government.” FMCSA has determined that this rule will not have substantial direct effects on States, nor will it limit the policymaking discretion of States. Nothing in this document preempts or modifies any provision of State law or regulation, imposes substantial direct unreimbursed compliance costs on any State, or diminishes the power of any State to enforce its own laws. Accordingly, the final rule and the interim final rule do not have Federalism implications warranting the application of E.O. 13132.

    E.O. 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing E.O. 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this final rule and interim final rule.

    Indian Tribal Governments

    This final rule and interim final rule do not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175 titled, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,” because they would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct, sponsor, or require through regulations. FMCSA determined that no new information collection requirements are associated with this final rule and interim final rule, nor are there any revisions to existing, approved collections of information.

    National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act

    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) requires Federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision-making processes by requiring Federal agencies to consider the potential environmental impacts of their proposed actions. In accordance with FMCSA's Order 5610.1, NEPA Implementing Procedures and Policy for Considering Environmental Impacts, and other applicable requirements, FMCSA prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the potential impacts of the interim final rule for the expansion of the City of El Paso, TX, commercial zone. FMCSA published a notice of availability of the draft EA, giving the public an opportunity to comment on it, on January 15, 2016 (81 FR 2291). No comments were received by the end of the comment period. Because the implementation of this action will only expand an existing commercial zone, FMCSA found that endangered species, cultural resources protected under the National Historic Preservation Act, wetlands, and resources protected under Section 4(f) of the DOT Act of 1966, 49 U.S.C. 303, as amended by Public Law 109-59 (Aug. 10, 2005), are not impacted. The impact areas that may be affected and were evaluated in this EA included air quality, noise, socioeconomics, environmental justice, public health and safety, and hazardous materials. FMCSA anticipates that expanding the El Paso commercial zone will have certain impacts related principally to air emissions and land use from economic growth; however, neither of these impacts individually or collectively will cause significant impacts. In addition, the economic impact will have beneficial impacts to the quality of life in terms of job creation.

    A final EA has been prepared and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been issued for this action. The final EA and FONSI are also available for inspection or copying in the Regulations.gov Web site at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended (CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7506(c)), and implementing regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. None of the alternatives considered in the EA is located in a nonattainment or maintenance area for any of the criteria pollutants; therefore, FMCSA has determined that it is not required to perform a CAA general conformity analysis.

    E.O. 12898 (Environmental Justice)

    E.O. 12898 (59 FR 7629, Feb. 16, 1994), Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, establishes Federal executive policy on environmental justice. The E.O.'s main provision directs Federal agencies to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. FMCSA evaluated the environmental effects of this final rule and interim final rule in accordance with E.O. 12898 and determined that there are no environmental justice issues associated with its provisions, nor any collective environmental impact resulting from its promulgation. None of the alternatives analyzed in the EA will result in high and adverse environmental impacts on minority or low-income populations.

    E.O. 13211 (Energy Effects)

    FMCSA has analyzed this final rule and interim final rule under Executive Order 13211, titled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.” The Agency has determined that the rule(s) are not a “significant energy action” under that Executive Order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    E.O. 13045 (Protection of Children)

    Executive Order 13045 titled, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, Apr. 23, 1997), requires agencies issuing “economically significant” rules, if the regulation also concerns an environmental health or safety risk that an agency has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, to include an evaluation of the regulation's environmental health and safety effects on children. As discussed previously, the final rule and interim final rule are not economically significant. Therefore, no analysis of the impacts on children is required.

    E.O. 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988 titled, “Civil Justice Reform,” to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    E.O. 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    This final rule and interim final rule will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under E.O. 12630 titled, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.”

    National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 272 note) requires Federal agencies proposing to adopt technical standards to consider whether voluntary consensus standards are available. If the Agency chooses to adopt its own standards in place of existing voluntary consensus standards, it must explain its decision in a separate statement to OMB. Because FMCSA does not intend to adopt technical standards, there is no need to submit a separate statement to OMB on this matter.

    Privacy Impact Assessment

    Section 522(a)(5) of the Transportation, Treasury, Independent Agencies, and General Government Appropriations Act, 2005 (Pub. L. 108- 447, Division H, Title I, 118 Stat. 2809 at 3268, Dec. 8, 2004) requires DOT and certain other Federal agencies to conduct a privacy impact assessment of each rule that will affect the privacy of individuals. Because this final rule and interim final rule will not affect the privacy of individuals, FMCSA did not conduct a separate privacy impact assessment.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 372

    Agricultural commodities, Buses, Cooperatives, Freight forwarders, Motor carriers, Moving of household goods, Seafood.

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, FMCSA amends title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, chapter III, subchapter B, part 372 as follows:

    PART 372—EXEMPTIONS, COMMERCIAL ZONES, AND TERMINAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 372 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 13504 and 13506; Pub. L. 105-178, sec. 4031, 112 Stat. 418; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    2. Add §§ 372.245 and 372.247 to read as follows:
    § 372.245 New Mexico Commercial Zone.

    (a) Transportation within a zone comprised of Dona Ana and Luna Counties, NM, by motor carriers of property, in interstate or foreign commerce, not under common control, management, or arrangement for shipment to or from points beyond such zone is partially exempt from regulation under 49 U.S.C. 13506(b)(1).

    (b) To the extent that commercial zones of municipalities within the two counties (as determined under § 372.241) extend beyond the boundaries of this two county zone, the areas of such commercial zones shall be considered to be part of the zone and partially exempted from regulation under 49 U.S.C. 13506(b)(1).

    § 372.247 City of El Paso, TX.

    The zone adjacent to, and commercially a part of El Paso, TX, within which transportation of passengers or property by motor carriers in interstate or foreign commerce, not under common control, management, or arrangement for a continuous carriage or shipment to or from a point beyond such zone, is partially exempt from regulation under 49 U.S.C. 13506(b)(1), includes and is comprised of all points as follows:

    (a) The municipality of the City of El Paso, TX;

    (b) All municipalities which are contiguous to the City of El Paso;

    (c) All of any other municipalities and all unincorporated areas within the United States which are adjacent to the City of El Paso as follows:

    (1) Within 15 miles of the corporate limits of the City of El Paso; or

    (2) Within 15 miles of the corporate limits of the City of San Elizario, TX; and

    (d) All municipalities wholly surrounded, or so surrounded except for a water boundary, by the City of El Paso, by any municipality contiguous thereto, or by any municipality adjacent thereto which is included in the commercial zone of the City of El Paso under the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section.

    Issued pursuant to authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on February 22, 2016. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04029 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 140918791-4999-02] RIN 0648-XE462 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2016 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 630 in the GOA.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 19, 2016, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 10, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 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.

    The A season allowance of the 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA is 12,456 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (80 FR 10250, February 25, 2015) and inseason adjustment (81 FR 188, January 5, 2016).

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the A season allowance of the 2016 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 11,856 mt and is setting aside the remaining 600 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.

    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    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 for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of February 17, 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 § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03864 Filed 2-19-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 36 Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration 7 CFR Part 800 RIN 0580-AB24 Reauthorization of the United States Grain Standards Act; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is extending the comment period for its proposed rule addressing changes to the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended, in order to comply with amendments to the USGSA made by the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the proposed rule published January 25, 2016 (81 FR 3970), is extended until April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this rule. In your comments, please include the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) and the volume, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    • Mail, hand deliver, or courier to Dexter Thomas, GIPSA, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2526-S, Washington, DC 20250-3642.

    Comments will be available online at www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be inspected at the mail address listed above between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. A copy of this proposed rule is available through the GIPSA homepage at http://www.gipsa.usda.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry Gomoll, 202-720-8286.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On January 25, 2016, GIPSA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (81 FR 3970) to amend 7 CFR part 800 to comply with the Agricultural Reauthorizations Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-54). In response to requests from several interested groups, GIPSA has decided to extend the comment period for 30 days.

    Larry Mitchell, Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03863 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-109822-15] RIN 1545-BM70 Country-by-Country Reporting; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Correction to notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-109822-15) that was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79795). The proposed regulations would require annual country-by-country reporting by United States persons that are the ultimate parent entity of a multinational enterprise group.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments and request for a public hearing for the notice of proposed rulemaking at 80 FR 79795, December 23, 2015, are still being accepted and must be received by March 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-109822-15), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, PO Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-109822-15), Courier's desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-109822-15).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melinda E. Harvey, at (202) 317-6934 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The notice of proposed rulemaking that is the subject of this document is under sections 6001, 6011, 6012, 6031, and 6038 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published, the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-109822-15) contains errors that are misleading and are in need of clarification.

    Correction

    Accordingly, the notice of proposed rulemaking that is the subject of FR Doc. 2015-32145, beginning on page 79795 of the issue of December 23, 2015, is corrected as follows:

    1. On page 79797, in the first column, under the paragraph heading “1. U.S. Persons Required To File Form XXXX, Country-by-Country Report,” in the second sentence the phrase “§ 1.6038-4(j) provides an exception” is corrected to read “§ 1.6038-4(h) provides an exception”.

    § 1.6038-4 [Corrected]

    2. On page 79801, second column, in the second line of § 1.6038-4(a), the phrase “provided in paragraph (j) of this section” is corrected to read “provided in paragraph (h) of this section”.

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2016-03906 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION 29 CFR Part 1614 RIN 3046-AA94 Affirmative Action for Individuals With Disabilities in the Federal Government AGENCY:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or “Commission”) proposes to amend its regulations requiring the federal government to engage in affirmative action for individuals with disabilities. These changes will clarify the obligations that the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 imposes on federal agencies as employers, in addition to the obligation not to discriminate on the basis of disability. An initial economic analysis indicates that the regulations will have a moderate economic impact of less than $100 million per year on federal agencies. Because the proposed regulation does not apply to the private sector, it will have no impact, economic or otherwise, on private businesses.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN 3046-AA94, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: (202) 663-4114. (There is no toll free FAX number.) Only comments of six or fewer pages will be accepted via FAX transmittal, in order to assure access to the equipment. Receipt of FAX transmittals will not be acknowledged, except that the sender may request confirmation of receipt by calling the Executive Secretariat staff at (202) 663-4070 (voice) or (202) 663-4074 (TTY). (These are not toll free numbers.)

    Mail: Bernadette Wilson, Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Bernadette Wilson, Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507.

    Instructions: The Commission invites comments on the proposed changes from all interested parties. All comment submissions must include the agency name and docket number or the Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Comments need be submitted in only one of the above-listed formats. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Copies of the received comments also will be available for inspection in the EEOC Library, FOIA Reading Room, by advanced appointment only, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday except legal holidays, from April 25, 2016 until the Commission publishes the rule in final form. Persons who schedule an appointment in the EEOC Library, FOIA Reading Room, and need assistance to view the comments will be provided with appropriate aids upon request, such as readers or print magnifiers. To schedule an appointment to inspect the comments at the EEOC Library, FOIA Reading Room, contact the EEOC Library by calling (202) 663-4630 (voice) or (202) 663-4641 (TTY). (These are not toll free numbers.)

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Kuczynski, Assistant Legal Counsel, (202) 663-4665, or Aaron Konopasky, Senior Attorney-Advisor, (202) 663-4127 (voice), or (202) 663-7026 (TTY), Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (These are not toll free numbers.) Requests for this document in an alternative format should be made to the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs at (202) 663-4191 (voice) or (202) 663-4494 (TTY).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary

    This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposes to amend 29 CFR 1614.203 to clarify the affirmative action obligations that Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 501”) 1 imposes on federal agencies 2 as employers. It codifies a variety of obligations currently placed on federal agencies by management directives and Executive Orders, and adds three substantive affirmative action requirements: (1) Agencies must meet goals set by the EEOC, rather than by the agencies themselves as currently required, for employment of people who have disabilities as defined under Section 501; (2) agencies must meet sub-goals set by the EEOC, rather than by the agencies themselves as currently required, for the employment of people with targeted/severe (hereinafter “targeted”) disabilities as defined by the Office of Personnel Management's (“OPM's”) Standard Form 256 (“SF-256”); 3 and (3) agencies must provide personal assistants to employees who, because of disabilities, require such assistance in order to be at work or participate in work-related travel, unless the provision of such services would impose an undue hardship on the agency. The rule would not have retroactive effect.

    1 29 U.S.C. 791.

    2 Section 501 applies to “each department, agency, and instrumentality (including the United States Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission) in the executive branch and the Smithsonian Institution.” 29 U.S.C. 791(b). For convenience, this Notice uses the term “federal agency” or “agency” to mean any federal entity covered by Section 501.

    3 Office of Pers. Mgmt., Standard Form 256 (revised July, 2010), available at http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf256.pdf. The term “targeted disability” was first officially recognized by the EEOC in MD-703, which was approved on December 6, 1979. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Improving the Participation Rate of People with Targeted Disabilities in the Federal Workforce 4 (Jan., 2008), available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/pwtd.pdf.

    An initial economic analysis indicates that the proposed regulation may have a one-time initial cost to the federal government of approximately $90,448.20; an annual cost to the federal government of between $11,601,562.56 and $58,732,303.77; and an annual economic benefit to the federal government of between $3,514,752.00 and $6,397.947.00. The rule is also expected to have a variety of non-monetizable qualitative and dignitary benefits for individuals with disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities.

    Background

    Section 501 requires federal agencies to establish an affirmative action program for the hiring, placement, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.4 The affirmative action requirement in Section 501 imposes two distinct obligations on federal agencies.

    4See 29 U.S.C. 791(b).

    First, affirmative action requires that agencies not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. Section 501 provides that the standards used to determine whether a federal agency has discriminated against an individual with a disability “shall be the standards applied under title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 . . . and the provisions of sections 501 through 504, and 510, of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 . . . as such sections relate to employment.” 5 EEOC regulations provide substantial guidance on these standards at 29 CFR part 1630. Additional guidance is provided in the many Section 501 discrimination cases decided by the Commission each year. These decisions are published on the EEOC's Web site, and significant decisions are compiled in a publicly available digest maintained by the Commission's Office of Federal Operations.6 This rule does not change any of the substantive nondiscrimination requirements that currently apply in the federal sector, as set forth in EEOC's regulations and cases.

    5 29 U.S.C. 791(g).

    6See Digest of Equal Employment Opportunity Law, Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/digest/index.cfm (last visited July 23, 2015).

    Second, affirmative action requires each federal agency to maintain, update annually, and submit to the Commission an “affirmative action program plan for the hiring, placement, and advancement of individuals with disabilities,” and further directs the Commission to approve a plan if “the Commission determines . . . that such plan provides sufficient assurances, procedures and commitments to provide adequate hiring, placement, and advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.” 7

    7 29 U.S.C. 791(b).

    The regulations currently implementing this Section 501 requirement simply state that the federal government shall be a “model employer of individuals with disabilities,” and instruct federal agencies to “give full consideration to the hiring, placement, and advancement of qualified individuals with disabilities.” 8 Over the years, however, the EEOC has issued various Management Directives to provide guidance on how an agency's affirmative action plan (“Plan”) should result in the federal government being a model employer of individuals with disabilities. In addition, several Executive Orders have been issued, setting numerical objectives for hiring by the federal government of individuals with disabilities, to support the goals of Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act.

    8 29 CFR 1614.203(a).

    In 1987, the Commission issued Management Directive 713, setting the standards by which the Commission would judge an agency's Plan with regard to the hiring of people with disabilities.9 Management-Directive 713 required agencies with 1,000 or more employees to establish specific numerical objectives (goals) for employment of people with targeted disabilities, and to report the number of people with targeted disabilities employed by the agency.10

    9 Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Management Directive 713, 1987 WL 768434 (Oct. 3, 1987).

    10 EEO Management Directive 712 (MD-712) preceded MD-713 by four years. MD-712 created documentation requirements for agencies' affirmative action plans, but did not include reporting requirements. MD-712 required agencies to focus on the employment of individuals with targeted disabilities; included detailed requirements for program administration and management, including staffing commitments and responsibilities; and required agencies with more than 1,000 employees to establish objectives for hiring people with targeted disabilities. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Management Directive 712, 1983 WL 410824 (March 29, 1983). For a general history of the EEOC's Management Directives, see Office of Fed. Operations, Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, A Look at the EEOC's Office of Federal Operation's Federal Sector Programs: Past, Present, and Future, Dig. of EEO L., Winter 2008, available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/digest/xix-1.cfm.

    In 2003, the EEOC issued Management Directive 715 (“MD-715”), which superseded MD-713.11 Part B of MD-715 provides detailed standards by which the Commission judges an agency's affirmative action plan with regard to the hiring of people with disabilities. MD-715 reaffirms that affirmative action includes a nondiscrimination component and that the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) govern the nondiscrimination requirements of Section 501.12 MD-715 also reaffirms that not discriminating against people with disabilities does not exhaust an agency's affirmative action obligation to hire and advance people with disabilities. MD-715 requires agencies “to conduct an internal review and analysis of the effects of all current and proposed policies, practices, procedures and conditions that, directly or indirectly, relate to the employment of individuals with disabilities” and to “collect and evaluate information and data necessary to make an informed assessment about the extent to which the agency is meeting its responsibility to provide employment opportunities for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities, especially those with targeted disabilities.” 13 MD-715 also requires agencies to have written procedures for providing reasonable accommodations, including the amount of time decision makers have to answer reasonable accommodation requests.14 Finally, MD-715 reinforces the requirement from MD-713 that agencies with 1,000 or more employees are required “to maintain a special recruitment program for individuals with targeted disabilities and to establish specific goals for the employment and advancement of such individuals,” and to report the numbers of employees with targeted disabilities to the EEOC.15

    11 Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Management Directive 715 (Oct 1, 2003), available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/directives/md715.cfm.

    12Id. at B.II.

    13Id. at B.III.

    14Id. at B.V.

    15Id. at B.V.

    In addition to MD-715, there are a number of Executive Orders, as well as guidance and policy documents implementing such Executive Orders, that overlap with MD-715 and guide the affirmative action efforts of federal agencies with regard to the hiring and advancement of people with disabilities.

    President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 13163 on July 26, 2000 “to support the goals articulated in section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.” 16 Under this Executive Order, each federal agency was required to prepare a plan to increase the opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be employed in the agency, and to submit the plan to OPM within 60 days from the date of the order. The Executive Order stated that “based on current hiring patterns and anticipated increases from expanded outreach efforts and appropriate accommodations, the Federal Government, over the next 5 years, will be able to hire 100,000 qualified individuals with disabilities.” 17 The same day, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13164, requiring federal agencies to establish written reasonable accommodation procedures, with a series of detailed requirements to be included in those written procedures.18 Shortly thereafter, the EEOC issued Policy Guidance On Executive Order 13164: Establishing Procedures To Facilitate The Provision Of Reasonable Accommodation. 19 In 2005, the EEOC issued additional guidance providing agencies with detailed practical advice for drafting and implementing reasonable accommodation procedures under Executive Order 13164.20 And in 2008, the Commission issued an extensive manual on promoting the employment of individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce.21

    16See Executive Order No. 13163, 3 CFR 285 (2001), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2000-07-28/pdf/00-19322.pdf.

    17Id.

    18 3 CFR 286 (2001), available at http://frwebgate.access.thefederalregister.org/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=fr28jy00-140.pdf.

    19 Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Policy Guidance On Executive Order 13164: Establishing Procedures To Facilitate The Provision Of Reasonable Accommodation (last modified Oct. 19, 2000), available at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda-accommodation_procedures.html.

    20 Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Practical Advice on Drafting and Implementing Reasonable Accommodation Procedures under Executive Order 13164, (July 2005), available at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/implementing_accommodation.pdf.

    21 Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Questions and Answers: Promoting Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Workforce (n.d.), available at http://eeoc.gov/federal/qanda-employment-with-disabilities.cfm.

    In July 2010, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13548, again setting a goal of having the federal government hire 100,000 persons with disabilities within five years.22 The Executive Order requires agencies to set agency-specific hiring goals for persons with disabilities as defined under Section 501 and sub-goals for persons with targeted disabilities as defined by SF-256, and to report those goals to the OPM. Again, policy and guidance documents were developed pursuant to this Executive Order.23

    22 Executive Order No. 13548, 3 CFR 168 (2010), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-07-30/pdf/2010-18988.pdf.

    23 Office of Pers. Mgmt., Model Strategies for Recruitment and Hiring of People with Disabilities (Nov. 8, 2010), available at https://www.chcoc.gov/content/model-strategies-recruitment-and-hiring-people-disabilities-required-under-executive-order. This guidance document was developed in consultation with the White House, the Department of Labor, and the EEOC.

    On May 15, 2014, the Commission published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPRM”) requesting public comment on specific inquiries regarding potential ways to strengthen its Section 501 affirmative action regulations.24 The comment period ended July 14, 2014, and all comments received have been reviewed and given due consideration. The comments are available for review at the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    24 The Federal Sector's Obligation to Be a Model Employer of Individuals with Disabilities, 79 FR 27.824 (May 15, 2014) (to be codified at 29 CFR 1614.203).

    A total of 89 comments were received,25 representing the views of 53 individuals, 49 advocacy groups, 10 government entities including state governments and branches of the military, 5 businesses, 2 lawyers or lawyers associations, 1 institution of higher learning, and 1 union representative.

    25 In addition to the 89 comments, the Commission received several duplicate comments.

    Of the 89 comments, 80 were generally supportive of the Commission's proposal to amend its Section 501 regulations and included at least one suggestion for what should be included in the rule. Only 2 of the comments were generally negative (1 from an individual and 1 from a government entity), and 7 were nonresponsive (6 from individuals, and 1 from an advocacy group).

    This NPRM proposes to amend 29 CFR 1614.203 to update, clarify, and put in one place the standards the Commission will use to review and approve affirmative action plans developed by agencies pursuant to Section 501. The proposed rule was informed and significantly shaped by all of the comments received. Following final promulgation of this regulation, EEOC will reconcile this regulation's reporting requirements with existing obligations under MD-715 to ensure that agencies do not engage in duplicative efforts and reporting. The rule would not have retroactive effect.

    The NPRM also modifies the goals for hiring people with disabilities in the federal government that are currently set forth by MD-715 and Executive Order 13548 in one respect: The proposed rule would require agencies to take specific steps that are reasonably designed to gradually increase the number of employees with disabilities as defined under Section 501, and the number of employees with targeted disabilities as defined in SF-256, until they meet specific goals set by the EEOC. This is consistent with the approach taken by the Department of Labor in regulations issued to implement the obligation of federal contractors pursuant to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.26

    26 The Section 503 regulations establish a 7% utilization goal for employment of qualified individuals with disabilities for the contractor's entire workforce or each job group in the contractor's workforce. See 41 CFR 60-741.45(a).

    Finally, the NPRM adds a requirement that an agency's Plan include the provision of personal assistants to employees who, because of their disabilities, require such assistance in order to be at work or go on work-related travel. Personal assistance services (PAS) assist employees with disabilities with eating, drinking, using the restroom, and putting on and taking off clothing as needed to allow them to participate in the workforce. Such services do not, however, include medical care, and do not have to be provided by someone who has medical training or qualifications.

    For many individuals with targeted disabilities, such as paralysis or cerebral palsy, full participation in the workplace is impossible without such services. Lack of PAS in the workplace and/or the fear of losing PAS provided by means-tested assistance programs are stubborn and persistent barriers to employment for individuals with certain significant disabilities. Although providing an additional person to assist an employee with a disability to perform his or her job duties may fall under an agency's nondiscrimination obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation (for example, hiring a sign language interpreter), an agency is not required to hire a personal assistant to perform PAS as part of its reasonable accommodation obligation. The NPRM therefore places this obligation on agencies through the affirmative action requirement of Section 501.

    However, the Commission has determined that the requirement to provide PAS should be subject to an undue hardship defense, the same limitation on the obligation to provide reasonable accommodations as a matter of nondiscrimination.27 The defense ensures that agencies will not be required to provide PAS if doing so would involve significant cost relative to the available resources, or significant disruption of the agency's functions.

    27See 29 CFR 1630.15(d); part 1630, app. 1630.15(d).

    Each requirement of the proposed rule is discussed in the detailed Section-by-Section Analysis below, and relevant comments are discussed within each section.

    Section-by-Section Analysis 1614.203(a) Definitions

    Paragraph (a) of the proposed rule provides definitions of key terms. None of the definitions are novel. Many of the defined terms are simple abbreviations: (a)(1) Provides that “ADA” refers to those portions of the ADA that are enforced by the Commission; 28 (a)(4) provides that “Plan” refers to an agency's affirmative action plan, as required under 29 U.S.C. 791(b); (a)(5) provides that “Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities” refers to the hiring authority for individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities, as set forth at 5 CFR 213.3102(u); and (a)(6) provides that “Section 501” means Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, codified at 29 U.S.C. 791.

    28 These are title I of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12101 through 12117, and title V of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12201 through 12213, as it applies to employment.

    Paragraph (a)(2) clarifies that, for purposes of the regulation, “disability” has the same meaning that it does under the ADA and Section 501.29 As amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”),30 and implemented by the Commission's regulations at 29 CFR part 1630, the term “disability” is construed broadly and includes a wide range of medical conditions.31

    29See 42 U.S.C. 12102; 29 CFR 1630.2, .3; 29 CFR part 1630, app. 1630.2, .3. The Rehabilitation Act incorporates the ADA definition of “disability.” 29 U.S.C. 794(d).

    30 ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-325, 122 Stat. 3553 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 29 U.S.C. and 42 U.S.C.).

    31 For a discussion of the ADAAA's definition of “disability,” see, for example, Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Questions and Answers on the Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (n.d.), available at http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/ada_qa_final_rule.cfm.

    Paragraph (a)(3) provides that the term “hiring authority that takes disability into account” means any hiring authority that permits an agency to consider disability status in the selection of individuals for employment, and provides examples of such, including the Section A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities; the Veterans' Recruitment Appointment authority, as set forth at 5 CFR part 307; and the 30% or More Disabled Veteran authority, as set forth at 5 CFR 316.302(b)(4), 316.402(b)(4).

    Paragraph (a)(7) defines the term “targeted/severe disability” to mean a disability specifically designated as “targeted/severe” in SF-256. Under the definitions set forth in this paragraph, the term “targeted disabilities” is defined more narrowly than “disabilities”; individuals with targeted disabilities are a subset of individuals who have disabilities as defined under Section 501.

    Paragraph (a)(8) defines “undue hardship” as having the same meaning as set forth in 29 CFR part 1630.

    1614.203(b) Nondiscrimination

    This paragraph states that Section 501 prohibits disability discrimination in employment, and that the standards used to determine whether an agency has violated the prohibition against discrimination are those applied under the ADA. The paragraph reminds agencies that discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited in all aspects of employment, including hiring, advancement or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

    1614.203(c) Model Employer

    This paragraph is taken directly from 29 CFR 1614.203(a) of the existing regulations. Other than redesignating the paragraph as 1614.203(c), the proposed rule makes no changes to the paragraph.

    1614.203(d) Affirmative Action Plan

    This paragraph sets forth the requirements that an agency's affirmative action plan must meet in order to provide “sufficient assurances, procedures, and commitments to provide adequate hiring, placement, and advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.” 32 Each requirement is discussed in detail below.

    32 29 U.S.C. 791(b).

    1614.203(d)(1) Disability Hiring and Advancement Program

    A strong majority of commenters stated that the rule should require agencies to improve their outreach and recruitment efforts. Many of these commenters made specific suggestions, for example, that agencies should be required to develop programs and resources that may be used to identify qualified job applicants with disabilities who may be hired using the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities before a position is advertised, or establish and maintain contacts with disability organizations. Paragraph (d)(1)(i) incorporates these suggestions, and provides examples of ways in which an agency could meet this requirement.33

    33 Many suggestions offered by commenters track the current requirements of MD-715. The preamble does not note each time a section of the NPRM repeats a requirement currently placed on agencies by MD-715.

    A large number of commenters stated that the rule should require federal agencies to make certain information available to job applicants and potential job applicants with disabilities, including information about how to request a reasonable accommodation and how to apply for appointment to a position under noncompetitive disability-related hiring authorities. Paragraph (d)(1)(ii) addresses this concern. It also requires agencies to ensure there is appropriate staff to respond to all disability-related issues relating to the application and placement processes, including questions about reasonable accommodation and appointment under hiring authorities that take disability into account.

    Paragraph (d)(1) also addresses the common concern that hiring officials should be given accurate information regarding reasonable accommodation and the appropriate use of hiring authorities that take disability into account. The paragraph requires that the agency provide necessary reasonable accommodations to job applicants with disabilities; accept applications for appointment under hiring authorities that take disability into account; determine eligibility for such appointment; forward applications from eligible individuals to the relevant hiring managers, and ensure that these managers know how and when they may appoint such individuals, consistent with all applicable laws.

    Many commenters stated that agencies should be required to develop and implement advancement programs for current employees with disabilities, for example by taking steps to ensure that employees with disabilities are enrolled in management training when eligible; developing a mentoring program for employees with disabilities; or administering exit interviews that include questions on how the agency could improve the recruitment, hiring, inclusion, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. Paragraph (d)(1)(iv) adopts this suggestion.

    Some common suggestions were not incorporated into the rule, however. The proposed rule does not modify the competitive service hiring process by, for example, awarding additional “points” to candidates with disabilities, adopting preferences, reserving certain positions for individuals with disabilities, or requiring agencies to interview all qualified candidates with disabilities.34 The rule also does not require agencies to provide mandatory training to supervisors and hiring officials, to incorporate equal employment opportunity and affirmative action principles into supervisors' and hiring officials' performance reviews, or to take disciplinary action against employees who have engaged in discrimination, because these issues are already addressed elsewhere by Commission regulations.35

    34 The competitive hiring process is governed by OPM regulations.

    35See 29 CFR 1614.102(a)(5), (6), (9).

    1614.203(d)(2) Disability Anti-Harassment Policy

    Some commenters stated that agencies should be required to state specifically in their anti-harassment policies that harassment based on disability is prohibited. This paragraph adopts this suggestion.

    1614.203(d)(3) Reasonable Accommodation

    Many commenters stated that agencies should be required to have written reasonable accommodation procedures. Executive Order 13164 has required agencies to have such procedures since 2000,36 and MD-715, as updated in 2003, includes this requirement as well.37 The Commission has made this requirement part of the proposed rule. The paragraph also adopts several commenters' suggestions for what should be included in the written procedures, many of which are similar to components of reasonable accommodation procedures described in Executive Order 13164 and MD-715. They include a statement that expedited processing and interim accommodations will be provided when possible; instructions for managers on how to recognize and report requests for reasonable accommodation; an explanation of the applicable confidentiality requirements; processing deadlines; information on how to challenge a denial under the federal equal employment opportunity complaint process; and a statement that requestors will be notified of the basis for a denial. The notification requirement is incorporated into the rule at (d)(3)(iii).

    36 Executive Order No. 13164, supra note 18; see also Policy Guidance On Executive Order 13164, supra note 12.

    37See Management Directive 715, supra note 11, at B.V.

    Some commenters stated that the rule should require agencies to establish a “centralized fund” to pay for required reasonable accommodations. The purpose of the suggested requirement is to ensure that sufficient funds are available for more costly accommodations, when necessary. Under MD-715, agencies are asked to report whether they use a centralized fund for purposes of providing reasonable accommodations across the agency.38 However, in the Commission's judgment, mandating this requirement as part of an agency's affirmative action obligation raises too many practical concerns as to the precise manner in which appropriated funds are to be held, requested, and disbursed within the agency. Additionally, centralized funding is not a complete solution—problems remain if the fund is too small, or if relevant decision-makers within the agency are unaware of the fund's existence or of the means of accessing it.

    38 Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Instructions to Federal Agencies for EEO MD-715 I (last updated July 20, 2004), available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/directives/715instruct/section1.html (“The Model EEO Program and Agency Self-Assessment Checklist”).

    Paragraph (d)(3)(ii) addresses the commenters' underlying concerns by requiring agencies to inform all employees who are authorized to grant or deny requests for reasonable accommodation that, under the “undue hardship” standard set forth by Section 501's nondiscrimination requirement, all available resources are considered when determining whether a denial of reasonable accommodation based on cost is appropriate. In addition, the agency should ensure that relevant decision-makers are informed about various external resources that may be used to fund reasonable accommodations, including, for example, a centralized fund specifically created by the agency for providing reasonable accommodations, the Department of Defense Computer and Electronic Accommodations Program (“CAP”),39 and agency funds that, although not designated specifically for providing reasonable accommodations, may be used for that purpose.

    39See generally Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program, http://www.cap.mil (last visited Aug. 3, 2015).

    Other commenters stated that the rule should place further restrictions, in addition to those that already apply under 29 CFR part 1630, on the amount of medical information an agency may request to support a request for reasonable accommodation. Under current anti-discrimination standards, an agency cannot require supporting medical documentation if the existence of a disability and the need for accommodation are obvious, and can require no more than is necessary to establish the existence of a disability and the need for accommodation.40 Because additional restrictions would deny agencies documentation necessary to establish disability and the need for accommodation, no additional restrictions have been adopted in the proposed rule.

    40See, e.g., Policy Guidance On Executive Order 13164, supra note 19.

    1614.203(d)(4) Accessibility of Facilities and Technology

    Many commenters stated that greater compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 508”) 41 and the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (“ABA”) 42 would improve the hiring, retention, inclusion, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. Section 508 requires all electronic and information technology purchased, maintained, or used by the agency to be accessible to people with disabilities, and the ABA requires the agency to ensure that its facilities are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Many of these commenters suggested more specifically that the Commission should issue or amend implementing regulations for these laws, or otherwise strengthen their enforcement.

    41 29 U.S.C. 794d.

    42 42 U.S.C. 4151-4157.

    The Commission has not been given authority by Congress to issue or amend substantive regulations implementing Section 508 or the ABA, or to engage in or strengthen federal agencies' enforcement of those laws.43 The Commission therefore cannot include in the proposed rule any provisions that implement or enforce these laws.

    43 Rulemaking authority for Section 508 and the ABA belongs to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (“Access Board”). See 29 U.S.C. 792(b), 794d(a)(2). The Access Board also enforces the ABA. See 29 U.S.C. 792(e). Enforcement of Section 508 is accomplished by filing a complaint with the allegedly noncompliant agency. See 29 U.S.C. 794d(f).

    However, paragraph (d)(4) is intended to ensure that federal employees with disabilities have the information they need to utilize existing enforcement and compliance mechanisms. The paragraph requires agencies to provide all employees with contact information for the employees inside the agency who are responsible for ensuring compliance with these laws, and with clear instructions on how to file complaints under existing rules. It also requires agencies to assist employees in filing a complaint with another federal agency, where investigation shows that such other entity is responsible for the alleged violation.

    1614.203(d)(5) Personal Services Allowing Employees To Participate in the Workplace

    Personal services allowing employees to participate in the workplace may include assistance with eating, drinking, using the restroom, and putting on and taking off clothing. For many individuals with targeted disabilities such as paralysis or cerebral palsy, full participation in the workplace is impossible without such services. The lack of PAS in the workplace and/or the fear of losing personal services provided by means-tested assistance programs are stubborn and persistent barriers to employment for individuals with certain significant disabilities.

    The nondiscrimination standards set forth under the ADA in 29 CFR part 1630, and incorporated into Section 501, already require agencies to provide certain job-related services to an individual with a disability as a reasonable accommodation if doing so enables the individual to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment, so long as the provision of such services does not impose an undue hardship on the agency. For example, an agency may be required to provide sign language interpreter services, assistance with note taking or photocopying, or use of a job coach as reasonable accommodations, absent undue hardship.

    The provision of other personal services needed on the job, however, such as assistance with eating or using the restroom, is not considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, and therefore is not considered a reasonable accommodation for purposes of the nondiscrimination requirements of Section 501.44 A number of commenters stated that agencies should, however, be required to provide PAS to individuals who need them because of a disability as part of the agencies' affirmative action obligations under Section 501. We adopt this suggestion at paragraph (d)(5). We note that several federal agencies currently provide PAS on a voluntary basis and have been doing so for several decades.45

    44See 29 CFR part 1630, app. 1630.9.

    45 The Commission provides personal assistant services to employees with disabilities who require them. The Department of Labor, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division also provide workplace PAS for employees with disabilities. See Department of Labor statement of work on providing personal assistance services as a reasonable accommodation for qualified Department of Labor employees with disabilities (2014) (on file with the Commission); Dep't of Transp., Disability Resource Center Services Handbook (Nov. 2014), available at http://www.transportation.gov/individuals/disability/disability-resource-center-drc-services-handbook (providing guidance to the Department of Transportation on meeting its obligations regarding the retention and promotion of individuals with disabilities by providing personal assistance and other services); Civil Rights Div., U.S. Dep't of Justice, Reasonable Accommodation Manual A.2.5 (n.d.) (on file with the Commission) (providing that the Civil Rights Division will provide part-time personal care attendants at work or on official travel when necessary and otherwise reasonable).

    Paragraph (d)(5) also clarifies that agencies can fulfill the PAS requirement by hiring persons who perform both PAS and additional tasks, including provision of professional services and other duties, as time permits. The agency can also require a person hired as a personal assistant to perform PAS for more than one individual with a disability. Thus, an agency might be able to satisfy this requirement by, for example, hiring a pool of personal assistants (either solely for assistance tasks or for assistance tasks and other professional services) throughout the agency or at a particular location.46 The pool hiring approach would be consistent with how many agencies currently address sign language interpreter needs. Whether this approach is feasible will depend on the particular services required and other relevant facts.

    46 The Department of Labor provides personal assistance services to qualified headquarter employees in this manner. A contractor provides and manages a pool of qualified personnel to provide personal assistance services to approximately 10 employees. Personal assistance tasks include assistance with general office tasks (filing, copying and collating, note taking, etc.), assistance with transportation and travel management (excluding driving, but including overnight travel), assistance with evacuation during emergencies, assistance with personal care related needs on the job (removing or putting on coats, eating lunch, and taking bathroom breaks), assistance with computer technology, when appropriate, and reading services for visually impaired employees. Department of Labor statement of work, supra note 49.

    1614.203(d)(6) and 1614.203(d)(7) Utilization Analysis and Goals

    A majority of commenters stated that agencies should be required to adopt employment goals for individuals with disabilities. Some commenters also stated that agencies should be required to adopt separate goals for individuals with disabilities in the higher ranks of the civil service.

    Since 1987, federal agencies have been required by the EEOC to set numerical objectives (goals) for the number of people with targeted disabilities employed in their workforces and report that data annually to the Commission.47 Since 2010, federal agencies have been required under Executive Order 13548 to set an internal goal for the percentage of employees with targeted disabilities and the percentage of employees with disabilities as defined under Section 501 in their workforces, and submit those targets to OPM. In OPM's report for fiscal year 2014, the percentage of employees with reportable disabilities in the federal government was 14.64% (191,086 individuals out of a federal workforce of 1,305,392).48 The percentage of employees with targeted disabilities in the federal government was 1.18% (15,343 individuals).49

    47Management Directive 715, supra note 11, at B.VI; Management Directive 713, supra note 9, at ¶ 9.

    48See Office of Pers. Mgmt., Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year 2014, 25 (Oct. 9, 2015) available at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/diversity-and-inclusion/reports/disability-report-fy2014.pdf (including individuals classified as “30% or more disabled veterans,” but excluding employees who are not on the GS or SES pay scales).

    49Id. (excluding employees who are not on the GS or SES pay scales).

    Paragraph (d)(7) sets forth the goals that the EEOC expects federal agencies to be able to achieve, based on current federal employment data. First, an affirmative action plan should adopt the goal of achieving a 12% representation rate for people with disabilities as defined by Section 501 at both the GS-11 level 50 and above, including the Senior Executive Service (“SES”),51 and at the GS-10 level and below. Second, the Plan should adopt the goal of achieving a 2% representation rate for individuals with targeted disabilities as defined by SF-256 at the GS-11 level and above (including SES), and at the GS-10 level and below.

    50 Most federal employees are part of the General Schedule (GS) pay system. The General Schedule has fifteen grades—GS-1 (lowest) to GS-15 (highest). See generally General Schedule Classification and Pay, Office of Pers. Mgmt., http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-systems/general-schedule/ (last visited Mar. 24, 2015).

    51 High-level leadership positions in the federal government are occupied by members of the SES. SES members have a different pay scale than employees who are part of the GS pay system. See generally Senior Executive Service: Leading America's Workforce, Office of Pers. Mgmt., http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/ (last visited Mar. 24, 2015).

    The 12% goals established in paragraph (d)(7) are based, in part, on historical data on the employment of persons with disabilities in the federal workforce compiled by OPM. OPM data show that the federal government, viewed as a whole, has already reached a representation rate of 12% at both the GS-10 level and below and the GS-11 level and above.52 Results from the most recent Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey further indicate that approximately 13.5% of the federal workforce identify as a person with a disability.53

    52See Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year 2014, supra note 48, at 25.

    53Governmentwide Unweighted Results: Demographic, Items 85-98, Office of Pers. Mgmt., http://www.fedview.opm.gov/2014/Reports/ResponsePCT.asp?AGY=ALL&SECT=8 (last visited July 28, 2015).

    It should be noted that the OPM data are based on persons who either self-identify as a person with a disability or are veterans with a disability rating of 30% or higher. These figures likely undercount the number of persons with disabilities as defined by Section 501 who are employed or available to be employed by the federal government—in the Commission's final rule implementing changes made by the ADAAA, the Commission estimated that as many as 60 million individuals, or approximately 24% of the eligible workforce, had ADA qualifying disabilities.54

    54See Regulations to Implement the Equal Employment Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, 76 FR 16,978, 16,990 (March 25, 2011) (codified at scattered sections of 29 CFR part 1630).

    The sub-goal for targeted disabilities is also based, in part, on historical data from OPM. Individuals with targeted disabilities currently make up 1.91% of federal employees at the GS-10 level and below and approximately 0.8% of federal employees at the GS-11 level and above.55 These figures are based on the number of persons who self-report as having targeted disabilities on SF-256. In addition, the Commission has encouraged federal agencies with 1,000 or more employees to set a goal of a 2% representation rate for individuals with targeted disabilities for some time.56

    55See Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year 2014, supra note 48, at 25 (excluding employees not on the SES or GS pay scales).

    56See Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Part II Work Force Statistics Fiscal Year 2011 1-23 (n.d.), available at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/fsp2011_2/upload/fsp2011_2.pdf.

    As with the data on the percentage of persons with disabilities in the federal workforce, there is reason to believe that these figures undercount the number of persons with targeted disabilities employed or available to be employed by the federal government. The American Community Survey (“ACS”), administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, asks a series of questions related to disability such as whether, due to a physical, mental, or emotional problem, the person has serious difficulty hearing, seeing (even with glasses), remembering, concentrating, or making decisions, walking or climbing stairs, bathing or dressing, and/or doing errands alone.57 Using this definition, the ACS estimates that approximately 10.5% of the population aged 18-64 is a person with a disability.58 Because the ACS frames its questions in terms of “serious difficulty,” it is likely that most of the persons falling within this definition would qualify as persons with targeted disabilities. In addition, there are likely persons with targeted disabilities as defined by SF-256, such as persons with epilepsy or certain psychiatric disabilities, who would not fall into the ACS definition.

    57See American Community Survey (ACS), U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/people/disability/methodology/acs.html (last visited July 28, 2015).

    582013 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates: Disability Characteristics, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_S1810&prodType=table (last visited July 28, 2015).

    Despite data suggesting that utilization goals higher than those proposed in paragraph (d)(7) for all disabilities and targeted disabilities could be justified, the Commission elects to establish targets that are in line with, but slightly above, historic utilization patterns in the federal government. The goals in paragraph (d)(7) are aggressive in comparison with those imposed on federal contractors by the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act 59 and, at the same time, readily achievable based on current federal employment data. The Commission expects that early successes in meeting the goals will create momentum for higher agency targets in the future.

    59See 41 CFR 60-741.45(a) (establishing a utilization goal of 7% for employment of individuals with disabilities for the contractor's entire workforce or each job group in the contractor's workforce).

    Paragraph (d)(7) further states that the utilization goals for persons with disabilities and for persons with targeted disabilities will be assessed both above and below the GS-10 level, including SES. This was done for two reasons. First, OPM employment data show that individuals with disabilities are disproportionately represented at lower levels of employment within the federal government. In fiscal year 2014, the representation rate of individuals with disabilities at the GS-11 level and above was roughly 30% lower than their representation rate at the GS-10 level and below, and the representation rate of individuals with targeted disabilities was almost 60% lower at the GS-11 level and above.60 Establishing a separate goal for representation at GS-11 and above should rectify this imbalance.

    60See Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year 2014, supra note 48, at 25 (excluding employees not on the SES or GS pay scales).

    Second, the Commission does not wish to see a rise in the representation of individuals with disabilities as defined by Section 501 at higher levels of employment be accompanied by a corresponding fall in their representation rate at lower levels. As a result, the proposed rule also requires agencies to adopt the goal of achieving a 12% representation rate for individuals with disabilities as defined by Section 501 and a 2% representation rate for individuals with targeted disabilities as defined by SF-256 at the GS-10 level and below.

    Paragraph (d)(6) requires agencies to perform the workforce analysis necessary to determine whether these goals set forth in paragraph (d)(7) have been met. The paragraph clarifies that the analysis must be performed on an annual basis, and that it may classify individuals as having disabilities or targeted disabilities on the basis of records relating to self-identification via SF-256, appointment of individuals under noncompetitive disability-related hiring authorities, and requests for reasonable accommodation. This workforce analysis is largely consistent with what is currently required under MD-715.61

    61See Management Directive 715, supra note 11, at B.III. MD-715 requires agencies to collect data on the total workforce distribution of employees with disabilities for both the permanent and temporary workforce; the representation and distribution of employees with disabilities, by grade, in both the permanent and temporary workforce; the permanent and temporary workforce participation of employees with disabilities in major occupational groups by grades; the representation of individuals with disabilities among applicants for permanent and temporary employment; the representation of employees with disabilities among those who received promotions, training opportunities and performance incentives; and the representation of employees with disabilities among those who were voluntarily and involuntarily separated. MD-715 requires that agencies separately identify applicants and employees with targeted disabilities. Id. The Directive explains that each agency must collect and evaluate this data in order to make “an informed assessment about the extent to which the agency is meeting its responsibility to provide employment opportunities for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities, especially those with targeted disabilities.” Id.

    The Commission recognizes that there are many reasons why it may take some agencies more time than others to meet the utilization goals, such as budgetary constraints (including hiring freezes), the number of additional individuals with targeted disabilities that would have to be hired to achieve the goals, and the nature of certain jobs within an agency's workforce that may include valid physical standards that individuals with certain disabilities may not be able to meet. The rule therefore does not specify a timeframe for achieving the goals. Rather, the rule requires each agency to create and submit a Plan that includes specific steps reasonably designed to gradually increase the number of employees with disabilities and targeted disabilities, with the objective of achieving the goals established pursuant to paragraph (d)(7)(i) of this section. Paragraph (d)(7)(ii) provides examples of such steps, including increased use of hiring authorities that take disability into account, additional outreach and recruitment efforts, disability-related training for all employees, and adoption of training, internship, and mentoring programs for individuals with disabilities. The rule explicitly provides that the Commission will not disapprove a Plan solely because the agency has failed to meet a goal.

    Although Section 501 generally prohibits employers from asking questions about whether an applicant has a disability before making a job offer, there are still a number of ways that agencies may learn about a particular applicant's disability. First, the applicant may choose to disclose his or her disability, or the disability may be obvious. Second, the disability may be disclosed in paperwork establishing eligibility for appointment under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities. Third, an employer is permitted to invite job applicants to self-identify as individuals with disabilities or targeted disabilities prior to a conditional offer of employment, if the invitation is made pursuant to an affirmative action program for people with disabilities, and if the information is used only for that purpose.62

    62See, e.g., Letter from Peggy R. Mastroianni, Legal Counsel, Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, to Patricia A Shiu, Director, Office of Fed. Contract Compliance Programs, Dep't of Labor (Aug. 8, 2013), available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/section503.htm (follow “EEOC Opinion on the Invitation to Self-Identify” hyperlink).

    1614.203(d)(8) Recordkeeping

    This paragraph sets forth the recordkeeping requirements imposed by the rule, and directs agencies to make the required records available to the Commission upon request. The required records are necessary for an agency to determine whether it is providing “adequate hiring, placement, and advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” as required under Section 501. Specifically, the rule requires that each agency keep a record of: (1) The number of individuals with disabilities and the number of individuals with targeted disabilities who apply for employment; (2) the number of individuals with disabilities and the number of individuals with targeted disabilities that the agency hires; (3) the number of adverse actions the agency takes based on medical information, including rescissions of conditional job offers; and (4) details regarding all requests for reasonable accommodation the agency receives.

    A significant number of commenters stated that the rule should require agencies to track the careers of individuals who are appointed under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities, to ensure that they are appropriately converted to a career or career-conditional appointments in the competitive service and promoted. The paragraph adopts this suggestion, and, accordingly, requires agencies to keep records of the date of hire, entering grade level, probationary status, and current grade level of each employee hired under that authority, as well as the number of such employees converted to the competitive service each year.

    1614.203(e) Reporting

    This paragraph sets forth the reporting requirements imposed by the rule. As provided under Section 501,63 the paragraph requires each agency to submit a copy of its Plan to the Commission on an annual basis, the results of the two most recent workforce analyses performed pursuant to paragraph (d)(7), and the number of employees appointed under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities. The proposed paragraph does not specify the precise time and manner of submission, as EEOC intends to reconcile this regulation's reporting requirements with existing obligations under MD-715 following final promulgation of the rule. As suggested by several commenters, the paragraph also requires agencies to make the information submitted to the Commission available to the public.

    63 29 U.S.C. 791(b).

    1614.203(f) Commission Approval and Disapproval

    Paragraph (1) provides that the Commission will approve a Plan if it determines that the Plan, as implemented, meets the requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section. Paragraph (2) provides that the Commission will disapprove a Plan if it determines that the Plan, as implemented, does not meet those requirements. The paragraph further clarifies that failure to achieve a goal set forth in proposed paragraph (d)(8)(i), by itself, is not grounds for disapproval unless the Plan fails to require the agency to take specific steps that are reasonably designed to achieve the goal.

    Request for Comments

    The Commission invites comments on all aspects of the proposed regulation. In addition, it invites comments on the following specific issues.

    As discussed above, agencies are not required to provide PAS, such as assistance with eating or using the restroom, under the reasonable accommodation standards set forth in 29 CFR part 1630. The unavailability of PAS, however, is a significant hindrance to the employment of persons with certain targeted disabilities. Paragraph (d)(6) addresses this concern by requiring agencies to provide PAS to employees with disabilities as part of the agencies' affirmative action obligations under Section 501. To ensure that the Commission's final decision whether to include this requirement is based on a sound record, the Commission invites responses to the following questions:

    1. Should Section 501 regulations require agencies to provide PAS to employees who need them because of a disability while they are on the job or on job-related travel as part of the affirmative action obligation? Do the services described in the regulations accurately capture the PAS that a person with a disability might require?

    2. If the rule should require agencies to provide PAS, should assistants be assigned to a particular individual, or should they respond to requests for PAS by different individuals, as needed? Should the agency be allowed to assign non-PAS tasks to assistants when no personal assistance is required?

    3. The proposed rule does not address how the obligation to provide PAS would be enforced. The Commission is requiring that agencies provide PAS as part of their affirmative action obligations under Section 501. Affirmative action obligations, such as employment goals or advancement plans, are not generally enforceable through the part 1614 process. The requirement to provide PAS is unlike most general affirmative action obligations, however, as an agency's failure to comply with this obligation will directly harm specific, identifiable individuals. The Commission invites comments on (a) whether the Commission should enforce the PAS requirement in the manner envisioned in paragraph (f) of the proposed rule, or instead offer a process through which individuals denied PAS can request that the Commission review agency denials and order relief to persons wrongly denied those services.

    4. Is the Commission's estimate of the costs associated with a PAS requirement, discussed in the regulatory procedures section below, accurate? If not, what is a more accurate estimate? Would particular agencies, or types of agencies, experience significant logistical difficulties in complying with the PAS requirement? What is a realistic estimate of costs arising from offering a process for enforcement of the obligation to provide PAS? Please include supporting references.

    The Commission also invites responses to the following general questions regarding the proposed rule:

    5. EEOC is interested in learning from the public what would be appropriate minimum standards for federal agencies regarding goals for hiring of persons with disabilities. As proposed, the goals for representation rates have been set at 12% for individuals with all disabilities and 2% for individuals with targeted disabilities. Are these levels appropriate? What data exists that show that the goals should either be higher or lower than in this proposed rule?

    6. EEOC is interested in whether agencies should maintain a file or database of individuals who have been determined to be eligible for appointment under a hiring authority that takes disability into account, but who have not been hired by the agency. EEOC is interested in whether such individuals should be asked whether they wish to be included in such a database, or whether the database should be created automatically from those who apply via a hiring authority that takes disability into account.

    7. EEOC requests comments from the public on any of the standards proposed in this rule governing affirmative action with respect to the hiring, advancement, and retention of federal employees with disabilities. This includes the PAS requirement, the utilization analysis and goals provision, and the recordkeeping and reporting requirements. It also includes the affirmative action requirements related to reasonable accommodations. EEOC requests any data or evidence that shows that these standards are either too strict or too lenient and any information on the costs and benefits related to each standard.

    Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 13563  64 and Executive Order 12866  65 (Regulatory Planning and Review)

    64 Executive Order No. 13563, 3 CFR 215 (2011), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/eo12866/eo13563_01182011.pdf.

    65 Executive Order No. 12866, 3 CFR 638 (1993), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/eo12866.pdf.

    This proposed rule has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866. This rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Executive Order 13563 directs agencies to propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its cost (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify); to tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives; and to select, from among alternative regulatory approaches, including the alternative of not regulating, those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages, distributive impacts, and equity).

    Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to submit a regulatory impact analysis for those regulatory actions that are “economically significant” within the meaning of section 3(f)(1).66 A regulatory action is economically significant under section 3(f)(1) if it is anticipated (1) to “[h]ave an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more,” or (2) to “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.” 67 Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles established by Executive Order 12866, and further emphasizes the need to reduce regulatory burden to the extent feasible and permitted by law.68

    66 Executive Order 12866 refers to “those matters identified as, or determined by the Administrator of [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] to be, a significant regulatory action within the scope of section 3(f)(1).” Id. The Office of Management and Budget states that “Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to conduct a regulatory analysis for economically significant regulatory actions as defined by Section 3(f)(1).” Office of Mgmt. & Budget, Circular A-4 (Sept. 17, 2003), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a004_a-4.

    67 Executive Order No. 12866, supra note 65.

    68 Executive Order No. 13563, supra note 64.

    Currently, guidance on the federal government's obligation to engage in affirmative action for individuals with disabilities is scattered throughout a number of overlapping Executive Orders,69 management directives,70 and guidance and policy documents.71 In contrast, the Commission's current Section 501 regulations do not provide a detailed explanation of what an agency must do to comply with its Section 501 affirmative action obligations, or of how the Commission will assess Plans submitted to it for approval pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 791(b).72

    69See, e.g., Executive Order No. 13164, supra note 18; Executive Order No. 13548, supra note 11.

    70See, e.g., Management Directive 715, supra note 11.

    71See, e.g., Policy Guidance on Executive Order 13164, supra note 19; Promoting Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Workforce, supra note 21. See generally supra notes 9 through 23 and accompanying discussion.

    72 See 29 CFR 1614.203(a) (stating only that the federal government shall be a “model employer of individuals with disabilities,” and instructing federal agencies to “give full consideration to the hiring, placement, and advancement of qualified individuals with disabilities”).

    The proposed rule is necessary to ensure that federal agencies' affirmative action obligations are in a regulation, rather than merely in management directives and sub-regulatory guidance, so that the obligations will have the force of law. Moreover, by compiling federal agencies' affirmative action obligations in one place, rather than in a range of documents, none of which are comprehensive, the proposed rule would provide agencies with easy access to the necessary information, thereby facilitating increased compliance.

    The Commission has determined that the proposed rule will have an annual effect of less than $100 million on federal agencies, including both estimated costs and estimated savings arising from the rule, based on the high estimate of projected costs. In addition, the rule is expected to result in one-time compliance costs for agencies of approximately $90,448.20, and have a variety of positive qualitative and dignitary benefits. The Commission's economic impact analysis is presented immediately below.

    Many of the proposed requirements will have no economic effect, because they will impose no new requirements or burdens on federal agencies—

    • Paragraph (a), which sets forth definitions of key terms, imposes no requirements.

    • Paragraph (b), which provides that Section 501 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and that the standards for determining whether Section 501 has been violated in a complaint alleging employment discrimination are the same standards applied under the ADA, merely revises paragraph (b) in the current regulations for clarity.

    • Paragraph (c), which requires agencies to be model employers of individuals with disabilities, is identical to paragraph (a) of the current regulations.

    • The requirement to adopt an affirmative action plan, in paragraph (d) of the proposed rule, is imposed by Section 501.73

    73 29 U.S.C. 791(b).

    • Paragraphs (d)(1)(i), which requires outreach, and (d)(1)(iii), which requires agencies to take steps to ensure that individuals with disabilities have sufficient advancement opportunities, impose no new annual burden on agencies because they provide guidance on how to fulfill existing requirements, rather than impose new ones.74

    74See, e.g., 29 CFR 1614.102(a)(10), (a)(11), (a)(13), (b)(1); Promoting Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, supra note 21; Policy Guidance on Executive Order 13164, supra note 19; Management Directive 715, supra note 11. Indeed, the Commission anticipates that the additional guidance contained in the proposed rule, in the form of helpful examples and suggestions, will reduce agency burden by making it easier to satisfy the existing requirements. However, because the Commission does not have any data upon which to base an estimate of time saved, it does not quantify that benefit here.

    • The requirements of paragraph (d)(3)(i), which requires written reasonable accommodation procedures, and paragraph (d)(3)(iii), which requires agencies to provide individuals who have been denied a reasonable accommodation with written notice of the reasons for the denial, are taken from MD-715, Executive Order 13164, and existing agency guidance.75

    75See Policy Guidance on Executive Order 13164, supra note 19.

    • The recordkeeping requirements of paragraph (d)(8), with the exception of (d)(8)(iii) and (d)(8)(iv) (discussed below), are taken from MD-715.

    • The requirement to submit an Affirmative Action Plan to the Commission for approval on an annual basis, found in (e)(1), is imposed by Section 501.76

    76 29 U.S.C. 791(b).

    Other requirements of the proposed rule will impose no new burdens on federal agencies because they codify aspects of the existing MD-715 and program review processes. MD-715 requires agencies to conduct annual internal reviews of their policies, practices, and procedures to determine whether they provide sufficient employment opportunities to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities, especially those with targeted disabilities. As part of this analysis, agencies must determine the numerical representation and distribution of applicants and employees with disabilities and targeted disabilities.77

    77See Management Directive 715, supra note 11, at B.III. MD-715 also requires agencies to determine whether they are meeting obligations imposed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., on an annual basis. See Management Directive 715, supra note 11, at A. Those requirements are not relevant to this rulemaking.

    Many of these requirements are reflected in the proposed rule. Paragraph (d)(6) reaffirms that agencies are required to gather distribution data in order to assess whether individuals with disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities are being given sufficient employment opportunities and paragraph (d)(7)(ii) reaffirms that additional steps must be taken, as appropriate, to address statistical disparities.78

    78 The Commission recognizes that proposed paragraph (d)(7)(i) requires agencies to adopt specific goals for employment of individuals with all disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities for purposes of this assessment, and that this aspect of the proposed rule may impose annual burdens on federal agencies. The burdens associated with (d)(7)(i) are discussed below, and the Commission seeks comment on the estimated costs provided.

    The following aspects of the rule, all of which require agencies to make certain information more readily available, may impose one-time compliance costs on federal agencies:

    • Paragraph (d)(2) requires agencies to clarify in their harassment policies that disability-based harassment is prohibited;

    • (d)(3)(ii) requires agencies to inform all employees who are authorized to grant or deny requests for reasonable accommodation about reasonable accommodation funding;

    • (d)(4) requires agencies to make certain contact information available to employees; and

    • (e)(2) requires agencies to make their Affirmative Action Plans available to the public.

    We estimate that agencies will spend approximately 5 hours performing these tasks, updating policies, and checking for compliance. Multiplying by the number of agencies covered by the rule (218) 79 yields a total of 1090 burden hours. We assume that these tasks will be performed by an employee at the GS-14 step 5 level, in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA region.80 The hourly compensation rate for such an employee, adjusted to include benefits, is $82.98 per hour,81 yielding a total estimated cost of $90,448.20.

    79 The number of agencies covered by the requirements of MD-715 varies from year to year. The number of agencies covered in Fiscal Year 2014 was 218.

    80 Pay rates for employees at the GS-14 level depend on the within-grade level, or “step,” of the employee, which ranges between one and ten, and on the geographic location of the employee. See generally General Schedule Classification and Pay, supra note 50. The Commission realizes that not all of these tasks will be performed by employees meeting these criteria; the assumption is made purely for purposes of the economic analysis.

    81See Office of Pers. Mgmt., Salary Table 2015-DCB: Hourly Basic (B) Rates by Grade and Step, Hourly Overtime (O) Rates by Grade and Step (Jan. 2015), available at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/salary-tables/15Tables/pdf/DCB_h.pdf (providing hourly monetary compensation rates); Congressional Budget Office, Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees 9 (Jan. 2012), available at https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/01-30-FedPay_0.pdf (reporting that the cost of providing benefits to federal workers averages between $15.50 and $24.70 per hour). For purposes of this analysis, we assume a cost of $24.70 per hour for benefits.

    Other aspects of the proposed rule will impose recurring or ongoing costs on federal agencies.

    Paragraph (d)(1)(ii) requires agencies to ensure that staff are available to perform certain tasks. We provide both a high and a low estimate of the annual costs associated with this requirement. To calculate the high estimate, we assume that each covered agency will need to hire at least one new employee to perform the required tasks, at the GS-14 step 5 level, in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA region. The compensation rate for a government employee at this level, adjusted to include benefits, is $173,011.00 per year.82 Multiplying by the number of agencies covered by the rule yields a total cost of $37,716,398.00.

    82See Office of Pers. Mgmt., Salary Table 2015-DCB: Annual Rates by Grade and Step (Jan. 2015), available at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/salary-tables/15Tables/pdf/DCB.pdf (providing annual monetary compensation rates); Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees, supra note 88, at 9.

    To calculate the low estimate, we note that almost all federal agencies already employ personnel who provide these services. For example, agencies already employ 229 Disability Program Managers (“DPMs”) or Selective Placement Program Coordinators (“SPPCs”) (who perform, among other things, certain tasks of a DPM),83 most commonly at the GS-12 or GS-13 level. We assume that approximately 10% of agencies, or 22 agencies, will need to hire a new staff person at the GS-12 step 5 level, in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA region. The annual salary of such an employee, adjusted to include benefits, is $137,940.00.84 Multiplying by 22 yields a total annual cost of $3,034,680.00.

    83See Disability Employment: Selective Placement Program Coordinator Directory, Office of Pers. Mgmt., http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/selective-placement-program-coordinator-directory/ (last visited Aug.3, 2015).

    84See Salary Table 2015-DCB: Annual Rates by Grade and Step, supra note 82; Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees, supra note 81, at 9.

    Based on the two calculations above, the Commission estimates that paragraph (d)(1)(ii) will result in recurring annual costs of between approximately $3,034,680.00 at the low end and $37,716,398.00 at the high end.

    Paragraph (d)(7)(i), which requires agencies to adopt specific goals for employment of individuals with all disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities, is likely to impose recurring or ongoing costs on federal agencies in three respects.

    First, to determine whether the goals have been met, agencies will need to determine—

    • the percentage of employees at the GS-11 level or above, including SES, who are individuals with disabilities;

    • the percentage of employees at the GS-11 level or above, including SES, who are individuals with targeted disabilities;

    • the percentage of employees at the GS-10 level or below who are individuals with disabilities; and

    • the percentage of employees at the GS-10 level or below who are individuals with targeted disabilities.

    Associated costs should be minimal. OPM already gathers data on the representation of individuals with disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities at each grade level within each agency. The OPM data include employees classified as veterans with 30% or more disability.85 Agencies therefore may make the required determinations by requesting the relevant raw data from OPM, and performing the four simple calculations noted above. The Commission estimates that agencies will spend 2 hours to perform the required analysis, to determine whether goals have been met, and to maintain the associated records, on an annual basis. Multiplying by the number of agencies covered by the rule yields a total of 436 burden hours. We assume that these tasks will be performed by an employee at the GS-14 step 5 level in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA region, at an hourly rate of $82.98 per hour (adjusted to include benefits).86 Multiplying the hourly rate by the number of burden hours yields a total recurring annual cost of $36,179.28.

    85See, e.g., Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year 2014, supra note 48, at 25.

    86See Hourly Basic (B) Rates by Grade and Step, supra note 81; Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees, supra note 81, at 9.

    Second, because paragraph (d)(7)(i) encourages federal agencies to hire individuals with disabilities, it may impose ongoing costs by increasing the number of federal employees who need a reasonable accommodation.

    We first consider the number of additional employees who will need a reasonable accommodation. Because research shows that the federal government as a whole has already achieved a representation rate of 12% for people with disabilities as defined by Section 501 both at the GS-10 level and below and at the GS-11 level and above,87 the Commission does not expect that agencies will hire a large number of individuals who have disabilities as defined under Section 501, but do not have targeted disabilities, as a result of the rule.

    87See Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year 2014, supra note 48, at 25.

    However, the federal government will need to hire additional individuals with targeted disabilities to meet the 2% goals at the GS-10 level and below and at the GS-11 level and above.88 Data show that individuals with targeted disabilities currently represent 1.81% of federal employees at the GS-10 level and below, and that approximately 384 additional employees with targeted disabilities are required to reach the 2% goal.89 Such individuals represent approximately 0.8% of federal employees at the GS-11 level and above, and approximately 10,381 additional individuals with targeted disabilities are required to reach the goal.90 Although many of these 10,765 additional employees will not need reasonable accommodations, we assume for purposes of this economic analysis that they will.

    88 The regulation does not require agencies to create positions or vacancies for persons with targeted disabilities; agencies may place individuals with targeted disabilities into existing vacancies.

    89See Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year 2014, supra note 48, at 25.

    90See id.

    We next consider the cost of the required accommodations. Although many accommodations have no financial cost,91 we assume for purposes of this economic analysis that the needed accommodations will have a cost. The Job Accommodation Network (“JAN”) has found that, if an accommodation has a cost, it will typically be approximately $500.00. While some accommodations will cost more (for example sign language interpreters or specialized computer equipment), they are the exception rather than the rule. Multiplying the estimated 10,765 additional federal employees who will need reasonable accommodations by the estimated cost of $500.00 per accommodation yields a total estimated recurring 92 cost of $5,382,500.00.

    91See Job Accommodation Network, Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact 3 (updated Sept. 1, 2014), available at http://askjan.org/media/downloads/LowCostHighImpact.pdf (finding that 57% of all reasonable accommodations have no costs).

    92See id. We note that JAN's estimate of $500.00 is for one-time costs associated with providing a reasonable accommodation. However, given the limitations of the study, JAN was unable to provide an estimate of ongoing or annual costs. We therefore assume a cost of $500.00 per year for purposes of this estimate.

    Third, again because paragraph (d)(7)(i) encourages the hiring of individuals with disabilities, it may impose ongoing costs arising from the obligation to provide PAS to new employees under paragraph (d)(5) of the proposed rule. The Commission estimates that between 1.1% and 2.0% of the estimated 10,765 additional federal employees, or between 118 and 215 individuals, will require PAS to function in the workplace.93 Further, although the proposed rule allows agencies to hire a single personal assistant to provide services to multiple individuals, and to require personal assistants to perform additional duties, we nevertheless assume for the purposes of this analysis that each individual who will be entitled to PAS under the proposed rule will require a dedicated personal assistant for 40 hours per week.94 We provide both a high and a low estimate of associated costs under these assumptions.

    93 The Commission is aware of only one study that asks specifically about the need for personal assistance services among persons with disabilities in the workplace. The low estimate is based on that study's finding that 1.1% of surveyed individuals with disabilities reported the need to have a personal assistant to help with job-related activities as a reasonable accommodation. See Craig Zwerling, et al., Workplace Accommodations for People with Disabilities: National Health Interview Survey Disability Supplement, 1994-1995, 45 J. Occupational & Envtl. Med. 517, 519 (2003). This study only included employed individuals with disabilities. The Commission recognizes that, because individuals who need personal assistance services have disproportionately high unemployment rates, the study likely underestimates the percentage of such individuals in the labor pool.

    However, there is very little research on which to base an estimate of the difference between the need for personal assistance services at work among individuals who are currently employed and individuals who are unemployed but seeking work. The Commission is only aware of one study, conducted in 2003, that partially addressed this issue. That study found that approximately 7.7% of employed individuals with disabilities reported difficulty with self-care, while approximately 8.6% of individuals with disabilities who were unemployed and seeking work reported such difficulty. See Susan Stoddard et al., Personal Assistance Services as a Workplace Accommodation, 27 Work 363, 364 (2006). Because difficulty with self-care is not equivalent to the need for personal assistance services at work, those findings are not apposite. However, the 0.9% difference in difficulty with self-care between the two populations may be used as an estimate of differences in self-care-related needs more generally. Therefore, in order to calculate the high estimate, the Commission assumes that an additional 0.9% of the additional hires, or a total of 2%, will require personal assistance services.

    94 Because individuals who require personal assistance services generally do not require them continuously throughout the workday, the cost of providing such services to a single individual will represent a fraction of this figure. See, e.g., Tatiana I. Solovieva et al., Cost of Workplace Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities: With or Without Personal Assistance Services, 2 Disability & Health J. 196, 201 (2009) (reporting that the median annual cost of accommodations for individuals who need personal assistance services is $8000.00).

    To calculate the low estimate, we assume that the agency will hire personal assistants on a contract basis, at market rates. The average hourly wage for a personal assistant is approximately equivalent to the federal contract employee minimum hourly wage of $10.10.95 Multiplying this amount by the approximate total number of work hours per year (2,080) yields a total annual cost of $21,008.00 per assistant. Multiplying by the low estimate of the number of new hires expected to require PAS (118) yields a total cost of $2,478,944.00 per year. Multiplying by the high estimate of the number of new hires expected to require PAS (215) yields a total cost of $4,516,720.00 per year.

    95See, e.g., Douglas Klayman, et al., Soc. Dynamics, LLC, Funding Options for Personal Assistance Services 16 (2009), available at www.dol.gov/odep/research/FundingOptionsPersonalAssistanceServices(PAS).pdf (finding that the average hourly wage was $9.11); Denetta L. Dowler et al., Personal Assistance Services in the Workplace: A Literature Review, 4 Disability & Health J. 201, 206 (2011) (finding that the average hourly wages of between $8.18 and $12.00); Tatiana I. Solovieva et al., Personal Assistance Services (PAS) for Individuals with Disabilities: Self-Care at the Workplace, 36 Work 339, 341 (2010) (reporting an average hourly wage of $8.34). The federal contract employee minimum hourly wage was adopted under Executive Order No. 13658, 79 FR 9851 (Feb. 12, 2014), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-20/pdf/2014-03805.pdf.

    To calculate the high estimate, we assume that the agency will hire the personal assistant at the GS-5 step 5 level, in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA region. The annual compensation rate for such an employee, adjusted to include benefits, is $64,581.97.96 Multiplying by the low estimate of the number of new hires expected to require PAS (118) yields a total cost of $7,620,672.46 per year. Multiplying by the high estimate of the number of new hires expected to require such services (215) yields a total cost of $13,885,123.55 per year.

    96 To adjust for the cost of benefits, we divided the annual salary for an employee at this level ($39,395.00) by 0.61. See Salary Table 2015-DCB: Annual Rates by Grade and Step, supra note 82; Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees, supra note 88, at 9 (reporting that benefits account for 39% of the cost of total compensation for federal workers).

    In addition, some existing federal employees may receive PAS from federal agencies as a result of the rule. The Commission is not aware of any existing data concerning the number of such employees, and is not aware of any means of determining that number short of surveying the entire federal workforce. The Commission is aware of one 2003 study measuring the number of employed individuals who require personal services at work because of a disability.97 That study found that 1.1% of individuals who had medical conditions resulting in certain serious functional limitations 98 required “a personal assistant to help with job-related activities.” 99

    97See Craig Zwerling et al., supra note 93.

    98 Specifically, the study included individuals who had “difficulty with [activities of daily living] (bathing, dressing, eating, getting in or out of bed or chair, or using the toilet); difficulty with [instrumental activities of daily living] (preparing own meals, shopping for personal items, using the telephone, doing heavy work around the house, or doing light work around the house); functional limitations (lifting 10 pounds, walking up 10 steps, walking a quarter mile, standing for 20 minutes, bending down from a standing position, reaching over the head, using the fingers to grasp or handle something, or holding a pen or pencil); difficulty seeing (even with their glasses); difficulty hearing (even with a hearing aid); reported mental health or cognitive diagnoses (Down's Syndrome, mental retardation, schizophrenia, delusional disorders, bipolar disorder, major depression, severe personality disorder, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, other mental or emotional conditions); or reported use of a cane, crutches, walker, wheelchair. Or scooter to get around.” Id. at 518.

    99Id. at 519.

    In practice, however, the Commission suspects that the number of existing federal employees who would receive PAS as a result of this rule is close to zero. Individuals who require PAS because of a disability typically cannot work, because once an individual begins to earn an income the cost of the required assistance is shifted away from the public benefit system and onto the individual. One study has found that an individual would need to earn approximately $40,000.00 per year simply to offset the accompanying loss of benefits.100 Even at higher salaries, the benefits of working would be marginal.

    100See Douglas Klayman, et al., supra note 95, at 17.

    Nevertheless, because the Commission lacks any other source of data on the issue, we estimate for purposes of this economic analysis that 1.1% of existing federal employees with targeted disabilities will be given PAS by their employing agencies as a result of the proposed rule.101 There are approximately 1,343 individuals with targeted disabilities in the federal workforce.102 Multiplying that number by 0.011 yields an estimated total of 169 current federal employees who require personal assistance services.

    101 The 2003 study found that 1.1% of persons with medical conditions resulting in certain serious functional limitations require personal assistance in the workplace. Craig Zwerling et al., supra note 93, at 519. The group of individuals included in the study more closely matches the definition of “targeted/severe disability” than the definition of “disability,” as those terms are used in this rule. See note 98, supra. As noted above, the definition of “disability” is to be construed much more broadly for purposes of Section 501.

    102See Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year 2014, supra note 48, at 25 (excluding employees who are not on the GS or SES pay scales).

    We are aware that at least 16 current federal employees are already being provided PAS at the agency's expense. Because provision of PAS to these individuals would not represent new costs to these agencies, we exclude these individuals from the analysis, which leaves 153 individuals who will receive PAS from their employing agencies as a result of the rule. Multiplying that number by the low estimate of the associated costs as calculated above ($21,008.00) yields an estimated cost of $3,214,224.00. Multiplying by the high estimate of associated costs ($64,581.97) yields an estimated cost of $9,881,041.41.

    Based on the calculations above, we conclude that the PAS requirement will have a total cost of between $5,693,168.00 and $23,766,164.96 per year.

    Paragraphs (d)(8)(iii) and (d)(8)(iv) require agencies to keep records of all agency employees hired under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities, to calculate the number of such employees who have been converted to career or career-conditional appointment, and to calculate the number of such employees who have been terminated prior to conversion. The Commission estimates that it will take agencies 2 hours to gather the required data, to perform the required calculations, and to create and maintain the associated records, on an annual basis. Multiplying by the number of agencies covered by the rule yields a total of 436 burden hours. We assume that these tasks will be performed by an employee at the GS-14 step 5 level in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA region, at an hourly rate of $82.98 per hour (adjusted to include benefits).103 Multiplying the hourly rate by the number of burden hours yields a total of 436 burden hours, or a cost of $36,179.28.

    103See Hourly Basic (B) Rates by Grade and Step, supra note 81; Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees, supra note 81, at 9.

    In addition to imposing costs, the Commission expects the proposed rule to have positive economic effects. By bringing a greater number of individuals with disabilities into the workforce, the rule will reduce dependence on government benefits.104 To calculate the economic benefits to the federal government of providing PAS to a single individual, we assume that each individual receiving such services from an employer would otherwise rely on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits to pay for those services. An individual who requires PAS throughout the day, but who lacks an income and is actively looking for work, is most likely relying on government benefits to meet the significant cost of hiring a personal assistant. Research indicates that, for every individual with a disability who transitions from receipt of benefits to gainful employment, the federal government saves approximately $19,380.00 in paid benefits, and gains approximately $8,079.00 in tax revenue, on an annual basis.105 Multiplying the sum ($27,459.00) by the low and high estimates of the number of new hires expected to require personal services (118 and 215) yields an estimated economic benefit of between $3,240,162.00 and $5,903,685.00 per year.

    104See, e.g., Jean P. Hall, et al., Employment as a Health Determinant for Working-Age, Dually-Eligible People with Disabilities, 6 Disability & Health J. 100 (2013) (finding that employment of individuals with disabilities is associated with lower per-person, per-month Medicaid expenditures).

    105See Douglas Klayman, et al., supra note 95, at 17.

    In addition to its economic effects, the proposed rule is expected to have a variety of qualitative and dignitary benefits, all of which further values identified in Executive Order 13563 such as equity, human dignity, and fairness. Most significantly, the rule will increase the number of hiring and advancement opportunities available to individuals with disabilities by making them better aware of federal job openings. Research demonstrates that employment is an important determinant of both perceived quality of life and health status among individuals with disabilities.106 Additional anticipated qualitative and dignitary benefits of the rule include, but are not limited to—

    106See, e.g., Jean P. Hall, et al., supra note 104, at 100 (finding that, among individuals who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, paid employment is associated with significantly better quality of life, self-reported health status, and health behaviors).

    • Promotion of human dignity and self-respect, and diminished feelings of exclusion and humiliation;

    • reduced prevalence of disability-based stereotypes and associated stigma;

    • increased diversity, understanding, and fairness in the workplace; and

    • improved interactions with coworkers and workplace morale.

    The rule is also expected to prevent disability-based employment discrimination by making job applicants, employees, and agency management better aware of the protections against discrimination provided by Section 501.

    In summary, the Commission estimates that the rule as a whole will have a one-time initial cost to the federal government of approximately $90,448.20; an annual cost to the federal government of between $14,182,706.56 and $66,937,421.52; and an annual economic benefit to the federal government of between $3,240,162.00 and $5,903,685.00. The rule is also expected to have a variety of non-monetizable qualitative and dignitary benefits for individuals with disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Commission certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, because it applies exclusively to employees and agencies of the federal government. For this reason, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This final rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Congressional Review Act

    This action pertains to agency management, personnel and organization and does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties and, accordingly, is not a “rule” as that term is used by the Congressional Review Act (Subtitle E of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. Therefore, the reporting requirement of 5 U.S.C. 801 does not apply.

    List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 1614

    Administrative practice and procedure, Age discrimination, Equal employment opportunity, Government employees, Individuals with disabilities, Race discrimination, Religious discrimination, Sex discrimination.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission proposes to amend 29 CFR part 1614 as follows:

    PART 1614—FEDERAL SECTOR EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY 1. The authority citation for part 1614 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 206(d), 633a, 791 and 794a; 42 U.S.C. 2000e-16 and 2000FF-6(e); E.O. 10577, 3 CFR, 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; E.O. 11222, 3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp., p. 306; E.O. 11478, 3 CFR, 1969 Comp., p. 133; E.O. 12106, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 263; Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 321.

    Subpart B—Provisions Applicable to Particular Complaints 2. Revise § 1614.203 to read as follows:
    § 1614.203 Rehabilitation Act.

    (a) Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of this section:

    (1) The term ADA means title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (42 U.S.C. 12101 through 12117), title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 12201 through 12213), as it applies to employment, and the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission implementing titles I and V of the ADA at part 1630 of this chapter.

    (2) The term disability means disability as defined under § 1630.2(g) through (l) of this chapter.

    (3) The term hiring authority that takes disability into account means a hiring authority that permits an agency to consider disability status in the selection of individuals for employment, including the hiring authority for individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities, as set forth at 5 CFR 213.3102(u); the Veterans' Recruitment Appointment authority, as set forth at 5 CFR part 307; and the 30% or More Disabled Veteran authority, as set forth at 5 CFR 316.302(b)(4), 316.402(b)(4).

    (4) The term Plan means an affirmative action plan for the hiring, placement, and advancement of individuals with disabilities, as required under 29 U.S.C. 791(b).

    (5) The term Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities means the hiring authority for individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities, as set forth at 5 CFR 213.3102(u).

    (6) The term Section 501 means section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 791).

    (7) The term targeted/severe disability means a disability designated as such on the Office of Personnel Management's Standard Form 256 (SF-256).

    (8) The term undue hardship has the meaning set forth in part 1630 of this chapter.

    (b) Nondiscrimination. Federal agencies shall not discriminate on the basis of disability in regard to the hiring, advancement or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The standards used to determine whether Section 501 has been violated in a complaint alleging employment discrimination under this part shall be the standards applied under Titles I and V (sections 501 through 504 and 510) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (42 U.S.C. 12101, 12111, 12201), as such sections relate to employment. These standards are set forth in part 1630 of this chapter.

    (c) Model employer. The Federal Government shall be a model employer of individuals with disabilities. Agencies shall give full consideration to the hiring, placement, and advancement of qualified individuals with disabilities.

    (d) Affirmative action plan. Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 791, each agency shall adopt and implement a Plan that provides sufficient assurances, procedures, and commitments to provide adequate recruitment, hiring, placement, and advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities at all levels of federal employment. An agency fails to satisfy this requirement unless it has adopted and implemented a Plan that meets the following criteria:

    (1) Disability hiring and advancement program—(i) Recruitment. The Plan shall require the agency to take specific steps to ensure that a broad range of individuals with disabilities will be aware of and be encouraged to apply for job vacancies, when eligible. Such steps shall include, at a minimum—

    (A) Use of programs and resources that may be used to identify job applicants with disabilities who are eligible to be appointed under a hiring authority that takes disability into account, consistent with applicable OPM regulations, examples of which could include training programs for individuals with disabilities that lead directly to employment or that provide the qualifications necessary for particular positions within the agency, and databases of potential job applicants with disabilities; and

    (B) Establishing and maintaining contacts with organizations specializing in the placement of individuals with disabilities, including, for example, American Job Centers, State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies, the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, Centers for Independent Living, and Employment Network service providers.

    (ii) Application process. The Plan shall ensure that the agency has designated sufficient staff to handle any disability-related issues that arise during the application and placement processes, and will require the agency to provide such individuals with sufficient training, support, and other resources to carry out their responsibilities under this section, which shall include, at a minimum—

    (A) Ensuring that disability-related questions from members of the public regarding the agency's placement process are answered promptly and correctly, including questions about reasonable accommodations needed by job applicants during the application and placement processes, and questions about how individuals may apply for appointment under a hiring authority that takes disability into account;

    (B) Processing requests for reasonable accommodations needed by job applicants during the application and placement processes, and ensuring that the agency provides such accommodations when required to do so under the standards set forth in part 1630 of this chapter;

    (C) Accepting applications for appointment under hiring authorities that take disability into account, consistent with applicable OPM regulations;

    (D) Determining whether individuals who have applied for appointment under a hiring authority that takes disability into account are eligible for appointment under that authority;

    (E) If an individual has applied for appointment to a particular position under a hiring authority that takes disability into account and is eligible for appointment under such authority, forwarding the individual's application to the relevant hiring officials, and explaining to those officials how and when they may appoint the individual, consistent with all applicable laws;

    (F) Overseeing any other agency programs designed to increase hiring of individuals with disabilities.

    (iii) Advancement program. The Plan shall require the agency to take specific steps to ensure that current employees with disabilities have sufficient opportunities for advancement. Such steps may include, for example—

    (A) Efforts to ensure that employees with disabilities are informed of and have opportunities to enroll in relevant training, including management training when eligible;

    (B) Development or maintenance of a mentoring program for employees with disabilities; and

    (C) Administration of exit interviews that include questions on how the agency could improve the recruitment, hiring, inclusion, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.

    (2) Disability anti-harassment policy. The Plan shall require the agency to state specifically in its anti-harassment policy that harassment based on disability is prohibited and to include in its training materials examples of the types of conduct that would constitute disability-based harassment.

    (3) Reasonable accommodation—(i) Procedures. The Plan shall require the agency to adopt, and make available to all job applicants and employees in written and accessible formats, reasonable accommodation procedures that are easy to understand and that, at a minimum—

    (A) Explain relevant terms such as “reasonable accommodation,” “disability,” “interactive process,” “qualified,” and “undue hardship,” consistent with applicable statutory and regulatory definitions, using examples where appropriate;

    (B) Provide that reassignment to a position for which an employee is qualified, and not just permission to compete for such position, will be considered as a reasonable accommodation if the agency determines that no other reasonable accommodation will permit the employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her current position, and notify supervisors and other relevant agency employees about how and where to conduct a search for available vacancies when reassignment is being considered;

    (C) Explain that an individual may request a reasonable accommodation orally or in writing at any time, that an individual need not have a particular accommodation in mind before making a request, and that the request may be made to a supervisor or manager in the individual's chain of command, the office designated by the agency to oversee the reasonable accommodation process, any agency employee connected with the application process, or any other individual designated by the agency to accept such requests;

    (D) Include any forms the agency uses in connection with a reasonable accommodation request as attachments, and indicate that such forms are available in alternative formats that are accessible to people with disabilities;

    (E) Describe the agency's process for determining whether to provide a reasonable accommodation, including a description of the interactive process, and the individual from whom requestors will receive a final decision;

    (F) Provide guidance to supervisors on how to recognize requests for reasonable accommodation;

    (G) Require that decision makers communicate, early in the interactive process, with individuals who have requested a reasonable accommodation;

    (H) Explain that the agency may require an individual who requests a reasonable accommodation to provide medical information that is sufficient to explain the nature of the individual's disability, his or her need for reasonable accommodation, and how the requested accommodation, if any, will assist the individual to apply for a job, perform the essential functions of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of the workplace;

    (I) Explain the agency's right to request relevant supplemental medical information if the information submitted by the requestor is insufficient;

    (J) Explain the agency's right to have medical information reviewed by a medical expert of the agency's choosing at the agency's expense;

    (K) Explain the agency's obligation to keep medical information confidential, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and the limited circumstances under which such information may be disclosed;

    (L) Designate the maximum amount of time the agency has, absent extenuating circumstances, to either provide a requested accommodation or deny the request, explain that the time limit begins to run when the accommodation is first requested, and explain that, where a particular reasonable accommodation can be provided in less than the maximum amount of time allowed, failure to respond to a request in a prompt manner may result in a violation of the Rehabilitation Act;

    (M) Provide for expedited processing of requests for reasonable accommodations that are needed sooner than the maximum allowable time frame permitted under paragraph (d)(3)(i)(L) of this section;

    (N) Explain that, where a reasonable accommodation cannot be provided immediately, the agency must provide an interim accommodation whenever possible;

    (O) Inform applicants and employees how they may track the processing of requests for reasonable accommodation;

    (P) Explain that, where there is a delay in either processing a request for, or providing, a reasonable accommodation, the agency must notify the individual of the reason for the delay;

    (Q) Explain that individuals who have been denied reasonable accommodations have the right to file complaints in the Equal Employment Opportunity process and other statutory processes, as appropriate;

    (R) Encourage the use of voluntary informal dispute resolution processes that individuals may use to obtain prompt reconsideration of denied requests for reasonable accommodation;

    (S) Provide that the agency shall give the requestor a notice consistent with the requirements of paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section at the time a requested accommodation is denied; and

    (T) Provide information on how to access, at a minimum, Commission guidance and technical assistance documents.

    (ii) Cost of accommodations. The Plan shall require the agency to inform all employees who are authorized to grant or deny requests for reasonable accommodation that, pursuant to the regulations implementing the undue hardship defense at 29 CFR part 1630, all available resources are considered when determining whether a denial of reasonable accommodation based on cost is appropriate. The Plan shall also require the agency to provide such employees with a list of all resources available for providing reasonable accommodations, and with instructions on how to gain access to those resources. Available resources may include a centralized fund specifically created by the agency for providing reasonable accommodations, the Department of Defense Computer and Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP), and agency funds that, although not designated specifically for providing reasonable accommodations, may be used for that purpose consistent with all applicable laws.

    (iii) Notification of basis for denial. The Plan shall require the agency to provide a job applicant or employee who is denied a reasonable accommodation with a written notice that—

    (A) Explains the reasons for the denial and notifies the job applicant or employee of any available internal appeal or dispute resolution processes;

    (B) Informs the job applicant or employee of the right to challenge the denial by filing a complaint of discrimination under this part;

    (C) Explains that such complaint must be filed within 45 days of the denial regardless of whether the individual participates in an informal dispute resolution process; and

    (D) Provides instructions on how to file such a complaint.

    (4) Accessibility of facilities and technology—(i) Contact information. The Plan shall require the agency to provide all employees with contact information for an agency employee who is responsible for ensuring the physical accessibility of the agency's facilities under the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157, and an agency employee who is responsible for ensuring that the electronic and information technology purchased, maintained, or used by the agency is readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities, as required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794d.

    (ii) Filing complaints. The Plan shall require the agency to provide all employees clear instructions on how to file a complaint under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794d, concerning the accessibility of agency technology, and a complaint under the Architectural Barriers Act, 42 U.S.C. 4151 through 4157 concerning the accessibility of a building or facility.

    (iii) Assistance with filing complaints at other agencies. If investigation of a complaint filed under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Architectural Barriers Act shows that it is beyond the agency's power to correct the identified inaccessibility, the agency shall assist the individual in identifying the responsible party, and, if possible, filing a complaint with such party.

    (5) Personal services allowing employees to participate in the workplace. The Plan shall require the agency to provide, in addition to professional services required as a reasonable accommodation under the standards set forth in part 1630 of this chapter, personal assistance services during work hours and job-related travel to employees who need them because of a disability, unless doing so would impose undue hardship. Personal assistance services may include, for example, assistance with removing and putting on clothing, eating, and using the restroom. An individual who performs personal assistance services may be required to perform additional tasks, as time permits, including provision of assistance required as a reasonable accommodation and other duties, and may be required to perform personal assistance services for more than one individual with a disability.

    (6) Utilization analysis—(i) Current utilization. The Plan shall require the agency to perform a workforce analysis annually to determine the percentage of its employees at each grade level, including the Senior Executive Service, who have disabilities as defined by the Rehabilitation Act, and the percentage of its employees at each grade level, including the Senior Executive Service, who have targeted/severe disabilities.

    (ii) For purposes of the analysis required under paragraph (d)(6)(i) of this section, employees may be classified as individuals with disabilities or individuals with a targeted/severe disability on the basis of—

    (A) Self-identification records gathered in the manner prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management;

    (B) Records acquired during the course of appointments made under hiring authorities that take disability into account; and

    (C) Records of requests for reasonable accommodation.

    (iii) Data accuracy. The Plan shall require the agency to take steps to ensure that data collected pursuant to paragraph (d)(6)(i) of this section are accurate.

    (7) Goals—(i) Adoption. The Plan shall commit the agency to the goal of ensuring that—

    (A) No less than 12% of its employees at the GS-11 level or above, including employees in the Senior Executive Service, are individuals with disabilities;

    (B) No less than 12% of its employees at the GS-10 level or below are individuals with disabilities;

    (C) No less than 2% of its employees at the GS-11 level or above, including employees in the Senior Executive Service, are individuals with targeted/severe disabilities; and

    (D) No less than 2% of its employees at the GS-10 level or below are individuals with targeted/severe disabilities.

    (ii) Progression toward goals. The Plan shall require the agency to take specific steps that are reasonably designed to gradually increase the number of persons with disabilities and targeted/severe disabilities employed at the agency until they meet the goals established pursuant to paragraph (d)(7)(i) of this section. Examples of such steps include, but are not limited to—

    (A) Increased use of hiring authorities that take disability into account to hire or promote individuals with disabilities or targeted/severe disabilities, as applicable;

    (B) To the extent permitted by applicable laws, consideration of disability or targeted/severe disability status as a positive factor in hiring, promotion, or assignment decisions;

    (C) Disability-related training and education campaigns for all employees in the agency;

    (D) Additional outreach or recruitment efforts; and

    (E) Adoption of training, mentoring, or internship programs for individuals with disabilities.

    (8) Recordkeeping. The Plan shall require the agency to keep records that it may use to determine whether it is complying with the nondiscrimination and affirmative action requirements imposed under Section 501, and to make such records available to the Commission upon the Commission's request, including, at a minimum, records of—

    (i) The number of job applications received from individuals with disabilities and the number of individuals with disabilities who were hired by the agency;

    (ii) The number of job applications received from individuals with targeted/severe disabilities and the number of individuals with targeted/severe disabilities who were hired by the agency;

    (iii) All rescissions of conditional job offers, demotions, and terminations taken against applicants or employees as a result of medical examinations or inquiries;

    (iv) All agency employees hired under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities, and each such employee's date of hire, entering grade level, probationary status, and current grade level;

    (v) The number of employees appointed under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities who have been converted to career or career-conditional appointments in the competitive service each year, and the number of such employees who were terminated prior to being converted to a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service each year; and

    (vi) Details about each request for reasonable accommodation including, at a minimum—

    (A) The specific reasonable accommodation requested, if any;

    (B) The job (occupational series, grade level, and agency component) sought by the requesting applicant or held by the requesting employee;

    (C) Whether the accommodation was needed to apply for a job, perform the essential functions of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment;

    (D) Whether the request was granted (which may include an accommodation different from the one requested) or denied;

    (E) The identity of the deciding official;

    (F) If denied, the basis for such denial; and

    (G) The number of days taken to process the request.

    (e) Reporting—(1) Submission to the Commission. On an annual basis, each federal agency shall submit to the Commission for approval, at such time and in such manner as the Commission deems appropriate—

    (i) A copy of its current Plan;

    (ii) The results of the two most recent workforce analyses performed pursuant to paragraph (d)(6) of this section;

    (iii) The number of individuals appointed to positions within the agency under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities during the previous year, and the total number of employees whose employment at the agency began by appointment under the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with certain disabilities; and

    (iv) A list of any changes made to the Plan since the prior submission, if any, and an explanation of why those changes were made.

    (2) Availability to the public. Each agency shall make the information submitted to the Commission pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section available to the public by, at a minimum, posting a copy of the submission on its public Web site, and by providing means by which members of the public may request copies of the submission in alternative formats accessible to individuals with disabilities.

    (f) Commission approval and disapproval—(1) Basis for approval. If the Commission determines that an agency has adopted and implemented a Plan that meets the requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, the Commission shall approve the Plan.

    (2) Basis for disapproval. If the Commission determines that an agency has failed to adopt and implement a Plan that meets the requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, the Commission shall disapprove the Plan as required by 29 U.S.C. 791(b). Failure to achieve a goal set forth in paragraph (d)(7)(i) of this section, by itself, is not grounds for disapproval unless the Plan fails to require the agency to take specific steps that are reasonably designed to achieve the goal.

    Dated: February 16, 2016.

    For the Commission.

    Cynthia G. Pierre, Chief Operating Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03530 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6570-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Financial Crimes Enforcement Network 31 CFR Part 1010 RIN 1506-AB23 Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; Withdrawal of Finding and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Liberty Reserve S.A. AGENCY:

    Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of finding and notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document withdraws FinCEN's finding that Liberty Reserve S.A. (“Liberty Reserve”) is a financial institution of primary money laundering concern and the related notice of proposed rulemaking seeking to impose the fifth special measure regarding Liberty Reserve, pursuant to section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act (“Section 311”). Because of material subsequent developments that have mitigated the money laundering risks associated with Liberty Reserve, FinCEN has determined that Liberty Reserve is no longer a primary money laundering concern that warrants the implementation of a special measure under Section 311.

    DATES:

    The finding and notice of proposed rulemaking are withdrawn as of February 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The FinCEN Resource Center at (800) 767-2825.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On October 26, 2001, the President signed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, Public Law 107-56 (the “USA PATRIOT Act”). Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act amends the anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), codified at 12 U.S.C. 1829b, 12 U.S.C. 1951-1959, and 31 U.S.C. 5311-5314, 5316-5332, to promote the prevention, detection, and prosecution of international money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Regulations implementing the BSA appear at 31 CFR chapter X. The authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to administer the BSA and its implementing regulations has been delegated to the Director of FinCEN.

    Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act (“Section 311”) grants the Director of FinCEN the authority, upon finding that reasonable grounds exist for concluding that a foreign jurisdiction, foreign financial institution, class of transactions, or type of account is of “primary money laundering concern,” to require domestic financial institutions and financial agencies to take certain “special measures” to address the primary money laundering concern. The special measures enumerated under Section 311 are prophylactic safeguards that defend the U.S. financial system from money laundering and terrorist financing. FinCEN may impose one or more of these special measures in order to protect the U.S. financial system from these threats. To that end, special measures one through four, codified at 31 U.S.C. 5318A(b)(1) through (4), impose additional recordkeeping, information collection, and information reporting requirements on covered U.S. financial institutions. The fifth special measure, codified at 31 U.S.C. 5318A(b)(5), allows the Director to prohibit or impose conditions on the opening or maintaining of correspondent or payable-through accounts for the identified institution by U.S. financial institutions.

    II. The Finding and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. The Finding and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    Based upon review and analysis of relevant information, consultations with relevant Federal agencies and departments, and after consideration of the factors enumerated in Section 311, the Director of FinCEN found that reasonable grounds existed for concluding that Liberty Reserve S.A. (“Liberty Reserve”) was a financial institution of primary money laundering concern. FinCEN published a proposed rule proposing the imposition of the fifth special measure on June 6, 2013, pursuant to the authority under 31 U.S.C. 5318A.1

    1See 78 FR 34008 (June 6, 2013) (RIN 1506-AB23).

    B. Subsequent Developments

    Since FinCEN's finding and related NPRM regarding Liberty Reserve, material facts regarding the circumstances of the proposed rulemaking have changed. Liberty Reserve was a web-based money transfer system when FinCEN published notice of its finding and NPRM on June 6, 2013. The Department of Justice announced on May 28, 2013 that it had charged seven of Liberty Reserve's principals and employees with money-laundering, seized five domain names, including “LibertyReserve.com,” and seized or restricted the activity of 45 bank accounts related to Liberty Reserve. In light of these actions, Liberty Reserve has since ceased to function as a financial institution.

    III. Withdrawal of the Finding and NPRM

    For the reasons set forth above, FinCEN hereby withdraws its finding that Liberty Reserve is of primary money laundering concern and the related NPRM published on June 6, 2013, seeking to impose the fifth special measure regarding Liberty Reserve.

    Jamal El-Hindi, Deputy Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03830 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 7 [NPS-GOGA-19691; PX.XGOGA1604.00.1] RIN 1024-AE16 Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Dog Management AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Park Service proposes to amend its special regulations for Golden Gate National Recreation Area regarding dog walking. The rule would apply to 22 locations within the park and would designate areas within these locations for on-leash and regulated (i.e., voice and sight control) off-leash dog walking. Areas in these 22 locations that are not designated as open to dogs would be closed to dogs, except for service animals in accordance with National Park Service regulations. The rule would modify and, in some circumstances, relax the National Park System-wide pet regulations for these 22 locations. To the extent not modified by this rule, dog walking in all NPS-managed areas within the park would continue to be regulated under National Park System-wide pet regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by 11:59 EST on April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE16, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments after searching for RIN 1024-AE16.

    Mail or hand deliver to: General Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Attn: Dog Management Proposed Rule, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123.

    Informational Meetings: The NPS will schedule three (3) informational meetings on this proposed dog management rule during the 60-day public comment period, and provide public notice of these meetings in regional newspapers and on the park Web site at www.nps.gov/goga/getinvolved/pub_mting_prop_rule.htm. Information on specific locations, times, and dates of these informational meetings will be posted on the same Web site and sent to those on the park's Public Affairs Office mailing list.

    Please see the Public Participation section under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for more information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Attn: Public Affairs Office (Alexandra Picavet), Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA, 94123. Phone: (415) 561-4728. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation

    It is the policy of the Department of the Interior, whenever practicable, to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. The NPS initiated the rulemaking process in 2002 and then convened a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee in 2006. The committee, which was comprised of representatives of multiple stakeholder groups, met over the course of sixteen months in an effort to reach consensus on a dog walking rule for GGNRA. Although the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee was unable to reach consensus on all issues, it did reach consensus on some issues. These limited areas of consensus and input gained from committee discussions were carried forward for analysis as the park developed the range of alternatives in the draft Plan/SEIS.

    In addition to that effort, and in accordance with the policy of the Department of the Interior to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process, interested persons may submit written comments regarding this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section above

    Please note that all submissions received must include the agency name and (RIN) 1024-AE16 for this rulemaking. Comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. If you commented on the Draft Dog Management Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (draft Plan/SEIS), your comment has been considered in drafting the proposed rule. Comments submitted during this comment period should focus on this proposed rule, not the draft Plan/SEIS. For example, the National Park Service invites comments on the definitions contained in the proposed rule and the clarity of the descriptions of areas open to dog walking; the rules and restrictions that apply to dog walking and to Voice and Sight Control areas; the rules and restrictions that apply to the permitting program for walking four to six dogs; and whether commercial dog walking should be allowed under the proposed rule. Comments on the draft Plan/SEIS will be considered untimely because the comment period on the draft Plan/SEIS has closed. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above, and bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be considered. Organizations should direct their members to submit comments individually using one of the methods described above.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Please make your comments as specific as possible and explain the basis for them.

    Background Authority and Jurisdiction

    The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA or park) as a unit of the National Park System. Units of the National Park System are managed under the statutes commonly known as the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916, the General Authorities Act of 1970, and the Redwood Amendments of 1978 which amended the General Authorities Act (codified at 54 U.S.C. 100101 et. seq.). As explained in NPS Management Policies 2006, these interrelated authorities express the fundamental purpose of the National Park System which is to conserve park resources and values and to provide for visitor enjoyment of these resources and values. The mandate to protect park resources and values is complemented by a statutory prohibition on the impairment of park resources and values. To avoid impairment, park managers are directed to seek ways to avoid and minimize adverse impacts on park resources and values to the greatest extent practicable. Where there are conflicts between conserving resources and values and providing for enjoyment of them, conservation is to be the predominant goal. To aid in the regulation of visitor activities within units of the National Park System, 54 U.S.C. 100751(a) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the NPS, to “prescribe such regulations as the Secretary considers necessary or proper for the use and management of System units.”

    An additional source of legal authority for the management of GGNRA derives from the park's enabling legislation, which was enacted in 1972 when Congress created the GGNRA. The enabling legislation states that the GGNRA was established “to preserve for public use and enjoyment certain areas of Marin and San Francisco Counties, California, possessing outstanding natural, historic, scenic, and recreational values, and in order to provide for the maintenance of needed recreational open space necessary to urban environment and planning . . . .” (16 U.S.C. 460bb). The enabling act directs the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the NPS, to “utilize the resources in a manner which will provide for recreation and educational opportunities consistent with sound principles of land use planning and management,” and to “preserve the recreation area, as far as possible, in its natural setting, and protect it from development and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area.” (16 U.S.C. 460bb).

    Description and Significance of Golden Gate National Recreation Area

    GGNRA is one of the most highly-visited units of the National Park System, with over 17.7 million visitors per year. The park is comprised of numerous federally-managed sites interspersed with lands managed by city, county, state, and regional agencies as well as private lands. GGNRA-managed lands include 29.2 miles of bay and ocean shoreline within three counties of the San Francisco Bay Area: San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo. The park contains significant historical and natural resources: 711 historic structures, including five National Historic Landmarks and 15 National Register properties; 47 registered archeological sites; nine cultural landscapes, including five lighthouses; 3,968 plant and animal species, including 37 federally-listed threatened and endangered species (the 3rd largest number of federally listed species in the National Park System); and 19 separate ecosystems in seven distinct watersheds. Many of these species were listed as threatened or endangered well after the park's establishment.

    Since GGNRA was established in 1972, the amount of land managed by the NPS has more than doubled as a result of acquisitions and boundary expansions. The park boundary now encompasses approximately 80,000 acres in San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties. Of that total acreage, the NPS owns and manages approximately 18,500 acres.

    Dog Walking in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

    Dog walking in some areas of GGNRA began prior to the establishment of the park, when dog walking, including off-leash dog walking, occurred informally at sites under the jurisdiction of other federal, state, or local entities or when the lands were privately owned. In the park's early years, those practices continued largely uninterrupted, despite the existence of a National Park System-wide regulation that prohibited off-leash dog walking and required all pets to be on-leash or under physical restrictive control (36 CFR 2.8, promulgated in 1966) or crated, caged, restrained on-leash, or otherwise physically controlled at all times (36 CFR 2.15, promulgated in 1983).

    In 1978, the GGNRA Citizens' Advisory Commission, which was established under the park's enabling legislation to coordinate public involvement for the park, considered and proposed a pet policy following input from park staff and the public. The policy provided general guidance on dog walking and recommended certain locations in the park for on-leash and off-leash, or “voice control,” dog walking, and some locations that would exclude dogs. In 1979, the Commission recommended the pet policy to the superintendent for adoption as a GGNRA-specific policy (later known as the 1979 Pet Policy). Although the NPS never promulgated this policy as a special regulation, for more than 20 years the park operated under it despite the National Park System-wide regulation prohibiting off-leash dog walking.

    Since 1979, the San Francisco Bay Area population and overall use of GGNRA lands have increased, as have the number of dog walkers in the park based on park staff observation, partly due to the recent growth of the commercial dog walking industry. At the same time, the number of dog-related conflicts between park users with and without dogs has risen, including dog bites and attacks, as has the concern about the effect of uncontrolled dog behaviors on park visitor experiences. Resource concerns have also increased since 1979 as park staff gained greater knowledge of park resources and as a result of the listing of several species with habitat in areas used by dog walkers as threatened, endangered, or special-status species. The NPS has also identified other native plant and animal species that require protection under the NPS's broader conservation mandate.

    A resource protection conflict between dog use and a listed species occurred in the late 1990s when the NPS sought to close 12 acres at Fort Funston to dogs in order to protect bank swallows (Riparia riparia), a bird species listed as threatened by the State of California in 1989. Fort Funston had been designated as an off-leash “voice control” area under the 1979 Pet Policy. Dog walking groups challenged the closure in U.S. District Court. (Fort Funston Dog Walkers v. Babbitt, 96 F. Supp. 2d 1021 (N.D. Cal. 2000).) Following a determination that the NPS had likely violated procedural rules in adopting the closure, the NPS undertook a subsequent public process and was ultimately allowed to erect fences closing the 12-acre area to dogs.

    Additional legal challenges to the NPS's management of dog walking occurred in the early 2000s. In January 2002, the NPS issued a Federal Register notice explaining that the 1979 Pet Policy was in conflict with the National Park System-wide regulation that requires dogs to be leashed (36 CFR 2.15) and that the NPS was therefore rescinding the 1979 Pet Policy. (67 FR 1424 at 1425 (Jan. 11, 2002).) The NPS began enforcing the leash requirement contained in 36 CFR 2.15, including in areas formerly open to off-leash dog walking under the 1979 Pet Policy. In 2004, several dog walkers who had been cited for failing to leash their dogs challenged the NPS decision to rescind the 1979 Pet Policy. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California determined that the NPS did not follow proper procedures in issuing the 2002 Federal Register notice and that public notice and comment was required before adopting new restrictions on dog use that significantly changed public use patterns or were highly controversial. (United States v. Barley, 405 F. Supp. 2d 1121 (N.D. Cal. 2005.) As a result of that decision, the 1979 Pet Policy has remained in place pending the completion of this notice and comment rulemaking process, except for portions of Ocean Beach and Crissy Field (currently known as the Snowy Plover Protection Area and Wildlife Protection Area respectively) where in 2008 the NPS adopted a special regulation to restrict off-leash dog walking to protect sensitive wildlife. (36 CFR 7.97(d).) The proposed rule would replace the special regulation at 36 CFR 7.97(d) by permanently closing these areas to dogs. The closure of these areas would be implemented by a provision of the proposed rule that designates as closed any areas at Crissy Field and Ocean Beach not specifically opened to dogs. Maps identifying the areas closed to dogs would be made available to the public. Upon its effective date, the final rule would terminate and replace the 1979 Pet Policy within GGNRA.

    Another recent modification to dog walking in GGNRA is reflected in an interim public use restriction and permit requirement that NPS adopted in June 2014 for commercial dog walkers. Commercial dog walkers who use GGNRA lands in Marin and San Francisco counties are now limited to no more than 6 dogs at any one time, and they must obtain a permit from NPS when walking between four (4) and six (6) dogs at any one time. This interim restriction was adopted by GGNRA following limits placed on dog walkers in surrounding jurisdictions. [See link: http://www.nps.gov/goga/learn/management/upload/2014_Superintendent-s-CompendiumV2_access.pdf]. If the proposed rule is adopted by NPS, the interim permit requirement would be superseded by the final GGNRA dog walking special regulation.

    Today, many parts of the San Francisco Bay Area are highly urbanized, and some city, county, and state lands in the San Francisco Bay Area have either limited areas available for dog walking or prohibit dog walking on their lands altogether. Some residents of San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties view GGNRA lands as their backyards. Some local residents with dogs find park lands convenient and have come to expect them to be available for dog walking. These same GGNRA lands, especially the coastal sites, are also popular with a variety of park visitors who seek to experience the national park free from dogs. Within the overarching mandate to protect park resources and values, the proposed rule addresses the interests of these diverse users by designating areas that are appropriate for on- or off-leash dog walking, by adopting restrictions on dog use in other areas such as limitations on the number of dogs, and by closing areas that are not appropriate for dog use.

    Dog Management Planning and Environmental Impact Analysis

    In 2002, the NPS issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking for public input on whether the NPS should develop a new regulation for dog walking in GGNRA. Following review of public comments, the NPS initiated a dog management planning process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), together with a Negotiated Rulemaking process in an effort to develop a consensus-based proposed rule. After meeting for a 16 month period, the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, comprised of representative stakeholders, was unable to reach consensus on a proposed rule and elected not to extend its charter. The NPS decided to continue the dog management planning process under NEPA and its associated public involvement process and through the traditional notice and comment rulemaking process.

    The NPS released the draft Dog Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for public comment in 2011.The resulting public comments, and the addition of a major new tract of land to the park (Rancho Corral de Tierra), prompted the NPS to issue an updated draft plan and supplemental EIS (draft Plan/SEIS). The draft Plan/SEIS was open for public comment from September 6, 2013 until February 18, 2014. The draft Plan/SEIS is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?projectID=11759 by clicking on the link entitled “Draft Dog Management Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.”

    Proposed Rule Relationship To Draft Plan/SEIS

    The proposed rule is based on the preferred alternative (Alternative F) described in the draft Plan/SEIS, which has been modified slightly based on public comment and further analyses. In general, the principal changes relate to conditions for walking four to six dogs under an NPS permit, the adjustment of two Voice and Sight Control Areas (Crissy Airfield and upper Fort Funston), the addition of four new trail segments for on-leash dog walking (Rancho Corral de Tierra), and the elimination of one (Fort Baker), clarifying definitions, and additional considerations for the Monitoring and Management Program. These specific changes are incorporated in this proposed rule and will be included in the Preferred Alternative in the Final Dog Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. The proposed rule uses updated and corrected trail and road names that are different than the names used in the draft/SEIS. To reduce confusion, the changes to trail and road names are posted on the park Web site at http://www.nps.gov/goga/learn/management/completed-plans-and-projects.htm and are identified in the table at the end of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    General Summary

    The 22 locations covered by the proposed rule are as follows by County:

    Marin County: Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, Homestead Valley, Oakwood Valley, Alta Trail, Marin Headlands/Rodeo Beach and Vicinity, Marin Headlands/Rodeo Valley, and Fort Baker.

    San Francisco County: Fort Mason, Crissy Field, Fort Point National Historic Site, Baker Beach, Lands End, Fort Miley, Sutro Heights Park, Ocean Beach, and Fort Funston.

    San Mateo County: Mori Point, Milagra Ridge, Sweeney Ridge, Cattle Hill (if NPS acquires management responsibility for this area), and Rancho Corral de Tierra.

    Within the locations listed above, the proposed rule would designate specific areas where dogs would be required to stay on leash, where dogs may be off-leash but only when under immediate voice and sight control, and where dog walking would be prohibited. Maps of trails, beaches, and other areas open to dog walking would be available at park visitor centers and on the park Web site once a final rule is issued. Maps for this proposed rule are available online at www.regulations.gov (click on “Open Docket Folder” after searching for RIN 1024-AE16) and on the park Web site at http://www.nps.gov/goga/getinvolved/prop-rule-maps.htm. Due to the small scale of these maps and the large areas covered, one overview map (#1) is provided along with nineteen (19) other maps (from maps #2 to #20) to cover the twenty-two (22) park locations addressed in this proposed rule (with 3 maps covering 2 locations each); these maps are visual aids to illustrate the detailed area descriptions provided in the rule, which are controlling.

    The proposed rule provides for on-leash and off-leash dog walking opportunities within these locations in a manner that is consistent with NPS's legal mandates to conserve park resources and values and provide for recreational and educational opportunities. The rule is consistent with sound principles of land use planning and management, and preserves the park's natural setting and protects it from uses that could destroy its scenic beauty and natural character. Limitations and restrictions on dog walking in these locations are designed to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on park resources, promote health and safety, reduce conflicts between diverse user groups, and address management responsibilities.

    Under 36 CFR 1.2(c), special regulations for an NPS unit may modify or relax regulations in 36 CFR part 2 that apply to the entire National Park System. The proposed rule would modify and, in some circumstances, relax the National Park System-wide pet regulations at 36 CFR 2.15 for the locations listed above. To the extent not modified or relaxed by this rule, the National Park System-wide pet regulations at 36 CFR 2.15 would continue to apply to pets, including dogs, within GGNRA. Within GGNRA's 22 park locations identified in this rule, the following subsections of 36 CFR 2.15 would still apply: subsections (a)(1), (a)(4), (c), (d), (e) and (f).

    The proposed rule would authorize areas open to on-leash or off-leash dog walking to be closed or subject to additional restrictions, on a temporary or permanent basis, for the protection or restoration of park resources, special events, implementation of management responsibilities, health and safety, infrastructure projects, visitor use conflicts, or other factors within the discretion of the superintendent.

    There are two scenarios under which dog walking opportunities may be expanded under the proposed rule. First, if the state and local entities with land management authority for Sharp Park Beach in San Mateo County (see Mori Point map #17) decide to change dog walking uses at Sharp Park Beach, a 0.2 acre area in the southeast corner of the beach that is administered by the NPS may also be so designated by the superintendent. Second, if the park adds new trails to the park's trail system in any of the 22 locations covered by the rule, the superintendent may designate such trails as open to on-leash dog walking. The NPS would conduct the appropriate level of NEPA compliance prior to designating any new trails for on-leash dog walking and provide public notice of the corresponding new trail uses under one or more of the methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7(a) before any such uses would be implemented.

    For GGNRA locations not addressed by this rule, including lands in the northern district of the park managed by the Point Reyes National Seashore, 36 CFR 2.15 would still apply.

    The proposed rule also would not change the rules relating to dog walking on lands, known as Area B, managed by the Presidio Trust. Dog walking on lands managed by the Presidio Trust is managed in accordance with the Trust's regulations in 36 CFR part 1001 and an Interim Final Rule regarding commercial dog walking that went into effect on October 1, 2014. The Interim Final Rule requires commercial dog walkers with four to six dogs to obtain and comply with an NPS permit when walking dogs in Area B and prohibits commercial dog walkers from having more than six dogs at one time. (See: http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-08-19/pdf/2014-19514.pdf). The Trust's Interim Final Rule will remain in place until the Trust issues a Final Rule.

    Designated Dog Walking Areas and Permit Requirement

    The following elements would apply to all of the locations within GGNRA that would be governed by the proposed rule:

    • Dog walking would be prohibited except in the specific areas or on the trails identified in the proposed rule. Dog walking would not be allowed off-trail, in campgrounds, on designated swimming beaches, on informal (i.e. “social”) trails, in public buildings, or in any area not designated by the proposed rule as open to dogs.

    • Dog walking on-leash would be allowed in parking lots, on sidewalks, and on shoulders of paved, public roads.

    • All dogs would be required to have a current rabies vaccination, and dog walkers would be responsible for providing evidence of that for any dog in their care when walking in the park.

    • All dogs would be required to be licensed and tagged in accordance with applicable ordinances of the county where the dog's owner resides.

    • Each dog walker would be required to have the dog owner's name, home address, and phone number available for each dog walked and must provide this information upon request to any person authorized to enforce the regulation.

    • No more than three dogs may be walked per dog walker at one time without a permit. All dog walkers walking between four and six dogs must obtain an NPS permit. (An example of the 2015 interim permit for commercial dog walkers is available at: http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=867836).

    • No more than six dogs may be walked per dog walker at any one time.

    • Commercial dog walking is allowed in areas open to dog walking according to the rules in this proposed rule for each park location.

    • Service animals accompanying a person with a disability would be allowed in the park in accordance with National Park System-wide regulations.

    • Informal trails are not official trails and therefore are not listed in the proposed rule and would be closed to dog walking.

    • Dog walking areas in each location would be delineated and marked. Standard landscape design elements (e.g. vegetative barriers, fencing, signage, landscape contours, paths, etc.) may be installed to aid differentiation of dog walking areas provided that wildlife movement is protected. Landscape design elements may also be utilized to protect restoration areas, delineate areas that require closure or separation for safety purposes, to reduce user conflicts, or to address other dog management needs.

    • Dog walkers may not enter the park with more than six dogs at one time. In addition, dog walkers entering the park with four or more dogs may not circumvent the permit requirement by walking fewer than four dogs at one time.

    ○ Permits would specify the areas, times and conditions under which this activity may occur.

    ○ Display of the NPS-issued, permit identification by the permitted dog walker would be required at all times when the permittee is walking four to six dogs in GGNRA.

    ○ All permits would require proof of liability insurance and approved dog-handling training through existing regionally or nationally-accredited training courses offered by organizations approved by the local county jurisdiction in which the activity will occur, and as accepted by the superintendent. A list of such courses can be obtained through the local county jurisdiction for that county in which the dog walking permit is being requested. A list of courses accepted by the superintendent will be posted on the park's Web site.

    ○ The NPS intends to recover the costs of administering the special use permit program under 54 U.S.C. 103104. In order to obtain a special use permit to walk more than three dogs at one time, the proposed rule would require dog walkers to pay a permit fee to allow the NPS to recover these costs.

    Uncontrolled and Unattended Dogs

    To protect park resources, reduce visitor conflict, enhance public safety, and aid enforcement and monitoring, the proposed rule would define the terms “uncontrolled dog” and “unattended dog.” The definition of “uncontrolled dog” includes behavior by a dog that results in uninvited or unwanted physical contact with a person or another animal. To prevent unwanted and/or unsolicited contact from a dog, dog walkers are advised to ask another person (with or without a dog) whether it is acceptable for their dog to approach the other person or that person's dog. Contact by a dog that results in uninvited or unwanted physical contact would violate the proposed rule. Short of actual physical contact, the definition of uncontrolled dog also includes threatening behavior by dogs towards people or other animals such as snarling, growling, snapping, chasing, charging, repeated barking at, howling, or uninvited taking or attempting to take food. Such behavior would violate the proposed rule.

    The rule would prohibit dogs from being left unattended outside, tied or untied. It would also prohibit dogs from being left unattended in a parked vehicle where they could create a nuisance, disturb the peace and tranquility of the park, or disturb wildlife; or where they could reasonably be expected to experience suffering or distress (e.g., exposure to high temperatures, direct sunlight, or inadequate ventilation).

    Proof of Rabies Vaccination and Owner Identification

    For the protection of the public and other pets, all dogs within GGNRA must have a current rabies vaccination. All three counties that encompass GGNRA lands (as well as neighboring Alameda County) require dogs to be licensed, require proof of a current rabies vaccination to acquire the license, and issue a proof of license (e.g., tag) that may be fixed to the dog's collar and that enables the identity of the owner to be confirmed. The NPS will accept these and other similarly issued municipal licenses as proof of current rabies vaccination and owner identification. In counties where current rabies documentation is not required, where such “annual” tags are not issued, or where counties are not able to release that information to NPS for purposes of health and safety or law enforcement, a dog walker must produce official documentation of a current rabies vaccination (such as vaccine certificates by providers authorized to administer the vaccine by relevant state or local authorities) upon request.

    Monitoring-Based Management Program

    As provided by the draft plan/SEIS, all areas open to dog walking, including Voice and Sight-Control Areas, would be subject to a Monitoring-Based Management Program to gauge compliance with NPS regulations and ensure continued protection of park resources, visitors, and staff. This program would include monitoring and recording of noncompliance with the proposed rule, including behavior that meets the definition of an uncontrolled dog or an unattended dog, dog walking in prohibited areas, and off-leash dog walking in areas where leashes are required. The program would also monitor and record dog-related violations of other NPS regulations, such as for hazardous conditions (e.g., aggressive behavior, dog rescues) (36 CFR 2.34(a)(4)), violations of areas closed to the public or to dogs (36 CFR 1.5(f)), protection of threatened or endangered species (36 CFR 2.2(a)(2) and 50 CFR part 17), vegetation (36 CFR 2.1(a)(1)(ii)), wildlife (36 CFR 2.2(a)(2)), and government and third party property (36 CFR 2.31(a)(3)).

    If the superintendent determines that the level of compliance with dog-related regulations is approaching an unacceptable level based on issues such as the number or types of violations or dog-related impacts to resources, visitors, park staff, health and safety, or peace and tranquility, or is imposing an undue burden on administrative resources, the superintendent must act to prevent those unacceptable impacts by taking management actions. Examples of primary management actions include increased outreach and education; increased area-focused enforcement of regulations; proposed fine increases; additional fencing, barriers or separations; or special use permit restrictions.

    If primary management actions do not sufficiently address the problem, the superintendent would implement secondary management actions. Examples of secondary management actions may include, but are not limited to increased buffer zones, and additional use restrictions (e.g. limiting the number of dogs off-leash at any one time with one dog walker, requiring tags or permits for accessing Voice and Sight Control Areas, or short or long-term, dog walking area closures). The authority to implement primary or secondary management actions is provided in section (11) and would be exercised independent of the superintendent's authority under 36 CFR 1.5 in order to provide the NPS with the needed flexibility to respond to the impacts of dog walking in designated areas and prevent unacceptable impacts or conditions before they occur. Public notice of any action taken under this authority would be given pursuant to one or more of the methods set forth in 36 CFR 1.7(a). Advance public notice would not be required in emergency situations.

    Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders, and Department Policy Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order 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. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This 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.). This certification is based on information contained in the economic analyses found in the report entitled “Economic Analysis of the Proposed Rule for Dog Management in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area,” that is available online at http://www.nps.gov/goga/getinvolved/plan-dog-mgt-rr.htm.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

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

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

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

    (c) 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.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. It addresses public use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other agencies or governments. A statement containing the information required by Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

    Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    This rule does not affect a taking of private property or otherwise have takings implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This proposed rule only affects use of NPS administered lands and waters. It has no outside effects on other areas. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. This rule:

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

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

    Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the Department's consultation policy and under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and have determined that it has no substantial direct effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and that consultation under the Department's tribal consultation policy is not required. Tribes traditionally associated with GGNRA were consulted, however, in the development of the draft Plan/SEIS.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act. OMB has approved the information collection requirements associated with NPS Special Park Use Permits and has assigned OMB Control Number 1024-0026 (expires 08/31/16). An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information (e.g., NPS survey) unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    The preferred alternative from the draft Plan/SEIS, which this rule proposes to implement, constitutes a major Federal action with the potential to significantly affect the quality of the human environment. We have prepared the draft Plan/SEIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Because of their inter-relatedness, the draft Plan/SEIS serves as NEPA compliance for this rule. The public comment period for the draft Plan/SEIS closed on February 18, 2014. The draft Plan/SEIS is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?projectID=11759 by clicking on the link entitled “Draft Dog Management Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.” A final Plan/FEIS will be developed after public comments on the proposed rule have been analyzed and considered as appropriate. A final rule will be published after a Record of Decision has been issued on the FEIS.

    Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    Clarity of This Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 (section 1(b)(12)) and 12988 (section 3(b)(1)(B)), and 13563 (section 1(a)), and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (a) Be logically organized;

    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (c) Use common, everyday words and clear language rather than jargon;

    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

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

    Drafting Information: The primary authors of this regulation are: Russel J. Wilson, Chief, Division of Regulations, Jurisdiction, and Special Park Uses, National Park Service; Jay Calhoun, Regulations Program Specialist, National Park Service; Michael Edwards, Project Manager, Environmental Quality Division, National Park Service; Mike Savidge, Chief, Strategic Planning, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service; and Shirwin Smith, former Management Assistant, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service.

    Table of Updated Trail and Road Names

    The following table identifies the updated trail and road names that are different than the names used in the draft/SEIS.

    County Map No. Trail and road names used in draft/SEIS Updated trail and road names
  • used in proposed rule
  • Marin 5 Oakwood Valley Road Oakwood Valley Trail. Marin 5 Oakwood Valley Trail Oakwood Meadow Trail. Marin 5 Pacheco Fire Road Pacheco Trail. Marin 5 Orchard Fire Road Orchard Trail. Marin 7 Smith Road Connector Trail Smith Trail. Marin 8 Bay Trail Fort Baker Bay Trail. Marin 8 Center Road Fort Baker Trail. San Francisco 9 Trail north from Great Meadow Fort Mason Bay Trail. San Francisco 9 Trail east of Youth Hostel Black Point Battery Trail. San Francisco 9 Stairs from Great Meadow to Lower Ft. Mason Fort Mason Stairs. San Francisco 9 Paths around Great Meadow Great Meadow Paths. San Francisco 11 Presidio Coastal Trail Coastal Trail. San Francisco 11 Unmarked connector between Battery East Trail and Presidio Promenade Battery East Spur Trail. San Francisco 11 Andrews Road Andrews Trail. San Francisco 11 Connector between Battery East Trail and Coastal Trail on the west side of the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza Presidio Promenade. San Francisco 11 Presidio Coastal Trail Coastal Trail. San Francisco 11 Fort Point Promenade Marine Drive. San Francisco 12 Access Trails to south beach from parking lots. Access Trails #3, 4, 5 and 6. San Francisco 13 Connector between Coastal Trail and Camino del Mar Trail/Legion of Staircase Legion of Honor Trail. San Francisco 13 Steps from Legion of Honor parking lot to Coastal Trail Memorial Stairs. San Francisco 13 Trail from Merrie Way Parking Lot north to Coastal Trail Merrie Way Trail. San Francisco 13 Trails from Merrie Way Parking Lot west to Coastal Trail Lands End Staircase, North and South. San Francisco 13 Trail from Merrie Way Parking Lot west to El Camino del Mar Fort Miley Trail. San Francisco 14 Trail through Sutro Heights Sutro Heights Loop Trail. San Francisco 14 48th to Sutro Loop Trail Sutro Heights Trail. San Francisco 14 Balboa to Sutro Loop Trail La Playa Trail. San Francisco 16 Sunset Trail from north end of Fort Funston to main parking lot Coastal Trail. San Francisco 16 Battery Davis Road on east side of the battery Battery Davis Trail. San Francisco 16 Eastern connector from Battery Davis Trail to Funston Beach Trail (North) Funston Trail. San Mateo 18 Milagra Ridge Fire Road Milagra Ridge Road. San Mateo 18 Trail to bunker Milagra Battery Trail. San Mateo 19 Sweeney Ridge Trail from Shelldance Nursery to the Notch Trail Mori Ridge Trail. San Mateo 19 Farallon View Trail from Baquiano Trail to western Cattle Hill boundary Cattle Hill Trail. San Mateo 20 Connector trail north of old San Pedro Mountain Road Farallone Trail. San Mateo 20 Connector trail north of old San Pedro Mountain Road Corona Pedro Trail. San Mateo 20 Connector trail south of old San Pedro Mountain Road Le Conte Trail. San Mateo 20 Vicente Ridge Trail San Vicente Trail. San Mateo 20 Connector to Vicente Ridge Trail Ranchette Trail. San Mateo 20 Denniston Ridge Trail French Trail. San Mateo 20 Memorial Loop Flat Top Trail and Clipper Ridge Trail (lower section). San Mateo 20 Connector from Memorial Loop to junction with Denniston Ridge Trail Clipper Ridge Trail. San Mateo 20 Connector from community to Clipper Ridge Trail Almeria and San Carlos Trails.
    List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    National Parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service proposes to amend 36 CFR part 7 as follows:

    PART 7—SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also issued under D.C. Code 10-137 and D.C. Code 50-2201.07.

    2. In § 7.97, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 7.97 Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

    (d)(1) What is the scope of this regulation? (i) The regulations contained in this paragraph (d) apply to persons with dogs at the following locations within Golden Gate National Recreation Area:

    In Marin County: Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, Homestead Valley, Oakwood Valley, Alta Trail, Marin Headlands/Rodeo Beach and vicinity, Marin Headlands/Rodeo Valley, and Fort Baker. In San Francisco County: Fort Mason, Crissy Field, Fort Point National Historic Site, Baker Beach, Lands End, Fort Miley, Sutro Heights Park, Ocean Beach, and Fort Funston. In San Mateo County: Mori Point, Milagra Ridge, Sweeney Ridge, Cattle Hill (if NPS assumes management responsibility for this area), and Rancho Corral de Tierra.

    (ii) To the extent not modified or relaxed by the regulations contained in paragraph (d) of this section, the regulations in section 2.15 of this chapter govern pets, including dog walking, within Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Paragraph (d) of this section does not apply to service dogs accompanying persons with a disability as authorized under applicable National Park Service regulations.

    (2) What terms do I need to know? The following definitions apply to paragraph (d) of this section only:

    Leash means a chain, rope, cord, or strap not longer than 6 feet in length with a clip or snap for rapid attachment to a choke chain, collar, or harness, all the parts of which are of sufficient strength to hold the weight of the dog and are suitable for walking the dog and controlling it.

    Unattended dog means a dog left without a guardian in sight, tied or untied outside; or left in a parked vehicle, where it creates a nuisance, disturbs the peace and tranquility of the park, or disturbs wildlife; or left where the dog could reasonably be expected to experience suffering or distress due to, for example, exposure to high temperatures, direct sunlight, or inadequate ventilation.

    Uncontrolled dog means a dog, on or off-leash, that exhibits any behavior that threatens, disturbs, harasses, or demonstrates aggression toward another person, dog, or domesticated animal or wildlife in a manner that a reasonable person would find threatening, disturbing, harassing, or aggressive. Such behaviors include snarling, growling, repeated barking at, howling, chasing, charging, snapping at, or uninvited attempting to take or taking food from a person; demonstrating uninvited or unwanted physical contact with a person or another animal; annoying, pursuing, hunting, harming, wounding, attacking, capturing, or killing wildlife or a domesticated animal; digging into ground, soil or vegetation; or failing to be under voice and sight control in a Voice and Sight Control Area.

    Voice and Sight Control Area means an area designated in paragraph (d) of this section and identified on maps available at park visitor centers and on the park Web site where dogs may be walked off-leash when under voice and sight control.

    Voice and sight control means a dog that is within direct eyesight of the dog walker and that the dog walker is able to both immediately recall directly to his or her side, without regard to circumstances or distractions, and attach a leash to the dog's collar. The dog walker must demonstrate this ability when requested to do so by an authorized person.

    (3) Where may I walk or take a dog at the locations identified in this paragraph (d)? You may walk or take a dog at the locations identified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section only in those areas specified below and subject to the restrictions as noted in this paragraph (d).

    (i) You may walk a dog on-leash in parking lots, on sidewalks, on paved public roads, and in all areas where off-leash use is authorized.

    (ii) You may walk one to three dogs per person at one time on-leash in the areas designated in the following table. The maps referenced in the table will be available at park visitor centers and on the park Web site.

    Table 1 to § 7.97—On-Leash Dog Walking: One to Three Dogs (A) Stinson Beach (see map #2) (1) Designated connecting trail from a signed trailhead between the dunes on the western side of the northern parking lot to the county-owned Upton Beach. (2) North and Central picnic areas. (B) Muir Beach (see map #3) (1) Trail parallel to the access road from Pacific Way Bridge through the Muir Beach parking lot. (2) Muir Beach Trail. (3) The sand beach and surf area outside the fenced or signed buffer areas. When there is a surface water connection between the ocean and the lagoon, dogs are not allowed into the surface waters connecting the lagoon and the ocean. (C) Homestead Valley (see map #4) (1) Homestead Trail from Four Corners to two community connecting trails beyond the GGNRA boundary, the Eagle Trail and an extension of the Homestead Trail. (2) Homestead Summit Trail from Homestead Fire Road to junction with the Homestead Trail at Four Corners. (3) Homestead Fire Road from Lattie Lane to Panoramic Highway. (D) Oakwood Valley (see map #5) (1) That section of the Rhubarb Trail from the Tamalpais Community Service District's property access at the park boundary, east to Tennessee Valley Road. (2) Oakwood Valley Trail (formerly Oakwood Valley Fire Road) to the junction with the Alta Trail. (E) Alta Trail (see map #5) (1) Alta Trail from the entrance at Donahue Street to the junction with the Morning Sun Trail. (2) Orchard and Pacheco Trails from the park boundary to the Alta Trail. (F) Marin Headlands/Rodeo Beach and Vicinity (see map #6) (1) Coastal Trail from the Fort Cronkhite parking area to its intersection with Old Bunker Road, and continuing east on the Old Bunker Road south to the Fort Cronkhite Trail and back along the Lagoon Trail to the Fort Cronkhite parking lot. (2) Beach access steps at the north end of the beach. When there is a surface water connection between the ocean and the lagoon, dogs are not allowed on the beach access steps or in the surface water connecting the ocean and the lagoon. (3) Lagoon Trail along Mitchell Road to and over the pedestrian bridge to the beach. (4) Batteries Loop Trail (from the Battery Alexander parking lot trailhead). (G) Marin Headlands/Rodeo Valley (see map #7) (1) Rodeo Avenue Trail and Morning Sun Trail connecting to and including the Alta Trail. (2) Rodeo Valley Trail from the trailhead at the intersection of Bunker and McCullough Roads to the intersection with the Bobcat Trail. (3) Bobcat Trail between Rodeo Valley Trail and Miwok Trail. (4) Miwok Trail from Bobcat Trail to Lagoon Trail. (5) Smith Trail from parking lot to Rodeo Valley Trail. (H) Fort Baker (see map #8) (1) Parade Ground. (2) The length of the Fort Baker Bay Trail from the northern parking lot off Conzelman Road at the northwest end of the Golden Gate Bridge down along Sommerville Road and up to section of same trail along East Road to the park boundary. (3) Fort Baker Trail from southern intersection with Fort Baker Bay Trail at Sommerville Road to the northern intersection with the Fort Baker Bay Trail at East Road. (4) Connecting trail from northeastern section of main parking lot (south of Bay Area Discovery Museum) to Fort Baker Bay Trail, and connecting paths from western side of same parking lot to Center Road. (I) Fort Mason (see map #9) (1) The multi-use Fort Mason Bay Trail (McDowell Avenue) from the north end of Van Ness Avenue at the Municipal Pier to Laguna Street. (2) The Black Point Battery Trail from Van Ness Avenue through the lower gun platform level of Black Point Battery to the Fort Mason Bay Trail. (3) Great Meadow paths and grass areas south of the Fort Mason Bay Trail between the western side of Building 201 (GGNRA Park Headquarters) and Laguna Street. (4) The triangular grass area between Shafter Court and the park boundary along Bay Street. (5) Grass area between MacArthur and Van Ness Avenues south of Building 9. Grass areas between MacArthur Avenue and the Fort Mason Quad residences. (6) Grass area between Building 101 and entrance road to Bay Street parking lot. (7) Grass area between Franklin Street exit to Bay Street and entrance road to Shafter Court. (J) Crissy Field (see map #10) (1) Crissy Field Promenade from the eastern park boundary to Marine Drive. (2) All access paths connecting the Promenade to Central Beach. (3) All flat grass and composite areas of East Crissy Field between the Promenade Cut-off Trail and the southern section of the East Beach Picnic Trail, in the west, to the eastern park boundary, bounded in the north by the Promenade and by the Fort Mason Multi-Use Path in the south, including the East Beach picnic area. (4) Crissy Airfield. (5) The developed paths and hardened areas (not stairs) outside the National Marine Sanctuary's Gulf of the Farallones buildings and outside the Crissy Center facilities. (6) The Mason Street Multi-Use path. (7) Crissy Field Warming Hut picnic area. (K) Fort Point National Historic Site (see map #11) (1) Northern shoulder of Marine Drive west along the multi-use access road to the fort. (2) Battery East Trail from Marine Drive continuing west to the intersection with the Presidio Promenade. (3) The Andrews Trail connecting to and including the full length of the Presidio Promenade from Long Avenue to the Coastal Trail. (4) Coastal Trail on the western side of the southern Golden Gate Bridge approach going south to the Merchant Road parking lot and Baker Beach. (L) Baker Beach (see map #12) (1) Coastal Trail from the connection with the Presidio Promenade at the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge to the Baker Beach parking lot. (2) That section of beach extending south from access Trail #3 to the signed, restricted buffer area at Lobos Creek, and the shallow, tidal waters immediately off-shore of the on-leash area. (3) Beach access Trail #3 thru Trail #6 and the access path from the 25th Avenue gate to the beach. (4) All picnic areas except the south picnic area, a designated dog-free area. (M) Lands End (see map #13) (1) Coastal Trail from the eastern park boundary near 32nd Avenue to the Lands End parking lot. (2) El Camino del Mar Trail from the park boundary to the Memorial parking lot. (3) Legion of Honor Trail. (4) Memorial Stairs. (5) Merrie Way Trail. (6) The north and south Lands End Staircase Trails. (N) Fort Miley (see map #13) (1) The East Fort Miley Trail from Clement Street to the NPS boundary at the Legion of Honor (just beyond its intersection with the Veteran's Trail). (O) Sutro Heights Park (see map #14) (1) The access trail from the Sutro parking lot. (2) Sutro Heights Loop Trail and adjacent grass lawn areas within this trail loop. (3) Sutro Heights Trail and adjacent grass lawn areas between it and the Sutro Heights Loop Trail. (4) La Playa Trail. (5) The parapet. (P) Ocean Beach (see map #15) (1) Coastal Trail south from the Cliff House along the sidewalk continuing on that section of trail east of the dunes paralleling the Great Highway to Sloat Boulevard. (2) Beach access stairs between Stairwell #1, the northernmost stairwell closest to the Cliff House, and Stairwell #21. (Q) Fort Funston (see map #16) (1) The Coastal Trail from the Great Highway south to the Coastal Trail Sand Ladder connecting to Funston Beach. (2) The Battery Davis Trail (East). (3) The John Muir Trail. (4) That trail along northern edge of main parking lot between the Coastal and Chip Trails. (5) That segment of the Sunset Trail from the main parking lot south to the southern parking lot below the main entrance. (R) Mori Point (see map #17) (1) Old Mori Trail. (2) Pollywog Trail. (3) Coastal Trail. (4) The southeastern section of Sharp Park beach within the NPS boundary. (S) Milagra Ridge (see map #18) (1) Milagra Ridge Road within the park boundary from Sharp Park Road entrance west to the Milagra Battery Trail. (2) Milagra Battery Trail from Battery #244 to the parking lot at the west boundary of the site (Connemara). (T) Sweeney Ridge (see map #19) (1) Sneath Lane from the parking area west up to the intersection with the Sweeney Ridge Trail. (2) Sweeney Ridge Trail from the Portola Discovery site to the former Nike Missile site. (U) Cattle Hill (see map #19) If the National Park Service acquires management responsibility for Cattle Hill, after giving public notice in accordance with 36 CFR 1.7, dog walking would be authorized on:. (1) The Baquiano Trail from Fassler Avenue up to Cattle Hill Trail. (2) The Cattle Hill Trail. (V) Rancho Corral de Tierra (see map #20) Montara area: (1) Le Conte Trail. (2) Corona Pedro Trail. (3) Old San Pedro Mountain Road. (4) Farallon Trail from the park boundary in the west continuing east to its intersection with the Corona Pedro Trail. Moss Beach area: (5) San Vicente Trail. (6) Ranchette Trail. El Granada area: (7) French Trail between the San Carlos Trail and its intersection with the Clipper Ridge Trail. (8) Flat Top Trail. (9) Clipper Ridge Trail. (10) Almeria Trail. (11) San Carlos Trail.

    (iii) You may walk four to six dogs per person at one time on-leash only pursuant to a permit issued by the NPS in areas designated in the following table. The maps referenced in the table will be available at park visitor centers and on the park Web site.

    Table 2 to § 7.97— On-Leash Dog Walking: Four to Six Dogs (A) Alta Trail (see map #5). Alta Trail from the entrance at Donahue Street south to the intersection with the Orchard Trail. (B) Marin Headlands/Rodeo Beach & Vicinity (see map #6) (1) Beach access steps at the north end of the beach. When there is a surface water connection between the ocean and the lagoon, dogs are not allowed on the beach access steps or in the surface water connecting the ocean and the lagoon. (2) Lagoon Trail along Mitchell Road to and over the pedestrian bridge to the beach. (C) Fort Baker (see map #8) (1) Parade Ground. (2) The length of the Fort Baker Bay Trail from the northern parking lot off Conzelman Road at the northwest end of the Golden Gate Bridge down along Sommerville Road and up to section of same trail along East Road to the park boundary. (3) Fort Baker Trail from southern intersection with Fort Baker Bay Trail at Sommerville Road to the northern intersection with the Fort Baker Bay Trail at East Road. (4) Connecting trail from northeastern section of main parking lot (south of Bay Area Discovery Museum) to Fort Baker Bay Trail, and connecting paths from western side of same parking lot to Center Road. (D) Fort Mason (see map #9) (1) The multi-use Fort Mason Bay Trail (McDowell Avenue) from the north end of Van Ness Avenue at the Municipal Pier to Laguna Street. (2) The Black Point Battery Trail from Van Ness Avenue through the lower gun platform level of Black Point Battery to the Fort Mason Bay Trail. (3) Great Meadow paths south of the Fort Mason Bay Trail between the western side of Building 201 (GGNRA Park Headquarters) and Laguna Street. (4) The triangular grass area between Shafter Court and the park boundary along Bay Street. (5) Grass area between MacArthur and Van Ness Avenues south of Building 9. Grass areas between MacArthur Avenue and the Fort Mason Quad residences. (6) Grass area between Building 101 and entrance road to Bay Street parking lot. (7) Grass area between Franklin Street exit to Bay Street and entrance road to Shafter Court. (E) Crissy Field (see map #10) (1) Crissy Airfield. (2) Crissy Promenade: The portion of the trail leading from the western-most side of the East Beach parking lot to the eastern-most access path to Central Beach; and those short segments of the Crissy Promenade that provide a direct crossing and connection between the Crissy Airfield paths and the paths leading to the western portion of Central Beach, designated for Direct Beach Access. (3) The Mason Street Multi-Use path. (F) Baker Beach (see map #12) (1) Beach access Trail #3 thru Trail #6 and the access path from the 25th Avenue gate to the beach. (2) That section of beach extending south from access Trail # 3 to the signed, restricted buffer area at Lobos Creek, and the shallow, tidal waters immediately off-shore of the on-leash area. (G) Fort Funston (see map #16) (1) The Coastal Trail between the Funston Beach Trail (North) to the Coastal Trail Sand Ladder on Funston Beach. (2) The Battery Davis Trail (East). (3) The John Muir Trail. (4) That trail along northern edge of main parking lot between the Coastal and Chip Trails (5) That segment of the Sunset Trail from the main parking lot south to the southern parking lot below the main entrance.

    (iv) You may walk one to three dogs per person at one time on-leash or under voice and sight control in the Voice and Sight Control Areas designated in the following table. The maps referenced in the table will be available at park visitor centers and on the park Web site.

    Table 3 to § 7.97—Voice and Sight Control or On-Leash Dog Walking: One to Three Dogs (A) Marin Headlands/Rodeo Beach and Vicinity (see map #6). On the beach west and south of the signed or fenced buffer areas from the northern terminus of the beach south to the “sea stacks” which divide Rodeo Beach from South Rodeo Beach, including the adjacent waters immediately off-shore. When there is a surface water connection between the ocean and the lagoon, dogs are not allowed on the beach access steps or in the surface water connecting the ocean and the lagoon. (B) Fort Mason (see map #9). The southwest section of upper Fort Mason bounded on the northwest by the diagonal path connecting the Fort Mason Bay Trail to the Laguna Street path and continuing southward to Bay Street and then eastward to the parking lot and north to the hedges bordering the path around the Great Meadow, continuing northwest back to the Fort Mason Bay Trail. (C) Crissy Field (Central Beach) (see map #10). Central Beach from the fenced, eastern boundary of the western foredunes to the fenced buffer zone on the west side of the tidal marsh outlet to the bay, including the adjacent waters immediately off-shore, but not including the dunes, on-leash paths to the beach, or the sand spit and waters north of the tidal marsh outlet. (D) Crissy Field (Crissy Airfield) (see map #10). Central area of Crissy Airfield, bounded by the middle path on its western side and a newly-proposed path (aligned in the north from the second-most western access to Central beach to the Mason Street multi-use path in the south) on its eastern side and by on-leash buffers along its northern and southern boundaries. (E) Ocean Beach (see map #15). The northern terminus of the beach to Stairwell 21, including the adjacent waters immediately off-shore. (F) Fort Funston (Upper Funston) (see map #16) (1) The area northeast of the Funston Trail, bordered by a signed northern border paralleling and aligned with the Funston Beach (North) Trail, east to the bottom of the embankment in the northeast, and the tree line in the east and south. (2) The Funston Trail. (3) The area east of, but not including, the Coastal Trail, north of the main parking lot, encompassing the Chip Trail and its eastern embankment, to the intersection with the on-leash John Muir Trail. (4) The Battery Davis Trail (West). (G) Fort Funston (Funston Beach) (see map #16) (1) Funston Beach extending south from the intersection with Funston Beach Trail (North) to the intersection with, but not including, the Coastal Trail Sand Ladder on the beach; includes the adjacent waters immediately off-shore. (2) Funston Beach Trail (North).

    (v) You may walk four to six dogs per person at one time on-leash or under voice and sight control only pursuant to a permit issued by the NPS in the Voice and Sight Control Areas designated in the following table. The maps referenced in the table will be available at park visitor centers and on the park Web site.

    Table 4 to § 7.97—Voice and Sight Control or On-Leash Dog Walking: Four to Six Dogs (A) Marin Headlands/Rodeo Beach & Vicinity (see map #6). On the beach west and south of the signed or fenced buffer areas from the northern terminus of the beach south to the “sea stacks” which divide Rodeo Beach from South Rodeo Beach, including the adjacent waters immediately off-shore. When there is a surface water connection between the ocean and the lagoon, dogs are not allowed on the beach access steps or in the surface water connecting the ocean and the lagoon. (B) Fort Mason (see map #9). The southwest section of upper Fort Mason bounded on the northwest by the diagonal path connecting the Fort Mason Bay Trail to the Laguna Street path and continuing southward to Bay Street and then eastward to the parking lot and north to the hedges bordering the path around the Great Meadow, continuing northwest back to the Fort Mason Bay Trail. (C) Crissy Field (Central Beach) (see map #10). Central Beach from the fenced, eastern boundary of the western foredunes to the fenced buffer zone on the west side of the tidal marsh outlet to the bay, including the adjacent waters immediately off-shore, but not including the dunes, on-leash paths to the beach, or the sand spit and waters north of the tidal marsh outlet. (D) Crissy Field (Crissy Airfield) (see map #10). Central area of Crissy Airfield, bounded by the middle path on its western side and a newly-proposed (aligned in the north from the second-most western access to Central beach to the Mason Street multi-use path in the south) path on its eastern side and by on-leash buffers along its northern and southern boundaries. (E) Ocean Beach (see map #15). The northern terminus of the beach to Stairwell 21, including the adjacent waters immediately off-shore. (F) Fort Funston (Upper Funston) (see map #16) (1) The area northeast of the Funston Trail, bordered by a signed northern border paralleling and aligned with the Funston Beach (North) Trail, east to the bottom of the embankment in the northeast, and the tree line in the east and south. (2) The Funston Trail. (3) The area east of, but not including, the Coastal Trail, north of the main parking lot, encompassing the Chip Trail and its eastern embankment, to the intersection with the on-leash John Muir Trail. (4) The Battery Davis Trail (West). (G) Fort Funston (Funston Beach) (see map #16) (1) Funston Beach extending south from the intersection with Funston Beach Trail (North) to the intersection with, but not including, the Coastal Trail Sand Ladder on the beach; includes the adjacent waters immediately off-shore. (2) Funston Beach Trail (North).

    (vi) You may not walk a dog on- or off-leash in campgrounds, public buildings, designated swimming beaches, sensitive habitat areas, and any other areas not specifically opened to dog walking in this paragraph (d).

    (vii) If the park adds new trails to the park's trail system in any of the 22 locations covered by this paragraph (d), the superintendent may designate such trails as open to on-leash dog walking. If the state and local entities with land management authority for Sharp Park Beach decide to change dog walking uses at Sharp Park Beach, the superintendent may designate the small, adjacent southeast corner (0.2 acres) of the beach that is administered by the NPS for the same use. Notice of this change will be provided by one or more of the methods in section 1.7 of this chapter.

    (viii) Areas open to dog walking by this paragraph (d)will be identified on maps available at park visitor centers and on the park Web site.

    (4) When must I have a leash? A leash must be attached to each dog and simultaneously held by the dog walker, unless the dog is present in a Voice and Sight Control Area or the dog is fully confined in a vehicle, cage or crate. In a Voice and Sight Control Area, a leash for each dog must be carried by the dog walker but does not have to be attached to the dog, provided that the dog is under voice and sight control.

    (5) How many dogs may I walk at one time without a permit? You may walk up to three dogs at one time per person within areas designated as open to dog walking in paragraph (d) of this section in accordance with the leash requirements that apply to each area.

    (6) May I leave a dog unattended? No. An unattended dog is prohibited.

    (7) May I walk more than three dogs at one time? (i) Walking four to six dogs per person at one time is prohibited unless you obtain a dog walking permit from the NPS and remain in areas designated for that use in paragraph (d)(3) of this section during the times specified in paragraph (d)(9) below.

    (ii) Walking more than six dogs at one time is prohibited.

    (iii) Persons may not enter the park with more than six dogs at one time. In addition, dog walkers entering the park with four or more dogs may not circumvent the permit requirement by leaving dogs unattended or in a parked vehicle while they walk fewer than four dogs at one time.

    (8) How do I obtain an NPS dog walking permit? (i) Annual permits may be obtained by applying in person at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Office of Special Uses, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA. 94123, or on the park Web site. All permits will require proof of liability insurance and proof of successfully completing a dog-handling training course that is accepted by the superintendent. The NPS charges a fee to recover the costs of administering the special use permits. Permit applicants must pay the fee charged by the NPS in order to obtain a special use permit.

    (ii) Violation of a term or condition of a permit issued in accordance with this section is prohibited. In addition, the superintendent may temporarily or permanently revoke a person's dog walking permit, or deny a person's request for a dog walking permit, based upon documented violation(s) of NPS regulations or failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a dog walking permit.

    (9) At what times will permitted dog walking of four to six dogs be allowed? Permitted dog walking of four to six dogs is only authorized Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The times for permitted dog walking of four to six dogs may be adjusted by the superintendent following public notice consistent with one of the methods listed in § 1.7(a) of this chapter.

    (10) What other restrictions apply in areas open to dog walking under this paragraph (d)? (i) All dogs must have identification tags affixed to their collar that confirm proof of current rabies vaccinations and their owner's name, address, and phone number; except as provided for in paragraph (d)(10)(ii) of this section.

    (ii) In counties or municipalities where an annual dog license is issued that requires proof of a current rabies vaccination, a valid, current county or municipal license tag suffices for such proof. In counties or municipalities where such current rabies documentation is not required, where such “annual” tags are not issued or where counties or municipalities are not able to release that information to NPS for purposes of health and safety or law enforcement, a dog walker must produce official documentation meeting the requirements in paragraph (d)(10)(i) of this section when asked by any authorized person.

    (iii) A dog walker must immediately pick up a dog's excrement and place it in a designated garbage container or remove it from the park. Excrement may not be left on the ground, even if bagged, and may not be deposited in compost or recycling receptacles, or left on the ground in the park for collection later.

    (iv) An uncontrolled dog is prohibited. A dog walker must be in control of his or her dog at all times regardless of circumstances or distractions. An authorized person may instruct a dog walker to remove an uncontrolled dog from the park.

    (v) A dog in heat is prohibited.

    (vi) A dog under four months old must be leashed, crated or confined in a carrier at all times, including in Voice and Sight Control Areas.

    (vii) Dogs are not allowed to breed in the park.

    (11) May the superintendent impose additional closures or restrictions in areas open to dog walking? Yes. Areas or portions thereof that are open to on-leash or off-leash dog walking may be closed or subject to additional restrictions by the superintendent, on a temporary or permanent basis, for the protection or restoration of park resources, special events, implementation of management responsibilities, health and safety, infrastructure projects, visitor use conflicts, or other factors within the discretion of the superintendent. Except in emergency situations, the NPS will provide public notice of such changes under one or more of the methods listed in § 1.7 of this chapter before any such changes are implemented.

    Dated: January 28, 2016. Michael Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03731 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EJ-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151210999-6081-01] RIN 0648-BF59 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 27 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to approve and implement measures included in Framework Adjustment 27 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which the New England Fishery Management Council adopted and submitted to NMFS for approval. The purpose of Framework 27 is to prevent overfishing, improve yield-per-recruit, and improve the overall management of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery. Framework 27 would: Set specifications for the scallop fishery for fishing year 2016, including days-at-sea allocations, individual fishing quotas, and sea scallop access area trip allocations; create a new rotational closed area south of Closed Area II to protect small scallops; and open the northern portion of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area to the Limited Access General Category fleet and transfer 19 percent of the Limited Access General Category access area trips from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area to the northern portion of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by March 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Council is developing an environmental assessment (EA) for this action that describes the proposed measures and other considered alternatives and provides a thorough analysis of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. The Council submitted a decision draft of the framework to NMFS that includes the draft EA, a description of the Council's preferred alternative, the Council's rationale for selecting each alternative, and an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA). Copies of the decision draft of the framework, the draft EA, and the IRFA, are available upon request from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0164, by either 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-2015-0164, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on Scallop Framework 27 Proposed Rule.”

    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, etc.), 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).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978-281-9233.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The scallop fishery's management unit ranges from the shorelines of Maine through North Carolina to the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP), established in 1982, includes a number of amendments and framework adjustments that have revised and refined the fishery's management. The Council sets scallop fishery specifications through framework adjustments that occur annually or biennially. The Council adopted Framework 27 on December 3, 2015, and submitted a draft of the framework to NMFS on December 22, 2015, for review and approval. This annual action includes catch, effort, and quota allocations and adjustments to the rotational area management program for fishing year 2016.

    Framework 27 specifies measures for fishing year 2016, and includes fishing year 2017 measures that will go into place as a default should the next specifications-setting framework be delayed beyond the start of fishing year 2017. NMFS will implement Framework 27, if approved, after the start of fishing year 2016; 2016 default measures concerning allocations will go into place as of March 1, 2016. These default measures are more conservative than the Framework 27 proposed allocations and would be replaced by the higher Framework 27 allocations if this action is approved. The Council has reviewed the Framework 27 proposed rule regulations as drafted by NMFS and deemed them to be necessary and appropriate as specified in section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA).

    Specification of Scallop Overfishing Limit (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Annual Catch Limits (ACLs), Annual Catch Targets (ACTs), and Set-Asides for the 2016 Fishing Year and Default Specifications for Fishing Year 2017

    The Council set the proposed OFL based on a fishing mortality (F) of 0.48, equivalent to the F threshold updated through the 2014 assessment. The Council bases the proposed ABC and the equivalent total ACL for each fishing year on an F of 0.38, which is the F associated with a 25-percent probability of exceeding the OFL. The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee recommended a scallop fishery ABC for both the 2016 and 2017 fishing years of 83.4 million lb (37,852 mt), after accounting for discards and incidental mortality. The Scientific and Statistical Committee will reevaluate an ABC for 2017 when the Council develops the next framework adjustment.

    Table 1 outlines the proposed scallop fishery catch limits that are derived from the ABC values. After deducting the incidental target total allowable catch (TAC) and the research set-aside (RSA) and the observer set-aside, the remaining ACL available to the fishery is allocated according to the fleet proportions established in Amendment 11 to the FMP (72 FR 20090; April 14, 2008): 94.5 percent allocated to the limited access (LA) scallop fleet (i.e., the larger “trip boat” fleet); 5 percent allocated to the limited access general category (LAGC) individual fishing quota (IFQ) fleet (i.e., the smaller “day boat” fleet); and the remaining 0.5 percent allocated to LA scallop vessels that also have LAGC IFQ permits. Amendment 15 to the FMP (76 FR 43746; July 21, 2011) specified that no buffers to account for management uncertainty are necessary in setting the LAGC ACLs, meaning that the LAGC ACL would equal the LAGC ACT. As a result, the LAGC ACL values in Table 1, based on an F of 0.38, represent the amount of catch from which IFQ percentage shares will be applied to calculate each vessel's IFQ for a given fishing year. For the LA fleet, the management uncertainty buffer is based on the F associated with a 75-percent probability of remaining below the F associated with ABC/ACL, which, using the updated Fs applied to the ABC/ACL, now results in an F of 0.34.

    Table 1—Scallop Catch Limits (mt) for Fishing Years 2016 and 2017 for the LA and LAGC IFQ Fleets 2016 2017 (default) Overfishing Limit 68,418 68,418 Acceptable Biological Catch/ACL (discards removed) 37,852 37,852 Incidental Catch 23 23 Research Set-Aside (RSA) 567 567 Observer Set-Aside 379 379 ACL for fishery 36,884 36,884 LA ACL 34,855 34,855 LAGC ACL 2,029 2,029 LAGC IFQ 1,845 1,845 LA with LAGC IFQ 184 184 LA ACT 18,290 18,290

    This action would deduct 1.25 million lb (567 mt) of scallops annually for 2016 and 2017 from the ABC and set it aside as the Scallop RSA to fund scallop research and to compensate participating vessels through the sale of scallops harvested under RSA projects. As of March 1, 2016, this set-aside will be available for harvest by RSA-funded projects in open areas. Framework 27 would allow RSA to be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area (MAAA) that is proposed to be open for 2016, once this action is approved and implemented, but would prevent RSA harvesting from access areas under 2017 default measures. Of this 1.25 million lb (567 mt) allocation, NMFS has already allocated 3,393 lb (1.5 mt) to previously funded multi-year projects as part of the 2015 RSA awards process. NMFS is reviewing proposals submitted for consideration of 2016 RSA awards and will be selecting projects for funding in the near future.

    This action would also set aside 1 percent of the ABC for the industry-funded observer program to help defray the cost of scallop vessels that carry an observer. The observer set-aside for fishing years 2016 and 2017 is 379 mt. The Council may adjust the 2017 observer set-aside when it develops specific, non-default measures for 2017.

    Open Area Days-at-Sea (DAS) Allocations

    This action would implement vessel-specific DAS allocations for each of the three LA scallop DAS permit categories (i.e., full-time, part-time, and occasional) for 2016 and 2017 (Table 2). Proposed 2016 DAS allocations are higher than those allocated to the LA fleet in 2015 (30.86 DAS for full-time, 12.94 DAS for part-time, and 2.58 DAS for occasional vessels). We project DAS in fishing year 2017 to increase, but Framework 27 would set 2017 DAS allocations equal to fishing year 2016 as a precautionary measure. This is to avoid over-allocating DAS to the fleet in the event that the 2017 specifications action, if delayed past the start of the 2017 fishing year, estimates that DAS should be less than currently projected. The proposed allocations in Table 2 exclude any DAS deductions that are required if the LA scallop fleet exceeded its 2015 sub-ACL. In addition, these DAS values take into account a 0.14-DAS reduction necessary to compensate for a measure implemented in Framework Adjustment 26 to the FMP (80 FR 22119; April 21, 2015) that allows vessel to transit to ports south of 39° N. Lat. while not on DAS.

    Table 2—Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations for 2016 and 2017 Permit category 2016 2017 Full-Time 34.55 34.55 Part-Time 13.82 13.82 Occasional 2.88 2.88

    On March 1, 2016, full-time, part-time, and occasional vessels will receive 26, 10.40, and 2.17 DAS, respectively. These allocations would increase as soon as we implement Framework 27, if approved.

    LA Allocations and Trip Possession Limits for Scallop Access Areas

    For fishing year 2016 and the start of 2017, Framework 27 would keep all three Georges Bank Access Areas (i.e., Nantucket Lightship (NLS), Closed Area 1, and Closed Area 2 Access Areas) closed and keep the MAAA open to the LA fleet. This action proposes to close a new area, the Closed Area 2 Extension, to protect small scallops located south of the current Closed Area 2 boundary. The Council will reconsider this proposed closure area in a future framework action when the scallops are larger and ready for harvest.

    Table 3 outlines the proposed LA allocations that can be fished from the MAAA, which could be taken in as many trips as needed, so long as the trip possession limits (also in Table 3) are not exceeded. These proposed access area allocations for 2016 are equivalent to access area allocations for 2015.

    Table 3—Scallop Access Area Limited Access Vessel Poundage Allocations and Trip Possession Limits for 2016 and 2017 Permit category Possession limits 2016 vessel allocation 2017 vessel allocation Full-Time 17,000 lb (7,711 kg) 51,000 lb (23,133 kg) 17,000 lb (7,711 kg). Part-Time 10,200 lb (4,627 kg) 20,400 lb (9,253 kg) 10,200 lb (4,627 kg). Occasional 1,420 lb (644 kg) 4,250 lb (1,928 kg) 1,420 lb (644 kg). Additional Measures To Reduce Impacts on Scallops

    1. Delayed Harvesting of Default 2017 MAAA Allocations. Although the Framework would include precautionary access area allocations for the 2017 fishing year (see 2017 allocations in Table 4), vessels would have to wait to fish these allocations until April 1, 2017. This precautionary measure is designed to protect scallops when scallop meat weights are lower than other times of the year (generally, this change in meat-weight is a physiological change in scallops due to spawning). However, if a vessel has not fully harvested its 2016 scallop access area allocation in fishing year 2016, it may still fish the remainder of its allocation in the first 60 days of 2017 (i.e., March 1, 2017, through April 29, 2017).

    2. 2017 RSA Harvest Restrictions. This action proposes that vessels participating in RSA projects would be prohibited from harvesting RSA in access areas under default 2017 measures. At the start of 2017, RSA could only be harvested from open areas. The Council would re-evaluate this measure in the framework action that would set final 2017 specifications.

    LAGC Measures

    1. ACL for LAGC vessels with IFQ permits. For LAGC vessels with IFQ permits, this action proposes a 1,845-mt ACL for 2016 and an initial ACL of 1,845 mt for 2017 (Table 1). We calculate IFQ allocations by applying each vessel's IFQ contribution percentage to these ACLs. IFQ allocations for each vessel assume that no LAGC IFQ AMs are triggered. The accountability measure (AM) dictates that if a vessel exceeds its IFQ in a given fishing year, its IFQ for the subsequent fishing year is reduced by the amount of the overage.

    Because Framework 27 would not go into effect until after the March 1 start of fishing year 2016, the default 2016 IFQ allocations will go into effect. These default 2016 IFQ allocations are lower than those proposed in Framework 27. If approved, this action would increase the current vessel IFQ allocations. NMFS will send a letter to IFQ permit holders providing both March 1, 2016, IFQ allocations and Framework 27 proposed IFQ allocations so that vessel owners know what mid-year adjustments would occur if NMFS approves Framework 27.

    2. ACL for LA Scallop Vessels with IFQ Permits. For LA scallop vessels with IFQ permits, this action proposes a 184-mt ACL for 2016 and an initial 184-mt ACL for 2017 (Table 1). We calculate IFQ allocations by applying each vessel's IFQ contribution percentage to these ACLs. IFQ allocations for each vessel assume that no LAGC IFQ AMs are triggered. The AM dictates that if a vessel exceeds its IFQ in a given fishing year, its IFQ for the subsequent fishing year would be reduced by the amount of the overage.

    3. LAGC IFQ Trip Allocations and Possession Limits for Scallop Access Areas. Framework 27 proposes that LAGC IFQ vessels would receive a fleetwide number of trips in the MAAA and a fleetwide number of trips in the northern portion of the Nantucket Lightship Access Area (NLSN). This action would not grant access to the NLSN to the LA fleet. Under other alternatives in the Framework, all of the LAGC IFQ access area trips were allocated in the MAAA. However, the Council wanted to provide opportunities for more LAGC vessels throughout the region (North Carolina to Massachusetts) to have access in areas with higher catch rates compared to open areas. Based on the biological and economic projections, both the short and long term impacts of providing LAGC access to the NLSN are similar to keeping the area closed to all vessels. Because LAGC vessels are limited in their range, LAGC vessels homeported in New England may benefit from increased access to scallops in this access area closer to their home ports.

    Framework 27 would allocate 2,068 and 602 trips in 2016 and 2017, respectively, to the MAAA. Under default 2017 measures, LAGC IFQ vessels must wait to fish these trips until April 1, 2017. It would also allocate 485 trips to the NLSN for fishing year 2016. The total number of trips (2,553) for fishing year 2016 is equivalent to the overall proportion of total catch from access areas compared to total catch. Framework 27 would not allocate any trips in NLSN for the 2017 fishing year.

    4. NGOM TAC. This action proposes a 70,000-lb (31,751-kg) annual NGOM TAC for fishing years 2016 and 2017. The allocation for 2016 assumes that there are no overages in 2015, which would trigger a pound-for-pound deduction in 2016 to account for the overage.

    5. Scallop Incidental Catch Target TAC. This action proposes a 50,000-lb (22,680-kg) scallop incidental catch target TAC for fishing years 2016 and 2017 to account for mortality from this component of the fishery, and to ensure that F targets are not exceeded. The Council and NMFS may adjust this target TAC in a future action if vessels catch more scallops under the incidental target TAC than predicted.

    Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority

    This proposed rule includes several revisions to the regulatory text to address text that is unnecessary, outdated, unclear, or NMFS could otherwise improve. NMFS proposes these changes consistent with section 305(d) of the MSA which provides that the Secretary of Commerce may promulgate regulations necessary to ensure that amendments to an FMP are carried out in accordance with the FMP and the MSA. The first revision, at § 648.14(i)(2)(ii)(B)(7), would clarify that the crew member restrictions, specified in § 648.51(c) and § 648.51(e)(3)(i), apply in all access areas. The second revision, at § 648.14(i)(3)(v)(C), would clarify that LAGC IFQ vessels must be declared into the Sea Scallop Access Area Program if they fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from any Sea Scallop Access Area. The third revision, at § 648.51(e)(2), clarifies that vessels participating in the small dredge program may carry component parts on board the vessel such that they do not conform with the definition of “dredge or dredge gear.” The fourth revision, at § 648.52(f), clarifies that LAGC IFQ vessels are permitted to possess no more than 75 bu (26.4 hL) of in-shell scallops outside of the Access Areas. Finally, the fifth revision, at § 648.60(g)(2), clarifies that IFQ LAGC vessels may fish with trawl gear in the MAAA.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the MSA, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has made a preliminary determination that this proposed rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the MSA, and other applicable law. In making the final determination, NMFS will consider the data, views, and comments received during the public comment period.

    This proposed rule does not contain policies with federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

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

    An IRFA has been prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA consists of Framework 27 analyses, the draft IRFA, and the preamble to this action.

    Description of the Reasons Why Action by the Agency Is Being Considered and Statement of the Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, This Proposed Rule

    This action proposes the management measures and specifications for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery for 2016, with 2017 default measures. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained in Framework 27 and the preamble of this proposed rule and are not repeated here.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule

    This action contains no new collection-of-information, reporting, or recordkeeping requirements.

    Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap or Conflict With This Proposed Rule

    The proposed regulations do not create overlapping regulations with any state regulations or other federal laws.

    Description and Estimate of Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule Would Apply

    The proposed regulations would affect all vessels with LA and LAGC scallop permits. The Framework 27 decision draft provides extensive information on the number and size of vessels and small businesses that would be affected by the proposed regulations, by port and state (see ADDRESSES). There were 313 vessels that obtained full-time LA permits in 2014, including 250 dredge, 52 small-dredge, and 11 scallop trawl permits. In the same year, there were also 34 part-time LA permits in the sea scallop fishery. No vessels were issued occasional scallop permits. NMFS issued 220 LAGC IFQ permits in 2014 and 128 of these vessels actively fished for scallops that year (the remaining permits likely leased out scallop IFQ allocations with their permits in Confirmation of Permit History). The RFA defines a small business in shellfish fishery as a firm that is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation, with receipts of up to $5.5 million annually. Individually-permitted vessels may hold permits for several fisheries, harvesting species of fish that are regulated by several different fishery management plans, even beyond those impacted by the proposed action. Furthermore, multiple permitted vessels and/or permits may be owned by entities with various personal and business affiliations. For the purposes of this analysis, “ownership entities” are defined as those entities with common ownership as listed on the permit application. Only permits with identical ownership are categorized as an “ownership entity.” For example, if five permits have the same seven persons listed as co-owners on their permit applications, those seven persons would form one “ownership entity,” that holds those five permits. If two of those seven owners also co-own additional vessels, that ownership arrangement would be considered a separate “ownership entity” for the purpose of this analysis.

    Ownership data from 2014 result in 166 distinct ownership entities for the LA fleet and 106 distinct ownership entities for the LAGC IFQ fleet. Of these, and based on the Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines, 152 of the LA distinct ownership entities and 102 of the LAGC IFQ entities are categorized as small. The remaining 14 of the LA and 4 of the LAGC IFQ entities are categorized as large entities, all of which are shellfish businesses.

    Description of Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Action Which Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes and Which Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    The proposed alternative would allocate each full-time LA vessel 34.55 open area DAS and a 51,000 lb (23,133 kg) allocation in the MAAA. The LAGC IFQ ACL is 4,473,180 lb (2,029 mt) and this fleet is allocated access area trips in the MAAA and NLSN which would be open to LAGC vessels only. NMFS expects that this alternative would positively impact profitability of small entities regulated by this action in 2016. NMFS expects the estimated revenues and net revenue for scallop vessels and small business entities would be higher under all considered allocations alternatives, including the preferred alternative, than under the No Action alternative (i.e., 2016 default measures conservatively set through Framework 26).

    Framework 27 includes five allocation alternatives including the “No Action” alternative. The preferred alternative (Alternative 3A) would have about 43 percent higher benefits compared to the No Action which would translate to higher profits. However, it would have lower revenue compared to other alternatives in the 2016 fishing year (Table 4).

    Alternative 2 would set target catches using the three principles developed as part of the “hybrid” overfishing definition approved in Amendment 15, and not include additional closures or modifications to boundaries of the overall area rotation program. Each full-time LA vessel would be allocated 36.53 DAS for the open areas and a 51,000 lb (23,133 kg) allocation in the MAAA and Closed Area 2 (one access area per trip; split trips for the fleet).

    Under Alternative 3 each full-time vessel would be allocated 34.55 DAS and 51,000 lb (23,133 kg) to MAAA and Closed Area 2 (one access area per trip; split trips for the fleet). However, a new area south of Closed Area 2 would be closed to fishing to protect the small scallops. Preferred Alternative 3A is similar to Alternative 3, except LA vessels would not be allocated trips in Closed Area 2. Instead, those trips would be shifted to MAAA with the existing Elephant Trunk Closed Area closed, Closed Area 1 and Closed Area 2 access areas closed, and NLSN open to LAGC vessels only. Similar to the other alternatives, each full-time LA vessel would be allocated 51,000 lb (23,133 kg) in MAAA.

    Alternative 4 would extend the boundaries of the existing Elephant Trunk Closed Area which was closed to fishing in 2015 to protect small scallops, but open area DAS and access area allocations would be similar to Alternative 2.

    Allocations for Alternative 5 would be similar to the allocations for Alternative 2; however, in addition to the MAAA and Closed Area 2, this alternative would also provide a limited amount of effort, for both the LA and the LAGC fleets, to a portion of the NLSN expected to have lower densities of small scallops.

    Table 4—Estimated Fleet Revenue and Revenue per Limited Access Vessel in 2015 Dollars Alternatives Total
  • revenue
  • Revenue per
  • FT vessel
  • % Change from
  • No Action
  • ALT1. No Action 379.3 1,081,573 ALT2. Basic Run 555.5 1,585,671 47 ALT3. CA2 ext 540.5 1,542,766 43 ALT3A. CA2 ext 538.7 1,537,502 42 ALT4. ETA ext 557.6 1,591,545 47 ALT5. NLS Acc 557.1 1,590,136 47

    As for LAGC IFQ access area allocations, the preferred alternative (Option 2) would provide proportional access for LA and LAGC IFQ for the access areas. The number of trips would be based on the total proportion of catch from access areas compared to open areas (34 percent for 2,553 trips). Thus, it would allocate about 1.5 million lb (680 mt) of the total LAGC allocation of 4.4 million lb (1996 mt) from access areas, while about 3 million lb would still be left of the LAGC quota to be harvested in open areas. Preferred area option (option 3) would allocate about 19 percent of these trips (or 300,000 lb (136 mt)) to the NLSN which is open to LAGC vessels only. Because of the proximity of the LAGC vessels which are smaller in size and homeported in Massachusetts to NLSN, this option will reduce fishing costs and have positive impacts on their profits. Therefore, preferred alternative for LAGC access area allocations would have highest economic benefits compared to both No Action allocations and other options that allocate a smaller percentage of access area trips to the LAGC fishery.

    List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: February 17, 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 648 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.14, paragraphs (i)(2)(ii)(B)(7) and (i)(3)(v)(B) are revised, and paragraph (i)(3)(v)(C) is added to read as follows:
    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (i) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (B) * * *

    (7) Fish in a Sea Scallop Access Area, as described in § 648.59, with more persons on board the vessel than the number specified in § 648.51(c) or § 648.51(e)(3)(i), unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator.

    (3) * * *

    (v) * * *

    (B) Declare into or leave port for an area specified in § 648.59(a) through (d) after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the number of LAGC trips have been taken, as specified in § 648.60.

    (C) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from any Sea Scallop Access Area specified at § 648.59, unless declared into the Sea Scallop Access Area Program.

    3. In § 648.51, paragraph (e)(2) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.51 Gear and crew restrictions.

    (e) * * *

    (2) The vessel may not use or have more than one dredge on board. However, component parts may be on board the vessel such that they do not conform with the definition of “dredge or dredge gear” in § 648.2, i.e., the metal ring bag and the mouth frame, or bail, of the dredge are not attached, and no more than one complete spare dredge could be made from these component's parts.

    4. In § 648.52, paragraph (f) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.52 Possession and landing limits.

    (f) A limited access vessel or an LAGC vessel that is declared into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as described in § 648.60, may not possess more than 50 bu (17.6 hL) or 75 bu (26.4 hL), respectively, of in-shell scallops outside of the Access Areas described in § 648.59(a) through (e).

    5. In § 648.53, paragraphs (a), (b)(1), (b)(4), and (g)(1) are revised, and paragraph (h)(5)(iv)(D) is removed to read as follows:
    § 648.53 Acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACL), annual catch targets (ACT), DAS allocations, and individual fishing quotas (IFQ).

    (a) Scallop fishery ABC. The ABC for the scallop fishery shall be established through the framework adjustment process specified in § 648.55 and is equal to the overall scallop fishery ACL minus discards. The ABC/ACL, after discards are removed, shall be divided as sub-ACLs between limited access vessels, limited access vessels that are fishing under a LAGC permit, and LAGC vessels as specified in paragraphs (a)(3) and (4) of this section, after deducting the scallop incidental catch target TAC specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, observer set-aside specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, and research set-aside specified in § 648.56(d). The ABC/ACL for the 2017 fishing year is subject to change through a future framework adjustment.

    (1) ABC/ACL for fishing years 2016 through 2017, excluding discards, shall be:

    (i) 2016: 37,852 mt.

    (ii) 2017: 37,852 mt.

    (2) Scallop incidental catch target TAC. The annual incidental catch target TAC for vessels with incidental catch scallop permits is 22.7 mt.

    (3) Limited access fleet sub-ACL and ACT. The limited access scallop fishery shall be allocated 94.5 percent of the ACL specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, after deducting incidental catch, observer set-aside, and research set-aside, as specified in this paragraph (a)(3). ACT for the limited access scallop fishery shall be established through the framework adjustment process described in § 648.55. DAS specified in paragraph (b) of this section shall be based on the ACTs specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section. The limited access fleet sub-ACL and ACT for the 2017 fishing year are subject to change through a future framework adjustment.

    (i) The limited access fishery sub-ACLs for fishing years 2016 and 2017 are:

    (A) 2016: 36,884 mt.

    (B) 2017: 36,884 mt.

    (ii) The limited access fishery ACTs for fishing years 2016 and 2017 are:

    (A) 2016: 18,290 mt.

    (B) 2017: 18,290 mt.

    (4) LAGC fleet sub-ACL. The sub-ACL for the LAGC IFQ fishery shall be equal to 5.5 percent of the ACL specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, after deducting incidental catch, observer set-aside, and research set-aside, as specified in this paragraph (a)(4). The LAGC IFQ fishery ACT shall be equal to the LAGC IFQ fishery's ACL. The ACL for the LAGC IFQ fishery for vessels issued only a LAGC IFQ scallop permit shall be equal to 5 percent of the ACL specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, after deducting incidental catch, observer set-aside, and research set-aside, as specified in this paragraph (a)(4). The ACL for the LAGC IFQ fishery for vessels issued only both a LAGC IFQ scallop permit and a limited access scallop permit shall be 0.5 percent of the ACL specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, after deducting incidental catch, observer set-aside, and research set-aside, as specified in this paragraph (a)(4).

    (i) The ACLs for fishing years 2016 and 2017 for LAGC IFQ vessels without a limited access scallop permit are:

    (A) 2016: 1,845 mt.

    (B) 2017: 1,845 mt.

    (ii) The ACLs for fishing years 2016 and 2017 for vessels issued both a LAGC and a limited access scallop permits are:

    (A) 2016: 184 mt.

    (B) 2017: 184 mt.

    (b) * * *

    (1) Landings per unit effort (LPUE). LPUE is an estimate of the average amount of scallops, in pounds, that the limited access scallop fleet lands per DAS fished. The estimated LPUE is the average LPUE for all limited access scallop vessels fishing under DAS, and shall be used to calculate DAS specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, the DAS reduction for the AM specified in paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section, and the observer set-aside DAS allocation specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this section. LPUE shall be:

    (i) 2016 fishing year: 2,316 lb/DAS (1,051 kg/DAS).

    (ii) 2017 fishing year: 2,690 lb/DAS (1,220 kg/DAS).

    (iii) [Reserved]

    (4) Each vessel qualifying for one of the three DAS categories specified in the table in this paragraph (b)(4) (full-time, part-time, or occasional) shall be allocated the maximum number of DAS for each fishing year it may participate in the open area limited access scallop fishery, according to its category, excluding carryover DAS in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. DAS allocations shall be determined by distributing the portion of ACT specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, as reduced by access area allocations specified in § 648.59, and dividing that amount among vessels in the form of DAS calculated by applying estimates of open area LPUE specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Allocation for part-time and occasional scallop vessels shall be 40 percent and 8.33 percent of the full-time DAS allocations, respectively. The annual open area DAS allocations for each category of vessel for the fishing years indicated are as follows:

    Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations Permit
  • category
  • 2016 2017
    Full-Time 34.55 34.55 Part-Time 13.82 13.82 Occasional 2.88 2.88

    (g) * * *

    (1) To help defray the cost of carrying an observer, 1 percent of the ABC/ACL specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall be set aside to be used by vessels that are assigned to take an at-sea observer on a trip. The total TAC for observer set aside is 379 mt in fishing year 2016, and 379 mt in fishing year 2017.

    6. In § 648.58 paragraphs (b), (c), and (e) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.58 Rotational Closed Areas.

    (b) Closed Area II—(1) Closed Area II Closed Area. No vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Closed Area II Closed Area. No vessel may possess scallops in the Closed Area II Closed Area. The Closed Area II Closed Area is defined by straight lines, except where noted, connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude Note CAIIA1 41°00′ N. 67°20′ W. CAIIA2 41°00′ N. 66°35.8′ W. CAIIA3 41°18.45′ N. (1) (2) CAIIA4 41°30′ N. (3) (2) CAIIA5 41°30′ N. 67°20′ W. CAIIA1 41°00′ N. 67°20′ W. 1 The intersection of 41°18.45′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°18.45′ N. lat. and 66°24.89′ W. long. 2 From Point CAIIA3 connected to Point CAIIA4 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary. 3 The intersection of 41°30′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°30′ N. lat., 66°34.73′W. long.

    (2) Closed Area II Extension Closed Area. No vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Closed Area II Extension Closed Area. No vessel may possess scallops in the Closed Area II Extension Closed Area. The Closed Area II Extension Closed Area is defined by straight lines, except where noted, connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude Note CAIIE1 40°30′ N. 67°20′ W. CAIIE2 41°00′ N. 67°20′ W. CAIIE3 41°00′ N. 66°35.8′ W. CAIIE4 41°18.45′ N. (1) (2) CAIIE5 40°30′ N. (3) (2) CAIIE1 40°30′ N. 67°20′ W. 1 The intersection of 41°18.45′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°18.45′ N. lat. and 66°24.89′ W. long. 2 From Point CAIIE4 to Point CAIIE5 following the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary. 3 The intersection of 40°30′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately, 65°44.34′ W. long.

    (c) Nantucket Lightship Closed Area. No vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area. No vessel may possess scallops in the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area, unless such vessel is an IFQ LAGC vessel participating in, and complying with the requirements of, the IFQ LAGC area access program described in § 648.60(g)(3), or the vessel is only transiting the area as provided in paragraph (e) of this section. The Nantucket Lightship Closed Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request),

    Point Latitude Longitude NLAA1 40°50′ N. 69°30′ W. NLAA2 40°50′ N. 69°00′ W. NLAA3 40°33′ N. 69°00′ W. NLAA4 40°33′ N. 68°48′ W. NLAA5 40°20′ N. 68°48′ W. NLAA6 40°20′ N. 69°30′ W. NLAA1 40°50′ N. 69°30′ W.

    (e) Transiting. No vessel possessing scallops may enter or be in the area(s) specified in paragraphs (a) and (c) of this section unless the vessel is transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, or there is a compelling safety reason to be in such areas without such gear being stowed. A vessel may only transit the Closed Area II Closed Area or the Closed Area II Extension Closed Area, as described in paragraph (b) of this section, or the Elephant Trunk Closed Area, as described in paragraph (d) of this section, if there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    7. In § 648.59, paragraphs (a)(1), (b)(1), (c)(1), and (d)(1) are revised and paragraph (a)(2)(i) is removed and reserved to read as follows:

    § 648.59 Sea Scallop Access Areas.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Beginning March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2018 (i.e., fishing years 2016 and 2017), a vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Mid-Atlantic Access Area unless the vessel is participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the area access program described in § 648.60 or the vessel is transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. The Mid-Atlantic Access Area is comprised of the following scallop access areas: The Delmarva Scallop Access Area, as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section; the Elephant Trunk Scallop Access Area, as described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and the Hudson Canyon Scallop Access Area, as described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) [Reserved]

    (b) * * *

    (1) From March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2018 (i.e., fishing years 2016 and 2017), a vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, the area known as the Closed Area I Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, unless transiting in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section. A vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit may not fish in an approved SAP under § 648.85 and under multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, unless it complies with restrictions in paragraph (b)(5)(ii)(C) of this section.

    (c) * * *

    (1) From March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2018 (i.e., fishing years 2016 and 2017), a vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, the area known as the Closed Area II Access Area, described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, unless transiting in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section. A vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit may not fish in an approved SAP under § 648.85 and under multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, unless it complies with restrictions in paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(C) of this section.

    (d) * * *

    (1) From March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2018 (i.e., fishing years 2016 and 2017), a vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, unless the vessel is an IFQ LAGC vessel participating in, and complying with the requirements of, the IFQ LAGC area access program described in § 648.60(g)(3), or the vessel is transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. A vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit may not fish in an approved SAP under § 648.85 and under multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, unless it complies with restrictions in paragraph (d)(5)(ii)(C) of this section.

    8. In § 648.60, paragraphs (a)(3)(i), (a)(5)(i), (c), (e), (g) introductory text and (g)(3) are revised to read as follows:

    § 648.60 Sea scallop access area program requirements.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Sea Scallop Access Area Allocations—(i) Limited access vessel allocations. (A) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, paragraphs (a)(3)(i)(B) through (D) of this section specify the total amount of scallops, in weight, that a limited access scallop vessel may harvest from Sea Scallop Access Areas during applicable seasons specified in § 648.59. A vessel may not possess or land in excess of its scallop allocation assigned to specific Sea Scallop Access Areas, unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section, unless the vessel owner has exchanged an area-specific scallop allocation with another vessel owner for additional scallop allocation in that area, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section. A vessel may harvest its scallop allocation, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(B) of this section, on any number of trips in a given fishing year, provided that no single trip exceeds the possession limits specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section,

    (B) Full-time scallop vessels. (1) In fishing year 2016, each full-time vessel shall have a total of 51,000 lb (23,133 kg) of scallops that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a).

    (2) For the 2017 fishing year, each full-time vessel shall have a total of 17,000 lb (7,711 kg) of scallops that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a), starting on April 1, 2017.

    (C) Part-time scallop vessels. (1) For the 2016 fishing year, each part-time scallop vessel shall have a total of 20,400 lb (9,253 kg) of scallop that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a).

    (2) For the 2016 fishing year, each part-time scallop vessel shall have a total of 10,200 lb (4,627 kg) of scallop that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a), starting on April 1, 2017.

    (D) Occasional scallop vessels. (1) For the 2016 fishing year, each occasional scallop vessel shall have a total of 4,250 lb (1,928 kg) of scallop that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a).

    (2) For the 2017 fishing year, each occasional scallop vessel shall have a total of 1,420 lb (644 kg) of scallop that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a), starting on April 1, 2017.

    (5) Possession and landing limits—(i) Scallop possession limits. Unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section, after declaring a trip into a Sea Scallop Access Area, a vessel owner or operator of a limited access scallop vessel may fish for, possess, and land, per trip, scallops, up to the maximum amounts specified in the table in this paragraph (a)(5). No vessel declared into the Access Areas as described in § 648.59(a) through (e) may possess more than 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops outside of the Access Areas described in § 648.59(a) through (e).

    Fishing year Permit category possession limit Full-time Part-time Occasional 2016 17,000 lb (57,711 kg) 10,200 lb (4,627 kg) 1,420 lb (644 kg). 2017 17,000 lb (57,711 kg) 10,200 lb (4,627 kg) 1,420 lb (644 kg).

    (c) Access area scallop allocation carryover. Unless otherwise specified in § 648.59, a limited access scallop vessel operator may fish any unharvested Scallop Access Area allocation from a given fishing year within the first 60 days of the subsequent fishing year if the Access Area is open. For example, if a full-time vessel has 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) remaining in the Mid-Atlantic Access Area at the end of fishing year 2016, that vessel may harvest 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) from its 2017 fishing year scallop access area allocation during the first 60 days that the Mid-Atlantic Access Area is open in fishing year 2017 (March 1, 2017, through April 29, 2018). Unless otherwise specified in § 648.59, if an Access Area is not open in the subsequent fishing year, then the unharvested scallop allocation would expire at the end of the fishing year that the scallops were allocated.

    (e) Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Harvest in Access Areas—(1) Access Areas available for harvest of research set-aside (RSA). Unless otherwise specified, RSA may be harvested in any access area that is open in a given fishing year, as specified through a framework adjustment and pursuant to § 648.56. The amount of scallops that can be harvested in each access area by vessels participating in approved RSA projects shall be determined through the RSA application review and approval process. The access areas open for RSA harvest for fishing years 2016 and 2017 are:

    (i) 2016: The Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area, as specified in § 648.59(a).

    (ii) 2017: None.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (g) Limited Access General Category Gear restrictions. An LAGC IFQ scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in § 648.59(b) through (e) must fish with dredge gear only. The combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board of, an LAGC scallop vessel fishing in Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket Lightship Access Areas may not exceed 10.5 ft (3.2 m). The combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board of, an LAGC scallop vessel fishing in the remaining Access Areas described in § 648.59 may not exceed 31 ft (9.4 m). Dredge width is measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

    (3) LAGC IFQ Access Area Trips. (i) An LAGC scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in § 648.59(a) through (e) or in (g)(3)(iv) of this section may land scallops, subject to the possession limit specified in § 648.52(a), unless the Regional Administrator has issued a notice that the number of LAGC IFQ access area trips have been or are projected to be taken. The total number of LAGC IFQ trips in a specified Access Area for fishing year 2016 and 2017 are:

    Access area 2016 2017 Mid-Atlantic Access Area 2,068 602 Closed Area 1 0 0 Closed Area 2 0 0 Nantucket Lightship 0 0 Nantucket Lightship North 485 0

    (ii) Scallops landed by each LAGC IFQ vessel on an access area trip shall count against the vessel's IFQ.

    (iii) Upon a determination from the Regional Administrator that the total number of LAGC IFQ trips in a specified Access Area have been or are projected to be taken, the Regional Administrator shall publish notification of this determination in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Once this determination has been made, an LAGC IFQ scallop vessel may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the specified Access Area after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register.

    (iv) Nantucket Lightship North Sea Scallop Access Area. (A) From March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2018 (i.e., fishing years 2016 and 2017), a vessel issued an LAGC IFQ scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Nantucket Lightship North Access Area, described in paragraph (g)(3)(iv)(B) of this section, unless the vessel is participating in, and complying with the requirements of, the area access program described in this section or the vessel is transiting pursuant to § 648.59 (f). A vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit may not fish in an approved SAP under § 648.85 and under multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, unless it complies with restrictions in paragraph (d)(5)(ii)(C) of this section.

    (B) The Nantucket Lightship North Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude NLNAA1 40°50′ N. 69°00′ W. NLNAA2 40°30′ N. 69°00′ W. NLNAA3 40°30′ N. 69°30′ W. NLNAA4 40°50′ N. 69°30′ W. NLNAA1 40°50′ N. 69°00′ W.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03624 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648-BF04 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 17 to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of proposed fishery management plan amendment; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 17 to the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan for review and approval by the Secretary of Commerce. We are requesting comments from the public on the amendment. Amendment 17 would establish cost recovery provisions for these individual transferable quota clam fisheries, modify how biological reference points are incorporated into the Fishery Management Plan, and remove the Plan's optimum yield range.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0057, by any one of the following methods:

    • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0057, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope: “Comments on Surfclam/Ocean Quahog Amendment 17.”

    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 part of the public record and will generally be posted to www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    NMFS will accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted via Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Copies of Amendment 17, and of the draft Environmental Assessment and preliminary Regulatory Impact Review (EA/RIR), are available from the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901. The EA/RIR is also accessible via the Internet at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Douglas Potts, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978-281-9341.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We are soliciting public comments on Amendment 17 and its incorporated documents through the end of the comment period stated in this notice of availability. We will publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would implement the amendment's management measures for additional public comment, following NMFS's evaluation of the proposed rule under the procedures of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Public comments must be received by the end of the comment period provided in this notice of availability to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received by April 25, 2016, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. To be considered, comments must be received by close of business on the last day of the comment period. Comments received after that date will not be considered in the decision to approve or disapprove Amendment 17, including those postmarked or otherwise transmitted by the last day of the comment period.

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed this amendment to establish a program to recover the costs of managing the surfclam and ocean quahog individual transferable quota (ITQ) fisheries, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and to make administrative changes to improve the efficiency of the FMP. The Amendment would create a cost recovery program for the surfclam and ocean quahog ITQ fisheries modeled on the Council's existing cost recovery program for the Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program. Under the proposed program, any surfclam or ocean quahog ITQ permit holder who has quota share (i.e., receives an initial allocation of cage tags each year) would be responsible for paying a fee at the end of the year based on the number of their cage tags that were ultimately used to land clams that year. Amendment 17 would also modify how the FMP defines when the surfclam and ocean quahog stocks are overfished or experiencing overfishing so the definitions remain current to the best scientific information available. This action would also remove the optimum yield range from the FMP. Additional details of the proposed measures are available in the amendment document.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03870 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 36 Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Notices AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Board for International Food and Agricultural Development; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given of the public meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). The meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 10, 2016 at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW., Washington, DC The meeting will be streamed live on the Internet. The link to the global live stream is on BIFAD's home page: http://www.usaid.gov/bifad.

    The central theme of this public meeting will be University and CGIAR engagement in international agricultural research. Dr. Brady Deaton, BIFAD Chair, will preside over the public business meeting, which will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. EDT with opening remarks. At this meeting, the Board will address old and new business and hear updates from USAID, the university community, and other experts on the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CIGAR) and partner engagement in feeding the world's population.

    Following new business, Chairman Deaton will introduce USAID Higher Education Coordinator Dr. Barbara Schneeman to give remarks. At 9:00 a.m. Dr. Beth Dunford, USAID/Bureau for Food Security Assistant to the Administrator and Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, will provide an update to BIFAD and the public on Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

    Starting at 9:15 a.m., BIFAD Board Member Cary Fowler will moderate a panel to inform BIFAD and the public on trends and issues around CGIAR engagement. Presenters for this panel are Dr. Robert Bertram, USAID/Bureau for Food Security; Dr. Juergen Voegele, The World Bank; Dr. Molly Jahn, CGIAR Board; Dr. Marianne Banziger, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

    Starting at 10:45 a.m., Association for Public and Land-grant University (APLU) President, Dr. Peter McPherson, will moderate a panel on Feed the Future University engagement with the CGIAR. Presenters for this panel are Dr. Michael Clark, University of California, Davis (Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Markets Access); Dr. Vara Prasad, Kansas State University (Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Sustainable Intensification); Dr. Adegbola Adesogan, University of Florida (Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems); Susan Johnson, University of California, Davis (Borlaug LEAP Program).

    At 12:00 p.m., Chairman Deaton will moderate a half-hour public comment period. At 12:25 p.m. EDT Dr. Deaton, will make closing remarks and adjourn the public meeting.

    Those wishing to attend the meeting or obtain additional information about BIFAD should contact Susan Owens, Executive Director and Designated Federal Officer for BIFAD in the Bureau for Food Security at USAID. Interested persons may write to her in care of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Ronald Reagan Building, Bureau for Food Security, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 2.09-067, Washington, DC, 20523-2110 or telephone her at (202) 712-0218.

    Susan Owens, Executive Director and USAID Designated Federal Officer for BIFAD, Bureau for Food Security, U.S. Agency for International Development.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03862 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2016-0006] Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues AGENCY:

    Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are sponsoring a public meeting on March 23, 2016. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States positions to be discussed at the 48th Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Chongqing, China, April 25-29, 2016. The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and EPA recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 48th session of the CCPR and to address items on the agenda.

    DATES:

    The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, 2016, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will take place at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Room S-7100, One Potomac Yard South; 2777 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia, 22202.

    Documents related to the 48th Session of the CCPR are accessible via the Internet at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/

    Captain David Miller, U.S. Delegate to the 48th session of the CCPR, and the EPA and the USDA, invite U.S. interested parties to submit their comments electronically to the following email address: [email protected]

    Call-In-Number:

    If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 48th session of the CCPR by conference call, please use the call-in-number and participant code listed below:

    Call-in-Number: 1-888-844-9904.

    Participant Code: 512-5092.

    For Further Information About the Public Meeting Contact

    For Further Information about the 48th Session of the CCPR Contact: Captain David Miller, Chief, Chemistry & Exposure Branch and Acting Chief, Toxicology & Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Division, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Tel: (703) 305-5352, Fax: (703) 305-5147; Email: [email protected]

    For Further Information about the Public Meeting Contact: Marie Maratos, U.S. Codex Office, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 4861, Washington, DC 20250, Tel: (202) 205-7760, Fax: (202) 720-3157, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure that fair practices are used in trade.

    The CCPR is responsible for establishing maximum limits for pesticide residues in specific food items or in groups of food; establishing maximum limits for pesticide residues in certain animal feeding stuffs moving in international trade where this is justified for reasons of protection of human health; preparing priority lists of pesticides for evaluation by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR); considering methods of sampling and analysis for the determination of pesticide residues in food and feed; considering other matters in relation to the safety of food and feed containing pesticide residues; and establishing maximum limits for environmental and industrial contaminants showing chemical or other similarity to pesticides, in specific food items or groups of food.

    The Committee is hosted by China.

    Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the Agenda for the 48th Session of the CCPR will be discussed during the public meeting:

    • Matters referred to the committee by Codex and other subsidiary bodies • Matters of interest arising from FAO and WHO • Matters of interest arising from other international organizations • Draft Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for pesticides • Proposed Draft MRLs for pesticides • Proposed draft revisions to the Classification of Food and Feed • Proposed draft Tables on examples of selection of representative commodities (for inclusion in the Principles and guidance for the selection of representative commodities for the extrapolation of maximum residue limits for pesticides for commodity groups) • Proposed draft Guidance on performance criteria for methods of analysis for the determination of pesticide residues • Establishment of Codex schedules and priority list of pesticides for evaluation by JMPR • Guidance to Facilitate the Establishment of MRLs for Pesticides for Minor Crops including Appendix on Methodology to assign Crops into Consumption Categories • Discussion paper on the impact of the relocation of Vigna spp under the Beans (dry) on the Codex Maximum Residue Limit CXLs for Peas (dry)

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Secretariat before the Committee Meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents (see ADDRESSES).

    Public Meeting

    At the March 23, 2016, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described and discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to Captain David Miller, U.S. Delegate for the 48th session of the CCPR (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 48th session of the CCPR.

    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 19, 2016. Mary Frances Lowe, U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03892 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Trinity County Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Trinity County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Weaverville, California. 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: www.fs.usda.gov/main/stnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on April 4, 2016.

    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 Trinity County Office of Education, Conference Room, 201 Memorial Drive, Weaverville, California. Memorial Drive is at the west end of Weaverville, just off Highway 299 on the road leading to Weaverville High School.

    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 USDA Service Center, Shasta-Trinity National Forest Headquarters, 3644 Avtech Parkway, Redding, California. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tina Lynsky, Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 530-623-2121 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 to:

    1. Review proposals for Secure Rural Schools Title II funding, and

    2. Vote on proposals to recommend to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest Supervisor for approval.

    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 April 1, 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 Tina Lynsky, Designated Federal Officer, Post Office Box 1190, Weaverville, California 96093; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 530-623-6010.

    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 16, 2016. David R. Myers, Shasta-Trinity National Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03843 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of New Fee Sites AGENCY:

    Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of New Fee Sites.

    SUMMARY:

    The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is proposing to charge a $45 fee for the overnight rental for each of the Granite Butte Historic Fire Lookout and the Miller Creek Cabin. These sites have not been available for recreation use prior to this date. Rentals of other cabins on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest have shown that people appreciate and enjoy the availability of historic rental lookouts and cabins. Funds from the rentals will be used for the continued operation and maintenance of the Granite Butte Lookout and Miller Creek Cabin. This fee is only proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment.

    DATES:

    Send any comments about these fee proposals by April 11, 2016 so comments can be compiled, analyzed, and shared with the Western Montana Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. Both Granite Butte Lookout and Miller Cabin are proposed for recreation rental August, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    William Avey, Forest Supervisor, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, 2880 Skyway Drive, Helena, MT 59602 or Email to [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning Granite Butte Lookout: Josh Lattin, Natural Resource Specialist, Lincoln Ranger District at 406-362-7011 or [email protected]; or concerning the Miller Creek Cabin: Roy Barkley; Recreation Specialist, Townsend/Helena Ranger Districts at 406-495-3914 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Recreation Lands Enhancement Act (Title VII, Pub. L. 108-447) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a six month advance notice in the Federal Register whenever new recreation fee areas are established.

    This new fee will be reviewed by the Western Montana Recreation Resource Advisory Committee prior to a final decision and implementation.

    The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest currently has seven other cabin rentals; however, this will be the first lookout available to rent on the Forest. These rentals are often fully booked throughout their rental season. A business analysis of the Granite Butte Lookout and Miller Creek Cabin has shown that people desire having this sort of recreation experience on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, as well as surrounding Forests. A market analysis indicates that the $45/per night fee is both reasonable and acceptable for this sort of unique recreation experience.

    People wanting to rent Granite Butte Lookout or Miller Creek Cabin will need to do so through the National Recreation Reservation Service, at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. The National Recreation Reservation Service charges a $9 fee for reservations.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. William Avey, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03841 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service North Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Grangeville, 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. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/nezperceclearwater/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on March 30-31, 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 Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Grangeville Office, 104 Airport Road, Grangeville, Idaho.

    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 Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Grangeville Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laura Smith, Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 208-983-5143 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 to:

    1. Present project proposals; and

    2. Select the projects to recommend for Title II funding.

    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 March 23, 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 Laura Smith, Designated Federal Officer, 104 Airport Road, Grangeville, Idaho 83530; by email to [email protected] or via facsimile to 208-983-4099.

    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, please contact 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 17, 2016. Cheryl Probert, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03844 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an advisory committee renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Agriculture has renewed the National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule (Committee). In accordance with provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Committee has been renewed to continue providing advice and recommendations on the implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule (Planning Rule). The Committee will also deliberate and formulate advice for the Secretary to aid in the implementation of the new Planning Rule. The Committee is necessary and in the public interest.

    DATES:

    The charter renewal was effective February 3, 2016. As provided by the FACA law, the charter will expire 24 months from the date of renewal.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ann Acheson, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Forest System, Ecosystem Management Coordination; telephone: 202-205-1275, Email: [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 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    In accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 2), the Secretary of Agriculture has renewed the National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule (Committee). The Committee is a discretionary advisory committee.

    The purpose of the Committee is to provide advice and recommendations on implementation of the planning rule. The Committee will be solely advisory in nature. Advice or recommendations of the Committee will be given only with respect to the implementation of the planning rule and associated projects. All activities of the Committee will be conducted in an open, transparent, and accessible manner. The Committee will be asked to perform the following duties or other requests made by the Secretary or the Chief:

    • Offer recommendations on outreach efforts, public engagement, and stakeholder collaboration;

    • Offer recommendations on broad scale and multiparty monitoring and other ways to engage partnerships in land management plan revisions;

    • Offer recommendations on communication tools and strategies to help provide greater understanding of the land management planning process; and

    • Offer recommendations on potential best management practices and problem solving resulting from early implementation of the 2012 Planning Rule.

    Advisory Committee Organization

    This Committee is currently comprised of 21 members who provide balanced and broad representation within each of the following three categories of interests:

    1. Up to seven members who represent one or more of the following:

    a. Represent the affected public at-large;

    b. Hold State-elected office (or designee);

    c. Hold county or local elected office;

    d. Represent American Indian Tribes; and

    e. Represent Youth.

    2. Up to seven members who represent one or more of the following:

    a. National, regional, or local environmental organizations;

    b. Conservation organizations or watershed associations;

    c. Dispersed recreation interests;

    d. Archaeological or historical interests; and

    e. Scientific Community.

    3. Up to seven members who represent one or more of the following:

    a. Timber Industry;

    b. Grazing or other land use permit holders or other private forest landowners;

    c. Energy and mineral development;

    d. Commercial or recreational hunting and fishing interests; and

    e. Developed outdoor recreation, off-highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation interests.

    The Committee will serve 2-year terms and will meet three to six times annually, or as often as necessary at the times designated by the Designated Federal Officer (DFO). The appointment of members to the Committee are made by the Secretary of Agriculture. Members of the Committee serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for travel expenses while performing duties on behalf of the Committee, subject to approval by the DFO. Further information about the Committee is posted on the Planning Rule Advisory Committee Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/planningrule/committee.

    Equal opportunity practices were followed in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies. To ensure that the recommendations of the Committee have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by USDA, membership includes to the extent possible, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent the needs of all racial and ethnic groups, women and men, and persons with disabilities.

    Dated: February 17, 2016. Gregory L. Parhan, Assistant Secretary for Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03900 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Caribou-Targhee National Forest; Ashton/Island Park Ranger Station; Idaho; Buffalo TSI AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    This project proposes to reduce or prolong the overall susceptibility to mountain pine beetle attacks and crown fires in a subset of previously harvested areas within the analysis area. Precommercial thinning is proposed so trees within these stands maintain diameter and height growth as well as increased crown development and to move this project area toward meeting specific goals, and objectives outlined in the Targhee National Forest Revised Forest Management Plan (RFP) and the Properly Functioning Condition Assessment (PFC).

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by March 25, 2016. The draft environmental impact statement is expected July 2016 and the final environmental impact statement is expected January 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Mike Alfieri, Island Park Ranger Station, 3726 Highway 20, Island Park, ID 83429. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 208-558-7812.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mike Alfieri, Forestry Technician 208-558-4210 or [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 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of this project is to reduce or prolong the overall susceptibility to mountain pine beetle attacks and crown fires in a subset of previously harvested areas within the analysis area. The purpose is to also to provide for a variety of resource products now and in the future. All of the areas identified for treatment were harvested using the clearcut method over 20 years ago and are regenerated with hundreds and even thousands of trees per acre, primarily of lodgepole pine. Precommercial thinning is proposed so trees within these stands maintain diameter and height growth as well as increased crown development and to move this project area toward meeting specific goals, and objectives outlined in the Targhee National Forest Revised Forest Management Plan (RFP) and the PFC. These include:

    1. Use vegetation management to achieve a broad array of multiple-use and ecosystem management objectives, including forest health, structure, composition, and distribution in larger landscapes. . . . Develop long term vegetation and density management strategies to reduce the risk of a future catastrophic bark beetle epidemic (RFP III-12). For the Buffalo project area this goal has been further refined as leaving approximately 195 trees per acre or a 15 by 15 foot overall tree spacing to prolong the susceptibility to future mountain pine beetle attacks.

    2. Lodgepole pine stands in Watershed 10 would provide a variety of forest products now and in the future. More dense stands would provide smaller diameter products such as post and poles; less dense stands would provide larger diameter trees that could be harvested as sawtimber in the future. Stands that remain susceptible to crown fire or mountain pine beetle would eventually die providing firewood. For the Buffalo project, firewood, post and poles could be a byproduct of the proposed treatments. In the future, the areas thinned with this proposal would provide sawtimber available for future harvest (RFP III 31-33).

    3. The likelihood of future landscape-level crown fire will be reduced in order to protect human life and safety, developments, structures, and sensitive resource values (RFP III-6). The roadside fuelbreak along a portion of Fish Creek Road would increase chances that firefighters will be able to safely engage either unwanted wildfires or fires for resource benefit. For the Buffalo project area, the various treatments would reduce spacing between tree canopies to reduce the potential of crown fire; and ground fuels will be minimized to decrease the potential for a surface fire and for a surface fire to reach the crowns.

    The desired condition for this project is outlined in the three goals stated above. The need for this project is to bring this landscape closer to meeting these desired conditions.

    With reference to susceptibility to mountain pine beetle, thinned lodgepole stands have more open grown conditions which leave tree stand's microclimate less desirable for mountain pine beetle. Wind speeds can increase within thinned stands, disrupting pheromone plumes that let other beetles know there is available food. Efforts to prevent undesirable levels of bark beetle-caused tree mortality must change susceptibility through reductions in tree competition, disruption of pheromone plumes thus negatively affecting host-finding, and reduction in the fecundity, fitness and survivorship of target bark beetle species. Less dense trees have thicker phloem which favors mountain pine beetle production but this strategy also increases resistance of individual trees through increased tree vigor allowing the trees the energy or turgor pressure to expel the beetle. Trees of low vigor related to a higher relative stand density caused by competition for water and nutrients are more susceptible to bark beetle attack. Areas that are not precommercially thinned and have very high densities of lodgepole pine are also less susceptible for mountain pine beetle because of reduced phloem thickness.

    Watershed 10 will have a variety of lodgepole pine stands that would provide for various forest products now and in the future. Stands that have been previously precommercial thinned to leave approximately 360 trees per acre would provide sawtimber when the lodgepole pine matures. If these stands are not harvested before they reach 80 to 100 years old, they may be susceptible to mountain pine beetle attack, die and become available for firewood. The lodgepole pine stands that would not be precommercially thinned could provide post and poles now and into the future. Areas that are proposed for precommercial thinning through this project could provide sawtimber when the lodgepole pine matures. Post, poles and firewood would be a byproduct of the thinning when the project is implemented.

    In lodgepole pine-dominated stands, fire can behave in two different extremes. Typically, fire creeps and smolders along the forest floor shaded by the dense tree canopy and hindered by the lack of ground fuels. However, under dry and windy conditions with heavy dead fuel accumulations, fires can spread through those surface fuels and quickly get up into the canopy. These fires are typically high-intensity, stand-replacing fires that do not occur often, but burn many acres and are very difficult to extinguish when they do occur. If left untreated, the current lodgepole pine-dominated stands within this project would over time create the surface fuels necessary to allow fire to get into the canopy and potentially produce crown fire that is so difficult to suppress. The roadside fuels reduction project would enhance a fuel break along a key Forest Service Road, Fish Creek (082) to increase chances that firefighters will be able to safely engage either unwanted wildfires or fires for resource benefit. Roadside fuel breaks located in areas where fire can be safely restored to the landscape would contribute to maintaining fire as a disturbance on this landscape as well as allow safe effective wildfire response with minimal exposure to firefighters. This fuel break is located within the wildland urban interface (WUI) and would remove surface, ladder, and crown fuels.

    Proposed Action

    The proposed action would precommercially thin approximately 3900 acres located within the Buffalo River Watershed to achieve the desired conditions stated in the Purpose and Need. Areas identified to be thinned are past harvest units composed primarily of lodgepole pine presently stocked at greater than 500 trees per acre.

    Precommercial Thinning Units

    • Trees would be thinned to a 15 by 15 foot spacing with the exception of the Aquatic Influence Zone (AIZ).

    • Within 25 feet of any stream or AIZ, Reduce leave tree spacing from 15 by 15 foot spacing to 12 by 12 foot spacing, unless approved by a hydrologist or fish biologist.

    • Within riparian areas and Aquatic Influence Zones (AIZ) felled trees would be left where they fall and felled in a way that protects residual vegetation from damage.

    Roadside fuel break—Within the 600 feet (300 feet on either side of the road) of the Fish Creek Road (FS 082).

    • Thin to a 20 by 20 foot spacing.

    • Within 25 feet of any stream or aquatic influence zone (AIZ), reduce leave tree spacing to 12 by 12 feet, unless approved by a hydrologist or fish biologist.

    • Masticate remaining slash. Masticated chips would not exceed a depth of three inches.

    • Areas designated for tree removal will not impact current road closures.

    • Pioneered roads will be rehabilitated once trees have been removed.

    • Within AIZs, do not remove (for pile burning or mastication) dead and down material greater than 6 inches or less than 2 inches in diameter.

    • Within AIZ, lop and scatter material that is less than 2 inches in diameter (i.e. do not remove for pile burning or mastication).

    • Where feasible, do not pile burn or masticate within AIZ. If practicable, pull material completely outside of the AIZ to pile burn or masticate. If not feasible, pile material as far from stream channels as practical given the local terrain.

    • No heavy equipment operation (e.g. masticator, skidder, etc.) shall occur in the AIZ off of existing routes unless approved by a soil scientist or hydrologist.

    • Within AIZ, minimize the mechanized treatment of wood residue. All debris associated with treatments shall be left or placed in such a manner as to prevent their entry into streams.

    • Do not burn material within the bankfull channel.

    • Fell trees in a way that protects residual vegetation from damage. Minimize ground-disturbing activities.

    • Avoid heavy equipment use on slopes greater than 40 percent.

    • Rutting in skid trails should not exceed six to eight inches in depth (wet condition) over more than ten percent of a designated skid trail system. No yarding operations should take place when ground conditions are wet enough that there is a risk of such rutting. Avoid operations if soil is saturated.

    • No new roads, skid trails, or landings will be constructed within the AIZ until appropriate standards for construction, maintenance, and operations are in place. Use previously disturbed areas for landings. All newly constructed landings, skid trails, and temporary roads shall be obliterated. No temporary stream crossings are necessary.

    Design Criteria Common to All Treatments

    • Trees remaining following thinning would have straight stems, well-formed crowns, be free of insect or disease damage, vigorous annual terminal growth, and crown ratio of 40 percent or more.

    • To promote species diversity, conifers other than lodgepole pine would remain within the treatment units except in aspen clumps.

    • No aspen would be cut.

    • No five needle pines would be cut.

    • All conifers except five needle pines would be cut within two aspen tree heights of an aspen clump (3 or more aspen trees).

    • Cutting of trees would be accomplished by crews using chain saws.

    • Trees on the ground would provide opportunities to gather firewood, post and poles anywhere within the treatment units. Those removing products can only drive within 300 feet of either side of an open or gated forest service system road to retrieve their wood.

    • Each treatment would be sequenced as follows: Cut trees, remove products removal such as firewood, post or poles would occur for not more than three years, treat slash.

    • There would be no new road construction or reconstruction. No decommissioned roads would be opened for the project. Approximately 13.82 miles of restricted (gated roads) would be used to access thinning units. The gated roads would only be used by people associated with the thinning project and the gates would remain locked at all times.

    • Following precommercial thinning operations, gated roads (FS Roads 083, 105, 448, 447 and 116) would be opened as necessary to firewood, post and pole removal within the treatment units. Those removing firewood, post and poles can only drive within 300 feet of either side of an open or gated forest service system road to retrieve their wood.

    • All open and restricted gated roads within or adjacent to the units shall be kept free of felled trees.

    • No thinning activities would occur before July 1 to reduce the effects to nesting migratory birds.

    • All contractors and people involved with the proposed project must comply with the applicable food storage special order in effect when the work is performed.

    • There is one pond located within the project area. No precommercial thinning will occur within 300 feet of the pond to avoid adverse effects to amphibians.

    • Generally strive to maintain fine organic matter over at least 50 percent of the area (RFP, pages III-6 & 7).

    • Five to ten tons of woody debris would remain on the ground following treatments.

    • Areas of pile burning will be evaluated and monitored to determine if seeding or additional rehabilitation is warranted to minimize weed spread and maintain soil productivity.

    • Adjust chipping size and depth to provide a variation of chip depth (maximum depth of three inches including patches of unchipped) and chip size to allow differing decomposition rates and soil moisture retention lengths and to avoid negatively impacting available soil nitrogen.

    • Locate public firewood as close to the existing roads as possible (material resulting from thinning).

    • Plan for burning of piles to occur when soils are wet from snow or rain to limit impacts on soil organic matter, physical properties and soil organisms.

    • Routes pioneered into the project area will need to be evaluated for the most appropriate rehabilitation and closure methods. Options may include: Leaving additional slash over the area, roughing up the segment where the route departs from a system road or mastication perpendicular to the segment.

    Possible Alternatives

    At a minimum, the proposed action and a no action alternative would be analyzed.

    Responsible Official

    The Ashton/Island Park District Ranger is the responsible official and will make the decision.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    In the decision, the responsible official will decide whether or not to precommercially thin the identified stands of trees.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement.

    The purpose of this comment period is to provide an opportunity for the public to provide early and meaningful participation on a proposed action prior to a decision being made by the Responsible Official. It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.

    Public comment on this analysis is pursuant to the pre-decisional process described at 36 CFR 218, Subparts A and B.

    Only those who comment and meet all the requirements contained in 36 CFR 218.25(a)(3) will have standing to object to the project during the 45 day pre-decisional objection period. The objection period will occur following the distribution of the final EIS and draft Record of Decision. Comments submitted in response to this solicitation must meet the definition of “specific written comments” as defined at 36 CFR 218.2, particularly “. . . specific written comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider.”

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Elizibeth Davy, District Ranger.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03868 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule Committee (Committee) will meet in Washington, DC. Attendees may also participate via webinar and conference call. The Committee operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463). Committee information can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/planningrule/committee.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held in-person and via webinar/conference call on the following dates and times:

    • Tuesday, March 8, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST

    • Wednesday, March 9, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST

    All meetings are subject to cancellation. For updated status of meetings prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the USDA Forest Service, Sidney R. Yates Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, Southwest, Washington DC. For anyone who would like to attend via webinar and/or conference call, please visit the Web site listed above or contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the USDA Forest Service Washington Office—Yates Building. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Helwig, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 202-205-0892, or by 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 this meeting is to provide:

    1. Continued deliberations on formulating advice for the Secretary,

    2. Discussion of Committee work group findings,

    3. Hearing public comments, and

    4. Administrative tasks.

    This meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral comments of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral comment should submit a request in writing by March 1, 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's staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Jennifer Helwig, USDA Forest Service, Ecosystem Management Coordination, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1104, Washington, DC 20250-1104; or by email at [email protected] The agenda and summary of the meeting will be posted on the Committee's Web site within 21 days of the meeting.

    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, please contact 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 17, 2016. Brian Ferebee, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03813 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the emergency provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: International Trade Administration (ITA).

    Title: Interim Procedures for Considering Requests under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

    OMB Control Number: 0625-0270.

    Type of Request: Emergency submission.

    In the Federal Register of February 5, 2016, Vol. 81, No. 24, Page 6234, the type of Request should read: “Regular Submission.”

    Also, under “Needs and Uses:” paragraph 3, beginning with “Section 202(o)(3) of the Act . . .”, eliminate the last sentence: “OTEX was unable to publish these procedures earlier and is requesting an emergency review of the information collection and procedures from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).”

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03918 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-FP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Correction

    Agency: International Trade Administration (ITA).

    Title: Interim Procedures for Considering Requests from the Public under the Textile and Apparel Safeguard Provision of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

    OMB Control Number: 0625-0269.

    Type of Request: Regular Submission.

    In the Federal Register of February 5, 2016, Vol. 81, No. 24, Page 6233-6234, under “Needs and Uses”, in paragraph 2 beginning with “The Statement of Administrative Action . . .”, eliminate the last sentence: “CITA was unable to publish these procedures earlier and is requesting an emergency review of the information collection and procedures from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).”

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03917 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-FP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-10-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone 70—Detroit, Michigan; Application for Reorganization (Expansion of Service Area) Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Greater Detroit Foreign-Trade Zone, Inc., grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 70, requesting authority to reorganize the zone to expand its service area under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on February 18, 2016.

    FTZ 70 was approved by the FTZ Board on July 21, 1981 (Board Order 176, 46 FR 3894l; July 30, l98l) and reorganized under the ASF on February 6, 2013 (Board Order 1878, FR 10129-10130; February 13, 2013). The zone currently has a service area that includes Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, Michigan.

    The applicant is now requesting authority to expand the service area of the zone to include Lenawee and Livingston Counties, Michigan, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the expanded service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed expanded service area is adjacent to the Detroit Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Elizabeth Whiteman of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is April 25, 2016. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to May 9, 2016.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03899 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 03-1A008] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of Issuance of an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to the California Pistachio Export Council (“CPEC”), Application No. (03-1A008).

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce, through the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (“OTEA”), issued an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to the California Pistachio Export Council on February 3, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, by telephone at (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. Sections 4001-21) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. An Export Trade Certificate of Review protects the holder and the members identified in the Certificate from State and Federal government antitrust actions and from private treble damage antitrust actions for the export conduct specified in the Certificate and carried out in compliance with its terms and conditions. The regulations implementing Title III are found at 15 CFR part 325 (2016).

    OTEA is issuing this notice pursuant to 15 CFR 325.6(b), which requires the Secretary of Commerce to publish a summary of the certification in the Federal Register. Under Section 305(a) of the Act and 15 CFR 325.11(a), any person aggrieved by the Secretary's determination may, within 30 days of the date of this notice, bring an action in any appropriate district court of the United States to set aside the determination on the ground that the determination is erroneous.

    Description of Amended Certificate

    CPEC's Export Trade Certificate of Review has been amended to:

    1. Remove the following company as Member of the Certificate: Gold Coast Pistachios, Inc.

    2. Change the name of an existing Member: A&P Growers Cooperative, Inc. is now Horizon Marketing Agency in Common Cooperative Inc.

    CPEC's complete Membership covered by the amended Export Trade Certificate of Review is listed below:

    (a) Keenan Farms, Inc. (b) Monarch Nut Company (c) Nichols Pistachio (d) Primex Farms, LLC (e) Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. (f) Horizon Marketing Agency in Common Cooperative Inc. Dated: February 18, 2016. Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03851 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Open Meeting of the Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board (ISPAB) will meet Wednesday, March 23, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, March 24, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and Friday, March 25, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. All sessions will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, March 24, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and Friday, March 25, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place at the United States Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Annie Sokol, Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8930, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930, telephone: (301) 975-2006, or by email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board (ISPAB) will meet Wednesday, March 23, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, March 24, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and Friday, March 25, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. All sessions will be open to the public. The ISPAB is authorized by 15 U.S.C. 278g-4, as amended, and advises the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on information security and privacy issues pertaining to Federal government information systems, including thorough review of proposed standards and guidelines developed by NIST. Details regarding the ISPAB's activities are available at http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SMA/ispab/index.html.

    The agenda is expected to include the following items:

    —Presentation from U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate, —Updates on OMB Circular No. A-130 Revised, Management of Federal Information Resources, —Legislative updates relating to security and privacy, —Overview on Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO), information sharing in the communications sector, and the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), —Briefing from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Chief Data Officer, —U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Cybersecurity Assessment and Technical Services briefing on penetration testing, —Discussion on password storage with Federal Chief Information Officers, —Presentation from American Council for Technology and Industrial Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) on Cybersecurity Ideation Initiative Report, —FedRAMP Updates on “High” baseline security controls, —Briefing on security and privacy relating to autonomous vehicles, —Presentation on the United States Cybersecurity Research and Development Plan, and —Updates on NIST Computer Security Division.

    Note that agenda items may change without notice. The final agenda will be posted on the Web site indicated above. Seating will be available for the public and media. No registration is required to attend this meeting.

    Public Participation: The ISPAB agenda will include a period of time, not to exceed thirty minutes, for oral comments from the public (Friday, March 25, 2016, between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.). Speakers will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Each speaker will be limited to five minutes. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Members of the public who are interested in speaking are requested to contact Annie Sokol at the contact information indicated in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements. In addition, written statements are invited and may be submitted to the ISPAB at any time. All written statements should be directed to the ISPAB Secretariat, Information Technology Laboratory, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8930, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930.

    Kevin Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03905 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE463 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would exempt commercial fishing vessels from Atlantic sea scallop regulations in support of research conducted by the Coonamessett Farm Foundation. Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before March 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line “DA15-084 CFF Resource Enhancement Study EFP.”

    Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on DA15-030 CFF Resource Enhancement Study EFP.”

    Fax: (978) 281-9135.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shannah Jaburek, Fisheries Management Specialist, 978-282-8456.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NOAA Fisheries awarded the Coonamesset Farm Foundation (CFF) a grant through the 2015 Atlantic sea scallop research set-aside (RSA) program, in support of a project titled, “Habitat Characterization and Sea Scallop Resource Enhancement Study in a Proposed Habitat Research Area-Year Three.” CFF has also submitted a proposal for a project of similar design for consideration under the 2016 Atlantic sea scallop RSA program titled “Drivers of Dispersal and Retention in Recently Seeded Sea Scallops.” Final project selections for the 2016 scallop RSA program are still to be determined and grant funding is expected sometime in March 2016. CFF submitted a complete application for an EFP for both projects on November 12, 2015. The main objectives for these projects are:

    1. Perform a seeding operation and monitor environmental conditions before and after seeding;

    2. Test a new cost-effective technique for marking and tracking seed scallops by size class;

    3. Monitor transplanted scallops using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to quantify scallop and predator densities, dispersal rates, and survival; and

    4. Investigate the different seedbed characteristics to provide insight into factors behind transplant success or failure.

    Each project would transplant scallops from areas of high concentration to areas of lower concentration that were historically known to have high scallop densities, to demonstrate the feasibility of a reseeding program to enhance and stabilize scallop recruitment on Georges Bank. The Exempted Fishing Permit would exempt participating vessels from Atlantic sea scallop days-at-sea allocations at 50 CFR 648.53(b); crew size restrictions at § 648.51(c); Atlantic sea scallop observer program requirements at § 648.11(g); and closed area exemptions for Nantucket Lightship at § 648.58(c). It would also exempt participating vessels from the access area program requirements at § 648.60(a)(4), which would allow them to transit in and out of the access areas from the open area, as well as from the 50 bushel in-shell scallop possession limit outside of an access area found at § 648.52(f). Finally the Exempted Fishing Permit would exempt vessels from possession limits and minimum fish size requirements specified in 50 CFR part 648, subsections B and D through O, for sampling purposes and to retain any yellowtail flounder showing signs of disease for further shore side analysis.

    Three dredging trips would collect and transplant roughly 10,000 to 15,000 scallops. One trip would support the 2015 project and two trips would support the proposed 2016 project. Dredging trips would be conducted utilizing a single vessel starting in March 2016 for the 2015 project, and April through May 2016 for the 2016 project if funded. The juvenile scallops would be harvested from the southeast portion of Nantucket Lightship Access Area (NLAA) to suitable sites in an alternate area of NLAA or a suitable site on Cox's Ledge. The projects define a suitable site as having currents less than 3 knots (~1 m/s) and large areas of coarse substrate preferred by scallops.

    The vessel would tow two standard 15-foot (4.57-meter) wide dredges with a 4-inch (10.16-cm) ring bag for up to 10 minutes at 4.5 knots. To harvest all of the scallops, the applicant estimates they would need to complete approximately 25 tows. Once the catch is on deck, the scallops would be sorted by size class, marked with an appropriately colored reflective tape to aid with post-seeding monitoring, and stored in fish totes with a chilled seawater flow through system. All harvesting and tagging would occur during nighttime hours to reduce stress on the scallops. Once the vessel reaches the reseeding site, the vessel would anchor up to allow for a controlled placement, and researchers will lower the scallops to the ocean bottom for a targeted density of two scallops per square meter. A bottom marker would also be released with each scallop placement to locate the original site enabling researchers to note any scallop movement.

    One bushel from each tow would be measured for size frequency and 15 individual scallops would be sampled for meat weights to determine shell height/meat weight ratios prior to transplanting. Any finfish caught in the dredge that show signs of abnormalities would have a small biopsy of the area removed and preserved in a vial with formalin and the carcass would be placed in a ziplock bag and stored on ice. Researchers would continue gathering information on the prevalence of the disease Ichthyophonus seen locally in yellowtail flounder. Anticipated bycatch for both projects is listed in the table below.

    Species Minimum bycatch (lb) (kg) Maximum bycatch (lb) (kg) Scallop 12,000 5,443 15,075 6,838 Yellowtail Flounder 140 64 450 204 Winter Flounder 20 9 225 102 Windowpane Flounder 120 54 450 204 Monkfish 500 227 1,575 714 Other Fish 220 100 450 204 Barndoor Skate 20 9 675 306 NE Skate Complex 7,740 3,510 12,825 5,817

    In addition to trips that will harvest and place seed scallops, there will be five trips dedicated to conducting optical surveys of the research area; two trips to determine seed placement locations, and three trips to monitor the seeding effort. Researchers would conduct each initial optical survey over the course of a day and the post seed optical surveys over seven days. The post seeding surveys would start immediately after scallop placement, and recur at each site once a day. To collect data at each of the sites, researchers would use a GAVIA AUV, and a video sled comprised of a 9.84-foot (3-m) wide beam outfitted with a battery operated camera and strobe system. The only contact with the ocean bottom would be with three 3-inch (7.62-cm) wide runners attached to the bottom of the beam. No exemptions are needed for the optical survey trips.

    Regulatory exemptions are needed to allow CFF to collect scallops from a closed access area and reseed them in an open area, and without being charged days-at-sea. Exemptions are also needed to deploy dredge gear in closed access areas and retain yellowtail flounder for scientific purposes. Participating vessels need crew size waivers to accommodate science personnel and possession waivers will enable them to conduct data collection activities. We would waive the observer program notification requirements because the research activity is not representative of standard fishing activity.

    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03760 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a public meeting of the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee provides advice to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on spectrum management policy matters.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on March 18, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Wiley Rein Conference Center, 1776 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. Public comments may be mailed to Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4099, Washington, DC 20230 or emailed to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bruce M. Washington, Designated Federal Officer, at (202) 482-6415 or [email protected]; and/or visit NTIA's Web site at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Committee provides advice to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information on needed reforms to domestic spectrum policies and management in order to: license radio frequencies in a way that maximizes public benefits; keep wireless networks as open to innovation as possible; and make wireless services available to all Americans. See Committee Charter at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/csmac_2015_charter_renewal_2-26-15.pdf. This Committee is subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, and is consistent with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Act, 47 U.S.C. 904(b). The Committee functions solely as an advisory body in compliance with the FACA. For more information about the Committee visit: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac.

    Matters To Be Considered: The Committee provides advice to the Assistant Secretary to assist in developing and maintaining spectrum management policies that enable the United States to maintain or strengthen its global leadership role in the introduction of communications technology, services, and innovation. This helps to expand the economy, adding jobs, and increasing international trade, while at the same time providing for the expansion of existing technologies and supporting the country's homeland security, national defense, and other critical needs of government missions. The Committee will hear reports of the following Subcommittees:

    1. Federal Access to Non-Federal Bands (Bi-directional Sharing) 2. Agency and Industry Collaboration 3. Measurement and Sensing in 5 GHz 4. Spectrum Access System (SAS)/Spectrum Database International Extension 5. 5G

    NTIA will post a detailed agenda on its Web site, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac, prior to the meeting. To the extent that the meeting time and agenda permit, any member of the public may speak to or otherwise address the Committee regarding the agenda items. See Open Meeting and Public Participation Policy, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac.

    Time and Date: The meeting will be held on March 18, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. The times and the agenda topics are subject to change. The meeting will be available via two-way audio link and may be webcast. Please refer to NTIA's Web site, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac, for the most up-to-date meeting agenda and access information.

    Place: The meeting will be held at the Wiley Rein Conference Center, 1776 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. Public comments may be mailed to Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4099, Washington, DC 20230. The meeting will be open to the public and press on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. The public meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as sign language interpretation or other ancillary aids, are asked to notify Mr. Washington at (202) 482-6415 or [email protected] at least ten (10) business days before the meeting.

    Status: Interested parties are invited to attend and to submit written comments to the Committee at any time before or after the meeting. Parties wishing to submit written comments for consideration by the Committee in advance of a meeting must send them to NTIA's Washington, DC office at the above-listed address and comments must be received five (5) business days before the scheduled meeting date to provide sufficient time for review. Comments received after this date will be distributed to the Committee, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting. It would be helpful if paper submissions also include a compact disc (CD) in Word or PDF format. CDs should be labeled with the name and organizational affiliation of the filer. Alternatively, comments may be submitted electronically to [email protected] Comments provided via electronic mail also may be submitted in one or more of the formats specified above.

    Records: NTIA maintains records of all Committee proceedings. Committee records are available for public inspection at NTIA's Washington, DC office at the address above. Documents including the Committee's charter, member list, agendas, minutes, and any reports are available on NTIA's Committee Web page at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Kathy D. Smith, Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03873 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration Community Broadband Summit AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), through the BroadbandUSA program, in conjunction with Next Century Cities will hold a one-day regional broadband summit, “Digital Northwest,” to share information to help communities build their broadband capacity and utilization. The summit will present best practices and lessons learned from broadband network infrastructure build-outs and digital inclusion programs from the State of Washington and surrounding states, including projects funded by NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.1 The summit will also explore effective business and partnership models and will include access to regional policymakers, federal funders and industry providers.

    1 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5, 123 Stat. 115 (2009).

    DATES:

    The Digital Northwest Broadband Summit will be held on March 21, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center, 2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66, Seattle, WA 98121.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Brown, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 4889, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 280-8260; email: [email protected] Please direct media inquiries to NTIA's Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-7002; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NTIA's BroadbandUSA program provides expert advice and field-proven tools for assessing broadband adoption, planning new infrastructure and engaging a wide range of partners in broadband projects. BroadbandUSA convenes workshops on a regular basis to bring stakeholders together to discuss ways to improve broadband policies, share best practices, and connect communities to other federal agencies and funding sources for the purpose of expanding broadband infrastructure and adoption throughout America's communities.

    The Digital Northwest Broadband Summit features subject matter experts from NTIA's BroadbandUSA program and will include NTIA presentations that discuss lessons learned through the implementation of the BTOP and SBI grants. A panel will explore key elements required for successful broadband projects using a mix of regional examples. Topics will include marketing/demand aggregation, outreach, coordination with government agencies, partnership strategies, construction and oversight. A second panel will explore why broadband matters in comprehensive community planning and will provide real-world examples of how broadband applications help communities improve economic development, workforce development and education opportunities. A third panel will examine business model options, including private networks, public/private partnerships, co-ops and municipal systems. Panelists will provide tips to communities on how to research funding options, make a compelling case to funders and leverage multiple federal and state and non-profit funding streams. Community leaders interested in expanding economic development opportunities or commercial providers interested in expanding their markets, among others, should find the information presented at the summit valuable as they plan their broadband projects.

    The summit will be open to the public and press. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. Portions of the meeting will be webcast. Information on how to pre-register for the meeting and how to access the free, live webcast will be available on NTIA's Web site: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2016/NWsummit. NTIA will ask registrants to provide their first and last names and email addresses for both registration purposes and to receive any updates on the summit. If capacity for the meeting is reached, NTIA will maintain a waiting list and will inform those on the waiting list if space becomes available. Meeting updates, changes in the agenda, if any, and relevant documents will be also available on NTIA's Web site at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2016/NWsummit.

    The public meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as language interpretation or other ancillary aids, are asked to notify Barbara Brown at the contact information listed above at least five (5) business days before the meeting.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Kathy D. Smith, Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03857 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2012-0056] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request—Safety Standard for Omnidirectional Citizens Band Base Station Antennas AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission” or “CPSC”) announces that the Commission has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a request for extension of approval of a collection of information associated with the Commission's Safety Standard for Omnidirectional Citizens Band Base Station Antennas (16 CFR part 1204), approved previously under OMB Control No. 3041-0006. In the Federal Register of November 25, 2015 (80 FR 73736), the CPSC published a notice to announce the agency's intention to seek extension of approval of the collection of information. The Commission received no comments. Therefore, by publication of this notice, the Commission announces that CPSC has submitted to the OMB a request for extension of approval of that collection of information, without change.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this request for extension of approval of information collection requirements should be submitted by March 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments about this request by email: [email protected] or fax: 202-395-6881. Comments by mail should be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the CPSC, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. In addition, written comments that are sent to OMB also should be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, under Docket No. CPSC-2012-0056.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information contact: Robert H. Squibb, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; (301) 504-7815, or by email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CPSC has submitted the following currently approved collection of information to OMB for extension:

    Title: Safety Standard for Omnidirectional Citizens Band Base Station Antennas.

    OMB Number: 3041-0006.

    Type of Review: Renewal of collection.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Manufacturers, importers, and private labelers of omnidirectional citizens band base station antennas.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: We have identified five firms that supply omnidirectional citizen band base station antennas.

    Estimated Time per Response: Based on the information compiled by manufacturers, importers, and private labelers of antennas to test and maintain records for certificates of compliance, we estimate an average of 220 hours per firm for annual testing and recordkeeping.

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 1,100 hours (5 firms × 220 hours).

    General Description of Collection: The Safety Standard for Omnidirectional Citizens Band Base Station Antennas (16 CFR part 1204) establishes performance requirements for omnidirectional citizens band base station antennas to reduce unreasonable risks of death and injury that may result if an antenna contacts overhead power lines while being erected or removed from its site. The regulations implementing the standard (16 CFR part 1204, subpart B) require manufacturers, importers, and private labelers of antennas subject to the standard to test the antennas for compliance with the standard and to maintain records of that testing.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03778 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has submitted a public information collection request (ICR) titled “National Service Criminal History Check Recordkeeping Requirement” for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling CNCS, Aaron Olszewski, at 202-606-6709 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods by March 25, 2016:

    (1) By fax to: (202) 395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service; and

    (2) Electronically by email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    Comments

    A 60-day public comment Notice was published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015. This comment period ended December 22, 2015. No public comments were received from this Notice. Description: CNCS requests renewal of the recordkeeping requirement previously approved.

    The requirements will be used in the same manner as the existing application. CNCS also seeks to continue using the current application until the revised application is approved by OMB. The current application is due to expire on February 29, 2016.

    Type of Review: Renewal of Approved Recordkeeping Requirement.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: National Service Criminal History Check Recordkeeping Requirement.

    OMB Number: 3045-0150.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: CNCS Grantees and Subgrantees.

    Total Respondents: 112,357.

    Frequency: Three times per covered position.

    Average Time per Response: Five minutes.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 28,089 hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Jeremy Joseph, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03812 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0013] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to add a new System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency proposes to add a new system of records, HDTRA 028, entitled “AtHoc Emergency Mass-Notification System” will be used to notify the workforce quickly with information in times of emergency (snow, fire, hurricane or other unforeseen situations that cause the Fort Belvoir/McNamara Complex to be closed).

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before March 25, 2016. This proposed action will be effective the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    * Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    LaTonya L. Small, Ed.D, Chief Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Office, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060, 703-767-1792.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency's notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a (r)), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The proposed systems reports, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, were submitted on February 16, 2016, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996, (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. HDTRA 028 System name:

    AtHoc Emergency Mass-Notification System

    System location:

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency/USSTRATCOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201.

    Secondary location:

    Albuquerque Operations, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, 1680 Texas Street SE., Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM 87117-5669.

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency/USSTRATCOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (DTRA/SCC-WMD) civilian employees, military personnel, and on-site contractors.

    Categories of records in the system:

    Individual's first name, last name, work email, work phone number, mobile phone number, short message service (SMS) (texting), telephone typewriter, teletypewriter or text phone/Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TTY/TTD), personal email, home phone, and pager (one or two-way).

    Authority for maintenance of the system:

    5 U.S.C. 301, Departmental Regulations; 10 U.S.C. 136, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; DoD Directive 5124.02, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R); DoD Instruction 3020.42, Defense Continuity Plan Development; DoD Instruction 3020.52, DoD Installation Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Preparedness Standards; and DoD Instruction 6055.17, DoD Installation Emergency Management (IEM) Program.

    Purpose(s):

    To notify the workforce quickly with information in times of emergency (snow, fire, hurricane or other unforeseen situations that cause the Fort Belvoir/McNamara Complex to be closed).

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the records contained therein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD blanket routine uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.

    Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system: Storage:

    Electronic storage media.

    Retrievability:

    First and last name of employee or individual.

    Safeguards:

    Records are maintained in a controlled facility. Records are accessible only to authorized persons with a need-to-know who are properly screened, cleared, and trained. The system will maintain a role based access, Government Common Access Card (CAC) and associated Personal Identification Number (PIN) in addition to user identification and password for system access.

    Retention and disposal:

    Disposition pending until the National Archives and Records Administration approve retention and disposal schedule, records will be treated as permanent.

    System manager(s) and address:

    Operations Integration Branch Chief, Defense Threat Reduction Agency/USSTRACTOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201.

    Notification procedures:

    Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the DTRA/SCC-WMD, Chief, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Office, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201.

    For verification purposes, individual should provide their full name, dates and locations they were employed or assigned to DTRA/SCC-WMD, and any details which may assist in locating records. In addition, the requester must provide a notarized statement or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    If executed outside the United States: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)”.

    If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)”.

    Record access procedures:

    Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the DTRA/SCC-WMD, Chief, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Office, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201.

    For verification purposes, individual should provide their full name, dates and locations they were employed or assigned to DTRA/SCC-WMD, and any details which may assist in locating records. In addition, the requester must provide a notarized statement or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    If executed outside the United States: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)”.

    If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)”.

    Contesting record procedures:

    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency/USSTRATCOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction rules for accessing records, for contesting contents, and appealing initial agency determinations are published in 32 CFR part 318.10 or may be obtained from the Chief, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Office.

    Record source categories:

    From the individual.

    Exemptions claimed for the system:

    None.

    [FR Doc. 2016-03871 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah AGENCY:

    Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Paducah. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, March 17, 2016, 6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Barkley Centre, 111 Memorial Drive, Paducah, Kentucky 42001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Woodard, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Paducah Site Office, Post Office Box 1410, MS-103, Paducah, Kentucky 42001, (270) 441-6825.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda • Call to Order, Introductions, Review of Agenda • Administrative Issues • Public Comments (15 minutes) • Adjourn Breaks Taken As Appropriate

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Paducah, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Jennifer Woodard as soon as possible in advance of the meeting at the telephone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Jennifer Woodard at the telephone number listed above. Requests must be received as soon as possible prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments. The EM SSAB, Paducah, will hear public comments pertaining to its scope (clean-up standards and environmental restoration; waste management and disposition; stabilization and disposition of non-stockpile nuclear materials; excess facilities; future land use and long-term stewardship; risk assessment and management; and clean-up science and technology activities). Comments outside of the scope may be submitted via written statement as directed above.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Jennifer Woodard at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.pgdpcab.energy.gov/2016_meetings.htm.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on February 18, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03849 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, March 23, 2016; 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20852, (301) 822-9200.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda L. May, U.S. Department of Energy; SC-26/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone: (301) 903-0536 or email: [email protected]. The most current information concerning this meeting can be found on the Web site: http://science.gov/np/nsac/meetings/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: To provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation on scientific priorities within the field of basic nuclear science research.

    Tentative Agenda: Agenda will include discussions of the following:

    Wednesday, March 23, 2016

    • Perspectives from Department of Energy and National Science Foundation

    • Update from the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation's Nuclear Physics Office

    • Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Overview

    • Status of the Canadian Long Range Plan for Subatomic Physics

    • Update from the NUPECC Chair

    Note:

    The NSAC Meeting will be broadcast live on the Internet. You may find out how to access the broadcast by going to the following site, prior to the start of the meeting. A video record of the meeting, including the presentations, will be archived after the meeting ends at the following link: http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/DOE/160323/.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make oral statements regarding any of these items on the agenda, you should contact Brenda L. May, at (301) 903-0536 or by email [email protected]. You must make your request for an oral statement at least five business days before the meeting. Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements on the agenda. The Chairperson of the Committee will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Public comment will follow the 10-minute rule.

    The minutes of the meeting will be available for review on the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Physics Web site at http://science.gov/np/nsac/meetings/

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 18, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03850 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee under Section 9008(d) of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that agencies publish these notices in the Federal Register to allow for public participation. This notice announces the meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.

    DATES AND TIMES:

    March 8, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., March 9, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, 2800 South Potomac Ave., Arlington, VA 2202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elliott Levine, Designated Federal Official for the Committee, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; Email: [email protected] and Roy Tiley at (410) 997-7778 ext. 220; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of Meeting: To develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products.

    Tentative Agenda: Agenda will include the following:

    • Update on USDA Biomass R&D Activities

    • Update on DOE Biomass R&D Activities

    • Update the Biomass Research and Development Initiative

    • Overview of DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office 2016 Budget, New Areas, and Activities

    • Overview of 2016 Budget, New Areas, and Activities for USDA NIFA and ARS

    • Presentation on the Biomass related ARPA-E activities

    Public Participation: In keeping with procedures, members of the public are welcome to observe the business of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. To attend the meeting and/or to make oral statements regarding any of the items on the agenda, you must contact Elliott Levine at; Email: [email protected] and Roy Tiley at (410) 997-7778 ext. 220; Email: [email protected] at least 5 business days prior to the meeting. Members of the public will be heard in the order in which they sign up at the beginning of the meeting. Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements on the agenda. The Co-chairs of the Committee will make every effort to hear the views of all interested parties. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. The Co-chairs will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business.

    Minutes: The summary of the meeting will be available for public review and copying at http://biomassboard.gov/committee/meetings.html.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on February 18, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03848 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14747-000] Energy Resources USA Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On December 22, 2015, the Energy Resources USA Inc. filed an application for a preliminary permit under section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act proposing to study the feasibility of the proposed William H. Harsha Lake Dam Hydroelectric Project No. 14747-000, to be located at the existing William H. Harsha Lake Dam on the East Fork of Little Miami River, near the City of Batavia, in Clermont County, Ohio. The William H. Harsha Lake Dam is owned by the United States government and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The proposed project would consist of: (1) A new 16-foot by 7.5-foot by 9-foot concrete conduit fitted with a 7-foot by 8-foot discharge gate; (2) a new 210-foot-long, 6-foot-diameter steel penstock fitted with a butterfly valve; (3) a new 65-foot by 45-foot reinforced concrete powerhouse containing two 1.4-megawatt (MW) horizontal Francis turbine-generators having a total combined generating capacity of 2.8 MW; (4) a new 90-foot-long by 60-foot-wide tailrace; (5) a new 45-foot-long by 30-foot-wide substation; (6) a new 1-mile-long, 69-kilovolt transmission line; and (7) appurtenant facilities. The project would have an estimated annual generation of 8.24 gigawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Ander Gonzalez, 350 Lincoln Road, 2nd Floor, Miami, FL 33139; telephone (954) 248-8425.

    FERC Contact: Tyrone A. Williams, (202) 502-6331.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 Days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14747-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14747) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03827 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-492-000] Dominion Transmission, Inc.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Leidy South Project

    On May 15, 2015, Dominion Transmission, Inc. (DTI) filed an application in Docket No. CP15-492-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The proposed project is known as the Leidy South Project (Project), and would provide an incremental 155 MMcf per day of firm transportation service in the Mid-Atlantic region and to meet the need of increasing demand for natural gas at existing and new power generation facilities.

    On May 27, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA March 30, 2016 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline June 28, 2016

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    DTI proposes the following facilities in Pennsylvania to replace two 1,100 horsepower (hp) compressor units with one 10,915 hp unit at the Finnefrock Compressor Station in Clinton County; install one suction filter/separator at the Centre Compressor Station in Centre County; and install one 13,220 hp unit at the Chambersburg Compressor Station in Franklin County. DTI would also install the following facilities in Virginia, a new cooler and filter separator at the Quantico Compressor Station in Fauquier County; one 8,000 hp unit at the Leesburg Compressor Station and construct a new meter station at the Panda Stonewall Power Project both in Loudoun County. Finally, DTI would install one 15,900 hp unit at the Myersville Compressor Station in Frederick County, Maryland.

    Background

    On July 23, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Leidy South Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the Commission received comments from several state and federal agencies and from the Allegheny Defense Project, Wild Virginia, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network. The primary issues raised by the commentors are the purpose and need for the Project; potential impacts on wildlife, surface water, drinking water, and wetland resources; the potential for increased soil compactions and watershed impacts on the Tamarack Swamp Natural Area; noise impacts; climate change; and cumulative impacts.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). Using the “eLibrary” link, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and “Docket Number” excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP15-492), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03833 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-604-000.

    Applicants: Wyckoff Gas Storage Company, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing NAESB v. 3.0 Compliance to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/11/16.

    Accession Number: 20160211-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-605-000.

    Applicants: Enable Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Filing—February 11, 2016—CEM 1006966 to be effective 2/11/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/11/16.

    Accession Number: 20160211-5138.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-606-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: 02/11/16 Negotiated Rates—ConEdison Energy, Inc. (HUB) 2275-89 to be effective 2/11/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/11/16.

    Accession Number: 20160211-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-607-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: 02/11/16 Negotiated Rates—Mercuria Energy Gas Trading LLC (HUB) 7540-89 to be effective 2/12/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/11/16.

    Accession Number: 20160211-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-608-000.

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: J. Aron NC Service Agmt to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/12/16.

    Accession Number: 20160212-5003.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-609-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (EOG 34687 to Tenaska 45706) to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/12/16.

    Accession Number: 20160212-5018.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-610-000.

    Applicants: Northern Natural Gas Company.

    Description: Northern Natural Gas submits report of the penalty and daily delivery variance charge (DDVC) revenues that have been credited to shippers under RP16-610.

    Filed Date: 2/12/16.

    Accession Number: 20160212-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-611-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: 02/16/16 Negotiated Rates—Mercuria Energy Gas Trading LLC to be effective 2/13/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20160216-5224.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-612-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: 02/16/16 Negotiated Rates—ConEdison Energy, Inc. (HUB) 2275-89 to be effective 2/14/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20160216-5229.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-613-000.

    Applicants: Alliance Pipeline L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Daily Open Season Feb 12-19 2016 to be effective 2/12/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/16/16.

    Accession Number: 20160216-5362.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/29/16.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-524-001.

    Applicants: SG Resources Mississippi, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing SG Resources Mississippi, L.L.C.—Order No. 587-W Revised Compliance Filing to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/11/16.

    Accession Number: 20160211-5171.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/16.

    Any person desiring to protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 17, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03832 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC16-6-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725J); Comment Request; Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the currently approved information collection, FERC-725J (Definition of the Bulk Electric System).

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. IC16-6-000) by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-725J, Definition of the Bulk Electric System

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0259

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-725J information collection requirements with no changes to the current reporting requirements.

    Abstract: On December 20, 2012, the Commission issued Order No. 773, a Final Rule approving NERC's modifications to the definition of “bulk electric system” and the Rules of Procedure exception process to be effective July 1, 2013. On April 18, 2013, in Order No. 773-A, the Commission largely affirmed its findings in Order No. 773. In Order Nos. 773 and 773-A, the Commission directed NERC to modify the definition of bulk electric system in two respects: (1) Modify the local network exclusion (exclusion E3) to remove the 100 kV minimum operating voltage to allow systems that include one or more looped configurations connected below 100 kV to be eligible for the local network exclusion; and (2) modify the exclusions to ensure that generator interconnection facilities at or above 100 kV connected to bulk electric system generators identified in inclusion I2 are not excluded from the bulk electric system.

    Type of Respondents: Generator owners, distribution providers, other NERC-registered entities.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:  1 The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    1 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    2 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $62.38/hour = Average Cost per Response. The hourly cost figure (wages plus benefits) comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm). The figure is for an electric engineer (Occupational Code: 17-2071).

    FERC-725J (Definition of the Bulk Electric System) Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number of responses Average
  • burden and
  • cost per
  • response 2
  • Total annual
  • burden hours and total annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1)*(2)=(3) (4) (3)*(4)=(5) (5)÷(1) Generator Owners and Distribution Providers (Exception Request) 20 1 20 94 hrs.;
  • $5,864
  • 1,880 hrs.;
  • $117,274
  • $5,864
    All Registered Entities (Implementation Plans and Compliance) 186 1 186 350 hrs.;
  • $21,833
  • 65,100 hrs.;
  • $4,060,938
  • $21,833
    Total 206 66,980 hrs.;
  • $4,178,212
  • $27,697

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03838 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Filing Docket No. Richardson, Alan C. ID-7484-003 Chahley, Kris ID-7783-001

    Take notice that on February 18, 2016, Alan C. Richardson and Kris Chahley submitted for filing, an application for authority to hold interlocking positions, pursuant to section 305(b) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) 1 and Part 45.8 (2015) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) 2 Rules of Practice and Procedure.

    1 16 U.S.C. 825d(b) (2015).

    2 18 CFR part 45 (2015).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on March 10, 2016.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03839 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14749-000] Energy Resources USA Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On December 22, 2015, the Energy Resources USA Inc. filed an application for a preliminary permit under section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act proposing to study the feasibility of the proposed Caesar Creek Lake Dam Hydroelectric Project No. 14749-000, to be located at the existing Caesar Creek Dam on the Caesar Creek River, near the City of Waynesville, in Warren County, Ohio. The Caesar Creek Lake Dam is owned by the United States government and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The proposed project would consist of: (1) A new 12-foot by 7.5-foot by 9-foot concrete conduit fitted with a 7-foot by 8-foot discharge gate; (2) a new 90-foot-long, 6-foot-diameter steel penstock fitted with a butterfly valve; (3) a new 65-foot by 45-foot reinforced concrete powerhouse containing two 1.4-megawatt (MW) horizontal Francis turbine-generators having a total combined generating capacity of 2.8 MW; (4) a new 200-foot-long by 60-foot-wide tailrace; (5) a new 45-foot-long by 30-foot-wide substation; (6) a new 2-mile-long, 69-kilovolt transmission line; and (7) appurtenant facilities. The project would have an estimated annual generation of 8.24 gigawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Ander Gonzalez, 350 Lincoln Road, 2nd Floor, Miami, FL 33139; telephone (954) 248-8425.

    FERC Contact: Tyrone A. Williams, (202) 502-6331.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14749-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14749) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03828 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER14-153-004; ER14-154-004; ER10-3143-016; ER10-2742-007.

    Applicants: Gibson City Energy Center, LLC, Grand Tower Energy Center, LLC, Lakeswind Power Partners, LLC, Sabine Cogen, LP, Tilton Energy LLC.

    Description: Amendment to June 26, 2015 Triennial Market-Based Rate Update Filing for the Central Region of the Rockland Sellers.

    Filed Date: 2/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20160217-5219.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-938-001.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Energy Imbalance Market OATT Revisions to be effective 5/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20160217-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-954-001.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Errata to DARD Pump Parameter Changes to be effective 3/31/2017.

    Filed Date: 2/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20160218-5043.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-959-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: NYISO HTP UDR compliance EL12-98 to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 2/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20160217-5197.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-960-000.

    Applicants: Big Sandy Peaker Plant, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing, Informational Filing, Reactive Tariff Record Doc No ER04-1103 to be effective 2/17/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20160217-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-961-000.

    Applicants: Wolf Hills Energy, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing, Informational Filing, Reactive Tariff Record Doc No ER04-1102 to be effective 2/17/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/17/16.

    Accession Number: 20160217-5202.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/9/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-962-000.

    Applicants: RE Astoria 2 LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Certificate of Concurrence for LGIA Co-Tenancy Agreement to be effective 3/27/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20160218-5046.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-963-000.

    Applicants: RE Astoria 2 LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Certificate of Concurrence for Shared Facilities Agreement to be effective 3/27/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20160218-5047.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-964-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Original ISA No. 4401, Queue No. AA1-095 to be effective 1/25/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20160218-5054.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-965-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Southern Power (Taylor County Solar Facility II-100MW) LGIA Filing to be effective 2/4/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20160218-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-966-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Tariff revisions public policy transmission planning process to be effective 2/19/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/18/16.

    Accession Number: 20160218-5113.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03831 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR16-11-000] Platte River Midstream, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on February 18, 2016, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) (2015), Platte River Midstream, LLC, filed a petition for a declaratory order seeking an order approving overall tariff and rate structure for a new crude oil gathering pipeline system that will gather crude oil produced from various points in Weld County, Colorado and transport it to a central delivery point near Lucerne, Weld County, Colorado, all as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 18, 2016.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03825 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-39-000] Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on February 17, 2016, pursuant to Rule 207 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission), 18 CFR 385.207(2015), Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (Tri-State) filed a petition for declaratory order finding that Tri-State's fixed cost recovery proposal contained in revised Board Policy 101 is consistent with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 and the Commission's implementing regulaltions, as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest in this proceeding must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 18, 2016.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03835 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RM16-6-000] Essential Reliability Services and the Evolving Bulk-Power System—Primary Frequency Response AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Inquiry.

    SUMMARY:

    In this Notice of Inquiry, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) seeks comment on the need for reforms to its rules and regulations regarding the provision and compensation of primary frequency response.

    DATES:

    Comments are due April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and in accordance with the requirements posted on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    • Agency Web site: Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format, at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    • Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically must mail or hand deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures Section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jomo Richardson (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6281, [email protected]. Mark Bennett (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8524, [email protected]
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. In this Notice of Inquiry (NOI), the Commission seeks comment on the need for reforms to its rules and regulations regarding the provision and compensation of primary frequency response. In recent years, the nation's electric supply portfolio has transformed to a point where fewer resources may now be providing primary frequency response than when the Commission considered this issue in other relevant proceedings. As discussed below, in light of the changing resource mix and other factors, it is reasonable to expect this trend to continue. Considering the significance of primary frequency response to the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System,1 the Commission seeks input on whether and what action is needed to address the provision and compensation of primary frequency response.

    1 Section 215(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824o(a)(1) (2012) defines “Bulk-Power System” as those “facilities and control systems necessary for operating an interconnected electric energy transmission network (or any portion thereof) [and] electric energy from generating facilities needed to maintain transmission system reliability.” The term does not include facilities used in the local distribution of electric energy. See also Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242, at P 76, order on reh'g, Order No. 693-A, 120 FERC ¶ 61,053 (2007).

    2. Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on whether amendments to the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) and Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA) are warranted to require all new generation resources to have frequency response capabilities as a precondition of interconnection. The Commission also seeks comment on the performance of existing resources and whether primary frequency response requirements for these resources are warranted. Further, the Commission seeks comment on the requirement to provide and compensate for primary frequency response.

    I. Background A. Technical Overview: The Nature and Operation of Frequency Response

    3. Reliably operating an Interconnection 2 requires maintaining balance between generation and load so that frequency remains within predetermined boundaries around a scheduled value (60 Hz in the United States). Interconnections occasionally experience system contingencies (e.g., the loss of a large generator) that disrupt the balance between generation and load. These contingencies result in frequency deviations that can potentially cause under frequency load shedding (UFLS), additional generation tripping, or cascading outages.3 Consequently, some generators within an Interconnection automatically deploy frequency control actions, including inertial response and primary frequency response, during disturbances to arrest and stabilize frequency deviations. The reliability of the Bulk-Power System depends in part on the operating characteristics of generating resources that balancing authorities 4 commit to serve load. However, not all generating resources provide frequency support services, which are essential to maintaining the reliability and stability of the Bulk-Power System.5

    2 An Interconnection is a geographic area in which the operation of Bulk-Power System components is synchronized. In the continental United States, there are three Interconnections, namely the Eastern, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and Western Interconnections.

    3 UFLS is designed for use in extreme conditions to stabilize the balance between generation and load. Under frequency protection schemes are drastic measures employed if system frequency falls below a specified value. Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding and Load Shedding Plans Reliability Standards, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 137 FERC ¶ 61,067 (2011).

    4 The North American Electric Reliability Corporation's (NERC) Glossary of Terms defines a balancing authority as “(t)he responsible entity that integrates resource plans ahead of time, maintains load-interchange-generation balance within a balancing authority area, and supports Interconnection frequency in real time.”

    5 As discussed below, NERC Reliability Standard BAL-003-1 has requirements related to frequency response, but it is applicable to balancing authorities and not individual generating resources.

    4. Frequency response is a measure of an Interconnection's ability to arrest and stabilize frequency deviations within pre-determined limits following the sudden loss of generation or load. Frequency response is affected by the collective responses of generation and load resources throughout the entire Interconnection. Inertial response, primary frequency response, and secondary frequency response all contribute to stabilizing the Bulk-Power System by correcting frequency deviations.

    5. Inertial response, or system inertia, involves the release or absorption of kinetic energy by the rotating masses of online generation and load within an Interconnection, and is the result of the coupling between the rotating masses of synchronous generation and load and the electric system.6 An Interconnection's inertial response influences how fast frequency drops after the loss of generation and how fast it rises after a reduction of load. The less system inertia there is, the faster the rate of change of frequency 7 during disturbances. An adequate amount of system inertia is important since following the sudden loss of generation, inertia serves to reduce the rate of change of frequency, allowing time for primary frequency response actions to arrest the frequency deviation and stabilize the power system.

    6See, e.g., Use of Frequency Response Metrics to Assess the Planning and Operating Requirements for Reliable Integration of Variable Renewable Generation, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, at 13-14 (December 2010), available at: http://energy.lbl.gov/ea/certs/pdf/lbnl-4142e.pdf (LBNL Frequency Response Metrics Report).

    7 Rate of change of frequency is mainly a function of the magnitude of the loss of generation (or load) and system inertia and is measured in Hz/second.

    6. Primary frequency response, net of changes in generation real power (MW) output and power consumed by load in response to a frequency deviation, is the first stage of overall frequency control, begins within seconds after the frequency changes, and is critical to the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System.8 Primary frequency response is mostly provided by the automatic and autonomous actions (i.e., outside of system operator control) of turbine-governors, while some response is provided by frequency responsive loads due to changes in system frequency. Primary frequency response actions are intended to arrest the frequency deviation until it reaches the minimum frequency, or nadir.9 An important goal for system planners and operators is for the frequency nadir, during large disturbances, to remain above the first stage of firm UFLS set points within an Interconnection. The time-frame to arrest frequency deviations typically ranges from five to 15 seconds, depending on the Interconnection.

    8See, e.g., LBNL Frequency Response Metrics Report at 15-16.

    9 The point at which the frequency decline is arrested (following the sudden loss of generation) is called the frequency nadir, and represents the point in which the net primary frequency response (MW) output from all generating units and the decrease in power consumed by the load within an Interconnection matches the net initial MW loss of generation.

    7. Secondary frequency response involves changes to the MW output of resources on automatic generation control (e.g., regulation resources) that respond to dispatch instructions.10 Secondary frequency response actions usually begin after 30 seconds or more following a contingency, and can take 5 minutes or more to restore system frequency to its scheduled value.

    10See e.g., LBNL Frequency Response Metrics Report at 9-11.

    B. Evolving Generation Resource Mix

    8. The nation's generation resource mix is undergoing a transformation that includes the retirement of baseload, synchronous units, with large rotational inertia. The changing resource mix also includes the integration of more distributed generation, demand response, and natural gas resources, and the rapid expansion of variable energy resources (VERs) 11 such as wind and solar.12 Several factors, such as existing and proposed federal and state environmental regulations, renewable portfolio standards, tax incentives, and low natural gas prices, have driven these developments.

    11 For the purposes of this proceeding, the term Variable Energy Resource refers to a device for the production of electricity that is characterized by an energy source that: (1) Is renewable; (2) cannot be stored by the facility owner or operator; and (3) has variability that is beyond the control of the facility owner or operator. This includes, for example, wind, solar thermal and photovoltaic, and hydrokinetic generating facilities. See Integration of Variable Energy Resources, Order No. 764, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,331 at n. 1 (2012), order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 764-A, 141 FERC ¶ 61,232 (2012), order on clarification and reh'g, Order No. 764-B, 144 FERC ¶ 61,222 (2013).

    12 The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently reported that more than 50 percent of newly installed electric generating capacity in the U.S. came from solar generation in the first quarter of 2015. See SEIA Solar Market Insight Report 2015 Q1 (2015), http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-market-insight-report-2015-q1.

    9. During 2015, natural gas-fired generation surpassed coal as the predominant fuel source for electric generation, and is now the leading fuel type for capacity additions.13 In addition, NERC recently determined that there has been almost 50 GW of baseload (e.g., coal, nuclear, petroleum, and natural gas) retirements since 2011.14

    13See NERC 2015 Long Term Reliability Assessment at 1 (December 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/2015LTRA%20-%20Final%20Report.pdf.

    14See NERC 2015 Summer Reliability Assessment at 5 (May 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/2015_Summer_Reliability_Assessment.pdf.

    10. In addition, between 2014 and 2015, all three U.S. Interconnections have experienced growth in the installed nameplate capacity of wind and solar generation. For example, as illustrated by the figure below, NERC has observed that the three Interconnections collectively added approximately 11.1 GW of wind and 1.73 GW of solar generation between 2014 and 2015.15 More specifically, in 2015: (1) The Eastern Interconnection had 37.6 GW of wind and 1.6 GW of solar capacity, representing a growth rate of 12 percent and 116 percent over the respective 2014 levels of 33.5 GW and 0.73 GW;16 (2) ERCOT had 14.7 GW of wind and 0.18 GW of solar, representing a growth rate of 29 percent and 50 percent over the respective 2014 levels of 11.4 GW and 0.12 GW;17 and (3) Western Interconnection had 24.8 GW of wind and 8.4 GW of solar, representing a growth rate of 17 percent and 11 percent over the respective 2014 levels of 21.1 GW and 7.6 GW.18

    15 NERC 2015 Summer Reliability Assessment, Table 3 at page 7.

    16Id.

    17Id.

    18Id.

    EN24FE16.030

    11. The changing generation resource mix has the potential to reduce the inertial response within some Interconnections, as VERs do not contribute to inertia unless they are specifically designed to do so. For example, solar photovoltaic resources have no rotating mass and thus no rotational inertia. Similarly, while wind turbines have a rotating mass, power converters that interconnect modern wind turbines decouple the rotation of their turbines from the grid. As such, modern wind turbines do not contribute to the system's inertia unless specifically configured to do so.19 Therefore, increased numbers of VERs, in conjunction with significant retirements of large conventional resources with large rotational inertia, have the potential to reduce system inertia.

    19See, e.g., General Electric WindINERTIA Control Fact Sheet (2009), http://site.ge-energy.com/prod_serv/products/renewable_energy/en/downloads/GEA17210.pdf.

    12. In addition, VERs do not provide primary frequency response unless specifically configured to do so. Furthermore, since VERs typically have low marginal costs of production, they would likely not be dispatched in a manner necessary to provide primary frequency response, since the provision of primary frequency response involves the reservation of capacity (or “headroom”) in order for a resource to automatically increase its MW output in response to drops in system frequency. Therefore, there is a significant risk that, as conventional synchronous resources retire or are displaced by increased numbers of VERs that do not typically have primary frequency response capabilities, the net amount of frequency responsive generation online will be reduced.20

    20 Non-synchronous generators such as VERs (e.g., wind and solar resources) produce electricity that is not synchronized to the electric grid (i.e., direct current (DC) power or alternating current (AC) power at a frequency other than 60 hertz). Inverters convert non-synchronized AC or DC power into synchronized AC power that can be transmitted on the transmission system. These resources do not operate in the same way as conventional generators and respond differently to network disturbances.

    13. The combined impacts of lower system inertia and lower frequency responsive capability online may adversely affect reliability during disturbances because lower system inertia results in more rapid frequency deviations during disturbances. This, in turn, may result in lower frequency nadirs, particularly if the primary frequency capability online is not sufficiently fast. This is a potential reliability concern because, as the frequency nadir lowers, it approaches the Interconnection's UFLS trip setting, which could result in the loss of load and additional generation across the Interconnection.

    14. These developments and their potential impacts could challenge system operators in maintaining reliability. The Commission believes that a substantial body of evidence has emerged warranting consideration of possible actions to ensure that resources capable of providing primary frequency response are adequately maintained as the nation's resource mix continues to evolve.

    15. In 2014, NERC initiated the Essential Reliability Services Task Force (Task Force) to analyze and better understand the impacts of the changing resource mix and develop technical assessments of essential reliability services.21 The Task Force focused on three essential reliability services: frequency support, ramping capability, and voltage support.22

    21 Essential reliability services are referred to as elemental reliability building blocks from resources (generation and load) that are necessary to maintain the reliability of the Bulk-Power System. See Essential Reliability Services Task Force Scope Document at 1 (April 2014), http://www.nerc.com/comm/Other/essntlrlbltysrvcstskfrcDL/Scope_ERSTF_Final.pdf.

    22 Essential Reliability Services Task Force Measures Report at 22 (December 2015), http://www.nerc.com/comm/Other/essntlrlbltysrvcstskfrcDL/ERSTF%20Framework%20Report%20-%20Final.pdf.

    16. The Task Force considered the seven ancillary services 23 adopted by the Commission in Order Nos. 888 24 and 890 25 as a subset of the essential reliability services that may need to be augmented by additional services as the Bulk-Power System characteristics change. However, the Task Force did not intend to recommend new reliability standards or propose actions to alter the existing suite of ancillary services.26 Instead, its focus was on educating and informing industry and other stakeholders about essential reliability services, developing measures and industry best practices for tracking essential reliability services, and developing recommendations to ensure that essential reliability services continue to be provided as the nation's generation resource mix evolves.27

    23 The seven ancillary services are: (1) Scheduling, System Control and Dispatch Service; (2) Reactive Supply and Voltage Control from Generation Sources Service; (3) Regulation and Frequency Response Service; (4) Energy Imbalance Service; (5) Operating Reserve—Spinning Reserve Service; (6) Operating Reserve—Supplemental Reserve Service; and (7) Generator Imbalance Service.

    24Promoting Wholesale Competition Through Open Access Non-Discriminatory Transmission Services by Public Utilities; Recovery of Stranded Costs by Public Utilities and Transmitting Utilities, Order No. 888, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,036 (1996), order on reh'g, Order No. 888-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,048, order on reh'g, Order No. 888-B, 81 FERC ¶ 61,248 (1997), order on reh'g, Order No. 888-C, 82 FERC ¶ 61,046 (1998), aff'd in relevant part sub nom. Transmission Access Policy Study Group v. FERC, 225 F.3d 667 (D.C. Cir. 2000), aff'd sub nom. New York v. FERC, 535 U.S. 1 (2002).

    25Preventing Undue Discrimination and Preference in Transmission Service, Order No. 890, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,241, order on reh'g, Order No. 890-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,261 (2007), order on reh'g, Order No. 890-B, 123 FERC ¶ 61,299 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 890-C, 126 FERC ¶ 61,228, order on clarification, Order No. 890-D, 129 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2009).

    26 NERC Essential Reliability Services Task Force Scope Document at 2.

    27Id.

    17. The reliability of the Bulk-Power System will be increasingly dependent upon the operational characteristics of natural gas and renewable generating units, as these types of resources are expected to comprise an increasing percentage of the future generation resource mix. The Task Force stated that “the reliability of the electric grid depends on the operating characteristics of the replacement resources.” 28 NERC observed that “wind, solar, and other variable energy resources that are an increasingly greater share of the Bulk-Power System provide a significantly lower level of essential reliability services than conventional generation.” 29 The Task Force concluded that it is prudent and necessary to ensure that primary frequency capabilities are present in the future generation resource mix, and recommends that all new generators support the capability to manage frequency.30

    28 Essential Reliability Services Task Force Measures Report at iv.

    29See NERC State of Reliability 2015 Report at 16 (May 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/PA/Performance%20Analysis%20DL/2015%20State%20of%20Reliability.pdf.

    30 Essential Reliability Services Task Force Measures Report at vi.

    18. Contributing to the concerns associated with the nature and operational characteristics of the evolving resource mix is the uncertainty whether a resource configured to provide primary frequency response is willing and able to offer such a service when called upon to do so. While almost all existing synchronous resources and some non-synchronous resources have governors or equivalent control equipment capable of providing primary frequency response, generator owners and operators can independently decide whether units provide primary frequency response.31

    31 A governor is an electronic or mechanical device that implements primary frequency response on a generator via a droop parameter. Droop refers to the variation in MW output due to variations in system frequency. A governor also has a dead band which establishes a minimum frequency deviation (from nominal) that must be exceeded in order for the governor to act. Example droop and dead band settings are 5 percent and ±0.036 Hz, respectively.

    19. For example, at present, it is possible for a generator owner/operator to block or disable the governor or to set a wide dead band setting. A wide dead band setting can result in a unit not providing primary frequency response for most frequency deviations. As discussed more fully below, in February 2015, NERC issued an Industry Advisory which determined that a significant portion of generators within the Eastern Interconnection utilize dead bands or governor control settings that either inhibit or prevent the provision of primary frequency response.32 In response to this issue and other concerns, NERC's Operating Committee recently approved a Primary Frequency Control Guideline that contains recommended settings for generator governors and other plant control systems, and encourages generators within the three U.S. Interconnections to provide sustained and effective primary frequency response.33

    32 NERC Generator Governor Frequency Response Industry Advisory (February 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/rrm/bpsa/Alerts%20DL/2015%20Alerts/NERC%20Alert%20A-2015-02-05-01%20Generator%20Governor%20Frequency%20Response.pdf.

    33See NERC Primary Frequency Control Guideline Final Draft (December 2015), http://www.nerc.com/comm/OC/Reliability%20Guideline%20DL/Primary_Frequency_Control_final.pdf. See also NERC Operating Committee Meeting Minutes (January 2016), http://www.nerc.com/comm/OC/AgendasHighlightsMinutes/Operating%20Committee%20Minutes%20-%20Dec%2015-16%202015-Final.pdf.

    20. NERC's State of Reliability Report for 2015 explained that the three U.S. Interconnections currently exhibit stable frequency response performance above their Interconnection Frequency Response Obligations.34 However, NERC has pointed out a historic decline in frequency response performance in both the Western and Eastern Interconnections.35 NERC identified several key reasons for the decline, mainly tied to the primary frequency response performance of generators.36

    34 NERC State of Reliability Report 2015 at 9 (May 2015). See http://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/PA/Performance%20Analysis%20DL/2015%20State%20of%20Reliability.pdf. Reliability Standard BAL-003-1 establishes Interconnection Frequency Response Obligations that are designed to require sufficient frequency response for each Interconnection to arrest frequency declines even for severe, but possible, contingencies.

    35See NERC Frequency Response Initiative Industry Advisory—Generator Governor Frequency Response at slide 10 (April 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/rrm/Webinars%20DL/Generator_Governor_Frequency_Response_Webinar_April_2015.pdf. See also Review of the Recent Frequency Performance of the Eastern, Western and ERCOT Interconnections, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, at pp xiv-xv (December 2010), http://energy.lbl.gov/ea/certs/pdf/lbnl-4144e.pdf.

    36See NERC Frequency Response Initiative Report: The Reliability Role of Frequency Response (October 2012), http://www.nerc.com/docs/pc/FRI_Report_10-30-12_Master_w-appendices.pdf (Frequency Response Initiative Report).

    C. Prior Commission and Industry Actions

    21. In this proceeding, the Commission seeks comment on the need for reforms to its rules and regulations regarding the provision of primary frequency response. This section offers an overview of Commission and industry action to date related to frequency response to provide the context for the consideration of what, if any, actions the Commission should take to ensure that adequate frequency response is available to maintain grid reliability.

    22. In April 1996, the Commission issued Order No. 888, to address undue discrimination in transmission service by requiring all public utilities to provide open access transmission service consistent with the terms of a pro forma Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).37 The pro forma OATT sets forth the terms of transmission service including, among other things, the provision of ancillary services. Additionally, the Commission adopted six ancillary services stating they are “needed to accomplish transmission service while maintaining reliability within and among control areas affected by the transmission service.” 38 The ancillary service involved in this proceeding is Regulation and Frequency Response Service, found in Schedule 3 of the pro forma OATT.

    37 Order No. 888, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,036.

    38Id. at 31,705.

    23. In July 2003, the Commission issued Order No. 2003, which revised the pro forma OATT to include a pro forma LGIA, which applies to interconnection requests of large generators (i.e., generators larger than 20 MW).39 While the pro forma LGIA adopted standard procedures and a standard agreement for the interconnection of large generating facilities, it was “designed around the needs of large synchronous generators.” 40 The Commission also added a blank Appendix G (Requirements of Generators Relying on Newer Technologies) to the LGIA to serve as a means by which to apply interconnection requirements specific for generators relying on newer technologies, such as wind generators.41

    39Standardization of Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 2003, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,146, app. 6 (LGIP), app. C (LGIA) (2003), order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,160, order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,171 (2004), order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-C, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,190 (2005), aff'd sub nom. Nat'l Ass'n of Regulatory Util. Comm'rs v. FERC, 475 F.3d 1277 (D.C. Cir. 2007), cert. denied, 552 U.S. 1230 (2008).

    40 Order No. 2003-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,160 at P 407 & n.85.

    41Id.

    24. In May 2005, the Commission issued Order No. 2006, which required all public utilities to adopt standard terms and conditions for new interconnecting small generators (i.e., those no larger than 20 MW) under a pro forma SGIA.42

    42Standardization of Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 2006, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,180, order on reh'g, Order No. 2006-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,196 (2005), order granting clarification, Order No. 2006-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,221 (2006).

    25. The Commission recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the pro forma LGIA and SGIA to eliminate the exemption for wind generators and other non-synchronous generators regarding reactive power requirements.43 The proposed rule proposes to require all newly interconnecting generators, both synchronous and non-synchronous, to provide reactive power.

    43Reactive Power Requirements for Non-Synchronous Generation, 153 FERC ¶ 61,175 (2015).

    26. Although the Commission has previously included technical requirements for generators in the LGIA and Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (LGIP),44 both the pro forma LGIA and SGIA are silent with respect to primary frequency response requirements.

    44 For example, in Order Nos. 661 and 661-A, the Commission adopted standard procedures and technical requirements related to low voltage ride thru and power factor design criteria for the interconnection of large wind plants, and required all public utilities that own, control, or operate facilities for transmitting electric energy in interstate commerce to append Appendix G to their LGIPs and LGIAs in their OATTs to include these requirements. Interconnection for Wind Energy, Order No. 661, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,186, order on reh'g, Order No. 661-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,198 (2005).

    27. In a final rule issued on January 16, 2014, the Commission approved Reliability Standard BAL-003-1, which establishes frequency response requirements for balancing authorities.45 Reliability Standard BAL-003-1 established Interconnection Frequency Response Obligations that prescribe the minimum frequency response that must be maintained by an Interconnection. The purpose of the Interconnection Frequency Response Obligation is to maintain the minimum frequency (nadir) above UFLS set points following the largest contingency of the Interconnection as defined by the resource contingency criteria in BAL-003-1. Each balancing authority is assigned a Frequency Response Obligation 46 that is a proportionate share of the Interconnection Frequency Response Obligation, and is based on its annual generation and load.47 Requirement R1 of BAL-003-1 requires each balancing authority to achieve an annual Frequency Response Measure that equals or exceeds its Frequency Response Obligation. The Frequency Response Measure is the median value of a balancing authority's frequency response performance during selected events over the course of a year.48 Requirement R1 of BAL-003-1 becomes effective on April 1, 2016, and compliance begins on December 1, 2016.

    45Frequency Response and Frequency Bias Setting Reliability Standard, Order No. 794, 146 FERC ¶ 61,024 (2014). Reliability Standards proposed by NERC are submitted to the Commission for approval pursuant to section 215(d) of the FPA; 16 U.S.C. 824o(d).

    46 NERC's Glossary of Terms defines Frequency Response Obligation as “[t]he balancing authority's share of the required Frequency Response needed for the reliable operation of an Interconnection.”

    47 The Interconnection Frequency Response Obligation and Frequency Response Obligation are expressed in MW per 0.1 Hertz (MW/0.1 Hz).

    48 Attachment A of BAL-003-1. NERC will identify between 20 to 35 events annually in each Interconnection for calculating the Frequency Response Measure. See also Procedure for ERO Support of Frequency Response and Frequency Bias Setting Standard, (November 30, 2012), http://www.nerc.com/pa/Stand/Project%20200712%20Frequency%20Response%20DL/Procedure_Clean_20121130.pdf.

    28. Although Reliability Standard BAL-003-1 requires sufficient frequency response from balancing authorities, on average, to maintain Interconnection frequency, it does not require generators to provide primary frequency response. In the rulemaking in which the Commission approved Reliability Standard BAL-003-1, some commenters expressed concern that the standard does not address the availability of generator resources to provide primary frequency response or the premature withdrawal 49 of primary frequency response. In Order No. 794, the Commission directed NERC to submit a report by July 2018 analyzing the availability of resources for each balancing authority and Frequency Response Sharing Group 50 to meet their Frequency Response Obligation.51 Furthermore, the Commission stated that, if NERC learns that balancing authorities are experiencing difficulty in procuring sufficient resources to satisfy their Frequency Response Obligations, NERC should immediately report it to the Commission with appropriate recommendations for mitigation.52

    49 NERC has stated that “[w]ithdrawal of primary frequency response is an undesirable characteristic associated most often with digital turbine-generator control systems using setpoint output targets for generator output. These are typically outer-loop control systems that defeat the primary frequency response of the governors after a short time to return the unit to operating at a requested MW output.” See Order No. 794, 146 FERC ¶ 61,024 at P 65 (citing NERC's Frequency Response Initiative Report).

    50 NERC's Glossary of Terms defines a Frequency Response Sharing Group as a “group whose members consist of two or more Balancing Authorities that collectively maintain, allocate, and supply operating resources required to jointly meet the sum of the Frequency Response Obligations of its members.”

    51 Order No. 794, 146 FERC ¶ 61,024 at P 60.

    52Id. P 63.

    29. Additionally, in Order No. 794, the Commission stated that the nature and extent of the problems that could result from the premature withdrawal of primary frequency response, and how best to address them, will be better understood after NERC and balancing authorities have more experience with Reliability Standard BAL-003-1.53 The Commission also stated that the need to take action regarding the premature withdrawal of primary frequency response, including requiring load controllers to include a frequency bias term to sustain frequency response or otherwise modifying Reliability Standard BAL-003-1, should be decided after we have actual experience with the Reliability Standard.54

    53Id. P 75.

    54Id. P 76.

    30. In light of the ongoing evolution of the nation's generation resource mix, and other factors, such as NERC's Generator Governor Industry Advisory released in February 2015, the Commission believes that it is prudent to take a proactive approach to better understand the issues related to primary frequency response performance and determine what additional actions beyond Reliability Standard BAL-003-1 may be appropriate. Thus, the Commission is proceeding with a Notice of Inquiry at this time rather than waiting until NERC submits a report in 2018.

    31. In the absence of national primary frequency response requirements applicable to individual generating resources, some areas, including ERCOT, ISO New England Inc. (ISO-NE), and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM), have implemented regional requirements for individual generating resources within their regions in order to maintain reliability.

    32. For example, the Commission accepted Texas Reliability Entity Inc.'s Regional Reliability Standard BAL-001-TRE-01 (Primary Frequency Response in the ERCOT Region) as mandatory and enforceable, which places requirements on generator owners and operators with respect to the provision of primary frequency response within the ERCOT region.55 In particular, BAL-001-TRE-01 requires generator owners to operate each generating unit/generating facility that is connected to the interconnected transmission system with the governor in service and responsive to frequency when the generating unit/generating facility is online and released for dispatch, and to promptly notify the balancing authority of any change in governor status.56 Additionally, BAL-001-TRE-01 requires generator owners to set specified governor dead band and droop parameters.57 Moreover, BAL-001-TRE-01 requires generator owners to provide minimum initial and sustained primary frequency response performance.58 NERC recently noted that ERCOT experienced a significant improvement in its frequency response performance as generators within its region adjusted their governor settings for compliance with BAL-001-TRE-01.59

    55North American Electric Reliability Corporation, 146 FERC ¶ 61,025 (2014). The requirements of BAL-001-TRE-01 help to ensure that generation and load remain balanced—or are quickly restored to balance—in the ERCOT Interconnection so that system frequency is restored to stability and near normal frequency even after a significant event occurs on the system. In Order No. 693, the Commission approved a regional difference for the ERCOT Interconnection from Reliability Standard BAL-001-0, allowing ERCOT to be exempt from Requirement R2, and found that ERCOT's approach to frequency response under its own market protocols appeared to be more stringent than Requirement R2. Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242 at PP 313-315.

    56 Reliability Standard BAL-001-TRE-01, at Requirements R7 and R8.

    57 Reliability Standard BAL-001-TRE-01, at Requirement R6.

    58 Reliability Standard BAL-001-TRE-01, at Requirements R9 and R10.

    59 NERC 2014 Frequency Response Annual Analysis Report at 6 (February 2015), http://www.nerc.com/FilingsOrders/us/NERC%20Filings%20to%20FERC%20DL/Final_Info_Filing_Freq_Resp_Annual_Report_03202015.pdf. See also Table 3 at 6.

    33. ISO-NE requires each generator within its region with a capability of ten MW or more, including renewable resources, to operate with a functioning governor with specified dead band and droop settings, and to also ensure that the provision of primary frequency response is not inhibited by the effects of outer-loop controls.60

    60 Section I of ISO-NE's Operating Procedure No. 14—Technical Requirements for Generators, Demand Resources, Asset Related Demands and Alternative Technology Regulation Resources, http://www.iso-ne.com/rules_proceds/operating/isone/op14/op14_rto_final.pdf.

    34. PJM has pro forma interconnection agreements that obligate interconnection customers within its region to abide by all PJM rules and procedures pertaining to generation and transmission, including rules and procedures set forth in the PJM Manuals.61 PJM requires large, conventional generators to operate on unrestricted governor control to assist in maintaining Interconnection frequency, and recently established specified governor dead band and droop requirements for all generating resources (excluding nuclear units) with a gross plant/facility aggregate nameplate rating greater than 75 MVA.62 In addition, PJM recently added new interconnection requirements for interconnection customers entering its queue after May 2015 and seeking to interconnect non-synchronous generators, including wind generators, to use “enhanced inverters” with the capability to, among other things, provide primary frequency response.63 PJM stated that the installed capacity of VERs in its region is expected to increase to approximately 15 GW by the 2016-17 delivery year, and that it has an additional 25 GW of VERs in its interconnection queue.64 PJM expressed a need for VERs to install the capability to automatically reduce or increase their real power output in order to respond to a variety of system conditions, including high or low frequencies. PJM also stated that this capability will provide flexibility in responding to transmission system events using all available resources which, according to PJM, will be increasingly important as VERs displace synchronous generators that have these capabilities.65

    61 PJM Tariff, Attachment O § 8.0.

    62 PJM Manual 14D.

    63PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., 151 FERC ¶ 61,097, at n.58 (2015).

    64 PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Transmittal Letter, Docket No. ER15-1193-000, at 2 (filed Mar. 6, 2015).

    65Id. at 11.

    D. Compensation for Primary Frequency Response Service

    35. This section offers an overview of Commission and industry action to date related to compensation for primary frequency response. At present, there are few, if any, entities receiving compensation for selling primary frequency response as a stand-alone product, and there are no current rates applicable to sales of primary frequency response alone. However, several options for transactions involving primary frequency response have been developed. Transmission providers may sell primary frequency response service in combination with regulation service under the bundled pro forma OATT Schedule 3 product, Regulation and Frequency Response Service. 66 Schedule 3 in the pro forma OATT in Order Nos. 888 67 and 890 68 permits jurisdictional transmission providers to outline their rates for this regulation and frequency response service through a filing under FPA section 205. Schedule 3 charges are cost-based rates paid by transmission customers to the transmission provider. Additionally, Order No. 784 made it possible for third-party sellers to offer Schedule 3 service to the transmission provider at a rate up to the published Schedule 3 rate, or at rates that result from an appropriate competitive solicitation.69 Such third-party sales could involve any combination of regulation and primary frequency response services, including unbundled primary frequency response service by itself.

    66 Regulation service is different than primary frequency response because regulation resources respond to automatic generation control signals, which responds to Area Control Error. Regulation is centrally coordinated by the balancing authority. Primary frequency response, in contrast, is autonomous and is not centrally coordinated. Schedule 3 lumps these different services together, despite their differences. The Commission in Order No. 888 found that “while the services provided by Regulation Service and Frequency Response Service are different, they are complementary services that are made available using the same equipment. For this reason, we believe that Frequency Response Service and Regulation Service should not be offered separately, but should be offered as part of one service.” Order No. 888, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,036, at PP 212-213 (1996).

    67 Order No. 888, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,036.

    68 Order No. 890, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,241.

    69Third-Party Provision of Ancillary Services; Accounting and Financial Reporting for New Electric Storage Technologies, Order No. 784, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,349, at PP 6-7 (2013), order on clarification, Order No. 784-A, 146 FERC ¶ 61,114 (2014).

    36. Finally, in Order No. 819, the Commission revised its regulations to foster competition in the sale of primary frequency response service.70 In the final rule, the Commission approved the sale of primary frequency response service at market-based rates by entities that qualify for market-based rate authority for sales of energy and capacity to any willing buyer. Order No. 819 focused on how jurisdictional entities can qualify for market-based rates for primary frequency response service in the context of voluntary bilateral sales, and did not place any limits on the types of transactions available to procure primary frequency response service; they may be cost-based or market-based, bundled with other services or unbundled, and inside or outside of organized markets.71 Order No. 819 did not require any entity to purchase primary frequency response from third parties or develop an organized market for primary frequency response.72

    70Third-Party Provision of Primary Frequency Response Service, Order No. 819, 153 FERC ¶ 61,220 (2015).

    71Id. P 13.

    72Id. P 37. The Commission denied Calpine Corporation's request for Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to be given a deadline to develop tariff changes that would enable them to implement primary frequency response compensation mechanisms.

    II. Request for Comments

    37. The Commission seeks comment on the need for reforms to its rules and regulations regarding the provision and compensation of primary frequency response. Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on possible actions to ensure that the provision of primary frequency response continues to remain at levels adequate to maintain the reliability of the Bulk-Power System in light of the ongoing transformation of the nation's generation resource mix. The Commission understands that this transformation in the nation's generation portfolio could eventually result in a reduction of system inertia and fewer generation resources with primary frequency response capabilities. In addition, as discussed above, NERC has indicated that a significant number of generators within the Eastern Interconnection utilize dead bands or governor control settings that either inhibit or prevent the provision of primary frequency response. Together, these factors could result in potential downward shifts of the frequency nadir during disturbances, closer to UFLS set points that would trigger significant widespread outages.

    38. Presently, there are no pro forma agreements for primary frequency response transactions. Voluntary sales of primary frequency response, would most likely involve negotiated, bilateral contracts between buyers and sellers. In this regard, considering their compliance obligations under Reliability Standard BAL-003-1, balancing authorities will be the most likely source of demand for voluntary purchases of primary frequency response service from third-party sellers, including those who have not provided the service in the past. Accordingly, as discussed further below, the Commission seeks comment on whether and to what extent balancing authority demand for voluntary purchases of frequency response would be reduced if all or all newly interconnecting resources were required to provide frequency response service. Further, we also seek comment on the impact this would have on the Commission's efforts under Order No. 819 to foster the development of a bilateral market for market-based rate sales of primary frequency response service as a means of cost-effectively meeting such demand.

    39. Within RTO/ISO markets, no current stand-alone primary frequency response product exists. Any RTO/ISO that desires to explicitly procure and compensate primary frequency response would need new tariff provisions because no RTO/ISO currently defines or procures such a product. As discussed below, the Commission seeks comment on the need for and the nature of frequency response compensation within the context of current RTO/ISO market optimization processes.

    40. Accordingly, the Commission seeks comment on the following possible actions, discussed in more detail below: (1) Modifications to the pro forma LGIA and SGIA mandating primary frequency response requirements for new resources, among other changes; (2) new primary frequency response requirements for existing resources; and (3) the requirement to provide and compensate for primary frequency response.

    A. Modifications to the pro forma LGIA and SGIA

    41. Reliability Standard BAL-003-1 and the pro forma LGIA and SGIA do not specifically address generators' provision of primary frequency response. Article 9.6.2.1 of the pro forma LGIA (Governors and Regulators) requires that if speed governors are installed, they should be operated in automatic mode.73 Reliability Standard BAL-003-1 and the pro forma LGIA and SGIA do not explicitly: (1) Require generators to install the necessary capability to provide primary frequency response; (2) prescribe specific governor settings that would support the provision of primary frequency response; 74 or (3) establish generator primary frequency response performance requirements during disturbances (e.g., require the response to be sustained, and not prematurely withdrawn prior to the initiation of secondary frequency response actions to return system frequency back to its nominal value and back within a generator's dead band setting).75

    73 Order No. 2003, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,146, app. C (LGIA).

    74 Generator governors can be enabled or disabled which determines whether or not primary frequency response is provided at all by the generator. In addition, even if a governor is enabled, its control settings can limit the conditions under which the generator provides primary frequency response.

    75 Primary frequency response would not be expected to be provided if no capacity (or “headroom”) is reserved on a unit.

    42. The Commission's pro forma generator interconnection agreements and procedures were developed at a time when traditional generating resources with standard governor controls and large rotational inertia were the predominant sources of electricity generation. However, circumstances are evolving, with NERC and others predicting significant retirements of conventional synchronous resources, all of which contribute to system inertia, and some of which provide primary frequency response. In addition, VERs are projected to comprise an increasing portion of the installed capacity in many regions of the country, but they do not typically provide inertial response or primary frequency response unless specifically configured to do so.

    43. Regarding VERs, the Commission understands that in previous years, many non-synchronous resources were not consistently designed with primary frequency response capabilities. However, NERC and others have stated that VER manufacturers have made significant advancements in recent years to develop the necessary controls that would enable VERs to provide frequency response.76 NERC recommends that the industry analyze how wind and solar photovoltaic resources can contribute to frequency response and to work toward interconnection requirements that ensure system operators will continue to maintain essential reliability services.77 Also relevant are PJM's recent additions of new interconnection requirements for VERs entering its queue after May 2015.78 PJM has stated that the necessary capabilities for non-synchronous resources to provide primary frequency response, among other services, are now “baked in” as enhancements to inverter capabilities.79

    76 NERC Long Term Reliability Assessment at 27 (November 2014), http://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/2014LTRA_ERATTA.pdf.

    77Id.

    78PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., 151 FERC ¶ 61,097, at n.58 (2015).

    79 PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Docket No. ER15-1193-000 (March 6, 2015) Transmittal Letter at 11.

    44. In light of the ongoing changes in the nation's resource mix as well as NERC's concerns regarding the primary frequency response performance of existing resources, the Commission seeks comment on whether and how to modify the pro forma LGIA and SGIA to require primary frequency response capability and performance of new generating resources.

    45. To that end, the Commission seeks comment on the following questions:

    1. Should the pro forma LGIA and SGIA be revised to include requirements for all newly interconnecting generating resources, including non-synchronous resources, to:

    1.1. Install the capability necessary to provide primary frequency response?

    1.2. Ensure that prime mover governors (or equivalent frequency control devices) are enabled and set pursuant to NERC's Primary Frequency Control Guideline (i.e., droop characteristics not to exceed 5 percent, and dead band settings not to exceed ±0.036 Hz)?

    1.3. Ensure that the MW response provided (when there is available headroom) in response to frequency deviations above or below the governor's dead band from 60 Hz is:

    1.3.1. Sustained until system frequency returns to within the governor's dead band setting?

    1.3.2. Provided without undue delay and responds in accordance with a specified droop parameter?

    2. What are the costs associated with making a newly interconnecting generation resource capable of providing primary frequency response? Specifically, what are the pieces of equipment or software needed to provide primary frequency response, and what are the costs associated with those pieces of equipment or software? Are there significant differences between synchronous and non-synchronous resources in providing primary frequency response, (e.g., the type of equipment necessary)?

    3. Regarding question (1) above, are the governor control settings recommended by NERC's Primary Frequency Control Guideline the appropriate settings to include in the pro forma LGIA and SGIA? Why or why not?

    4. Regarding new resources, including non-synchronous resources, are there physical, technical, or operational limitations/concerns to promptly providing sustained primary frequency response in the direction necessary to counteract under-frequency and over-frequency deviations? How should new requirements account for such limitations?

    5. Are metrics or monitoring useful to evaluate whether new resources:

    5.1. Operate with governors (or equivalent frequency control devices) enabled?

    5.2. Set governor control settings as described in question (1) above?

    5.3. Provide sustained MW response (when the unit has available headroom and system frequency deviates outside of the dead band) that is in the direction necessary to correct the frequency deviation and responsive in accordance with a specified droop parameter?

    6. How would transmission providers verify that new resources provide adequate primary frequency response performance?

    6.1. What information is necessary in order to facilitate performance verification?

    6.2. What changes, if any, to existing infrastructure (including, but not limited to telemetry and software tools) would be required in order to verify primary frequency response performance?

    6.3. What limitations based on resource type, if any, should be considered when evaluating primary frequency response performance?

    7. How would transmission providers ensure compliance with the new rules?

    7.1. Are penalties appropriate to ensure that new generating resources adhere to the new requirements described in question (1) above, and if so, how should such penalties be structured and implemented?

    7.2. Are penalties appropriate only if a resource receives compensation for adhering to the new requirements described in question (1) above?

    B. New Primary Frequency Response Requirements for Existing Resources

    46. The Commission seeks comment on how it might address the issue of primary frequency response performance in existing generators. As discussed above, the Commission is considering amendments to the pro forma LGIA and SGIA that would apply prospectively and only to new generating resources and not the existing generating fleet. However, the Commission notes that NERC has also expressed concerns related to the primary frequency response performance of the existing generating fleet.

    47. For example, in 2010, NERC conducted a governor response survey to gain insight into governor settings from several turbine governors across the three U.S. Interconnections.80 Analysis revealed a wide disparity in the reported governor control settings. For example, NERC found that several generator owners or operators reported dead bands between 0.05 Hz and 0.3 Hz, which are wider than those prescribed by ERCOT'S BAL-001-TRE-01 Regional Standard or recommended by NERC's 2015 Generator Governor Frequency Response Industry Advisory 81 and Primary Frequency Control Guideline.82

    80 Frequency Response Initiative Report at 87.

    81 NERC Generator Governor Frequency Response Industry Advisory.

    82 NERC Primary Frequency Control Guideline Final Draft.

    48. In February 2015, NERC issued an Industry Advisory, which expressed its determination that a significant portion of generators within the Eastern Interconnection utilize governor dead bands or other control settings that either inhibit or prevent the provision of primary frequency response.83

    83 NERC Generator Governor Frequency Response Industry Advisory.

    49. Furthermore, some generating units have controls that withdraw primary frequency response prior to the initiation of secondary frequency controls, which is a significant concern in the Eastern Interconnection and a somewhat smaller issue in the Western Interconnection. These controls are known as outer-loop controls to distinguish them from more direct, lower-level control of the generator operations. Primary frequency response withdrawal occurs when outer-loop controls deliberately act to nullify a generator's governor response and return the unit to operate at a pre-disturbance scheduled MW output. This is especially problematic when it occurs prior to the activation of secondary response, and has the potential to degrade the overall response of the Interconnection and result in a frequency that declines below the original nadir. NERC has observed that early withdrawal of primary frequency response continues to occur within the Eastern Interconnection.84

    84 NERC 2015 Frequency Response Annual Analysis Report at vi (September 2015), http://www.nerc.com/comm/OC/RS%20Landing%20Page%20DL/Related%20Files/2015_FRAA_Report_Final.pdf.

    50. Furthermore, NERC's Resources Subcommittee has determined that the majority of gas turbines operate in some type of MW Set Point control mode.85 According to the NERC Resources Subcommittee, the Eastern Interconnection Initiative has uncovered that in order for gas turbines to respond in MW Set Point control mode, an additional frequency algorithm has to be installed.86 Moreover, NERC's Resources Subcommittee stated that “the net result is that the gas turbine fleet that has been installed in the past 20+ years is not frequency responsive, [which] has to be corrected.” 87 NERC has also observed that in many conventional steam plants, dead band settings exceed the maximum ±0.036 Hz dead band, and the resulting response is squelched and not sustained.88

    85See News from SERC's NERC Resources Subcommittee Rep—Primary Frequency Response at 1 (May 2015), https://www.serc1.org/docs/default-source/outreach/communications/resource-documents/serc-transmission-reference/201505---st/primary-frequency-response.pdf?sfvrsn=2. MW set-point control mode automatically interrupts governor response in order for a generating unit to maintain a pre-disturbance dispatch.

    86Id.

    87Id.

    88See NERC Generator Governor Frequency Response Advisory—Webinar Questions and Answers at 1 (April 2015), http://www.nerc.com/pa/rrm/Webinars%20DL/Generator_Governor_Frequency_Response_Webinar_QandA_April_2015.pdf.

    51. As noted above, in December 2015, NERC's Operating Committee approved a Primary Frequency Control Guideline that contains recommended settings for generator governors and other plant control systems, and encourages generators within the three U.S. Interconnections to provide sustained and effective primary frequency response during major grid events in order to stabilize and maintain system frequency within allowable limits.89 However, the Commission notes that NERC's Primary Frequency Control Guideline is not mandatory and enforceable and does not alter any approved Reliability Standards.

    89 NERC Primary Frequency Control Guideline Final Draft.

    52. In light of the above discussion, the Commission seeks to further explore issues regarding the provision of primary frequency response by the existing generation fleet and seeks comment on the following questions:

    1. Should the Commission implement primary frequency response requirements for existing resources, as discussed above for new generators? If so, what is an appropriate means of doing so (e.g., changes to transmission provider tariffs or improvements to existing reliability standards)? How would transmission providers ensure that existing resources adhere to new primary frequency response requirements?

    2. As noted above, some existing generating units set dead bands wider than those recommended by NERC's Primary Frequency Control Guideline, and some units have control settings set in a manner that results in the premature withdrawal of primary frequency response. Should the Commission prohibit these practices? If so, by what means?

    3. What are the costs of retrofitting existing units, including non-synchronous resources, and with specific reference to such factors as equipment types and MW capacity, to be capable of providing sustained primary frequency response?

    4. Regarding existing units, are there physical, technical, or operational limitations or concerns to promptly providing sustained primary frequency response in the direction necessary to counteract under-frequency and over-frequency deviations?

    C. Requirement to Provide and Compensate for Primary Frequency Response Service

    53. Without the explicit requirement to provide primary frequency response or appropriate compensation for the provision of such service, resource owners may choose to disable or otherwise reduce the provision of primary frequency response from their existing resources or not install the equipment on their new resources.90

    90 IEEE, Interconnected Power System Response to Generation Governing: Present Practice and Outstanding Concerns (May 2007) (citing Cost of Providing Ancillary Services from Power Plants—Volume 1: A Primer, EPRI TR-1 07270-V1, 4161, Final Report, March 1997), http://resourcecenter.ieee-pes.org/pes/product/technical-reports/PESTR13.

    54. The Commission seeks information on whether there is a need to establish or modify procurement and compensation mechanisms for primary frequency response, and whether these mechanisms will ensure that the resulting rates are just and reasonable. The Commission invites commenters to share their overall views, including the operational, technical and commercial impacts that may result from mandates to provide primary frequency response. To that end, the Commission seeks comment on the following questions:

    1. Should all resources be required to provide minimum levels of: (1) Primary frequency response capability; and (2) primary frequency response performance in real-time?

    1.1. “Capability” involves having a turbine governor or equivalent equipment that has the ability to sense changes in system frequency, and is enabled and set with appropriate governor settings (e.g., droop and dead band), and assuming capacity (or “headroom”) has been set aside, the physical ability to ramp the resource quickly enough in order to provide useful levels of primary frequency response to help arrest the frequency deviation.

    1.2. “Performance” would involve putting the “capability” into actual service: i.e., actually operating the resource with governors or equivalent equipment enabled, ensuring that governor controls (e.g., droop and dead band) and other settings are properly set and coordinated, such that when capacity (or “headroom”) has been set aside, the unit promptly provides sustained primary frequency response during frequency excursions, until system frequency returns to within the governor's dead band setting.

    2. Is it necessary for every generating resource to install the capability necessary to provide primary frequency response? Or is it more appropriate for balancing authorities to identify and procure the amount of primary frequency response service that they need to meet their obligations under Reliability Standard BAL-003-1 and the optimum mix of resources to meet that need?

    2.1. To the extent that balancing authorities are responsible for procuring adequate primary frequency response service, does the current framework for blackstart provide a useful guide for how primary frequency response service could be procured?

    2.2. Does the Commission's recent rulemaking allowing third-party sales of frequency response services at market based rates allow balancing authorities to procure sufficient amounts of primary frequency response as required by BAL-003-1?

    2.3. To the extent that balancing authorities centrally optimize primary frequency response, wherein an algorithm optimizes in the operating horizon the set of resources in which to allocate primary frequency response headroom: Should all newly interconnecting resources be required to install the necessary capability in these areas? Can balancing authorities predict far ahead of the operating horizon the least-cost set of resources from which it will optimize the provision of primary frequency response?

    2.4. Would the costs of requiring all resources to have the capability to provide primary frequency response be significantly greater than the costs that would result from an Interconnection-wide or balancing authority-wide optimization of which generators should be capable of providing primary frequency response?

    2.5. Would the costs of requiring all new resources to enable and set their governors, or equivalent equipment, to be able to provide primary frequency response in real-time be significantly greater than the costs that would result from an Interconnection-wide or balancing authority-wide optimization of which generators should provide primary frequency response in real-time?

    2.6. Please discuss the viability of implementing an Interconnection-wide optimization mechanism.

    2.7. Would requiring every resource to be capable of providing primary frequency response result in over-procurement or inefficient investment in primary frequency response capability to the detriment of customers?

    2.8. Without rules to compel performance, how would balancing authorities ensure that the optimal set of resources chosen by an optimization algorithm actually enable governor controls with appropriate governor settings so that they provide sustained primary frequency response when capacity (or “headroom”) has been reserved and frequency deviates outside of their dead band settings?

    3. If generation resources were required to have minimum levels of primary frequency response capability or performance, should such resources be compensated for providing primary frequency response capability, performance, or both? If so, why? If not, why?

    3.1. If payment is based on capacity (or “headroom”) that is set aside for primary frequency response, how should such a capacity payment be structured and determined?

    3.2. If payment is based on actual performance, either alone or in combination with a capacity-based payment, please discuss possible rate structures applicable to primary frequency response performance.

    3.3. Will a market price provide resources with sufficient incentive to invest in primary frequency response capability and make the service available to the balancing authority in real-time, absent a requirement that resources maintain the capability to provide primary frequency response and perform as required?

    4. Currently, how do RTOs/ISOs ensure that they have the appropriate amount of primary frequency response capability during operations?

    4.1. Are resources contracted for primary frequency response outside of the market optimization and dispatch?

    4.2. Alternatively, does the market optimization and dispatch incorporate primary frequency response in its optimization?

    5. Would it be appropriate for RTOs/ISOs to create a product for primary frequency response service?

    5.1. Should this product be similar to a capacity product for the procurement of primary frequency response capability from resources?

    5.2. Should this product be similar to other ancillary service products in which certain resources would be selected in the day-ahead or real-time markets to provide primary frequency response?

    5.3. Are there benefits to co-optimizing the capacity (or “headroom”) allocated on generating units for primary frequency response with the market optimization and dispatch of RTOs/ISOs? If so, what are the challenges associated with doing so?

    6. Are there benefits to separating Frequency Response Service under Schedule 3 and creating a separate ancillary service covering each individually? If so, how should a new pro forma Primary Frequency Response Ancillary Service be structured?

    7. When compensating for primary frequency response, should compensation be different inside and outside of RTOs/ISOs?

    8. What procurement requirements or compensation mechanisms could be used for primary frequency response from stored energy resources? When considering requirements or compensation for stored energy resources, how should possible additional costs or other concerns be addressed?

    III. Comment Procedures

    55. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments, and other information on the matters, issues and specific questions identified in this notice. Comments are due April 25, 2016. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM16-6-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    56. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    57. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    58. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    IV. Document Availability

    59. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through FERC's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in FERC's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    60. From FERC's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    61. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the FERC's Web site during normal business hours from FERC Online Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03837 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RM11-6-000] Billing Procedures for Annual Charges for Recompensing the United States for the Use, Occupancy, and Enjoyment of Federal Lands; Notice of Statement of Annual Charges for the Use of Government Lands for Fiscal Year 2016

    By this notice, the Commission states that in accordance to the Final Rule issued on January 17, 2013 1 the federal lands fee schedule of per-acre rates have been calculated for Fiscal Years (FY) 2016 through 2020. Pursuant to the Final Rule, the Commission re-calculates the federal lands fee schedule every five years by using the per-acre land values published in the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Census. The Commission established the FY 2016 through FY 2020 federal lands fee schedule based on data published in the 2012 NASS Census. In addition, the Commission determines a state-specific reduction that removes the value of irrigated lands on a state-by-state basis, plus a seven percent reduction to remove the value of buildings. An encumbrance factor of 50 percent along with a rate of return of 5.77 percent are calculated with the per-acre land values less the state-specific reduction to derive at the individual state/county per-acre federal land rates assessed to hydropower projects.

    1Annual Charges for Use of Government Lands, Final Rule, Order No. 774, 78 FR 5256 (January 25, 2013), 142 FERC Stats & Regs. ¶ 61,045 (2013).

    The FY 2016 federal lands fee schedule rates have significantly increased in comparison to the FY 2015 federal lands fee schedule rates issued on January 8, 2015 for a number of hydropower projects located in multiple states/counties. In particular, hydropower projects located in the Kenai Peninsula Area of Alaska land rates increased by 71 percent in comparison to land rates assessed in FY 2015. The FY 2016 increase of per-acre land rates was mainly attributed to the increase of per-acre land and building values published in the 2012 NASS Census. The per-acre land value for land in the Kenai Peninsula Area was increased from $1,328 in the 2007 NASS Census to $2,423 in the 2012 NASS Census. This increase along with factoring in the state-specific reduction, the 50 percent encumbrance factor, and the 5.77 percent rate of return ultimately resulted in a 71 percent increase of per-acre land rates assessed to hydropower projects located in the Kenai Peninsula Area. In addition, per-acre land values for San Bernardino County located in California, Boulder and Clear Creek Counties located in Colorado, and Blaine County located in Idaho all significantly increased as a result of the 2012 published NASS Census.

    Conversely, the FY 2016 federal lands fee schedule rates have significantly decreased in comparison to the FY 2015 federal lands fee schedule rates issued on January 8, 2015 for a number of hydropower projects located in other locations as a result of the decreased per-acre land values published in the 2012 NASS Census. Specifically hydropower projects occupying federal lands in Alpine, Lake, and Riverside Counties located in California, Aleutian Islands Area located in Alaska, and Grays Harbor County located in Washington will receive as much as a 37 percent decrease in comparison to the federal lands annual charges issued in FY 2015.

    If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact Steven Bromberek at (202) 502-8001 or Norman Richardson at (202) 502-6219.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03829 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice Revising Post-Technical Conference Comment Schedule Docket Nos. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C ER15-2562-000, ER15-2563-000. Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C EL15-18-001. Linden VFT, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C EL15-67-000. Delaware Public Service Commission and Maryland Public Service Commission v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C EL15-95-000. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C ER14-972-003. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C ER14-1485-005, Not Consolidated.

    In an order dated November 24, 2015,1 the Commission found that the assignment of cost allocation for the projects in the filings and complaints listed in the caption using PJM's solution-based distribution factor (DFAX) cost allocation method had not been shown to be just and reasonable and may be unjust, unreasonable, or unduly discriminatory or preferential. The Commission directed its staff to establish a technical conference to explore both whether there is a definable category of reliability projects within PJM for which the solution-based DFAX cost allocation method may not be just and reasonable, such as projects addressing reliability violations that are not related to flow on the planned transmission facility, and whether an alternative just and reasonable ex ante cost allocation method could be established for any such category of projects.

    1PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., et al., 153 FERC ¶ 61,245 (2015).

    The technical conference was held on January 12, 2016. At the technical conference, staff indicated that it would establish a schedule for post-technical conference comments after reviewing the technical conference transcript. On February 9, 2016 a technical conference transcript was place in the above-referenced dockets, and a post-technical conference comment schedule was established. On February 18, 2016, an errata transcript of the February 9, 2016 transcript was placed in the dockets. The schedule for post-technical conference comments is revised accordingly.

    Post-technical conference comments, not to exceed 20 pages, are due on or before March 9, 2016.

    For more information about this technical conference, please contact [email protected]; or Sarah McKinley, 202-502-8368, [email protected], regarding logistical issues.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03836 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-27-000] West-Wide Must-Offer Requirements; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective Date

    On February 18, 2016, the Commission issued an order in Docket No. EL16-27-000, pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824e (2012), instituting an investigation into the justness and reasonableness of the must-offer obligation imposed in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council 1 during the California energy crisis of 2000-2001. West-Wide Must-Offer Requirements, 154 FERC ¶ 61,110 (2016).

    1 Formerly the Western Systems Coordinating Council.

    The refund effective date in Docket No. EL16-27-000, established pursuant to section 206(b) of the FPA, will be the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03834 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ID-7848] Belliveau, Robert G.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on February 17, 2016, Robert G. Belliveau submitted for filing, an application for authority to hold interlocking positions, pursuant to section 305(b) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) 1 and Part 45.8 (2015) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) 2 Rules of Practice and Procedure.

    1 16 U.S.C. 825d(b) (2012).

    2 18 CFR part 45 (2015).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on March 9, 2016.

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03824 Filed 2-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2894-010] Flambeau Hydro, LLC; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application and Request to Use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    b. Project No.: 2894-010.

    c. Date Filed: December 30, 2016.

    d. Submitted By: Flambeau Hydro, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Black Brook Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Apple River in the town of Black Brook near the City of Amery, in Polk County, Wisconsin. No federal lands are occupied by the project works or located within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 5.3 of the Commission's regulations.